Full Armor

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV

Imagine if you will a battlefield where you stand with your full armor and in front of you across the way is an army that is coming for your soul. Because that’s what the devil wants,  your soul. But you stand there proud because you have truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God. You have everything on your side and they have nothing. You will win the battle.

Now imagine you’re at work or school and the battlefield are politics, religion, TV shows, politeness, racism, etc. Now imagine that army is everywhere. It’s coming at you through your TV, through your friends, through your coworkers, through your teachers, through Facebook and the list goes on and on. But remember you have truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God on your side.

Each day as you get ready imagine putting on the full armor of God so that you can face the day.  And maybe say this prayer as you do:

Lord, we thank you for the belt of truth, for your truth we know. You are the God of Love, the God of Peace, the God of Comfort and we thank you for that. As we put on this belt of truth help us to be reminded of your truth throughout our day and to share it as we are given the opportunity. Lord, we thank you for the breastplate of righteousness for that is what you are. You are right and just and true. Fill us with your righteousness, so that we can see what is right, just and true throughout our day. Lord, we thank you for sandals of readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Fill us with your peace, so that we can stand in the face of evil and fear not. Lord, we thank you for the shield of faith. With our faith we can block any evil that is thrown at us, knowing it is wrong. Lord, we thank you for the helmet of salvation for we know that you are the way and the truth and the light. Lord, we thank you for the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. With the word of God we can fight anything that the devil can throw at us for we know your will and your ways. Lord we thank you for this full armor of God and promise to use it well as we go about our day. We pray all these things in your precious and holy name, Lord Jesus Christ Amen.


This photo is from the artist Christine Kerrick

Overflow with Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV


Think about a time in your life where you felt like all hope was gone. It could a be a horrible diagnosis, a bad grade that you never thought you could get past, it could be a marriage that is over or a relationship that has ended, it could be that you lost a parent or a sibling or a husband or a child or a grandparent or a friend, it could be any number of things. It’s a time where grief has grabbed a hold of you, where you are so focused on the things that are gone that you can’t see the good things in front of you. These are the times when we have to trust God the most. I know it’s hard. When I heard I had Rheumatoid Arthritis I thought my life had ended, I knew the carefree life I was living was gone and that was hard to deal with. Did I grieve the loss? Of course I did.

But once you grieve what once was you have to move on to what is. I’m in lots of Facebook groups where people often talk about having no hope, of not knowing how they will go on. My heart hurts for these people and I wish they knew my parents, my sisters, my brother-in-laws, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, my friends and my God.

Honestly, on a day-to-day basis God is my strength to keep me going when laying in bed would be so much easier. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.” Isn’t this the first part of grief. It’s turning towards God and saying, “Ok God, this is my new reality help me get through it.” And as you trust in him, your grief lessens, notice I didn’t say it goes away, it lessens. There are still some days when I grieve what used to be but those days are few and far between the days where I laugh my head off or enjoy time with friends. When I have a hard or painful day I pray to God asking him to make the pain less that day. I trust him to take care of me and he has. I can laugh at something truly funny because God has given me peace, because I trust in him.

“So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I have always had great faith and I have always felt the Holy Spirit. It’s a powerful force. Imagine the biggest rush of wind you can and imagine that flowing through you as the Holy Spirit. That’s the hope that lives in all of us. And on days when I meet someone at their darkest hour it helps me overflow with hope to give to them.

Do you have something you are grieving that you need to let God into, to give you hope, joy and peace? Can you think of a time when this was true in your own life, have you thanked God for your hope?

Dear Lord, we ask that you fill us with your joy and peace as we go through rough and difficult circumstances. We ask that you fill us with your hope so that we can fill others. We thank you for your joy, peace, love, comfort and hope in the times that we need it most. Lord we thank you so much for loving us. It is in your name we pray, Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.



Getting Fired Really Messed Me Up

I went to a job fair at the beginning of this week. Imagine walking into a room filled with tables and booths and everything there is not for you.
For this to make sense I have to explain my short stint in telemarketing. I got a job in Pittsburg, KS during college. It was a time in my life where I did anything because I needed money. I worked for a DayCare with questionable ethics and practices that still haunts my nightmares and I lasted there a year. This telemarketing job paid really well for a job back then $15. It was way above the $5/hr minimum wage and I was positive I could do it. They trained us in big groups and showed us the script and how to keep people talking no matter how many times they said no. I lasted a whopping 8 hrs and never went back. I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t just that people would be constantly rejecting me, it was that I would be pushing credit cards on people when I knew credit cards were the root of all evil.
Each booth at this job fair was filled with things no one needs. I’m not a seller. I can get people to donate to non profits and causes I believe in but I cannot convince them to get insurance or use a credit card that will get them in debt faster than they can pay it off and get a one-two-punch to their ego and pride for their troubles.
I walked into that job fair, around all the tables and right out the door. I somehow managed to walk right into the path of the organizer. She asked me what I thought of the job fair and I told her the truth, that it didn’t provide what I (a highly educated person) was looking for. So she asked me if I talked to the colleges that were there to see if they had positions at their colleges available. I hadn’t thought of that so I turned right around and walked right back in. I talked to all the schools represented and I might have made some connections which was great, although not the purpose or meat of this post.
Getting fired really messed with me. It messed with my confidence in myself. I love working on college campuses and for months I have felt terrified and inadequate.
How do I put a spin on getting fired when it still doesn’t make sense to me. Yes I made mistakes, I completely own up to that. I hated my job because the fear of getting fired was always on my mind. Every screw up was amplified. Every mistake was like a life or death situation, except it wasn’t. I was working in a testing center, following procedures that didn’t make sense. Testing for students for class placement. Not blood tests. Not dying patients.
I was also working a 40hr per week chaplaincy where if I made a mistake I could be sued. And guess what, I shined in that situation. I was a great chaplain. But I wasn’t a great testing center employee. I made lots of mistakes, nothing life threatening but they wanted me gone because of them and honestly the stress of a 20hr per week job was off the charts and I wanted it to be done.
That job messed with my brain. It made me think I was unworthy to work on a college campus. Now I’m thinking I can. Now I’m thinking I don’t want that job to best me. Now I’m thinking that I can’t do mind numbing work. I need something that allows me to actually help people and isn’t wrapped up in processes that don’t make sense.
This job/ situation will not be the end of me, because I simply won’t let it.
I’m better than that.
I love to help students and people in general so I need to find a position that puts my skills and desires and passions to good use. Now if I could only find it quickly 🙂


Grief: Annoying or Necessary

Grief is one emotion that seems to never end. It’s quite annoying….or is it?

Grief gives you a chance to weep for the loss but also remember the great times.

During my time at Seminary I lost two/three Grandmothers. Grandma Vi I lost early and I’ve gotten to the place where remembering her doesn’t lead me to tears. There are moments when I cry because she’ll miss out on some important times of my life. For instance, she never knew that I got two Masters: MDIV and Recovery Ministry (which I will receive in a few weeks, I would go to graduation but its 3 hours long and my sister is getting married :)). She also won’t be at my little sister’s wedding in a few weeks.

Grandma Summers I lost late. It’s been a year now without her and my heart aches. Just thinking about her and I’m weeping. She’ll also miss Rebecca’s wedding. It will be a joyful day but also a little sad because she won’t be there. I cannot wait until I can remember her for just a moment and not be weeping.

The third grandma I sort of lost was my Grandma Shirley. She’s gone. No matter what my aunts and uncles say she’s gone. The shell of who she was is still with us and this may be the hardest grief of all. Because I still have to look at pictures of the shell. Pictures that show that’s she not really here anymore. It’s completely sad but I cannot wait for her to be with Jesus. I cannot wait until she is free from the bonds of this world. I don’t know what will happen when she gets to heaven but my hope is that her mind will come back to her and she’ll be partying with all my grandmas and grandpas in heaven. My hope is that the real her will come back and she’ll be preparing a place for me.

My cousins lost a grandfather last week, a grandfather that was ready to be with the Lord and needed to go. But a loss nonetheless. To me Grandpa Ed (he’s not really my grandpa by blood but with Ed and Dorothy blood relation means nothing and they insisted that we call them Grandpa and Grandma) was a funny guy who passed out at inopportune times. He had narcolepsy (I think) and often had attacks when he had extreme emotions. He could be anxious or excited and then he would just pass out.

The family always handled these attacks with grace, they’d catch him and then set him down and laugh it off. As a kid I was never scared when he had these attacks, of course I was never in a car while he was driving as it happened.  Around me they happened in the safety of a home and I thought they were funny. I could see how they could be scary for others but the family made it safe.

When I told Ed and Dorothy of my desire to go to Seminary they were excited for me and Dorothy encouraged me. I was not as close to Grandpa Ed as his vast family but he always made me feel a part of his family and I grieve the loss of a loving man but I am glad he is with Jesus, sitting at his feet, soaking up the words of wisdom and earning his reward.

Grief is both annoying and necessary. It’s annoying when it hits you at inopportune times like the sleeping attacks that hit Grandpa Ed. When remembering my Grandma brings tears to my eyes no matter what I’m doing, when it brings me to my knees it’s absolutely annoying. I’d like to think of my Grandma without wetness filling my eyes. No matter if I’m remembering one of my last conversations with her, calling her a dumb-ass for wanting to go grocery shopping without her oxygen tank, which I think is funny and proves how awesome our relationship was or remembering seeing her in the casket (which I’m hoping to erase from my memory banks soon). I’d like to remember my grandmother without it feeling like I just got kicked in the gut. But that’s the necessary part of grief. Grief is necessary because the process allows you to go on, to move on, and to realize that moving on is exactly what you’re supposed to do.

Let’s move out of grief for a loved one because grief is more than just the loss of a person. Grief is a process that should happen any time you lose something. Of course the grief over a lost job should last shorter than the grief over a lost Grandmother. I’ve grieved several losses in my life. One of the most important places in my life that I had to get through loss was when I was abused. I had to grieve, years later, the loss of innocence, the loss of purity, the loss of feeling safe, the loss of childhood. Even if grief happens years later it has to happen. Since going through the process of grief in this area of my life I was able to let it go. To let go of the things that were taken from me, to let go of the things that never were.

The same could be said for the loss of a loved one. It is important to get through the process of grief and to allow it to happen at whatever pace you need so that you can get beyond it, so that you can see the joy, so that you can see the lost one as they were before you lost them.

Grief can be absolutely annoying but it is also absolutely necessary.


31 Random Things About Me: 16-18

It’s a good thing we’re almost to my birthday, I feel like I might be running out of Random Things About Me :). Be sure to check out the first post in this series: 31 Random Things About Me.

Today’s Random Things:

  • 16. I love to write. I have always loved to write. I enjoy writing fiction and non-fiction alike. I have 2 other blogs besides this one and enjoy writing for both. In my Seminary education I loved writing papers because it gave me the chance to write. I once wrote a 5 page paper in 59 minutes. I never ran out of words to use, now that doesn’t mean that my words are always brilliant but I love to share them with others. When I was a child and we were living in Irwin, PA my Elementary school had talent shows each year. Back then you could do a talent and also submit something to the writing talent show (they were the same show but different categories). So I would submit a dance and also a story. I don’t remember any of the pieces I wrote but I remember the joy of writing and submitting them. I also wrote for a high school publication and any time I was on a committee I had no problem being the secretary. These days I mostly write about my life but every once in while I try to write some fiction just for fun. 🙂
  • 17. I love rocking chairs. Sometimes I think I am such and old soul. I mean I love to knit and I love rocking chairs. But nonetheless I do love rocking chairs. When I was living in Madison Square back in Pasadena, CA I had a rocking chair on my front porch. I used to love sitting outside on a nice day, of which there were plenty, and writing in my rocking chair while listening to music. It was awesome. 😉
  • My rocking chair that used to sit in Grandma Shirley's living room. I can still picture her sitting in it working on some project or looking out onto the lake.
    My rocking chair that used to sit in Grandma Shirley’s living room. I can still picture her sitting in it working on some project or looking out onto the lake.


  • 18. I absolutely love listening to music. I do not know many people that do not like listening to music but I love listening to music. I get inspiration from music and I worship with music. I love singing in the car and listening to tunes either walking or driving to a destination. I love reading with music on or knitting or doing just about any activity. I love artists that are played on popular music stations as well as artists that are not as well known. Some of my favorite artists at the moment are: Pink, Fun, Scars of 45, NEEDTOBREATHE, Big Daddy Weave, Florence + The Machine, Lumineers and Johnny Cash and old stuff from Ozzy Osbourne. 🙂 I have an eclectic taste in music.

31 Random Things About Me: 13, 14, 15

To see the beginning of this crazy series and to find out the why of it, be sure to check out: 31 Random Things About Me

1 Week from today I will actually be turning 32!

Today’s Random Things:

  • 13. I love to knit. In college I had a good friend, Lisbeth, who taught myself and a few other friends how to knit. When I lived in Pasadena, CA I would get together with other friends who loved to knit and crochet and we would sit together and chat and make creations. We even made some stuff to sell at a boutique one year. I loved knitting from the beginning when I was dropping stitches and things were coming out all wonky. I still love it. I also don’t follow a pattern and things still come out wonky but now I’m the one who made it that way and as long as it doesn’t look too crap-y, I usually keep it that way. I love my creations and I love to pass on the love of what I have made. Even if the person that gets something I’ve made doesn’t love it, they at least love the the time and love that I put into making something that is uniquely theirs.
  • Me knitting
    Me knitting


  • The most recent baby blanket I made for Anna's baby
    The most recent baby blanket I made for Anna’s baby


  • 14. I love massages. I know what you’re thinking, “Who doesn’t love massages” but I have a few people in my life that don’t love them. I am not one of those people. When I was a teen, in youth group at church, my good friend Alex would give me and the rest of the girls a massage. Okay, he was a boy and giving massages was a way for him to touch all the girls, but that aside I loved his massages. He really had a knack for giving massages and they were so great, to this day I remember them. In seminary the massage person was my great friend Laura. She also has a knack for finding the really tense places and working them out. Magic fingers, that girl has ;). I also love going to spas to get massages. I love the relaxing aspect and how great my body feels afterward but I also love the touch aspect. We all have the need to be touched in our lives and as a single woman one of the great ways to get that touch is through massage. I love the feel of it and just closing my eyes and remembering what it’s like to get a massage I can feel the relaxation come over me :).
  • 15. I love to get my hair played. I have often longed for long hair not because I think I look awesome with long hair, but because the girls with long hair get their hair played with more. I’ve got short hair and I have to play with my own hair but I have always looked longingly at my sisters with their flowing hair and the tiny hands of friends’ kids or second cousins who have played with it. I know it seems silly but that’s how a girl feels every once in a while. As I mentioned above, I loved my friend Laura’s massages but I loved them even more because she would give you a scalp massage and run her fingers through your hair….ah……………….. 🙂

31 Random Things About Me: 10-12

To see where and how this all begin check out: 31 Random Things About Me.

Today’s Random List:

  • 10. I love my glasses. When I was in the 7th grade I had begged and pleaded with my folks to let me get contacts. They finally gave in and I got them. They were hardly easy. But I liked them. I liked wearing them but I kept scratching my eye with them. Then when they came out with the soft kind I got them. But because of my weird eye shape, or astigmatism,  the contact never stayed in place and I could be driving and all of the sudden not have clear vision even with the weighted version. So I gave up on the whole wearing contacts thing and switched back to glasses. In the beginning I hated going back to glasses but now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am a quiet soul but I have tons of character, my glasses are your first opportunity to see that character :). 
  • My awesome glasses ;)
    My awesome glasses 😉


  • 11. My favorite color is pink. I am your stereotypical girl. I love the color pink and don’t understand anyone that doesn’t :). I love hot pink and if you look in my closet you will see pink throughout.
  • 12. I absolutely love old movies! One of my favorite aunt’s (Cindy) has a great collection of old movies. As a family we would visit Colorado every summer and we would stay at Cindy’s because she has a pet free zone, which is perfect for my Dad’s allergies. Anyway, sometimes we would slip away from the group and watch old movies together: Darby O’Gill and The Little People, Some Like it Hot, Pillow Talketc. Besides the cookies, time with Grandma, the pool and other things watching movies with Aunt Cindy is a favorite past time of mine and I have fond memories of our times together.

31 Random Things About Me: 4-6

I started this series yesterday: 31 Random Things About Me in tribute to my 32nd B-day.

Today’s Random Things:

  • 4. I love shows where you end up liking those you shouldn’t be liking. For instance, I love FX’s show The Americans it’s all about the KGB and the FBI and I’m always rooting for the KGB and hoping the FBI bites it. How do they do that? It seems that FX is great at this because I also love Sons of Anarchy and I’m always rooting for Jax and his fellow club members and hoping that they get away with truly bad stuff. And even on Justified I like it when the bad guys get away. How do they have me loving the wrong side? 
  • 5. I have a tattoo that I got on my 21st Birthday. I went with my then roommate and we each got a verse and something. She got a tribute to a friend that had passed and I got one inspired by my favorite frog ring at the time :). It seems silly to say that now but I love my tattoo as much now as I did back then. It’s such a part of me that unless someone else mentions it I never pay it any mind.
  • Front view of tattoo on my right ankle (thanks to some camera work it's ride side up, I only see it this way if I look in a mirror)
    Front view of tattoo on my right ankle (thanks to some camera work it’s ride side up, I only see it this way if I look in a mirror)


  • Side view of my tattoo
    Side view of my tattoo


  • Ephesians 1:3, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."
    Ephesians 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”


  • 6. I love to color. One of my favorite things to do when I am stressed is to color in a coloring book. It is such fun! I think it must be a girl thing to continue to color into your 20s and 30s. I know plenty of my gal pals love to color as well. 🙂

31 Random Things About Me :)

I’m turning 32 on the 12th of May. This is the year of weddings and babies. Sure every year I have friends that get married but in the month of May and June there are few weekends that aren’t filled with weddings.

I’m single and have no baby. I also have no job and live with my folks. 32 might be hard this year so instead of focusing on the things I don’t have I’ve decided to focus on 31 things that make up me. I’ve done the math, which means in the next 11 days I will be focusing on 3 things each day (roughly, the math doesn’t come out even) that have to do with me: random facts.

So today’s random facts:

  • 1. I can read a 400 page novel in 8 hours. It used to take me 3 months to read a book that long. Now I can do it in a day. I can read a non-fiction book of that length in a couple of days. I like to go slower and absorb the information. 
  • 2. I love peach iced tea. I love it with real peaches and without but I cannot stand hot tea or hot coffee. I love iced tea, iced coffee and pretty much any other iced beverage. 🙂
  • 3. In the past 2 years I have lost a lot of weight. I’m a fraction of my former self and loving every minute of it. I had to go gluten free for health reasons and I’ve never looked better. 🙂

Graduation 2011: 

Dad and I at my MDIV graduation
  • 2012: 
    Shopping for an Easter dress Spring 2012
    Spring 2013 in my bridesmaid’s dress for my little sister’s wedding

    Spring 2013:

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