How the Lord’s Prayer changed how I pray

Prayer is easier to talk about than to do.

Prayer is said to be important but practiced less often.

Prayer shapes us and we find it difficult.

I’ve been leaning into the discipline of prayer the past few years. Maybe you don’t appreciate it being called a discipline but it has been a discipline for me, not something that comes easily. Jesus’ disciples also recognized their need to learn to pray, especially as they watched Him pray. They came to Him while He was praying and asked Him to teach them to pray and Jesus said “whenever you pray, say,” and then He led them in prayer.

And yet, despite Jesus saying to pray this way, we often don’t. We don’t want to pray rote prayers. And so, instead, we don’t pray. Or we pray rote prayers; they are just the rote prayers we made up. “Lord, bless so and so” over and over because we don’t know what else to say.

Transitions: a guide for looking at the rest of the year

2020 has been a completely crazy year. I don’t think any of us could have imagined what this year would hold and yet I’ve found myself looking at the rest of the year with hope, not that things will go back to normal, but that I can live well throughout whatever comes. This is not something I can wait out, frozen in place. This is a place to cultivate.

My kids have been my greatest inspiration actually. They work hard and they play hard. My five-year-old can now ride his bike without his training wheels; he rode on an 8 mile trip on vacation. He learned to come up for breaths when swimming underwater. He’ll be reading soon. I keep reminding all of them that they have to practice. Practice math, practice swimming. Practice being kind. Practice listening. None of us will wake up one morning the person we always hoped we would be, the person that reflects the true humanity found in Jesus. We need practices and we need to practice.

Sometimes, when I’m thinking about ordering my life, I’m tempted to imagine a different and entirely fake life. I can design an amazing plan for an imaginary person. It might be fun, but it doesn’t help me at all since I’m not writing fiction currently. I’ve learned to reign my imagination back to my own embodied life: a woman who lives in rural Kentucky with her husband and four sons. I want to put my imagination to work where it matters- in my actual life.

All Things in Christ and Contentment: a wrapup

We wrapped up our time in Philippians last Friday. I’m sad to be walking away from this study, but grateful for how my understanding of the book has deepened and shaped the way I view life. There is so much value in soaking in the Scripture. A friend asked me a question over the weekend and I practically handed her a sermon from Philippians. One of my friends commented that she had listened to the book every single morning of the study; she can probably quote much more of it than she realizes.

This last section of the book is probably the least talked about overall, but contains one of the most mis-used verses in the Bible. We know that I mean Philippians 4:13, but let’s look at surrounding context.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me. Still, you did well by partnering with me in my hardship. Philippians 4:10-14


I’ve grown leery of pulling one verse, any verse, out of its passage and discussing it without filling in context. If we do that we can make a verse mean anything, regardless of what the author actually intended.

How to Navigate the Election Season

After the primaries in the last presidential election, I wrote a political post and it still is the most-read piece I’ve ever written. I had to turn off comments because keyboard activists aren’t always guided by civility. You will notice I did not link to it here.

We’re gearing up for another heated presidential race. Tempers will rise; voices will follow. Already arguments are stirring and logos are circulating. There are passionate feelings on all sides of every single issue.

If you’re anything like me, you feel like you don’t actually belong anywhere. Neither major party in any way reflects my beliefs or how I feel like my beliefs should be lived out. It’s easy to sink into despair before the action even gets underway. And if I start there, where will I end up? How can I continue to respect and love well people with whom I disagree? How can I remain hopeful when there are constant announcements and ceaseless whispers that everything good is ending?

The Podcast Relaunches

Running your own race means learning to follow Jesus, to know God and commune with Him in your specific context. The who you are will become like Jesus. That doesn’t change your gender, hair color, height, or body shape. Your physical geography might not change (or it might). You might still get up and change diapers or persuade juries or see patients, just like you did before. But your heart will change. Your mind will change. The way you see life will change. Your character will change.

How do we do this? How do we become disciples? What does it look like to follow Jesus? I’m constantly asking myself these questions and decided to explore them on the podcast.

The podcast has been on a hiatus since late last year and after many conversations and hours of work, it’s relaunching as “Becoming Disciples.” Our calling as believers is to go and make disciples. It’s a calling for everyone. And what better way to explore what it means to become a disciple- to learn to walk with God, to know Him- than to talk about it, read about it, and share with you about it.

The trailer is up now! Find the podcast in iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify. I love hearing from you and the main way to get in touch with me is on Instagram. I will be using my normal instagram account for the podcast as well.

Thanks for all your support of the podcast. You all are the best!


How To Start Running Your Own Race

We’ve talked about our calling to specific lives in the context of a universal calling. We’ve discussed things that keep us from running our own race. But how do we start running our race? If we’re going to leave behind comparison and competing, where do we go?


When we want to become skilled in a service industry or become a doctor or lawyer, the first thing we do is start studying. We go to school. We attend workshops. But we don’t do this with life outside of our very specific jobs. (And really, so many of us don’t have very specific jobs.) We believe that God is remaking our humanity and apparently think we don’t have any responsibility in cooperating with His work. Of course when I write that out, it seems crazy. But I did it for years. I seemed to expect that automatically ideas would come to me in the dark hours of the night. Now, occasionally they do; but it’s because I’m putting in a lot of work behind the scenes and my brain is already moving.

Reading Plans for the New Year and the December Dilemma

I have a  December Dilemma. (Yes, I just gave it that name.) I really want to reread the Harry Potter series this month. I read it the first time in December of 2015 and I would love to read them again. But you don’t read Harry Potter a few pages at a time, here and there, when you have a chance. You read Harry Potter in a pick up the book after the kids are in bed and go to sleep when you finish the final sentence type of manner. That’s the appropriate way to read Harry Potter. Which means I have to either get a babysitter, ignore my life, or lose a week of sleep while I read the series. Will I do this? I haven’t decided yet.

That’s not how I typically read. It doesn’t work in my season of life and honestly, hasn’t worked since I was a child. Adults just have too many responsibilities to do that. So I read in snatches. I read in the bathroom. I take a book in the car. I read before I go to sleep. I read a few pages at quiet time. I read during commercials of tv shows (that’s not a joke, friends). Do I have time to read a paragraph? Then it’s reading time. I read in the tiniest moments because reading matters.