So—what’s YOUR story?


This question always leaves me a little queasy.  What about you?  I heard it just this week.  “I’d love to know your story.  I’ve been reading your blog, and I just look forward to hearing more of your story.”

I mentally paused—even if I verbally rambled.  Because to tell people our stories we have to be willing to share our junk.  And well, it’d take a whole village to pull all the junk out of my trunk.

I just want to talk about God. And the good.  But you know, we’ve got to uncover ALL of our story.  The good and the bad, so that God can cover them with his truths and his love.

There’s a bucket full of issues in mine, like abandonment, abuse, divorce, fears, faults, failures, and the ugly list goes on…but I can’t cross them off, because that’s where the beauty of God’s hand in my story can unfold—and be told.  And yours too.

It’s also probably no coincidence my husband and I have been asked to teach a preparing for marriage class this week.  “Christie,” he assures me and my quivering lip, “all we have to do is tell them our story.  That’ll eat up most of our time.”  While I’m thinking, “But it’ll eat up my stomach.”

Because I want to tell them how we met before 6th grade, and how we’ve been best friends since 8th grade when he flashed his baby blues.  I can easily tell them that.

I really want to tell them how we used to couples skate, as he rolled circles around the rink and my heart.  That’s true, too.  And then—I want to tell them that we cruised all the way down happily-ever-after lane ever since. But I can’t tell them that.  It’s not true.

I’ll stand there as a married leader.  As a leader of leaders.  And tell them what I don’t want to tell them.  How I took a detour.  And then crashed and burned into divorce, before I let Jesus pick me up, and set my foot upon a rock, before Damon placed this rock on my left hand.

And how my story—our story—is one of love and loss, and love again.  And of redemption and second chances.   How it’s a beautiful picture of God’s story in us. Maybe yours is too.

So I’ll tell them—even if I’d rather bury my head and my trunk in the sand. 

Again, it’s probably no coincidence this week I’ve led other women through the covered up stuff of Moses’ story.  How he murdered a man, and then buried his secrets and shame beneath sinking sand. And then he ran.  But what gets shoved down and covered up will eventually come up.

But in God—that’s not the full story.  He turned a murderer into a mouthpiece of righteousness.  Say Whaaat?  Yep.  But his past first had to be excavated, forgiven and redeemed, and then washed clean.

And then—check it out—he became best friends with God.  Almost seeing Him face-to-face on a mountain so he could share heart-to-heart and light up the people in the valley.

His sin and his past was history.  But his present and his future was HIStory.  God’s story.  And ours is too.

I know sometimes it hurts to tell the truth.  But more times—it heals. And what if your story is the greatest story—never told?  Or—what if—through your story others know God’s story of true love and loss, and then never-ending love from a cross?

I told you mine, now you go tell them yours.  I’m praying for you.  Will you pray for me too?  I’ll sure need them this Sunday.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 (NIV)

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:7 (NIV)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Thanks for walking and reading along with me.  It would sure bless me if you’d subscribe to my weekly emailed blog posts, and I’ll bless you right  back with a free printable—and some free encouragement. (Just scroll to the bottom or hop over to the sidebar to subscribe.  The free printable will be in the confirmation email.)





I do DE-CLAY-UH! {DECLARE!} Here’s to Hair and Hearts as Big as TEXAS!

FOUR hearts beating FOR Him.

FOUR hearts beating FOR Him.

I’m about to go where I haven’t been in a LONG time.  Back to my sky-high hair days.  And all because there’s some “wild obedience” going on in Texas.

I’m trying to use my best Texas drawl here, but somehow it’s sounding more like the Louisiana chick that I am, horribly feigning a Scarlet O’Hara line.  And the only thing that’s ever been Texan about me was my Texas-size hair in the 80’s and 90’s. I’ve got the blackmail pictures to prove it, along with the sweet memory of my grandma and mom saying, “Pleeease Christie, can you make it go down–just a little?”  If only I’d listened to them.


The reason I’m even having Texas-sized thoughts along with my God-sized dreams is because there’s a group of amazing blogging women who are meeting up in Dallas soon, and I’m linking up with them to share a few things about myself. As my bio. page says, I kinda dread this stuff.  I mean, can we talk about YOU and YOUR stuff?  OK. OK.  I’ll do it anyway.  I’ll obey.  Did I mention their theme this year is “Wild Obedience?”  Uh. Huh.  I hear you, Lord.

And what I heard even louder than their theme was their name. The Declare Conference. “Declare.”  A repeated word in my mental vocabulary and my call to write.  When I heard it, I thought of one of my life verses and what I’m currently writing about:

And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him, declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. Luke 8:47 (ESV)

Now on to the fun stuff.  It’s Declare’s  4th year in existence, so I’m answering 4 things in 4 categories. (I just wrote that in my best gameshow voice, by the way.)


1.  I’m named after the Christian book, Christy, although my mom changed the “y” to an “ie.” Her motherly prerogative. She also loved that the name had Christ in it and means Christ follower.  I cherish the memory of being reminded of that by her in March of 2012.  Neither of us knew then that I’d have just 8 more months of those kind of encouraging reminders from her.  But God sure did.

And the weekend she reminded me of my name origin, I also met Diann Mills, a Christy-Award winning novelist.  I even got to ask her who her “Aaron and Hur” were in her writing life. (Remember-they were the ones who lifted Moses’ arms when he grew weary.)  I wanted to know who lifted her up when she felt like giving up, and who continued to encourage her to write and follow her dreams.  I thought of my man and my mom when she shared her answer. Tissues please.  We both needed some then, and I need some now. I love how cool God is.  And I live for these kind of God stories.

2.  I moved to a suburb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana the summer before 6th grade, and I ended up marrying the first kid I met. I was the new kid on the block and had prayed to find a friend before the first day of school.  However, he was disinterested in cootie-filled girls.  Fast forward 20 years, and God answered that prayer after all.  Did I mention we danced to New Kids on the Block at our reception?  Again, I just love cool God stories.

3. I have an unused law degree, of which I stubbornly pursued “just because I said I would” since the 7th grade. (Does stubborn qualify as an endearing quirk?  I didn’t think so.)

There’s some sweet irony here, though. I’ve been operating under “the law” for years, but now I’m seeking daily grace instead.

4. I LOVE to hear good God stories.  Even more, I live to write them. I said that already, but it’s worth the repeat.


Just four?!  And the “endearing” part is debatable.  It’s more like, enduring them. OK. Here goes.

1.  I snort laugh.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t happen too often.  Only if something is reeeaaaally funny.  Just pretend like you don’t notice.  It’ll be more comfortable for both of us.

2.  I’m kind of an incessant pile-maker.  Goes with being a note-taker and a thought-collector.  (Hey, I’ve heard note-takers ARE history-makers.)

3.  I love personality quizzes.  Meyers Briggs, can I get an Amen! After we’ve known each for a while (hopefully more than 30 minutes), I may or may not ask you to “tell me your letters.”  I’m a nerd like that.

4.  I get easily excited about the little things in life–especially all things quaint, cute, and coffee-related. You know those kind of people you have to caution to slow down and take time to smell the roses?  Well, “I ain’t one of those.”  Along with snort-laughing, I have no trouble snorting up rose petals.  In fact, you might just need to pry me out of the rose bushes.


1.  They were birthed from pain. So I don’t actually live in those rose bushes.  But I do live with some thorns in the flesh.  Specifically, herniated disks since 2009.  And after a fall in 2011, I finally asked God what He wanted me to do instead of telling Him what I was gonna do for him.  It seemed like writing was His answer.

2.  But truth is, it took losing a mom to finally force my writing and blogging hand.  So wild obedience didn’t come naturally.  It came painfully.  And with each weekly blog, I simply write out life in the light of His Word, from the Well of His Word.

3.  Since Christie Hughes was already taken for a blog name, I added the “at the well.”  I know.  It’s long.  

And the funny part is I recently learned I’ve been mentally referring to the wrong well.  I first thought of the woman at the well, and of course Jesus is the Well.  But unlike my bio. says, I’m not supposed to be sitting at the well.

Aside from sitting down, reading and writing, from the Well of His Word, I’m at the “Well” of His Word.  “Daughter, your faith has made you WELL.”  That’s me.  Daughter.  Just like the woman with the issue.  And she sure wasn’t sitting when she received her “well” kind of faith. I’m getting so excited thinking about that, I’m gonna have to type standing up.

4.  So along with blogging, I’m writing about that “well” kind of faith that turns a faith-filled woman with issues into a daughter made well.  And I’m learning that beautiful things can be birthed from painful events.  I look into the brown and blue eyes of two spunky little girls each morning and see smiling proof of that.  Which brings me to the last four things (and how my girls and their daddy are my “favorite things”).


1. Faith.  Family.  Friends.  Yeah, I know it SOUNDS like three and not one, but really, they can’t be separated.  Let’s just call it a 3-in-1.  It’s probably obvious here that I live with two mini-me’s who are nudging little negotiators (“Can I have just ONE more cookie, Mama? But what about just TWO MORE goldfish?”)

2.  Pictures.  I’m more about people than things, but if I select “things,” they’re gonna be sentimental.  The kind of things you grab if you’re headed for an island (besides the fire starter and knife).

3.  Words from those I love, including a letter from my mom in 2011 telling me, “God doesn’t put more on us than we can handle.  Sometimes that doesn’t seem fair, but ultimately we see in the end what he was doing and it is always for a purpose if we keep him first.  I admire the mother that you are.  I wish that I could go back and be more like you as a mother.  Pretty heavy statement, huh?  You don’t let circumstances rule you.  You rise above and find joy in your surroundings.  You have such FUN with your children.  I’m proud of you for that. I know you will continue to be the mother God wants you to be throughout their lives. And you have such a love for others.  You witness every chance you get.  I have no doubt your mansion in Heaven will be one of the most beautiful.”  Maybe I should’ve added tissues to my list.

4.  The Word.  Specifically, the Bible I grabbed from my mom’s coffee table the last time I saw her.  It’s a life-saver.  And there’s a bookmark of sorts now placed inside that sends a rush of hope through my veins each time I look at it.

It came in the mail a few days before she left for Heaven. A random item placed in a card from a stranger. I opened it at the exact moment I was telling my brother about praying with Mom and getting to see her lift her hands to Heaven and hear her tell Jesus that she was claiming all FOUR of her kids for the Kingdom.  Not one.  Not two.  Not three.  But all FOUR.  Yep.  You see it right.  It was a vintage playing card.  The four of hearts.


Allow me to say it ONE more time–I just love cool God stories like that.  And from my heart to yours, thanks for reading and playing along with me.  Now it’s your turn.  What are your 4 things?  

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 (ESV)

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Reason to Celebrate!


This month I’m celebrating a BIG anniversary. SIX WHOLE months of consistently putting my fingers to the keys and putting myself out there. Chasing freedom with every word. Following a pinky promise I made to my Mama to write. To push past fears. To swallow pride whole and just write. For an audience of One, in hopes that maybe just one woman would be encouraged along with me.

Half of a year may not seem like long to you, but it sure feels like eons to me. Like the way time droned on in grade school. Months, years, were BIG deals back then. And how about when you “dated” a boy in junior high and celebrated your “anniversary” of “going together?”

I’m a child of the 80’s and 90’s, so that’s the lingo we used. And we didn’t actually “go” anywhere. Except maybe to the movies or the roller rink. But I sure remember celebrating my whopping THREE MONTH ANNIVERSARY with my 8th grade boyfriend, who now just happens to be my husband and my lifetime love.

It WAS a BIG deal, capped off with some couples’ skating, indoor fireworks, and a snail-mail Hallmark card enclosed with, hold your breath, wait for it–his football picture–of him clad in shoulder pads and braces, given to me to frame and keep, like, FOREVER!

That’s how I feel right now, for my “six month anniversary” of sorts. Smiling as big and wide as his sweet little brace face that I still keep in my 8th grade scrapbook. Only now I’m scrapbooking a blog. Taking the scraps of life, the leftovers and do-overs, and even the torn pieces, and handing them all over to God.

Looking up to the One who saves and keeps every last one, then renews and reuses them for my good and His glory. Helping me paste them on the pages of a well-worn life for others to see. For my little girls and my guy, for women like you and me, and for my Mom. Oh, how I hope she’s reading these pages from Heaven.

And a fellow blogger and friend just gave me something else to celebrate and glue right here on this post, and I can’t thank her enough. Paige at Tales from the Laundry Room gave me her top spot and nominated me for an inspirational blogger award. I’m so blessed to write, arm-in-arm, and heart-to-heart with amazing women like her.


To accept it, I’ve gotta follow the rules: (which is fairly easy for a recovering, people-pleasing rule follower like me. 🙂

1. Display the Award on your Blog.

2. Announce your win with a blog post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.

3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award, paying it forward.

4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment (or a pingback).

5. Include an embedded video of your current favorite song (YouTube has almost everything, just copy and paste the link into youreditor). If a video is not possible, you can embed a SoundCloud track.

Wish I could list more, but my 10 are:

Angie at

Bonnie at

Jo Ann at

Karina at

Kathy at

Lindsey at

Michelle at

Rachel at

Renee at

Twila at

They’re inspiring writers who point to the ONE name that matters, which brings me to a favorite song.  It’ll make you want to sing, dance, and celebrate! And based on my prior post, you know I can’t sing. But since you can’t hear me, and I can’t hear you, let’s press play and belt it out together.

The Only Name–by Bid Daddy Weave:

Then in the comments, share what God’s given you to celebrate. And I’d be so blessed if you would scroll to the bottom or hop over to the sidebar and input your email to receive my weekly blog posts. I hope to bless you right back!

Singing a New Tune!


Last week, my husband followed up my gut-wrenching post with some gut-busting laughter, and it sure had me singing a new tune.

“Christie, do you remember that time when you REALLY WERE pushed out of the nest?” he asked as he gave me his sheepish grin and his giggling blue eyes that have held my heart and my future since the 8th grade.

“Remember? How could I EVER forget?” I wrestled with a smile, but it won out. That’s all he had to say to turn my frown upside down.

In honor of upcoming Father’s Day, I’ll share how I clearly showed my adoration and love for the future dad of our precious little chicks. Ten years ago, we were newlyweds when Damon encouraged me to attend a small group bible study with him that included several married couples and singles.

About the third visit, I was just settling in. Almost. And then it happened. At the close of the bible study, the leader threw a curve ball that nearly knocked me off the couch.

He said, “I think it’s time for a few timid birdies to be pushed out of the nest,” as he pulled out his guitar. “Tonight we’re going to end in prayer a bit differently. Instead of simply taking turns praying aloud for one another (which I was JUST warming up to, by the way), we’re going to instead take turns SINGING OUR PRAYERS ALOUD to whoever we feel led to pray for. But let’s make sure we cover everyone.”

Gulp. SAY WHAT?! I didn’t get softly pushed out of the nest. I got waylaid. Literally shoved out of a ten story tree to fall splat on the pavement of pure embarrassment.

My heart pounded and sent roaring waves crashing through my ears. No he DIDN’T! This CANNOT be happening. Where’s the door, how close am I? Damon can hitch a ride home.

I tried to stand up, but felt a little woozy. I thought, am I on a merry-go-around or is this room spinning?

One by one. The solos began. Damon finished his song and he was done. Some woman sang over me, but I never heard it. She was in the choir, so I’m sure it was beautiful.

All I heard was blaring radio white noise in my ears the whole time. I broke out in pellets of sticky sweat on my forehead, and still couldn’t move, like when you’re bowled over on the floor with the stomach flu.

Finally, the leader said, “There’s still two people who haven’t sung yet, and it looks like Damon’s the only one who hasn’t been prayed for.”

Then the silent, stare-down and stand-off began. Me against him. The quiet, shy guy across the room, and this girl about to vomit all over the couch and her new husband. Dead silence.

Except for my mental monologue: “God, if you love me, you WILL save me–again. Surely, IF you loved me, you wouldn’t do this to me. Make that boy sing! Pleeeease God!”

Then the room stopped spinning, although my heart didn’t stop pounding. I knew what I had to do.

I heard the Holy Spirit’s soft whisper to my heart, “He’s YOUR husband. Will you leave him unprayed for? Obey me, and show your love for him–and me.”

And then I belted out in song, although Damon declared afterwards it was more like a rap song.

I can’t carry a tune, and really, it sounded more like I dropped every tune on my big toe as I let out painful squeals, like a shrieking cat darting across a room with a barking hound dog hot on its tail.

I chuckle now, though I still get red flushes of embarrassment as I replay the scene. Damon says it’s provided enough laughter for a life-time of marriage. He belly laughs each time we replay it like it just happened, and I love that the most.

It’s a good example of true love–and utter humiliation. Reminding me that in marriage and in relationships, we often have to go out on a transparent limb, swallowing buckets of pride, and considering others before ourselves.

And we have the greatest example of all. Jesus more than went out on a limb for us. He hung on a tree for us. Died for us. Rose for us. With a Heavenly Father who gave Him up FOR US.

What a Father’s Day Gift. It sure gives me something to sing about.

When has God shown you that He’s been with you through the laughter and the tears? Comment and sing it aloud here. 🙂

Then scroll to the bottom or hop over to the side bar to subscribe to receive free weekly refills in your email inbox.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 (NIV)

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (ESV)

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Phill. 2:8 (ESV)

From a Mother’s Day Grinch to a Daughter’s Day Gift

rocky words

Last weekend I was pumped. Stoked. Jazzed. Dripping with so much confidence I looked like Rocky Balboa, ready for 50 single-handed push ups after a round of sacking frozen meat carcasses and a 10-mile uphill run. Well, almost.

Hours into digging in and spring cleaning out, I took my first break. Hey, surely even Rocky needed a breather and a coffee refill.

To top off the iconic moment, my trainer, I mean my husband, grinning from ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat, squeezed my shoulders while he dared to sing a Rocky theme song. I laughed and then almost choked on a half a cup of coffee while the other half nearly spewed out my nose.

I gotta admit. His timing was perfect. And the singing was funny, ’til I pressed stop with a quick backwards elbow jab. I had work to do. And he’d started this fast moving train. I had more cleaning dragons to slay and elephant boxes to move from last week’s post.

But I hit a road block a few hours later. And I was a sobbing, soggy wet mess on the floor. Going through boxes that hadn’t seen the light of day… years. Reliving memories, but mostly tossing out trash and regrets. And having some mopey Mama moments. It’d been well over a year since I’d seen her and heard her reassuring voice. Now would be a really good time.

I had just stood on top of the world. But I slid down nearly as fast as I hopped on. I’d almost conquered the elephant, but somehow I couldn’t conquer the dread in the pit of my stomach.

I knew the calendar. I knew the month. And I dreaded the coming week. Just call me the Mother’s Day Grinch. Then I spotted a card. No year. No date. But it had my name and my Mama’s handwriting all over it. It was timeless–and no doubt just in time.

And just about the time I was ready to throw in the towel, a smile from Heaven walked through the door saying, “Mama, will you roll my hair?”

What? Now? In the middle of this? She’d been asking for months if I’d roll her hair for the very first time. And it made no sense for me to get up now, but I did.

After the last roller was in, she admired my work in the mirror. I watched her reflection look up to mine before she said, “Mama, I look just like Mimi.” I stared in the mirror, and then watched my own jaw drop, along with a single tear slide down my face in front of me. She sure did. She SURE did.

She was not quite 4 when her Mimi, my Mama, left for Heaven. But I guess she was with her for long enough to remember that her Mimi never left the house without first rolling her hair.

And even the bouffant that followed to top off her little 5-year-old head was uncanny, as my brother aptly pointed out. She looked just like her Mimi. And like mother like daughter.

micah rollers

Such a sweet reminder that even in the middle of bitter places, Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us. And just when you’re ready to throw in the towel, He steps in to pick you up and set you back on the path of purpose He’s planned for you. Whether it winds through the bottom of a valley or leads to the top of the mountain.

And check this out, ’cause it’s for real. He even sings over you. Perhaps not the Rocky theme song, but rest assured, He’s singing over you girlfriend. So don’t throw in the towel. You’re almost there.

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7

Quick. What’s your favorite theme song? Hum it in your head and then write it out in the comments below. And let’s keep singing and keep moving together.

And because I couldn’t resist–Rocky theme song:

Cornerstone Confessions


elephant words

I recently walked into my bedroom and let out a shriek as I watched my husband steadily dragging out all–and I do mean ALL–of the contents of my closet. Ahem. Our closet. OK. It’s a shared closet, but evidently I don’t share very well and most of MY contents end up on his side after they tumble down the mountain of my side.

I was horrified to find them now smack dab in the middle of our bedroom floor. Where I was forced to look at them. Stare at them. Where I could no longer avoid them. They’d been the elephant in the room for years.

I huffed and I puffed, and I just about blew our bedroom walls down with my rumbling and grumbling.

What in the world was he thinking? I’d just worked so hard cleaning up our room, making it presentation pretty. So I could put my tired feet up and admire the fruits of my labor. Did he not KNOW how much energy and sweat it takes to keep that burly elephant crammed into that closet?

The LAST thing I wanted to look at now was MY JUNK from behind those doors! That would defeat the purpose of all that shoving down and covering up.

He snapped my thought in two when he said, “Hey, I’m just holding you accountable Christie. You SAID you were ready to clean out the closet. Now are you, or aren’t you? And sometimes you just gotta deconstruct before you can reconstruct.”

I glared back at him, sent daggers of stares at him and the elephant, and then loudly exhaled my way out of the room, nearly taking the door knob with me, and leaving a cloud of exhaust fumes in my wake. Along with broken pieces of my pride scattered on the carpet.

I mean, just because I said I WANTED to do something, didn’t mean I really meant it. Do you know what I mean? You do know what I mean, don’t you? Don’t you?

I let the exhaust and my head clear before I realized he was right. But it was just wrong. I didn’t like it one bit.

And I kind of liked the massive elephant in my closet and in the middle of our messy life. He’d been with us for so long. I fed him frequently, and he might as well have been our family pet. Maybe he could just mosey on through to the back yard now. I hardly saw him. He wasn’t getting in the way. And I barely felt him. (Hold on, I can barely breathe now–for some reason I feel like an elephant’s sitting on my chest.)

Inhale. Exhale. OK I got it. I see him. Now. The truth is, we can’t change what we don’t see. What we don’t choose to look at. And Jesus longs to touch and to transform what we willingly place in His hands. Hands that are large enough to accommodate our elephant-sized issues. He wants to sit down with us and sort it all out beside us.

I’m like you. I just want freedom. But I don’t actually want the work-zone and the heavy elephant lifting that leads to it. Or the broken pieces of my life laid out on the floor before me.

Yet freedom is on the other side of a transparent heart that’s courageous enough to lay it all down. To put it all out there. It’s on the other side of that mountain of an elephant.

But you don’t have to move it alone.  Jesus can send Him packing with a single pinky push. You just have to give Him the Word.

And fear not. He went before you, hung for you, clung for you, on the mountain of Calvary, and now goes with you.

So let’s keep going. We can’t give up or back down. Let’s keep wading through our mess and weeding through our piles with Jesus at our side.

Have you sent some elephants of fear and doubt packing this week, loaded down with tattered boxes of unforgiveness and shame? If so, let me know and invite me over to the victory dinner. I’m ready for an elephant roast paired with a big ‘ole slice of freedom pie. I can almost see it from here.

“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:18

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Let Him light the flame


Can I get a take back please? When I said, “Lord, help light a fire under me to spring clean my house from the inside out,” I didn’t mean for real. Or at least I really didn’t mean right now.

But a flame was lit, in more ways than one, and the smoke that followed was no joke.  While the whole house was snoring on Sunday night, I made my way into the kitchen just in time to hear and watch the thunder and lightning fireworks display.

Thanks to an unfinished to-do list, a late night cup of coffee, and a wide-awake Savior, I was fully alert for the show–and the fire that followed.

As soon as lighting danced a jig in the sky and lit up my kitchen, I heard a loud crackle and a sizzling pop from our home office. Billows of smoke filled the air and my nose, and I did what I do best. I hauled tail to holler at my husband.

“Damon, the house is on fire, help me grab the kids and call 911!” I ran with my heartbeat thumping through my ears and with fear throttling me forward. 

Then I checked off my mental bullet list. Kids. Check. Photos. Bibles. Baby books. Where do I even start? This drawer, that drawer, here, there. And then I heard my husband’s reassuring voice, “It’s only the computer! I blew the fire out. The smoke’s just everywhere.”

We stayed awake most of the night, saying grace, and huddled in a ball of adrenaline and relief, with our girls tangled up at our feet.

The smell of 50 burning pots still lingers, but what’s even stronger is my resolve to get my house in order. The one made of brick and mortar, and mostly, the one made of flesh and spirit.

I’ve been studying the book of Matthew since September, and the resounding words spoken all over the pages from Jesus are, “Be ready.” I thought I was. I mean, I am. If He comes for me tomorrow, I’m secure in my salvation. John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 told me that at the age of seven.

But if I’m honest, am I ready for a flame-filled, sold-out life of purpose? One that puts Him first before every last fear. That wears his love like its permanent and true. Not a Sunday jacket I misplace by Tuesday. Do I truly reverence the custom carved coat of wood He carried on his back for me? He didn’t die all the way for me to live halfway. He clung to the cross and defeated the grave, so I could grasp His love and claim victory today.

I talk like that, I write like that, but do I act like that, to where I live and breathe–like that? I don’t think I do. But I’m ready to. And I want to be ready, too.

Are you ready? Are you ready if He shows up tonight? Are you ready for the purpose He’s planned for you tomorrow? Well, let’s do it. Let’s get ready. And let’s haul tail to our purpose! Now ready, set, GO!

Lord, help light a flame within us that burns for the hearts around us, and never blows out.  Amen.

 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42

Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3:1

SONG: People Get Ready, Crystal Lewis

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