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Filtering by Category: Galatians

what happend?


 "What happened to this sense of being blessed you had?" (Galatians 4:15, HCSB).

 When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian church, he reprimanded from straying so far off course. They had gotten caught up in legality and false doctrine. They had forgotten the gospel that had originally been their salvation. They had started to focus on rules, instead of the freedom they had in Christ.

While I don't think I've strayed into false doctrine, I can definitely understand how quickly a person can become distracted by this world. How quickly one can get caught up in busyness, material things, or comparisons. It's easy to look at everything that is wrong or off in our lives, and forget to focus on everything that is good and true and right.

 "For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love" (Galatians 5:13, HCSB).

I believe that it's important to stay focused, to love and serve those around us, and to not get caught up in the flesh. I think this is especially true during the holiday season. I see things I want and start obsessing about them... I compare my Christmas decorating skills to a friends, and see where I come up short, I see the latest gadget, and, suddenly, last years gift isn't so great anymore. I obsess and worry instead of focusing on Jesus. Jesus, who calls us to love and serves those around us. Jesus, who truly is the reason for this holiday season.

It's so easy to get caught up in what this world has to offer. The Galatians let themselves get caught up into a world of legality, I let myself get caught up into what todays world sees as important. Am I really any better?

What happened to being blessed? What happened to knowing where my security lies. What happened to focusing on all the blessings I do have in my life? Focus on the blessings. Look for the good. Serve those around me. Yes, these are traits I'd definitely like to focus on this Christmas season. What about you?


Coffee Shop Ponderings


I am emotionally drained this evening. I’m definitely having trouble finding joy this week. This potty training has been rough. I know I just shared all of this with you, but it’s honestly still rough. Patience, joy, peace are hard to come by. I second-guess my actions, the way I’ve approached this whole thing.

But, for a moment, I’m away from it all. My dear hubby has let me escape to a coffee shop for the evening.  A much needed retreat. My soul needed this in so many ways. It’s quiet here. There’s coffee shop music playing. I was able to commandeer a spot by the fireplace; that, and the latte in my hand, makes this pure bliss. When I step out of the middle of a situation, I can often see things more clearly. Is this true for you as well? I can see my daughter’s joy in living. How she’s truly been enjoying the extra attention during this time. I can see her brain working hard, trying to figure out this concept of using the potty. I can see my own impatience, my own need to relax and let things come as they will. And I can see my own need to rest. To truly soak up this time apart, as short as it may be.

There’s something funny about being here in a coffee shop. It reminds me of my grad school days, holing up in coffee shops for hours on end. Correcting papers, writing term papers and a thesis. It’s funny how priorities and time change people. Back then, I was on the brink of so many dreams. Since then, I’ve married, had a child, and moved half-way across the country. Yet, my writing is still here. A part of me is still fulfilled when I sit with a latte, a warm fire, and my laptop. And my dreams are still intact, they’ve just modified over time. Of course I’ve changed, but an integral part of what makes me, me is still the same.

Words are still a part of who I am. They’re still how I express myself. How I pray. How I discern. They’re how I piece together this life. Words, and prayer.

Yes, I definitely need to be doing some praying tonight. Sorting through all the emotions I’ve been feeling lately. Asking God what He wants to teach me through this whole process.

As I think, and pray about it, the resounding theme for this evening is perseverance. Staying on the task. Looking toward the ultimate goal. It’s easy to get caught up in everything that is or isn’t going right, instead of looking ahead.


“Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24, HCSB).

So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10, HCSB).


I am my daughter’s cheerleader, I always will be. It’s my job to be her advocate, her encourager. To help her succeed. Yes, it’s tiring at times, just as this life as a whole is, but my God will sustain me today, and everyday.

I’m truly thankful for this evening apart. This perspective. This chance to think, to write, to look at the bigger picture. It’s so easy to get downtrodden, to get discouraged, to forget to let Jesus take the reigns, even with something as seemingly miniscule as potty training. This is my chance to let go, and let God work over the next few days. Who knows what He’ll do.

Lord Jesus, help me to persevere over the next few days. Give me joy and peace in what ever I may face. Help me to live my life for you, so that my daughter can see your love. Encourage my little girl in this new endeavor, I’m sure she needs it. Give us both the patience we need to figure this thing out.


Potty Training Patience


 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,  gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, HCSB).

It's funny, I was reading through my recent posts, and I realized that a recent theme has been busyness. Last Monday, we started on a new adventure with Little E, one that's giving us the blessing of many hours at home together, and I immediately started chomping at the bit. I wanted to be on the go, and had trouble with the thought of being at home. It seems like God has given me the exact thing I've wanted, time at home, yet I'm still impatient.

Monday started Day 1 of potty training for us, and it's certainly been an experience! Our daughter is stubborn, extremely so.  I was tempted to quit an hour in. I tried having her go every 15 minutes or so, which was meant by screams and flails. Spreading out the time has helped a bit, but also increased our rates of accidents. The protests have continued, but so have the random sucesses.

With a 20-30 minute drive into town and back, it makes more sense to stay at home this week. I honestly think my daughter is enjoying the attention. We’re reading books, dancing to music, coloring pictures and playing with building blocks. It’s hard to describe the look of pride on her face when she does get things right. A grin spreads from ear to ear. It’s the sweetest thing. She’s also equally proud of her big-girl panties. Now, if we can just curb the accidents, we’ll be all set.

This whole experience has been a bit more stressful than I expected it to be. Perhaps I thought she’d get it right off the bat, that she’d always be excited to go potty. She was very interested in the whole thing, before we started Day 1. Perhaps my own emotions are running a little to crazy. That could be possible as well.

I’ve been looking for a way out, an excuse to not keep going. I wonder if she’ll ever fully get the hang of things, or if we should just back off for a few more months. I worry that I rushed things, that “I” wanted this, not her. But then I remember how excited she’s been about the potty in the last few weeks. How she’s wanted to try it. I start to think about the successes, instead of the failures. The high fives, the special treats, the cheers, the dancing. Yes, she may fight this with her stubborn will, but she’s also, slowly succeeding. It may not be complete success over night, but she’s getting there. I do pray that something clicks for her, and the stress, for me goes down a bit. Because I truly want her to succeed in this. As much as I hate seeing my little girl getting older, it’s a fact of life. Her pigtails, long legs, jabbering words, remind me of just how big she’s getting. She’s growing up. The little girl who was once a tiny baby, is now perfectly independent. Sometimes I worry about how the next couple months will work. What traveling with a potty trained child over the holidays will look like. But I can’t live my life in worry. I’m sure, whenever we started potty training, there would be inconvenience involved. This was honestly a good week to start trying, before Thanksgiving and Christmas got too awful close.

And so, we move one not losing faith, and praying things finally stick for our sweet, but stubborn girl.  


Lord Jesus, please give me patience, even on the tough days. Help me to demonstrate your love in the way I live my life. Oh, and help this potty training thing to click for Little E, so that I stop pulling my hair out. Amen.






The afternoon was hot. We’d finally gotten some much-needed rain, but with that rain came weeds, plenty of them. It’s funny how the good often comes with the bad!

I was out in our backyard, pulling at the stubborn weeds, when I remembered something my mom used to say: “weeds are only flowers that started growing in the wrong place.”

And many times, she was right. We’d pull daisies out of the herb garden, pull green onions out from among the tomatoes.  At times, they would truly be flowers that unfortunately landed in the wrong territory. The flower, in and of itself wasn’t bad, it was just growing in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

As it is with life. There are things I’m involved in, things that consume my time. These things could be good, Bible studies, dates with friends, reading a book, but they may be distracting me from more important things such as my devotional life and my family.

The weeds may seem like beautiful things, but if they’re stealing life, stealing water and nutrients from other plants, are they really that? Are they really good, or do they just masquerade as such?


As I kept pulling weeds on that afternoon, I started prioritizing. I started look seriously at the things around me and praying for discernment. Over-commitment creeps up so stealthy. I often think I’m doing good, but, before I know it, I’m involved in way to many things.

And so, some weeding has to begin. This weeding starts within, as it prays and searches for the distractions that don't belong. 

My heart is still focused on the book of Galatians this week. The Galatians were a people who let too many weeds creep into their lives, to the point that they were bitterly deceived. Oh how I don't want that for myself. And so, I turn to the fruit of the spirit for help. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith and self-control leave little room for weeds. If I'm truly at peace, and truly using self-control, I wouldn't be so over-tasked, would I?

Do you have any advice for an over-tasked girl? How do you weed, when your life has become too full? Are there any verses you turn too?




"What happened to this sense of being blessed you had?” (Galatians 4:15, HCSB).


In the book of Galatians, Paul writes to his dear friends, asking them how they could have been led astray. They were “running the race” so well, but then they let some false doctrine seep in (5:7). They started to believe more in legality, then in the price Christ paid for all of their sins. “What happened to this sense of being blessed you had?” Paul asks the people. How could you have forgotten all that Christ has done? 

But aren’t we often the same way? Don’t we, too, get caught up in the legalism of life, in being a good Christian, doing the right things, paying the bills, helping the poor, keeping the house and kids in order, that we forget the only thing that really matters: Jesus? We start to get caught up in our own goodness, forgetting that goodness never gets us to heaven, only Christ does that.

It seems silly that I would forget, but I do. Days can be so busy, so tiring, that I forget to spend time with my Jesus. I get caught up in the works of this life, and neglect to spend time in prayer, at the foot of the cross. It's as if I think that I can get to heaven without Him. I don't, not really, but my actions don't back this up. While Jesus should be my first priority, He often ends up being my last.

On Monday, my husband and I decided to start setting an alarm, just for devotional time in the morning. Our daughter has been waking up super early, now that it’s summer, so our devotional time was at a zero. And so, an even earlier alarm was needed, a reminder to get up and spend time at the foot of the cross. Because we need that time every day. It’s those early morning moments that keep us centered. Centered on Christ. Those minutes, first thing in the morning, give us a better attitude, a better sense of purpose, and daily reminder of all the ways we’ve truly been blessed.

 Because I don't want to forget everything that Christ has done for me. I don't want to be like the Galatians, who lost their focus and were completely led astray by false doctrine.

I don't want to lose my sense of being blessed.

But in order to feel blessed, the fruit of the spirit has to be present.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control only come when my heart is right, when I'm giving each day to my Savior, the way I should (5:22-23).

I've noticed that, when I'm focused on Him, I am a lot more self-controlled, I do have a lot more patience and kindness with those around me. The love of God is more prevalent in my life. It's amazing, the difference 30 minutes first thing in the morning makes.

Life really is more blessed when my heart is where it should be.




My Quiet Corner


Read: Galatians 5
A friend of mine recently inspired me to find a quiet corner in my house. This corner is nothing special. It’s a mini papasan chair, crammed in the corner of my bedroom with an afghan thrown on top. But I like it. It’s a place I can sit, even for a second, to pray. It’s a place that reminds me of the power of prayer.

Now that my daughter is 7 months old, I no longer have an excuse for my lack of quiet time. For a while I blamed it on my daughter’s lack of regular naps and the utter exhaustion that comes with being a new mommy. But we’re past that point now. My little girl sleeps through the night and takes at least 3 naps everyday. While I do have chores to get done during those naps, there’s no reason I couldn’t be spending time with my Savior as well.

Because I need that time.

I desperately need to bring my day before Him.

I need to be praying for my husband, and his job that seems so overwhelming to him at times.

I need to be praying for my friends, who are facing all sorts of trials.

I need to be praying for those I love who are so far from grace.

I need to be praying for my own sanity.

Because this week has been tough. I’ve stressed, I’ve worried, I’ve fretted, and I haven’t responded to life’s blows with love, joy or peace.

As I read Galatians 5 this morning, I was reminded of everything that should be flowing forth from my life. This isn’t anxiety and selfishness, but instead love, joy and peace.

Sometimes it’s so hard to exhibit these traits.

I’m so carnal at times.

But I serve a Savior who wants so much more for me.

He breathes new life into me day after day.

I’m so thankful for that.

And so, this morning, as my little girl slept and I sat for a minute in my quiet corner, I prayed that He would remove the anxiety and replace it with peace and joy and love. I prayed that all of the fruits of the spirit would take over my life today and everyday.

Do you have a quiet corner in your life?

Did any of the fruits of the spirit stick out to you today?



“What happened to this sense of being blessed you had?” (Galatians 4:15  HCSB).

In the book of Galatians, Paul writes to some of his dear friends. He wonders how their faith could have gotten so off track. How they could have so easily forgotten everything God had done for them.

I would love to say that I have never fallen into the trap of the Galatians, that I’ve never doubted my Savior. But that would be a lie. I have.

Time after time I get a “woe-is-me” attitude. I look around me at everything that is wrong and grumble at those imperfections.

The military life isn’t easy. There are some days that I wonder why exactly I’m living here, hundreds of miles away from dear friends and family. There are times when I pity my lot in life, and doubt the goodness of my Savior.

But then I read a verse like this that challenges me to look for the good. It challenges me to remember the many blessings that are in my life. This military life is such a great adventure! My husband, daughter and I have the privilege of exploring so many different places and making all kinds of friends. We are able to share our love for God in the very way we live our everyday lives. What a privilege and honor. I get excited just thinking about what the future will hold for us. Yes, this life is lonely, and it’s oh so easy to focus on the downside, but the upside is so much more amazing!

And anyhow, if it wasn’t for the military, I never would have met my amazing husband. And that wouldn’t do, now would it?