• My High-Risk Pregnancy Story

    “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart.”

    ——Winnie the Pooh

    In response to the recent late-term abortion bill that was passed in New York, I heard many well-meaning, but misinformed people claiming that this legislation was intended to protect the health of the mother.

    As one of those mothers, I decided to try to set the record straight and share my experience of living through a high-risk pregnancy. That post got shared more times and was seen by more people than anything else I have ever written on social media.

    My Little Miss NICU

    In this week’s Free Lance-Star column, I expanded upon that post in the hopes that our story would touch hearts and change minds. The fact is, there is never a need to abort a viable fetus to protect the medical health of the mother.

    “A persons a person, no matter how small.”

    —–Dr. Seuus

    You can click here to read my story.

    Several weeks ago I offered a set a free Scripture printables to my readers. It is not too late to download your set to display in your home.

    Click here to download your art prints.

    PS – I am currently scheduling engagements for 2019. I would love to chat with you about the possibility of speaking at your church or ministry event. Send me a short message and I will be in touch shortly.

  • What I Learned from an Old Cast Iron Pan

    In a recent Free Lance-Star column, I shared what I learned about caring for my soul from an old cast iron pan.

    You can read that Saying Grace column here.

    I love how God can use seemingly mundane things to teach us profound lessons. All we need to do is approach life with an open heart and mind.

    As a lover of all things vintage, I decided to give cast iron cookware a try. As I shared in my column, there was definitely a learning curve. But I will never purchase another non-stick pan, as you just cannot beat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

    Do you have an old cast iron pan that you’re not sure how to care for? Looking to eliminate your non-stick cookware and the chemicals they spew into your home?

    Here are a few tips that I have learned:

    1. If your pan has lost its seasoning or is covered in gunk and rust, it’s time to start over. The best way to do this is to run it through your oven’s self-clean cycle.
    2. Once you are down to the bare surface, it is time to season your pan. You can use any vegetable oil for this process, but flaxseed oil will give you the most durable coating.
    3. Using a paper towel, rub your pan down with a small amount of oil. Use a second paper towel to remove the excess. This will prevent your pan from developing a sticky surface.
    4. Place your pan upside down in a 350-degree oven (500-degrees if using flaxseed oil) for one hour.
    5. Let your pan cool in your oven for 30 minutes before removing. Be very careful as the handle will be hot.
    6. Repeat steps 3-5 five more times. Your pan will develop a beautiful, shiny, satin-like surface.

    Once your pan is seasoned, follow these steps to keep it in tip top shape.

    1. Always coat your pan with a small amount of oil and preheat before use.
    2. When finished cooking, allow your pan to cool slightly before rinsing with hot water. Never use soap or harsh abrasives on your pan. It will remove the seasoning.
    3. Water is your pan’s enemy, so it is important to make sure it is dry before storing. Put your pan back on the burner over medium heat to remove any moisture.
    4. Once it is dry, coat the pan with a thin layer of oil and allow it to sit over the heat for a few minutes before turning the burner off and allowing it to cool completely.
    5. Place a paper towel between pans when nesting them for storage.

    All of the above may seem like a lot of hard work for a piece of cookware, especially in our have-everything-done-fast-microwave-society. But most good things in life, the things that bring the most rewards, take time to cultivate.

    I would love to hear from you? Do you have a favorite cast iron pan passed down from grandma? Any tips and tricks for using cast iron that I missed? Has God ever used something seemingly insignificant to teach you a profound spiritual lesson?

    PS – I am currently scheduling engagements for 2019. I would love to chat with you about the possibility of speaking at your church or ministry event. Use the form linked above to start the conversation. I look forward to hearing from you!

  • How Should A Christian Tidy Up?

    In this week’s Free Lance-Star column I shared my thoughts on Netflix’s new television series “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo.

    You can read that column by visiting the Free Lance-Star website. The free printables I mentioned at the end of the column can be found at the bottom of this page.

    Full disclosure, I am one of the last people you should be taking advice from when it comes to decluttering your house. I tend to fall into the category of people who can’t let go of things that have sentimental value or that I think I might be of use some day. I have the stuffed animal collection and fabric stash to prove it.

    UFOs (UnFinished Objects)? Yep, I have those too. I love to start craft projects, but as a process person, I tend to not care if I ever finish them. But I have every intention of doing so, someday. That includes the unicorn latch hook rug that I started when I was seven years old.

    But, I have begun to realize that not only does my home have limited storage capacity, my mind has a finite capacity to deal with the mental clutter caused by too much stuff.

    So, while I may not agree with all of Kondo’s methods and motivations, I definitely agree that there is a freedom to be found in the letting go.

    Just don’t tell that to the half stitched unicorn living in a box in my garage.

    I love putting Scripture verses up around my house to remind me of the truths the Lord is teaching me. I created these for my own use, but thought you might enjoy using them, as well. Let me know what you think!

    PS – I am currently scheduling engagements for 2019. I would love to chat with you about the possibility of speaking at your church or ministry event. Use the form linked above to start the conversation. I look forward to hearing from you!

  • Bible Verses to Pray for Your Pastor

    In this week’s Free Lance-Star column, I shared about the importance of praying for our church leadership, especially our pastors on a regular basis.

    Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what to pray. I have found that the best thing to do in that situation is to pray God’s Word back to him.

    Pray for Protection from Satan:

    Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

    Lord, please protect my pastor from the attacks of the enemy. Enable him to be sober-minded and watchful against all the temptations and traps that Satan lays before him.

    Pray for Protection from His Own Sinful Heart:

    But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

    Lord, please protect my pastor from the sin that tempts to destroy him. Keep his desires focused on the things of Your Kingdom and not the sins that lead to death.

    For Deep Spiritual Encouragement:

    For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:11-12)

    Lord, please encourage and strengthen my pastor as he dedicates his life to serving You and Your people. Allow him to see the fruits of his labor. Bring tangible gratitude, encouragement, and thanksgiving for his service into his life daily.

    For Wisdom:

    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

    Lord, grant my pastor the wisdom to rightly handle the Word of God. Guide him as he prepares his sermons to the topics and passages we need to hear. Give him wisdom to provide sound counsel to those seeking help with their lives. Also grant him the wisdom he needs to lead the day-to-day aspects of the church.

    For A Strong Marriage and Family:

    Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church (1 Timothy 3:2-6)

    Lord, protect my pastor’s marriage. Give him and his wife a deep spiritual connection and clarity of mutual purpose. Allow them to have sweet moments of romance that will strengthen their bond with one another. Draw his children towards you and protect them from the temptations of this world. 

    Charles Spurgeon, theologian and pastor, once said, “No one can do a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.” I believe that is a sentiment shared by all pastors serving in our churches today.

  • How to Know God’s Will

    In this week’s Saying Grace column in Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star newspaper, I shared how I came to the conclusion that it was God’s will for me to resign as Groups Director at River Club Church.

    You can read that column by clicking here.

    I also promised resources that you can use to further learn about how to know God’s will for you life. You will find those below.

    8 Keys to Knowing God’s Will for Your Life – biblestudytools.com

    Can I Know God’s Will – book by R.C. Sproul available for free at Amazon.com

    How to Know God’s Will – book by Watchman Nee available for $1.50 at Amazon.com

    So You Want to Know God’s Will – blog post by author Lisa Whittle

    How has God revealed His will in your life? Do you have a story to share? I would love to hear from you.