Tag Archives: answering God’s call

An Esther Moment…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from the book of Esther 4: 13-14

“Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”


I spent last week studying the book of Esther. It’s a fabulous read and I believe it to be meaningful for a variety of reasons. My favorite brunette celebrates the book of Esther just as she enjoys the book of Ruth – She loves that God uses a woman to play a “hero” role in order to fulfill an important purpose.

I love the fact that Esther demonstrates that God moves in quiet ways — not just in boldness. The Bible is full of ways that demonstrate God’s power. He is clearly great. But, I think that Esther demonstrates that greatness can also be subtle. God’s miracles are diverse —  yet they are all meaningful, no matter where they fit on the drama meter.

The above verse occurs at a pivotal time in both Esther’s life and in the history of the Jewish people. On the verge of tragedy – with the threat of mass destruction and assassination – Esther listens to her mentor and packs her faith to step up and use her new position as queen in order to quietly and masterfully allow God to save both herself and her people. She demonstrates that a practiced loyalty to faith allows for a strong and courageous stand during a moment of crisis.


Likely each and every one of us will have an Esther moment or two in our lives — Times when we are called to do something subtle, yet bold as we answer God’s call. It may occur in a moment when we can clearly see the purpose, or it may occur amidst a foggy cloud of uncertainty. I’ve come to realize that the clarity in which we understand the Esther moment is much less important than our ability to respond with a servant heart in order to move forward with courage.

I had an Esther moment in April of 2018. It occurred when a boy that I had been tutoring got into trouble and landed in jail. While the Holy Spirit’s call for me to help him was quiet, it was also firm and clear.

Go and love him.

I ended up bailing him out of jail and bringing him to our home to finish his high school career. 383 days with Joe – a young man with a challenging past whom God decided deserved a second chance. During the time that our lives melded together into a new family, the crystal ball was often fuzzy in terms of detail despite the clearness of the call to be together. Each day, we tried to walk in faith believing that God’s purpose was meaningful even though we couldn’t see the finish line.

Some in our town thought we were crazy to bring a stranger into our home. Some watched from a distance, undecided as to whether we’d made the right decision. And, a few opened their arms in support of our faith journey as a new family. We persevered clinging to the call to love.

Joe’s been gone a month now, and the crystal ball still remains fuzzy. I’ve decided that’s okay. There’s a reason that my view is fuzzy and God’s is clear.  The details of why God chose us and Joe to come together for a time may never be revealed. But, I believe that God is great and God is good. So, I don’t have to fully understand it — I just have to believe in the call and answer it in love.

The part of the journey that is clearest to me is that the time that we spent together deepened our family’s faith as we willingly participated in Jesus’ mission. We answered the call in a moment of crisis — willing to take a stand and own our faith. I learned many things from Joe. Things that I carry with me everyday that offer a new perspective for me as a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a coach.

I am grateful for that.

God works through ordinary people and is present even when His hand may seem invisible. Each individual assignment from God matters. It may seem risky and possibly scary at times, but it is always meaningful and we never walk alone when we answer the call.

To me, living in faith means trusting God, following his call, and stepping up during the Esther moments in life.

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Simple Moments…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from 1 Chronicles 28:9

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him.”


When we get up each day, we don’t know what the hours might bring. But, there are many places in the Bible where we are assured that God will be with us through each moment. If you seek him, you will find him. To me, the beauty of that is found in its simplicity. Each day is filled with many simple moments where God asks us to join him on the journey. It is our job to take hold of that softly spoken call with a whole heart and a willing mind. To patiently trust in God’s plan and to draw peace from his strength.

In some of those moments, God places medals on our hearts as we seek to follow him. In a special few, a medal might also be placed around our neck. One thing is certain, we must respond to God’s ask in order to journey with him. One of my greatest blessings as a parent is to watch my kids learn to lean on their faith to find peace and honor on their journey as Christian Athletes.

My favorite blonde cowgirl defended her title and brought home gold this weekend at the Nebraska State Class B Track and Field Championships. She vaulted with powerful beauty, soaring more than 11 feet 3 inches in the air, with a heart full of the peace and confidence that comes from deep faith. Meg has always felt God’s call to fly with abandon, but this year she led with her heart to find a deeper purpose.

The night before she left with the Haymaker Track Team for Omaha, she told me of her goals and plan. She quietly looked me in the eye and said,

“Mom, I’m going to share Jesus’ love and joy with others in the pole vault pit and on the track. I don’t know how I will vault or run, but I do know that I can take advantage of the opportunity to get to know my competitors and support them on their journey. That way, if I don’t come home with a medal or a personal best, I still know that my trip to the track meet was meaningful.”

Throughout the competition, I watched her share smiles, hugs, and encouragement with others. She stayed true to the bracelet on her wrist which reminded her that Jesus would love first. Over the two day meet, there was only one moment when a state track official placed a medal around her neck, but there were hundreds of moments where God led her heart to share of his love.  It was seeing this shared fellowship with other athletes during competition that filled my heart with gratitude.

Athletes face many pressures on their journey. I’ve watched all of my children and hundreds of others whom I have been blessed to coach, to fight for confidence in the moment of competition when expectations are high and the fear of failure is a reality. The pressure can draw them inward to a place of insecurity that is in direct contrast to what God asks of us. God asks for our hearts – for us to share them – in order to honor the gift that Jesus brought to us on the cross.

Over the past year, I have watched Megan figure out that the overriding call is one of love and fellowship. When we focus on that, then the pressure of competition doesn’t define us and drive our efforts. Instead, it allows Jesus to fill our hearts with the love that carries us to victory. When that happens, fear is replaced with faith as we trust in the simple moments that we share together.

 

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I don’t know…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from Hebrews 12: 1-2

“…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”


Over the course of the last several months, my favorite farmer and I have developed a habit. I’ve yet to determine if it is a good habit or a bad habit. When things weigh us down, we shake our heads and say “I don’t know.” We say it when we get stuck and can’t figure things out on our own. It is a quiet ask for direction amidst a perceived sea of chaos.

Over the weekend, I decided to intentionally amend the statement in an effort to build a heart filled with hope. Now, instead of “I don’t know”, I say “I don’t know but I trust in the One that does know and I know that He loves me.”

It doesn’t make the hard things go away. But, I think that it helps me build an appropriate perspective in which to deal with them. Most importantly, it allows me to let go of what I can’t control and focus on the fact that I do know that Jesus always shows up. He walks with me – everyday, and through every experience. We are reminded often in the Bible that “with God, all things are possible” so I figure that teaming up with Jesus makes for a pretty good game plan 🙂


Although I’m currently trying to learn how to walk again, rather than running half marathons – I’ve been an athlete my entire life.

I’ve never known a race that was easy.

I know that endurance takes work, perseverance, focus and a heart filled with hope. Sometimes it hurts and often it is uncomfortable, but it is always meaningful.

Just as Jesus always shows up, God has high expectations that I will always show up – with my heart in His hand and a dedication to not only start well but also to finish strong.

How many meaningful lessons are learned by quitting the race before it is over?

Each day, it’s God’s job to tell me what that leg of the race will be. Each day, it’s my job to try to compete with the honor and endurance that Jesus showed to us during his time on earth. I can’t ever be like him, but I can walk (and sometimes run) with him in order to find a faithful victory.

Races are won by those who whole-heartedly choose to compete. Victory comes to those who are willing to personally sacrifice as they honor their coach by obeying his direction. We don’t always have to know. But, we do always have to both trust and be willing to put in the effort.

My pastor reminded me at church on Sunday that “A promising start is not enough”. God doesn’t just call us to start with passion. He calls us to continually walk with Jesus so that we can maintain the courageous faith that it takes to finish strong. The race is long, but a humble and courageous heart is willing to lean in when things get hard – with an intentional focus to not get lost in the middle, and a trusting patience that allows God to mentor us for victory.

God calls us to GO ALL IN – STAY FOCUSED – and FINISH STRONG.

I don’t know a lot of things. That’s okay. I know the important One and I trust that He will provide direction as I give Jesus my heart. Together, we find the patiently passionate endurance that leads to a faithful victory.

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It’s about how you play the game…

Inspiration for this week comes from the Parable of the Three Servants (Talents) in Matthew 25: 14-30. I am going to focus on verse 29, but encourage you to read the parable in its entirety.

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”


I just finished reading the book Why I didn’t rebel by Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach. It is a “reality based parenting book” written by a 22 year old. She’s not yet a parent, but she’s passed the teenage years that tend to challenge us as families. I found it incredibly interesting to read her perspective.

There is a section in her book entitled “It’s not about winning — it’s how you play the game.” Rebecca references the Parable of the Three Servants (Talents) in this part of the book.  She writes, “We spend a lot of time focusing on the man with one talent and the man with five talents, but in my experience we don’t talk a lot about the man with two talents. But something I’ve realized is this: the master was equally pleased with the man with two talents and the man with five. He gave them both the same praise…It wasn’t about how much they made — it was about how they used what they were given.

Talents are gifts. We often have little control over how much or which ones are given to us. Perhaps the value does not intrinsically exist in the gift. Rather, the value exists in the intentional effort that we chose to place with the talent to use it to further God’s purpose.


I have four teenagers that bless my life and fill my days. Each one is different. Not only do they have different talents, but they also have different levels of talent. I love each one of them in their God-given uniqueness. They are my greatest gift and together we make a family team. As their mom, it’s my job to teach and inspire them to BEST USE WHAT THEY WERE GIVEN.

As a Christian, I find honor and purpose in my life when I live with effort, tenacity, passionate boldness, and an unselfish heart filled with grace. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that authentic faith is contagious as we trust God to provide the initial talents and control the final outcome. Our job is to focus on how we play the game.

Nine months ago, Joseph joined our family. Before I brought him home, neither Matt nor the girls knew him. The day that I had been working out the logistics of his move to us, Megan was competing in a track meet about an hour and a half away. I’ll never forget when Matt got home and shared their story:

My favorite blonde cowgirl won the pole vault and set a new school record that day. The first thing that she did after completing her final vault was to walk over to Matt and ask: “Was mom able to get Joe? Do I have a new brother?”

Anyone that knows Meg, knows how competitive she is. She’s an athlete with a capital “A” 🙂 But, she carries Jesus in her heart and recognizes that playing the game is so much bigger than setting records. It is honoring your sport with focus, passion and effort, but also remembering that opening your heart to a stranger who needs someone to love him trumps any medal that we receive on earth.

In the months that have followed, our family has learned the true meaning of abundance.

We found it by taking our talent and using that gift to embrace His call. It didn’t come with a medal that hangs around our necks, rather it came in our hearts as we truly learned how to share Jesus’ love 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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