Open your Hands

Like a knife slicing through butter, I stepped out of my house and into the crisp yet somehow damp with humidity morning. It’s not abnormal for Texas to provide such paradoxical weather. I clomped over to my car door and noticed a butterfly perched on the handle with outstretched wings. Instinctively I froze and gently eased my hand in front of the butterfly. It slowly placed one spindly leg after onto my hand. Time seemed to pause as I held the butterfly in the palm of my hand. Every now and then the little guy (maybe girl?) would flutter its wings as it explored the newfound territory. I tried to put him on a nearby shrub. but he was quite content to sit on my hand. The moment was so beautiful. Still I was itching to grab my phone out of the purse slung on my arm to catch a picture. At the same time I didn’t want to scare off the butterfly with my movements. I forced myself to wait and be in the moment. Yet the ridiculous internal battle raged on. After several agonizing minutes, I slowly maneuvered my other arm and pulled out my phone for the picture. As I looked through my phone’s screen and readied myself to take the photo, the butterfly fluttered away.

Of course there was a lesson to be learned in this for me. As I watched the butterfly float away on the thick air, I immediately heard the tender whisper from Abba, Father, “Don’t be distracted with holding onto things- I will provide more tomorrow.” My desire to take a picture of the beauty in my hands was birthed out of my want to hold on to the moment for longer than the fleeting minutes I thought it would be. I knew the butterfly would not stay there forever, and I wanted to keep the moment. I wanted to show my kids, show my friends, maybe even put a pretty quote on it and feature it in a blog. Whatever my good intentions were, the thoughts of physically hanging on to this beautiful encounter were distracting me from the moment itself. And not only that,  but my obsession put a damper on the beauty of the fleeting gift that the visit from the butterfly was. You see the gifts, the moments, the people, the material possessions, part of what makes them so special is that they are momentary. From a macro level of viewing this in my own life, I will not be on this earth forever. One day this body will die and become new with Jesus. In the grand scheme of eternity, my time here is short. Therefore I want to run as fast as I can in pursuit of my forerunner Jesus. Even if it means falling and scraping my knees. By grace, I rise and press on. Following every God-given dream, saying, “Yes”, to every calling, and passionately utilizing ever gift planted by the Lord within my soul. I want to love deeply out of the wellspring of love crashing into me from the Lord. To bring Him glory from my surrender, to make Him known through my life. His voice guides me on, “Come, child.”

If you are new to my blog, then you don’t know that my family is planning to become full-time missionaries and are moving to Norway in March, God-willing. There are so many baby steps to even getting the change to take this giant leap of faith. There is a daily surrendering to the Lord’s ability to accomplish the task of provision and endurance for us to get there. And despite the challenge, it has been amazing for our family. Our faith is swelling, our flame burning bright, and our family is becoming closer to God and one another than I thought possible. Yesterday started out so well, and then something in me shifted. Granted, being on the phone with an internet company for an hour and a half to troubleshoot a work issue probably played a role in my mood. But regardless, a heaviness began to fall on me. I knew why the entire time but I fought it. I had just had a crazy intensely miraculous week. Every day was full of stretching and miraculous provision. So much good. And still, I was tired. “Rest, child“, the Lord whispered to me over and over again. I fought it. I was frustrated with my relationships for a list of conjured up reasons, angry that my voice was hoarse and I couldn’t even sing to worship my way out. I was tired. I was desperately hanging on to every thing but the Lord. I cleaned my house and posted pictures of my couch on the internet to be sold for our missions fund. Not long afterwards my kids asked to build a tent, and I obliged. I began to rearrange the very furniture that we planned to sell in my living room and I built the coolest blanket fort around. In that action, I even thought to myself that I would miss having the furniture that our family had made so many memories with. As any parent probably knows, the next request from my children came as no surprise, “Come hang out in our tent with us, Mommy!” Isn’t is so like our children to cry out to us the very things our souls cry out to the Lord? I crawled inside the plush fortress like a swaddled giant and at last the Lord beautifully wrecked me. Wrecked my walls, anyways. “Open your hands“, Abba whispered.

Surrender the plans, the future, the giftings, the possessions, the people. Surrender the moments. Surrender my life. Every day the Lord wants me to have open palms. This is the same posture that allowed a beautiful butterfly to rest on my hand. Open palms to release what I have already obtained and to receive new, fresh manna. Not to grip on to things so hard that I have no room for newness. God wants you and I to live with open palms to constantly receive His fullness, His beauty, His goodness. We cannot create eternity, it has already been written on our hearts. We need only to lean into Him, giving up ourselves, trusting that He is enough, and receiving all that He has for us. So open up your hands today. Give up your life. Give the Lord your good and your bad. Trust that He will provide you more. He is a good Dad.


You ready for this?

It has been almost an entire week since my family has prayerfully locked in on to the exact place we will begin our full-time missionary journey, received acceptance into the organization, and basically jumped off a cliff into the unknown. How are we going to get  funding? Who will partner with us? What does life overseas look like for a young family? When will come back? Will we come back? After four years of marriage and both of us resisting the call into missions, we have finally obeyed the Lord’s call in this area. After many, many months of praying, at last, we have peace and clarity in this specific decision for our family. Even though we firmly know this decision is founded on what God has spoken to us and His peace; still, to others we are doing something crazy by selling our belongings, raising up a team of partners, moving to Norway to begin our journey of going out to all nations to love people like Christ loves us. We have several times joked out loud about how crazy that sounds-even to us. It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. A few nights ago I had my first moment of panic, feeling the weight of all that must be done to prepare-the questions I shared with you at the beginning of this post. And in that moment of doubt, fear, and wrong thinking, I heard the Lord so clearly whisper into my racing mind, “You are my child”. It took all I had to repeat over and over, “I am a child of God”; quickly my mind was soothed like a spooked baby and I fell asleep.

Rejection was always a fear of mine. I’m sure most of us have a middle school memory like mine: I’m standing amidst a group of kids, waiting for one of the team captains to excitedly choose me to be on their team. I bite my nails as I hope to be chosen, but the choosing doesn’t come. I’m just not good enough in the team captain’s eyes. There were many times that I didn’t get picked; therefore I was put on whichever team was leftover at the end. I was a leftover. And it stung, that small form of rejection. I began to feel the need to prove myself, to prove my worth. I became a beast at volleyball and cheerleading. I was a performer and I had an audience to please.

Taking the roots of rejection in my life back even further, I wasn’t raise by my birth parents for various reasons and circumstances. I praise God that after a while, those relationships have now been reconciled tenfold. But regardless of the ‘why?‘, as a little girl with curly blonde hair, that feeling of being rejected by them still rooted in me and effected every decision I made. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be deemed valuable to people so that they wouldn’t leave me. I spent my youth striving to be accepted. Which as you can imagine or have probably experienced yourself, brought on all kinds of chaos in my relationships.

In fact this was something I just revisited last Saturday. That morning my mom, who parented me, brought over my birth certificate to be processed with our passport applications. I unfolded the old piece of worn paper, and noticed that I actually have no father listed on my birth certificate. Legally I am fatherless. Although I was blessed to have been raised by an amazing dad whom loved me though he wasn’t bound to me by blood, and though I was able to spend a brief few days with my birth father overtime before he passed away, still…the pain of having no earthly father claim me on the day I entered this world was like ripping off a scab.

Praise be to God that this particular scab was covering a wound that was already healing underneath. Although it stung to be removed, there was fresh pink skin underneath that scab just waiting to be exposed to the air and light. The scab needed to go, and this time I didn’t stay in that sad place of rejection. I didn’t go down my own mental path of destruction. Instead I saw the rejection for what it was, an invitation for me to accept God’s truth. I do have a Father. I am a child of God. And more than just being one child of many children. I am His child. His girl.  The one whom God sent His Son to die for. The one whom God raised to life with His Son on the third day. This Father-daughter relationship is way more intimate and personal than merely being a kid standing in a group waiting to be picked. This love is way more detailed than the word typed “unknown” near the place where a father’s name belongs on your birth certificate. No, no, this is an endless pursuit of love, an every millisecond of every day, for all eternity kind of love. The “I choose you” even at your worst kind of love. The love of God is personal, specific, tailor made just for me and just for you. My Father is not unknown. My Father is, He always was, and He always will be. There is nowhere I can go that He will not be. There is nothing I can do that He will not steadily guide me in. My Father doesn’t forsake, He doesn’t forget me. He isn’t misleading, He isn’t hesitant. My Father has a plan, and it is good. My Father knows me and loves me. My Father goes before me, and walks behind me. My Father surrounds me, and no weapon formed against me will prosper. I am a child of God. That is my status, that is my promise, that is my identity.

That kind of revelation makes our family’s move to Norway feel like a walk in the park. That kind of security in your identity makes man’s opinions of you invalid. My God has spoken. And what His word does not return void. The truth of God is strong and firm, a truth I can stand on forever. Nothing is impossible for a co-heir with Christ, we need only abide in Him.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:16-17 NKJV)


The funds to go out and love on the nations will come from God because He is God and He is our supplier. Even though Norway is across the world, there is no where I can go that God is not there. He will not abandon us there or anywhere. I’m not afraid to free fall into the unknown. Because the ‘unknown‘ really is not unknown. And that’s what I’m beginning to see.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3 NIV)

Nothing is unknown to the One True God who created literally everything. Friend, I encourage you today to release your fear. Maybe it looks like a middle school team captain sneering at your wobbly knees. Maybe it looks like obeying the Lord’s call over your life into a destiny you deem impossible. Fear is a spirit, and it flees when the love of God comes crashing in. I pray the Lord totally wreck your walls and strongholds holding you back right now as you read my testimony. You are chosen. You are loved beyond measure. You have a purpose and a calling. Now, jump!

“But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:18-21 NKJV)


The Feast of Tabernacles

Last year I shared a little bit with you all about Sukkot, a season of drawing near to God as He draws near to us. This is my favorite Biblical festival. Every year the Lord does amazing things with and in my family during this time! This is day two of Sukkot and God has already moved mountains for my family. My husband is so on fire for the Lord, I can’t even describe how amazing it is to witness. My kids are loving being out in our sukkah (temporary dwelling) or more technically, our tent set up in our back yard. Camping out in a tent in your backyard, doesn’t seem glamorous from the outside looking in. Who would willingly choose to endure mosquito bites and Texas humidity when they have a perfectly good air-conditioned home? We are those seemingly crazy people.

Why, you ask? When we take the leap of faith to come out in nature, set up a temporary home, and expect the Lord to show up with us, He does. Every time. This is our fourth year to do Sukkot, And each new year is even more miraculous than the last.

Our very first year to celebrate Sukkot was in 2014, and it was just Brenner and I. We were in the middle of planning our wedding which was only two weeks away, and I started feeling really bloated and sick. We were living with my mom, Stacy, and stepdad at the time. Stacy had pregnancy tests on hand and encouraged me to take one. Five tests, several lines and plus signs later, and they all showed the same result: I was pregnant. I immediately fell into condemnation. All of the voices of shame and rejection flooded my mind. That’s the real reason they’re getting married. What a sinner! She’s not a real Christian. And so on. Every lie pointed to my pregnancy being a mistake, and even deeper, to me being a mistake. Honestly, yes, it was sinful for us to not wait until our marriage to be intimate. The Lord commands us to wait for marriage to have sex for a reason. Wait because of all of the pain that can come with wholly giving yourself to someone outside of marriage that you were never meant for. Wait because there is miraculous value in a covenant between God and man. Wait because God is good and His plans are good. It’s true and I don’t deny it. The sin was a mistake, but the little baby in my belly was not and neither were we. Believing that truth took a lot of time spent dwelling in the grace and mercy of the Father and a great deal of life spoken over us from my team of encouragers. God redeems even the worst of the worst like me.

Now that we got that out of the way let’s get back to my family’s first Sukkot. We found out we were having a baby. Rewind to the year before, I laid on a doctor’s medical table and heard the words, “you had a miscarriage”. At eighteen years old in the heat of my dark past, that sent me off the deep end. So fast forward back to finding out I was pregnant again, that fear was a steady pulse in my heart. Still, because of my relationship with Christ, I let the joy flood me and was excited as Stacy took us to a pregnancy center to receive a free sonogram. Again I found myself on a table with eyes filled with tears as I refused to search the screen any longer for a missing heartbeat. Again I heard the words, “you had another miscarriage”. It shattered me, but this time I had my future husband and my reconciled relationship with my mom to speak truth and hold up my broken pieces. I signed the paper stating that I had a miscarriage, prayed with the nurse that took care of me, and left feeling empty. We got back to their house and my family instantly went to battle for me. They prayed life over me, rejected the death report and spoke life over me. They believed, and that helped my unbelief. Later that night the nurse who took care of me at the center called me. Her alias can be, Cher. Apparently Cher took my number off of my paperwork and called me personally. Which is totally unheard of, and still I’m so glad she did. I’ll never forget it. Cher sounded almost frantic as she immediately asked me if I had gone to the E.R. to have the miscarriage removed through a D&C. I told her about our choice to believe life over the baby and that I hadn’t gone to the hospital. Cher was so overjoyed because she said that she just didn’t feel peace about the miscarriage. Cher felt like it was wrong too. Wow!

So we set up an OBGYN appointment for the next business day, which was 4 days later (note: The story of Lazarus in John 11) and we prayerfully waited. Brenner worked late nights at Walgreens and I spent time with God and my reconciled family in their sukkah as we waited. Before I knew it I was laying on a new table with a new doctor, staring at a ceiling because I couldn’t bear to witness my empty womb again. Yet this time I heard the room gasp. Stacy cried out with joyful tears as the Doctor countered my worst fear and told me that my baby was alive. My shattered heart both healed and burst a thousand times in one moment of joy. That was a day our lives changed and has continued to since. One miraculous Sukkot, one beautiful covenant marriage, and two children later, here we are on year four. By the grace of God, our lives just get sweeter ever day. What a blessing it has been for my family to celebrate the Biblical Hebrew festivals. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is faithful! I wonder where we will be next year?

Here are a couple of scriptures that will shed some light on Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles:

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.” (Leviticus‬ ‭23:33-34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John‬ ‭1:10-14‬ ‭NKJV)

  • In this one, the word ‘dwelt’ actually means ‘tabernacled’! So cool! Jesus was actually born during Sukkot! Powerful stuff!

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.” (Zechariah‬ ‭14:16-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

  • I love this one so much because it shows that we will all be celebrating Sukkot with the Lord after He returns!

“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.””(Revelation‬ ‭7:15-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

  • This is our hope! This is what Sukkot foreshadows, our joyful expectation of what’s to come!

Whether you celebrate the Biblical festivals or not, I pray that you would draw near to God as He is drawing near to you in this season and expect miracles from the Miraculous One! Be blessed,

Lacey


Want to learn more about Sukkot and your faith in the Messiah’s Hebraic roots? Check out this great resource!

Even Rocks Cry

I have spent a great deal of my life not doing what I desire because of fear. Whether that’s fear of inadequacy or a lack of ingenuity. I remember rejecting the color pink as a young girl because that was what all of the other girls liked. The same went for the movie The Cheetah Girls. I wanted to buy the soundtrack to sing the songs at the top of my lungs and wear wild cat printed clothes to school. But then if I let myself enjoy my desires I would be grouped with the other girls. What if they rejected my attempts to be one of them? I was afraid to have something in common with them because they were prettier, smarter, more popular, and I would simply never measure up to them. That’s how I thought. So I decided to like other things, to place the word “outcast” on my forehead and pretend like I didn’t care. I chopped my own hair off and died it brown, drawing comics and playing video games instead of jamming out to High School Musical or shopping at Hollister.

With rebellion came its own pitfalls. I was lonely. I cut myself off from people because of my fear of rejection. I never really even had the chance to be rejected because I had already rejected myself. I sought out the differents, the outcasts. And we were good matches. I found a family in the weirdos. Soon I liked being different. But then being different became its own form of idolatry. I separated myself from everyone, and a certain thrill came with that. Tattoos, piercings, partying, and everything in between. I stopped caring what others thought, but not in the right way. More in a total disregard for self and fear of being hurt if I let anyone near me kind of way. Cold-hearted is the best way to put it. And it all began with fear of rejection.

Still Jesus whispered to me in those places. He told me that He accepts me, that He loves me. And slowly, I accepted His outstretched arm.

“He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”” Luke‬ ‭19:40‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Because even the rocks will cry out in praise of the Lord. Even the coldest, toughest places within myself will cry to Jesus & He will respond. Praise in the heaviness.

In this slow dance with the Lord, He has begun to spin me around. Together we dance and watch the ashes gently sift off of me as He twirls me in His arms. Simply typing that out brings on the feeling of overwhelmed. What does the beauty within my hidden heart places look like? That Lacey within me feels so sacred, so vulnerable, so precious and easily shattered. Yet I’ve left her imprisoned for some time, both hungry and parched. Slowly Jesus has come and helped me open up the rusted gate inside my heart. With a grinding groan of metal, I pull it open. There she is, wild eyed and frantic. Jesus steps slowly to her with His hands up as if trying to soothe a spooked animal. She relents and takes His hand. He guides her to me and I hesitantly embrace her-embrace myself.

Its a slow dance, but I am accepting me. All of me, just the way Jesus does. No rejection, no fear of man. No longer an outcast, merely set apart, designated for something bigger than myself. Called higher and being sent farther. Jesus and I are peeling back the layers. The beauty beneath is simply breathtaking, and all the glory goes to the Lord.

Have you embraced the inner child lost long ago within your heart, the places turned stone in malnourishment? Jesus has, and He wants a relationship with ALL of you, to bring beauty from the crystallized ashes.

A Wretch Like Me

Failure.

That seems to be the most recent lie fighting to claim the forefront of my mind. Failure as a mom. Failure as a friend. Failure as a human. Failure as a follower of Christ. The standard I have for myself gradually creeps up so high, whether by my own expectations or by the words I have warped from the people around me. Despite the intentions of criticism and advice, it doesn’t always feel constructive. Especially when you are an overcoming shame puppet. I used to feed off my own mental self-destruction prior to surrendering to Jesus. Shortly after true salvation and marrying Brenner, I decided to read and then destroy all of my old journals from middle school to college. The common theme throughout each journal was hopelessness. Yet a small glimmer of the light of Christ still shined through the dark cracks. Back in those times in my life, depression and anxiety ate me alive. After a time I didn’t really want to leave that pit. It became comforting to never hope for anything, to never be let down. But see I was missing one small whisper, one massive truth..my hope was in the wrong things.

In the present, my flesh still constantly fights to place myself on the throne of my life. Though I wouldn’t say this at first glance, when I dig to the root of my shame and fear, the root of feeling hopeless or feeling like a failure is this: I can easily idolize myself and other people. Though I should have no other gods before the One True God, I can easily place other things before Him and sugar coat the sin by calling it a ‘prioritization issue’ . It’s a sin nonetheless, and confession and repentance are needed for real change.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)

Now I’m sure by now you’ve just had several sharp intakes of breath and you’re either relating one hundred percent or your trying not to judge me. That’s okay, I’m just sharing my heart and it is a broken thing. But it’s being made whole by the God who rebuilds the ancient ruins (Isaiah 61:4). He is creating in me a pure heart. I started praying that consistently over myself  two years ago. In the beginning it sounded sweet, it sounded like I would feel pure and righteous as God was doing it, pink skies and fluffy white clouds. I’m sure there was an angel baby floating somewhere playing a harp in that imagination.  But as He has truly began to shine truth and love into my innermost being, I have never felt more dirty. I have never felt more small than as the sheer weight of the glory of God has entered into my hovel of a soul. Not because God’s judgement has pierced me and minimized me due to my sin. No quite the contrary, I recognize my own faultiness, my own finite humanity because it is only in these broken weaknesses that I am seeing the depths of God’s love for me and the extreme heights of His strength. He is creating in me a pure heart. With every speck of dirt removed He is telling me I am loved, that I am worthy of this love. He is reaching the deepest, lonely glaciers of my soul. I see the speck in my own eye, first. This is helping me to love God, myself, my family, my friends, strangers, and my enemies more genuinely. Love is coming out of the destruction, a temple for the living God is being made out of the ancient ruins. Again, I will confess that my mundane mind can not make sense of it. Still His grace is sufficient for even that. Jesus tells me that I’m not a failure, that He has chosen me (Ephesians 1). That He has made me righteous. (Romans 3:22) I can’t be both a failure and also righteous. I chose Jesus.

Every time I let God in a little deeper, every time I release clenched fists over all He’s given me to gain a posture of open palms, every time I surrender myself to His plan, every time I say yes to Him, I am transformed. The journey can feel like a back and forth emotional/physical/spiritual roller coaster. And it is when we look horizontally, as Paul said,

 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15 NIV)

Which is why a few lines down, Romans 8, tells us there is no condemnation for those of us who live in Christ! We must keep our eyes fixed on the vertical, on Jesus. We are dying to our flesh and living by the spirit. That is what this roller coaster is. And God doesn’t just throw us to the wolves, He chips away the dirt and grime over time. He takes away the shame of our sins completely. Like the white shirt I wore in hopes of my toddlers staying tidy, but they’re kids and tidy just isn’t happening realistically yet. Lazarus came up from behind me, jumped up and “Hulk squished” me. That white shirt was soon marred with whatever substance was on his hands. God tells us that even then, He makes us white as snow.

I am becoming more like Jesus. I am learning to trust Him, to love..truly love. He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun. So now I face the chaos with hope, I tell the wind to “Be still.” And when I don’t have the strength to sing the words, when praise takes everything in me to conjure up a note, still there He hears my silent rock of a heart’s cry and He responds with a melody that He sings over me. He is love. He is better than we know, His love, deeper than we realize. It feels intense, because it is.

Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
but now I’m found
was blind
but now I see.

Thank you, Lord, for Your love. It is enough. You are enough. Be my compass today, Be my peace. You are Jehovah Shalom (The Lord my Peace). Make me whole with, Your shalom peace. I pray this in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.


This song “P E A C E” covered by Amanda Cook has been renewing my mind daily over the past week. Check it out!

July’s Worship Playlist

I said I would start sending out my monthly recommended worship playlist, and here I am following through. I’m currently patting myself on the back for finally gaining some maturity in commitment; and slightly kidding….slightly.

All jokes aside, here is July’s worship playlist “Faith Increase” I compiled on my YouTube channel filled with worship songs from churches and worship groups all over the world including Hillsong, Bethel, United Pursuit and Housefires . This worship playlist is a seesaw of songs from centering on who God is, to fanning into the flame of faith within us to persevere and trust. As I have been singing these songs to the Lord, my posture towards God has moved into a deeper reverence and trust. With every new possibility and present struggle in my life right now, I confess my weaknesses and need of the Lord’s grace. I could use an extra daily dose of praise and an increase of faith. Maybe you could too. So I pray as you praise and worship God with these songs, you have a surge of increased faith. Take a journey deeper into faith with this music and be blessed in Christ!


  • “Emptiness” by United Pursuit (Will Reagan & Brock Human)

This is the first song on the list because it is the first one I heard in the midst of an emotional pit I was stuck in for a few days whilst the end of June transitioned into July. As I’ve previously mentioned in my post Journey to the Center of Me,  I have been reading a book filled with testimonies and scriptures that help usher the reader into true rest for their soul. It’s been a real journey full of valleys and mountains and lots and lots of God’s healing, reviving, renewing love. This song was a rope extending to the lowest of lows I laid curled up in and helped me climb out.

  • “This Love (Spontaneous)” by Housefires II (ft. Pat Barrett)

God’s love is so much deeper than we know. Our mundane brains just can’t fathom the endless levels of His pure and overwhelming love. As Barrett sings in the Holy Spirit a new song, you catch a glimpse of the height, width and depth of God’s never-ending love though even here we are barely scratching the surface. This song is full of truth that can counter any lie the enemy would try to whisper in your mind.

  • “Pieces (Spontaneous)” by Amanda Cook (Bethel Music)

In the previous song we are faced with God’s ever-present love. God is love (1 John 4:8). This song amplifies the nature of God and tells our soul the truth of who He really is. It’s so beautiful. Amanda’s first words sung in this incredible spontaneous version of the song are “You’re giving us new memories, You’re giving us new memories. To all the places shame wrote our story, You’re giving us new memories. It’s not just perspective, it’s innocence restored

  • “Into Faith I Go” by Pat Barrett

If I had one song I could share with you in hopes of fanning into your inner flame it would be this one. I saw Pat’s new album and this was the one that stuck out. I was wrecked by the words as this song washed over me and met me exactly where I was (and continues to do so). Verses 1 & 2 “I’ve never been good at change/If I’m honest it’s always scared me/ But I can’t deny this stirring deep inside me/Now it’s time to stop resisting”

  • “Abba, I Belong to You” by Jonathan David Helser

As I journeyed deeper within myself and therefore deeper with God, this song vocalized what I felt internally. The Father relationship we have with God is such an important part of our intimacy with Him, and it’s again one I’ve barely scratched the surface with. The song plunges me into the my heavenly Daddy’s arms.

  • “Speak to Me| Defender | Closer” by Bethel Church (ft. Kari Jobe Carnes)

“Defender” by Rita Springer and “Closer” by Steffany Gretzinger are two songs that have been true heart cries of mine over the passed several days. So to find this wildly anointed medley of three intense worship songs was just a knock out of the ballpark for me.

  • “Way Maker” by Sinach

Why did I hear this song for the very first time last week? I don’t know, but it came at the perfect time. Wow. My husband and I were at a worship night led by Leeland from Bethel and I was working through some things that just weren’t sitting well with me spiritually. At the beginning of the worship night I kept asking God to show all of us who He really is. To make His true Self known. I sang it over and over. A hairsbreadth of a second later, Leeland begins singing this song, “Way Maker, Miracle Worker/ Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness/ my God, that is who You are“. Needless to say, I lost it. My body took over and I jumped like a fool, totally wrecked by the enormity of who God is.

  • Hidden” by United Pursuit (ft. Will Reagan)

This song is a declaration song. Though I don’t always feel in my heart the words of praise I am singing to God, this one brought me into the place of finally feeling it. The truth of the Gospel of Jesus in this song brought about the change in perspective I needed.

  • “Bitter/Sweet (Spontaneous)” by Bethel Music (ft. Amanda Cook)

Here we switch gears into facing the truth of who God is and what He does. This song speaks truth over the lies that would try to drown us. In Mark 9:24 a man tells Jesus,“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”. As I sing this song I experience the transformation of any hidden unbelief dissolving into pure belief. That’s just what happens when you meditate on who God is, and that’s exactly what this song does.

  • “Getting There” by Steffany Gretzinger

Another song to perfectly proclaim faith in the process of getting to the promise. I love this song! Steffany is one of the most inspiring women of Christ and I absolutely love her album “The Undoing“. These lyrics are nothing but raw truth as we all journey through the process of life, “But there’s a reason for the journey/ There is purpose in the learning/ That not everything in life comes naturally/ No, not everything in life comes easily/ But we’re getting there”

  • “Hidden” by Mosaic MSC

I almost put the well known song “Oceans” by Hillsong United on this list because it really does usher us into a place of faith and trust in God as we walk on the water, but this song does as well and it’s different! This song is so good; it’s by Mosaic whom I have fallen in love with for their unique style of declaring truth and victory in Christ.

  • “Psalm 46” by Shane & Shane

Last but by no means least, this song I have newly discover will totally rock your world. You have to have to HAVE TO listen to this. And then listen again. And again. Until you know the words and can scream them with your deepest heart cry! This is one of those songs that you hear and think you have heard it before because it just feels like home in your spirit. You will love this one!


And there you have it folks, July’s worship playlist! I hope you not only enjoy the incredibly creative and anointed music in this playlist, but also are taken deeper with the Lord as you worship Him. May your faith be increased!

Meaningless, meaningless

After a few weeks of walking through spiritual fog, I had had enough. I was still intimate with God, but I was growing weary of not being able to see where I was going. I knew what I was getting myself into when I stepped out onto the waters. That still didn’t change the fact that my flesh has been screaming at me to turn around and go back to where I came from.

Between alternating work schedules, recording/editing YouTube videos, ministry events, and just flat out financial dryness hindering date nights, my husband and I haven’t had much alone time. Which is why on Monday we talked non-stop as we drove two hours east to a family member’s home. That seemingly small moment we shared was like a crack in the sidewalk ruptured with grass and flowers. A bursting forth of who we really are and what we were always meant to be. Our children slept for the majority of the way and we totally flourished in the lengthy yet fleeting conversation. During that ‘selah’ moment, God highlighted our joint vision for our family and reminded us of the calling He has over our lives. We realized how distracted we had become in the day to day busyness. Those flourishing sidewalk cracks of rest allow the rebuilding of creativity, dreams, and visions to be started up again.


The next day I went to an evangelism class at our church on a whim. That in itself was a miracle to get the kids and myself there so randomly but also efficiently. Ten minutes into the class and my eyes welled with tears. The class was specifically on digital evangelism! It was all about tips and counsel for spreading the gospel of Jesus through social media and blogging. Talk about confirmation. That’s exactly what I am doing through this blog and my YouTube channel. Though the enemy will whisper to me that I’m not doing much, God says,

“Obedience over outcome”

It isn’t about the amount of likes or followers I receive, that’s the outcome that I am not intended to presume on (Proverbs 27:1). Obedience is simply me walking out the great commission to make disciples of all nations through whatever means possible and impossible (Matthew 28:18-20).


In all honesty, this season of life is odd for my family. Odd isn’t the best word, maybe…unfamiliar? Let me try putting it this way: We are walking in the promise land that we’ve been praying for, but at the same time, fighting to push out the enemies inhabiting our promise land.

One example being after I got home from that amazing class at church, our family car broke down in the driveway! What are the odds, right? But the situation didn’t shake me like it would have in the past. After all God had been revealing to me, I was too pumped at the prospect of watching God work a miracle with my car. And later that night, He fixed it!

In this new place, we are claiming and witnessing victory, but also marching around the same city over and over again while waiting for the walls to drop. When is the outcome complete? When does the final finish line appear? I know one answer to that would be when I take my last breath, but I think on a more micro level, what my soul really longs for is rest. Rest from the noise. Rest from the constant battle. Sometimes life can feel like one thing after the next, “sunrise to sunset”. As Solomon puts it in Ecclesiastes 1,

“Meaningless, meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”

Solomon describes life on earth, and how minute and temporary all of our tasks are in the grand scheme of things. “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:2 ESV)” Then later he says that everything we do under the sun is “meaningless and a striving after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14 ESV)”.

We all have that inner knowledge that there is something more. And there is, right? What is the point of life if everything we do is meaningless? It can all feel so hopeless, and that is why the world we live in today is plagued with hopeless people. My past self included. Of course, life is only meaningless when we are striving to find something that has already been given to us, or attempting to pay a debt that has already been paid. The truth being that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:4) and He has everything we need. Anything outside of Jesus really is vanity. No success ladder or tower of Babel will give us the gift of the abundant, meaningful life that is found only in Jesus. It is so easy to lose sight on what we are really doing here on this planet-experiencing intimacy with Christ and intimacy with people. Relationship.

That is why the special moment of rest on a spontaneous road trip with my husband was so critical. It plunged us into further intimacy with Jesus which in return took us deeper with each other. And my favorite part of all, we were reminded of the call from Christ to lay hold of that which He has laid hold of for us.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (Philippians‬ ‭3:7-12‬ ‭NKJV)

There is more to life, an abundant life found in Jesus. We have access to it all, and we can only appreciate it all in our moments of pausing and resting. So mom’s, lock yourself in the bathroom today and just breathe for a few minutes. Take a random road trip with your family, soak up the scenery, and search for animals in the clouds. Put your phone down, close your eyes, and hum along to the heart beat of silence. Rest in Jesus is important. Prioritize it and you will thrive in it.


I just started a phenomenal new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: awakening your soul to rest by Bonnie Gray. This book goes into detail on the rest that we all need! You can start your journey to rest in Christ through this book by purchasing your copy here !

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