A Feast is Always Waiting for You

Do you ever read a passage of Scripture you’ve read and thought about a dozen times before and suddenly ask yourself, “Well, yeah, but what does that really mean?”

Just me?

Well anyway, it happened again on Sunday and I was curious enough to start poking around in the Hebrew to answer my question. #nerdalert

There’s this beautiful passage in Psalm 37 that watered my soul, way back in 2005 when I was living in Scotland:

I’ve thought about the trust part, and the doing good part. I’ve also thought about delighting in Him, and trusting that He will literally put the right desires in my heart – not just give me what I want, but actually, give me my wants. I like all of those thoughts.

But what is this “feed on his faithfulness” business? 

The ESV says “and befriend faithfulness.” 

The KJV says “and verily thou shalt be fed.”

The NIV says, “enjoy safe pasture.”

The Passion translation (I love this unpacking of it) reads, “Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness.”

When I dug a bit deeper, I discovered that in the Hebrew, David used a verb that means to pasture, graze, or tend, along with a noun that means firmness, steadfastness, and fidelity. 

What these two lovely words put together mean is that like sheep on a hillside, grazing on a bonnie wee patch of grass (this is definitely bringing back my days in Scotland, hey?) our souls can be fed – continuously nourished by the steadfast character of God.

His unchanging goodness is an unending source of consistency in a world that feels so strange these days. Maybe for you it’s the pandemic and isolation, maybe you’ve just lost a loved one or a job or you’re not sure how the next bill is going to be paid, or maybe you just had such a dang hard day at home with your kids that you feel like you’re a failure as a Mama and you should throw in the towel.

You have an open invitation to literally feast on the goodness of God. Feast by remembering how He’s come through for you before. Feast by remembering the joy that is set before you and the reason nothing in this world can truly satisfy: you were made for more than this world can offer. 

And, in His goodness and faithfulness, more, better, sweeter, and deeper is what God has in store for you and me.

Hold tight to the Good Word. Remind yourself of your favorite stories of answered prayers. 

Whatever you’re facing today on the outside, on the inside you can let His faithfulness be a feast that never stops feeding your soul.

P.S. I write words of encouragement every week… but they don’t always make it to this space. I’d love to welcome you to click the button on the right below so that I can send you a weekly email with love. With the simple goal of bringing you one step closer to Jesus, I hope those words will be a bright slice of happy in your inbox once a week.

P.P.S. If you want the skinny on the journey of this writer-longing-to-publish-a-book and see a screenplay become a movie, that’s in the emails, too!

Some posts on my site contain affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, I receive compensation at no extra cost to you. I love it when you do that! Thank you for your love and support!

When It Feels Like Bad News, Stay in the Story

I stood in a parking lot last Thursday, phone pressed to my ear, staring at the toes of my brown boots on the black pavement.

A few quiet little tears slid down my cheeks while I listened to the voice at the other end of the line.

Sometimes a moment we’ve been looking forward to looks different from what we expected, and, caught in the weight of what isn’t, we don’t actually see what is.

I’d just received three things in that meeting: 

1) A huge and meaningful compliment about my writing from an acquisitions editor.

2) Some suggestions about the book I’d proposed, as it was not a good fit for her publisher, but would probably make much more sense to accompany a potential movie at the right timing elsewhere.

3) A welcoming, warm invitation to circle back with a different book idea, perhaps somewhat like the one I’d been writing before all of this happened with Blake anyway.

Overall, it was an incredibly positive meeting – but that one unexpected ‘no’ couched in several very positive ‘yeses’ was what my brain momentarily latched onto.

As I stared at my boot and talked and listened, a carpenter ant came trundling along with some special load of great importance. Ant on a mission.

I watched him hurry forward, and then decided, as I stood, just to put that boot right in front of his path … just to see.

Without hesitation, he turned to get around the mountain blocking his path.

So I blocked him again.

And without hesitation, he turned the other way and hurried off, making his way around, until he could make forward progress again.

When I laid a road block in front of him for the third time, he didn’t get frustrated and turn back. He didn’t stop and give up. He didn’t even hesitate to think about it. He had a load to bear and a direction to bear it in.

He hustled right over the top of my boot, not even pausing to take in the view from the summit – and off he went with his load while I nodded, impressed with his persistence.

I’m sure you can surmise the message already, friends: you are the ant, and so am I. And if we have a message and a destination, we’re better off steering around the obstacles – or even over them if necessary – to get on with the business we were created to do.

Even if we have to go over, under, around or through, progress is progress. 

If I learned anything last year, it was that God writes amazing stories. We can accept His invitation to trust the story He’s writing, and to do our best to stay faithful in the story.

If you don’t like where things are headed or you’re in a hard moment and it’s out of your control, take a deep breath and know: He is deeply invested in you. He sees you. He cares.

You can choose to keep showing up. You can do your part by choosing to keep being faithful.

You can trust Him with your story, friend, and I can trust Him with mine.

P.S. I write words of encouragement every week… but they don’t always make it to this space. I’d love to welcome you to click the button on the right below so that I can send you a weekly email with love. With the simple goal of bringing you one step closer to Jesus, I hope those words will be a bright slice of happy in your inbox once a week.

P.P.S. If you want the skinny on the journey of this writer-longing-to-publish-a-book and see a screenplay become a movie, that’s in the emails, too!

Some posts on my site contain affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, I receive compensation at no extra cost to you. I love it when you do that! Thank you for your love and support!

The Beauty of Naming What Matters

What’s the state of affairs in your sock drawer these days?

Are you a planner? A scheduler? An organizer much? 

In order to stay on top of life while homeschooling four kiddos who also live in my house and call me “Mama” (and expect meals at regular intervals), I’ve built some systems and patterns into our life that have helped me run hard at this Mama gig without feeling like the wheels are gonna come off at any moment.

So when Kendra Adachi’s new book, The Lazy Genius Way popped up on my radar, I kind of wondered: do I need help with my system or do I have a good thing going? Should I leave well enough alone? 

Her book is an invitation to “Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done.”

When I decided to crack open the cover and step in, I realized there was one important step my systems often seem to be missing: Naming What Matters.

If you’re anything like me, you might think just about everything matters. And because I think everything matters, I kind of try to do everything right – and then feel like I’m sort of failing a lot of the time.* 

*Except maybe sheets. My sister asked for recommendations for new sheets on Facebook this week, and people were passionate about the subject. I quickly realized: hmm! I’ve found something that doesn’t really matter to me!

Want some examples in the “this matters” category? Sure thing.

I think I’ve had five or less bottled waters this year because I’ve been on a personal mission to reduce the amount of single-use plastic I consume. Might be weird to you.

I’m a little bit over-the-top about finding recipes that triple so that I can freeze ⅔ for future meals and spend less time in the kitchen. Also…maybe odd to you.

But the step that comes before those choices is the one I need to zoom in on: the bottled water thing has to do with caring about the planet. The batch cooking thing has to do with wanting to fill my hubs and kiddos’ tummies with home-cooked meals without working myself silly.

It’s up to me to name what matters, and then choose the next steps accordingly. 

For many of us, this is where the challenge comes in: what matters to me and what matters to you are probably going to look different. So who’s got it right?

We were created differently, right?

I sat still and pondered Psalm 20:4 this week, “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.”

We were created with different missions. We were created for different purposes. Our lives are but a breath – but God has plans for these breaths, and no two will look the same.

So I get to name what matters to me, and you get to name what matters to you. We both get to stand before Jesus, and hold out our hands and say, “This is what I did, because this is what I thought mattered.”

Neither of us is going to get everything right. There is grace.

But if I eat sour grapes, my lips will pucker, right? Not yours.

So in the midst of our frustrations with our neighbors, our concerns over political choices, and our preferences about everything from loading a dishwasher to choosing a new set of sheets, it’s important to remember that we were created differently, and different things are going to matter to each of us.

You’ve heard me say it before, maybe? Each of us has our own calling to faithfulness.

We can allow that truth to help us choose wisely how we are going to spend this blip of a life we have on the timeline of eternity. And we can also allow that truth to remind us that different things matter to others – and that’s okay.

Is there hard-and-fast Truth that is never gray? Absolutely. His Name is Jesus – and He’s also the Way, and the Life. He’s the Word we should cling to. He’s the Anchor for our souls. I will keep talking about Him because He matters to me.

But even the way we choose to worship Him and live into that Truth is going to look different for each of us, and rightfully so.

Let’s take a deep breath and make space for our differences this week. 

If you’d like some help discerning what matters to you, I highly recommend The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi.

If you’d like some help dealing with people who are different, look back at Psalm 139 and remember: we were created in different ways for different reasons… but we all, all, ALL bear the image of God.

Let’s Stay in Our Lane, and keep being faithful.

A few weeks ago I shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

One big event is almost here: I’m pitching a book proposal next week! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

Some posts on my site contain affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, I receive compensation at no extra cost to you. I love it when you do that! Thank you for your love and support!

Looking For God Anywhere I Can Find Him

Have you ever had one of those beautifully serendipitous moments, when the very thing you needed was right there, in your pocket? 

Like, it’s so funny you need nail clippers in the middle of this hike! I saw some in the living room and stuck them in my pocket but forgot to put them back in the bathroom – so here they are!

Or, I put an extra hair tie around my wrist this morning and I have no idea why! Yes, girlfriend with your hair blowing in the wind, this thing is all yours! 

I recently had one of those moments, but it took me a while to realize just how big the serendipity of it all really was. 

Back in 2015, we’d been homeschooling for a couple of years and decided to join a Classical Conversations community. I was drawn to the philosophy behind a Classical approach to education, to the focus on memorization that incorporated different types of learning, and to the Christ-cenetered heart of the program. One thing I found especially fascinating was the concept of “training the brain to retain” information – and how starting this at an early age can set a child up for a lifetime of success in learning. 

A huge component (and my favorite part) of our participation in Classical Conversations is the memory work – helping our children memorize a wide variety of facts, passages, and definitions across several disciplines like Math, Latin, English, Science, and History. 

Through songs and chants and practice and hard work, we’re building a strong foundation upon which to hang the pegs of higher education together later on.

So when we came home from the hospital with Blake, and the dust settled, and we began to take inventory of where we were, what we were doing, and what we needed to do, a few things became obvious:

  • Blake would need the special attention of an individualized tutor, especially in the early days, to help him overcome his visual field neglect.
  • Blake would need special attention to identify appropriate schoolwork that was tailored to his situation as a child recovering from a brain injury. Maybe he’d be able to do 3rd Grade Math again right away… or maybe not. Maybe he’d need extra time to ease back into schoolwork.
  • As he struggled with very significant short term memory loss in the early days of his recovery, Blake would need additional help to train his brain to retain information. He would need help to remember. 

I’m sure you’re immediately seeing what it took me weeks – maybe months – to rightly identify. We were bringing Blake home into the perfect situation for him to recover from his brain injury. I was already his personalized tutor. I was already very well acquainted with what he had been capable of before, what we could work towards again. I could take the time to assess Blake’s ability with each lesson, to tailor each lesson to his attention span and memory abilities. 

And four years before this brain injury took place, we’d begun a journey of training Blake’s brain to retain information.

From a severe and significant injury, to him thriving as we jump into a new school year, I marvel at it now, wondering: is part of the reason he’s doing so well the fact that we were training his brain before this ever happened? Was all this brain training part of the reason that when he miraculously woke up from that coma, just a few days into rehab he could remember these extended passages, recite countless facts and count in Spanish?

Now I simply marvel that it took me so long to see it. And I wonder: what else am I missing?

If God says, “You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart,” I think that’s an invitation to take Him at His word. 

I think we can see Him because there are nail clippers in our pocket or there’s a hair tie on our wrists. I also think we can see Him in red lights and flat tires, it usually just takes a little bit more seeking for us to recognize His hand in the circumstances we don’t like. 

This week I saw him in the eyes of a nine-year-old who came out of the hospital eleven months ago asking the same question on repeat every thirty seconds, who’s now memorizing the names and locations of the states and capitols with very little effort. 

One of the most beautiful things about finding God’s fingerprints in the details of your life is that it’ll give you a sense of peace that He knows and He’s there – but also? It’ll make you thirsty to keep right on looking for Him, and you’ll find Him even more.

So let’s seek Him in the small things today, friends. Perhaps it’ll train our brains to remember to look for Him, and find Him, in the big things, too. 

A few weeks ago I shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

I’m excited to say that big day has come and I’ll be sending out a proposal this afternoon! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

How My Four Year Old is Teaching Me to Pray

When we all pile up onto a bed at bedtime, I usually feel like I know what to expect as each of my kiddos prays. 

The eldest is deep and thoughtful, remembers people who are hurting and asks God to be with them for months on end, chooses his words carefully, and is slow-paced and heartfelt.

The next is the character foil: usually praying the same series of things word-for-word verbatim, and often at a pace that reminds me of an auctioneer hoping for one more bidder before the gavel.

Number three falls somewhere in between – mostly bringing the same thoughts and requests and concerns to the surface, but always remembering to add, just after her amen, “andpleasewipethecoronavirusoffthefaceoftheearth!”

The youngest tends to pray wide-eyed, sometimes looking around the room, identifying objects and giving thanks for them one by one. “Thank you that we have this bunk bed which is comfortable. Thank you that we have these toys to play with, which are fun. Thank you that we have a clock to tell us the time…”

Lately I’ve been giving more thought to a few of her more surprising prayers.

Two weeks ago, we had to stifle a giggle at this one: “And thank you that I know my days of the week… like October… and December…”

And in an attempt to mimic her siblings’ prayers that the Lord would “wipe the coronavirus off the face of the Earth” she recently began to request that the Lord would “Wipe the face of the Earth.” And now, on repeat she mentions at the end of her soliloquy: “And please wipe the face of the Earth.”

I have to giggle at her childlike innocence. I absolutely love it and don’t want it to change.

And then as everyone gets tucked in and I head down the stairs, I wonder, “Lord, is that perhaps the way you feel when you hear my prayers?”

The girl who gives thanks for knowing the days of the week and then listing months? I think she and I probably have more in common than we realize. 

I remember the mother of two of Jesus’ disciples coming to ask him if her sons could sit at his left and right. He responded, “You don’t know what you are asking.”

And I wonder: Would He say the same to me? Perhaps quite often He would. 

I prayed to stay in South Africa longer, but the Lord led us home. I had 18 months with my Dad before he passed away.

I prayed Blake would be home from the hospital the day after he was admitted. I had no idea the glorious story God would write with those 48 days there.

When I think about childlike faith, I think about the littlest of the four – the one who isn’t afraid to say anything, isn’t afraid to ask for anything. The one who often “knows not what she asks” but in whom I’m so sure the Lord delights. She is His child and He loves her.

What can we learn from all this?

We can pray our hearts out, absolutely, wholeheartedly, with honesty and faith. 

We can also hold on loosely to our requests, praying with our palms up, knowing that perhaps more often than we’d like to admit, we know not what we ask. 

We can try to see ourselves more like that four year old than we want to admit – in comparison to the incredible, endless wisdom of our unending, omnipotent Creator – and let that humble us enough to know: our Father knows best, and we can trust Him.

I recently shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

So many of you friends blew me away by sharing, liking, following and encouraging me again and again. Thank you so much. Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

Don’t Forget the Greek Fisherman

Sometimes two words can carry an encyclopedia of meaning between two people. Between the Hero Hubs and I, the words “Greek Fisherman” are a phrase that speaks volumes.

There’s a tale you may have heard, of an old Greek fisherman who lives in a little house near the sea. He wakes up early every morning, fishes for a few hours, brings home his catch and sells it at the market, has lunch and enjoys an afternoon siesta with his family, eats dinner and plays with his children and goes to bed beside his wife every night. The next day, the routine starts over again.

One day an American businessman visits his village, tastes his fish and is immediately inspired with a business plan for the Greek fisherman. “This fish is amazing!” he says. “You know what you need to do? You need to buy more boats, and hire some help. Then you can catch more fish, and sell more fish!”

“And then what?” asks the Greek fisherman.

“And then you can use that money to buy bigger boats until you have a fleet of boats fishing for you!”

“And then what?” asks the Greek fisherman.

“And then you can use that money to retire early!” 

“And then what?” asks the Greek fisherman.

“And then you can do whatever you like! Get up early in the morning, go fish for a few hours, come home and have lunch and siesta with your family, eat dinner and play with your children and go to bed with your wife.”

Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

What is all this putting a knife to your throat talk about? 

Well, there will always be people who have more than we do. Those folks with those clothes and those cars and those vacations and all. the. things.

And it will be hard for us not to want those things. And not to try to do what it takes so that we can also be like those people. And have all those things, too.

But this is the admonition: don’t be deceived into thinking that once you have all the things, life will be good. That’s a rough path with a dead end. Don’t work too hard trying to get rich. Show that you’ve got enough wisdom not to fall for that!

What’s the answer, then? What do we do instead?

Greek Fisherman, friends! Greek Fisherman.

If we’re not happy with what we have now, we probably won’t be happen, even when we have more. Because someone else will always have more. When will enough be enough?

Instead, like the Greek Fisherman, we can learn to be content. Give thanks for what we have. Instead of chasing riches we can learn to recognize and enjoy the riches we already have.

There is so much wisdom in trying to carefully make choices that will serve you and those you love well now, rather than working excessively in hopes of an early retirement or some other dream-come-true later on. 

Slow down enough to live this day and enjoy it. 

What will you do with the 86,400 seconds you have today? Are you living with what’s most important to you at the forefront? 

Let go of the American dream, if it’s stopping you from enjoying the Greek fish that are already on your table.

Last week I shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

So many of you friends blew me away by sharing, liking, following and encouraging me again and again. Thank you so much. Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!