Journaling for Perspective 

Sometimes I can get stuck in my head…

Trying to sort things out sends me in 10 different directions, each with their own feeling. 

Writing stuff down helps me capture what’s going on and shows me what areas need to be covered with prayer.

There are times when what I see is ugly. The truth is right there in its distorted, disfigured form. 

As I read through past entries, I notice the moments where my perspective turned out to be wrong, which means everything else–my attitude, feelings, and opinions–were wrong as well. 

The good news about perspective is that it can change! 

It’s easy for me to spot the shift because my angry scribbles and stratch outs give way to hope-filled words–even if my handwriting is still a jumbled scrawl!

Most of the time I end up finding the right words to express the things I couldn’t bring myself to say before. 

There might still be a hint of pain behind the words, but the joy is bigger than the pain. 

The idea of someone else reading my journal is a bit frightening to me. 

However, I believe that when the time is right it will all make sense to whoever ends up with my mountain of words. 

He or she will say, “Yes, this chick struggled, but the struggle always led her closer to God, to seeing things from His perspective.”

Every good gift 

I gotta good deal today!

I needed to replace my brown boots and the sale was amazing. 

Me-maw bought me a new pair of jeans and received a coupon for 50% off a pair of ladies boots. She then turned around and gave me $10 toward the boots, so they only cost me $25. 

The shoes were $65 and I paid $25…

I’m not one to pray for closer parking spots or anything, but it was so exciting to see how everything just worked out. 

And there’s nothing wrong with that happening either.The book of James says that every good gift comes from the Father above. 

We need to keep this scripture in mind because too often God ends up looking like Scrooge. 

He loves us. 

He wants what’s best for us. 

Listen, this post is not meant to make God out to be a slot machine. 

Corvettes won’t fall from the sky and giving an offering to a televangelist won’t make you rich. 

But God does give good gifts to His children. 

He will take care of you. 

So, today I thank God for a good deal on my shoes.

 On top of everything else He’s done, which is much bigger and more important, I am thankful for this fun gift as well. 

I know where I’m going

IMG_1694Many times the Lord gives me direction through dreams. I think of it like a road map.

“Audra, this is where you are headed.”

With a dream, though, comes the knowledge that staying stuck is not possible. You cannot decide to camp out on the side of the road when you need to be moving forward.

I find myself facing some situations where running away would be so easy. (I think by now my vulnerability issues are well known.)

During these tough times, I yell–I mean, pray–to the Lord.

He’s given me permission to be 100% honest with him. His exact words were, “I know your heart anyway, so stop hiding.”

God has seen the angelic side of me and the grumpy side of me. My prayer is that as I follow Him, Angel Audra shows up more and more. (Think halo not being held up by horns.)

Do you know where He takes me at the end of each conversation?

My dreams.

Remember, Audra, where you are going. Don’t settle for anything less than where I am sending you.

All of my tantrums are ruined by God.

I am pouting and angry and God just laughs. And HIs laughter is like a whack from a belt.

Then I remember my dream.

I’m such a hard headed brat……..

When God shows you something don’t let go. Take it and run. Let that hope be an anchor for your soul. Nothing will motivate you more than a glimpse of where God’s taking you.  

And no worries if you find yourself camping out either. God will help you pack back up and keep moving.

All I need is a cup of coffee and a little perspective

I used to be a chipper morning person. My grumpier self told her to get lost.

My younger siblings do not care.

They are loud and boisterous and excited about the day–even if they don’t know what day it is.

“Audra, what day is it?” Caleb asks.

“It’s Tuesday,” I reply.

His response is normally something like:

“Yay! That means we get to ________” or “What are we going to do today?”

Maybe us grumpy adults should be more easily excitable.

We tend to see each day from a more practical, soul sucking point of view. I don’t think we mean to, though, but it’s easy to fall in line with our work hating, wish-it-was-the-weekend culture.

Last night my little brother–in his childlike wisdom–prayed the most beautiful blessing over our dinner.

“Dear God,

Thanks for having us today.

Thank you for dinner and this time with my family.”


Caleb thanked God for letting us live.

And the thunderbolt of conviction struck my heart….

IMG_1692Every breath, every day comes from God. Begrudging my life and all the things I “have to do” is a slap in God’s face.

I understand that we all have hardships and bad days, but our worst day–especially if you live in the West–is someone else’s best day.

The minor inconveniences of our life will not affect whether we live or die. With that in mind, you and I have very little to complain about.

This is not meant to be a guilt trip.

Just call it a good, old fashioned reality check.

Sure, you’re not a morning person but you can be a thankful–yet quiet–non-morning person.

Sure, money is tight but you have food, water, and shelter. A cancelled Netflix account or a month without cable will not kill you.

Perspective has a way of making us honest.

The problem with being spiritual

I’m more spiritual than you.

  • I read my Bible more.
  • I listen to cool worship music.
  • I never miss an opportunity to be at church.
  • I have 12,000 pictures on social media dedicated to Christian activities.

Because that’s what Christianity is all about.

Being spiritual.

Except that it’s not.

And, besides, how can anyone be more spiritual than someone else?

We’re all spirit beings. Every human on this planet is a spirit, has a soul, and lives in a body.

So please drop the “everything I do and say must be perceived as spiritual” act.No one is buying it.

I have this recurring thought that will not go away:

What if all church buildings were closed down?

What if every trace of Christianity was wiped off the internet?

Would Christianity survive such a fate?

Your faith has to be planted deeply in the soils of a rich, intimate communion with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Most Christians do not have a deep understanding of their beliefs.

Maybe that’s because we spend more time posting “spiritual” things online than we do reading our Bible or even living out our faith.

I’m including a link to a study conducted by the American Bible Society titled “The State of the Bible: 2014” for those who want to read more on the subject.

I want us to think about the heart behind it all.

It bothers me that our precious faith is so marginalized–both inside and outside the church–when it’s potential to change hearts and lives is beyond compare.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

What are some of the problems you see with the quest to be more “spiritual”?

The best of friends

Did you know that God is a friend?

The Bible says he’s closer than a brother. That means as much as your family loves you, God loves you more. 

God has many names, but friend is one of my favorites. 

Friendship, to me, is a precious gift. We graft people into our family trees and we share with them our treasures, our hopes and dreams. 

God’s friendship is the best in the world. 

  • He’ll never leave you or forsake you. 
  • His spirit–the Holy Spirit–leads and guides you every day. 
  • His Word is a letter written to you and for you. 

God is a friend. 

There’s been many times, when I’m trying to freak out about something, that I am forced to stop. 

I feel God’s peace, God’s love in the strongest way. 

Lord, I know you’re with me. I’m the one choosing to freak out–You’re not freaked out at all. You’re just waiting on me to remember. 

My friends do this to me all the time. 

They let me talk and vent before saying, “I see why you’re upset, but have you thought of it this way?”

God does the same!

He’s a great friend. 

I encourage you to think about God as a friend. 

This shift in perspective changed my relationship with God in a major way. 

He’s not some mean, old man who’s distant and cold toward you and I. 

God is a friend. 

The Ultimate Tragedy

I had the opportunity to pre-screen The Song. It was such a great movie! 

Imagine a love story by Nicholas Cage–minus the death–and the life of King Solomon modernized. The movie was real, messy even, and yet moving.

Here’s what I took away:

For years, I wondered what would’ve made me enough for my parents to stay. My dad was not in the picture. My mom chose men and addictions over her children. These memories have left a deep impression.

I daily have to stop myself from going back to those times, to adding disappointment to everything now. This calculated disappointment is crippling. Imagine going from color to black and white. The fuzzy, hazy hue distorts any goodness.

The same thing happened to Jed (the main character of The Song). His life fluctuated between seasons of hardship and overwhelming goodness. All along, he couldn’t see the beauty of his marriage to Rose or the joy in his son’s eyes. Even when his dreams came true it was never enough.

I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I’ve missed it.

How sad would that be?

The goodness and bounty of God’s love squandered because of past hurts. Never letting myself heal and experience God’s best for my life.

That’s the ultimate tragedy.

Worse than a bad childhood. Worse than a dead end career. Worse than never having a family of your own.

All of those things pale in comparison to not recognizing the goodness around you.  

I’m tired of missing it.

I’m ready to let the winds of change, the breath of God Himself, carry me farther than I ever dreamed.

Question: What’s holding you back from experiencing God’s best for you?

What I Learned While Cutting Grass

When I cut the grass, I have a system: Look at where I’m cutting, think about what I want it to look like, and proceed.

The main reason for this system is that I have a battery operated weed eater. I usually have about an hour’s worth of juice, so I have to have a plan of attack. If I don’t plan my yard looks horrible and I get really cranky.

As I worked today, I couldn’t help but think of the creation story. I’m pretty sure that God sat back and really thought about His plans. He had a lot to get done in six days.

“Let’s see, first I have to create light and darkness, then land and sea. Yes, get the terrain set and then add the animals. That way everything will be ready for Adam.”

I’m amazed at God’s diligence and thoroughness. He thought of everything to make the world perfect for His ultimate creation: Mankind.

Isn’t it amazing?

The coolest part is that God loved humanity so much He knew that man would sin and STILL continued in His work.

He wants a relationship with you and me.

As I walk in relationship with Christ, it changes how I do the most every day things. I think about the normal, seemingly mundane tasks in life in a whole new way.

God wants to be the God of your family, finances, health—every aspect of your life—and in return He wants you to take responsibility, to trust and see His plan in all things.

It’s a cyclical notion.

That’s how I can see the fingerprint of God as I cut the grass, in the spider who builds His web, in the inner workings of a family.

God is everywhere.

The more Christ opens my eyes, the more I see the beauty of God’s creation, and how I fit into His plan.