My Grandma used to say, “Life is about choices.”  I smile when I remember her wisdom, the tone of her voice, and the smell of good, strong coffee on her breath.

But how are we supposed to make good choices?  I mean, it’s not THAT big of a deal if we have to decide between the burger or fish sandwich for lunch today.  But what if you and I are facing a serious decision, one that looks awfully close to an answer to the heartfelt prayer for direction in our lives?

How do you choose?  How do you know if you’re to go or stay away?  How do you know if you’re to say “yes” or “no?”  How do you know if this is IT and you should start doing your happy dance to that song in your heart or that the sound is more of a ticking, a warning to run before the whole thing backfires and blows up in your face?


Maybe you think you don’t have time to pray.  My friend, you don’t have the time NOT to pray.

God can answer a prayer while you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone.  He can whisper to your heart what you need to hear.  Don’t let your idea of time hold you back from God.

God sees those choices you’re flipping through in your mind, like those index cards for the old card catalog system at the library.  He knows what “book” he has for you.  He knows what’s best for you, and He also knows what will keep you spinning, lost in the library.

You may grow impatient and pull open a drawer, grab the first card you see, and go where it leads you.  Don’t be tempted to hurry up God’s plan.  You may be so close to something He’s been planning for you, some wonderful surprise and an answer to that desire in your heart.  But if you leave God behind and rush after it because you think you’ve figured it all out, it may lead you in the wrong direction.  Perhaps it may take you outside the library altogether, leaving you frustrated, lost, and discouraged.

Wait for God.  Wait with God.  Talk to Him.  Tell Him your frustrations and your eagerness.  He will give you peace while you’re waiting for His answer.

Of course, you don’t have to do that.  You can always flip a coin, ask everyone you know, or make a list of pros and cons to make the decision, to make the choice.

Or you can simply choose God.

“Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose.”  (Psalm 25:12 NLT.)

Finding Yourself


The world will tell you that you need to find yourself as if you’re lost somewhere out on the open road or hiking through some rough mountainous terrain and can’t be found.

But God…

God will help you understand the truth about you.

What?! Someone actually knows you, the real you, and why you’re here?

Yes.  God does.  He created you.

Seek Him and you will find Him.  And in finding Him, you will find just how special, how important, how much of a masterpiece you really are and how your life matters. You will grow to understand that YOU are an important part of a much bigger plan than you could ever dream up.  And it’s a really good one.

If you’re searching elsewhere, through psychics, horoscopes, and other falsehoods that keep your eyes off of your Creator, be careful.  They’re taking you in the wrong direction, and they will never be able to tell you, “I love you,” like your Heavenly Father can.

And He means it.  Why?  Because He knows the real you.  (For more on that, check out The Real You.)

You see, you’re only lost until you find His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once you find Him, you are truly found.

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”  God’s Decree. (Jeremiah 29:11-14a MSG.)



Are you trying to figure out where to go from here?  Maybe you just went through a rough patch and you’re excited to run from it, to get out of there as fast as you can.  Or maybe you sense something wonderful in your spirit, something thrilling and spectacular is just beyond the bend in the road and you want to run to it.

Here’s the word I write so often: Wait.

Such a sense of pain can come from that tiny word.

Anticipation.  Longing.  Desperation.  A you’re-about-to-burst-out-of-your-skin kind of feeling.

But there is something to do while you’re waiting:  be on the lookout for breadcrumbs.

What in the world?  Has this just become a cooking blog?

No, my friends, it has not.

Breadcrumbs are those tiny little indicators, gentle specks of God’s guidance.  Confirmations to help you along the way that nourish your spirit, letting you know God cares, that He is leading you and you’re on the right path, and that you’re not alone even in the darkest of forests.

You see, God doesn’t want you wandering around, lost and frantic in the woods, nor does He want you to continue waiting when He tells you to move.

This is the essence of the breadcrumb.

You move along in the direction God leads, you find the breadcrumb and you pick it up, talk to God about it (remember He’s right there with you), and you listen to Him as He teaches you.  This can be a painful lesson, something you needed to learn the hard way or a blessing all on its own.  But it can be awfully tiny so you need to watch for it, watch for Him and what He’s doing in your life.  And remember He is always doing something even when you can’t see it.

Breadcrumbs can be His protection, to stop you from going in the wrong direction or those He wants you to stay clear from.  Breadcrumbs involve His timing.  Breadcrumbs involve obedience that lead to blessings.  So you feed on the one He has given while you wait on the next one.

That’s right.  You wait until you see another breadcrumb before you.  You don’t run ahead because you think you know the way or you have all the answers or because you think this waiting stuff is going to kill you.  You wait on God.  This can be any length of time.  But don’t panic.  You’re traveling with the One who created time and can stretch it like you’ve never imagined.

And while you’re waiting, just think:  you have the privilege, the high honor of spending time with Almighty God and resting in His presence.  Sit down.  Read His Word.  Talk to Him.  Listen to Him.  And then look around.  You may see more of Him in your surroundings.  You may feel the warmth of the sun on your head.  That’s His touch.  You may feel a breeze brush your cheek.  That’s His breath.  Perhaps you may even hear His voice speaking your name.  Can you imagine?

He may even lead you to a small pond where the wind forms ripples and the sun ignites them.  And when you look up, you see the very face of Jesus Christ; His eyes shining brighter than the reflection of the sun on the water’s surface and His presence warming your face.  It can be the image that you keep close to your heart, the one that tucks you in each night.

You never know what you’ll see while you’re waiting with God, waiting on His breadcrumbs, His gentle direction for the next step in your life.

Just know that waiting on Him and with Him is never a waste of time.  It’s His way of nourishing you for the road ahead.

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” (Psalm 32:8 NLT.)

The Puzzle


If you think about it, your life is like a puzzle.  You gather pieces as you grow, as you move forward in life, and learn about who you are.  You begin collecting them from the first, “Why am I here?” to the last breath you take.

But you don’t know what the end picture is going to look like.  Not really.  You can dream of course, even take all the pieces you can find and try to force them to make the picture you want.

Take it from me.  That doesn’t work.

I wanted to be a nurse until microbiology came into my life.  I drove to Nashville to be a songwriter until reality smacked me in the face and asked, “Do you really want to do this?”  I decided not to accept the flight attendant position when I learned I would need to drop my life the instant I was called for a flight.  This list is enormous, so I’ll spare you the rest.

The point is I tried so many things to find out who I’m supposed to be.  I tried to force myself into places and jobs I thought I would like only to realize I wasn’t qualified or gifted and when push came to shove, I didn’t even want it.  I just wanted the label; to be someone with a purpose.

So I stopped trying to force the picture I wanted.  I knew I had this small pile of puzzle pieces waiting for me, those I had gathered since I was a little girl, but without the box, I didn’t know what the end picture was going to be.  I suppose not knowing really scared me.  What if it’s something I don’t like?  What if it’s something so boring I wind up chewing on my own foot just to pass the time to keep my sanity?  Umm, I guess if I’m chewing on my own foot my sanity would be long gone.

That’s when I started asking other people what they thought about my life; what they thought my final picture would look like.  They brought all these other puzzle pieces and dumped them on my little pile.  I asked for it.  No one did anything wrong.  No one but me.  Instead of going to the only One who really knows the big picture, that final picture of what my life is all about, I tried my own way.  And when that didn’t work, I checked around to see what everyone else thought.

Now my little pile of puzzle pieces had grown into an enormous mound of confusion.

The good news, God is not only the artist Who meticulously painted each and every piece just for me, He knows which pieces are mine and which ones are not.  And He can help me find those important corner pieces, those four pieces that hem me in and stop me from going too far in any one direction.

So let me ask you:  How big is the pile you’re working on?  Are you working on the little pile you’ve been gathering or are you grabbing those “good” pieces and trying to force them?  Or are you frustrated, sorting through the mound that others have loaded on you?

Feeling lost?  Overwhelmed?

I understand.

Let me tell you:  You really can ask God to help you.  He’s the One who sketched that beautiful, final picture of you smiling.  He’s also the One who gave you the most beautiful piece, Jesus Christ; the One who adds all the light to your picture.

Once you’ve asked Him for help, He will help you sort through the mess.  He will even point out the pieces you should pick up and those you should leave behind as you walk together.

And when the day comes and you find you’re holding the last piece, a piece that resembles a tiny droplet of water, you’ll notice the only place left for the piece to fit is on the very face of Jesus Christ.  As you take your last breath and the final piece of your puzzle slips into place, you’ll realize the water droplet is a tear belonging to Jesus.

You see, He is so pleased, so deeply moved that you believed in Him, you asked Him for help, and now you’re finally home.

What a glorious picture that will be.

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”  (Jeremiah 10:23 NIV.)


Lost in the Shuffle


It’s easy to lose things. Keys get misplaced.  Coupons, paperwork, and homework can all wind up missing in a stack of the unknown.

But can we lose God?

It’s easy to lose Him too. Not in the sense that we’ve misplaced Him like He’s some inanimate object.  Not hardly.  But we can lose Him in the shuffle of life.  We get caught up in our own world, doing our own things, and we lose that closeness with Him.  We’re simply too busy to slow down and really, really focus on Him.  So we allow Him to fade into the background. We think it’s okay because He’s faithful and He’ll always be there, right?

But then we feel like He’s not. You know, that feeling that God is so far away.  Only He didn’t go anywhere.  You did.  You moved on without Him.  You forgot to ask Him to stay with you, to be extra close, to whisper throughout the day what you need to hear from Him.  When you went to bed, you forgot to remember Him.  And when you got out of bed in the morning, you forgot to thank Him.

But the moment you realize what’s going on, that very second you tell God you’re sorry, that you miss Him, He whispers back,

I miss you too.

That’s right. The relationship you have with God is not a one-sided deal.  He misses you when you don’t slow down to talk to Him, when you rush through His Word like it’s a duty instead of a privilege, when you forget to ask Him to help you through that tough situation, and when you close your eyes at night without going back through your day and seeing Him everywhere and thanking Him.  He still watches you, but from a distance because that’s how you want it to be.  You chose it by your actions or lack thereof.  He never wanted it that way.

God wants to be your number One priority, your Best Friend of all time, the One who saves you from yourself, Who protects you when others fail to see the danger signs in your life, and Who loves you when you’re not so loveable. God wants to teach you and guide you and lead you to the awesome life He designed just for you.   But He wants to be a part of it.  In fact, He wants to be the biggest part of it.  He’s a jealous God and won’t allow anyone or anything to take His place.   And He wants the best seat in your life, right there in the very center of your heart where you give Him everything you’ve got and you can’t possibly lose Him.  Not because life suddenly slowed down and everything grew quiet and perfect, but because you love Him so much and you’re so fixed on Him, you know right where He is:  Within you.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied:  ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.”  (Matthew 22:36-38 NIV.)