Two Kids, a Dog and Answered prayers


That’s the dog’s name.

Trust me, she has been labeled inaccurately.

Her and I are not friends.

We tolerate each other because of our mutual love for the little people around here.

Her one goal in life is to explore all the areas that aren’t ours, so when she gets out, she takes off and nobody is going to stop her.

This is the reason this blog is being written.

Someone didn’t latch the gate properly and Angel escaped, Myles was the one who discovered she was missing and he was devastated for all of three minutes, which is when he discovered she was down by the pond.

Myles took off down to the pond, with me hollering after him, here take this piece of meat to lure her back!! (This dog has no real training, in case you can’t tell.)

I quickly searched the house for some shoes because times gotta be pretty desperate before you’ll find me running through the woods barefoot.

And a runaway dog does not fit that profile.

With five kids around here my shoes walk off, literally, and I often can’t find them. In this moment, I think I almost had a panic attack in my search for them because my five year old was running through the woods, down to the pond, after a dog that probably wouldn’t stop and honestly I was afraid Myles would chase her into the next state without considering where he’s going.

I found my shoes.

As I headed out the back door, Harmony followed me.

I learned some new swear words when I realized that she wasn’t exactly safe in the house by herself while I chased a dog and a child through the woods but I also wasn’t going to catch up with them if I took her along.

I felt like I had to chose which one of my kids I was going to keep safe.

So, I closed the gate which trapped Harmony on the deck and prayed my heart out that God would cover where I wasn’t able to.

Angel saw myles coming and made a beeline for the shop. Myles was hot on her tail while I tried to keep up with out damaging myself. Myles was unfazed by the whipping weeds and branches but trust me, I noticed every single one.

By the time I got to the shop, uninjured and unscraped, thankfully. Angle had discovered that myles had a piece of meat so he was leading her to me with the piece of meat held high in the air while she followed him, repeatedly jumping to try to get the meat.

They made quite a sight.😂

Thank goodness, I know her weaknesses.

I grabbed Angel by the collar, she’s short so I had to bend over or she had to walk on her back legs so we took turns being miserable. We made our awkward way back to the house with me wondering why on earth I didn’t bring a leash and still praying my heart out that Harmony would be safe and sound where I left her.

Harmony saw us head towards the pond and I was terrified that I would get back to the house and need to walk back down to the pond, this time in search of a two year old.

Hayley was playing in the bedroom when I left and I wasn’t concerned about her because she can entertain herself for a long time when she’s invested in something.

Harmony, on the other hand, will conquer any obstacles to get to where she wants to go. So, while she has never before opened any of the gates, I don’t trust that she won’t figure it out if she really wants to. She can also open the house doors and I was pretty sure one of the gates in the front yard was open.

We finally got back to the house and we found Harmony taking the laundry, one piece at a time, from the pile on the mud room floor, out the door, across the deck and throwing it over the railing to the driveway below.

She had been doing this for quite awhile because she had a fairly big pile down there.

You can call me crazy, but I really believe that God used that pile of dirty laundry to distract her, which kept her safe.

In case anyone is concerned about us, we’re fine. We got the dog back, Myles didn’t get lost in the woods and Harmony stayed in the house.

As for me, I either damaged by heart a little or else cleaned out my arteries with the high amounts of adrenaline and anxiety.

And that my friends is why I will never recommend that you buy a dog.😁

(Posting this unedited, so excuse the many typos)😅

What is Like Growing up Amish

Growing up Amish is all I knew, so I often don’t know how to answer these questions.

What’s it like growing up in a non-Amish home?

The life we’ve created for our kids looks much the same as my life did growing.

Sure, we did away with the Amish clothing, horse and buggy etc. but our values and even our beliefs are much the same.

Here’s some of the questions I’ve been asked…

Are the Amish a cult?

Honestly, I probably put way too much energy into this one but I was curious so I researched cults.

Turns out that the Amish meet most of the criteria required to be considered a cult, however, the main determinant of a cult is a leader who is revered, feared and followed.

The Amish do not have that, unless you count Jakob Ammon who is the founder of the Amish church. (You can find some info online if you google his name. I found it rather fascinating.)

Even so, my final conclusion was that the Amish church is not a cult, in general.

However, churches vary greatly from state to state and even from county to county sometimes, and the control and manipulation in some areas does, in fact, make some specific Amish church’s a cult, I believe.

Were you shunned?

No, we weren’t.

Shunning in the Amish church is a thing and some people who leave the Amish church aren’t allowed to associate with their families anymore. They won’t be invited to family gatherings or acknowledged in any way.

The middle ground… Some people who leave the church will still be invited to family gatherings but will be asked to eat at a separate table and Amish family members won’t ride in the non-Amish person’s vehicle.

And then the most liberal Amish will do little to no shunning at all. This was our experience, as our families were fairly lenient with all of it.

We did, however, have some awkward moments at non-family gatherings where we were asked to sit at a different table or someone refused to take something we handed to them, because they aren’t supposed to ‘receive’ anything from those who left the church.

As a kid, did you know you were different?

Honestly? We thought all y’all were the strange ones! Being Amish was all we knew, so that was our normal. I think it’s a lot like growing up in a different culture. The things that are normal to one culture are strange in the next.

Are the Amish Saved?

They do have the correct theology. They believe in the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. They believe in being born again, however, they don’t believe that a person can know they are saved. Rather, they do their best to be kind, honest, treat people well and make the correct Christian decisions and then they hope that it was ‘good enough.’

Individually, they’re just like any other church. For some the presence of God is evident in their lives by the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace etc. and for others this fruit is not evident.

In the American church you have many different denominations, from the more religious baptists to the charismatic churches. The same is true in the Amish church, some are more focused on strictly keeping the many rules while others are more liberal. However, the most liberal Amish church is still more conservative than the most conservative non-Amish church. Got that?😅

Oh, I thought the Amish did…

It’s true that there are rules and expectations in the Amish church. However, the Amish church has a broad spectrum of beliefs and practices, so not all of them apply to all Amish.

For example, electricity and technology are not allowed in the Amish church but my dad owned a construction business, so he had a cell phone, computer, fax machine and printer. He also owned work trucks, although he didn’t drive them but rather hired drivers.

Yes, the church knew he had them but they turned a blind eye because they also knew that if pushed, he would leave the church before he gave it all up.

In some locations he would not have gotten away with it, but in our particular area the church was slightly more lenient.

So you see, it’s complicated.😅😂

Are the books, movies etc accurate?

NO!! They aren’t. Not even close. I have never read a book or watched a show written by non-Amish people that actually capture the Amish culture accurately.

For example, most Amish are not in awe of the world. Instead they are much more likely to turn up their noses at the laziness and worldliness of non-Amish people. Rather, than being fascinated they are more likely to be self righteous. That’s a general statement that doesn’t apply to every individual person tho!

There you have it!!

A small peep into the Amish world!

Drop your questions here or on IG, if you have one that you would like to ask!🙂

When God Answers Prayers

If there is one thing life taught me, it’s that things are rarely as they seem. We form opinions on the lives of others, without taking the time to understand their culture or unique circumstances.

With this knowledge in hand, I asked God to broaden my worldview.

God: Ok, first, we’re going to move you to California.

Me: Ok, that makes sense.

God: Then, let’s move your in-laws to Turkey.

Me: Ok, I think I’m getting the idea here.

God: Next, we’ll take the people you got to know in California and we’ll move them to New York, Texas, and Idaho.

Me: okkkk… I don’t know, though, are you sure this is the best plan??

God: Yes!! Oh!! And we’re also going to introduce you to an amazing couple who you’re going to love BUT they actually live in Haiti. Oh, and when they’re stateside they live in Florida.

Me: Really?! Honestly, this isn’t how I pictured it at all.😩

2022 Recap

Since we’re headed into a New Year, I’ve been thinking about this year and honestly I’m not sure what to write.

This year was really, really good.

The past three or four years have been some of the hardest we’ve ever walked through.

Let’s back up a bit.

When I was nineteen I made a decision to follow Jesus. Since I have an all or nothing personality, I told God that I am all in. If I’m doing this, I’m doing it completely and totally. One hundred percent.

He had only one question; ‘Have you counted the cost?’

Yes! I did.

That day I started pursuing God. I knew about him but the question persisted, ‘Who is he really?’

I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was pursuing me as well.

Over the next decade, God kept asking me this same question; ‘Have you counted the cost?’

Slowly I started to realize that the cost of living for Jesus was really about laying down my life for him. It’s about surrender. It’s about letting go of other’s opinions. It’s about saying yes to the plan God has for my life despite what I lose in the process. It’s about real faith and trust in God that was birthed in the fire. It’s about living outside my comfort zone.

My answer was always yes, but as we hit different highs and lows of life, that yes became much more hesitant, because the more life I lived the more I realized that the price of following Jesus was incredibly high.

It can also be an incredibly lonely journey.

God is patient but he has shown me repeatedly that true connection means giving him more than lip service. It means actually giving him the right to access and use every part of my life, from my kids, finances, family, relationships and dreams for his glory.

He isn’t controlling. I tend to be a rule follower and I like to get things right. For this reason, I would be more than happy if he gave me a check list of things to do and then I could call it good.

That isn’t who he is though.

He wants relationship with us more than he wants our ‘Christian to do’ list perfectly checked off.

This might not be theologically correct, but I see every life trial as a battle over our lives. On one side the devil is creating spiritual warfare to convince us that we are victims and that following Jesus is too hard.

On the other side God is allowing these seasons of walking though fire because it is in the hard times that our need for him is seen so clearly. It is in the fire that we are shaped and molded into a vessel that God can use to bring Heaven to earth. It is only in the fire that faith that is alive is birthed.

Bringing this blog full circle…

The last three to four years have been a fiery season of refining beyond anything we’ve experienced before.

The crossroad we stood at was clearly marked by two completely different roads. We could turn left and submit to human expectations, people pleasing, keeping the peace etc. or we could turn right and experience backlash, slandering, lost relationships and damaged reputations.

We went right. (palm to face)

We chose right because that was the road that lined up with our personal values, the road that felt right and it was the road that God promised us if we walked it, he would be with us and he would restore everything multiplied that we lost when we choose this road.

It was a hard and lonely road.

The promise that he would restore everything was a promise we held tightly to in the hardest moments, and it’s a promise that I reminded God of often.

Moving to California was the turning point for us. We walked through our hardest season here but we simultaneously saw the goodness of God trickle into our lives in the most unexpected ways.

However, in January 2022 it seemed the floodgates of Heaven opened and the blessings of God flowed seemingly unhindered into our lives and continued through the year.

This doesn’t mean we didn’t have hard moments because we definitely did. It just means we clearly saw the shift in seasons from winter to spring.

It also doesn’t mean that our lives are perfect and will continue to be so because this too simply isn’t the truth.

If anything I know better than ever before that following Jesus comes at a high price.

However, I also know that when he allows pain in my life it is ultimately for his glory. I know that when he allows pain in my life it is actually for my own benefit, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that he not only restores, but restores in excess that which was stolen from our lives.

If your season is so dark that you can no longer see the promises of God than I hope this blog offers you hope. On the cross Jesus uttered the words, ‘It is finished.

This promise stands today. No matter how loud the devil roars or how lonely the road you’re walking… The end of the story has already been written and Jesus already won. There are no rewrites, typos or plot twists. It is finished.

Lean on that. Lean on past victories. Lean on past God stories. Lean on his promises in the Bible and lean on the things he has promised you personally. Lean on my story and on the stories of others who walked through hard times.

Mostly though, lean on Jesus himself and know without a shadow of doubt that he is worth it and he will restore all that has been stolen.

The brightest rainbows appear at the end of the darkest storms.

The Lesson of 2022

I’m dusting off my blog today. I didn’t post since last December which probably broke a record.

A little over a year ago, I thought I was going to start blogging regularly again.

Obviously that didn’t happen!

Instead, I found that having twin toddlers is just as busy as having twin babies. I also starting online classes with the goal of getting a bachelors degree in psychology. This makes my life busy but fulfilling as well.

That brings us to here and now. December 2022. The time of year that has me thinking back over the year. Read on if you’re interested in what I learned this year!:)

Cognitive Dissonance

I woke up from a dream in the middle of the night. It was one of those dreams that was fading so fast that I couldn’t remember any of it except for one phrase ringing in my head, ‘Cognitive Dissonance.’

I knew God was saying something because I didn’t even know what this phrase means.

So, I googled it.

Yes, in the middle of the night.

The definition didn’t make much sense to me in the moment, so I took a screenshot for future reference and went back to sleep.

Cognitive dissonance is when we hold two conflicting pieces of information simultaneously, as truth.

This causes something akin to mental pain because it doesn’t make sense. Two opposing things cannot both be true. And yet they can. However, because our human minds cannot make sense of this, it causes cognitive dissonance.

I still didn’t understand what God was saying so I spent the next couple of weeks praying, processing and researching.

Here’s What I learned…

The culture of Redding CA is extremely different than the culture of Lancaster PA. Not better and not worse, just different.

Because of this, many of my ‘truths’ that I didn’t even really know I had were challenged. Living among these opinions and ways of life that were so contrary to the way I grew up with caused me to learn about the other side of the coin.

The more I learned and lived, the more I realized that each side holds truth. This is the point where my brain started to hurt because both cannot be true. And yet, they are.

Side note: It doesn’t help that I am an over thinker and I need things to make sense. Half truths and opinions without scientific or factual evidence give me high blood pressure, I’m pretty sure.

Here’s some examples of the cognitive dissonance in my life…

  1. How many kids is too many? Some people from our amish background consider stopping at just five as selfish, not allowing God to lead our lives etc. (This thought process is changing but does still exist.) The response from non-conservatives is quite different… Most people just freak out that we have so many kids, but on this side of the spectrum the belief leans toward having a lot of kids as selfish and irresponsible. (This isn’t something we’ve personally experienced but this belief system does exist.)

Too few kids is selfish + too many kids is selfish = cognitive dissonance.

Why? Because as mentioned before, I like hard truths.

There is none here.

It is true that sometimes people choose to have less kids for selfish reasons. It is also true that with large families, emotional needs aren’t always met.

Both hold truth.

There is no right or wrong. It is simply up to each individual person.

2. Too consume alcohol or not to consume alcohol? In our background, it’s a hard no. I’m not sure why exactly except the Bible talks about drunkenness being unacceptable, and I guess because of this it was easier to just do away with as a whole.

The non conservative world of Redding uses alcohol as a social drink. Alcohol in our friend group here is served the same way coffee is served at any Amish gathering. It is a drink to sip on while you socialize.

Again, there are no hard truths here.

Alcohol in the life of a christian is a grey area. You gotta simply do you.

3. Relationships. The amish culture is big on community and they do it well. It is undoubtedly their greatest strength and it is the thing I miss most about the culture. You cannot walk into and out of an amish church service without talking to people and it will be more than a passing hi. You can attend a non-conservative church for years without connecting.

Amish/mennonite people will look at you and smile or talk to you even if you’re just passing by each other. Non-conservatives will look at the ground, talk to their kids or simply not see you.

Honestly, this was the most bazaar thing to me at first and I could write a whole other blog post on it. To walk past someone as if they weren’t there, shuts down any chance of connection. To smile and acknowledge people makes them feel valued and it makes us seem approachable. It puts us on the same level. It actually is that simple.

The cognitive dissonance for me here was more of a rule following issue. I’m a rule follower by nature. This doesn’t mean I follow the rules, it just means I suffer internally when I break them. (winky face.) My goal for 2023 is to break a rule each month.

Notice that I said rules, not laws.

Also that was a joke.


Back to the point, since I’m a rule follower I like to know what the standard operating procedure is so I can follow it. Unfortunately, the standard operating procedure often looks differently than I grew up with.

The Best Part…

My favorite part of our DTS with YWAM wasvthe fact that different speakers brought opposing opinions on certain ideas in the Christian world. This forced us to think for ourselves instead of following what we’ve always known.

The same is true here, when I can understand both sides of something it forces me to make a decision for myself. It forces me to dig deeper, to find clearer answers and to understand more completely.

In these grey areas with no hard truths to be found, it is also easier to learn what God is saying versus what humans are saying. This is a place where freedom is found as we learn how to connect to the Father’s heart, and to discern what he wants for us, and to live freely and fully in that context.

The hard part, but also the amazing part is that he leads people differently. While five kids is great for me, having one or two is also perfectly acceptable for the next person.

There is no hard rules and when there is, they are often steeped in religion.

He wants our hearts more than he wants our perfect performance.

As the stories of David, Noah, Moses and others in the Bible show us… our mistakes do not define our relationship with God. In the same way the Pharisees show us that neither does our perfect behavior.

There you have it. My revelation of 2022. Grey areas do exist. It is possible to simultaneously hold two opposing ideas as truth, (although it does cause your brain to hurt.) 🙂

Protecting Your Peace

The week after Christmas and before the new year has become a week when I find myself reflecting back over the year.

What have I learned?

What would I do differently?

Where am I going? Did I progress, regress or stall in my goals, dreams, visions?

Did I grow spiritually? Mentally? Emotionally and in physical health?

I’m not much of a goal setter but I do have one life goal… and to the best of my ability, the decisions I make reflect that goal.

The goal?

To live life well. To live a life that brings hope, breaks bondage and cultivates freedom in my own life and simultaneously in the lives of other people.

When you look at older people, you’ll generally find two types.

  1. Those who seem to have conquered their insecurities and trials. They exude joy. You feel loved just by interacting with them.
  2. Then there’s those who seem to think life itself plotted against them. They seem bitter and unhappy. And they really aren’t that fun to be around.

These two types of people often have similar life stories filled with trials, betrayal, heartaches, loss etc. What makes their responses so different?

I believe that it is a life long journey to that place of contentment. I believe that every time we run into a trial we have a choice to make… focus on the positive or focus on the negative. Every time someone offends you… will u hold it against them or will you forgive them? When the cake lands on the floor upside down, will you utter a few choice words or will you have an impromptu ‘eating cake off the floor’ party? Trust me, worrying about germs will not cultivate joy. 🙂

It is the those tiny decisions that we make each day, in each moment, that determine who we will become.

What did God teach me this year?

While our daily choices, decisions and actions play a large part in building our character, it is also through being connected to the heart of the Father that we are molded and shaped into a person who mirrors the peace, joy and love of Jesus, to those around us.

As I’ve prayed and processed through some things this year, God began highlighting to me, the need to protect my peace.

In Jenn Johnson’s book, ‘All Things Lovely,’ she says: If anything is zapping the peace and energy that should be reserved for your family, LET IT GO! (I paraphrased that, but the point is the same.)

Bill Johnson said, (in a sermon) ‘In some seasons, your mind will be so full of whatever challenge you’re facing that you won’t have room for anything else and this is ok, in these seasons God expects us to simply show up, even if we’re not fighting on the front lines.’ (Again, I paraphrased.)

I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it made so much sense to me! In a hard season our minds can feel so fragile that something simple like an action movie, or being bombarded by all the things on social media can be overwhelming.

1 Peter 3:10-11 says: Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Whoever desires to love life…

Me. I definitely desire to love life.

This verse tells us in order to love life we should turn from evil and do good but it also says… to not only seek peace but to pursue it!

Now, I’m sure there is many ways to put all this into action but at this point in my life, I made a rather simple decision. If it messes with my peace, it loses it’s place in my life.

This looks a lot like things coming and going. I’ll allow things in, but promptly boot them out if they start messing with my peace. It looks like saying no to a lot of things and people in this season, but it doesn’t mean no forever.

If I’m at peace, my life runs better, my marriage, kids, friendships and even my house (wink) benefit from me being at peace. They also pay the price when I’m not at peace.

And that is why I’ve learned, actually I’m still learning, that while protecting my peace comes with a price, I end up paying a greater, more devastating price, when I allow things into my life, that hinder my peace.

And that is a rather abrupt ending but I have nothing else to add… so be blessed! And protect your peace, no matter the cost!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

An Attack On Your Identity

The human mind seems to be the enemy’s main target. Did you know that a random ungodly thought isn’t sin?

It’s a temptation.

What you do with that thought is what matters. If you entertain it or act on it, then it becomes a sin.

Did you know that a random feeling of hatred, anger or any negative emotion isn’t sin?

Again, it’s a temptation that will become sin if we don’t process it and then handle it appropriately.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

This is one of my favorite verses. To live it out brings peace of mind.

If we take captive those random thoughts that disrupt our peace it will transform our minds.

All that to say: The devil will try to make himself the king of your thoughts and one his favorite areas to attack is your identity.

As I’ve studied identity, I realized that Jesus’ identity too, was brought into question by the devil.

That is so crazy to me.

Matthew 4 tells us the story:

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a](B) by the devil.(C) After fasting forty days and forty nights,(D) he was hungry. The tempter(E) came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God,(F) tell these stones to become bread.”

Here’s some points that I found fascinating.

Jesus was led into the wilderness by THE SPIRIT. In other words when we follow the Holy Spirit he will lead us through the wilderness because (in my opinion) it is in the wilderness that faith is built.

The devil attacked after Jesus fasted. It is those times when we intentionally pursue the heart of the Father that the devil is most interested in our lives. A mediocre christian life is not a threat to him. It is a life that pursues Jesus, a life that is willing to follow God to the ends of the earth that will change the world. And that, is what the devil fears the most.

The devil attacked when he was hungry. There’s a few takeaways here… Hunger, more or less, weakens us physically, which says the devil sees a weakened physical state as an opportunity to attack. Hunger is also a distraction. You know how the hungrier you get the more your focus shifts from your task to your next meal? Being distracted by whatever it may be, is an opportunity for attack.

The devil attacked Jesus’ identity. If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Can’t you just feel the challenge there? If you are the son of God… A challenge to do, say or act a certain way to prove that our identity as a son or daughter of God is legit.

As I’ve been thinking about this I’ve realized that when the devil attacks, it is often an attack on our identity because when we are fully confident in our identity as a son or daughter of not only a King but the KING OF KINGS, we will be unstoppable. Being a child of a King happens through birth (or in this case, by being born again.) It is not something we can accomplish by our own merit.

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

When Jesus was tempted his response was to turn to scripture. I love that. I believe scripture is a powerful tool against temptation. Name your greatest temptation, find a verse that tells you why giving in to this temptation isn’t worth it, then when you feel tempted remind yourself of your verse.

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city(H) and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,”(I) he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c](J)

This, in my opinion, is an example, of a temptation to abuse the grace of God… “If you are the Son of God,”(I) he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written…

Translation: Go do something stupid the Bible says you’re covered.

Another thing to note is the way the devil starts quotting scripture. If someone brings scripture into a situation, we automatically start backing down because to argue with scripture is to argue with God, right?


First of all, arguing scripture will get you nowhere so my suggestion is to simply walk away when this happens, BUT, it’s also important to recognize that devil often uses scripture to silence you.

How do you know if it’s from God or the devil?

If it’s from God, it will bring conviction (a feeling of ‘I was wrong, let’s fix this.’) If it’s from the devil it will bring condemnation ( a feeling of ‘oh my goodness, I was an idiot!’)

Scripture from God is used in the correct context, while the devil will twist it to fit his cause, which you can see from the above verse.

Last but not least, here too, he clearly questioned Jesus’ identity, ‘If you are the Son of God…’

Again Jesus simply brings his own verse to the battle, a verse that clearly points out how the devil manipulated the scripture he had used. Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

In conclusion: if you’re a born again Christian the devil will question and attempt to make you doubt your identity as a child of the King, but as you see here, he did it to Jesus too.

On another note… I started this blog a month or maybe even two months ago. Most of my blogs just kinda fall together but then there’s some that don’t make sense even to myself so I never finish them… and this one… I think it might fall under the ‘ not make sense’ category, but I mentioned it to Lillian (you know who you are.😁) and she encouraged me to finish it so… here we are! I typed, retyped and then typed again! I deleted entire paragraphs and replaced them with something completely different but eventually I managed to finish it.😅

My point is, this is probably my most time consuming blog ever and I really, really hope it makes sense!!🙃

Understanding Suicide

A common question asked is, ‘How does someone reach the point where they have no desire to live?’

I believe that the answer to that is quite simply, ‘They don’t.’

Human’s will take crazy, extreme measures to survive, to escape a threat to their physical safety. We’ve probably all seen the pictures of people trying to escape the building on 9/11 or more recently in Afghanistan.

In a moment of danger the rational part of our brain will shut down and we instinctively respond in one of four ways: flight, fight, freeze or appease.

Flight: get as far from the situation as possible.

Fight: take out the source of danger.

Freeze: shut down physically, lack of action.

Appease: pacify whoever or whatever in hopes of calming the storm.

In each of those, again, survival is the goal even when the rational part of our brain shuts down.

So, why does suicide exist?

John 10:10 says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

The thief (devil) comes to KILL.

I believe that the devil has a hit list. If you’re a christian, you’re on it, if you’re an influential christian your name moves up on that list. The greater your influence the higher on that list your name will be.

Now, before you freak out, you might want to remember that the devil is also powerless. He accomplishes nothing that God doesn’t allow.

However, God gave us all the freedom to make our own choices. So, just because God allowed it does not mean he approved it.

A tormented mind.

I believe that suicide is the result of torment rather then depression.

I believe that suicide is 100% demonic. A demon whose only job is to convince a person, not that life isn’t worth living but that they aren’t worthy of life.

It will point out a person’s every failure and mistake. It will remind us of all the times we hurt someone, it will point out all our weaknesses and all the things we struggle to overcome.

It will not point a single thing that you’ve accomplished or done right.

This demon called suicide has no power over a person’s life as long as they don’t agree with it, but once they agree with one thought it will push the next thought until it has woven a person so tightly in it’s web that the voice of condemnation is the only voice the person hears anymore.

Over time a person’s resistance is worn down because we aren’t strong enough to stand against demonic forces on our own. Eventually, the lies win and a person can be fully convinced that their family, friends and even the world in general would better off without them.

How does this demon gain access to our life?

Demons cannot enter your life without an open door. They cannot access your life unless you agree to let them, more or less.

An open door, so to speak, can be unrepentant sin, wrong beliefs, trauma or dabbling with the occult. Maybe there’s more but those are the big ones that come to mind.

Living in unrepentant sin, is an open door for demonic torment. This is pretty easy to understand as sin is from the devil and separates us from the father.

Wrong beliefs are an open door to demonic torment because if our beliefs don’t line up with the truths found in the Bible, then it isn’t from God, which means are, more or less, we are entertaining thoughts the devil planted there.

Dabbling in the occult is an open door to demonic torment because the occult is the devil’s playground. This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

Trauma actually covers a host of things such as physical, sexual, psychological or spiritual abuse, or it can be any traumatizing life event: car accident, sudden death, prolonged illness, deep betrayal by someone we love, to name a few. Trauma covers a broad spectrum.

Matthew 4: 1-3 says: Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.

The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.” (Message translation)

The devil ‘played on his hunger.’ My personal interpretation of this is simply that the devil chose to attack when Jesus was in a weakened state. Trauma momentarily puts us in a weakened state, therefore it becomes an open door.

However, the devil can’t just walk in and make himself at home even if the door is open. You’ve got to invite him in. We do this by believing (or coming into agreement) with the lies he’s telling us.

Once we agree with him we’ve given him the right to enter.

Once he’s in, the mental torment begins and he won’t leave till you kick him out.

How to get free.

Renounce the lie. Whatever it is that you’re telling yourself, replace it with the truth.

Next, tell the demon to get out of your life, literally. Tell it to go, you’ve renounced the lie, therefore you’ve rescinded it’s invitation and it no longer has a right to stay.

James 5:16 says: Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.

Find someone to talk to, someone you trust enough to share your story with, invite them into the darkest parts of your battle. This can be a professional counselor, a mentor (this is what I recommend most) or a friend.

When you invite this person in, when they process and pray with you, I can’t quite explain it but this is where healing can begin.

Through this process you also need to identify and close that open door. Repent of any sin and pursue healing of any deep heart wounds.

Jake Kail, Pastor of Threshold church, has some great resources: podcast, books, and social media pages on this subject if you’re interested in more in depth information on this topic. A good starting place is his book, ‘Keys For Deliverance.’

How to stay free.

Getting free is simple but the devil doesn’t like to lose, so his next step is to try to convince you that nothing actually changed and you will be stuck in this hopeless situation forever.

Let’s go back to Matthew 4 verse 3-4 say: The tempter(E) came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God,(F) tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

When the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus’ response was to quote scripture.

The Bible, I believe, is our most powerful weapon against spiritual warfare.

Find a verse that fits your situation and when the devil brings his lies, quote your scripture back at him.

Worship is also a powerful resource because it turns your focus from the devil to God, and also the devil isn’t going to stick around to watch you worship his worst enemy.

Persistence is key here because eventually the devil will realize that he has lost and he will leave you alone in this area.

God already won.

I believe we need to be aware of the devil’s strategies to a certain point because when we understand it we then have the power to bring change and freedom.

I also feel like sometimes we get hung up on the devil’s capabilities and forget that when Jesus died on the cross he declared, ‘It is finished.’ He won the battle for once and for all. The devil might attack but God is always bigger, stronger and more capable. We are fully and completely protected as long as we are abiding in him.

looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, (A)who for the joy that was set before Him (B)endured the cross, despising the shame, and (C)has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

This Is My Why

Human behavior.

It is a thing that has fascinated me, my entire life.

As a kid in school I remember wondering why some kids followed the rules while others seemed bent on breaking every single one of them.

As a teen that curiosity turned into wondering why some teens partied while others seemed to have no desire too.

This is when I started actively searching for answers to these questions. I read so. many. books.😆 And googled things. And I studied the people around me.

Fast forward to my mid twenties we did foster care for a bit which means we did training on the different kinds of trauma that kids in the system deal with.

This was the moment when so many pieces to the puzzle suddenly fit together. This was the moment when my fascination (and my studying) shifted from psychology in general to a more targeted focus on trauma.

At this time we were also attending Threshold church which focuses largely on deliverance ministry. I learned so much there on inner healing and what it looks like to walk in the complete freedom. Jesus paid the price for our freedom (complete and totally unhindered freedom) on the cross. It is my deepest desire to see everyone learn how to access that freedom.

It was this season in my life that I realized… The medical (psychology) world has only half the knowledge they need to help people walk in freedom and the church only has half the knowledge they need to help people walk in the freedom of Christ.

Logic says if you take two halves, it makes a whole right?

At this point, instead of separating spiritual and medical I started interweaving the two. Since we are tridimensional beings (body, soul and spirit) it only makes sense that all three play a part in our pursuit of emotional freedom.

By combing the two, so many more pieces to the puzzle, again, suddenly fell into place.

This method of studying psychology by recognizing body, soul and spirit as all playing a part in our mental health is recognized on a very small scale. Psychology as the world knows it has not yet fully grasped this.

It is my opinion that God is doing a new thing in the psychology world. I believe that instead of medicating PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic illness and trauma of all kinds, we are going to see complete healing. We are going to see people walk FREE! I believe that God is raising up people with a new and deeper understanding to mental health.

(There seems to be more and more people that are grasping this concept but it isn’t taught on a large scale yet.)

And this. This is my why.

I have seen pain and bondage ( u cant live in this world and not see it.)

I have also seen people walk in freedom.

I have experienced that freedom.

And that is my why.

To see change for the better, to see people walk in freedom, to understand why people act the way they do, to understand their pain, to cultivate compassion. This is my why.

This is why I have dumped hours upon hours of time and energy into learning and attempting to understand human behavior. Because when we understand something we then have the power to change it.

This is my why.

Now, it is my goal to share everything I’ve learned because it is my heart’s desire to see as many people as possible find healing from their past wounds and trauma and walk in the complete freedom that Jesus purchased on the cross.

In Conclusion…

I have blogged about many things but this is a subject that even though I have studied it for the last 10-15 years I have never really blogged about it.

Why not?

Because writing the other blogs was like babysitting other peoples children. If you thought they were or weren’t cute was pretty irrelevant.

But this subject… this is my baby. So, if you tell me it isnt cute, I will be deeply offended.🤨 Kidding.🤪 But really… This subject, the things I learned were cultivated through my own blood, sweat and tears. (Not literally. Why do people even say that?!)😅

Moving on…

Earlier this year I seriously considered shutting my blog down, because we have 2 babies + 3 other kids and it seems I never have time to write, but then the babies grew up a bit, Kenz and Kynaston are in school so I now have a wee bit more time and with those extra 3 minutes a day came this insatiable desire to start blogging about the the things I’ve learned on psychology.

So, here we are.

My goal is to blog as I have time and for now share mostly on Instagram.

So, if this is a subject that interests you, feel free to follow along!

Recognizing Our Different Opinions As A Good Thing.


Take a deep breath.

Exhale slowly.

Do it again.

Just breathe.

That was for me, not for you, because the subject that’s on my mind gives me high blood pressure.

Let’s Unpack Grace.

More specifically: God’s grace.

I believe it is simultaneously one of the most abused and underused gifts of God.

It is abused because it doesn’t cover sin. It does cover sin we have repented of, but I don’t believe that it covers sin we are actively, unrepentantly living in.

It is underused because we often repent of our sin but continue to carry the shame of this sin, rather then recognizing that through the grace of God, it is fully covered and paid for, by the blood of the lamb.

It is abused because we allow professing christians to live in unrepentant sin (sins that the Bible calls out as sin) and call it grace and love.

It is underused because we verbally assault people simply because disagree with their actions, choices or opinions (actions that the Bible isn’t clear on, one way or another.

What’s your gift?

I’m in no way or means a pro Bible interpreter so bare with me here but this my interpretation of Ephesians 4:

1-3 In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

4-6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

7-13 But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is,

He climbed the high mountain,
He captured the enemy and seized the plunder,
He handed it all out in gifts to the people.

Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

14-16 No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are easy prey for predators. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.

There is much more to unpack here then I’m capable of covering in one blog so if you’re interested, go pick it apart some more.

The first couple verses tell us to walk in what God has called us to do, it also gives instruction/direction on how to do that.

This next part really gets me though… and it seems to me we’ve missed this point…

But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.

Did u notice the part where we’re supposed to have varying opinions?

Ok, so it doesn’t say exactly that but still.

He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

He gave us different gifts (it is my opinion that every single believer has one of these gifts, although they might not actually use it in a church setting.)

In other words, you can have a pastor’s heart in how you respond to people but you might not actually be a pastor. Make sense?

The gifts explained:

Apostle: Identifies sin, strongholds etc and pushes back. The apostle actively takes back ground that the devil is currently in possession of.

When the apostle recognizes sin, injustices etc. his reaction is to fight back.

Prophet: Calls out truth. The prophet can usually clearly see the difference between good and evil.

When the prophet recognizes sin, injustices etc. his reaction is usually to call out sin and promote the truth. This is often done passionately because they can clearly see things that most people are confused about.

Teacher: Teaches the truth. The teacher usually has a strong desire to eradicate misuse of scripture and to interpret it correctly.

In all honesty, I’m not entirely clear on the teachers role but i picture them as more mild tempered. As in… I’m ready to show you the truth whenever you’re ready.

Pastor: Stewards the hearts of the people. The pastor takes care of people. They serve, meet needs and make people feel valued.

The pastor goes after the heart of the people. He is often less concerned about sin and more concerned about reaching the heart of each individual person.

The evangelist. Brings the lost to Christ. The evangelist’s sole desire is to preach the gospel and see as many people as possible be brought into the kingdom.

The evangelist, like the pastor, is less focused on sin and more on the hearts of each person. To see the lost come home is their main focus.


As the above passage goes on to say… we are all called to walk in OUR OWN gift until we (the church) are all moving rhythmically and easily with each other.

It’s quite simple really…

We should probably all take a deep breath, take a step back, take a look outside of our own perspective and encourage each person to walk in their gift.

This looks like:

Allowing Apostles to take the front line, to push back against the enemy and take back stolen ground.

Allowing Prophets to be the gatekeeper, bringing truth in and keeping the lies out.

If the apostle is fighting the battle and the prophet is guarding the door, the pastor is now free to minister to the hearts of the people without being concerned about enemy attacks.

I see the teacher working along side the pastor bringing truth into the lies that we’ve gathered along the way.

Meanwhile the evangelist is also protected by the apostle and prophet and is free to simply gather lost souls which he then delivers to the pastor and teacher for farther deliverance, discipleship and whatever else they need.

Do you see how it all flows together if we abolish the lie that we all need to have the same opinion on what needs to be done or how things need to be handled?

The final verses tell us that if we accomplish the feat of accepting each other’s different opinions and ways of handling a situation and above all, stay focused on Christ, we’ll ‘be healthy in God and robust in love’

I would also like to point out that each person needs to learn how to walk in the gift God has given them.

Have you ever compared a first graders handwriting with that of an 8th grader? There’s a pretty big difference.

In my opinion walking out your gift looks much the same. A younger christian, like the first grader, will have a smudged paper with many erases, restarts, some letters on the line with others falling off the paper. It’s messy. But if God is invited into the mess, he will simply teach, correct and lead and slowly but surely we will walk in our gift much more gracefully.

Side note: We won’t make it to graceful grade 8 of our gifts until we complete messy grade one.

So with all that in mind…

What if we stood together and encouraged each other?

What if we offered each other the same grace that God offered to us?