Thursday, March 29, 2018


Dusk and sunset on Lambs Head. The sunlight glistens and dances on the water making it look like a sea of mercury. the sun breaks through areas of cloud creating a magnificent light portal. The Iveragh Peninsula is located in County Kerry in Ireland. It is the largest peninsula in southwestern Ireland. A mountain range, the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, lies in the centre of the peninsula. Carrauntoohil, its highest mountain, is also the highest peak in Ireland. Towns on the peninsula include Killorglin, Cahersiveen, Portmagee, Waterville, Caherdaniel, Sneem and Kenmare. The Ring of Kerry, a popular tourist trail, circles the coastline, beginning and ending at Killarney, just east of the peninsula.

"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise."
-Luke 23:43
This just might be my favorite exchange in all of Scripture.
The stage is set. The scene is well under way. The thief is reaping the punishment of his crime. Justice has been served.
Hanging there, bloody and bruised, this man has all but surrendered to his fate on the cross. He knows he belongs there.
And he knows the man two over from him belongs there.
But that man in the middle. There was just something about him.
He was innocent. He did nothing to deserve this most crude and inhuman execution. The thief on the far side joined with the crowd hurling insults upon Jesus.
But in his dying moment, this other thief came to a saving knowledge of who Jesus was. He hedged his bet on Jesus saying, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." (Luke 23:42)
And in one moment, the eternal destination of this man shifted from death to life. And most certainly not because of anything he earned, attended, or achieved. But rather, he acknowledged his sin, his helplessness and, most importantly, Jesus' innocence and divinity.
And in one of the most beautiful verses in all of Scripture, Jesus responds, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Imagine observing this as a member of the crowd. You're close enough to see and smell the blood and the sweat of these dying men. And as you're straining to hear this conversation over the mocks and jeers from the crowd, you think you hear the scandalous interchange of words that a thief dare ask Jesus to remember him?!?
Never. It can't possibly be happening.
He's a thief! He's hanging up there paying the penalty of his sin. His debt is almost paid as his life literally hangs in the balance.
But he asks Jesus to remember him?!
And what's more: Jesus grants his request!
You almost want to join in the objection that this man does not deserve this pardon.
But my dear friends, this is the best news for you and for me!
Because this thief had zero chips with which to bargain. He had nothing to offer Jesus in exchange for his request. All he was able to offer up in that moment was his faith that Jesus was who He claimed to be.
And it's enough for you. And it's enough for me.
Because the way to our eternity is through faith in what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection. And praise God, it's not by anything we accomplish (and more importantly what we don't).
In one of the most desperate, vulnerable and raw conversions in all of Scripture, we see salvation in it's most pure form. This thief, whose rap sheet earned him a one-way ticket to the cross, comes to recognize his own depravity and Christ's divinity. And he places his faith in the person and work of Jesus in his dying breaths.
And he is granted salvation.
And it just might be my favorite exchange in all of Scripture.
Because if it can happen for this thief, it can happen for you and for me, too.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Every New Year, my mind drifts back to a talk I once heard by Francis Chan. He spoke to a small breakout group at a conference and challenged us something still crystal clear in my mind more than a decade later: What if you could skate through this year with zero problems? No friendship pain, no job loss, no health issues, no sadness or difficulty. But at the end of your year, you did not become one bit closer to Jesus. Or the second option: What if this year will be wrought with difficulty and hardship at every turn? Hurts. Pain. Brokenness. But at the end of your year, you find yourself closer to Jesus than ever before. Which would you choose? 

At the time of that conference, I proudly proclaimed how easily my answer came to me. Of course I would choose whatever road necessary to bring me closer to Jesus.

Last year, on December 30th, I sat at a Starbucks in California for two uninterrupted hours (the photo above is from that magical morning). It was cold and raining outside. I was warm on the inside, thanks to my salted caramel mocha. And I dreamed. I dreamed big dreams for 2017 and all that it might hold. I took out my trusty Erin Condren Planner and created a new Notebook on my computer, complete with color-coordinated tabs. I planned. And I dreamed. And I planned some more:

Spiritual goals. Family goals. Professional goals. Personal goals. 

And it felt good. It felt good to get my aspirations for what could be down on paper (and screen). 

Now, in the final weeks of 2017, I look back on my list of goals and dreams. Some accomplished, some left undone. Some completely forgotten. In many ways, this year was filled with joy. I have so many things to celebrate at the close of 2017. 

But in very many other ways, this was the most difficult year of my life. Three things that were not on that list, but were very much apart of my year:

The crumbling of a friendship. Miscarriage number one in September. And miscarriage number two, December 9th. 

The pain and fear that comes from even typing those words is almost palpable. Because those things weren't on my list. They don't pop up on an Instagram story. Those events don't get splashed on our Facebook walls (is it even still called a wall?!). We reserve those things for our inner circle, while those on the outskirts are left to think we're truly as footloose and fancy free as our Social Media pages make us appear.

I was driving earlier this week and a reality came clear into focus: I have never been closer to Jesus. I have never depended on Him more in my life. Amidst the toughest year of my life, Jesus has never been more precious and dear to me. Francis's challenge was painfully accurate.

As we end another year, many of us will be tempted to say, "I'm so over 2017!" or "So long, 2017! You were horrible!" And I would typically have joined in on that sentiment.


Had the tremendously difficult events in my life during 2017 not happened, I would not be where I am now in my walk with Jesus. I wouldn't have been able to experience so tangibly the comfort and peace He so freely offered me through the valleys I walked this year.

As we head into 2018, I cannot forecast what your year will bring. I can, however, boldly proclaim this: Jesus will not fail you.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

march fourth.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

My mom and I had just finished loading up Raelynn and Selah in their carseats to head to IKEA. As we climbed up in the car, my mom spotted a pile of garage sale stuff, which included a baby bath seat, and she casually asked, "Are you sure you guys want to get rid of that?"

The second she said was like one zillion moments of realization all clicked into place in an instant: I was pregnant.

That explained everything.

You see, I spent the first 6 weeks of 2016 as sick as a dog. It would ebb and flow, but it included everything imaginable. I could not get well. In fact, it was the whole reason my mom had come to town at all. In a moment of desperation and sheer exhaustion, I called her sobbing and begged her to get in the car to come care for me and my family.

A day later, she pulled in my driveway, jaw dropped at the severity of the situation. The FaceTimes and photos couldn't fully convey just how awful my hives were, how nasty Raelynn's cough was, how high Selah's fever was. I was beside myself.

Amidst it all, I hadn't even stopped to think of the root cause preventing me from getting well...the fact that my body's immune system intentionally lowered itself so as not to kill the growing baby inside of me.

As the words escaped her mouth, I didn't need a pregnancy test to tell me what I already knew in the depths of my soul: I was pregnant.

We continued to IKEA to pick out the necessary items to organize our play room (heck, if my mom was coming in town, I may as well let her loose doing what she loves to do...organize!). I honestly can't even remember the drive or the conversation because my mind was swirling with so many thoughts.

Later that night, we decided to move Selah out of her cradle and into a crib. As my mom and Matt moved things around in her nursery, I escaped to the bathroom. The instant the test was activated, the two pink lines appeared. My suspicion was confirmed: I was pregnant.

I walked back in to the nursery just as Matt and my mom were trying to decide where the cradle should go and blurted out, "You better not move that cradle too far away.....I'm pregnant." 

I would love to tell you those words were uttered with excitement and joy. They were not. They were met with excitement and joy on the part of my mom who shrieked and squealed in excitement...and I think Matt whispered a few choice words under his breath. The three of us stood in that nursery for a long time trying to digest all that had just transpired.

Our lives were forever changed.

I laid awake in bed that night. Dumbfounded. Overwhelmed. Shocked.

So many thoughts flooded my mind. Very few, if any, of them were happy. And it takes a lot of courage for me to admit that outside of my trusted group of friends and family. Because when you're married with two kids, the expectation of another child should be thrilling, happy, even joyous. But this baby was not planned. We prayed for our first two babies and intentionally tried to have them close together.

And we thought we were done.

I wish I could tell you that the days and weeks that followed brought about that expected joy and happiness. But it didn't. I only became more and more weary, overwhelmed, and confused about this little life growing inside of me. I would cry very frequently. And a huge feeling of guilt flooded over me. I met with several different friends and mentors over coffee in hopes of finding peace with my reality.

I found myself in a bible study group of several women who struggled with infertility. They would cry during our time together that their wombs remained barren. And I cried tears...because mine wasn't. Again, I hesitate to share that because I do not want to sound insensitive to women who struggle with infertility. My heart and soul pours out for you and my prayers go up to God Almighty on your behalf. I pray God draws near to you and reveals Himself to you in such Intimate, tangible ways.

But I don't want to minimize the emotion I felt in those lowest of low moments. Because it was real. And it was my heart. But very few people actually know any of this. They just saw a swollen belly, a pregnancy announcement, bump photos. I was shamed by a lot of strangers as I walked in stores with my two girls, 2 and under and a pregnant belly. "Don't you know what causes that?!" "You sure have your hands full!" 

Man, people are ignorant when they make comments to strangers. (Please think twice before uttering words like that to any mama you come across!)

At 39 weeks, 4 days pregnant, my mom and I sat in Eisley's nursery sorting through newborn clothing. She sat on my nursing chair, and I on the exercise ball. She looked me in the eye and asked how I was doing. I broke down sobbing to her. I was able to express exactly where my heart was. Like I was supposed to be brimming with excitement and anticipation of this third little girl. But I wasn't. I was sad. I was scared. I was unsure I could actually love this little, unplanned girl. It felt good to be able to verbalize my unfiltered emotions.

Monday, November 7th, I went to bed with so much anxiety and uncertainty coursing through my veins. I was scheduled for an induction the following morning at 7:30am. I awoke the next morning, my mom had prepared a breakfast of hot oatmeal. As I sat eating my breakfast, I just prayed and prayed that the day would be filled with Jesus. I felt oddly numb and void of too much emotion. It felt other-worldly.

We drove to the hospital, checked in, and got situated in our room. I had a mild induction form that was given me in small doses so as to allow things to happen as naturally as possible. I was given one round and instructed to walk around the hospital for an hour before returning for the second dose. We walked and walked, praying the entire time.

As I recount the day, it was nothing short of a miracle. A dream of sorts. We diffused peace & calming in our room, had the lights dimmed, and played Hillsong's Of Dirt & Grace album on repeat. The day progressed, slowly but surely. My mom came to join us in the hospital room when we knew I was admitted, and not being sent home without a baby.

As the all-too-familiar feeling of contractions ramped up and flooded over me, I did something that caused me to swallow a lot of pride: I asked for an epidural. It went in such stark contrast to my first two labors but it was something I wanted. Matt was actually so taken aback by my request that he spent a solid 15 minutes grilling our nurse about them (all while I was contracting away mind you). That epidural did exactly what I hoped it would do: it allowed me time to peacefully labor and continue to digest what was happening, slowly but surely.

The second the words, "You are cleared to push" uttered my midwife's mouth...I began to sob. Like deep, belly sobs from the depths of my soul. So much so that the nurse asked me if I was okay. I couldn't compose myself but just kept uttering the words, "I LOVE HER! I LOVE HER!!! I LOVE HER!!!!"

In an instant, I pulled Eisley Caroline up on to my chest and God did what only He can do: He melted my heart. He showered me with so much love for this tiny person I just met but somehow my life wasn't complete without. And I just sobbed and sobbed.

A few weeks later, at my best friend's baby shower, I found myself talking to an old friend I hadn't seen since before we were both married. She made a small comment, something to the effect, "Your life just appears to be so great! Your girls are all so cute and you just seem so happy!"

Let me be clear: I am so happy. I am so grateful. I wouldn't change a second of my life for anything.

But my heart sunk. Because our lives are all so beautiful and happy and squeaky clean in the snapshot of social media. And I don't want anyone to think for a second that my life is met without hardship. The second she said that, I knew I had to write this post. Because I want to give voice to the hurts of my heart in hopes that it allows someone else the freedom to feel the hurt of their heart. And know that they're not alone.

These last few months I have clung to this tiny girl in disbelief that there was ever a day I didn't love her. I look down at her in tears all the time at the guilt I feel and will probably battle it for awhile.

This morning, Eisley vomited all over me. Like ALL over me. So I had to strip her down and give her a that bath seat that started it all. And I was overwhelmed with the journey of the last 365 days.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


My past embraced
My sin forgiven
I'm blameless in Your sight
My history rewritten

You delight in mercy
Mercy triumphs over judgment

Oh Love, great Love
Fear cannot be found in You
There will never be a day 
You're uncertain of the ones You choose

You delight in mercy
Mercy triumphs over judgment

So I will wake
And spend days
Loving the One 
Who raised me up
From death to life
From wrong to right
You're making all things beautiful

You delight in mercy
Mercy triumphs over judgment

This song so deeply blessed my soul today. 

Please let the truth of these lyrics rain down on you. Soak in them. 

But don't stop there...

Be changed by them. Claim their truth. Be transformed, my brothers and sisters. 

One of my favorite phrases in this song is the fact that fear cannot be found in Jesus. He came to disband fear once, and for all. 

...but I am fearful. I spend the majority of my thought life in fear. 

Fear that I will lose my beautiful family in a host of tragic scenarios that play out in my mind. Fear that friends will betray. 


But, friends. That is the enemy speaking to my mind. And fear cannot be found in Jesus. 

I just read about the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12. 

And it got me thinking: what do I contribute to my local body (church)? How is my church better because Carley Block Maier attends and brings with her the gifts that Jesus uniquely gave to her? 

We so often cower in our gifting, (ok, I so often cower in my gifting) for several reasons: 

Others do it better. Whatever your "it" is, I'm sure you're right. I know I am gifted in my writing abilities, but I read the words so eloquently drafted by so many other authors (who, by the way, are carrying out the gifting God gave them!) and feel like, "Who am I?". 

We get busy. Being a full-time working wife and mama to two girls who forgot how to sleep doesn't exactly leave me with the luxury of much free time. However. That's an excuse. I can take every moment God has granted me with my girls, at my church, at the grocery store, with my husband...and exercise my giftings in those scenarios. 

We get selfish. (why can't google have emoticons...I'm powerless without emoticons) Oh sweet friends I am so guilty of this. Oh my goodness so guilty. I look at my comfort, my preferences, my needs, whatever spare time I do have....and I so foolishly call it mine. When scripture tells me I am not even my own (1 Corinthians 6:19). Paul David Tripp says, "God has called all His children not to be mere recipients of His kingdom work of grace, but to be instruments of that work as well." (New Morning Mercies) 

Sweet Jesus that hits me smack in the face. 

So as the song continues to proclaim, "I will wake and spend my days, loving the One who raised me up, from death to life, from wrong to right, You're making all things beautiful." 

Friends. Good morning. Wake up. Spend your days loving Jesus back by loving others, by contributing your gifts that God so graciously, intimately gifted to you and you alone. 

Don't let Satan win. And if we won today....don't let him win tomorrow.

(***song: Mercy, by Amanda Cook, Album: Brave New World***)

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Before I left for work today, Matt mentioned something to me regarding our financial situation. I won't share the details, but it would require taking a leap of faith, risking the financial position we worked so diligently to achieve.

Don't get me wrong, it's nothing ignorant or irresponsible, but it would challenge us. 

Growing up, I was always the toddler who loved to share. My mom always told me she loved that about my personality. 

Money was always tight in our home because my mom valued being a stay-at-home mom, which I'm finding I respect more and more. Around Christmas time, my family would host an annual boutique in our home to help fund our Christmas. My dad is quite the wood-worker and, for weeks, my parents would put us to bed and go to the garage and create beautiful pieces. 

This was before the days where boutiques were hip and trendy. 

Several families would bring their hand-made crafts and, for a few weekends, our home would transform in to a makeshift shop. 

This seriously brings me back. 

I distinctly remember running around our house, so excited to explore all of the different trinkets for sale. One particular year, my mom's friend Marcia made a satin pink potpourri heart. I would run through the house, re-trace my steps back to that heart, breathe in it's flowery scent, and carry on (most-likely to our trampoline in the backyard). 

Day after day, I would visit that pink heart, so my mom wanted to purchase it for me as a Christmas gift. She went to find it and, tragically, it was gone. Someone beat her to it. 

Fast forward to Christmas morning. The tree is packed with gifts. Casey and I are waiting in his bedroom, which turned in to our holding tank, in our fresh new Christmas jammies (as was our tradition). My parents say the word and we go racing down the hallway to behold all of our meticulously wrapped gifts under the tree. However, this year is a bit different.

I go racing toward the tree, digging and digging passed all of the gifts designated for me. I keep looking in search of one crumply-wrapped gift. I finally locate the gift, lunging for it. Meanwhile, my mom is so confused as to what on earth I am doing. I grab the gift and, with all of the pride a 6-year old sponge-curly haired girl could muster up, hand it to my mom.

The satin pink potpourri heart. 

I vividly remember counting my hard-earned dollars and pennies in order to save up for that heart. I remember hiding it under my bed for weeks, pulling it out every once in awhile to inhale it's fragrance before carefully returning it underneath my bed. 

Somewhere, among the Anthropologie and Amazon shopping sprees, that girl got lost. I became something unrecognizable to that 6-year old girl more excited to give than to receive on Christmas morning. 

The past year, I have been reading a devotional called, "Disciplines for the Inner Life" (It is no longer in print, so if you can find it on Amazon or Better World Books, snatch one up). It is exceptional. There are few like it.

The premise of this devotional is it's focus on a different topic every day, week by week. You read the same invocation, same Psalm, same benediction for one week straight. But every day of the week, you read a different verse and excerpt from a book on the given topic. The topics range from Humility, Silence, Adoration, etc. 

Yesterday, I finished the topic of The Mind of Christ. 

After leaving my home and the financial conversation with Matt, I opened this devotional at Starbucks, ready to embark upon a new week. The topic? 


A very wise woman once told me one way God gets your attention is by bringing up the same topic over and over again. 

I read in Exodus 35 of how men and women who were willing brought their gold and silver and gave of their time to contribute to the Tabernacle. 

It was a matter of the heart. 

Then I read this excerpt from Letters to Scattered Pilgrims, by Elizabeth O'Connor: 

When the founding members, young and poor, were forming themselves into a properly incorporated community of faith, they struggled for discipline of membership that would help them and future members to deal concretely with at least some aspects of the handling of money. In its first writing the discipline read, "We commit ourselves to giving 10% of our gross income to the work of the Church." 
Their proposed constitution and disciplines were submitted to Reinhold Niebuhr, an eminent theologian of the last generation, who had agreed to read them and comment. His only suggestion concerned the discipline on money. "I would suggest," Niebuhr said, "that you commit yourselves not to tithing but to proportionate giving, with tithing as an economic floor beneath which you will not go unless there are some compelling reasons." The discipline was rewritten and stands today in each of the six new faith communities: "We covenant with Christ and one another to give proportionately beginning with a tithe of our incomes." 
None of us has to be an accountant to know what 10% of gross income is, but each of us has to be a person on his knees before God if we are to understand our commitment to proportionate giving. Proportionate to what? Proportionate to the accumulated wealth of one's family? Proportionate to one's income and the demands upon it, which vary from family to family? Proportionate to one's sense of security of the degree of anxiety with which one lives? Proportionate to the keenness of our awareness of those who suffer? Proportionate to our sense of justice and of God's ownership of all wealth? Proportionate to our sense of stewardship for those who follow after us? And so on, and so forth. The answer, of course, is in proportion to all of these things. 

Matt and I spent this Christmas with his family in Michigan. Before his mom took us to the airport to head home, we stopped to have lunch (seriously the most delectable homemade sweet potato chips with a cinnamon honey dipping sauce....I digress....). During the course of our meal, we struck up a conversation with our server and found out she was a full-time student, full-time server, single mama.  She mentioned that she worked a 12-hour closing shift the night before, before turning around and opening the restaurant the next morning. 

As the bill came, of course, we fought over who paid. After some friendly, heated discussion, we decided Maggie would pay the bill and we would leave the tip. I think our bill might have totaled $38. Matt grabbed for a $20. My immediate thought was to snatch the large bill (I'm not proud of this). Realizing he was digging back in to his wallet for additional money, my heart began to palpitate! 

He wasn't done. 

We ended up leaving the server a very significant tip. Before getting up from the table, I was able to silently thank God for my incredibly generous husband. I wrote a Bible verse on the receipt (pastor that I am) and told her we hope she had a Merry Christmas. I quickly ran to the bathroom before meeting Matt, Maggie and Rae out at the car. 

I know God had me run to the bathroom so I could see what unfolded after we vacated the table, teaching me a serious lesson. 

The scene I observed brought tears to my eyes and a serious gut-check. 

Our server had gathered a few others around her, with her hand securely placed over her mouth, trying to take in what had just taken place. I watched her mouth, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!"

Then she saw me. 

And she immediately came over to hug me. She had tears pouring down her face. 

God showed me in that moment that money was far better off with her than spent on some Anthropologie cardigan that will end up in a donation bin.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Being raised in the church, I heard my fair share of Christmas carols. I clearly remember sitting next to my mom and grandma during Christmas season church services and they would both be in tears singing those old familiar carols.

I didn't understand what they were crying about.

I do now.

This weekend our church launched Christmas season. Our lobby was decorated with beautiful Christmas trees. Signs hung on the walls. And as we sung the old familiar "O Come All Ye Faithful" my eyes spilled over with tears.

Darn those genetics...they caught up to me.

But those words struck me,

"O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!"

That's what Christmas is about.

I am always thoughtful of Easter through observing Lent, but for some reason, Advent has been less celebrated in my life.

Also this weekend, our worship director read an excerpt from Cardinal Timothy Dolan that I must share. I pray it will move you the way it did me and prepare your heart for this season of Advent:

Advent is our spiritual "getting ready" for Christmas. We try to squash into four weeks all the hoping, longing, preparing...all the waiting of the People of Israel, our older family members in the household of faith.

...We wait for His grace and mercy, sure to come;

...We wait for Him to answer our prayers, sure He will, but unsure when, where or how;

...We wait for reasons to explain suffering, struggle, and worries;

...We wait for Him to call us to be with Him for all eternity;

And lest we forget, the Lord waits for us!

...Jesus waits for us to open up to His grace and mercy;

...Jesus waits for us to admit that, as a matter of fact, we do need a Savior!

...Jesus waits for us to admit that He is the answer to the questions our lives of searching pose.

...Jesus waits for our ultimate return to him, for He "has gone to prepare a place for us."

I pray this Advent season will be contemplative and peaceful for your family.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Please Read.

Dearest friends and strangers,

As a little girl, I was the most stubborn little (albeit adorable) thing you have ever seen.

See?! Told ya! (ps what's up with my mom's hair?!)

When I put my mind to something, there was absolutely no de-railing my actions. Come to think of it, I suppose this is still the way I am (just ask Matt).

However, as I have grown up, I realized this has bit me back really hard. Let me explain. If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you hear me speak about outward appearance, self consciousness, beauty, etc. What I pieced together recently is that I set my mind on hating myself and that's exactly what I have done. Even in those seasons of life where I thought I loved myself, the stubborn little Carley-girl came back with a vengeance to re-claim the girl she created: this girl who was fearful, anxious, ugly, fat, worthless, etc.

And I would put a bandaid over a bullet wound by reading sweet little books like "Captivating" or "Do you think I'm Beautiful" or some other adorable Christian girl books. But what I have realized during this past season of life is on a whole other spectrum.

About a month ago, Matt & I were driving home from our niece's 2nd birthday and, as usual, we were listening to Matt Chandler. In this particular sermon, he mentioned the benefit found in breaking up quiet times in to Scripture reading, prayer and the reading of a theological book. That thought struck me, so the next day I went to my (rather large) selection of books and one literally jumped off the shelf at me. (and by jumped off the shelf, I mean it sat on top of the shelf all on its own) The book is "Desiring God" by John Piper.

And this book has taught me more in the 128 pages I have read so far than almost any other book I have ever read. I have come to grasp that God designed us to find our ultimate pleasure and happiness only in Him. When we try to put any other thing to fill that void, it leaves us wanting. This book is making me look at God and fall in love with Him like I have never ever ever done before. And what's strange's making me look at myself way less and much differently.

About 3 weeks ago, I asked my aunt to start mentoring me. After some prayer and discussion, we decided we would read the book "Created to be God's Friend" by Henry Blackaby. Alright Henry, that's a pretty cliche women's ministry-esque title We are in chapter 2 and what I read tonight laid me flat on my back. Tucked inside page 17 is this phrase, "So thorough is God's working in the person He chooses and calls that the initiatives of God are themselves His guarantee for completion!"  I continued reading and then was thrown back in to this sentence like I was hit by a truck. Wait, wait, wait...."So thorough is God's working in the person He chooses and calls that the initiatives of God are themselves His guarantee for completion!" If this is true, then God called me, chose me (sorry if this is offensive to you Armini's) and equipped me and I am guaranteed to complete that which He set out for me to complete. Guaranteed. A few sentences later he says, "and what absolute confident expectation should rest in every life who today knows the call of God on him."

The more days I live on this earth, the more I realize that I need to fix my eyes on Jesus. And what happens when my eyes are on Jesus? They are no longer fixed on me! AH! Jesus! So good.

I have so many amazing friends that get tripped up on this stupid self image thing and I'm so sick of it. Satan is such a tricky little bastard (yup, said it) and knows that one of the most powerful ways to absolutely cripple a woman is by making her focus her attention on herself, all the while dwindling her effectiveness and gifting that could transform this world.

Friends, if you are like I was and have read every imaginable self-help book out there but still find yourself helpless, try something new and start pouring in to God's word. It is alarming how much less time you will spend worrying about the digital display of a scale. It is just as alarming how secure you will feel knowing that this God you study and worship is freaking crazy about you.

Go down a few posts from this and read the lyrics to the Christy Nockels song, "Be Loved" and live those words. You are loved.