Freedom isn’t free

Memorial Day 2016 | Misselainious blogNot even two weeks ago I rose with a crowd of people in a stadium, put my hand over my heart, and listened as the Star-Spangled Banner was sung loud and clear.  In that moment the most delicious chills ran up and down my body.  The baseball stadium was located in Baltimore where the song was originally written.  It was a surreal moment.

I believe the reason though it impacted me so greatly was because I’d been walking around DC, my nation’s capitol, all week.  I’d seen the monuments rising tall.  It’s all quite thrilling.  More than that though as the song was sung I thought about all the people who have died to keep our country free.  Those brave men and women that fought for independence gave everything they had for the freedoms we enjoy today.  It’s a humbling reality.  Freedom isn’t free.

One of the things that I saw in a museum in DC was a map of the world showing the levels of freedom of speech in each country.  Honestly it was shocking.  Very few countries have the level of freedom the United States has.  Freedom isn’t free my friends.  People have fought for it and still do and hopefully will till the end of time.

There was an interactive wall at this same museum where anyone could write what they would give up to feel safe.  Some of the answers scared me.  Several people had said “everything.”  People gave their lives so that we could could have the freedoms we enjoy so please think about that today my fellow citizens as you party and watch fireworks.  Let’s not take our freedoms lightly.  Freedom isn’t free.

“Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

May we stay brave and free.   Happy 4th of July my friends!


Posted on July 4, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }


“In an economy of grace, there is enough to go around. The Father’s love and generosity are not scarce. His table is brimming with luxurious fare." Michael S. Horton Quote“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” ~ Amelia Earhart

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” ~ J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

“The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”  ~Oswald Chambers

“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.” ~ Ernest Boyer, Jr.

“We need more women who would rather be beautifully sacrificial than perfectly artificial.” ~ Ann Voskamp

“Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.” ~ Martin Luther

“The problem is not that we are too active, but that we are recklessly frenetic.  We have grown accustomed to quick fixes and easy solutions.  We have grown accustomed to running sprints instead of training for the long-distance marathon.  We have plenty of energy.  The danger is that we will burn ourselves out on restless anxieties and unrealistic expectations.”  ~ Michael Horton

Posted on July 1, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

No or not yet

No or not yet | Misselainious blogWe were sitting in the sun drinking smoothies.  “I saw on social media the other day that someone was thanking God for answered prayers because they got a yes to what they wanted.  They didn’t even have to wait that long.”  “Funny how no one talks about all the times prayers get answered…with a no or not the way we want them to be fulfilled.”  We laughed.

Friends, I think this is an important topic.  I want us to have a conversation about prayer because it can be a tricky subject.  Have you been praying for something for a long time and not seen it get answered with a yes?  Are you discouraged because you feel like God isn’t listening?  Does prayer even matter?

First of all, YES! Prayer matters.  Prayer doesn’t have to be some big scary thing.  Prayer is the opportunity to talk to God about whatever is on your heart.  Prayer is an opportunity to thank Him for who He is and what he has done.  Prayer is also a time to acknowledge that he is God and we are not.

So what about all those prayers that seem unanswered?  What about all the times the answer is no or not yet?  We don’t talk about that too much do we in Christian circles.  Yet we should.  Because there’s a lot of people walking around (myself included at times!) thinking that God doesn’t love us or that he’s not good because we didn’t get the “yes” we were looking for.  That’s a dangerous place to be.  Or maybe you’ve been told by people that it’s just because you don’t have enough faith.  LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE.  It’s not about the amount of faith that makes your prayers effective.  It’s about the God we serve that makes them effective.  It’s not about the perfection or persuasion of our prayers it’s about the power of God.

Prayer changes us and makes us stronger even as we acknowledge our need.  Prayer reminds us of who God is.  Prayer helps us flex our trust muscles.

Just because your prayer isn’t getting answered the way you want doesn’t mean God doesn’t hear you or care.  He does hear you and he does care.  There are so many reasons God answers prayer with a “no” or “not yet”.  I was mulling this over in my head when it struck me like a ton of bricks.  The best answer to this is Jesus.  I think about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane pouring his soul out in agony asking the Father three times to give him another answer even though he knows what the answer will be.  He doesn’t want to go to the cross.  No one in their right mind would.  So he prays and he asks his Father for a different answer.  The answer from God to his Son is no.  The King of the universe kneels in a garden and asks for a yes but then willingly submits to the no because he cares more about his Father’s will than his own.  Words cannot express how grateful I am for that “no” because without that “no” I would be hopeless.  Without that “no” I don’t get the biggest and most important “yes” of my life from God.

Friends, I don’t know what prayers you’re praying that haven’t been answered with a yes.  Maybe you’ve given up on prayer altogether.  While sometimes prayers get answered with a no many times it’s just a “not yet”.  And if it is a definite no please remember that God is working for your good.  He can see the whole picture while we can only see a part.  My prayer for us today is that we would trust him with all the answers he gives knowing that he accepted the hardest “no” ever.  He went to the cross even though it cost him so much because he submitted to his Father’s will and wanted to have a relationship with us.  Regardless of the answer keep talking to Him because it’s always worth it.

(Need to hear more of the same?  Here’s a blog post I wrote a while ago about Stop Saying God is Good…)


Posted on June 29, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

DIY spray paint plant artwork

DIY spray paint plant artwork | Misselainious blogHello friends! This DIY spray paint plant artwork is sooooooo easy and fun!  If you have spray paint and some thick paper on hand it should only take you about ten minutes or less to make.  Sometimes you just need to change up the artwork in your frames and you don’t want to spend a fortune, so this is easy and will be one of a kind.

Step 1:  Cut your thick paper/card-stock (I used watercolor paper) to the size you’ll need to fit inside your frame.
Step 2:  Forage for some flowers and leaves in your yard.
Step 3:  Lay out some newspaper on the ground and place your piece of paper on top.
Step 4:  Press the flowers and leaves onto the paper (some of them you may want to put upside down so that they will lay a bit more flat).
Step 5:  Read the directions on your can of spray paint and then spray accordingly.
Step 6:  Once it is dry (mine only took about a minute) remove the flowers and leaves and write a favorite word or something you want to remember on the front with an ink pen or sharpie.  I did have to trace over my word several times because the paper/spray paint was so absorbent.  Now frame it and you’re done!

What word or phrase would you put on your piece?  Let me know in the comments below! 🙂  And if you try this tag me in it on Instagram so I can see.

Posted on June 27, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

Have a delightful weekend!

Link Love 6-24-16 | Misselainious blogHope you are all doing well! I’m certainly enjoying the fact that it’s summer!  Here’s some things I’ve picked up around the web lately that I wanted to share with you for link love. 🙂

My friend sent me this link and now I wish I lived close enough to visit this darling place.

Love this card (especially since I have so many long distance friendships).

Jane Austen lessons for all the single ladies.

What a fun idea for a care package!

Now this is my kind of tatoo. 😉

Fascinating article about art…

Haha too cute! (Also my favorite animal.)

Strangers asked to pose together…so beautiful.

God’s heart for the foreigner.

Posted on June 24, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

She loved

Handmade Valentine's Day cards 2016 misselainious“For she loved much.”  I want to be a woman who loves much.  So often though I’m tripped up by looking at myself.  I flounder about wondering if small acts of love matter and then I realize I’m doing most of them for all the wrong reasons.  I was flipping through my Bible when I came across this story and it turned my heart over in wonder again at who we are and more importantly who Jesus is.

“Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’  And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.'”  Luke 7:44-48

We clearly know from the story that this woman was a sinner.  She was messy.  So am I.  She sees Jesus though and her soul weeps out everything in it.  She doesn’t say a word but her actions scream love.  She wasn’t worried about what other people thought of her because she instinctively knew who Jesus was.  She wasn’t afraid of him and all she wanted to do was be near him and honor him in the best way she knew how, by giving herself.

And Jesus welcomes her just as she is.  He lets her touch him, he lets her kiss him.  How beautiful and mind boggling is that picture?  Here’s this woman who is unwelcome in that house but she comes anyway.  Here is Jesus disregarding the cultural norms and seeing who this woman truly is and turning to her with compassion.

Then he tells her what we all need and long to hear.  Her sins are forgiven.  Our sins are forgiven friends by the only one that can, Jesus.  What freedom that should bring to our hearts.  And because we’ve been forgiven much we can love much.  What a profound reality that Christ wants us to love much.  It makes me think of the verse in 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

      “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”    (Matthew 25:37-40)

When you think that the small things you’re doing in love don’t matter think again.  The small acts of love and embracing of others has great value.  May we never overlook the “least of these” because Jesus didn’t.  He didn’t overlook us and that should cause our hearts to rejoice and pour out everything we have for him and those he puts in our path.

Posted on June 22, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

Looking ahead

Looking forward | Misselainious blogRecently during an evening with my parents and a couple I consider my second parents I asked them if they remembered learning to drive and what that was like.  We all started laughing hearing each others stories!  Even though I’ve known these four my whole life I’d never thought to ask that question but I’m glad I did because it was really humorous.  It was also insightful.

My mom’s parents weren’t even willing to teach her.  Instead her dad hired someone else to do it haha!  My dad’s older brother taught him on some back road and my dad almost gave him a heart attack from what I heard.  Someone else mentioned trying to learn on a gravel hill…stick shift.

I certainly remember learning to drive.  My dad took me to a parking lot and was very patient.  Then one day my mom just gave me the keys even though I’d barely driven and told me to drive home from piano lessons.  I thought she was joking but alas no.  So there I was on back winding roads trying not to kill us.  Now you see, I’d thoroughly read the pamphlet you have to read to pass drivers ed and it said you needed to check all your mirrors every few seconds.  Well I was obedient to that and it didn’t go very well.  I was having the hardest time staying in the middle of the road.  When I mentioned my frustration to the gal that lived with us she said something I’ll never forget. “Stop looking in the mirrors so frequently.  If you look straight ahead you’ll go straight.  Where you look, that’s where you’ll go.” Hello light bulb moment.

You see I was trying to drive by looking behind me in the mirrors.  But reading a pamphlet and driving are two different things.  What I really needed to do was focus on what was in front of me.  I needed to look at the road ahead of me and see where I wanted to be.

The same thing happened when I was learning to ride my bike.  I kept looking at the pedals.  Finally my brother and his friend (who were teaching me) figured out the problem and told me to look ahead.  That’s when I felt the rush that comes from the first hands-off-no-training-wheels-freedom of riding your bike all by yourself.  Again I needed to look ahead of me at where I wanted to go.

I think in life it can be so easy to look in the past.  Or you may be one of those people who can’t envision where you want to go.  Until we can look ahead and have a vision for something we want to accomplish, we will have a hard time getting there.  

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

It’s the middle of the year and many goals and visions have been cast off since January.  That’s okay.  It’s never to late to start looking ahead.  What goals do you need to refocus, scrap, adjust, plan, or surrender?  What do you want to accomplish in the next six months?  I hope today you can put aside the past six months and press on with new vigor and vision.  If you want to tell someone your goals leave a comment below and I’d love to hear about it.  Or if you’re struggling to figure out what your vision is let me know that too. 🙂  You’ve got this my friend!

{Photo by: Paige Whiting}

Posted on June 20, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }


"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all" Quote Laura Ingalls Wilder“Human knowledge is never contained in one person.  It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.” ~ Paul Kalanithi

“The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they’re organized for.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

“We need never be ashamed of our tears.” ~ Charles Dickens

“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.” ~ Ann Voskamp

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” ~ J.K. Rowling

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” — Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)

“Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us – and those around us – more effectively.  Look for the learning.” ~ Louisa May Alcott

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” ~ Christine Caine

Posted on June 17, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

He likes you

He likes you | Misselainious blogI was sitting there scrolling through Facebook and just about to click off when I saw an article that looked interesting and I clicked through to read it.  In many ways the article had nothing to do with me but the last point struck me hard.  The author boldly proclaimed that God likes me.

Now here’s the thing.  We’ve all heard that God loves us.  It’s true, He does!  We know that He died for our sins and that He cares deeply about His people.  And wow is that ever amazing or what?!  But have you ever stopped to think about the fact that God LIKES you?  I’m not talking about a quickie Facebook like.  I’m not talking about that guy that likes all your pictures in the hopes that you’ll notice him.  I’m talking about the fact that God delights in you.

Stop and consider with me a moment.  Here’s this infinite, beautiful, all powerful, holy, perfect, satisfied God and he decided that he wanted to express all that glory and beauty as an overflow of who He is.  So He creates humans, you and me and the multitudes of ages past, present, and future, in His image to reveal it to.

When He looks at you He sings over you my friend!  “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17  (emphasis added)  Now tell me, do you sing over something you don’t like?  No, of course not!  But when you really like something you do.

God likes your personality that you sometimes think is too much or not enough.  God likes your body that He designed and handcrafted.  God likes the way you get excited over things other people find odd.  God likes the way you love your friends and family.  God likes the many ways you reflect a part of His heart, His creativity, His intelligence, His wisdom, His strength, His vision, His purpose, His grace, His love.

He sees you, He likes you, and He knows you better than you do yourself and He’s calling you to embrace the way He’s made you.  When we embrace the way God has crafted us we give thanks for who HE is.  When we see that God likes us it should turn our hearts in praise to Him.  How amazing that He likes and loves messy people.  He likes and loves the sinner and the tax collector and the prostitute.  He shocked everyone when He picked Zacchaeus’s home to go eat at.  He stopped and engaged in a conversation with a blind beggar.  He let a prostitute touch him and praised her for her gift to Him.  He’s a God of mercy and grace.  He’s a God that doesn’t throw out broken people but heals them and makes them whole in who He is.  If you’re longing for a God that likes you then come to Jesus just as you are.  As we say in our family, “I love you and I like you.”  It’s the same for God’s family, He loves you and He likes you.


Posted on June 15, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

A reminder

A reminder | Misselainious blogRecently I had one of those weeks where you just feel so frustrated you want to explode.  It wasn’t like everything was terrible.  In fact my life is pretty awesome.  Yet there I was with all this pent up irritation.  Some of it was directed towards this blog, a lot of it was directed at myself.  Can I be honest?  (I know I can because you all are so wonderful.)  Sometimes I wonder why I’m blogging.  I loose sight of the goal.

And then I got a note from a reader.  Actually I got a few all within 24 hours.  That rarely happens so to get three was a wake up call.  Each of those notes was like a breath of fresh air.  One girl spoke the words back to me that have been a theme on this blog and that I needed.  I needed someone to remind me of all the things I long to remind you of on here.  Because most everything I say on here is really a letter to myself to remind me of who God is and who I am in him.  I’m on here writing because I love God and I love people.  I’m on here writing because you matter.  I’m on here writing because just like a sweet reader reminded me “bloom where you’re planted.”

Here’s the thing.  I’m actually a pretty weak person.  I need to be reminded of the truth daily.  I need to refocus and feel refreshed just as much as the next person.  So the next time you don’t think you have something to offer someone remember that you do.  Please remember that even if you feel cracked and broken and useless that that just isn’t true.  You’re still a vessel and while you might not be being used the way you want to it doesn’t mean you’re not being used at all.

Years ago I was very sick.  During that time I had a mental picture given to me.  There was a a clay jar with a simple design, full with large gracefully curved sides and a small opening with a little lip on it.  It was in a dark room and it was badly cracked.  In fact it was quite broken.  Yet it was held together by some unseen force.  And shooting out of every crack was shimmering, radiant, glowing beams of light.  You could see the translucent shine coming out in rays in every direction.  The brokenness of the vessel allowed for the light to be revealed.  In that moment God reminded me that that’s what we are like.  The more broken we are the more his power and light has the opportunity to shine out of us.  And let me tell you it’s crazy beautiful.  I’ve carried this picture with me for almost ten years now.

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” 2 Cor. 4:5-7

So my friends if you are feeling useless and broken I want to tell you that you do have a purpose.  I want you to know that you’re so loved and valued.  I want you to know that your faithfulness to keep on matters.  When we are weak Christ makes us strong.  When we’re broken let’s allow the light to seep out.

Posted on June 13, 2016 by | Comments { 4 }