Silence loomed over me like a cloud while everyone else spoke about their wedding nights. They shared with one another how special it was to have their “first time” on their wedding nights. I sat silently smiling knowing that I was the one in the room – or at least believing that I was the only one – who had nothing to contribute to this conversation. Not because I wasn’t married – although I wasn’t – but because I had given myself away in the wrong ways so much sooner than these new friends of mine. They were all so sweet and kind and clean. There I sat feeling like the dirty girl, so aware of my sin before me that I could barely hold it together.

I left that party in silent tears. Tears of shame.


Feeling the weight of my sin that night revealed what I believed about God. I believed, for some reason, that if I knew better and I did wrong that I was not His. I believed that He would not hold tightly to me if I didn’t wait until I was married. I believed that He wouldn’t give me a husband to love me because I had – in the name of independence – already given any love I had to someone who didn’t earn or deserve it.

So I cried. I cried and I asked for forgiveness again and again.

“For it is contained in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame!” (1 Peter 2:6).

Not only was I forgiven, but the shame was taken from me! God didn’t have a plan to condemn me of my sins. He revealed Himself to me so that I might be saved and live in that freedom!

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God has made me new through the sacrifice of His Son. This is what He called me into. I wasn’t in this holy nation or one of His people, but He chose me and called me out of darkness. He let me feel the conviction of my sin and graciously granted me repentance.

The girl I was before this party would not have felt shame, but instead she would have been proud. She would have made excuses in her mind and thought unkind things about the women who were walking in the counsel of the wise and following the path of the Lord. This conversation would have been “a stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over” (1 Peter 2:8a). Why? Because she was disobedient to the message.

Here’s the thing, the Lord is faithful to save those who turn to Him. He doesn’t have to be the stone you stumble over. He can be a merciful and gracious Savior. Truthfully, He is both. And whether you turn to Him away from your sins or hold tightly to the sin you’ve learned to love, He will be perfect in every way.

Lord, I pray that our sin and shame would lead us to repentance. I pray that we would not hold tightly to our disobedience, but long for You.

for it is contained in Scripture…

I ask questions. A whole buncha lotta questions. If I’m getting to know you, I’ll ask questions about your family, your work, your free time, whatever! The interest is genuine. My question asking is not limited to personal questions. I want to know information. I want to learn about God and the world He created. I want to understand more than the basics. So, I ask questions.

Growing up I struggled with what to do with my questions. I remember asking, “can you be gay and Christian?” more than once without getting an answer. I was told to stop trying to stir up trouble. The problem with that answer is that my question was genuine. I didn’t understand the divide between God and man. I didn’t understand – although I didn’t know that at the time – that all humans inherit a sinful nature.

Surrounded by unbelieving friends who I loved and no one to answer my difficult questions, I believed lies. Over time I began to believe the lie that people are basically good. Those basically good people would be made better by becoming Christians. All the “don’t judge” and “you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength” out-of-context teaching became my kind of Christianity. It was a faith that didn’t require any follow through and belonged to anyone who happened to agree with any part of it at any time in their lives.


My foundation was not biblical. It was not strong. It was non-existent.

Looking back I know that one thing would have made a huge difference when I asked a difficult question: being led to the Bible.

“For it is contained in Scripture…” (1 Peter 2:6a).

Why did Peter go there?

Because “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

When the questions are difficult – or seemingly easy – we should go to the holy scriptures. As the only infallible, inerrant Word of God, where else would we go to find the essential truths of life? If a question about sin and salvation is asked, the first place to look for the answer is the Word of God.

Peter knew this. He knew that the Scriptures held the inspired Word of our Lord. In his letter, he assumed the sufficiency of Scripture as authoritative. There is no long explanation of how the Old Testament is important. He just says, in the middle of his thought, “For it is contained in Scripture…”

Oh, that we would have the same stance on Scripture. We are so blessed to have many Bibles in our language. Let’s not remain ill-equipped by not giving Scripture its proper place in our lives.

I pray that we would stand firmly on the authority that is given within the pages of Scripture. I pray that we would stand firmly on the foundation of the Word of God. I pray that we may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

coming to Him

As I sit here typing, I’m holding my son. The Lord created my little boy and grew him in my womb for approximately 40 weeks and 5 days before I met him and his sister face-to-face. This little black boy is crying in my arms and holding tightly to me because he is in need of comfort. I have been his mama since I found out that he was growing inside of me. I’ve been his mama since before I knew he was a boy or that he was a twin. He knows that I am here for him and that I will be here when he needs anything. I’m sure that when his sister is having a difficulty, he tells her in their special toddler twin talk, “go to mama.”


Fear is currently consuming our nation. Fear and hurt and anger. People don’t know what to do, so they do what they think is best – whether that’s silence, sharing on facebook, or marching the streets.

It seems that each time a black person is killed…

I’m going to pause here for a moment.

Fear. The racial tension sparks fear. But this post is not about who did what or who is to blame or the justice system. This is not about the facts of one particular situation, but the problem as a whole. This is not the time to debate whether or not this one person did this or that or the other. This is not the time to debate whether or not justice is being served. This is about the hurt and uncertainty and fear that comes as we hear the narrative play out again and again and again.

Now I’ll continue…

It seems that each time a black person is killed by police and the media takes hold of it, the citizens turn on each other. A dialogue is necessary, but what is the topic of that dialogue? Too often the conversation is one that either defends – without any real consideration for the hurt – the actions of the officer without any details of the situation. Or it’s about how racism – even though we can’t read the hearts of individuals because we are not God – is the driving force in every situation before having the details. I’m going to say that both of those responses goes too far.

We as believers have hope – even in the midst of hatred, racial tension, and death – that is greater than anything the world can offer. When these situations arise – and they will again – we have an opportunity to share that hope with hurting and confused and afraid and angry people. Our response should not look exactly like those who have not been bought with the precious blood of Jesus, but instead we should be like my son, telling others, “go to Papa.”

Peter lays out the truth of the gospel. Then he says, “Coming to Him…” (1 Peter 2:4a). He goes on to talk about what is being done in the lives of believers who have come to Jesus. But I just stopped on those three words. Why? Because that is what we should be doing and bringing others to do when they are hurting.

A governmental system overhaul will not fix the problem of racism, the feeling of being misunderstood, or the tension that continues to rise, cause more incidents, and incite riots. Sitting idly by won’t make it better. Other humans can’t turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Only the God who created each of us in His image can heal people. Only God who is with us – even in this – can bring hope to the hurting. Let’s not dismiss the pain of other human beings because we don’t understand it. May we not defend the actions of those who are in sin on either “side” of the conversation. Instead, brothers and sisters, let’s bring those hurting to Jesus so that they may be saved and find everlasting hope.

Lord, I confess that I don’t always respond rightly. I become afraid and it feels consuming. But Lord I pray that you would use me and this situation for your glory. I pray that your church would know how to call people to repentance and not fear the responses they may receive. Thank you for your great grace and eternal hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

pure spiritual milk.

I breastfed twins. Let’s just put that out there in the open so that we know what we’re dealing with right now. I was responsible for keeping two babies alive with milk that came from my breasts. It was an exciting and exhausting experience. Because I didn’t stay home with them, I was often pumping so that they were well fed when I wasn’t around. When at work I would stand in the bathroom and use the baby changing station as a table to pump and watch Netflix (that was my favorite part about pumping at work). I’m not sure if you know what an electric breast pump sounds like, but let’s just say you do for the sake of the rest of this story.


One day when I’m in the restroom pumping, a little boy walks in with his grandmother. They’re talking and she’s trying to encourage him to hurry, but he keeps asking, “what’s that sound? Grandma, what’s that sound?” She tells him over and over that she doesn’t know and to just hurry up. Then he exclaims – because he’s totally figured it out, “it sounds like a cow!” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud in the restroom that day. His grandma said, “Ah! I just figured out what it is.” And I made a comment about how that was a really close guess. They flushed, washed hands, and left the restroom. I still crack up thinking about this day.

Peter, after telling us who we are now that we have been made new in Christ is telling us to live like it. He says to rid ourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander then makes reference to my very situation: breastfeeding. “Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, since you tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2). What?! He just said that just like little babies who live off and long for and desire the milk from their mama’s breasts, we should desire pure spiritual milk. We should live off of and long for and desire the Lord’s Word and His leading in our lives. We don’t stay in this infant stage always. Instead, the pure spiritual milk grows us in our salvation. We aren’t left as babies. We mature. Why? We tasted the pure spiritual milk and saw that the Lord is good. He is good. He is the one who holds onto us. He fills us. He matures us in Himself. It’s not something that we do, but something that happens because we are in Him and trusting in Him for our salvation.

Christ sacrifices for us. We live as people who depend fully on His sacrifice and long for what He provides.

rid yourselves.

My twin foxes have begun crying, screaming, reaching out, and hanging on to me when I drop them off with their sitter. It breaks my mama heart. Every time I want to pick them back up and promise to never leave. But I have to work. So, I leave. I know those teary eyes will dry shortly after I go and they find something fun in the toy bin. My sitter will send me beautiful pictures of them playing at the park or in the sand and I will miss their sweet faces for the hours that I am at work. When my stay-at-home-mom friends share stories about their days – good or bad – I get a ping of jealousy. Not always enough that it affects my mood, but at least enough that I notice it.


Then…Peter. He spends a whole chapter preaching the gospel – Christ died for our sins. Chapter 2 begins firmly with “so” or “therefore” depending on your English translation. Since you know that Christ has died for your sins “rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander” (1 Peter 2:1). That pretty much covers each of us in the sin category. Honestly, malice covers us all. Peter tells us to stop desiring to do evil. Just stop. Why?! Because of the gospel. It should affect your life – intentions, emotions, beliefs. Later in this letter he tells us to set Christ apart as Lord of our hearts. If Christ is Lord, it naturally follows that our intentions are for holiness and righteousness, not evil.

What else? Rid yourselves of all deceit. When was the last time you told a “little white lie”just to avoid an awkward conversation? Or to make yourself look a little better? Then there’s this: hypocrisy. I know this one is everyone. I’m not even going to talk about it. Then there’s me, envy. Jealous of people who love me and whom I love because they have something that I want but can’t have. Although in my situation envy doesn’t lead to slander, I get caught up in the bad talking of others more than I want to admit.

We fail so hard. But here’s the truth: this is why we need the gospel. Our new lives in Christ enable us to live free of these sins. Our position in Christ, covered by the blood He shed on the cross is how we know that we are forgiven and don’t live in the guilt of these sins when we fail.

I pray that as you, my friend, read this you are simultaneously encouraged – to know that you can turn to the Lord in repentance and He will forgive your sins completely – and hateful – of the sin that continues to linger as you learn to live with Christ as ruler over your life.

like a flower.

I need to be constantly reminded of the truth. The gospel of Christ anchors my soul. How do I function when life is crazy? How do I keep from losing my sanity? How do I not live in the guilt of every failure? Jesus. Knowing that He has paid the cost of my sin has changed everything.

Growing up in church, I was a typical good girl until college. When I learned what Christ had done for me even as an adult, I struggled. My thought was that I wasn’t forgivable any longer; if I had known the truth and walked away from it, then it was too late. That was the lie that I believed. What I didn’t know is that Jesus’ work was not dependent on or limited by me. On the contrary, I was dependent on Him. I thought that I was independently living the life that I’d chosen, but now I know the truth.


“For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached as the gospel to you” (1 Peter 1:24-25).

Grass and flowers are not permanent. They don’t last through a full year – sometimes even a full season. We do not change our everlasting God. His word endures forever. Christ endures forever. There will never be and there never was a time that He will not or did not exist. Your sin is not too big or your rebellion too far for Him to save.

None of it is dependent on us. The gospel preached to us of imperishable seed through the living word of God that endures forever is this: Jesus did what we could never do. He lived a perfect life. He took the penalty for our sins. And He rose again so that we may live through Him.

Don’t miss this: Jesus did what we could never do. Rest in Him.

sincere love.

Do you ever have a perfect moments? Not a perfect life, because no one has one of those, but just a moment. A moment rocking on the front porch with your spouse talking about whatever is on your minds? A moment when it wasn’t about money or difficulties? It wasn’t about the children or logistics for navigating life with only one car? It was just enjoyable? I had one.

Two people who are one as husband and wife sitting on the front porch, rocking and talking and laughing – enjoying each other’s company. It was a moment when the birds chirped, cars “vroomed” by and the crickets made whatever sound they make together in a beautiful chorus as the background music to my perfect moment. It was in that moment that I admitted this was how I’d imagined our lives together: babies asleep, us rocking and talking while I sipped a delicious red blend.


I often long for these moments. Unfortunately, they happen less frequently than they should. My sin gets in the way. We have such a clear calling. Peter commands us, “By obedience to the truth, having purified yourselves for sincere love of the brothers, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again – not of perishable but imperishable – through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:22-23). I realize this is not a verse specifically about marriage, but my husband is my brother in Christ. That makes some of you wiggle a little in your seats, but just hang with me for a moment. We are one family in the Lord and Christ is our head, the Cornerstone. Peter gets into the order of marriage in chapter three, so right now let’s just talk about what he says here.

Called to obedience to the truth – doing what the Lord calls good – can be overwhelming. But Peter tells us specifically how to do that here: have sincere love for the brothers from a pure heart. Sincerely – genuinely, honestly – love your spouse. In this small moment on my porch, we loved each other purely and sincerely. The pure hearts that we were able to love each other from were gifted to us by our Father in heaven. He removed our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of flesh. We were graciously redeemed by the blood of the Lord so that we can live in obedience to Him. So, in this small moment, rocking and listening to the music that our good Father allowed us to enjoy on the front porch, we loved each other well.

How have you seen love flow from your pure heart in small moments?