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Present TENSE

Isaiah chapter 42, verses 8 through 11:

 

I am the LORD; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
 
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them."
 
Sing to the LORD a new song,
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The Art of Compassion

A few months ago, my husband, Blake, and I were at a friend's house for dinner, and I commented on a few of her original paintings I hadn’t seen before. Our friend is a very talented artist, and she was telling me about a new technique she was experimenting with -- cold wax and oil painting with only scrapers, spatulas, and palette knives; no brushes! I was immediately intrigued and I told her I wanted to give it a try. So, before we left her house that night, we set a date to paint together!

 

I hadn’t painted in almost 25 years. Looking back, I think that’s because I was never really confident enough declare myself a ‘real’ artist; I never felt ‘good enough.’ But, the next weekend, I bravely showed up at my friend’s house with a blank canvas, on an unusually warm January day, and spent the afternoon painting in her driveway. I was afraid to spread any paint on my pretty white canvas, but finally mixed some soft hues of blues and greens and before I knew it, I had spent 2 hours mixing colors, spreading paint and building layers upon layers of color and texture, creating interesting shapes that hinted at a mountain landscape.

 

I was fully immersed in the process and I loved it. Part of what made this experience so freeing for me is that I had no expectations going into it, except to enjoy learning something new and allow myself enough grace to make a mistake or mix the wrong shade of paint. I knew my painting wasn’t going to be perfect, and I was okay with that.

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Trusting in the Plan

The camp counselor/elementary school teacher in me thought about having everyone do a trust fall as our intro this morning, but then on the off chance that that activity was not successful…  Betsy might not be thrilled if I break our volunteers before Kids' Day Out! So instead I am just going to talk to y’all about trust and open up with a verse from one of my favorite parts of scripture.

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Creative Absence

Being at Legacy Retreats is a blessing.  This is the visible and tangible culmination of many months of less visible work: fundraising, event planning, family coordinating, all sorts of communications, technology, office work and supplies, big-picture visioning and strategy.

 

All of that work takes a lot of people, and many of them cannot be at every retreat.  In fact most of them aren’t on site at any given Legacy Retreat.  Our staff and coordinators alone now are more than 30 people, and there are more than 300 people among our board, volunteers, and group facilitators.  Plus there are thousands of donors.

 

To get to be at a Legacy Retreat, then, is to be at the highlight, the fun payoff of so much other vital but less visible work.  The flip side is that being away from a retreat is hard!  I can speak from very personal experience; I was not at the California retreat at the end of last summer, and that frankly was not easy for me.  I knew I was missing a great team, I knew I was missing IoH history, I knew I was missing the face-to-face impact of months of work.  Others who also missed that retreat described it like experiencing withdrawal, and that is how it felt.  It’s hard to miss this!

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The Hope of Heaven

I am so excited that Kendra Scott has partnered with Inheritance of Hope to sponsor Legacy Retreats. She sponsors Legacy Retreats to honor her friend Holley's legacy, and the reason that I am involved with Inheritance of Hope is because I am carrying on my friend Kristen's legacy. I can definitely relate to Kendra's heart in this mission, and it is such a pleasure to team up with her to honor our friends together.

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For the Glory of God

I’ve been thinking about Martha from the Bible a lot lately. Martha often gets a bad rap due to her busyness in wanting to serve the Lord, while her sister Mary was content with just being at Jesus’ feet. It’s often preached to us that we should be “a Mary in a Martha world,” but there’s a piece of Martha’s story that we often forget about.

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Reflecting God's Heart

I have the privilege to work with 1st-3rd graders at the church I attend in California.

 

A few weeks back I was teaching about the anointing of young David to be the next king of Israel, and I really loved the truth that we were driving home for the kids, so I’d like to share it with you.  Of course it’s slightly adapted as y’all aren’t 1st-3rd graders... but it’s a timeless truth that I think is SO fitting for Legacy Retreats.

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Do Something

There is a popular song by Matthew West about a person who looks around the world and sees people living in poverty and people in trouble and all kinds of struggles. He shakes his fist at heaven and says, "God, why don't you do something!?!?!"

 

God says, "I did! I created you!"

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Inviting Hope into the Pain

We don’t always experience life the way we think we should, or the way we expect it should be. Each of us at one time may have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Many of the families we are serving have that on their minds on a daily basis. It can be overwhelming. All of us are in different places in our lives and different seasons, and if you are currently in a season of pain, this may be hard to understand or even see right now, but God has shown me that there can be joy and even purpose in our pain.

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Good Shepherds

John 10:10-15 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

 

My aunt Kristen was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer on her 30th birthday.  She and her husband, Deric, had 3 kids, who at the time were 4 years old, 2 years old, and less than a year old.  Their life, their whole world, suddenly was turned upside down.  You could say that a thief had come to steal, kill, and destroy.

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