Posts Categorized: devotional

For the Beauty

Noticing Beauty While Depressed

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Psalm 19:1 KJV

Turning My Page

There have been so many reminders in the past few weeks of God’s delight and presence in my life.

Everything is bursting with color and creativity. In the past few weeks, I have experienced spectacular skies filled with clouds that looked like they were painted on and vivid fall colors just outside my window. I’ve had to pull the car over to snap pictures and sit in awe of sunsets and sunrises over lakes and oceans. I feel like I am constantly slack jaw. The funny side effect of noticing beauty is that I breathe more deeply.







For the Beauty

My daughter’s humor never ceases to bring us joy.


And then there are my children. Their pumpkin creations this fall have brought


me endless giggles.  











Turning Your Page

Depression has an awful way of blinding us to the beauty around us. Noticing and delighting take practice when out of use. With God’s help, we can push back and declare what the Lord has done for us.

  • Record in words or pictures the beauty around you this week. Some are tiny, some are big, but all have the power to remind us that God is not distant and loves to delight our souls.
  • What scriptures speak of noticing the beauty of God’s creation?

Creator, just wow! You did all this for my well-being and delight? Thank you. Amen

Peter’s Darkest Night

I possessed no doubt. Your identity
secure in my arrogance like a sword against
the throat of my enemies. You are the Messiah! But
your kingdom came, not with a roar
of victory, but a depressing death cry of, it is finished!

We shared
the same ministry dirt under the nails.
Fished for men. You called me friend.
This death you hinted at—not
on my watch!

You capsized my boat. Wrecked my
expectations. Did I really know you? Hope lies
rotting in a borrowed grave.
I replay your 
ministry over and over in my head. Where did I 
go wrong? I called you Messiah!  Did I really know you?

My battle cry, so passionate, so confident, last night, choked
out by the cock’s crow of my betrayal today. You looked at me.
You knew I would betray you, and still, you chose me. “Why?”
Bitterness mocked, “I’ll
follow you anywhere!” 

I was ready to establish your kingdom.
The battle was in front of me. My heart pounded.
My nearest enemy’s ear lay on the ground, with
first blood of freedom. Who’s with me?

“Put your sword away, Peter,” you commanded. Put my sword
away? Didn’t you put this sword in my hand? Even as I was ready to destroy
you were ready to restore.

“Your kingdom come!” 
What kingdom has ever come through a cross…

Countless times, you knelt and drew in the sand.
Treated the self-righteous as heathens. I felt elevated. 
A part of something gloriously divine. Oh good,
the master will put these accusers in their place. I witnessed
your miracles, but restore an enemy? My knowledge of your royalty was robbed
by your humility—by your sacrifice.

Why did you choose me?


Grieving with hope

Lessons in Perseverance

He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations

(Psalm 105:8 ESV).

Turning My Page

My grandmother giggled like a teenage girl. Her whole being exuded joy at both hanging the sheets out to dry and investing in the lives of those around her. One summer, I spent several weeks with her and heard stories never shared with me before. Behind that giggle was a whole lot of suffering. It was impressed upon me that she had resilience. At the time, I was an Eyore, focused on the gloomy clouds constantly hovering over my life, and had little to no ability to bounce back. Still, I soaked up her stories and wondered how she could have such a great attitude, praise God for her blessings, and serve others wherever God placed her.

So much of Grandma’s life was deeply hard. Her father died when she was three, and when her mother remarried, her stepfather wasn’t keen on the extra baggage of a daughter. She passed from relative to relative until her siblings started arriving, and then she was brought back home to help raise her brother and sisters. She did not hold a grudge. When she was older, she endured the devastating loss of two sisters, who died because they got caught in a whirlpool and drowned. Grandma lived through the great depression, wars, and a husband who was a harsh and unforgiving man.

He had softened as a grandfather, and I only caught glimpses of his stubbornness, but I could tell she loved him with every fiber of her being. She lost a grandson who lived with her for a while when his parents discarded him to suicide. I didn’t understand then, but I do now how profoundly the loss of my cousin broke her heart.

Yet, despite all of these experiences, she laughed and celebrated life to the fullest. She shared her faith with me at a little white church in the country. She played cards with me and taught me how to make buttermilk toast when she was sick. I loved her tea, her stories, and everything about this five-foot-nothing, once curly-haired redhead. What I didn’t understand then, I know now as a believer in Christ.

I can now laugh, celebrate, and live life to the fullest, whatever circumstances may come because I recognize that Joy and Sorrow are beautiful companions. Death does not end my story. It is only a part of the story.

Turning Your Page

Start observing joy coupled with sorrow where you are. Who around you is an example of someone who lives life to the fullest amid hardship? What characteristics do you observe about them? Ask them to share the reason for their hope. Ask them what scriptures are foundational to how they live with sorrow and joy at the same time.

Learning to walk with sorrow and joy simultaneously is not easy. Often, our selfish and worldly desires get in the way. A simpler life, with no troubles at all, would be nice, but remembering that God sees you and has kept his covenant to all who believe in Him, what we experience in this life is but a blink. Living life to the fullest is possible because Jesus bridges the gap of our sinful nature and teaches us to take up our cross daily. Here are some other passages to help you practice joy in sorrow.


“Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight” (Psalm 119:143 ESV).

“‘Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour'” (John 12:27 ESV).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV).

“‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid'” (John 14:27 ESV).


Lord, thank you for the many examples throughout scripture and in my life who exemplify your attitude of joy amid great hardship. May I take comfort and share that comfort with others because you waste nothing.

A Counselor Familiar with Dust

You didn’t impatiently check your watch like
you had someplace more important to be.
A God who listens.
You didn’t stare down my vulnerability
in disgust as I poured out my broken heart.
You grabbed a tissue and sobbed with me.
A God who cries.

Your counsel didn’t come down from a distant marble throne.
You stepped into the crowd, looking for me.
A God who draws near.
ME—A single lost sheep.
You took my hand
into your callused carpenter’s hand
and walked the journey of hope with me.
A God who touches humanity.

Hope In Transition

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

Turning My Page

Hope is always in transition because God’s Word is alive, active, and working behind the scenes. He fulfills his promises.

There are ministry movements that I cannot yet reveal, but things I have hoped for are coming to fruition, and His Spirit (wise counselor, comforter, and advocate) have been up to some pretty cool behind-the-scenes preparations that I had no part in except to step up and do what God directed.

It can be easy to grow discouraged in these in-between places. I want to see the road mapped out ahead of time. Yet Hebrews 11 is called the “Hall of Faith” because the writer Paul lists examples throughout scripture of people who took steps of faith with what their naked eye could not see.

Sometimes it is in moving us to a new location where the fullness of God’s purpose can be revealed, for example, in the story of God’s winding path for Joseph to save Israel and many other nations in Genesis. Other times it is in moving the resources towards us, as it is in the story of the Samaritan woman (John 4). Hope is that in-between place where we both wait patiently and actively look for the answer.

Hope is active waiting. 

In the last year, the tension has mounted as I move forward to embrace all God has in store for me in sharing the good news of His presence in our many valleys of despair. Hope that remains parked in what-if is hollow and unstable. A daydream. Therefore, I open myself to possibilities and actively embrace all of God’s plans for Turning the Page on Suicide.

In the Old Testament, God tells Joshua, the new leader of the Israelites, “Moses is dead.” While this might feel a bit like God is stating the obvious, we humans tend to hold tight to what is—the familiar. It was time for the Israelites to move on. I must now move on from active griever to resource for others. 

Here are some of the things God has been up to:

  • Vacation with family and connecting with nature. In other words, stepping away and growing quiet when life has been boisterous with doing. He (Jesus) is the vine, and I am a branch, oh Lord, strengthen my abiding in you. (John 14)
  • Has me spending deep time studying God’s word, fasting, and praying for spiritual healing for those suffering from mental illness, and preparing for the spiritual warfare that inevitably comes as I step out in obedience to God’s direction and will.
  • Connecting with and strengthening other mental health warriors. 
  • Some pretty cool one on ones with complete strangers whom the Spirit was stirring to ask questions.

In the coming weeks, you will see significant changes to my website as I shift from a griever of my own loss to a more intentional resource for you. I have been deeply encouraged in my own grief by:

  • God
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Counselors
  • Scripture
  • Research
  • Fellow Authors and Speakers
  • Strangers

We need each other. Isolation is Satan’s number one weapon in despair. If you and your loved ones wrestle with finding hope in the dark valleys of mental, physical, and emotional health, it is my prayer that I can hold up a light to illuminate what you can’t yet see. There are so many stories of hope, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

I am gathering information, preparing to equip and train, and answering questions about mental health from a biblical perspective. There is so much hope yet to be gleaned in our stories, and I look forward to growing together and pushing back the Spirit of despair.

There is Hope

I have really enjoyed facilitating the shared stories of hope from various men and women I have met in the past nine years. I would love to share more stories. If you have a story of overcoming and hope to offer others, please get in touch with me at

I continue to look to Christ as He is my light in the darkness.


Turning Your Page

Recommended Resources:


Resurrection Battle at the Demoniac’s Tomb

The demoniac:

Dressed in rags and chains, I was not
ready to entertain kings. 

You crossed the unclean threshold of my grave,
your royal robes billowing in the sea’s warm breeze.
My heart strained to near you.
Dare I hope.


A crown, only seen by our eyes, testifies to us who you are.
Naked, we claw with rocks at vulnerable flesh, mutilating your earthly jewel.
We’ll make you unrecognizable too. Soon. Flesh out, God.




I scream for
release from day and night horror. While they cried out to
remain fast.
I was a scarred lamb within, and
a roaring lion without.


Mighty Samson would not tame we beating beasts.


You, Son of God, entered my tomb and knocked
the breath out of me.
What man chained you commanded freed.
Clothed in righteousness, I now cling to you.

You are God in flesh!

You are God in flesh!

A demoniac commissioned to share the truth of your
love for mankind.

(Inspired by Mark 5)

Rest in You

So much lures me away from You—
Chores, needs, wants, the “musts” all
tell me I will never catch up to expectations.
But, like a child, I run to You in the early morning.
Share with me the story of Your love.
Let me touch the scars of my salvation in these pages.
In the stillness of Your presence, I remember my worth is found in abiding in You.
God I Did Not Form

Is it Right for Me to Be Angry?

“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:1-3 ESV).

Turning My Page: Is it Right for Me to Be Angry?

I am angry at God. Probably the emotion will bleed into
tomorrow and the next day. Lots of reasons that
he and I will hash out, but the fish guts
hit the fan Sunday.

“Woman overboard!”

God had the audacity to
compare me to Jonah. I haven’t run from him—
lately— but his mercy. The word
is like placing a sour warhead in my mouth.

“I want justice. I want a front-row seat to ‘every knee
shall bow, and every tongue confess!” Hurt. The
pain rolls around in my soul like a stirred-up

“How can God ask me to do justice but love mercy?”

Eventually, I must let it go because it isn’t right for
me to be angry. Sin tainted, I will always misjudge myself and others.
God shows mercy to me,
even in my questioning His justice.

If I hold onto anger, then I take hope to the grave with me.


Turning Your Page

Anger is a tool. Nothing more, and nothing less. It points out that there is something not right in the world, but there are several crucial things to remember when feeling anger:

  • Clearly identify the source of your anger
    • Is this something that makes God angry?
    • What does God say for me to do with my anger?
    • Am I dealing with my anger or nursing and stirring it up?
    • Is God using this person to reveal my own sin?
  • You are not God, and therefore, your anger is often faulty
    • tainted with sin
    • meant to tear down rather than build-up
    • lacks mercy
    • forgets God’s forgiveness for your own sins
  • God has a long-term plan, as well as a short-term plan for humanity
    • He will use whatever means necessary to bring His people into humble obedience to him
      • He uses evil men to do this. Some of our greatest stories of hope come at the hands of evil men
        • Joseph
        • Moses
        • Any of the Prophets
        • Daniel and his friends
        • Jonah
        • Hezekiah
        • Jesus

Lord, help me to put away my anger and to love mercy. Amen



Release Tears

When tears are not released,
The soul forces its way through,
like a poorly dammed-up river.

Expression is as natural as breathing.

Allow lament to wash away the debris of hopelessness
and reveal comfort.
Allow quick squalls of anger to have their say.
Allow tears, contagious with laughter, to water
parched landscapes with joy.
Allow fear to escape in truthful torrents.

Jesus wept.

Tears erode isolation, intertwine
humans, and declare to a God who hears,
“I need you!”

Suicide & Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 988 or go to the website at