A Life Yielded to God

Hello Friend!

There are seasons in life with more questions than answers.

You might be wondering about your purpose, your calling, or your future. You may be working through the past and putting together broken pieces. You might have hit a roadblock or a detour you weren’t expecting. You might be numb with discouragement or paralyzed by fear. You may be hopeful and excited about adventures and projects unfolding. Or, you might be bored with waiting. You might be blissfully content or you may be grieving. The human heart is capable of countless emotions and the human experience is a journey of diverse kinds of experiences.

No matter what you face right now, there is a relentless grace in pursuit of your heart. You might feel like the furthest person from God. You might be angry with him. You may feel rejected, or dejected. And as real as those feelings are, you are loved. Unconditionally. You can’t change that reality. No ideology, no theory and certainly no rationalization can change his love.

Or maybe you feel close to God and you are seeking him the best that you know how, but your relationship with Him still feels lifeless.

Or maybe you are burdened for a loved one and longing for them to understand and know the power of God’s love in their life.

Let me encourage you, let me encourage my own heart as well, to yield.

“Yield?” You might be thinking. “What does that have to do with anything? Thanks a lot, Jess, that doesn’t help or encourage me at all.”

Hang with me for a second, let me explain.

Yield might sound like it has more to do with traffic signs…but I’m talking about a posture of our hearts, our minds, our very souls.

A life yielded to God is like the clay in the potter’s hands. It stays moldable, it takes the shape as the potter gently pushes and pulls it. The result? Something beautiful and useful, something created with a purpose. I want that! But I must yield to my creator, right?

So what might be some practical ways for you and me to yield to God today? There are many! But here are three to get us started:

  1. Get quiet…like really quiet. Or, as quiet as possible. Get alone with God. Don’t have expectations for that time with Him, simply give over your distracted mind and busy schedule. King David writes in the Psalms, “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:2). Have you ever seen a hungry newborn? That is us! Feed me! Feed me! I need more! We are discontent, distracted and rooting for more. Yielding to God looks like the older toddler, content to sit on her mother’s lap, calm, playful and observant. Let us quiet our souls to be able to sit with our Heavenly Father. Content. Calm. Observant.
  2. Trust Him. It is difficult to yield to someone and give them the right of way in your life if you don’t trust them. Think about it, would you hand over the remote, your phone, your car keys, your credit card to just anyone? No! Trust is a big deal. Trusting God is an even bigger deal. It goes beyond belief in Him to giving over control. Maybe you’ve never done that. Maybe you’ve done that, but keep grasping for control. Maybe you have hurt places that have made you draw back and question. Trust in God must be wholehearted (Proverbs 3:5&6).
  3. Look for him. Recognize him. Remember what he has done, see what he is doing now. Give him credit. Give him glory for every good gift (because James 1:17 reminds us they are all from him). Acknowledge his goodness, faithfulness, love, protection, provision, presence, grace, justice, mercy, righteousness, creativity, and kindness. If you miss it, how can you be thankful for it? If you miss his work in your life you may take credit for what God deserves. In everything look for God. He is there.

So friend, in this new day, in this new grace given to us, let us yield and give the right of way to God. Let us learn to trust him in ways we haven’t before. No matter what your yesterday looked like, today you can yield to Him.

Singing His Grace,


Slow to Anger

Good sense makes one slow to anger,

and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 19:11


She sat in my living room across from me as we sipped tea and chatted about motherhood. She was a few years ahead of me on this parenting adventure, so I listened closely.


“I never thought of myself as an angry person,” she said. “Really, the only person who ever made me angry was my brother…and then I had kids.”


I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t the only mom finding herself ready to scream, or cry, or just lock myself in the bathroom on a regular basis. How could such adorable, little babies turn into frustrating toddlers, disobedient children, testy tweens, and challenging teens? Anger can sometimes surprise us as parents. The people we love most seem to know exactly which buttons to push. Anger bubbles up making us say and do things we really don’t want to.


The challenge, as Proverbs tells us, is being slow to anger. It is an issue of time. I find myself rush, rush, rushing and even my words seem to rush out before I think, “Is this really the best way to deal with the situation?” My track record on this is not so hot. So how do we see change when the pattern is so deeply set and our best efforts seem so weak and inadequate?

My friend’s advice was, “Before my feet hit the floor in the morning, I needed to ask the Lord for help and guidance.”

She nailed it! Praying before a word or action happens in the morning, praying throughout the day, and praying in the moment helps us keep our words and actions pure. It is about inviting the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom, or “good sense” as we interact with all the people in our lives, family, friends, co-workers, classmates, even our enemies. Meditate on this Proverb today.

What area of your life needs this type of prayer? Where do you need to be slow to anger, or overlook an offense? Do you feel alone in your frustrations as I did? Don’t hesitate to seek out a mentor or a trusted friend!

Speaking to my own heart…and Singing His Grace,


On Being a Good Mom :: A Letter to Myself as a New Mama

Dear Younger Me…the new mom…yeah you, trying so hard to be a good mama…

I just wanted to write you a note to say YOU ARE DOING SUCH A GOOD JOB!

Seriously, I know you are worried you are getting it all wrong, but really I know you are worried about what other people think. You see in your mind, the jury is still out on whether you are “a good mom” or not. Let me let you in on a secret. No one will EVER be able to tell for sure if you are a good mom by what they see you doing. It is the stuff that you do that no one sees that matters. The big embarrassing tantrum in the grocery store…the mismatched socks…the broken arm…the messy van…the spit up on your shirt…those are NOT the markers that define your mothering. No, ma’am. “Good Mom” is not a badge you earn…rather, it is the sacrifice you embrace. It is the nighttime waking, laundry folding, grocery shopping, small bite cutting, pediatrician calling, cool-headed deep breathing, stroller pushing, band-aid sticking, book reading, rocking chair rocking, throw up cleaning, Tylenol measuring, shoe hunting, crumb sweeping, eyes-in-the-back of your head watching, timeout giving, bedtime snuggling, sandwich crust cutting, nose wiping, toenail clipping, Jesus-help-me praying that you do over and over and over.

And don’t you for one second think it is a checklist to do ALL THE THINGS perfectly…because that is simply impossible. The goal is not perfection…the goal is not to arrive.

Instead, think of each little task as a tiny little drop in a very big tank…It is slow. You think it isn’t making any difference, but I promise, you will be amazed at how it all adds up.

And goodness, you will mess up. A lot. But just say you are sorry. Pray. Let it change you. And press on. Drop by drop. Because even “good mamas” can’t change their kid’s hearts. Let the Holy Spirit do in your kids what only He can.

So you just keep drip-dropping behind the scenes, sacrificially. It won’t always be fun, but it always matters. And when your kids get older, some things will get easier, but some things get harder. You will gain confidence, but you will always need reminders not to worry about what others think. It only matters what your sweet Jesus thinks of you. Your worth is not defined by what you do– only by what He has done for you, and He is singing over you. He never leaves you. He picks you up when you fall. He wakes you up each morning with joy. He delights in you, so delight in him. Look for him in it all.

Singing His Grace,


On Monday, After Easter Sunday :: Who is Easter for?


Today, in my world…there are carry-on suitcases full of dirty clothes that still need to be unpacked from a quick trip to visit family. There are strings of plastic grass and chocolate wrappers strewn around my home. Beautiful Easter outfits are rolled up and stuffed in grocery bags that are still sitting in my mini-van. This rainy Monday morning couldn’t feel any more opposite to yesterday’s glorious Easter sunshine.

Perhaps you are looking around at your circumstances and feeling like Easter is already a distant reality, a yesterday event, a memory to be stored…or forgotten. Maybe yesterday was disappointing or difficult. Maybe you feel a little disconnected or numb in general about holidays.

I would be lying if I said that my Monday morning doesn’t seem, at first, to be totally disconnected from the reality that was/is Easter Sunday.

It has me wondering, how many people might be looking around at their Monday morning and thinking is Easter really even my “thing”? Does Easter really matter to me today? Who is Easter even for anyway?

Is it just for kids?
You know, fun games and hunts and sugar-levels spiking to the point of giddy energy.

Or is it for the religious?
The rule following, tradition-abiding folks.

Or is it for the families?
The ones who still like each other or at least who tolerate a (free) meal together occasionally.

Is it for the well-dressed?
The wrinkle-free, latest trend, matching pastel type people.

Or is it for the consumer, when sales are good and every store has something new to offer for springtime?

Maybe it is for the home improve-er?
The long weekend is perfect for heading to the hardware store to buy mulch and flowers or supplies for that spring project.

So who is Easter for then?

I believe that Easter is for the Monday mornings. It is for the broken hearted and the broken down. It is for the wound that won’t heal. It is for the body that is aging. It is for the tree whose leaves are diseased. It is for the dream unrealized. It is for the civil war-torn country. It for the runner whose strength is failing. It is for the ocean’s coast strewn with trash. It is for the childhood ended too early, the adulthood ended too soon, the elderly left alone. It is for the mundane and the tired, the down and depressed. It is for the hospital rooms and homeless dormitories. It is for battlefields and for the lecture halls. It is for the messy, the ruined, the forgotten. It is for all souls, and for all of creation.

Easter is for you and for me.

Easter is for anyone with bad news needing good news. It is for anything futile or broken needing a lasting fix. It is for anything tired longing for new strength.

Don’t be deceived about the reality of Easter…

Yesterday, the eggs were hunted, dyed, counted, stepped on, consumed, and cast aside….but, we don’t box up Easter until next year…we don’t cast it aside for another day. No, we hang every moment on the promise that is Easter. We view every circumstance in light of the good news that Jesus is the King of Kings, that Jesus is alive, and that Jesus is coming back to restore all things.

Everything finds its meaning in that reality. Even the meaningless, even when we can’t wrap our minds around it…we are free from the power of sin and death, and one day we will be free from the presence of sin and death.

So let our Monday, our mundane, and our miserable places be grounded in Jesus. Let us cling to the hope found only in Jesus. Even in the face of hardship and trial and pain and sorrow and whatever circumstance threatens our hope…we boast in what Jesus did for us. Easter is for you. Christ died. For you. Don’t let Monday squeeze out the miracle of Easter. Grasp it. Trust it. Trust Him.

Singing His grace,