• Encouragement,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    The Choice

    {Previously published on Palm Beach Women’s Network website} There’s something you need to know about me. I’m that sick girl. You know, the one always battling an illness. And when I say sick girl, I mean the kind who fought cancer twice by the age of 26, the first time while pregnant. The laundry list of my ailments is long—10 life-threatening illnesses, four near-death experiences over the course of 20 years—long. But my most recent medical oddity was when I grew a round knot the size of an extra-large egg out of the center of my chest. Really? I can’t make this stuff up. Praise God my hard lump was…

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    A Walking Billboard

    “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” —2 Corinthians 4:11-12 (NIV) My 16-year-old walked to the front of her speech class at the State College with her hair tucked up in a scarf, concealing every strand, as she mimicked how I looked some 17 years ago. She shared her story of how my husband and I made the toughest decision to not abort her when I was diagnosed with cancer when I was six weeks…

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    New Year, New You

    “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) After battling infertility for years, and finally accepting that I was sterile, my husband and I considered adoption. It’s amazing how excited you become about something once all other doors seem welded shut. So there we were, a year into adopting a sweet baby from China when mysteriously I became pregnant. No words can describe the ecstatic momma I morphed into, because God…

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    Deliverance from Despair

    “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”—Psalm 107:6 (NIV) I remember the day Erin Brockovich, the well-known environmental activist, visited our town and confirmed what our community had feared: We were living in a cancer cluster and water contamination was to blame. Each bath, hand-washed dish, or dip in our above-ground pool my family of six encountered meant cancer-causing elements were slowly absorbing into our system. Never before had we wanted to move so quickly, yet with this unsettling news the housing prices in our area had plummeted. As a result, we owed more than the house was worth, and…

  • Previously Published Articles,  Speaking,  Uncategorized

    Face Your Fears

    {Devotional} Fear is the great silencer in life. I remember the moment a friend asked if I’d speak at his crisis pregnancy fundraiser. After an uncomfortable chuckle, I refused. “I’m not a speaker,” I reminded him. He wasn’t looking for a speaker, he said, followed by something along the lines of, “God has given you a powerful testimony our guests would be blessed to hear.” Biting my inner lip, I agreed. My tummy twisted as anxiety filled my spirit, so I prayed, polled friends for wise counsel, and eventually joined a public speaking group. However, I soon learned that of the twenty or so club members, few shared my faith…

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    Search Me {And Surgery Update}

    I’ll never forget the day I learned my cancer had returned. Standing in the kitchen, I gripped the phone as my oncologist shared the news. My knees gave out, and I slid to the floor. Deep from within, moans I’d never heard before bellowed out. Shock, fear, and then anger set in as I shouted to God two words: “Why me?” What had I done to deserve this? Looking back, I now see that God had a plan, one which included a great deal of earthly pain on my part, but would eventually turn into back-to-back miracles on His. His plan, the best plan, would slowly unfold over the years…

  • Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    Refining Our Spiritual Reputation

    “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”—Romans 1:8 (NKJV) In this verse, the apostle Paul praises the faith-filled Christians living in Rome. At first glance, it’s easy to miss the historical significance of Paul’s admiration. Consider this: Rome was a hedonistic culture—a modern-day mixture of Vegas and Hollywood,if you will. At the time of this writing, around 56 AD, Rome’s extravagant societywas focused on self-pleasurerather than service. As a result, they marginalized the sick and elderly, and they even discarded their unwanted infants.Now imagine a group of these same selfish people believing in something deep enough…

  • Most Popular Posts,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    Woman Cheats Death Four Times

      “A football-sized tumor is embedded around your lungs,” my ER doctor explained. It’s not every day you hear this news, especially when you’re 25 years old and six weeks pregnant. But my diagnosis isn’t where my story begins — because every illness has a unique symptom that internally whispers something’s wrong. Mine seeped out the summer of ‘98 in the form of a faint, recurring itch that danced across my leg. Then my cheek. My back. Inside my ear. The gradual progression of this assumed allergic reaction to my dog or detergent blossomed from a rash-like itch into a maddening sensation of fleas infesting my skin. Nothing helped. Not…

  • Most Popular Posts,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    The One Thing I Wish I Believed Sooner

      {A recent guest post I shared over at ILoveDevotionals.com.}   I used to be fearful of a lot of things. I worried about money. I agonized over work projects and whether I was competent to perform a job well done. Seeking the approval of others was another fear. Did I offend them? Will they like me or secretly laugh at me?    It’s funny the things I let consume my thoughts; such trivial matters in comparison to reality.    Money? I could always make more. Work? I could always refine my skills. Approval? People, I’ve learned, are typically more concerned with themselves, not my little blunders.   But a life-threatening…

  • Most Popular Posts,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    "It's Back"

    It started when the police officer knocked on my door. That’s when I knew my week had finally culminated into crazy. Just an hour earlier my sister’s power had blown, making it impossible for her industrial-sized printer to produce the last of the merchandise for my “Get Well” baskets we created for that afternoon’s event. I laughed at her text. How could I not? I’d been in bed fighting some upper respiratory cough for the last three weeks, and the day before I had rushed to the Urgent Care, then the hospital for a CT because my X-ray they’d taken to rule out broken ribs from coughing so much came…

  • Most Popular Posts,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    How Life Gets Easier

    I suppose I’ve always liked to control things — to plan my career or vacations or schedule my day in half-hour increments, for efficiency’s sake. It was a gift, I thought, this mapping out of my life so I didn’t waste time reaching my goals. That was until I found myself in the emergency room unable to breathe at age 25. I squeezed my husband’s hand so tightly his fingers pulsed as the doctor told me a football-sized tumor entangled my lungs. And to complicate the situation more, I was six weeks pregnant with our first child. You can’t control that. Not your health. Oh, you can eat organically and…

  • Most Popular Posts,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    When Bad Things Happen to Good Marriages or Stupid Beth Moore

    I want my husband to love me unconditionally, even in the midst of my dumb choices. But I’m human. He’s human. And we both really stink at playing God. After 17 years of marriage, we started attending an ongoing Bible study group to guard our hearts because we knew how fleshly they can be. We were only a few sessions in to a new couples’ workbook when my husband and I hit a big pothole. After arriving home from class with clenched teeth, I quickly tucked our kids in and then shut our bedroom door behind us for our heated disagreement. I say disagreement because we don’t really raise our voices anymore.…

  • Previously Published Articles

    10 Truths* About Heaven

    My daddy died recently. As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven. I know he’s there. I know he’s finally pain and fatigue-free. This thought brings me the most peace. But I have an awful admission. In my mind I envision Heaven as boring. That’s pathetic. God created earth and every waterfall within it. Why then am I not as excited when I think of Heaven? Why have I bought the lie that earth is the grand finale and that glory will look like believers sitting on clouds, strumming harps and singing thousand year-old hymns with little zeal? This fallacy needed an overhaul. So I did a little research. Imagine limitless energy,…

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    Should Women Work?

    God embedded gifts within each of us before the beginning of time to perform specialized tasks here on Earth (Ephesians 2:10). Actually, the calling God places on our hearts can never be withdrawn;, according to Romans 11:29 it’s irrevocable. Kind of like a divine Mission Impossible assignment ordained by the Father. This revelation is freeing. As a homeschooling mother of four, I often hear strangers say, “I could never homeschool. I’m not sure how you do it.” I typically respond by saying it’s not for everyone—because it isn’t. There are many people on the opposite side of this camp who are just as passionate about keeping Christian kids in schools to…

  • Most Popular Posts,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    Dumb Things Christians Say

    We have all said dumb things we wished we could take back. Like, asking a woman her due date only to find out she is not even pregnant. My biggest foot-in-mouth incident happened when a friend lost her daughter to an awful shooting. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I reread the Palm Beach Post article and then fired off an emotional email that ended with: “Your daughter is in a better place. She’s singing with the angels in heaven.” Months later I learned that many well-meaning individuals told her the same thing, which she confessed hurt her. Aching for one more hug and kiss, her heart felt like the…