The Happiness Trap

The Happiness Trap

Have you ever heard the phrase “do more of what makes you happy”? On the surface, this is a pretty innocent statement and to some, even good advice. In fact, our culture is pretty obsessed with happiness. Go on Amazon and look at how many books have happiness in the title. Go to Google and search for "happiness coaching." Look at how many people are waiting by their phone for you to cough up cash to learn to be happier. There are even university degrees that can teach you to teach people to be happier! We are also constantly being told, whether explicitly or implicitly, that we need this product or that new thing in our lives to be happy. We may be tempted to think- why wouldn’t we want to do more and/or have more of what makes us happy?

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Receiving the Greatest Love Ever Known

Receiving the Greatest Love Ever Known

When I was a young woman I loved to be at my grandma’s house sitting at her kitchen table. She was the most loving and wisest woman I have ever known. I’m grateful for all the time we spent together. We met when I was 20 years old. It didn’t take her long to hold my face in her hands, look me directly in the eyes, and tell me that she loved me and that Jesus loved me too!

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Come and See - Abundant Life

Come and See - Abundant Life

Wow, I noticed something this morning reading John 14 that I have never noticed before. The chapter is bookended with this word – “going”.

 Jesus begins the chapter saying “I am going to prepare a place for you…and you know where I am going and how to get there.”  Jesus ends the chapter saying “let’s be going.”

Hmmm...I am going, you know how to get there, now let’s be going. 

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He Never Leaves Us

He Never Leaves Us

One of the earliest memories I have of my father is him coming to my grandmother’s house, where I lived and was being raised by her, to say goodbye. I remember him standing in the doorway and telling me that he was moving back to California. I remember standing there watching him get on his bicycle and pedal down the driveway. I remember running across my grandmother’s lawn, crying, and watching him turn the corner and out of sight.

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My Cup Runneth Over

My Cup Runneth Over

The thought of September always makes me feel warm and cozy. It is my birth month, and I grew up with a mother who loved to celebrate my birthday. Colorful decorations. Balloons. A big, beautiful butter cake covered in thick glossy chocolate frosting topped with pink candles. Piles of presents wrapped in slick paper adorned with flowers or hearts or Strawberry Shortcake. Bows and ribbons.

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Washed in Humility

Washed in Humility

Perspectives like this come straight from our fallen world. The world gladly paints humble people as pushovers but in the same breath, so-called “research” says humility is necessary for success. Just look at this quote from the Huffington Post, “Studies have associated humility with healthy adjustment, good leadership and other positive emotions -- demonstrating that in order to reach total success, we could stand to benefit from getting in touch with our modest side.” Total success?!

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Humility's Arch Enemy: Pride

Humility's Arch Enemy: Pride

It is impossible to talk about humility without first talking about its arch enemy – Pride. A few months ago, I felt a deep unveiling of the depth of my pride, not only in my conversations and thoughts, but in my parenting, friendships (or lack thereof), mental comparisons and glances. I told my husband one evening that I felt like I should write PRIDE in all capital letters across my mirror so every morning when I looked at my reflection I could be reminded of the depth of my sin. Thankfully, our God of grace is much gentler….

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Trusting God’s Timing

Trusting God’s Timing

Recently, while reading John 11, I found myself sympathizing with Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. This chapter opens with Jesus learning of Lazarus being ill, and eventually dying. When Jesus reaches Bethany, and Mary comes to see him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32 NIV). How many times in your life have you said, “Lord, if you had been here, this wouldn’t have happened.”

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Yesterday, Today and Forever

Yesterday, Today and Forever

Endgame. My kids had been following the new Marvel movies for years – like my husband and I followed the Star Wars saga from our youth. In fact, several of the movies came out when my kids were little, so we rented and searched them on Netflix until they were all caught up on all 21 movies. Then for the past year, they waited with anticipation for the final installment, Endgame, was released in the theaters.

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The Testimony of Experience

The Testimony of Experience

You know that super talkative friend you have? We all have at least one. Let’s say they’ve just returned from a great vacation. When you see them after they get back, you know there is no such thing as “the five-minute version”—you’re getting the whole story, beginning to end. You might roll your eyes (internally of course) but when we get to explaining a year later why we went to the same destination ourselves, it’s not just because we read about it in a magazine or saw a couple of gorgeous pictures on Instagram.

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