• Woman looking up while by a woods

    Giving Thanks When It Hurts

    Have you ever thought of your thanksgiving being a sacrifice?   Yeah, me neither.  And yet, in the Psalms we read this:  “I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” -Psalm 116:17 NLT In this verse, David talks about offering God a sacrifice of thanksgiving. He was honest about the fact that sometimes being grateful is going to cost us.  Thanksgiving as a sacrifice?  In the OT they had to buy grain, flour, or an animal as a sacrifice to pay for their sins. Then they had to take it to the priest to offer it to God.   It wasn’t easy. It cost…

  • Woman looking out over the water on a beach.

    Where is God in This?

    My world was caving in around me.   Our savings account had been depleted due to unforeseeable circumstances. Then my chronic illness flared up to the point where I had to cut back on work. So, we were living on pretty much just one salary.  And then the unthinkable happened.    On a trip with my kids while over two hours from our home, my van suddenly began to shake uncontrollably, and then the engine shut off.   It never started again.   I tried to act strong for my kids but inside I was just as much of a wreck as the engine in my van.   I wondered how God could allow this…

  • Sunrise over the harbor.

    How to Find Hope In Hard Times

    My kids squealed with glee as they ran into the waves of Lake Michigan. While I unfolded my beach chair and positioned it so that the waves could wash up over my feet.   And I began to worship and pray in that beautiful place.   There is something about the water that invites me into God’s presence. Something about watching my kids delight in His creation that makes my heart want to sing.   The massive expanse of rolling waves, reveals God’s power. The sky above showcases His magnificent artwork. And my children’s laughter echoes my Savior’s own joy at their carefree delight.   Then suddenly a wave washed over my feet.   And the cold…

  • woman holding hand against glass while it rains

    Wrestling with God: 3 ways to trust God when life is hard.

    “I can breathe,” my son said, “It just kind of feels like a piece of food is stuck in my throat.”  A chill of dread washed over me as I heard my 10-year-old son’s response to the nurse’s question over the phone.    Earlier that day my son had been stung by a bee. And now I was rushing him to the ER because hives had broken out over his whole body. At the ER the Benadryl I had given him earlier began to kick in but when we saw the doctor, she still prescribed my son an Epi-pen. Because, as she warned us, the next time his allergic reaction would most…

  • woman asleep on desk with laptop, books, and vase of flowers.

    When You Have Nothing Left

    By: Laura Jane Anslow It was the end of another long day. I was exhausted. I had spent the day saying the same things over and over to my children. Constantly reminding them to be kind and helpful. To show love to each other. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. I whispered to the Lord, “When will they learn?” I was reading through Luke 5 and came across the story of the great catch of fish. Simon Peter had been fishing all night without catching a single fish, however, when Jesus approached him the next morning, He tells Peter to go out deeper and cast his nets again.…