Anchored Hope… A New Day

I’ve always wanted a tattoo, even back in my college days when I wanted two tennis racquets crossed over my ankle. Then there was a time when I wanted a guitar with a cross… same place – over my ankle. For that one, I went so far as to have a tattoo artist draft a design. But throughout the 20+ years since college, in all of those instances, something kept me from following through. This was going to be a permanent ink spot, after all. Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I finally took the plunge. My heart had still been wrestling back and forth over several options, all within the same theme. What I chose to have inked permanently above my right ankle has proven to be a reminder that I cling to every single day. Anchored. Hope. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.” – Hebrews 6:19 The hope we have in Jesus is the only hope that will never let us down. When I sat down to write this post, I realized that it’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything here. Quite honestly, I haven’t been writing at all. For those of you who have followed Grow Where You’re Planted for the past several years, you may remember this post when I wrote about my top 3 that keep me grounded: Time with God, Writing, and Running. And you may also remember that I later added a 4th – Music. So much can change in...
When It Hurts To Breathe

When It Hurts To Breathe

I don’t get knocked down by sickness very easily; but when the doctor calls and says the X-ray showed Pneumonia, it’s time to stop trying to be so strong. I’m now on the 7th day of antibiotic, and I’ve done pretty well with working on stuff for a while, resting for a while. It has hurt to breathe. Each breath, each cough, seemingly bruising my fluid-swollen lung… more. The parallel is amazing. Life has sucked the breath out of me lately. It’s been hard to breathe figuratively, and then it became hard to breathe literally. Some days I so want to quit. Stop trying. Just cry. Then I feel like a failure. And cry some more. Just worn down. Life is hard. Harder than I ever imagined it would be. So this morning as I was driving, God took my mind to the crucifixion. Asphyxiation. The fact that Jesus endured the most awful hard-to-breath experience. With each breath, He must have felt that He was dying… even though it wasn’t time to let go. He went through the unimaginable for me… for you. He died, but then He came back to life! Who am I to be beaten down by a little pneumonia? Who am I to be beaten down by the cares in MY life? So here it is. I have hope today. Not because of me or anything that I have done. I can get through this because HE is in me. He is WITH me. He is my STRENGTH. Does it hurt for you to breathe? Is life so overwhelming that you want to quit? Don’t....
The Rock That Is Higher Than I {Re-Post}

The Rock That Is Higher Than I {Re-Post}

This is the fourth time I’ve shared this post in four years. Sometimes scriptures ring so true in our lives. So true that God uses those very scriptures to get us through all kids of difficulties. Psalm 61:1-3 is one of those for me. Today, precious friends of ours are starting cancer treatment. They have been on my mind a lot this morning. Other friends of ours are feeling overwhelmed because of just the trials in life. We… ourselves… our little family, are also walking through an overwhelming time… perhaps a more quiet one. But God. Two of my favorite words in scripture. But God. So here’s this post again… meaning something different this time, yet still the same. May it speak to your heart today, no matter what you’re going through. ——— Life gets overwhelming. If you’re like me, days just seem to stack on top of each other… then one day suddenly you realize another year has passed. Sometimes, though life is busy, everything seems to flow together in perfect harmony. But other times, the overwhelmed feeling hits like a 95mph wild pitch against a batting helmet. Maybe you are there right now. The pitch has hit you. You’re feeling overwhelmed… as am I. The harmonies aren’t quite coming together as they should. Sickness… Work… Relationships… Ministry stuff… Perhaps at this moment, you’re looking at the conglomeration that is your life and saying, “I just don’t know how to work through all of this.” Or maybe life is good, but you are facing a task that is overwhelming you. Maybe the complicated nature of your project is paralyzing you,...
RE:FOCUS – Just Be Held

RE:FOCUS – Just Be Held

For two months straight, the song seemed to be playing EVERYWHERE. In the car, at home, in places that play Jesus music. One line specifically kept calling to me… “Your world’s not falling apart; it’s falling into place.” It was literally like God was trying to get my attention. At the time, I had no idea why. Then came an unexpected opportunity for my life to fall apart. But God. When the trial hit, I immediately knew why God had placed this amazing song in my path over the past weeks. He was getting me to rely on HIM alone. Only He could fix the broken parts. And I know He is fixing them and will continue to fix them until His plan is fulfilled. I’ve never been so happy for a year to finish. 2015 is a year I would like to forget, although there are many lessons I’ll take with me. At midnight on December 31st, I welcomed 2016 with much hope and joy. But I have friends who are not so hopeful about 2016. One precious family in our lives is beginning the year facing cancer. Two other families are facing the reality of divorce… with young children. I know there are many of you who are not so expectant about 2016, but I just want to share what I learned about just being held. Life is hard and it hurts sometimes. Let’s face it, bad things happen to good people. We are all pieces in God’s perfect plan for humanity, and we are fallen. And sometimes when life hurts, you find out who your true friends...
RE:FOCUS – Deep Breaths of Jesus

RE:FOCUS – Deep Breaths of Jesus

It’s Monday morning again. The Monday before Christmas. Life is crazy busy for all of us. No matter what is happening in our lives, we need to slow down and remember why we celebrate. We need to take some deep breaths and focus on Jesus… We need to take a deep breath of patience… when that energetic 4-year-old has worn us down to the point that our bodies feel numb. We need to take a deep breath of forgiveness… when our hearts go to the bitter places in our memories. We need to take a deep breath of worship… when we just need to be reminded that no matter what situation we are in, it is still well with our souls. We need to take a deep breath of peace… when our kids won’t stop fighting. We need to take a deep breath of kindness… when we feel overwhelmed by taking care of everyone. We need to take a deep breath of trust… when we can’t control or understand what’s going on in our lives. We need to take a deep breath of grace… when we are so angry and hurt that we can’t seem to find a way out of the darkness. We need to take a deep breath of love… when the day is hard and we have just forgotten how blessed we are… beyond measure. We need to take deep breaths of Jesus. Just let go and trust. During this Christmas week and in the coming weeks, may we take deep breaths of Jesus. May we remember why He was sent to us. May we remember how much we love...