Strength for Today & Bright Hope for Tomorrow

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The Dance of Grace

The Dance of Grace

Grace. We know it’s the benchmark of the Christian faith. We know it’s BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH we are saved. We know it’s His GRACE that enables us to obey. We know GRACE carries us through each day.   But I admit, I struggle with […]



I grew up in a generation of young people being encouraged to “do big things for God.” I went to Bible school. I studied hard. I dreamed of being on the mission field, of opening a home for troubled girls. My husband left his job […]

Gospel Parenting: Podcast of the Week

Gospel Parenting: Podcast of the Week


I am a perfectionist by nature.

This is problematic as a parent for two reasons. First, I am NOT perfect. Second, my kids are NOT perfect. We are all broken people. And where our imperfections and brokenness meet, despair and doubt as a parent can be SO consuming.

“What am I doing wrong?”

“I’m just no good at being a mom.”

“If I were doing my job, they would listen better.”

“We aren’t saving for their college, we’re saving for their therapy.”

But then, if you’re looking for it, you get a glimpse of the truth about parenting.

It’s NOT ABOUT me. It’s all about THE GOSPEL.

This week, we had a situation with our 5 year old son caught in the act of lying. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but it was a blatant lie. I found myself questioning (ever-so-briefly) my identity as a parent: “Why does he feel the need to lie? Am I not a safe person? Am I doing something wrong? I don’t know how to deal with lying! If I do it wrong, will this be a pattern? I need to nip this in the bud! I’m such an inept mother!”

Whoooooooaa there, mama.

Without going into detail (though I’d love to share with you what transpired in a face to face conversation), I was so encouraged by what happened in this situation… but it was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING my husband or myself did. It was such an evident moment of watching the gospel work in our sons life. And while we know this won’t be the last time we deal with this particular issue in our children’s lives (far from it, I’m sure), we were so encouraged by the reminder that God cares for my children far more than I ever could, and HE is the pursuer of their hearts.

I was encouraged that afternoon when I heard Paul David Tripp as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, God Centered Mom, as it reinforced exactly what God showed me through my son earlier that morning. I was reminded that our goal as parents who are also followers of Christ is NOT ultimately complete compliance to our rules and regulations. Yes, we want our children to walk in moral goodness and obedience, but our goal is not moral and compliant perfection.

Our goal is the gospel.

This is what Tripp said:

“My job as a parent is never anything more than being a tool in the hands of the One who can change my children. It is my Savior who bears the burden of the spiritual welfare of my children. He is in me, He is with me, He is for me.”

Further, in discussing what to do when a child shows their tendencies:

“God will expose the needs of your children to you so you can be a tool of their rescue and transformation. Grace is about asking the question, “what right now is God seeking to do in the heart of this child?” and being a part of it.”

I don’t know about you, but I find that so encouraging and hope-filled.

I encourage you to head over to The God Centered Mom Podcast and have a listen to episode 176. You WILL NOT regret it.

He Knows

He Knows

For the last 20 months, I have been dealing with a mystery health issue. Chronic pain, lightheadedness, and dizziness have made certain aspects of my life seem unmanageable. Doctor after doctor, test after test. No one can seem to figure out what is wrong with […]

A Desert Song

A Desert Song

For the last several years, I’ve felt kind of lost. I’m not sure if it’s lost in being unable to see over the piles of laundry and dirty dishes, or lost because I can’t hear my own thoughts over the chaos of my home, or […]

Be Encouraged

He Knows

He Knows

For the last 20 months, I have been dealing with a mystery health issue. Chronic pain, lightheadedness, and dizziness have made certain aspects of my life seem unmanageable. Doctor after doctor, test after test. No one can seem to figure out what is wrong with me. I’ve taken some steps personally that have helped, but whatever the core issue is, remains. My doctor actually said to me on the phone last week, “I’m stumped.”

That really wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

It’s been frustrating. SO frustrating. I feel alone, scared, unheard, and misunderstood. I’ve come to realize that although I trust God, ultimately I’ve put much more weight into the medical community and what I have always trusted they could do. I have played Dr. Google more times than I care to admit. We, they, no one can figure it out. And there’s something seriously unnerving about not having answers and continuing to suffer.

Beyond that, hearing a doctor say “I’m stumped” can make you feel like a lost cause… like they don’t know what else to tell you… like they have bigger fish to fry… like you’re on your own.

The other day, while reading, I stumbled across Psalm 56:8:

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”

And it hit me.

God knows.

He knows what’s going on in my body. HE KNOWS. He knows how frustrated I’ve been. HE KNOWS. He knows every hair on my head. HE KNOWS. He knows how much my heart hurts when I can’t respond to my kiddos the way I want to because of the discomfort. HE KNOWS.

And not only does He know. HE CARES.

I may not have my healing yet. I may not know what’s going on. I may still be frustrated and I am going to continue to seek answers.

BUT. I have a new PEACE in knowing that GOD KNOWS. He isn’t stumped. And He will never, EVER give up on me.

And that goes for YOU, too. Whatever is keeping you tossing tonight. Whatever your tears are about. No matter how alone, misunderstood, or how hopeless you feel…