Hey there, you. You’ve been in a pretty sideways season for a pretty long while now. You’ve struggled to get back something you feel like you’ve lost, but for some reason, you just can’t seem to get going in the right direction. You feel pretty disoriented and with good reason. There’s a whole chunk of super important pieces of your identity…or at least pieces of what you thought were your identity…that are missing and it’s an ache you feel down deep.

You’ve identified yourself with all the things you “do” at church for so long and since you’ve stopped doing them, you’re all mixed up about what you thought made you “you.” Totally understandable.

And since you’re all mixed up about who you think you are, that confusion has also bled over into your relationship with God and so you’re all mixed up about Him too. That certainty you’ve always felt where God is concerned, doesn’t feel so certain anymore. What used to be black and white seems kinda blurry and gray and the fire in your bones that once burned hot seems to be nothing but smoldering ash.

You keep waiting for something to happen to bring everything back into alignment again. Like for God to do some big miraculous thing to restart your heart and destroy all your doubts so that you can get back to the way things were even though you were so restless then that you couldn’t wait for things to change…to be better…different than they were.

It’s like you keep trying to rebuild a sandcastle in the same place and the ocean tide keeps washing it away, but you just keep right on building and rebuilding with your stubborn self in the very same spot, unwilling or unable to move and then shouting at the sea about it all.

But have you considered that maybe God doesn’t want things to get back to the way they were? Maybe His plan all along was to let some things die because they were growing and spreading and taking up all the space and God ultimately had something new to plant there?

So many times in recent years you’ve said how you wished you could erase all your preconceived notions and bad theology you’ve adopted over the course of your Christian lifetime and just start fresh. How do you know that’s not exactly what God’s been doing? You think He’s been silent, like He’s not been listening, but maybe He’s doing exactly what your heart desperately desired – more than even you realized.

Maybe He’s cleaning the slate,
tilling up the ground,
taking out the trash
…whatever you want to call it.

Maybe He’s doing the exact right thing at the exact right time in the exact right way.

And maybe you need to just wait Him out a little bit longer and see. And maybe in the meantime, you might try and get over yourself and consider a different spot on the beach for that sandcastle.

A few summers ago, my family and I went on a trip to the mountains with a group from church.  While we were there, we visited Linville Caverns, which are limestone caverns in McDowell County, North Carolina.  While I’m sure there’s a big ol’ scientific name for all of it, basically you get to walk inside a mountain.

And inside this mountain, you see all shapes and sizes, and even colors, of stalactites and stalagmites, which are the big drippy things that hang from the ceiling and the things that appear to be peaks growing up from the floor.  The stalactites form when water flows into a cave and drips from the ceiling.  The water as it drips leaves behind calcite, which eventually with all the dripping creates this thing that looks like a big icicle hanging from the ceiling.  And then as the water drips down to the ground, the calcite builds up over time and starts to form a pillar from the floor.  Sometimes the icicle and the pillar end up growing to the point that they connect and form something like a column.

Anyhow, this is a process.  A long process.  Like years and years and years.  The constant dripping of the water, little drip by little drip, eventually grows something big. Something little like drips of water can seem so insignificant, but with time and consistency, it’s amazing what can happen.

I’m easily discouraged sometimes when I have a task ahead of me that seems so big or the mountain (of laundry) I have to climb seems insurmountable. I procrastinate or sometimes I just give up. But if can step back and take that big thing and break it down into smaller things, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming and over time, with consistency, I can accomplish what I set out to do.

So whether it’s losing 40 pounds or paying off a huge debt or just cleaning up the house, it we can be consistent, we can get it done. It may not happen as fast as we’d like – believe me…I’d love to wake up tomorrow morning and be at my goal weight without the effort – but if we can just keep at it, just keeping dripping little drops at the time, eventually we’ll get there.

Is there some task right now that you have to get done that seems bigger than you can conquer? Maybe it’s a small thing like laundry or maybe it’s a big thing like paying off a debt. How can you break that task down into smaller pieces so that with consistency, it’s more easily accomplished?

Two weeks since I last posted. I wish I could tell you I haven’t written anything because I’ve been in Paris taking photos from the top of the Eiffel Tower or in Scotland driving through the lush green countryside and exploring castles. But I haven’t.

It’s been considerably less glamorous than that.

I’ve basically been on my sofa reading. And sleeping. I wish I had more to tell you than that, but that’s basically the extent of it. A black cloud of blah floated into my head a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t been able to shake it. Then toss in a gallbladder attack, as well as gallbladder surgery on the horizon next week, and it’s just been a fantastic first half of July.

And I had all these grand plans for July, too. But then I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes. You think you have a plan and then all of a sudden everything goes sideways and you’re left standing there in the rubble trying to figure out what the heck just happened.

And it’s at that point, you have a choice. You can chose to sideline whatever dream you had and walk away. You can decide that whatever the thing you had in mind to do is just too hard or too big or too whatever else you can think of to make it seem unreachable. You can quit.


You can take a minute to regroup. You can step back and look at what happened and see where it went wrong. Where does that dream need tweaking? Is it a timing thing? Was your idea good, but your plan of attack a little lacking?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m very easily discouraged. I look at the distance from Point A to Point B and talk myself right out of the journey. I tell myself it’s too much. That it will take too long and I’ll never make it. That it will be better for me to just not try than to suffer the heartache of failure yet again. I wonder if you do that too?

But today, I’m going to take a deep breath. I’m going to get up off this couch and drag those plans back out and see where I need to do some tweaking. I’ll look today at how to get from Point A.a to Point A.b instead of trying to make it all the way to Point B.

But I won’t quit.

How about you? Do you get discouraged easily? Do you have grand plans that ended up on the back burner? Is there a smaller piece of that puzzle you can work on today and tackle something bigger tomorrow?

I’d love to hear how you go about getting yourself back on track when your dreams get derailed. Leave a comment below!

Happy Friday!  Just a few things you might enjoy…

This is the testimony of Amir Tsarfati, an Israeli Jew and a believer in Jesus.  I love his teachings and have gotten so much out of them.  His testimony is so powerful!  


A few books I’ve recently read that were so good!


For a list of my favorite reads, check out my Reading for the Road page.


Have you heard of The Bible Project?  They make the coolest videos to help bring the Bible to life.  This one’s a study on the word “shalom,” which usually translates peace, but means so much more.  


And for laughs….a little John Crist – Trey Kennedy action.  


And finally, a prayer for your weekend.

O God, in the course of this busy life,

give us times of refreshment and peace;

and grant that we may so use our leisure

to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds,

that our spirits may be opened

to the goodness of your creation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

from The Book of Common Prayer, prayer 32, For the Good Use of Leisure

Disclosure:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a (very appreciated) commission if you click through and make a purchase.  🙂


Lord. You know those days where you wake up thinking it’s going to be a great day and then you get a reminder text for an appointment you forgot you’d scheduled and what was supposed to be a nice planned out day turns chaotic as you have to rethink the whole of it to make it all fit together right.

Yep.  Today’s that day.  The time I thought I had this morning to work on writing suddenly got cut down to less than half of what I’d planned and I can feel my insides getting all bunched up.  And to add to that, my youngest has got a terrible case of the super wiggles this morning and that just multiple the chaos I’m already feeling.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not that big of a deal, right.  Just rearrange your day and get it done.  And for somebody who’s way better at time management that I am, that would be easy.  But to me, keeping a calendar goes against everything about how I’m put together and something about having appointments on said calendar makes me anxious.  I’m super selfish with my time and I don’t want to have to use it up going to the dang dentist, you know?

I’ve gone back and forth between using a hardcopy paper calendar and using my phone to keep up with appointments, but I can’t decide which one works better.  Writing an appointment down is way faster and more practical to me, but then it doesn’t help if I don’t actually LOOK at the calendar.  I know, I know.  #FirstWorldProblems

So I’m asking ya’ll for help.  How do you keep up with all the things you’re supposed to do?  Do you do paper or digital?  And do you write/enter everything in?  I haven’t been blocking time out on the calendar for things like writing, because *appointment anxiety*, but maybe I should?  Do you block off time for things that you want to do just like you would for things you need to do?

I’m up for suggestions peeps.  I need some help!

How does it happen so fast?  One minute they’re little babes in your arms and the next minute they’re talking about careers and getting married and all those grown-up things.

My youngest just turned 13 this past week.  I can’t even believe I’m typing that.  13??  Goodness.  And my oldest will turn 20 on his next birthday.  It feels weird to know I have a child who’s almost 20.  I don’t think of myself as being old enough to have a 20 year old.  But then age is just a number I guess.  At least that’s what they say, whoever they are.

I’ll be honest though.  I’ve been in a bit of a panic about it all because while age might be just a number, it’s a number that keeps increasing every year and I look around and think, but wait…I’m not ready to be 45 years old.  I’m not ready to have one child hitting his teen years and the other getting ready to leave them behind.

I’m not ready.  Will I ever be ready?

I look at my oldest son and I worry that I didn’t do enough.  That I didn’t give him all the guidance that I should have.  That I didn’t tell him everything he needed to know.  That I didn’t teach him all the things I was supposed to.  He’ll soon be out in the world on his own.  Did I do everything I was supposed to as a mom so that he’ll be alright as an adult?

I guess, though, that that’s the worry of most parents.  Did we raise them well enough?  Did we do it right?

And really, I don’t know that there is a “right” way to parent.  Every child is different, even children within the same family, raised by the same parents in the same home.  My boys are so different.

Over the years, my oldest has sometimes complained that I do things for the younger one that I didn’t do for the him.  And there’s probably some truth to that.  There’s six years between them, so I like to think that I was less stupid and maybe had learned a bit more about what it means to be a grown-up by the time the second one came along.  (I also remind my oldest that while it seems like the younger one gets away with more than he did, he also forgets what he was like as a little one and doesn’t remember all the things he got away with then.)

And then, you add in all the the things you are either trying to avoid or trying to emanate from your own childhood.  You’re either trying to give them better than what you had and trying to avoid being like your own parent or parents, or you’re trying to be at least as good as what you had because your folks set the standard high for great parenting.   

I guess I say all that to say, on this Father’s Day, that parenting is hard.  You make all these assumptions when you’re standing in the check out line at the grocery store behind a parent with a screaming child about what you’ll do when you have kids, but then you do and it’s usually way harder than you thought it’d be.  Now you’re the parent standing in the grocery store line with a screaming child while some know-it-all behind you is rolling their eyes.

Be kind to yourself, Dad.  Give yourself some grace, Mom.  We’re all out here trying to do the best we can with our little ones…and our almost-grown ones.

Just love them.  Love them and encourage them.  Be there to listen and don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes.  Teach them about Jesus and pray.

And know that God loves them even more than you.

Today is Pentecost Sunday and for most of my life, I had no idea what that meant.  At some point,  I eventually connected it to what happened when the Holy Spirit blew into Jerusalem.  But I never realized just how significant that day was until I started studying the Hebraic roots of Christianity.

In the beginning of the book of Acts, Jesus had been crucified and resurrected.  Before ascending into heaven, Jesus instructed the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for “the promise” (which we know to be the Holy Spirit).  So that’s what they did.

Acts 2:1 says that they were all together when the day of Pentecost arrived.  I always read that to be referring to Pentecost as the day the Holy Spirit came, which is correct, but also way bigger than that.

See, another name for Pentecost is Shavuot. which is Hebrew for “weeks.”   Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, is something that had been celebrated by the Jews for over a thousand years at that point.  We read in Leviticus 23 where God lays out and explains these festivals he required the Jews to keep and how they were to keep them.  And in verse 15, he starts explaining the Feast of Weeks, which is seven weeks after Passover, or 50 days…hence the name Pentecost, which turns out is Greek for “fiftieth day.”

Passover was the time after all the plagues when the Jews were finally allowed to leave Egypt and so according to the calendar, it would have been about the time of Shavuot when they arrived at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19).  Moses leaves Aaron in charge of the people and went up and spent a few days with God on top of the mountain.  In Exodus 19:18, we read that while Moses was up there, Mt. Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire.  When Moses came back down the mountain, he brought with him the tablets on which God had written his law, or Torah.  Therefore, Shavuot (Pentecost), in addition to celebrating the wheat harvest, became a day to celebrate God’s giving of the Torah (law or instruction) to his people.

Okay, so pause that and jump ahead to Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  The disciples are gathered in Jerusalem and it’s time to celebrate Shavuot.  All of a sudden a mighty wind blows through and flames land on the heads of the disciples and the next thing you know Peter is preaching and everybody understands him.  Since Shavuot was one of the festivals that required you to come to Jerusalem, there were people there from all over and they didn’t all speak the same language (thank you, Tower of Babel).  So you see how awesome this is, right?  Peter’s preaching, but the people are all hearing him in their own language.  Amazing!

So, just knowing the story of what happened that day when the Holy Spirit blew in is pretty mind-blowing in and of itself.  But when you connect it to what that day already represented, it’s just incredible!  At Mt. Sinai, God descended in fire and gave his people the law.  In Jersusalem, God descended in fire and gave the people the Holy Spirit!

Another thing you don’t want to miss is this:  do you remember what Moses found when he came back down the mountain?  He found that the people had gotten impatient waiting and had fashioned a golden calf and were worshipping it.  Dang, Moses was mad.  And it’s a little comical how Aaron explained it to him.  He basically says to Moses, hey look bro, I just threw everybody’s gold into the fire and this calf just popped right out (Ex.32:24).  Uh, okay, Aaron.  Whatevs man.

Anyway, in Exodus 32:26, Moses gives the people an ultimatum.  Either you’re on the Lord’s side or you die and it ends up that about three thousand people fell by the sword that day.

So again, skip ahead back to Jerusalem where the disciples have managed to wait it out without any idol worship, and in Acts 2, Peter preaches his best sermon ever.  Then verse 41 says this:

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

About three thousand, y’all.

At Mt. Sinai, three thousand turned their back on God and perished.  In Jerusalem, three thousand said yes to God and found life eternal.

God is in the redeeming business, for real.  And his timing isn’t accidental.  The Holy Spirit didn’t just trip and fall out of heaven on Shavuot.  He was sent with purpose at a time when there were a whole bunch of folks gathered together to celebrate a law that they couldn’t possibly keep.  He’d just sent his Son to overcome sin and death as payment for their (and our) inability to keep that law.  And boom, then He turns around and sends the Spirit, the Promised One that points the people right back to that very Son, Jesus.  I tell ya.  God is good.


Does your church observe Pentecost?  Had you ever made that connection before between what happened at Mt. Sinai and what happened Jerusalem?  Had you ever heard of Shavuot before now?

I’d love to encourage you to dig deeper into the Jewish roots of Christianity.  You’ll be blown away at what you find! 

It’s raining today.  It’s been raining off and on for the last few days.  You ever notice how everything looks brighter after rain?  Like the grass looks greener.  The dirt looks darker. All the colors are more vivid after rain.

I have a little container garden on my back patio.  It’s not much.  A few tomato plants, cucumber, squash, lettuce and a grape vine.  Honestly, I haven’t done a whole lot to it.  I picked the suckers out of the tomato plant as it grew, but I’m no super gardener.  Yet, somehow I’ve managed to grow actually tomatoes, a couple of cucumbers, and a couple of squash.  (Still waiting on the grapes to show up, but the vine’s going crazy.)

I water my little garden everyday, but one thing I noticed is that it seems to look better after a little rain than after I’ve watered it.  I don’t know why that is.  Maybe it’s in my mind because it takes less effort for the rain to water the garden than it is for me to lug a gallon water jug back and forth from the kitchen sink a bunch of times.  You know, like kinda how dinner always seems better when you eat out and somebody else cooks it?

But either way, it’s got to be watered.  Whether it falls out of the sky or pours out of an old milk jug, in order to grow and produce fruit, the garden has to have water.

There’s been times over the years that I’ve felt God’s presence so powerful in my life.  Like I can feel him with me, leading me, speaking to me.  And then there have been times when it feels like he is silent.  Like I can’t feel him, can’t see him, can’t find him.

And I’ve realized that in the silent times, which I’ve had a lot of over the last couple of years, if I let myself get lazy and stop watering my soul, I stop producing fruit.  And if I’m honest, I’ve gotten pretty lazy.  Since we’ve been “between churches,” I’ve let myself get lax about being in the Word and spending time with Jesus daily.  And I can tell it….my soul feels dry.

But when in those times when I’ve been constant, I feel myself bubbling over with him.  God’s Word brings revelation about who he is and about who I am.  And when I’m spending time with Jesus, he sends revelation, sometimes in the most unexpected places and they surprise me and delight me.

So as the rain falls outside this morning, I’m reminded of how much my soul needs water and I’m encouraged when I feel my heart being drawn towards him.

He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. – Psalm 147:8


Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”- John 4:13-14 

It’s the last week of school for my youngest, thank the Lord.  I don’t have one more single week in me.  I feel like I’ve been on autopilot for the last couple of weeks as it is.

I wish I was one of those moms who had a slew of things planned to do over the summer.    But I’m not.  Not even close.  I’m really just looking forward to not having get up at the crack of dawn for a little while.

One thing I do hope to be doing more of this summer is writing.  I recently joined a group called Hope*Writers and I’m already feeling more inspired than I have in a long time.  The group is made up of writers in all stages of writerhood.  (Probably not a word, but you know what I’m saying.)  Some haven’t actually started writing anything, but know they are called to.  Some have blogs, some podcasts and some are published authors.  Some write fiction and some write non-fiction and some do both.  One thing they all have in common is the desire to put words together to tell a story and to encourage other writers to do the same.

One of the things somebody mentioned in the group was how important they felt reading was to a writer.  Not just that somebody else reads your work, although that’s important and kind of the point of being a writer, but also that you are reading the works of others.

I’ve been an avid reader pretty much all my life.  I remember taking car trips with my family and bringing a book with me to read.  I’d barf my head off if I tried that now, but it didn’t seem to bother me when I was younger.  As an adult, I’d almost always have a book with me and often more than one.  If you asked me what I was reading, I’d usually have three titles to offer you because it wasn’t unheard of for me to be reading more than one book at a time.  Seems crazy I know, but I’d just read a couple of chapters out of one and then get distracted by another and just go back and forth, usually with non-fiction.  Most of the time with fiction novels, I’d devour them in a couple of days because I couldn’t wait to see how the story ended.  

But in the last few years I haven’t really been reading as much, neither fiction or non-fiction.  Out of habit, I’d still carry a tote bag of books, my journal, and my Bible around in my car just in case the notion hit me, but honestly I haven’t really read that much.

What I have been doing is watching a freaking lot of Netflix.  And Hulu.  And Amazon Prime.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, but for me I’m realizing that it made me creatively lazy.  Part of reading is using your imagination.  Picturing the characters in your mind and imaging the things the author describes.  Allowing yourself to determine how something makes you feel rather than going with the interpretation of the actor on the screen.  Reading activates a part of my brain that TV and movies just can’t access.

Now I’m not saying that movies and TV are bad.  No way, man.  I love me some Jane the Virgin and rom-com movies.  I’m just saying for myself, I’ve realized that for creativity’s sake, I need to make my brain work out how I see the characters sometimes.  I need to make my brain do a little thinking about how things look or smell or feel.  And I need to get up off my couch and leave my house, which I can do more easily with a book than I can with Netflix.

A friend told me about a couple of books last week that she thought I’d like, so I went to Barnes and Noble and picked them up and sat down with the first one.  I had that thing finished in a day and a half.  Granted it was a good book, but also I’d forgotten how much I love to read!  I’d forgotten how it felt to get caught up in the pages of a story like that and not be able to put it down.  As soon I finished that book, I immediately picked up the next one and devoured it as well.  (I’m open for suggestions for what to read next, by the way.)

So what’s my point here?  Well, it’s not that you shouldn’t watch TV.  It’s also not that you should go out right now and get yourself a book to read.  No, you do you, friend.

My point is…is there something in your life that brings you joy or makes your brain flow creative that you’ve stopped doing?  Something that you love dearly, but just allowed to fall out of your routine for some reason?

Is it because you think you don’t have time?  Because I thought the same thing.  I got to a place where I thought I didn’t have time to read.  But then I somehow going forward managed to find the time to watch Netflix.  I realized that I was making time for the things I wanted to make time for and if I’m honest, I had more free time than I wanted to admit to myself.

Reading takes effort.  Writing takes effort.  I was choosing not to make the effort.

Stop for a moment and think about the things that maybe you’ve told yourself that you don’t have time for.  Evaluate your days honestly and see if maybe there’s more space there than you think.  Or maybe there’s something that you’re doing that you need to say no to for a while and give yourself that space for one of those passions of yours.  It’ll be worth it, ya’ll.

I started this blog probably about ten years ago.  I named it Covered In His Dust because it’s where I wanted to be at the time.  It still is.  Have I ever told you why?

It’s from an old Jewish saying.  During the time of Jesus and before, there weren’t microphones or any kind of technology and you walked everywhere you went.  I mean, unless you rode a donkey or something.

A rabbi would walk along the roads and his disciples would follow along, but if they got too far behind him, they wouldn’t be able to hear what he was saying.  They had to stay close.  And because they walked on sand and dirt, they would get the dust kicked up by the rabbi’s sandals all over them.  Hence, they would be covered in his dust.  It sounded like exactly where I wanted to be with Jesus.

My level of dustiness has definitely waxed and waned over the years.  There’s been times when I’ve been covered head to toe and other times when I’ve barely got any on me.  There’s times when I’ve been lightly sprinkled with his dust and times when honestly I’ve choked on it.  Following The Rabbi is hard sometimes, especially when I’m being stubborn or lazy…or when I’m running my mouth instead of listening.

I was talking to a friend the other day about the name of my blog.  How it felt so far away from where I’ve found myself over the last couple of years.  It feels “holier than thou” for me because in many ways, I know I’ve fallen behind a lot.  She pointed out that we all get like that sometimes.  We all have times where our passion waxes and wanes.  But we just keep moving forward, keep following.

So maybe for now I’m just in his dust somewhere.  I might be covered today, choking tomorrow, and lightly coated the next day…but I’ll be in it one way or another.


Image:  view from Mount Precipice in Israel

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