My New Website

Hello faithful readers and friends!

I want to thank you for reading my blog posts/stories here at Training for Eternity. What a blessing you’ve all been to me! (And a great big shout-out and THANK YOU! to those of you who’ve been following this blog since October 2016. I can’t believe it’s been that long!)

I’ll still blog about the lessons God is teaching me here at Training for Eternity, but…

God has been stirring something new in my heart for a few months, and I’m finally able to share. I have a new website,, for this “new” journey where I’m writing stories (and blog posts!) of faith and hope to inspire my fellow underdogs to fight the good fight. I hope you’ll come check it out and follow me there!

Just a sample from my homepage:

Are you an underdog? If you are, you don’t quit. You’re stubborn enough to ignore the naysayers who tell you you’re not going to make it. You push on. Even when things are hard. Especially when things are hard. There have been times, your darkest times, when you’ve considered giving up. But that tiny spark of yours, the one about the size of a mustard seed, ignites something else that keeps you going… [read more]  

And a glimpse at my first blog post:

Waiting is hard work. It’s especially difficult for the underdog. You might feel like you don’t have much support or encouragement, that others don’t believe in you and actually voice such things. You might even feel like you’re stuck in a prison of sorts waiting for the moment when you’ll break free and step into your calling –what God created you to do… [read more]

I hope you’ll join me over at my new website. I’m excited to experience the “new” God has waiting for me…for us!

See you soon!


When You Hit a Brick Wall


I was reminded of a Scripture after falling apart at my computer, crying and carrying on like a spoiled brat not getting her way. The words came to me like a whisper:

“If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!” (Proverbs 24:10 NIV.)


Let me explain: I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. It’s tucked so tenderly within my heart, and I know God put it there. It’s something I believe He’s called me to do, so I will keep writing as He keeps leading.

And yet, He’s put other things in my heart that I don’t want to waste: I love talking (big shocker there for anyone who’s spent five minutes with me!) and encouraging others, and I love to create graphic art; taking photographs at the lake with my hubby and hurrying home to upload the pic so I can add under that bold sunset sinking into the water, “God is faithful.”

So when I prayed and felt led to do something with those photographs, got all my legal ducks in a row, and tried to flip the “Open for Business” sign on my little ecommerce shop, I was crushed when nothing came together. All that work and nothing to show for it.

Of course I did what any struggling entrepreneur might do when she hits a brick wall: I cleaned the house. Nothing helps to brush aside frustration and disappointment like a sparkling toilet.

But what I learned this morning while spending time with God was that when something gets too hard (trying to get this business up and running) or the wait is too long (also known as being a writer), I try to pass the time by either finding a shortcut or getting involved in something else. I like the feeling of accomplishment, looking back at the day and feeling like I did something. Yes. Even if it’s a dust bunny free living room that will be swarming with them in a few hours. (I wish they’d stop having parties at our house!)

Sometimes it’s as if I’m not even wandering in the wilderness, waiting to see God’s miraculous move in my life, but hitting that brick wall wherever I turn; I can’t even wander.

I finally realized when this happens, God is hemming me in, pulling me back, drawing me closer. Not to stop things from happening but to help me regain the right perspective, the right focus. To keep my spiritual eyes locked onto what’s really important:


You and I may feel at times that we’re walled-in, and no matter what we do we can’t move forward. But if we will just learn (please help us, Lord) to breathe, relax, and trust that His plan is going to happen and will be so much better than anything we can force to come together, then we will have all the strength we need to stand, to wait, and to move forward when He calls.

And we’ll also have the grateful, joyful heart we need to truly appreciate His miracle when it happens, when He opens the right door in that wall of ours.

“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10c NLT.)

 “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 28:7 NLT.)

(Photo from Pexels.)

A Ride with God

roller coaster

Are you waiting in line for the ride of a lifetime? I’m excited for you! (This is a shorter version of an older post. If you’d like to read the post in its entirety, click here. )

There’s nothing like waiting in line with some of your favorite friends for three hours to hop on an amusement park ride that will last approximately ninety seconds. You’re sporting your favorite sunglasses with a wad of money crammed in your front pocket, and you made sure to wear your comfortable sandals because you knew you were going to be standing in line for a long, long time.

It’s a great thing, really, and you don’t mind the long line because you’re with friends and you know you’re waiting for something thrilling, something that will probably take your breath away.

You’re not ignoring your friends, focusing solely on the twists of the ride or the screams of those ahead of you. And you’re not standing there with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face because the waiting is just killing you.

That’s what it’s like when you and I focus on what God is going to do for us and where He’s leading us instead of just being with Him and enjoying His presence.

Maybe we can spend the time in line reliving some favorite memories with Him, remembering one of His many rescues in our lives. Perhaps we can talk with Him about the ride, expressing our joy and anticipation, remembering to thank Him in advance; knowing He’s the Creator of the ride and it’s not only going to take our breath away but will leave us leaning in closer to Him as the air comes back fuller, deeper.

And when it’s our turn to hop on the ride and buckle our seat belts, we wouldn’t even think about not scooting over to make room for God to sit with us. We wouldn’t even think of not sharing this ride with Him, not wanting Him to be a part of it, of leaving Him to stand on the platform while we ride alone or with someone else.

We want God to be right there with us as we climb higher and higher and as the twists and turns leave us breathless. We want Him to be right there, holding our hand when the thrill shifts to fright. We want to laugh with Him and experience the view with Him.

Really, we can’t imagine riding this ride without Him.

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” (Psalm 16:11 NLT.)



When God is Silent


Have you ever cried out to God only to be met by silence? You don’t get any answers, you don’t feel peace, and the only sound you hear is your own sobbing as your heart breaks.

Maybe you’ve even wondered, “Where are you, God? Don’t you care about me? Don’t you see what’s happening?”

I once asked God those very words. (For those of you who know me, you’ve probably heard this story. What can I say? I’m still learning from it.)

Years ago, I had questions for God, life-altering questions, so I went in our backyard to get away from everyone and everything. I needed silence. I needed to hear God in that silence.

Only God didn’t answer me. So I asked Him to let me see a butterfly if He cared about me. Just a glimpse, Lord. I looked all around our yard, in the trees that surrounded me, and in the grass. No butterfly.

I felt as if something inside of me had completely broken.

Days went by and I was so discouraged and deeply depressed. No one could help or offer any comfort. This was between God and me. And how I saw it during that painful silence, God let me down.

At that time, I had a job cleaning the church we attended. I grabbed my cleaning supplies and started on the outside of the glass doors. I noticed a moth trapped in a spider’s web on the door frame and did my best to rescue it from that monster. (What can I say? I really don’t like spiders.)

But when I finally pulled the moth free, I realized it wasn’t a moth at all: On my fingertip, I felt the gentle “pop” of a newborn, monarch butterfly’s wings as they opened for the first time; the dark, ginger-colored wings were still wet.

I held that butterfly for a long time. Watching in awe as it opened and closed its wings to dry them.

In that moment, God spoke so lovingly, so perfectly to my heart that I won’t ever forget it. He was telling me in a very real, very tangible way that He does hear me, He sees me when I cry, and He loves me enough to teach me the hard lessons.

The hard lesson of waiting on God. The hard lesson that sometimes He is silent.

Perhaps you’re there today, waiting on God, asking for an answer, and you’re being met by His silence.

My dear friend, please understand that God loves you more than you and I can possibly understand. You see, He is preparing you and teaching you to trust Him. He’s growing your faith in Him.

Just like the butterfly needs the struggle of emerging from the chrysalis in order to strengthen its wings so it can fly, we need the struggle to strengthen our faith so we learn to trust God more deeply as we walk closer to Him.

And when we walk closer to God, we learn the difference between His silence when we’ve disobeyed Him and sinned and need to repent, and when He is using the silence to teach us.

So if you’re hurting today and there is silence at the end of your prayer, don’t stop seeking God’s truth. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything, any sin that is keeping you from a closer walk with God.

And if you find silence at the end of that request as well, then remember God’s silence can be a temporary tool that teaches you about your loving Heavenly Father who never leaves you.

Even when He is silently holding you.

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5b NLT.)



Waiting at the Screen Door

screen doorSometimes I build a wall of cement blocks around myself, keeping them at a comfortable height because I don’t want anyone to see me when I’m struggling, when I’m falling apart. I’d rather let you peek over the blocks to see my crazy curly hair or maybe I’ll give you a little wave to let you know I’m here.

The wall keeps me safe while I’m hurting. Without it, I’m completely vulnerable and that scares me.

But if you’re struggling, then staring at my cold wall with only a glimpse of curly locks or the palm of my hand isn’t going to do you any good. And I want to encourage you.

So today, I’ve hoisted the blocks aside. Please understand, those things are heavy and I certainly didn’t do it alone. I had to surrender the blocks to God. He is the only One who can really move them.

But that’s how much He loves you.

I believe He wants you to read something in my struggle, and I have no idea what that is but I’m trusting Him as I step beyond my protective pile of blocks to let you see me. The real, hurting me I usually hide:

Last week was a really rough one for me. I was beyond discouraged. I was severely depressed. I mean, a heavy darkness like I’ve never known before (and I’ve had some real doozies in the past). Oh sure, I reminded myself of the Scriptures I often share with others when they’re going through something similar. (Joshua 1:9 to be exact.) I put on a “happy face” when I needed to because it’s easier to do that than try to explain something like: “I hurt somewhere on the inside so deeply I can’t understand it. I know God is with me. I know the enemy is trying to steal my joy. But this is so heavy I can hardly move, can hardly take a deep breath. I can’t write. In fact, I don’t want to write. I can’t see clearly or hear God clearly. I’m crumbling, falling apart, crying myself to sleep etc. etc. etc.” Yes, it’s much easier to offer a little smile and retreat to my corner of the world behind my wall.

The discouragement came after I stepped out in faith and obeyed God by speaking to two different groups of women. I still smile when I think how God sometimes calls me to do that when He knows my heart and the fear I have of public speaking. I have a friend who laughed when I explained that to her. Her laughter still rings in my ears and brings a smile to my face. Only God can transform this little girl whimpering in the corner into a woman who can hold a microphone and speak of God without shaking. Only God can do that.

As I mentioned, the heaviness came after I obeyed God. My first thoughts were, I’m terrible at speaking. I didn’t do it right. I failed. I let God down. I let everyone down. (All of which came like flaming arrows, if you catch my drift.) My Father knows my heart and all my imperfections and He is the One who called me to speak, to tell His daughters how our struggles strengthen our faith. I’m sure He planned accordingly for my many shortcomings and stretched His strength to fill in my many, many weak spots.

But then came exhaustion; a total sense of feeling drained. Again, more thoughts like, See, you were just doing it in your own strength and you got it all wrong. If God called you to do it, He would have given you the strength to do it. You certainly failed Him. That was a whopper of a flaming arrow; a big fat lie. God did give me the strength to do it. There was no way I could have made it through that day of speaking without Him. Seriously. I had such peace all day long, even with arrows zooming by my head. It was days later when the exhaustion knocked me over.

Then FINALLY after days of falling asleep nearly every time I stopped moving, of trying to praise God in song, praying to Him and sobbing, breaking down and building a wall so high only God could see past it, God touched my broken heart, my wounded spirit while I rested. I woke up Saturday morning with a real smile and a song in my heart. Some of the words that beautifully played over and over in my heart: I press on.

But that’s not all. I saw something in my spirit: A screen door opening. I don’t know about you, but I often think (and write) about closed doors and waiting on God to open them. This screen door was exciting to see! And the more I thought about it, the more I began to praise God that it wasn’t a heavy, ironclad medieval contraption of a door like I often imaged. It was a screen door. You know, the kind that allows fresh air, the scent of lilacs, and the songs of the cutest little house wrens to flow right in.

While you and I have been waiting for God to open the door, His Holy Spirit has been flowing in to fill our spirits, overflowing and spilling into our hearts. The whole time! We’ve never been alone, just as God’s Word tells us.

So I learned when we’re waiting on God, we’re not staring at a rock solid door, our noses stuck to it as if we’re being punished. We’re staring through the mesh of a screen door at the horizon, getting glimpses of God and the wonderful promises He is working on for our lives. We get to smell the rain, hear the thunder, and appreciate His creativity blooming all around. We get every bit of that while the Holy Spirit, our wonderful Comforter, holds us and waits with us.

You see, God wants us to wait with Him while we’re waiting for Him. He wants us to talk to Him, cry out to Him, and REST with Him while He’s preparing to open that screen door for us.

That beautiful, creaking screen door that will open up our world to His will and His plan for our lives.

Can you see what’s out there? Can you look past the screen door, past the porch, beyond the horizon? Can you see all that God has for us?

Me neither! But I know my God, and I know it’s going to be jaw-dropping good.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV.)

“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” (Exodus 33:14 NIV.)

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14 NLT.)


God Uses You While You’re Waiting


How many times have you waited in line, annoyed and in a hurry? You know what I’m talking about. Your mind is spinning with all the things you need to do and you get to the only checkout line that is open and there is a lot (a LOT) of stuff on the conveyor belt and the cashier is really in no hurry. No hurry whatsoever.

You get irritated, right? Maybe a little annoyed? I mean, you’ve got things to do. You don’t have all day to stand there waiting.

I’ve definitely been there, unfortunately, and I’m not proud of the times I probably huffed and acted like a spoiled brat. (Forgive me, Lord.)

But this past Saturday was different.

I went to a little store not far from home to buy a card. Yep. That’s it. I went to the only checkout line that was open and saw exactly what I described earlier. The couple in front of me had the conveyor belt loaded with a tower of stuff wobbling when the belt moved forward. But the sun was shining into the store, and I shooed away my to-do list that was buzzing around my mind like an irritating little pest. (Boy did that feel good!)

I was in line for a really long time, but I had such peace. Strange, huh?

Finally I paid for my cards (did I mention I found two?) and stepped out the door, the sunlight warming my skin. I drove home with the windows cracked for a little fresh air while listening to some music that soothed my soul. Everything was just fine.

As I approached my turn, a big ol’ pickup truck coming from the opposite direction made the turn ahead of me. I wondered why the driver took the turn so wide, but when I saw him I knew why: he had his face buried in his phone.

I turned and followed him onto this winding country road, dandelions swaying as we drove by. When he started driving in the middle of the road, I tightened my grip on the steering wheel and began praying, “Lord, please don’t let him hurt anyone.” And when he started to drive uphill on a blind curve, still in the middle of the road, I found myself pleading, “Please, Lord. Please.”

I realized in the very next moment who I was praying for when a man on a motorcycle came down the hill.

The truck swerved, barely missing him, and barreled up the hill. From where I sat, it was as if God slowed the motorcycle down with one hand and scooted the truck over with the other; as if both were chess pieces in His hands.

Two lives would have instantly changed in that moment had God not intervened.

But God did step in. He used a stay-at-home momma in a ball cap, delayed her at the store and gave her peace while waiting and for the drive home so she wouldn’t hurry, and nudged her to pray. And then, He answered that prayer and allowed her to see it with her own eyes. Thank you, Lord.

I realize now the moments we sometimes see as annoying or slow-going can be the very situations God wants to use us in.

I’m sure you’ve been there. You’ve talked to a woman in a checkout line because there was a really, really long line. Perhaps she was lonely and God used you to encourage her. Or maybe you had an extra-long wait in the doctor’s office and talked to a man who was terrified of getting back the results from a test. But God used you to comfort the man, to help him in his waiting.

You may not always see how God is using you. It might not always be so clear or fast as His mighty hand reaching down to stop an accident in front of you. But you can be sure that He will use you if you ask Him, if you surrender your times of waiting to Him.

Who knows? You may even get to see Him perform a miracle before your very eyes.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.” (Ephesians 6:18a NLT.)

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

A God-Given Label


I was lying in bed last night, wide awake and talking to God. Sometimes when things get busy, I find myself craving this time when my little corner of the world is tucked into bed and things are quiet.  When it’s just God and me.

I found myself asking Him, as I see new things on the horizon and I want to prepare and plan for them, who am I supposed to be in all of this?

Ugh. Why do I always want to label myself?  I mean, I’ve been asking God since I can remember, “Who am I exactly and what am I supposed to do with my life?” I want a name, or a title, or a clue!  I can look back over the years and see the self-made labels I stuck to my life:

A student in high school. Not athletic or super smart. What’s next? 

A dishwasher dreaming of writing, a waitress waiting to take off, a college student learning the ropes of life (ha! Maybe a tiny thread on one of the ropes), an assembler in a factory, a poet selling personalized poems. Now what?

A writer of short Christmas stories and newspaper articles, a press operator in the same factory, a renter of a small apartment, a momma to a fur baby. What now?

A wife and a stepmom, a daughter, granddaughter, sister, and aunt. Thank you, Lord.

Moving right along…a stay-at-home mom, a grandma, a blogger, and a writer who has finally finished a novel. A gluten-free, dairy-free girl. But now what? I see more coming, Lord. What should I call myself? Will I fit into one of those neat categories?  Some of those are kind of scary, You know.

It’s like I’m trying to peek into the back door of God’s plan, trying to figure out what’s inside the house before He will let me in. Or maybe I’m just the little girl standing on tippy-toes, elbowing my way up to the open window and sniffing chocolate chip cookies in the air, whining about how long I have to wait to have some.

Maybe I’m always begging God for a label because I find comfort in having one, so I will have a neat and tidy answer when someone asks me about me. Perhaps I find stability in an easy explanation instead of (-gulp-) finding my security and worth in the One who created me and is still molding me and forming me like clay in His mighty hands. Forgive me, Lord.

Are you here with me, peeking through the back door or wiggling up to the window to see what’s next and whimpering about the wait? Do you have a need to label yourself, to fit in somewhere, to find purpose in having a clear-cut direction?

My friend, I learned a great truth last night while the house was still: You and I already have a label. A God-given label.  We don’t need to hunt and search for it.  We don’t have to ask our family or friends or trusted mentor what we should call ourselves.  We don’t need to take comfort or find security in a worldly label, in a position of power or pride with a title to match.  We have a label God placed on our hearts the day we accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior.  It’s the label our Heavenly Father carefully, lovingly, and jealously placed there that will stick forever:


“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” (Isaiah 43:1b NASB.)


Waiting on the Sidelines

waiting on the sidelines

I was never very good at playing sports. Oh sure I liked to play volleyball in college, leaving a big crater in the sand where my body landed with a thud and hurling the ball to whack any unsuspecting spectators, but I was certainly no athlete.  Before sand volleyball I tried out for softball and basketball (never made the teams) and later joined track because they needed people.  There’s a confidence booster.  But when I broke my toe trying to throw discus and then hobbled over to my next event, shotput, I realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing.  My pride hurt about as much as my toe.

With my limited sports experience, I never had to wait on the bench for a turn. I was part of the volleyball team so I showed up and I played.  I was part of the track team so I showed up and I…broke my toe.  Ahem.  Anyway, I never had to prepare and then sit down and wait, and wait, and wait.

But I’m waiting now. I’m waiting on God.

Okay, I’m going to be brutally honest which will probably be more embarrassing for me than the whole toe story but here it is: I don’t like waiting.  I complain A LOT.  I get aggravated and frustrated and even mad.  I get upset with God and wonder what’s taking so long.  I wonder if I’ve disappointed Him, upset Him, let Him down and start to reason that THAT is the reason for the delay.  I’ve obviously screwed up somewhere so the aggravation and anger turn inward.  Then the lying enemy has a field day with me, tap dancing on my thoughts and kicking me in the teeth.

I try to fix things, hurry things along. I let go of God’s hand and run ahead of Him like I do every time the waiting takes too long.  I reason, “I’ll just do this and that while I’m waiting.  Start a small business, work on another writing project, start something brand new that sounds like fun.”  And then when things feel “off” I wonder why.  Could it be because I was with God and I let go of Him?!  Is not waiting really worth all of that?

What exactly am I waiting for? Well as some of you may know I’ve written a book and I’ve been waiting to hear back from the agent I submitted my proposal to.  (I’ve prayed for God’s will in this situation.)  In the meantime, I’ve felt like the waiting is going to kill me.  Yes, I’ve actually said that.  Sheesh, how ridiculous. I know.

But it’s not just the book I’m waiting to hear about but the next step. I love dreaming and planning and getting ready for the next big adventure with God.  And you see, there are a few of those spinning in my head that I’ve been praying about.  My problem is waiting to see which one God chooses for me.

I realize while I’m waiting on the book and waiting for God to pick the “new” He wants me to move forward with, I’m doing a lot of waiting. Mind you, I’m not sitting here staring at the house as the dust bunnies take over or as the laundry sprouts fingers and crawls out the door; I’m doing the things that need to be done. But my spirit aches for more of God and more of what He has for me to do.

So it seems I’m waiting on the sidelines after all. Yes, I can see myself sitting there on the bench with my legs dangling and kicking.  I’ve got my arms crossed and I’m wearing my uniform and pigtails; fitting for my earlier behavior. I anticipate my Coach calling me into the game any moment now.  He knows I’m here.  He hasn’t forgotten me.  It’s just a matter of time; His timing.

Meanwhile, I have a choice. I can give up, get all huffy, and storm off because I’m tired of waiting. Maybe I’ll go chase down a butterfly or take a picture of a flower. (Oh brother, I really DO those things.) OR I can wait here, study my playbook, and cheer on my fellow teammates as I trust and have faith in my Coach that He knows exactly when I’ll be ready.

I choose You, Lord, and Your timing.

 And if that’s you sitting beside me on the bench and you’re waiting for God to call your name too, I want you to know I’m praying for you.  Don’t give up.  I know waiting is hard work, but God has so much more for you than flowers and butterflies.  He’s going to call you at just the right time, and you’re going to be amazed at what He has for you.  Remember, He’s the One who parted the Red Sea.  He can do ANYTHING!

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT.)



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.)