Running on Empty…

Literally.  This happened this weekend.

I was driving home from an amazing weekend in Little Rock (more on that later, I’m still trying to process it all!) and should have run out of gas…but by the grace of God, I didn’t.

I was listening to music, singing and worshipping in the car while my daughter slept.  I’m grateful she was so tired and so asleep that the volume of the music (or my singing) didn’t affect her :).  I looked down and noticed I had 8 miles until empty.  Oh my.  I had no clue where we were but knew we had already gone through most of the major towns with gas stations. Agh.

All of a sudden I hear the words to the song that had just started playing:

“We will say of you Oh Lord when it seems there’s nothing left

Great is Thy faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness…

We won’t doubt, we won’t fear, we know our God is near.

We will stand, we will say, “Our God alone is great.”

So I turned it up and prayed.  And trusted and believed we would make it.

And continued to watch as the number went down…

And then this happened.


But we were still going.  And I was still praying and trusting and believing (and had woken up my daughter but was happy to have her praying too!).

I repeated the song about His faithfulness- several times.

I’m not sure how far we went on 0, maybe 5-10 miles?  But we made it.  Oh I am so grateful because I’m not sure what I would’ve done had we not.

After we filled up the tank and got some gas station bubble gum, we were on the road again.  I couldn’t quit thinking of the words to the song* that came at the perfect time…How applicable they can be in any situation in our lives– literally running out of gas in a vehicle or running out of gas in our own lives.

I wrote this quote down from John Piper months ago; I can’t find the article or sermon I read/heard it in but wanted to share:

The fact that you run out of gas everyday puts you in the station…makes us fill up everyday at His pump. Lest we forget where the gas comes from.

I LOVE that!  Just as a vehicle requires gas or energy to function effectively, we require Him to function effectively; the way we were made to function.

When I was running out of gas in my car, I had NO clue where the next gas station was I just prayed and hoped and trusted we would make it.

In life, I think we sometimes forget where the gas comes from and sometimes I think it takes us driving on empty for a while before we realize we even need gas.  Lord, everyday, please fill us up!  Help us not wait until we are past empty to pull into Your station!  And may we never forget that we need You in all area of our lives!

I learned a few things through this experience…

~Watch the gas gauge in my van 🙂

~Watch the gas gauge in my soul, never forget where the gas comes from, and never stop getting filled up

~His timing is so awesome, even in the timing of a song with words to help me trust and believe we would make it to a gas station

~When we trust and believe God with the small, minor details and we notice His faithfulness in the things we think may not even matter, it helps us trust Him with the really big things.

Great is His faithfulness, even running on empty 🙂

*”Nothing Less” by Charles Billingsley is on his newest album, Only Jesus, set to release in September.  I was able to get an advanced copy at the Women of Joy conference I attended a few weeks ago.  Click here to listen!




Praise Him through the Storms*

New iphone 3024

In April of 2012 my family experienced some major storms. I am in awe of that time and can never forget how great and big and faithful our God was during it all. And how great and big and faithful He is in the sunshine as well…although it is often the storms that grow us the most (just look at how green the rain makes the grass!) I pray these words and verses bring you encouragement today whether you are facing sun or storms.

I once thought that God didn’t give us more than we could handle but I now believe the opposite to be true…He gives us more than we can handle on our own so we have nothing left to do but cling to Him. We cannot do it without Him. I have learned that He will provide if we just let Him and He will calm us so much during the storms that all we can do is praise Him.

Two years ago this month, my family weathered some storms. The details of those few months will be saved for another day, but they did affect my husband and our two young children. These storms consisted of numerous hospital stays, multiple ER visits, surgery, a 20 foot fall, a lymphoma scare, one health issue we are praying and believing will be outgrown in God’s time, and two diagnoses that God has already healed (He is so good!).

Looking back through journal entries and messages to my prayer warriors, family, etc…I am overwhelmed with emotion at the supernatural strength God gave me during that time; at how strong my faith was during it all. It’s been both an encouragement and a wonderful reminder of how God will provide if I let Him and how if I’m not placing my trust and hope in Him, I will fear and feel the chaos of my surroundings when going through troubling times (which we WILL have in this world, the Bible tells us). Through it all, God was there, and He was BIG. He showed up, He held us up and in the course of it all we grew. I revisit that time and can’t help but praise Him some more! His hand was on everything and everywhere. I couldn’t have done it without Him; everything around me was chaotic and out of control, but I knew that HE was in control. I was on my knees crying out to Him constantly; so many people were praying for us…and He provided. He provided strength and a peace I’ve never experienced before. He carried me, He carried us, and we survived…

I want to share some verses that helped us survive:

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This verse tells us that when we love God, He can turn our circumstances into good to fulfill a greater purpose- His purpose. I assure you that the bad we went through that year resulted in good. We are not who we were before we walked through those storms and for that I am grateful. Our relationships with Jesus and each other were deepened and strengthened; we learned so much and depended on God in a way we hadn’t before. Daily I am reminded of that time and how it is a testament of the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we mediate on Romans 8:28 and know the greater good is for His Glory!

Psalm 121:1-2 says “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Was He ever my Help…as I have mentioned before I couldn’t have done it without Him. His help came in various ways too; amazing family and friends willing to help however they could, phone calls, texts, hospital visits, home cooked dinners, sonic drinks, a song on the radio or in my head, a truck with Philippians 4:13 written on it, a sermon or devotional– everything coming at just the right time, which is more validation that He knows what we need when we need it and that His timing is perfect (why do I forget this sometimes!?).

A verse I couldn’t have done without and prayed daily was Deuteronomy 31:8, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I knew that my family was in God’s hands and I had so much peace knowing that He went before us and knew long before we did what was going on and what was going to happen. I tried not to think about the what-if’s and worse case scenarios because I knew we were in the thick of it all and God wanted me to trust in Him. It wasn’t always easy but, I promise you, trusting in Him and knowing He was in control was much more comforting than my other options.

The following verses were also constantly on my heart:

You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you God are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalm 59:17 (NIV)

For you, O LORD have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” Psalm 92:4 (NASB)

“…Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to Him for the life of your little ones…” Lamentations 2:19 (NASB)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

And all things you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22 (NASB) (our daughter’s life verse)

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:11a (NASB) (our son’s life verse)

If you are walking through a storm right now, look up. Praise Him through it. Pray without ceasing, stay in His Word, meditate on His truths and have others pray on your behalf. No matter how big or small the storm, He can handle it and He wants us to make our requests known to Him. You’ll be amazed at the strength, guidance, and comfort He can supply. He is enough. I pray this article will serve as encouragement to everyone who reads it. It’s as much for me as it is for you, if not more. To God be the Glory great things He has done!

*I originally wrote this article for the April 2013 edition of My Journey of Faith Online Magazine.  Every April I am reminded of the storms we encountered in 2012 and the goodness and greatness of our God.  Click here to be redirected to the original article and other articles of faith. 

On being perfect…

I think deep down inside of each of us is the desire to be perfect.  To look perfect, to act perfect, to have no flaws, no sin.  To fit this mold and these crazy high expectations or standards we’ve set for ourselves and even others.  To never mess up.  And we try.  We try so hard to be perfect, at least in the areas we can work hard at and attempt this perfection…but it’s like chasing the wind.  No matter how hard we try, we aren’t going to catch it!

PERFECT (adj) being entirely without fault or defect; corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept; mature, pure, complete

When I read that definition, the One person that comes to mind is Jesus Christ.  He was entirely without fault or defect; He certainly set the standard for us, didn’t He?  He was and is the epitome of completeness, purity and maturity.

“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth.”   1 Peter 2:22

I wish that once we choose Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we would immediately become just like Him…but that’s not exactly how it works.  We can try and try and try to be good and do good but we will fail, we will mess up and get exhausted in the process!  He knows we aren’t perfect, and He loves us anyway!  I’m sure what He doesn’t love is us trying to be perfect and striving for perfection on our own.

Matthew 5:48 says to “be perfect because I am perfect” (some versions say Holy).  Woah.  No pressure right?  But what this verse is saying is that Christ set an unattainable standard, which sums up what the law demands.  But HE met this standard on our behalf; so we don’t have to.  Oh dear Jesus thank you!

“In a word, what I am saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:48 (MSG)

The more time we spend with Jesus, in prayer or in His word, the more we will be like Him.  And it is not of ourselves, it is of Him.

“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”  Ephesians 1:13 (ESV)

If we are saved, we are guaranteed the Holy Spirit- Gods Spirit which demonstrates the genuineness of our faith and proves we are God’s children. I think we often underestimate the power that is in us as Believers!  We have HIS Spirit! And it’s the Holy Spirit’s work in us that transforms us into the likeness of Christ, and nothing we can do on our own, aside from choosing to follow Him.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9

What if this need for perfection in ourselves and in our lives is the result of us being built to need Him?  Of our hearts being restless until we rest in Him?  What if it is the fact that He has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and we so greatly desire that completeness and wholeness whether we know we do or not?

I want to be perfect, I’ll admit it.  I want to be the perfect Christian, mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend, but I’m so not nor will I ever be!  I would love it if my house always looked perfect, if there were never any left over fries or apples in my minivan, and if I never had to get onto my children…but that’s never going to happen!  This is life on earth, not heaven!

He set eternity into our hearts and He created us to need Him daily-momently!  This won’t make us perfect but letting Him live through us and resting in His grace is the closest we will come to perfection this side of our eternal home.  And there is so much peace in that.  So much contentment in letting Him fill the void inside with His love, grace and truth.

Nothing else on earth will satisfy.

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7

Thank you Lord for sending your perfect son, 100% You 100% man, to be perfect for us.  To die on a cross and our sins, bad choices and imperfections be placed upon Him, the One and Only “perfect” to walk this earth.  Thank you for loving us amidst our imperfections and sins. Help us to choose YOU daily; to grow in your love and rest in your grace.







I can do all things…

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I would have to say that this is my life verse.  The one verse I have repeated in my head, out loud and brought to mind more than any other verse in my entire life.  The one verse that has brought me through a lot.

I can first remember using it when trying out for majorette my 9th grade year of junior high.  You see, I’d tried out the year before and not made it which made me determined to try out again and make it.  Anyone else strong willed like that? 😉

I was a nervous wreck the day of tryouts but clung to my God and my verse.  I’m sure during the 20 or so minutes of me being out there by myself I repeated my verse over 100 times.  What I remember most about those minutes is the joy, calm and confidence that only came through Christ.  I also remember He was there with me the whole time, carrying my little 13 year old self through something very nerve wracking and something I wanted so very badly.

Little did I know how many other tryouts and situations in life that verse would carry me through- and still does.

Bedtime at our house (with a 2.5 and 5.5 year old) is hard more often than not.  It’s probably been the most challenging thing for me as a parent (please tell me I’m not the only one!?).  The last two nights have been especially rough and this morning as I remember my life verse, I’m reminded that I didn’t cling to it either night.  Yes I cried out to God to help me stay calm and get through this without raising my voice at my kids but both nights I ended up reaching a boiling point.  Ugh.

This has reminded me of the importance that Scripture plays in my life.  It’s not just to read and to know, but to be tucked away in my heart and soul so I can know it and live it when I need it (which is daily!).  When we memorize and meditate on Scripture, the Lord will bring it to mind when we most need it.  To help ourselves and also to help others.

So now, before bedtime even starts, I’m going to recite my verse.

Actually, both kids are up and ready to go and I’m reciting my verse.

Through Christ, we can do ALL things if we allow Him to be the One to strengthen us.  No matter what is on the agenda today, big or small, let’s focus on this verse, not on that overwhelming sense of all that needs to be done (because, I’ll be honest, I’m feeling it!).  Write it down on a sticky note and put it on the dash of your car, or on your computer; I promise you will see it just when you need it.

Jesus wants to be our strength.  He wants to carry us through life and rely solely on Him.  Are we relying on His strength or our own?

“My power works best in weakness.”II Corinthians 12:9

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:10

Let’s rest in the verses and know through Him we can do all things.

Have a Happy Friday! 🙂 .

Our Light and our Salvation

Good morning friends!!  I woke up thinking of Psalm 27:1 and wanted to share!  It’s a beautiful Psalm of King David.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation”

What is the purpose of a light?  To make it to where we can see…to see what we are looking for, to see what we need…I’m loving all of the definitions I’ve found too:

  • the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible
  • a source of illumination
  • enlightenment
  • ignite
  • not dark
  • a device that makes something start burning

These are beautiful when thinking of them in reference to God!  Isn’t this just what He is and what He does?

When Saul, a Jesus hater who killed Christ followers, was on his way to Damascus, he literally saw light and saw the Light.  He was blinded by this for 3 days and then, with the help of a friend sent by God, he regained his sight.

“Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight…”    Acts 9:18

After this, he was no longer Saul but Paul- Jesus lover.  The scales were removed from His eyes and for the first time in His life he saw Jesus for who He truly is.  He saw the Light.  He saw the Lord.  He saw and experienced Salvation.  His life did a complete 180 and he was ignited, enlightened and he shined brightly for the Lord and the Lord only.  He wrote the majority of the books in the New Testament and was amazing.

Now not everyone’s story is as extreme and radical as Paul’s, but if we are Believers, we were once blind and through Christ, our Light and our Salvation, we are able to see.  Are we allowing Him to illuminate, enlighten and ignite us?

One thing I find interesting is that the use over time of the word light has remained constant…just as our God is constant. 🙂


On worry…

I couldn’t go to sleep last night…my (amazing) husband was out of town on business and every little noise I heard startled me.  You know, right??  I used to lay in bed awake for hours when he was gone but have (thank you Lord) been so much better about it, until last night.

“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” Phillipians 4:6 (NASB)

Oh worry…how many hours do we spend worrying?  As women, our brains rarely shut off.  We are always thinking of something and oh my how our thoughts can take us to places we don’t want to be!  And once there, it’s hard to get back to reality.  Anyone else know what I’m talking about?  I would say 99.9% (maybe more!) of the things we worry about never even happen.  What a waste of thoughts and precious time!

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Luke 12:25 (NLT)

Worry kills our joy; it steals our faith and makes us weak.  So what do we do?  We pray.  We trust.  We seek.  I promise you God answers prayer on worry.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

The second you start to worry I pray the Holy Spirit reminds you of what God’s Word says on worry.  Use your worry as an opportunity to turn to Him.  Turn that wasteless time of worry into a time of prayer.  He is listening and is always there!

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (ESV)

Memorize these verses and they will be hidden in your heart the next time worry comes.  Another great thing to do is look in the index of your Bible on “worry” or “anxiety” and write down every single verse pertaining to it.  I did this when I was experiencing a season of doubt (looking up the word “doubt” in the index) and I cannot tell you the peace and faith that came out of searching for these scriptures, writing them down and memorizing some.  It was amazing.  It purged me of my doubt and really helped get me past that awful season.

Here’s to trusting God with everything.  Every fear, every worry, every doubt and concern!  He loves us so very much and wants us to trust Him.  Have a wonderful day friends! 🙂

PS~The Rizers, a kids Christian band that sings Scripture, has a beautiful song on this verse…it’s one of my favorites that they sing.  Click here to hear it!