It’s Been A Long Minute…

goals for 2016 (1)

Remember me?

It’s been a long minute! Before today, most of my blog posts consisted of five minute blurbs. They’re a fantastically fun writing exercise, but I knew that I wasn’t giving my best. The main goal is to let your mind spew for five minutes (ish) and post. No editing, no worries.

No sincere investment of myself into my blog either. It was time to take a step back and reevaluate.

Was there anything significant about me and my writing that was worth offering in a public space?

Behind the scenes, there was a lot of personal development going on, including prayer, Bible study and the transformation of mind and body. I’ve been getting closer with God, working on knowing Him more intimately and becoming more prompt in my obedience. I’ve been working on my physical fitness consistently for over a year now. This has made a huge impact on my life… yet I’ve never mentioned it here.

I’ve become more confident with myself as I realized that I am significant.

I have value because I am valuable to God!

God cares about me, including every detail of my life. Sure, I’ve heard this countless times before and could probably recite all pleasant sweet nothings while half asleep. But it never really clicked until I accepted it and started living it, literally.

My whole mindset has shifted. It’s scary and it’s spectacular at the same time.
(PS: Please, pardon the dust. I’ve started redesigning my blog…all by my non-techy self. I’ll keep tweaking & fine-tuning as I go.)


FMF Doubt

Gideon is minding his own business, threshing grain in a wine press as though it’s a routine thing to do. Suddenly the angel of the Lord appears and greets him with ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!’ The angel explains that Gideon is about to rescue Israel by defeating the Midianites. Gideon balks immediately. He doesn’t doubt much the idea of victory, but the fact that God had chosen him.

Gideon is the least in his family, which was part of a weak clan. He isn’t exactly the poster child for war commanders. Yet, it’s him that God chose. Uncertainty and hesitation are killers of great ideas and beautiful dreams. Before they can even be uttered, we underestimate our personal value and self-worth and hopes are dashed.

God comes to us with all manner of ideas. We don’t often doubt His ability to see these ideas to fruition. Rather, we hesitate to believe that we are worthy of the call. It’s easier to recite a litany of negative criteria that we falsely believe automatically disqualifies us from anything good.

Despite reading and studying the Word and our ability to memorize and quote scripture backwards and forwards, we have moments when we hesitate to believe the Word. Humans don’t just accept people on their word anymore. There are strings attached and clauses for when certain ideals aren’t met. We then take some of these more challenging relationships and use them as the blueprint for all relationships. Doubt creeps in everywhere because there is no way we’re good enough.

This is not God’s way. The words He speaks aren’t fickle or uttered meaninglessly. He spoke the world into existence—His words are life-giving power. He loves us because He made us. He sees and knows our potential and so works behind-the-scenes to see our purpose in Him fulfilled.

When God wants to use us, He doesn’t just sit back and wait for us to fail. He walks with us and even goes before us. We are worthy of it all because He said so.

What are some tools you use to combat doubt?


{Linked with the Five Minute Friday community.}


FMF celebrate

Congratulations! We should celebrate…

Too often, this line is followed up by a lag or an awkward silence. If it’s indeed something worth noting and celebrating, then the next part of the conversation should include a date with concrete plans to actually celebrate.

I’m guilty of this. I’ve heard someone’s good news and felt that a celebration was warranted…but there are times when it doesn’t happen. And when you finally get around to it, a period of time has elapsed where it would seem kinda sorta strange to be celebrating the event so late. So then it never gets done.

The parable of the lost son tells of a father and his two sons. The youngest has decided that it’s time to go and do his own thing and asks to cash out his inheritance, while his father was still alive. He leave the older brother at home and goes out and squanders his time, talents and money. He’s gone from living carefree to living careless to wondering if his father could still possibly care for him. He takes a risk and decides to return home and beg his dad for a lowly servant’s position. Instead, his dad welcomed him with open arms and an immediate celebration. There are three points that stand out from this story:

The magnitude of the accomplishment is diminished somewhat when we fail to celebrate it immediately. There is a sense of euphoria and excitement that is felt in the moment. You’re jumping for joy in the present, trying desperately not to shout your good news from all the rooftops across the globe. This is energy that cannot be bottled and shelved for later. It needs to be lived out now (or as close as possible to now), rather than much later.

Celebrations don’t always need to be ginourmous, meticulously-planned events. If this is your gift—by all means, go ahead. Some of us are quite gifted in throwing Pinterest-worthy festivities to mark all types of milestones. But when your focus shifts to how you’re going to celebrate instead of why you’re celebrating, it can get stressful and unnerving. The father in the story didn’t take time to extend engraved invitations to his friends and business partners. He grabbed his servants and pulled them all in for the party. There was no forethought.

Not everyone around you will be happy for you or with you. The father was beyond thrilled to see his baby come home. The servants were excited to party, maybe because they were happy to see their master happy. But the oldest son—he was furious at his brother’s return. He didn’t even go into the house to see his brother, he was so upset. The reason for celebrating baffled him. Never had a celebration like this been thrown for him. In that moment, it was all about him.

How do you celebrate with others? How do you celebrate your own accomplishments?


{Linking with Kate and the five minute Friday community.}




As my children grow, the level of their requests have grown as well. No longer are they pointing and grunting their desires. Gone are the days of ‘Water please?’ and ‘Can I do this?’ They’ve reached the phase of ‘Can-I-have-this-please-say-yes-please-say-yes?? Please!!’

There are times when the request is appropriate and Mommy consents. But there are also times when I have to say no, because it’s not right.

I have moments like this with God.

God, please pay off my debt, please say yes?

Please don’t let me get a parking ticket even though I went over the allotted time on the meter and I totally know it’s my fault, please, please, please say yes?

Please let me have my own way because it’s what I want and I believe that it will make me happy in the short term and I don’t feel like stopping to consider the long term. Please say yes, please say yes?

What stings is when those around me seem to be getting yesses from God while He tells me no.

There are times when God says no to me because it’s not right…for me.

My relationship with God is just that—mine and His. No one elses. It’s not my place to be concerned about what I think God is doing with others. I’m not living their life; experiencing neither their struggles nor their successes.

When He says no, it’s because He is doing what’s best. And when He says yes, it’s also because He is doing what’s best.

As a bonus, He even includes a reason at times, even if it’s delayed.

This is part of faith. Trusting God and His answers, especially when we cannot get our own way in our desired time frame. He knows what He’s doing and why He’s doing it.


{Linking up with the Five Minute Friday community.}


FMF Alone

After being surrounded by a vast crowd of people, Elijah finds himself displaced from home. Hearing death threats on his life, he ran away in fear. He eventually ends up at Mt. Sinai.

He’s alone.

He’d left his servant behind while he wandered through the wilderness alone, for forty days and nights. By the end of his journey, he wasn’t just physically exhausted but he also felt abandoned. God stepped in and talked with Him, reassuring Him that he was not alone.

You’re never alone, though it may appear that way sometimes.

God assured Elijah that there were still another 7,000 God-fearing believers in Israel. Elijah was not the only believer. Though he had never met them, they were out there and God was fully aware of who they all were. On a planet with billions of inhabitants, it is rare to find that you are the only one with your experience, ailment, struggle. There are others, even if you haven’t met them for yourself. We only see one small glimpse of a global picture.

Loneliness is common.

Elijah had just come off a monumental victory for God atop Mt. Carmel. He’d just spent time in deep prayer, as he awaited the promise of rain. Yet, out in the wilderness, God’s leader was struggling with the concept of being alone. Feelings of loneliness aren’t only reserved for a certain type of person. It’s more common than we think and even happens to those we uphold as strong and courageous.

Loneliness can be overwhelming.

The first thing Elijah utters at the start of his wilderness experience was that he wanted to die. Being alone was so overwhelming and oppressive that he was fighting hard to cope. Even after traveling for forty days and nights, he never stopped feeling alone. When he arrived at Mt. Sinai, it was one of the first things he mentioned—after all he’d done to serve God, he was alone. It’s isolating to think that no one else can possibly know and understand just how you feel. It’s frustrating to believe that you’re the only one and can’t confide in another person because they just couldn’t possibly understand.

Jesus knows about loneliness too.

He would awaken early every day and sneak away by Himself to connect with His heavenly Father and recharge His spiritual soul for the day. Being God wrapped up in human flesh, I imagine that there were plenty of moments for misunderstanding and feeling like no one else could possibly understand. As He hung on the cross, dying in our place, His cry was to ask why God had forsaken Him in this horrific moment. What a time to feel alone!

What can we do to in times of loneliness?

We can pray. Christ understands and knows our exact feelings because He has felt them too.

We can share our story. There is power in personal testimony. There is a strength that is passed on like a ripple effect when we share our own experience with someone else.


{Linked with the Five Minute Friday community.}



God gave Jonah directions, but he did not want to follow them. He didn’t like where God was sending Him and turned down the assignment to Ninevah. The city itself had an awful reputation and Jonah wanted no part of it.

So he ran in the opposite direction, as far from Ninevah as possible. God’s prophet—one who represented Him to people and knew all about God—tried to escape from God.

Except that you can’t escape God.

Since Jonah opted not to obey God’s call, why did he go through such troubles to hide in hopes of not being found?

He didn’t just tell God ‘no thanks, please find another prophet for this job’ and stay there. He didn’t offer up a petty excuse about how his calendar was too full for him to travel. He didn’t even try to find a substitute prophet to take his place.

Instead he ran.

Am I like Jonah? Do I attempt to run from God when the assignment becomes unlikeable, hoping that He won’t find me?

I enjoy the perks of having skills and talents. But what’s my attitude when God directs me in how to use these same talents that He’s blessed me with?

Do I say ‘no thanks, please find another writer? Another musician? Another ____________ ?’(insert your own talents here)

We won’t always like where God leads us. Yet it’s often these very moments when we’re able to grow deeper in our relationship with God. There are also times when it’s not even about us—He wants to use us to save someone else.

Thank you, God, for always finding me and being willing to still use me even if when I’m trying to hide.


{Linking up with the Five Minute Friday community.}



Though this format is slightly different from my usual posts, I’m learning to be obedient especially when it doesn’t make sense to me and to trust God with the other details. Here are two thoughts that immediately came to mind when I read the prompt.

Be willing to learn.

It’s very difficult to learn anything when you resist being taught. The times I’ve failed or have felt miserable after completing a task are the times when I’ve been most resistant to learning. The false belief that you know enough leads to an overconfidence and cockiness, which is often only a blink away from arrogance. You cannot thrive in your growth without learning. Some of the humblest of people are those who recognize their weakness and are open to improvement. They’ve acknowledged that while things may be good in their current state, they’d be even better with help. Seize all moments as learning opportunities, grabbing the good nuggets and rejecting the bad.

Be open to learning from everyone.

This is a challenge that can cripple progress. Some believe that they can only learn from one who is a renowned expert and publicly successful in their area; a master. Others overlook anyone who is not like them as possible teachers. A difference in skin colour, gender, age, financial status, marital status, religious affiliation and more are viewed as negative strikes, leading to the false conclusion that ‘they’ could not possibly contribute anything of value to ‘me’. Yet it’s those very variations that add to a person’s ability to teach. Their perspective adds another layer of depth to the lessons you can learn. You can learn a lot from reading well-researched books. But the apprenticeship that comes from working alongside another person or hearing their personal testimony is often priceless.

When we keep our minds open to learning, we live differently. Not only will we gain from our experiences–even if it’s a lesson of what not to do in a situation–but we’ll have something to share as well.

{Linking up with the Five Minute Friday community.}


Here FMF

His day took an unexpected turn. Enjoying the serenity of shepherding, something caught his eye. There were flames leaping out of a bush, but it wasn’t being consumed. He went closer to inspect it, possibly to douse the flames before it turned into something uncontrollable. Never did he expect to hear his name: ‘Moses! Moses!’

‘Here I am!’ was his reply.

God has a little chat with Moses here, telling him that he’s the deliverer for God’s enslaved children.

Rather than jump for joy at the thought of freedom, and the dream-come-true of promises fulfilled, Moses protests. For everything God told him, Moses would negatively rebut with ‘But God, I can’t…’. Trust God to have a solution to each rebuttal. Because He had called Moses, He would equip Moses for the task at hand. Moses felt inadequate and intimidated in the shadow of such a massive responsibility which caused him to dwell in his fear rather than dwell in his God.

This story has replayed itself all throughout history.

‘Sabrina! Sabrina!’ God calls. (You can insert your own name here.)

‘Here I am!’ is my reply.

Then He speaks…and I rebut. I can’t. I’m not worthy. I’m inadequate. But…but…but…

But do I trust Him?

Later in Exodus, we read of the transformation of Moses’ character. He’s gone from pleading no to veiling his radiant face after seeing God. The same God who reshaped Moses is able to do wonders with our characters as well.


Linking up with the Five Minute Friday community today.

{In case you missed it, I had the opportunity to share over at (in)courage earlier this week; When A Ball Lands in Flax. Thank you for your readership and your support.}

When a Ball Lands in Flax

ball and flax


The ball landed with a muted thud and nestled into its resting spot. This was the one place I hoped it wouldn’t land: in my bowl of ground flaxseed.

While I prepared ingredients for bread baking, my four-year-old was playing nearby. She’d found a small bouncy rubber ball, purple with flecks of pink glitter. When she threw it on the floor, it bounced up in the air. This was an exciting discovery — that she could bounce the ball and catch it too. She kept moving farther into the kitchen as I kept cringing inwardly, hoping it wouldn’t land anywhere near my counter.

Yet it did.

She gasped and stopped mid-step.

“Sorry Mom!” Bowing her head, she braced herself for a negative reaction of some kind.

Instead, God spoke to me in the moment…

Please join me, over at (in)courage, to finish the story and to share in the conversation.

{You’re invited to sign up here to receive free daily encouragement from the writers of (in)courage, right in your mailbox.}


Five Minute Friday: Try


It was greed that propelled me. I was about seven or eight years old at the time of this birthday party for a young, family friend. The food was fine; the company was good. And then it was dessert time. Birthday cake was served to the guests, including myself. Wanting more of the sweet icing, I asked for another piece of cake.

There’s no more birthday cake, they replied, only cheesecake.

A cheesey cake? I remember thinking to myself. Okay, weird, but if it’s like the birthday cake, yay for me.

I took one bite and nearly gagged. They were serious when they told me it was cheese cake. There was cheese in my cake! I went and returned the offensive dessert back to the adults.

Cake and cheese are two items that should never mix. Never!

When my sister sent a text advertising national cheesecake day, I just shook my head. No way, nuh uh, not me.

I have never tried cheesecake since that day.

The memory and even the aftershocks from the one mouthful are enough to repel me from cheesecake.

I understand that many people tend to love this dessert, to the point of joyful tears even. And I’m fine with that. But not me.

How often do we stop ourselves from trying things because of fear?

Being afraid is a huge stumbling block for me. I can talk myself into all manner of detours, rather than try to plow ahead. Except that when I don’t try, then nothing can happen. No changes can be made. When I don’t try at all, there isn’t even an attempt to work from. The slate stays blank and there is no impact.

What is one thing that you can try this coming week? (Bonus points to you if it involves tackling a fear!)


{Linked up with the Five Minute Friday community.}