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Proof

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It only takes a few moments into any episode of the Great British Baking Show (you have watched it, right?!) to hear the contestants explain the length of time they expect for their dough to “prove.” Some recipes even require a double proof to ensure a proper rise and each baker even has a separate proving drawer to safely place their rising creation. While it may seem like an insignificant part of baking when compared to the ratio of flour and water, the time in the oven, and the creative use of flavors, the time waiting for the dough to rise is absolutely critical. In the most refined way, Paul and Mary often explain that the doughy bite of Victorian Raised Game Pie they just enjoyed was a bit “under proved.”

The wait is an indispensable step to a glorious final product. 

Adam told me shortly after the start of this year that this word kept coming to mind as a description for this upcoming year. Proof. God would need to prove His faithfulness in the situations we would soon face. Our trust in his sovereign control over those situations would be proved as we choose to rely on His character.

He is right.

We are almost 13 years into marriage, 10 years into our current ministry, and 9 years into parenthood. On the timeline of our whole life, we find ourselves directly in the middle. The newness has worn off, but the end isn’t quite near.

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

I have been begging God for steadfastness in this season of ministry and motherhood. The majority of the time, I want to give up. I want to find an shortcut that is less painful and less tiring. I need His strength to press on, to wait, and to flourish in spite of my emptiness.

Each frustrating and difficult issue forces me to lean once again on the One who is faithful and each one is reminding me that waiting is an unavoidable step to the glorious future that awaits us as believers.

He alone is trustworthy and unchangeable even in the most shaky circumstances.

Of his never ending faithfulness, I have proof.

 

Scavenger Hunts and How Can It Be?

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It sounded like a great idea at first. We could purchase the $1 scavenger hunt map, find the interesting memorabilia displayed in the two small museums, and become experts of the history of Winter Garden, Florida. It would be a chance for family bonding and count as an educational outing for our homeschool year.

It wasn’t that simple.

The twelve treasures were located in small boxes both inside and outside the historic buildings across the downtown. Each required reading a few paragraphs of historical information, answering a question based on the reading, and stamping the map with unique labels. I mapped the locations with the gps coordinates provided and dragged the family on a wild goose chase around the city. Although my inlaws had some knowledge of Winter Garden’s history, many of the locations were almost impossible to find or missing key elements like the stamp for our map. What should have been a fifteen to twenty minute search around a museum, turned into a couple hour process.

As I waited for the waitress at the local pizza shop to find the treasure box hiding behind the menus on the hostess stand, it hit me that I was holding the maps. I had been writing in the difficult answers. And there was not a child to be found. They had found a sidewalk bench and were waiting somewhat patiently for me to finish the work.

To complete the task, we headed back to the main museum to turn in our maps in exchange for a unique Winter Garden Historical Society patch. The museum guide congratulated my three children on a job well done as he took the maps with my work written all over them.

My work had earned their reward.

As I stood outside on that gorgeous December day, I was struck with the visual illustration I had unintentionally acted out with my family.

 

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

2 Timothy 1:8-9

His work is my reward!

The task was insurmountable. Generations of humans had tried and failed. The work was complete and perfect. He “redeemed the curse of the law” and tasted the sting of death. He was victorious.

Instead of a scavenger hunt map, I turn in His record of righteousness and instead of a patch, I receive rescue from my sin and everlasting life.

As Charles Wesley so beautifully put it hundreds of years ago…

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

May my daily duties and tasks be done today with the realization that I am walking in victory through Jesus. May the amazement of His unconditional love for me be the motivation to love and serve others in my path today! How can it be?

How Long?

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When will it snow, Mommy? Can we watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate tonight? Is that package for me? How many days left until we open presents?

The Christmas season is packed with expectancy. From the moment the first scent of leftover holiday cheer is release from the storage box, everyone in the home looks forward to the culmination of these joyful few weeks. Christmas is coming!

As theologically-minded parents, we have the opportunity to use that feeling of anticipation to teach our children one of the most major themes of Scripture which is the presence of God with man.

In the beginning, the Creator designed a perfect garden, with perfect foliage, perfect animals, and perfect food in which He walked in perfect relationship with Adam and Eve. That communion was tragically broken with their sinful rebellion, but the story didn’t end there. Genesis 3:15 says, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Something was coming to resolve this curse, but it wouldn’t be as immediate as this first family may have suspected. 

The entire Old Testament traces the suspense surrounding the wait for a permanent resolution to this sin problem. God instructs his people to build the tabernacle and later the temple as dwelling places for His Presence. God’s relationship with his chosen people came at the price of sacrifice after sacrifice, year after year.

A small child may feel like the days leading up to Christmas are endless. Each seems to drag as she waits patiently for the hope promised to her. In a similar and even more significant way, Israel longed for the arrival of their Rescuer. How long would God wait to fulfill his long-standing promises?

“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.”

In His perfect, never early, never late timing, the Father set into motion the answer to His covenant with mankind.

“And the Word [Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

God himself would now tabernacle with his Creation. Jesus would be both the High Priest and the Sacrifice necessary to complete the plan set in motion in Genesis. When He returned to Heaven, he would send the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of the redeemed. The Church is now a living temple for the presence of God.

But, we’re still waiting. There’s more to come.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

What a breaktaking description of the end of the story! We live in anticipation for all to be made new. We look around at our broken world and ask, “How long?” but we can wait with hope. Just as a small child confidently knows that there will be gifts under the tree on December 25, we as believers cling to the fulfillment and resolution that is surely coming with Jesus’ return.

The celebration of Jesus’ birth is a chance for our families to wonder at the greatest Gift ever given and prepare for the final chapter of God’s story yet to come!

Immanuel, God is with us!

 

 

 

Losing My Mind to Save My Body

“If you lost 5 more pounds, you’d look perfect.”

It’s funny how a string of words said in passing, can be remembered so clearly almost twenty years later. I was standing outside with my circle of friends before another day of 11th grade classes began. I had been bemoaning the fact that I still wasn’t at my goal weight after months of dieting when Jack decided to insert himself into the conversation. He actually meant to encourage me, but his comment left me defeated. Obviously, I still wasn’t quite skinny enough. So I determined in my heart that I would lose that weight even if it meant starving myself.

I had become slightly overweight in my early high school years. Dr. Pepper, pizza, and peanut butter cups have that effect on the body. I was definitely healthier after losing thirty-five pounds, but the number on the scale began to consume me. I savored comments about how great I looked, and I was filled with pride when I could easily wear my best friend’s size 4 skirt on our senior trip.

My weight had become my identity.

I find myself struggling with this same identity crisis even now as a 33-year-old mom of three. I obsess over eating plans and cleanses on Pinterest. I have attempted low carb, high fat, and restricted calorie diets. I focus on difficult workout programs promising to change my “problem zones.” I research the benefits of exotic super foods that can still be readily purchased at my local Aldi store, of course. I feel unstoppable when I lose a couple pounds and devastated when the scale creeps back up to where I began.

Ironically, all that energy spent on myself doesn’t do much on the outside. I don’t look extremely fit or grossly overweight. I simply appear average.

The truth is, I’m losing my mind while trying to save my body.

My theology tells me that I’m not alone. In fact, I have all creation on my side. All of us – plants, animals, humans – are groaning together for the day when this unattainable struggle for perfection is over. In fact, each time I look in the mirror or step on the scale, I am reminded of the “already, not yet” tension that exists until Christ’s second coming.

This past week was a hard health week for me. I am battling exhaustion, headaches, and of course, weight gain. At this point my blood work shows no warning signs. While this should be a good thing, I’m left with symptoms with no answers.

During this time, I came across Paul’s words in II Corinthians 5…..

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.

The annoyance and anxiety we have over undiagnosed diseases and stubborn weight are more than symptoms of the curse. They are also a reminder of what is to come.

My body now is currently a product of the dirt. God miraculously formed Adam from the dust of the ground and each of us returns to that ground when our body dies. The cycle of life points to the effects of sin upon us all. But, that’s not the whole story.

Jesus broke sin’s curse when he conquered death. His triumph was the start of a brand new creation. Paul tells us that those who have put their trust in Christ’s rescue share in that new start. The old burden of sin is gone and the new has come. Just like we have received forgiveness and grace for our sins, we have been guaranteed a brand new, perfectly working physical body. The Holy Spirit, who indwells all believers, is a seal of that promise.

I’ve still been wrestling with what to do in the meantime.

It is important to fuel my body with healthy food and strengthen it with regular exercise, but my health isn’t meant to be my god.

It’s nice to fit into my favorite jeans, but can I still effectively fulfill my calling at one size larger?

Fitness and nutrition motivation from others is great, but comparison usually follows close behind.

How can I take care of this temporary dwelling while waiting for my new one?

I know that my identity rests in Jesus not the scale and my acceptance is not in my workout regimen, but in His finished work at the cross.

The tension between what is and what is to come is infuriating at times, but it must point my eyes to the Eternal One who holds all things together (including my imperfect body.) I must cling to the certain hope that this broken tent will be gone very soon.

Until then I live by faith, not sight.

What Do You Believe?

It was a proud parent moment.

Our oldest recently competed in a Bible quizzing competition and finished with a perfect score. Some may say that it seems fitting for the pastor’s kid to win, but I saw the time he spent studying and reviewing the references and definitions. His victory had more to do with his hard work than genetics.

The danger of such Bible clubs and competitions is the temptation to memorize Scripture simply for the reward.  The beautifully inspired verses become a string of words learned in a particular order. The child knows the Book but not the Author.

It’s so incredibly important that we as parents and teachers take the extra time to explain the meaning and context behind the passages alongside memorization. Show them Jesus before moving on to the next section to master. We may be surprised at the Spirit’s conviction and encouragement in our own souls as well.

The Christian walk does require discipline, however. Giving our kids the opportunity to hide God’s Word in their sponge-like minds and tender hearts can stock their spiritual arsenal for the battles that are sure to come.

During my teen years, I participated in an intricate system our youth pastor designed for accountability in spiritual disciplines. We would record our points each week for Scripture memorization, devotions, visitation and outreach, and the occasional “bonus” activity in exchange for a variety of rewards. I and my closest friends were top earners each week leading our respective teams to victory. In my mind, reading my Bible or chatting with senior citizens on a Sunday afternoon seemed like a perfect exchange for 500 points and a pizza party the next Wednesday.

Now that I’m twenty years down the road, I have a problem with this system. There are definitely rewards for spiritual habits, but they don’t come in the form of candy bars or amusement parks. Without meaning to my youth pastor was creating a shortsightedness in his teens. The return on my spiritual investment might not come until I am forced to rely on His Word in a deep valley or unexpected storm. And when the prize does come, it will be in the form of more firmly rooted faith, unexplainable joy, or a confirmed identity.

This kind of spiritual exercise is not just for those in Bible club and youth groups though. We live in an increasingly dark culture yet our default is often to blend in by being gray — not quite dark, but not completely light either. We flounder when trials come because we have not invested in our foundation during the calm seasons. We live as pseudo-spiritual people, having the right lingo and right lifestyle, but not truly knowing the God we supposedly serve.

My husband has recently started a new sermon series entitled, “We Believe.” His underlying theme is this – what we believe will always affect our everyday living. Our love for our Savior grows in direct proportion to the time spent getting to know Him through His Word. Our love for others grows in direct proportion to our love for Jesus. It’s a constant cycle of progress and growth until we reach our final home.

Ironically, as I write this morning, I am listening to conversations of those around me at our local coffee shop. Two mommies parent a little toddler girl and another couple is discussing our new President and his controversial decisions. Their views are affecting their living. If I were sitting at the table with them, would I be able to confidently share my beliefs? Would I be able to communicate the pursuing love of of heavenly Father? Would I be able to clearly share the Book that informs my conclusions? Would I be able to support it all with a life that reflects my convictions?

May we know and memorize the Bible, not for ribbons and medals, but for the prize of Jesus himself and may our knowledge translate into lives that proclaim the unfathomable love of our all-powerful God.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
II Timothy 3:14-15


I often think I’m doing well at living what I believe. This article from a Christian-turned-atheist challenges that conclusion:

Do Christians Actually Believe What They Say They Believe?

The Weight of Waiting

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Six days felt like sixty.

He left on a Sunday afternoon for a Greek exegesis class as a part of his D.Min prep and returned on Saturday after lunch. Compared to what military wives and single moms endure it was really nothing. That didn’t stop me from complaining though. I don’t sleep well when he’s gone which made even the nighttime hours crawl. The entire week held plenty of meltdowns and early bedtimes (mine included).

It wasn’t all bad. I attempted some fun activities to pass the time with the kids. We created salt dough safari animals and devoured chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. My kitchen duties were easier with one less adult in the house. On Wednesday, my friend must have noticed the extra bags under my eyes and offered to play with the kids for a couple hours while I worked on a writing project.

Such is the nature of waiting. We bemoan the slow moving hands of time while begging for the delay of the sweet seconds in between.

I started a personal study of Philippians while my husband was away. Paul penned this book as he suffered imprisonment in Rome. Near the beginning of his letter we find a verse so familiar that I almost immediately begin humming along.

….being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus….

(Did the tune pop into your head too?)

We love the idea of God’s working in our waiting. We want to know the purpose in our pain. We can’t wait to see the masterpiece He creates from the rubble of our life. It’s as if our lives are ugly fixer-uppers in need of a fantastic flip. We anticipate the final reveal of the before and after pictures.

It’s true, of course, that He is working in thousands of unseen ways. He is weaving interactions and choices into a breath-taking tapestry of grace. But this time the words, “until the day of Christ Jesus” jumped off the page and settled into my heart.

I am not guaranteed a glimpse of the completed product that is my life until Jesus returns. Unfortunately, I want quick results and easy fixes. I want to be done with waiting.

The chapter continues…

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

This is the good work that He is accomplishing in me – a holiness that comes from abiding in the Vine and a purity that comes from resting in His work not mine.

There’s no denying that waiting is hard, but if we inspect the endless moments more closely, we may find growth and maturity sprouting in unexpected places. We discover a harvest of righteous fruit and abounding love that could not have survived in the soil of haste.

So we wait knowing that He is faithful and will not break His promises to us.

We wait while looking for His good work in the monotony and mundane of life.

And we wait confident that He will return in power very soon.

The delay will seem as only a “momentary affliction” compared to the eternal glory that awaits us in His presence.

I can’t wait!

On Fevers and Advent

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I gently separated her damp curls from her sweaty neck. Her cries had forced me out of bed just as I was falling asleep. It was obvious that the fever had tightened its grip on her little body and was planning to hold on throughout the night.

It had appeared suddenly after her nap earlier in the afternoon. She didn’t complain, but lay lethargically on her daddy’s chest until an early bedtime. Her toddler sparkle had been replaced by an indifference to the world around her.

There is not much a mother can do during these small battles with germs. I wish the maternal guidebook included a magic potion to relieve all the possible illnesses our children may contract during their years under our roof. I wish I could experience their symptoms for them leaving them healthy and carefree.

Instead, their small bodies must fight the germs on their own. They must build an immunity to disease. Their white blood cells must strengthen to fight off future viruses.
As a mother, I can only offer comfort, cool drinks, and tepid baths. I cannot take away their symptoms, but I offer my care as they battle the bug inside of them.

on-fevers-advent-1This stands in stark contrast to the deep spiritual illness we all contracted in the Garden. Each individual throughout history experiences the symptoms of a sin-sick soul. Our hearts hide hate, bitterness, and fear. We spread our infection through harsh words and self-serving choices. Human beings are unendingly capable to express evil in the most disgusting of ways.

We do not possess spiritual white blood cells that work to fight the disease of sin. We cannot defeat the depravity of our hearts. The diagnosis is grim.

Read these words from Scripture:

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4

It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:24b-25a

 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. I Peter 2:24

You have been healed. 

What was once dead is now alive. What was once broken is now whole. What was once damaged has been restored.

My prayer this advent season (which kicks off today, by the way) is for a renewed awe at the incarnation of God himself.  May my eyes see clearly the severity of my sickness and may my heart rejoice at the cure provided by Jesus. May my soul once again realize that its very life depends on the One who gave His so freely. May this Christmas season be filled with joy flowing from more than dazzling lights, Frank Sinatra, and plaid and velvet toddler dresses. May it celebrate the ultimate healing found in Immanuel, God with us.

She Reads Truth {a review}

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Even though the view was terrifying, the tremors weren’t horrible. They were just enough to jiggle us around and produce uncontrollable laughter between my sister and I.

We were at the Alaska Experience in Anchorage. We had hoped to truly experience the historic earthquake of ’64 but the technology in 1999 only produced a mild back and forth shaking of our stadium seats while we watched the crumbling city on the screen in front of us. It was far from terrifying. It was down right funny.

The farther I’ve walked through life, I’ve learned that our days are filled with tremors and earthquakes too. The difference is that few of them are humorous. Most produce real anxiety, agony, and anger in response. Even if the ground of our life is currently stable, our lives seem to be built along a fault line that can produce upheaval at anytime.

What do we cling to in a world that is shifting and trembling underneath our feet? Is there a safe place when the ground seems to be crumbling?

she-reads-truth

Yes, there is safety, peace, and comfort found in the truth of God’s Word, but Raechel Myers & Amanda Bible Williams explain it much more beautifully than I could in their new book, She Reads Truth.

These women founded the online ministry also called She Reads Truth in the hopes of encouraging women to be reading Scripture every day. It has blossomed into community of women from all parts of the globe who dig into the Truth together each day.

While this book definitely touches on that online ministry, it focuses more specifically on the personal stories of Raechel and Amanda and how the Truth of the Bible met them in the most difficult of times.

Early in the book, in a chapter written by Amanda, I was struck by this quote:

“Trusting in God’s Truth does not mean ignoring everything else. We do not have to explain our fears away in order to earnestly believe God’s promises to us. It is not an either/or situation. It is both/and.”

My copy of the book is full of stars and underlines drawn through tears. Even though my personal “earthquakes” are very different from the authors’ life stories, I was reminded over and over of the sufficiency of God’s word in every area of my life.

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I will be returning to this book in the days and years to come. It offers hope and gentle rebuke to those who desire to be “Holding Tight to Permanent in a World that’s Passing Away.”

Disclaimer: I received one copy of She Reads Truth  for free in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

Snickers the horse and exciting news….

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My first big writing project started in my mid-elementary years. Like most girls my age, I was extremely intrigued by anything horse-related. I devoured books on horse breeds, horse training, and horse racing. My birthday gifts for a few years included trail rides, horse calendars, and more horse books.

It was only natural that I would attempt to write a equestrian novel of my own featuring a sweet mare named Snickers. Unfortunately, I was limited by the busyness of fourth grade so I never made it past the Chapter 1 rough draft. I would have been a best-seller, of course, had I ever finished the rest of the story.

Fast forward twenty years and I find myself in a similar position. My passion has changed from horses to theology, but I still possess a love for reading and writing. Occasionally, I entertain the idea of writing a book, but the thought of composing anything longer than a blog post is intimidating to me. How does an author find enough words to fill a twelve chapter book? How could I find time to write in the middle of homeschooling, demanding church ministry, and life in general? Who would read anything I write anyway?

Last year, I wrote a post about my tendency to appear stronger that I actually am, and I quickly realized that I wanted to dig a little deeper into this topic of discovering Jesus’ perfection in my brokenness. I was able to write in the small crevices of time that this current season of life offers me and am excited to announce the completion of my very first booklet entitled, I’m Fine: discovering His completeness in my shortcomings.

im-fine-cover

What is it about? 

As indicated throughout Scripture, humans are extremely adept at convincing ourselves that by simply trying hard enough we can meet the standards held for us by God, others, and even ourselves. Nothing could be farther from the truth because, in fact, we are in our nature “not fine.” This book intends to take us on a short journey to explore the areas of our life that suffer under an “I’m fine” mentality and remind us that those very shortcomings can bring glory to the One who completed perfection on our behalf.

Who is this booklet for? 

Do you struggle with feelings of failure when your idealistic expectations are shattered again?

Do you fight pride when those around you seem to be faltering in areas you have already mastered?

Do you fall into bed each night hoping that you did enough that day to at least appear successful to others?

Do you feel like the pace of your life is currently unsustainable?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions (like I can) then I pray the words of this book will be an encouragement to you. Because I am a mom, many of my illustrations will resonate with women, but the encouragment from Scripture is intended for all believers who hope to depend on themselves less and their Savior more.

Where can I find it? 

Purchase I’m Fine on Amazon in the format that works best for you!

Print version

E-book for Kindle

Would you share? 

Many of you have friends, family, and blog readers that would really benefit from the truths in this booklet. If I could meet them all, I would ask them to meet me for coffee and discuss it with them in person. Because that’s impossible, I hope you’ll share it with them for me!

Thank you for your support and prayers here at Dishes & Doctrine. My prayer is that this new resource is a blessing to your heart as you find your completeness in our Savior!

 

Humble Roots {review and giveaway}

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In case you were wondering, I do not have a green thumb.

From pumpkins to mums, even the easy, beginner plants seem to wilt at my presence. I watch the master gardeners around me in our rural community cultivating gorgeous blooms and impressive crops of zucchini and tomato. My one attempt at green beans was accidentally weed whacked by my husband. I inadvertently forgot to tell him I was trying to grow something!

Sometimes the struggle to grow spills over into more important areas of my life. Anxiousness chokes out effectiveness in ministry and busyness uproots a flourishing family. The peace I desperately want to harvest seems as elusive as success in my horticultural endeavors.

humble-rootsa-review-giveaway

Every once in awhile I stumble across words that are beautifully written, simply profound, and poignantly honest. The new book, Humble Roots, by Hannah Anderson is full of such writing.

She submits to the reader that our struggles with worry and stress are byproducts of a heart rooted in pride. We believe the subtle lie that we can produce humility on our own by intentionally squelching the lies of our ego.  She takes us on a journey through personal stories, historical accounts, and introductions to a variety of plants and herbs as she gently points the reader to a life-altering truth. Maybe our hectic lives don’t need better planning, harder work, or more self-made remedies. Instead, the fruit of peace and rest naturally grow from humble roots pressing down into Christ.

As I read through the chapters, I underlined dozens of phrases and quotes that brought both conviction and comfort to my soul. Over and over, Hannah returns to this idea,

“Humility, then, is not simply a disposition or set of phrases. Humility is accurately understanding ourselves and our place in the world. Humility is knowing where we came from and who our people are. Humility is understanding that without God we are nothing. Without His care, without His provision, without His love, we would still be dust.”

Humble Roots offers so much wisdom and I know I will return to its pages over and over again.

I’m so incredibly excited that Moody Publishers sent me an extra copy to share with you. Enter below. U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen on October 23, 2016 and announced on Facebook. Winner will have 48 hours to email rachel@dishesanddoctrine.com or another participant will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I received two copies of Humble Roots  for free as a part of the book launch team. The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

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