Tag Archives: Run and Be Still

Making it count…

photo-1This summer I don’t feel like my brain has ventured far from the shallow-end of the pool – it was a much needed break!   But, August is approaching – quickly – and no matter how hard  we try we will never outrun it.

Every year, one of the many things that August brings with it is a spark of anticipation (bittersweet though it may be) of a return to “normal life.” My brain, now well rested, is beginning to buzz with thoughts and ideas and fall projects.  (I love a new project.) I am excited to get back here, to share life and lessons, and hopefully some laughs along the way.   I hope you will join me on an adventure this fall…it may even require some new school supplies just for you!  (Who doesn’t love a new notebook and colored pens?!) Stay tuned for details but in the meantime..

Life is passing rapidly.  Fiercely commit to every moment you find beautiful and remember it.  Record it. Fully, whole-heartedly inhabit it.  Awareness is one of the greatest  things you can possess in this life as it is as important as the very air we breathe and water we drink to stay alive.” ~ Victoria Erickson

…Squeeze every last bit you can out of your summer!

See you in August!

Happy Birthday Run And Be Still!

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)

One year ago this past week I stepped out into the unknown, I stopped thinking “I should” and began writing on what has become Run And Be Still. I didn’t know what I was going to say or for how long I could keep it up. And even then I was afraid that no one would listen anyway. But what a year it has been!

I find it amazing how much can be accomplished and changed within the scope of 365 short days. (Although some don’t feel so short at the time.) The small steps that we take every day will eventually add up into something bigger. One year ago, just after the start of Run And Be Still, my book (then titled Through the Valley) was picked up by a publisher. A dream that I thought had been put on hold indefinitely was rekindled and as I look back over the past year I can see God working in ways that’s aren’t always visible when I am “in the moment.” There have been many days when I have found myself frustrated and impatient, wanting desperately to see results, wanting to see a difference being made not tomorrow but now! But everyday each one of those steps taken in obedience, sometimes painful, tired, and monotonous, added up into something bigger and to look back and see it and see things I have dreamed about begin to take shape and know that this is just the beginning gives me a rush of excitement, and accomplishment that is unparalleled! And it’s also incredibly humbling.

I also thought of Matthew 17:20, “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Oh to have the faith to suspend all that we know and understand as reality and embrace the impossible.

On days like today as I look back I have realized we don’t always see the mountains moving in front of us, sometimes it’s a slow process and it’s only as we look in the rearview mirror that we are able to appreciate how far they have moved and how far we have come. I find myself continually amazed at God’s goodness and provision, in sickness, fear, and grief for certain, but also on the good days. He is right in our midst, everyday, if we open our eyes and ears, and soften our hearts to His presence.

How much more could God do with us if by His grace He can move mountains with mustard seed faith and He causes great oak trees to spring forth from tiny acorns? This next year, I pledge to stop wondering “What if?” (And all the other questions I ask myself like “Is anyone listening?” “Does anyone care?” “Am I making a difference?”) and induce my faith, let God take the reins, and continue listening, sharing, and putting one foot in front of the other even when I am weary and it doesn’t make sense. Then I can rest confident in that fact that if I reach one or one hundred thousand it has been exactly God’s plan. I love what Mother Theresa says, “God has not called me to be successful. He called me to be faithful.”

Would you consider helping by praying with me and sharing Run and Be Still? Together we can all make a difference in spreading the hope and love of Jesus.

Here’s to next year and praying for big things but content in whatever God provides.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20, emphasis mine)

Half the joy of…

Half the joy of life is in the little things taken on the run. Let us run if we must – even the sands do that – but let us keep our hearts young and our eyes open that nothing worth our while shall escape us. And everything is worth its while if we only grasp it and its significance. ~Victor Cherbuliez

Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders. (Psalm 119:18)

This week as you work, cook, clean, drive, dream, cry, laugh, grumble, complain, sit, stand, run…and be still.  Take a moment to breathe it all in and acknowledge God.  Find your stillness amidst the running.

A Not-So-Spooky Scary Story

An appropriate excerpt from my book, Run and Be Still…

A few years later, one night close to Halloween, my 5 year old son and I decided to take a “spooky” four-wheeler ride though the “haunted” woods. He was snuggled up on my lap with just a flashlight to light the woods around us. Venturing deeper into the woods he became more and more frightened. The flashlight’s beam could only illuminate small slices of all that was around us, leaving much to the imagination. For him it was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time and as much as he wanted it to end, he also loved it. As I thought about that night ride I came to understand that the darkness that surrounds us, and terrified my son, is much like the larger journey that we are all on. Here on Earth we fear many enemies. Some imagined, and others real. We lock our doors and turn on alarms. My son hoped that something wouldn’t jump out of the darkness from beyond our path. Isn’t that the same fear that all of us have? Having to face those unexpected events that spring out of the darkness and catch us totally unprepared. Don’t we struggle with putting one foot in front of the other when we can’t see the path, when we are only able to see the “small slices” as we try to move forward? David Jeremiah said “The purpose of the places in which we lose our vision is to strengthen our faith.” This truly is what it means to walk by faith, and although we desperately long for God to shine a floodlight on the path so that we are able to see the entirety of His plan, if He did, what use would there be for faith? Faith would have no reason to exist, for faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch. Faith is what we use to battle the creatures, those life altering events, that we fear are hiding just beyond our vision in the dark.

To read more you can order your copy at http://www.acministries.com and as an extra Halloween treat take a lucky 13% off through Sunday 11/3. Just use code TRICKORTREAT13

It’s a book trailer…


Run and Be Still Books now available in soft cover and hardback!

Plus, through Wed 10/23 take an additional 10% off with code BOOKTRAILERWP1013!

Things have been busy lately (to put it mildly.)  Tonight, I am excited to share my newest project with you, the book trailer, in addition to offering my WordPress readers a special discount.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Today’s not the day and tomorrow isn’t looking so good either.

“When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in” (Psalm 112:4)
I know we have been down this path before but sometimes it feels like life just keeps circling around on itself, like you are stuck in a holding pattern. Today I found out that the hard copy proof of Run and Be Still, that I have been stalking has yet to be created, let alone shipped. To say that I was angry that someone dropped the ball three weeks ago and left it laying in the outfield was putting it mildly. (And that the only reason the mistake was even discovered was because I finally listened to the voice in my gut telling me to call and check on the project progress.) So ok, deep breath, running shoes, and headphones (because it’s really hard to be angry when you are spending time in worship) and things begin to become right in the world again. As I was jogging I realized, through God’s help, that there are forces at work beyond what I can see or even comprehend, really.

Satan’s lies are easiest to believe in our darkest days. I want to stand holding a candle in that darkness, lighting up the lies with the truth of God’s promise and the hope of brighter days ahead, from the shoes of someone who has walked that path. I know that in becoming a light in that darkness it robs Satan of some of his power. He isn’t going to allow that to happen easily. So, the book got “lost.” In realizing this it strengthens my resolve to fight. It encourages me to push to get my book into the hands of those hurting souls who God will begin to heal. And it once again opens my eyes to the very real battle that is waging constantly around us.

“It’s one thing to know that you’re going into a challenging season. You get prepared for it. You get mentally ready. But what about the difficulties that we don’t see coming? The unexpected crisis that catches us off-guard? Sometimes, it can seem so overwhelming that it almost knocks the wind right out of us.
The Scripture says that we shouldn’t be surprised by fiery trials. That’s because the forces of darkness would not be fighting against you if they didn’t know that God has something amazing in your future! Sometimes, those unexpected difficulties are just a sign that you’re on the right track. It’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. The enemy always fights the hardest when you are closest to your breakthrough. The key is to stay the course and keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep your joy and keep declaring God’s Word over your future. God has promised that you will overcome every obstacle. You will defeat every enemy, and right now, I declare that you will fulfill your destiny in Jesus’ name!” (excerpt from spiritual inspiration)

Keep the faith and light up the darkness with the help of the Son!

An empty wagon


He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. (Psalms 23:2b, 3a NKJV)

Still waters, in Hebrew, “waters of rest.”

Still waters run deep…a quiet or placid manner that may conceal a more passionate nature.

I came across a saying while reading recently that I had never heard before. An empty wagon rattles most. I would be willing to bet that you can think of at least one person that embodies an empty wagon, reverberating noise bouncing around. Lots of fluff, not a lot of depth. These people tend to wear me out. They listen, not with the intent to understand, but instead with the intent to reply. This is the antithesis of still waters.

My husband and I have told our children many, many times, “You know, it is ok, not to talk.” They begin rattling on and on in the silence, feeling the need to fill it up. What is it that people fear in silence? What are we really afraid of hearing there? Why do people resist spending time quietly in the presence of God? Michelle McKinney Hammond says, “It’s amazing how many people say, ‘I don’t like being quiet, because when I get really quiet, I have to deal with myself.’ What they are really saying is at they don’t want to deal with the voice of God beginning to reveal things that need to be changed or rearranged in their lives. Intimacy automatically breeds change in our lives. When we don’t want to change and we want to just keep everything the way it is, we keep running from ourselves and from the voice of God. We get caught up in the busyness of life until we crash and burn. When we spend time in the presence of God and learn to really be still and listen, we hear Him saying, ‘I am Peace. I am Provision. Ultimately, I am God. I’ve got your back. I’ve got this situation in the palm of My hand.’ ”

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.(1 Kings 19:11-12)

If we can sift through all of the other noise and allow the quiet into our lives we will suddenly understand the rest and refreshment available beside the still waters. It may require us to examine some painful areas in our lives that we would rather ignore but in that quiet we will also find healing and grace. We will begin to find something deeper, something more meaningful than white noise. Those deep, still waters, have quieted many an empty wagon rattling along life’s surfaces.

Glorious Ruins


I am like a little kid waiting on Christmas morning.  The very first, hard-copy proof of my book will be delivered any day now and I am so excited!  I stalk the mailman, waiting and watching to see what they will have for me each day. Seeing this “project” through to completion over a decade has been such a personal journey.  Sharing in such a transparent way has been a very significant step in growing my faith, one which doesn’t come naturally.  (And it continues through the hand of my Lord, as I ramble and rant on my virtual home here.)  This feels very much to me like the ruins coming to life, rising up from the ashes and destruction.  Something beautiful and encouraging coming to life out of disease and death.  The picture painted in Isaiah 61.  “Just as the ashes, symbolic of mourning and loss, are transformed into a crown of beauty. God works our struggles into beautiful stories of good triumphant over evil. When we are shattered, God lovingly restores our lives, putting our brokenness together again.  When the harsh desert sun beats down, we find shelter in God’s protective span.  It is time to turn up the volume on the powerful message of hopeful chaos, beautiful ashes and glorious ruins.  When we ask, “Where are you, God?” we’ll surely see that our loving Father is right here with us as we are revived in a salvation story of redemption and restoration.” (Glorious Ruins Small Group Study excerpt) AMEN!

I want to share with you the passage of scripture that I have hid in many times when life has gotten to be too much.  Use it as the basis to form your own cry to God for redemption and refuge and rescue.  Cease striving and allow the words of Psalm 91 to soothe your weary soul…

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

Sneak Peek

I am so excited to share this sneak peak ten years in the making! In May I was approached by WestBow Press, a Christian publishing company who was interested in publishing a manuscript that I had started ten years ago and only recently finished. As God has orchestrated and written my life’s story over the last decade, I have tried my best to capture the lessons I have learned in an effort to bring Him the glory. I cannot even begin to express the sense of wonder I have at seeing this project through to completion. Even bigger than the sense of wonderment though is the sense of God’s hand in this whole process. His BIG answers have absolutely humbled my heart. So without further ado, I present to you my first book, Run and Be Still. (It actually was named “Through the Valley” until I came to my senses mid-July and realized through a series of events that it needed to follow the blog’s title, Run and Be Still.) I really have no words…

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)