when you are lost and you need God’s response

“I am lost,” is what she says. But she is stronger than she knows.

She is beautiful but doesn’t believe it yet. Rather, she is convinced of a lie: there is no hope for her; she can never be found.

Who would look for her? Who would come for the daughter who flounders, doubting her role, her purpose? How can she find her way?

Who will hear the questions she whispers in the night?

I am restless, God. How do I get more of You?

Where are You when it is eight o’clock and my patience is gone and I’m wondering how to keep loving people while feeling completely spent?

How do I pray to You when I don’t know the words?

When did that lie come in, God—the lie that I’m not enough?

These are the questions of the women of Breathing Eden. Do you ask these questions, too? Read More . . .

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the two best ways to fight fear

I know you feel it. Fear about the future. Anxiety about the present. Worry about the unknown.

I know it feels like the boat is rocking. Storm blowing hard. Waves pushing fast.

You wonder, “How can I move forward, when I can’t see?” You ask, “How do I go back, when I feel alone?”

You call out to God, asking for His help, “Where are You? Do You care? Do You see me? How will You help me not drown?”

It feels impossible to stop the cycle of fear, once it begins.

It pulls us under, an insidious tug on our hearts. We can no longer see clearly, or even hear the truth of God.

Do you know the secret to not sinking, not drowning? Do you know what to do when life is hard and we don’t know how to lift our heads?Read More . . .

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I made something for you

I am so grateful for your emails, friends. The ones where you have shared that yes, you are depressed. Yes, marriage is a struggle. Yes, it is a battle to surrender and lay down the urge to have control.

No, we are not alone here. I am so grateful for your vulnerability, your courage, your beautiful faith. You are such encouragement to me.

It made me want to respond, create something for you–us–that we can use when we feel stuck and we aren’t sure how to find the words to pray.

So, I sat down last Thursday afternoon, while the kids were at camp and Justin was on an air plane, and created a book for you. It’s called, Prayers for the Women of Breathing Eden. It is an accompaniment, a layer of understanding and participation, for the readers of Breathing Eden. Read More . . .

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“I want control”

There are things—and people—we just can’t change.

At least not on our own.

But we really, really want to. We want to control the situation, change this person, change ourselves.

We push and pull against God, asking Him to come, to fix this particular situation, change this person, transform us. We are frustrated, struggling to lay down our expectations to God. We desire freedom, surrender, hope. But we don’t know how to get there, live in that place of peace.

I know.

So we battle, mainly within ourselves, occasionally pleading with God for help.

We so need to hear what God’s take is on our situation. We are desperate to hear what He has to say.

We’re not alone. There are women, just like us, who struggle with this too. Read More . . .

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“marriage is no fairy tale”

She wore ivory, the same dress her mother wore decades before her.

Her satin train melted onto the church aisle in ripples of lace delicate and sheer. She insisted her toenails be painted pale pink, her fingernails lacquered shiny. The flowers were shades of pink and coral—peony and ranunculus stems tied together with ivory ribbon layered over her grandfather’s cotton handkerchief with monogrammed pale blue trim.

He stood there at the end of the aisle, young and strong and willing to take on the world. He was her everything, the man she believed she would love until the end of her days. This was it. The beginning of her life, the beginning of all possibility. They were going to be a team, able to conquer any obstacle, steadfast and sure toward anything that got in their way. Love conquers all, right? Love was certainly all they needed. Clearly, it would not fail.

And then it did.

She tells me she isn’t sure when the fairy tale ended. Or maybe it was never a fairy tale at all. But she loved him. And he loved her. Or I think she thought he did—and she believed she loved him too.

Nevertheless, those words, “I love you,” became words for her that meant only what the newly engaged couple, elated and blissful, whisper to each over a candle light meal, a display of false, saccharine perfection displayed in Lifetime Channel movies on TV.

She asks now, could love, with a husband, be something that could last—that would be more than a fairytale, but reality, too?

Marriage is no fairytale. That’s for sure. Marriage is difficult, God.

She prays, “How did it get so hard to keep loving each other? Where did we go wrong? How can I find my way to him—toward You, God, toward love again?”

We ask these questions of God.

And married or not, we wonder about love. Read More . . .

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“I am depressed”

We were on a walk when she told me.

How, in prior years, the darkness blanketed her. How, for months at a time, she was convinced it was swallowing her whole. My stoic, wise, and strong friend spent more than a year feeling trapped, stuck. One thing was certain to her. She could find no way out.

The self she used to know was distant—far from her now. The darkness was too thick, too heavy. She could not explain to her family, her friends, what she was thinking, feeling. She was sinking now, surely drowning in the heaviness of it all.

“Depression,” is how the counselor described it when she eventually sought help. But yet how can a word, a diagnosis, explain the dark covering of her mind, the despair of her heart?

Are you depressed, dear one? Read More . . .

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My New Book, Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things

There are stories that have yet to be told, yet to be whispered, even in the dark when we believe no one could possibly hear. But we wonder yet if these words, hidden in secret places, could be gathered up. We wonder if there is a place for them. For the question is about more than words. It’s about the claiming of our stories, often the ones most difficult to speak out loud.

I know.

It’s hard to share. There is fear of rejection; we’re convinced that the person to whom we share will condemn us. There is shame, the cruel and twisted feelings of humiliation at having sinned. We want to keep the story secret. It’s a story too painful to tell. There is disbelief that sharing the story–even a story of beauty, or joy–will help. We think it surely can’t bring about any healing–for the person listening, or for us.

So we struggle, even, to open up our hearts to God.

And sometimes we don’t even know what the prayer is, until it is unearthed, the Spirit searching our heart and revealing to us the hidden, fragile places that need to be coaxed into the light.

I know.

It can feel impossible to discern, sometimes, how to pray. It can feel impossible that the beginning of prayer–sharing our heart with God–can even do any good. I know this from my own experience, and from leading women’s groups for years. And I’ve been wondering why we feel this way.

And I’ve also been wondering what it might be like to walk like Eve did, with God.

What would it be like for us right now, in our particular life situation, to hear God’s whispers? Read More and learn all about my new book! . . .

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