The Education (#jammed daily devo, day 322)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 322: Thankful for knowledge.

Clever people go after knowledge to obtain it,
    and wise people attune their ears to hear it. Proverbs 18:15

Already tempted to imagine what my daughters’ college choices should look like, and 322becoming dangerously obsessed over their elementary education at times, I need to be  reminded of how unqualified I am to make those kind of life choices for my kids.

If we’re not careful, we can push our kids into the people we know instead of letting them grow into the people God has made them to be.

Through a brief flashback, my life is a witness to the truth of this verse. Knowledge and career can be attained in the pursuit of an education, but the full gravity of our growth lies so much deeper …and higher.

A purple and gold tri-fold board at a college fair led me to a small country town. I spent my high school years trying to figure out how to earn my way on that campus. Even though I was accepted, the cost was more than my academic achievements could afford.

It felt like torture accompanying a friend recruited to play footfall there my Senior year.  I found my feet creeping up to the desk where the receptionist stood, and heard my voice ask her if there were any more scholarships I could apply for.

“Do you participate in any sports?” she asked.

“I just started running last year…” 

A few minutes later, Coach sat down to talk to me, and I left that day with a better understanding of my potential.

Days later, I picked up my powder blue phone to hear his voice offering me a scholarship.  Through the screeching and screaming as I ran down the stairs to tell of my victory …my life shifted.

Ashland University was a breaking off of who everyone else told me I had to be …and a chance to become the woman God had always made me to be. It was hard, and in so many ways I failed. But through my mess, I became the first in my family to earn a college degree.

Putting the dreams of my daughters’ lives in perspective, my own journey reminds me to be open to where He is calling them …and to enjoy the unfolding of the good plan He has for their lives.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for college educations, and thank You for taking us on journeys in life that we have to look back to fully understand. Bless our hearts to relax back into Your arms. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Educating,


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The Pier (#jammed daily devo, day 321)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 321: Thankful for the sunrise.

“The skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1


“Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!”

I’ve already rolled over twice before my alarm sounds that it’s time to rise. The first
light of the sun arising is all the assurance my heart needs to know that God is with me.
Always and everyday, His Light pierces through the horizon to awake all. We never question if the next day will come, and often let it slip in and out without really realizing how fleeting it …and all of our days …are.

Stride after stride, season after season, morning after morning, sunrise after sunrise …I look for Him in the sky …and He meets me there. On the edge of the pier at the mouth of the river, looking out at the vast great lake it flows into, my mind longs to drift out to the sea and into the sky. I ache for the comfort and joy of His arms.

Knowing that His brushstrokes paint the sky and His Light bounces off the water strengthens me to turn and walk back into the day He has planned and prepared for me to face. Through the sky, we somehow bond even though we’re realms a part.

The colors of the sky and the horizon as it meets the water are doodled over the pages of my childhood journals. He’s been guiding my life all along, telling me to straighten up …calling me to lead. I know what each morning means, and appreciate every stream of light and color as I walk down the pier to meet Him.

One day I’ll walk out to the end of that pier and soar over the gate, skimming on top of the water, and sailing up over the clouds to meet His embrace. Until then, daybreak is enough to fill my heart. Knowing it’s coming. Knowing He’s coming. That I am His. And He’s with me. #sweetJesus

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for the sunrise. Thank You for meeting me there each morning. Forgive me for the days when the weather and my laziness keep me from coming, and help me to seek You more each day I head back down the pier.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Sky-gazing,


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The Bossy Cow (#jammed daily devo, day 320)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 320: Thankful for my friend.

“A friend loves at all times.” Psalm 17:17 (NIV)

Side by side, with our arms up in the air and our souls light under the weight of His 320presence, we sang praise to the One at the core of our lives …and our friendship. The older I get, the more I realize how rare it is to find a friend to seek Christ with throughout life. Someone who meets my enthusiasm with excitement and encourages me in my faith. We share a thousand inside jokes like the one in today’s title.

Friendship can fleet and fade over the years, but ours seems to grow stronger still with time. We’ve both been through hard times and trials, and our friendship has been God’s way to hug us through some things that no one else could. We became AU Eagle teammates twenty years ago, and we’ve not stopped laughing for much since then. She took me to FCA, where I began to study the Bible and connect with my faith and my Father like never before. I have confidence in our friendship because He brought us together.

A true friend loves regardless of the situation,
    and a real brother exists to share the tough times.” Psalm 17:17 (VOICE)

My life was riddled with wrong choices in those collegiate years, and afterwards I continued to chase after anyone’s plans for my life but His. But Kate was there for me when I wanted to disappear from my past and everyone in it in the wake of my divorce. Looking for me, searching for me, and never giving up on me …she found me and pulled me back to face what wasn’t going to disappear. Over ice cream, we’ve built so many bridges back to Him …in search of Him.

Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” Psalm 17:17 (MESSAGE)

When she suffered from post partum depression, we sought Him together through it. Prayed her through and praised her entry back into the light …and full night’s sleep …and her first marathon. Through the storms of married life and motherhood that He has pulled us through, and the rock of our joy that He is after every trial …we sang side by side that day. The people God places in our lives are not always blood-related, but they do become our Christian family. They are the people who build us up in Him, so that we can be better people to everyone else.

“A friend is always loyal.” Psalm 17:17 (NLT)

It’s not good to go through life alone, and because Kate is my friend …I know God has given me someone on this earth that will be my voice of reason. She will pray me through the troughs in the waves, and laugh with me eternally in this life and the next.

There are few things greater, and more heart filling and soul soothing, than a God-placed friend. It’s the closest thing to Jesus’ loyalty and love that we get to feel on this earth. We took a road trip recently, to the Outcry Tour, and stopped talking only to worship and sleep. In all of my efforts to be friends with everyone …Kate, you have been the friend that has taught me the most about what true friendship is. Thank you for being my friend …through all of my craziness and all my bad choices. Here’s to an eternity of laughter.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for the friends You place our lives. Thank You for my Kate. Your Kate. Bless our friendship to honor You always, and our lives to reflect Your Son …our King …Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy “Thankful for Kate” Day,


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The Arms in the Air (#jammed daily devo, day 319)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 319: Thankful for hands-up.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
    I will praise my God to my last breath! Psalm 104:33


The weight of God pressed into my stomach, onto my shoulders, and consumed my
whole head and heart. I’d never felt the presence of God like that, and didn’t want it to end. In a sea full of 10,000 other people, my ears ringing with praise and my arms in the air, God spoke into my heart …

“Straighten up.” “Straighten up!” “STRAIGHTEN UP!!!”

Since then, I’ve been praying into what in the world that means, and watching in awe as He peels back His answer one layer at a time.

When we come together seeking His presence, He is there, and it’s a phenomenal feeling. I remember wanting to bottle it up before I went back out into the world where we are few and set a part. For a moment, a piece of home rained down on my head and seeped in to fill my heart. 

“Straighten up….”

Up my arm went, determined to feel the same presence …needing to feel that same presence …the following Sunday in church. One of a few instead of lost in a sea of arms, mine trembled! The fear of people thinking I was out of my right mind caused my voice to tremble out of tune and away from the harmony. But He met me there, with that same heavy feeling of stability. He held me stable.

He holds me up.

Straighten up to meet Him in worship, and feel His strength surge through like a storm. Standing us up, dragging us through, cheering us on …He is there.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather,  Praise You for worship, and thank You for meeting us there and holding us up. Help me to be brave and seek You always in worship …with arms up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Arming up,


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The Loud Little Voices (#jammed daily devo, day 318)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 318: Thankful for singing kids.

This is the truth: unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Watching kids worship is soul filling. As our little worship team takes the stage each318 month, their elementary smiles looking back at me as we try to remember all the movements we put to the words. It fills my heart to the brim.

“That was awesome!!!” I called out, and caught my breath between songs.

It’s God’s extravagant blessing on my life that two of those sweet smiles are that of my daughters. They look up at me for assurance, not knowing how much I look back at them for the hope.

Children teach us, if we’re humble enough to look and listen. Adult life is busy and rushed, but childhood is wide open. Even for the kids that have suffered so much injustice and heartache in their little lives, they possess a resilient, God-given innocence that shines through so to meet us when we invest our time in their lives.

God places us to make a difference, but also to absorb a lesson. Where children are, there is always much to learn. Especially when it comes to worship. They aren’t embarrassed to jump up and down and try silly dance moves. They yell and sing and praise God and thank Jesus.

We all need to be in the presence of God … to sing loud …jump up and down …and have faith like a child.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for our children’s worship team! Thank You for placing me in the presence of kids that help me learn more about who I am in You. Help me to honor You always through my ministry to them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Learning,


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