A Not-So-False Alarm

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”

John 10:10, NIV

DSC01468My husband and I simultaneously rocketed from flat on our backs with combined one-half twists and landed on our feet (minus the front somersaults, thank God) like two synchronized gymnasts.

“Burglary! Burglary! You have violated a protected area! Leave the premises immediately!”

As our security system’s 120-decibel scream split the tranquil night air, my eyes darted toward the clock: 1:48 a.m.―uh . . . far too early for visitors. My husband snatched his gun from its resting place and tried to shake off his grogginess. Bleary-eyed, I flipped on the outside flood lights and peered into the night’s shadowy stillness. Our security system indicated the garage motion detector. My husband checked it out as I answered the 911 dispatcher’s routine call.

“What’s your password?

I answered.

“Do you need assistance?”

“Not sure.”

Shortly, my husband returned from the garage and shrugged. “Nothing.”

“It’s a false alarm,” I told the dispatcher. “Thank you. All seems fine.”

Thirty minutes later, my husband and I lay in bed wide-eyed and still staring at the ceiling, adrenaline pumping. It would be so unlike my God not to take advantage of this opportunity to speak. Consequently, he did―of a not-so-false alarm: Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He only comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

Spiritually, the thief will come . . . and he never drops in for a casual chat. Satan’s unwelcome visits always have a hidden agenda: to annihilate the children of God. Are we armed and ready for his covert entry? Do we set our alarms before we fall asleep?

The Holy Spirit has armed believers with weapons for spiritual warfare. But, like those who fall asleep, we often neglect to employ them. Subsequently, when our borders are violated there is no alarm to demand the intruder leave the premises. So he lingers. He rummages through the hidden crevices of our hearts and minds. He plants destructive doubt and fear. He steals all that is valuable. All may seem well on the exterior, but within . . . the thief secretly robs us of our comfort, hope, and peace.

Keeping our spiritual security system set assures us that when the enemy attempts to break in, our alarms will sound, the dispatcher will call, and when asked our password, we will confidently reply: “Jesus!”


Choosing Better

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42 NASB

_IGP6151She is my first born by one minute and my only girl in a house full of rowdy boys. Time alone, just the two of us girls is rare, and after our hectic morning was a welcome treat. By the afternoon, my house showed all the signs of a busy morning of school and playtime. Household chores seemed to be mounting by the minute. My Type A Personality was beckoned by my to-do list. I wanted to dig in, get busy, cross some things off my list, and feel like I had “accomplished” something. After all, I only had one child at home with me and that should mean I could get even more done!

But this girl of mine, she looks at me and asks if we can just snuggle.

In that moment, looking into her blue eyes, I had a choice to make. My responsibilities certainly needed to be addressed, but so did she. In this divine moment, when the Holy Spirit pressed in and placed a stillness in my soul, I knew the right choice. The dishes would still be there and the laundry (unfortunately) would not fold itself. Those things could wait, but this moment would not. God has given me this precious child. Growing and changing faster than I could ever imagine, there will be a day when she will no longer want to snuggle with her mom. In the scope of eternity, our lives are nothing more than a vapor and can change in a moment’s time.

So I snuggled. At first, I felt restless as my mind raced to my responsibilities. But as the Lord quieted my soul, I knew I had chosen what’s better. In fact, I’d chosen the best. This moment, this God-ordained moment, was the only place that I should be.

Sadly, I get it wrong too many times. I get swept up in the current of this fast-paced life we all live, choosing service over stillness and work over worship. I want to choose what’s better and I want to choose it more often. My heart’s desire is to live with intention, being present for those whom I love the most and for the God who meets me where I am and brings me to where I need to be.

On that day, He met me knee-deep in to-do’s and brought my busy soul to a place of stillness and worship. And with a thankful heart, I snuggled my gift from above.

Choosing better,


Stop this Crazy Thing!

“Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, …”

Matthew 24:4, NLT

State_Fair_RideMy daughter wanted me to go on a ride with her at the state fair. I don’t know about that, girlie”, I said. “Those kinds of rides make Mommy’s head feel weird, maybe you should ask daddy”.Come on Mommy, pleeeeease, just go once and I won’t ask you anymore!”

Hubby chimes in, “You can do it. Go on the ride with her. How bad can it be?” But it wasn’t any ol’ ride; it was a twisting, spinning, and ridiculously fast ride—just the kind my body doesn’t handle well anymore. (Did daughter know that going in, hmm?)  I rationalized the thing. “Maybe this time will be different and I won’t feel lightheaded and nauseous when it’s over. I’m doing it for my girl. I want her to have a good time today so, I’m going to bite the bullet and do it for her!”

It was a standup ride that required you to be buckled with your back to the wall so you’re facing the middle; much like a salad once you’ve spun it and it’s all sticking to the inside wall of the bowl. There was only one other parent on the thing and that should have been my hint to cut and run! I pulled my belt extra tight, just in case. The ride began to spin and I glanced left ever so briefly to look at my daughter’s happy little face, full of joy and anticipation. My hands were so tight around the handlebars that you’d think they were super glued on! The ride spun and twisted and bumped my sore knees up and down, faster, and faster, until I thought I would never make it through that thing! As I faced those wildly happy, screaming, kiddos, and hubby’s slightly sinister, laughing face, on each revolution, I tried to keep a neutral expression to belie my true feelings about the ride. But, I knew they sensed my pitiful fear! I prayed, “Stop this crazy thing, Lord, pleeeease!” When it finally stopped, I couldn’t wait to get out. “Never again!”

Many times we allow ourselves to be led into situations that last too long and get worse before getting better. Jesus warns us not to be misled. He gives us Holy Spirit power to resist temptation and prevent situations where we find ourselves crying, “Stop this crazy thing, I want to get off!”

By grace through faith,