For the past few years, I have regularly considered giving up blogging. Every three or four months or so, I would wake up, think about all the things going on in my life, and I would be 100% ready to stop blogging. And every time, that very same day, I would get an email, or a note, or a text thanking me for having written something that encouraged or motivated them.

And I would get back to my laptop and hack away at it.

Sometimes those encouragements would be from a close friend, and sometimes from someone I knew casually, and sometimes from a completely stranger. It never ceased to amaze me how God would use my ramblings to help someone else, and to give a voice to the voiceless and an image to the unseen.

But now I am sure that I need a break from blogging. Not just a week or a month, but for the rest of the year (or longer).

Read more about why I’ve made this decision…

Surprised, Again

I don’t usually write on Wednesday nights, but I had to share this. . . .

As I was leaving school today, I was on Cloud 9. The day went extremely well — a sharp contrast from the first two days of the week. The students were (mostly) working hard, focusing, and getting along. It was everything that we at Lead Academy expect from them.

Even the few students who didn’t start out so well (one student who wanted to sleep, another was upset about something, and another was furious that I moved her seat for our quiz), I was able to engage each of them individually and uniquely. They each turned it around and got to work.

I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and excitement as I walked to my car. I thought to myself, “This was a great day. How do I make sure it happens again? Why was it so good?”

Then, it hit me. Or should I say, God hit me (not literally, but I could have used that, too). He reminded me of our conversation early that morning.

This is what I wrote in my journal:

“My mind is swirling. Mostly, I feel like I’m failing — in my marriage, as a parent, at my ministry, and as a teacher at Lead Academy.

Lord, I need encouragement. I need wisdom. I need to experience success today.

Mostly, I need to trust You no matter what I experience or feel.”

That was it. I believe that God gave me (really, my students) a good day as an encouragement. I know that this prayer isn’t a compilation of magic words, or a genie’s lamp to rub each morning. But God reminded me that He is with me.

Yes, I will have rough days, when I feel like a failure. And, yes, I will have days where I feel like a success. But in either case, I need to remember that our Lord is sovereign, and He is working in me to make me trust Him, more than He is working through me to love others.

Thank You, Lord, for not giving up on me. Thank you for stretching me, and helping me to depend on You.

If you like this post, you should check out A Message for Me, another instance when God spoke clearly to me to encourage me. (And, yes, my eyes teared up yet again reading that post.)

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:12-13



Birthday Flashback

Hannah Starbucks after MRI 14AugBy the time you read this, I have a teenage daughter. Hannah was born on September 25, 2001, at 12:29 AM.

In honor of her, I’m not publishing a new post on this blog today. If you want to learn about her, I encourage you to read a couple of things I wrote about her recently:

Also, I’ll have a more full post on my other blog, A Different Way, tomorrow.

But if you can’t wait, check out this video from when she was about 4.5 years old:


Happy birthday, Hannah!