Entries in God (7)


they told me i was crazy

If I were going to Europe, it would seem slightly more understandable. But no, I was about to embark on a three-week solitude retreat without technology, friends or leisure reading material. I was spending my entire vacation and travel savings on quiet and less than luxurious surroundings in Washington state. 

I was scared they were right.

I was about to spend two of the most precious equities of our day: time and money. Without any guarantee it would be worth the risk.

I decided to go anyway.

Two weeks before I left, my mind was racing.

What if I hadn’t discerned correctly? What if this was a waste of time? What if my travel savings would be used on a miserable experience … when I could have gone to Europe?!?

The questions were endless, sometimes leading into panic. “What if I, I … I?”

All of my questions surrounded this one letter, a pronoun — me. I was concerned about my time and money. My energy. Me. Somehow I had forgotten the original purpose of this three-week solitude retreat. I had forgotten that it was about what God wanted to do. That it wasn’t for me. (In our culture this is practically a sin.)

It was for God. For us — my relationship with Him.

Moreso, I had forgotten who He is — loving, kind, merciful, purposeful. Could I really think that God would use time and resources on something pointless? Why not prompt me to use this money elsewhere?

I realized I was asking the wrong questions — questions I was taught to ask.

The lies of our society entangled myself in the awe of time and money — that time and money had a higher value than trust in God and stepping out in faith.

The lies of perfectionism and productivity were wrapped into these dirty little fears and doubts. This trip must be productive in some way or else it isn’t worth it. What will people think of me? The lies of our society entangled my trust in God.

Slowly, but steadily I began to turn my questions around. What if God uses this trip for His good? What if God has been calling me to this trip? How will God work on this trip? If I’m this deep in, God must be up to something.

I’m not sure how I would have reacted had I returned and decided it wasn’t worth it, but I don’t think that’s how God works. I’m positive that years later, I would discover the benefits of stepping out in faith, defying societal and cultural standards, denouncing the power of a guarantee on my investments and giving up some of my most precious equities of time and money to His use. The practice of surrendering alone can bring one to new heights in their relationship with the Lord, whether immediate grief or joy follows.

For me, I knew within the first few days that surrendering to whatever God had for me on this trip was worth it, but it took years to get there. One year later, I’m still unpacking the goodness of God from those three weeks alone with Him and I'm positive that will be the case for the rest of my life.


Where is God calling you to step out in faith during this season of your life?

I'd love to hear what you think about stepping out in faith and how society impacts our daily choices, even in following God. Join the conversation and leave a comment below.

*Photo taken on my three-week retreat in Gig Harbor, Washington. Summer 2012.


flourless chocolate cake

What if God’s love was like flourless chocolate cake? Delicious, desirable, rich, full-bodied like good wine, and nearly too good to be true — so good that we often can’t finish the slice of cake. You want to keep eating it forever and ever because in those seconds when the chocolate reaches your taste buds, everything is right with the world.

The richness absorbs our taste buds and bodies and souls for the moments we savor it.

And it leaves us in awe. The glory of flourless chocolate cake is that it nearly forces us to slow down — to reflect on how good that one bite was and how enticing another bite will be. The richness causes us to slow and prepare ourselves for a second bite.

What if God’s love was like flourless chocolate cake?

How enticing that would be … what if God’s love is like flourless chocolate cake?

Rich and full-bodied love that absorbs our bodies, minds and souls to the point that we must pause and reflect on its goodness. To the point that we irrevocably desire another portion.  To the point that we desire nothing else. In that moment, the only thing we want is more cake, but we realize we are also filled.

Our desire for more is recognizant of the fact that we are already filled — the love has already absorbed us and will not reach a point in which there will not be enough love.

Here’s the ironic truth in this: the glory in savoring a slice — or even just a bite — of flourless chocolate cake doesn’t compare to the glory of enjoying the richness of God’s love.

Can you enjoy the richness of God’s love like we enjoy a slice of flourless chocolate cake?

Will you allow God to love you to the point in which you cannot desire anything else?

Absorption is the fact or state of being engrossed in something. To be absorbed isn’t simply a verb or an action, but it is a state of being. This is recognizant of how worship doesn’t end at church doors. God’s love doesn’t end at church doors either. Or sin or hurt or grief or joy or happiness.

To absorb is to take in or soak up and/or be captivated by something. Could God’s love be so good that it could engross our attention?

Like the flourless chocolate cake which makes it seem as though everything is right with the world for a moment, could God’s love be so good that it could engross our attention beyond earthly things? Beyond our hopes and dreams and material loves. Beyond our families and wives and husbands. Beyond our careers and lists of “50 things to do before I die.”

For something to be absorbed, it must be absorbable. I think of how porous wood is and its ability to soak in water versus a rock for instance. I think of how we allow ourselves to be absorbed in a slice of flourless chocolate cake allowing the world to melt away in the deliciousness. I think of how often we don’t allow ourselves the goodness of melting away in God’s love.

Are we porous to God’s love?

Do we believe if we open ourselves to God’s love that he will love us? That God will absorb us.

Could we, even just for tonight, sit back and enjoy a slice of rich, full-bodied, unending love? Could we allow ourselves to be absorbed?


abba father

may i rest in you.

contemplating the significance and work of resting prayer today.

may your heart's center be here today.

may my heart's center be here today.





rest. breathe. deep. heart beat ... rest.


abba father, may i rest in you today.




you are loved.

i am loved.


rest in Him today. rely on Him.

and don't forget to breathe. 

*Photos taken in my front yard, March 2012.


full // state of thankfulness: day two

If thankfulness truly seeps into my bones, muscle and tissue, it will guide my heart and body to the core of my being, home to truth, love and grace. A home known as God, center and rock. Full. 

I can’t help, but reflect on the middle three letters in “thank-ful-ness.” To wonder if when we say thank you, are in a state of thankfulness, that we may feel full.

Isn’t that what we so often seek? To be filled. With good, or bad. We immerse ourselves in what makes us feel whole — the internet, eating, volunteering, sex, marriage, academics …

The holes within our souls grow deeper and wider and our passage through life slowly brings them to light despite our efforts to fill and hide.

And when that light reveals our wounds, insecurities and faults, it’s like an overhead spotlight on our deepest, darkest places — the ones you wish never existed and hoped to God would never see the light of day. But there they are. Gaping, staring, revealing. Too big to fill. We grab our shovels and desperately move dirt into those places that seem six feet under. Or fatigued, we curl up on the floor.

Sometimes, we continue in these patterns for quite some time. Years even. However, eventually I believe God swoops in, swiftly or slowly, and brings us to grace. Leading, guiding or carrying … and we begin to see those holes lessen and learn to live newly.

He brings us to fullness. We begin to open to fullness.

I don’t believe saying one or two thank yous will fill ourselves to the point of healing. Or rid the act of wanting to hide our deep, dark places. However, I do believe that one or two thank yous with a little reflection can be the start of recognizing a new way of being. A way to open and be thankful, grateful, and possibly a little bit more full.

I’m convinced that many split second thank yous and greater moments of reflection will bring us to a fuller sense of our state of thankfulness and begin to open us to a greater sense of fullness in Christ.

We will begin to be truly thankful.

Could reflecting on thankfulness open you to more fullness in Christ?

*Photo taken at Hilltop Retreat Center in Fall 2011.


state of thankfulness: day one

Merci. Danke sehr. Grazie. Gracias. Thank you.

It’s simple, really. Few syllables. Easy to say. Often ends with a curl of the sides of my mouth into a slight smile.

Joy. It does something. Saying that simple grateful phrase does a work in me.

Amidst a day that's completely gone wrong, my arrogant sense of importance or a bad attitude, saying thank you lets in goodness ... it lets in hope. Altering my perspective, even if for a moment, being grateful creates a pause. It makes me take a second … reflecting on the interaction that may have occurred or will occur. We are thankful for the past or the future. It’s as if we are thankful for the ability to say those words.

Really, being thankful is a state of being.

Sure, we say thank you to the grocer who bagged our items on our way out or quickly take change from the man in the green apron behind the counter at Starbucks. We say thanks to a co-worker when they help us on deadline or breathe, “thank you, Jesus” when we find just what we need in the nick of time.

It’s quick, fleeting, seemingly meaningless. Especially amidst our rush, suffering or busyness. But I come back to this: I take the time to say those few words. They are not forgotten. They take mere seconds to mouth out, but took a realization that they needed to be said. And generally, even if my moment of gratefulness is fleeting, momentary or secondary to what I’m doing — it brings me back to center. It reminds me that I am in a place to say thank you. And for a split second, thankfulness becomes first.

For me, saying thank you reminds me of whom I am. It reminds me of the person I want to be. It reminds me of my center. Thankfulness allows me to be present.

Being thankful is a state of being. My hope is that my state of being would be more and more centered on gratefulness this week and of course, beyond. That those seconds will become moments and those moments will become minutes and those minutes, hours. I hope that myself and this world may become more present in this state of being, of being thankful, that we may mirror a gratefulness to each other so great, we bring each other back to center — that we may remind one another to pause and reflect for what we do have to be thankful. And ultimately, that we may lead one another back to the cross that gives us life, for which gives us the opportunity to be thankful in the first place.

This week, I challenge my state of being. I challenge myself to be in a more consistent state of gratefulness, allowing space and time to be grateful — allowing thankfulness to be my state of being.  And therefore, allowing more joy, grace and love to seep into my bones. To continue to bring myself and others back to center.

For what were you thankful today? And in this moment, what are you thankful for?

In hope, I will be posting a new reflection on thankfulness each day this week.

*Photo taken at my home last fall.