Just Do The Thing – Part 2: Why Do The Thing?

While at worship team practice last week, I was talking about the challenge we have been given to chase after God while using the gifts we have been entrusted with. I shared about how we get this awesome privilege to do so much because there were people years ago who dared to do things differently. Through their example, and because of their sacrifices, we now have the blessing of sharing the hope of Christ and directing the focus back to Him through our gifts.

Each of us, musicians and vocalists, sound engineers and video and media tech team, all of us, using the gifts we have been given. All of us – utilizing what we’ve been given to share.

When I was growing up, we went to church and sat in beautiful but stiff wooden pews, and we sang from cream-colored hymnals. I think the title, “Hymns of Praise” was embossed onto the cover in a light gold foil. I saw ordinary people use their extraordinary gifts. I saw people teach Sunday School, greet guests, print bulletins, tend the grassy areas around the church, and even others bake cookies for events. I didn’t know that those were all gifts back then. Still, I remember seeing people deliver messages from pulpits and piano benches, while others shared their testimony in the parking lot outside. I saw while others volunteered to help love the littlest guests in the church nursery. I was blessed to behold worship leaders in big events as well as worship leaders in kids church leading children to Jesus with guitars, flipboard lyrics, and yes – flannelgraph. I even witnessed generous adults who signed up to stay up all night for youth lock-ins(bless them Lord – they were saints!).  

I think as a kid I just thought that that’s what everyone did – pitching in their time and helping everyone in the process. My little eyes caught glimpses of “what could be” long before I knew “what needed to be” in community. And as a kid who grew up underneath those wooden benches mentioned before, I now see that I was witnessing the communal act of using the gifts that God had placed in people’s hearts. After all these years, I now see that everyone was “just doing their thing” all around me; using their gifts and moving into action every day.

Last week I challenged us to discover what our “thing” was and just do it.

Did you think about what your “thing” might be?

Did God impress on your heart where you might be able to use those beautiful and powerful gifts? 

As I was sharing with my teammates, I kept reminding us that we have an audience. Others are watching us (whether on a platform or in the public library or even at the grocery store), to see how we use those gifts in the everyday moments of our lives.

In the silence & in the suffering.

In the happiest of times & in the heartache.

In the victorious moments & in the valleys low.

In every season under the sun, we have been entrusted with gifts and we have and the privilege of still giving praise to God. Even when we don’t think we have much to offer, and even when we barely muster the strength to let out a sound of praise from our quivering lips.

There are on-lookers around us and the eyes of a generation coming up behind us that are looking for hope and for a glimpse of how “things could be” and, you know what? We get to share that hope when we each do our “thing”. 

They are our why.

They are why we should do our “thing”.

Not for selfish gain, and not for human applause, but so those around us can come in contact with the same Savior we know.

God has chosen us (you and me), to do what we can do with what we’ve been given. As we do, He will continue to do His “thing”. Actually, He will continue to do all kinds of amazing things in and through us.

We. You & me, with our different gifts, we get to be part of God’s story, friends.

I’m so grateful for those who modeled this for me when I was growing up. Each gift shared has impacted my own life & faith journey. Do you remember who impacted yours?

This week, I want us to think of who our “why” is. This world needs the gifts God has entrusted to you, friends. And there are so many around us who can see those brilliant gifts shining through. No matter your season, no matter your gift, there is a reason and others are counting on your willingness to share it. May we be brave as we continue to discover our “thing”, and as we pray and ask God to show us who we should share our gifts with. As we do, may our gifts point others to our source of hope and strength – Jesus, Emmanuel – God With Us.

peace – Liz

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, You desire that everyone we come in contact with, would come in contact with Your presence. You Lord, have given us gifts and talents and skills to use on this earth, so that we can play a part in this glorious and mysterious story we call life. Lord, we don’t want to just sit on these gifts, we don’t want to just hold onto these things, we want to put them to good use for the greater good. Today God, would you begin to show us who we can begin to share our gifts with, show us who we can impact even today as we read through this. Inside and outside the church, I know You have a great plan and purpose for them. Thank You for showing us today that these gifts matter, and that when we choose to share what we’ve been given, we can see others begin to bravely do their thing and share their own gifts too. Thank you Lord for Your reminders that our stories matter and that we still have something valuable to share with this world and those around us. Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: Friends, I wanted us to listen to something that both encourges us and puts some fire underneath us to use those gifts. I love the lyrics to this song! We don’t want to just be filled up, we want to pour out all these powerful gifts we’ve been given. So check out this video, turn the volume way up, and be encouraged to pour out what you have for the glory of God.

Just Do The Thing.

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been thinking about all of you for months now, and I can’t say that I’ve had any really good excuses for not writing posts for this blog more consistently. The truth is, I just haven’t written. I’ve jotted down thoughts, organized some ideas, but I haven’t fleshed out a real post in a while.

I think it’s partly because grief still ebbs and flows into much of what I do each day. It may also be that I am, like many of us, still processing the last 19 months of life on this planet during pandemic. While at other times, I feel like I’ve put this content aside so I can focus on other content for my books that I’ve been working on.

Yes, you read that right.

Books plural.

If you’re new to the blog, you may know that I have some projects I’ve been working on. Some of them are years in the making. Some of them birthed out of difficult seasons, and some of them crafted out of noticing felt needs that popped up right in front of me. All of which have been stirring in my heart for some time. All of which have taken me through deep dives into the world of preparing for and submitting book proposals.

I’d like to tell you that I’m well on my way to being represented by a literary agent, but I’m not quite to that stage yet:). I am in the process of submitting proposals, adding content to the books, and continuing to create content for publications I love to glean from. 

In other words, if you are in need of a contributor…I’m your gal!

While I was at work on Monday, I was listening to an encouraging author (Trillia Newbell) share briefly about how we should go and do what we are supposed to do. Easier said than done, right?!

She shared A LOT of encouraging content in the interview and as I was washing dishes, I kept coming back to the feeling that many of us need to hear what was dropped into my heart as I listened.

We need to go and do what we are supposed to do.

What we have been designed to do.

What we have been created to do.

I’m preaching to myself here first.

I, as a 41 year-old woman, feel called to write… 

I have pages of my writing dating back to my early elementary years when I wrote poems and short stories, and just little thoughts.

I feel called to sing…

I’ve been singing since I was a little girl in church, back when we used to wear mustard-colored choir robes (not the best look on anyone), and singing in places that, for all intents and purposes, I shouldn’t have had the opportunity to sing at but for the grace of God.

I feel called to share life with others…

I feel this one so much that I look for ways to have people over to my house, and ways to connect over coffee, and reasons to celebrate life with others.

As I was washing those dishes, and putting them away, I was preaching to myself, “Just go and do what you are supposed to do.”

Friend, I don’t know what you feel called to do. Only you do.

What I do know is that you can do it.

Even when we feel weakened by the world around us.

Even when we feel most unqualified for the task at hand.

Even when we feel overwhelmed with all the steps involved.

Even when others might not understand why we feel we need to do it.

Through prayer and with God’s guidance, and through the power of His Holy Spirit, we can do what He has called us to do.

Today, I just wanted to remind you that as I am stepping into what He has placed in my own heart to accomplish, I am praying for you to do the same; to step out in faith, discover what you have been uniquely designed to do, and how you can creatively do it.

While you are discovering those purposes, I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way. And as you figure it all out, share with me (and all of our friends here) how you are doing what you’ve been called to do.

Just do the thing. 

Just write the book you’ve been dreaming of in your heart.

Just sing the songs that keep encouraging others.

Just start the dance class that is needed in your community.

Just share life in the community.

Just go talk to that neighbor and offer a listening ear.

Just show up to the park with food to feed the homeless.

Just pick a date to meet your friend for coffee.

Just make a call and pray for those who have been heavy on your heart.

Just sign up to volunteer at your local church.

Just send in the application to that job.

Just start the business that keeps calling to you.

Just paint the painting that has been longing to be on canvas.

Just go on the mission trip.

Just visit the elderly friends and family members who often are forgotten.

Let’s all just do the thing.

Let’s Pray: Lord God, thank you for the reminder that we have gifts placed within us that still need to be shared with this world. You constantly send us nudges to step out in faith and the truth is, we often shy away from actually moving into action. Forgive us Lord for delaying in this area. God we humbly ask you to remind us of the ways in which you want us to do these things and how we can share our gifts that you have lovingly entrusted to us. May we have eyes to see them, ears to hear your voice calling us, and hands and feet ready to step out as you lead us. Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: My heart is always encouraged and inspired by music and this song from For King & Country hit the spot today. I hope you’re encouraged and inspired as well as you check it out today! https://youtu.be/9HErRFLapu4

A Year Ago Today

On March 13, 2020 I got to sing in a private concert in my hometown to an audience of one, my Dad.

That morning after a long night where my sister took the night shift caring for our dad (like she and mom had done so many times before), I took the morning shift, caring for him, making sure he had everything he needed while she got some much needed rest and a shower. While with Dad, I chose just to sit with him and overcome by all the emotions that I was feeling, I didn’t know what else to do except for sing. It wasn’t a huge vocal performance or a power ballad; it was more of a whispered prayer – trying to wrap my head around what the next hours might be like being next to my Dad before he took his journey to see our Jesus. And while I was sitting there, I was just whispering a song (I don’t even recall what song I started out singing). All of a sudden, Dad tried to raise up a little in his bed and he said, “Lord I’m amazed!”, to which I said, “Ok, Dad, let’s sing that”, so I began to sing, “Lord I’m amazed by you, Lord I’m amazed by You. Lord I’m amazed by You, How You love me…”. I can’t help but think that in those fading hours, God was giving my father little glimpses of what was to come. Little glimpses of where he would be transitioning to once he closed his eyes on this earth.

I have often said it felt like I was dancing with eternity; taking one hand and one step in a direction I’ve not experience before, knowing that at any moment the music and the dance would stop. Eternity felt so close and so tangible in the room in Greeley. We were all feeling God‘s presence in the midst of feeling loss and in the midst of feeling ache, not yet fully understanding how deep that ache would be.

I finished the song that day and we carried on. We continued to just wait and hope, and love and care, and hug and cry and laugh, just our family. Dad wouldn’t have had it any other way – he loved his family being all together. Throughout the day family and friends called and texted us, prayed for us and supported us. And so did those amazing hospice nurses – literal angels on this earth. We were so glad to be surrounded and uplifted in a time where for much of the rest of the world, it felt like the life was closing in and shutting down. A year ago today, we didn’t know what we didn’t know: That the world was going to feel like it stopped in time. Back then, we didn’t know what was to unfold globally or what 2021 would unfold like so in that moment, we just continued to do the only thing we could do:

Love, care, cry, pray, repeat.

I’d love to tell you a little of how Dad’s earthly story ended miraculously. On this day, a year ago, at 9:30 p.m., our Dad Rico breathed his last breath on earth while simultaneously taking his first gasp in glory. Dad was risen to new life in eternity with our Lord Jesus, and as he was, we felt the ache of great loss because we knew the gift of great love.

Our hearts so wanted to see Dad completely healed and, our hearts also knew at the time that it would not be done according to what we wanted. But I’m so thankful God had a better plan because God‘s plan included him being surrounded by all of his loved ones. God‘s plan included that Dad would be loved into eternity although this world didn’t welcome him the way it should have or could have when he was born. My sister wanted us to be sure that we loved dad out the way that only a family could, and I love her for that. God‘s plan included Dad’s healing. God‘s plan included Dad’s hope realized. God‘s plan included his restoration and salvation sealed. God‘s plan included dancing in the streets. God‘s plan included being surrounded by his family on earth while being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses in heaven. God‘s plan included not shutting the world down quite yet, allowing us to just have time with family. God‘s plan included allowing us to be together as a family to say, “See you later”, to our Dad and over this past year, we can remember and we see God‘s faithfulness and mercy; how He’s given us the strength in what felt like a season of one blow after another, in what felt like one separation after another, in what felt like one loss after another, in what felt like one ache after another.

God has been so so good. So that’s what I sang to God that day in the final moment of my Dad’s life: “You’re a Good Good Father.” Because that’s the truth – God is a good good Father.

Friends, I don’t know what your March 13th, 2020 looked like. I know what mine looked like: My 2020 looked a lot like love and loss, hope and joy, chaos and peace. For many of us it felt that way. Through it all, I know God was standing with us. Maybe your 2020 looked a lot like mine with deaths or different losses, from all areas of our world whether it was in our schools, in our jobs, in our homes, in our ministries, in our churches, in our communities – we all felt loss. Maybe it was very personal. Maybe it was a family member who passed away – maybe it was due to this destructive Covid, or maybe it was due to something else; something harder, something more difficult, something you never could’ve imagined or something so sudden, or even something so drawn out like dementia.

I don’t know what your March 13th, 2020 looked like – the day before the world kind of stopped for a while. What I do know is that you are not alone, and even now, we are not alone today. We (you and me friend), right now, we are surrounded even if we are socially or physically distanced. We are surrounded by people who want to support us. We’re surrounded by friends who would love to help out. We’re surrounded by people in our lives who have been longing to hug us and hold us, longing to uplift us. And though we are slowly emerging out of this crazy season of being cooped up, locked in, and shut down, we have people waiting for us to let them into our messy and broken pieces, and in return, we get to step in and do the same by uplifting them, upholding them, strengthening them, and supporting them too. We also have a great cloud of witnesses who is looking for us to allow God to do what He wants to do in this time even when we don’t understand, even when we can’t comprehend. God himself is waiting for us to say, “I trust You”.

God is waiting for us to say we will live with hope while we trust. He’s waiting for us to say we will work while it is day, we will love while there is still breath in our lungs, and we will care while we can.

Friend, will you join me in that challenge today?

I know it’s the beginning of this season of where we’re revisiting a lot of these memories from last year. There’s gonna be a lot of those moments over the next several months. Will you help me and join me as we choose to say God, ” I trust You Lord. I’m amazed by You. I want to carry on through Your strength”? Today, I’m reminded of this scripture:

See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him.” 1 John 3:1 CSB

Friends, you and I are God’s children and He does love us. Even when we look back at losses and remember tough memories. He wants us to remember we are His children so others can live in that same realization too. I’m reminded of some lyrics from the song, “Fear Not My Child” by Carman: “I know how to care for what belongs to Me.”

God does know how to care for us in every single season under the sun and every moment throughout all eternity.

I invite you to join me in singing to an audience of one today. Use your own words dear friend, because we all experienced this past year from different perspectives. Even so, let’s pray and ask God to help us see His faithful love all over the story of our lives as we reflect together.

Let’s Pray: Lord I’m amazed by You. The pandemic doesn’t stop You and the powers of hell cannot prevail against You or the plans You have for Your children. I’m grateful today God that the grave couldn’t hold you any longer and that you’re not finished – You’re not done- even when the coroner says life is done. You’re not done when breath stops coming out of our lungs – that’s the exact moment when you begin new life again. Help us God to see that important message today – That You are not finished with the story of our lives here. Help us to see that our March 13th, 2020 doesn’t have to define the rest of our lives. Today on March 13, 2021, we are choosing to start the day looking for Your love written on the pages of our lives through this past year. Today, help us to carry on doing all that we can do while we can do it: loving, caring, laughing, crying, living, writing, speaking, doing, releasing, embracing, and repeating. Loving Lord of Life, we surrender and ask You to do what only You can do in this moment. Thank you for caring for us and for loving us through every circumstance and season of life and death and life renewed. Amen.

Today, much like I started last year on this very day, I’m going to do what I can: Wake up to write, to love, to care, to hope, to let go, and to honor my Dad, all while worshipping Our Father God. Today as I’m jogging my memory thinking about Dad, I’m choosing to think about how he loved his kids – all of them. I’ll remember how he loved his grandkids and great -grandkids – all of them. Even the ones he never got to see and even the future ones he didn’t get to know. As I reflect, I’ll recall God’s powerful love over us – love from the Father’s heart. Love that doesn’t quit, love that doesn’t stop. Love that will never fail.

Friends, thank you for sticking with me through this very long post. And if you find yourself aching today or even rejoicing, and you don’t know what else to do or what else’s to pray, just worship. Even if you have to just mouth the words until sound comes out- just worship. With cracking voice and through tear-stained eyes, just worship the Lord. I’ll be doing the same.

Let’s remember that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Not even death. And more than ever before, I am convinced of it.

peace – liz:)

Go The Extra Mile: Check out this amazing song from Church of the City! It is a constant reminder that God is our hope and He keeps hope ALIVE! Listen to it, put it on repeat, and sing it out today!

The Best Years For My Life

*Year Forty-One*

I’ve been going down memory lane for the last few weeks:). Mostly because I want to remember what I looked like without anti-aging cream or other additives applied to my face!


But for real, since I recently celebrated my 41st birthday and I’ve been looking over the course of my life. The early years, the ones in the middle thus far, and the most recent. As I was looking through old photos, or remembering times past, not one time did I wish to go back. I’ve often heard friends say they’d love to have the energy they did as a twenty -something, but with the wisdom of their forties. Agreed. I don’t want to return to my younger years. I’ve never heard anyone want to return to all the hormones of teenage years and high school drama or even the early years of adulting. No thank you:). To be honest, I kind of like the age I’m at.


Those years were good, but they aren’t the best years of my life. They have been the best years FOR my life.


Formative. Informative. Inspiring. Challenging. Strengthening.

And So. Much. More.

I can look back to being a little girl in Ms. Richard’s 2nd grade class and receiving an A+ on a poem assignment, knowing that it meant something special to me. What was the poem supposed to be about? It was free choice and 2nd grade little me wrote about life & death. Yup, that’s a glimpse at 2nd grade me:).


I remember receiving some paperwork from high school around graduation time and on the paper it said in bold lettering, that I was, “Endorsed in Reading. Endorsed in Writing.” I have no clue what else it said or if everyone’s said that, but those words jumped off the page and into my heart.

I remember early days of ministry training, traveling a lot and sleeping a little, then full time ministry learning to stay in one place while still learning to develop roots in a town I never thought I would live in. I also remember learning to create family friends in new places like a real adult.


I remember real conversations, hard decisions, situations and circumstances in which I didn’t know how to process all that was going on around us, and big moves that grew us up in more ways than one.


Memories & moments that formed and informed my way of thinking. Moments & memories that challenged and strengthened my way of connecting with God and times that built up my prayer life.

Have you ever walked down memory lane friend?
Can you see the years that were the best FOR your life?


Our lives may not all seem like monumental years with big wins or huge successes. Maybe they are years filled with little glimpses of hope, or dark moments where now you can see some light among the shadows.
Friend, wherever you find yourself today, know that your story matters, and the years of your life are worth looking over and celebrating too.

Hold onto that promise above from God’s Word. In fact, go check out the full chapter of Psalm 23 – you won’t regret it.

Over the next few weeks, we will look at some of our best years together. I hope you’ll join me and invite a friend to come along too. It’ll be a worthwhile journey.


Let’s Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, we know You to be the Giver and Sustainer of life, and in many of our stories, we may look back and see times of feeling just sustained. Lord, as we look over our lives this month, will You help us to see the moments that were so good for us- especially the ones where we haven’t been able to see the good quite yet. We desire to live lives today that are full of good fruit- lives that are full of blessing and not regret; lives full of hope and not full of bitterness. In this new month, we give You these years that we have already experienced and even the years ahead, asking that if You can use any of it for Your glory, that You would. Lord help us to have eyes to see the lessons and the important parts through Your lens of love. Help us to see who in our story was a source of strength and hope for the us as encouragers. Help our hearts to grow closer to You as we learn together how events and experiences shaped us into who we are today. May we continue to learn how You’ll use our life stories to lead others into knowing You- Our loving and generous Father. And may we grow more and more into the people You dreamt us to be. Amen.

peace – liz:)

Go The Extra Mile: Check out this song by Josh Baldwin – I kid you not, it has encouraged me during my own walk down memory lane – We CAN see the evidence of God’s goodness when we look over our lives because Jesus changed everything when He died on the cross and rose from the grave. Listen and be encouraged today friends!

Hello January: What’s Your Word?


Hello & Happy Belated New Year TrueLife Friends! I can’t believe we are almost finished with month one of this new year, yet here we are!


When I was a kid I thought 2021 would look a lot differently. You know, flying cars, smell-o-vision on our tv screens, and such:).


In some ways life looks completely different than childhood dreams. For one, I do not have a flying car…yet;). In many ways, it looks different because we are still in the midst of (you guessed it!) a pandemic. That’s the obvious, but what are we going to do about it?


Carry On.


In keeping with personal tradition, I choose to greet this new year with some hope and a new word for the year. I like lists and goals but I also like something small enough I can write on my hand (yes, I’m one of those people, haha) to remember daily. It serves as a reminder, a compass to offer direction when I need it most.


Our words don’t have to be inspirational – though they can be. We can also choose silly words to remember to have fun in this new year, or we can choose words that challenge us to our core. Words that have meaning or words that remind us we can complete what we’ve committed to. So what’s my word?


Humble. My word for 2021 is Humble.


No, my word does not mean that I am always humble, or that I’ve got this attitude of humility nailed down yet. It does mean that in everything that I feel God is asking of me, I want to approach it with a humble heart that yields, responds, and surrenders to all that He wants. His will, and not my own.

Last year my words (yep, you can choose more than one), were Speak & Train Up. I chose them in February 2020, not knowing what the rest of last year would look like. Not knowing the grief we would expereince at personal and global levels- not knowing the courage & confidence we would all need to cling to. Throughout 2020 God gave me opportunities to speak along the way and opportunities to train others a few times too. Not immediately or even when I thought he would. Not even in the ways I thought possible (thank you Zoom & Google Meet).

Yet, He did.

A key verse that I kept coming back to last year was this:

“He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17 CSB)


HE is before all things. Includiung this year.

By HIM all things are being held together….including us dear friends.

So here’s my question: What is YOUR WORD?


What word will remind you of what you’d like to do this year? Or, who you’d like to be or become?
I want to hear your words friends. I want to see how you are responding to a new year ahead while reflecting on what has past. Be sure to share your words below!

I can’t wait to hear from you and see all the words that God impresses on your heart. Friends, I’m so grateful for this past year – all of the good and all of the hard, all of the small victories and big wins, all of the time inside because of time in the “Q” or time outside getting fresh air…all of it. Why? Because all of it makes me appreciate all of this year so much more.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we do not know what this new year holds. What we do know is that YOU will remain faithful because that is who YOU are. You’re faithful, and good, and full of love. You are gracious and compassionate. You are holy and perfect and You hold all things together. You hold us together God. In this new year, help us to look for the ways You want us to grow and recognize the gifts we’ve already been given. Help our hearts to stay focused on You as You lead and guide us each and every day. If we are still trying to find a word that helps us remember your goodness and all that you’re asking of us in 2021, help us to find it and hold onto it. If we’ve already chosen a word, help us to share it with those around us to help us and encourage other on our journey. This year, we choose to trust You and Your plans. We remind ourselves that Your ways are better and higher than our ways and we pray for Your ways to be the desire of our hearts. Help us daily to become more and more like You in all we say and do in 2021. Amen.

peace-liz:)

Go The Extra Mile: Check out this song by CrossPoint Music . “Lean Back” by Crosspoint has been on repeat for me, lead by one of our all-time favorite worship leaders -the one & only Mr. Setnick Sene! I hope it encourages you and reminds you of our Loving Heavenly Father as we continue to walk through 2021 together!

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas morning here on the Western Slope is Colorado, and though I wish I could say we are experiencing a snowy white Christmas, we aren’t :). It’s still beautiful; sunny outside with a chill in the air, and warm and cozy here in the house.

There are a several things this season that aren’t quite how we wish they would be due to the year we are all experiencing together. I don’t even have to go through the list of things that aren’t like Christmas last year because we all know what the list is and feel the ache of longing to be with loved ones and celebrating in big gatherings, etc.

But this year, my hope is that we will take time amidst this different kind of Christmas- time to reflect on the good things we have right in front of us, and, time to be great Gil for the family and friends who are still with us (whether in our homes or a phone call or Zoom away). I also hope we’ll take time to remember the loved ones who ran their race and walked into eternity during 2020 as well as their loved ones who still remain here.

It’s a time for celebrating and remembering Our Savior’s birth. He came into the world that was very much dark and longing for things to be made right. In fact, that’s the whole story of creation- knowing that things aren’t as they should be, and aching for the time when they’ll be made new again.

Today, I’m so grateful that Our Jesus came to this earth- right into the middle of our mess and our struggle and He became Immanuel- God WITH us.

He’s with us friend.

In the messy, the momentous, and the mundane- He is with us. In the broken, the beautiful and the blessed- He is with us. In the longing…through it all He is with us.

Friend, I pray that wherever you find yourself today, that you’d be reminded of His presence so very near to us all today. Right where you are, that’s where He is.

He is Jesus, Immanuel, dwelling with us and hearing every prayer and seeing every need this Christmas Day.

May your day be filled with the reminder of His love for you, His care of you and His peace over you.

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your presence today. Thank you for the ache that tells us things aren’t the way they should be, because it’s the reminder that you will make all things right again one day soon. Thank you for stepping into this broken world so that you could bring redemption and hope. Thank you that you are right here with us in and through every bit of this life. Help our hearts to cling to the promise that you are with us, even to the end of the age. Amen.

peace -liz:)

https://youtu.be/5PBEMfbWq_Y

From our family to yours, we pray you’ll enjoy a wonderful and hope filled Christmas!

The Trujillo Fam:)

The Nativity Post by Melissa

2020 has been hard to say the least. I think everyone could attest to this being one of the roughest years full of trials and frustrations. For some of us our 2020 actually began in 2018 or 2008 or our whole lives; and let’s be honest, we may not even have hope that the next 5-10 years will be any different. 

Many of us have posted 2020 woes on social media or at the very least shared a meme. It is very difficult to post every moment of our lives so most posts are highlights of our good and bad, but mostly good because that is how we want to remember; and let’s be real, that is how we want others to see us. 

2020 for me has been full of joy, struggles, and downright raw, painful events. I gave birth to my first child and he has consumed 98% percent of my time. When I get the chance to post, it is mostly about a baby milestone. But what the majority of my followers do not see are the sleepless nights, the trips to the doctor because something is wrong, the maybe once a week “real” shower with hot water and shampoo, the frustration of trying to take care of the house and work from home simultaneously. There are even events that honestly are just too painful to even want to post. And in the most vulnerable moments of chaos, the thoughts of, “Am I really in God’s will?” or “Did He put me in this position only to watch me struggle in another hardship?” rises to the surface of my mind. 

Because I have a child who is 3 weeks from his first birthday, I think a lot of what it was like for Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We have the “posts” in the Bible about the birth and the manger. We hear of angels singing and the wise men bearing gifts. But I wonder if Mary ever thought, “How can I raise this Son of God when I can’t even get him to sleep through the night?”, “We just got into a routine in our new home and now we have to leave our belongings and flee in the night to become refugees all because someone is trying to kill my son?”, “Is this what God really envisioned for my life?”, “Is it always going to be like this?”

The Bible picks up with a snapshot of a worried mother losing her 12 year old son and doesn’t post again until he is in his 30’s going to a wedding performing a miracle. Imagine all those years of joys and sorrows, confidence and doubt that we never get to see. And as her son grew and became the man God promised, she began to see those initial doubts disappear. 

I don’t think it was any easier for her though as he grew up knowing people hated him or watching him stumble to the hill where he would die. I’m sure her thoughts and prayers were the same as when all the hype of his birth subsided. But she got to see the beginning of a changed world because of everything she endured. Now I know many people can say, “But he is the Son of God and nothing was going to stop it”; but imagine for a moment if he was not. What a legacy to leave, raising a son who is still talked about 2000 years later. A son whose name causes riots and wars, who brings peace and comfort, who has so much power that it cannot be used on prime time tv as a curse word. 

Take courage my friend. This year, these moments will not last forever. You may question God and it’s okay. But know the big picture is in his hands. Don’t forget 2020, but let it be a reminder that greater things are to come. Work diligently to fulfill your calling. Merry Christmas!

-Melissa Atencio – Colmenero


Friends, I was seriously blessed when I read through Melissa’s message to us today. I’m so grateful for her perspective and for her support of the blog and this writing adventure of mine. I find myself reflecting over 2020 and sharing those same experiences that have made this season both different and challenging. I also find myself clinging to the hope that we have in Jesus just like Melissa talked about – because He sees the bigger picture. I thought it would be fitting that we share this song from Francesca Batestelli with you today. My prayer is that we have the same heart that is shared from the point of view as Mary, the mother of Jesus. I hope it encourages you as you move through this season. peace-liz:)

Happy Thanksgiving Fam:)

Dear Friends, from my house to yours, I hope you enjoy a beautiful thanksgiving everywhere you find yourself.

This year has been full of so many emotions, and I hope that amongst them all, we will choose to cling to gratitude and hope.

May our hearts and homes be full of gratefulness for the many blessings we have been given. May we remember the beautiful moments we’ve been given through a tough year and dream together with our loved ones of better days ahead.

Friends, this year might not look like we imagined it to, but we get the chance to be grateful for the life and breath and joy that still remains among us and in us.

“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Peace & love to you today and always- liz:)

BONUS POST: Letting Go – For the Parents of Seniors by Davina Gorsh

            Dreams…I’m not talking about the ones that come and go as we sleep. I’m talking about the ones that start the day we get the positive pregnancy test. The ones that we don’t even realize are taking hold in our hearts in a deep and permanent way. These dreams grow and change as our babies grow and change. They get lived out right before our very eyes in the eyes of our son or daughters.

            Often the dreams we have are challenged by the world around us, by circumstances and even by our children because without knowing it we are handing this dream over to our children. We don’t even know we are doing it. But it is happening.  When they strap on that backpack that is way too big for their little 5 year old body. When they learn to ride a bike, make their own lunch, go on their first sleepover, go on their first date, wear their first work uniform, and start making plans to leave our home. They are learning to own their own dream and we are moving towards this moment. The leaving that God has so wisely designed.

            This is part of the gig, right? We know this even before we have children. We know they will leave our homes. We jump in knowing this and yet when we get to this point it becomes heart wrenching.  As moms and dads, we have willingly and lovingly given so much of ourselves in raising these young people. So much has gone into the process to get them to this point. It leaves us without words at times. Sometimes all we have are tears. So many tears. Tears of joy because we are so proud of them. Tears of sadness because we just want one more minute of chubby fingers and sticky cuddles. Tears of gratitude because God trusted us to raise these amazing humans. Tears of fear because what if we didn’t do enough. Tears of faith and hope.

            Here’s the thing. This heart ache is a part of the dream. They are leaving because we were enough. We gave them so much in all those years. They are leaving home because they are strong enough to take this step. We have helped them pack those bags. All those years on our knees praying for wisdom that felt like it didn’t come. While we were walking in faith, not always knowing if we were doing things well, God was doing what only He can do (Roman 8:26). Not only was He sustaining us but He was also imparting His strength to them (Ephesians 3:16). 

            It is now our time to grieve our role changes, walk shoulder to shoulder with our young people and continue to pray on our knees. God sees the ways our heart aches, He sees all of our tears, collects them, and records them all (Psalm 56:8). He sees our kids as they walk into a new season of their lives, He has a plan to sustain them, His grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).

            As your tears start to subside I pray you will see the hope in the ache. As the dream evolves and takes up a new place in our heart may we walk in faith and expectation for the new joys to come. For the Lord restores our soul (Psalm 23:3). There is such goodness in this process. May you take the time to be in God’s presence with it, to let Him counsel you with His Spirit and His word. Release your tears for His safe keeping, be still, and wait expectantly on the Lord (Exodus 14:14 and Psalm 27:14) for He is good. 

-Davina

Meet the Author: Davina is a life-long learner, lover of books and great coffee. Being a 4w5 on the enneagram she loves equal parts time with friends and time alone. She is also the only woman in a house of men. She is happily raising 3 boys alongside her husband, two dogs, and one cat.

Liz’s Note: I can’t say enough about this amazing friend of mine! She’s been such an inspiration to my faith journey and instrumental in my journey of motherhood! Not only that, Davina has been such an encouragement and support throughout my writing journey, and for that I am so so thankful. I’m also grateful for the friendship God has allowed us to cultivate over these past several years over coffee and deep conversations. What an honor to have her heart and message shared on the blog today! -liz

Go The Extra Mile: Trust me when I say that it’s the exact song for this specific season of parenthood. Do yourself a huge favor and listen to it all the way through and think of the journey you are experiencing with your senior students and those who are heading towards that season. It’s such a fitting song and we know it will bless you today.

Hold On: Encouragement for the School Year

I recently remembered an old movie I watched called, “Scaramouche“. It’s a classic and if you haven’t seen it, you totally should. With buttered popcorn…and peanut m&m’s:).

There’s a great scene where the main character is learning how to fence. The instructor tells him to hold the foil like a little bird, “too tightly- you’ll choke it, too lightly- it will fly away.”

Hold it like a little bird.

In the last few months, we’ve walked our children through some crazy and unpredictable times. This year, we have a a little guy who’s entering 3rd grade, a freshman in high school, and a freshman who just moved to college. But when this whole pandemic began, those same children entered the school year as a 2nd grader, 9th grader, and you guessed it- a senior from the Class of 2020. Daily we would find ourselves having to learn to hold the days like that little bird mentioned above, firm yet gentle. The tighter we gripped, the more we felt things almost vanish and be ripped from our children’s school year; the more loosely we held it it seemed to just kind of fall between the cracks of our hands.


Like many of us all over the world, we weren’t sure how to adapt and adjust. We weren’t sure how long this season would last. We weren’t sure of much at the time however, we knew we had to find a way to still hold onto the good in the midst of all the bad and difficult that seemed to surround us.


In the movie I mentioned, the main character eventually developed the skill needed for the task at hand. He became a great fencer, and was able to anticipate the next move of his opponent & and adjust his next move accordingly. In my humble opinion, our role as parents in this season is much like that of a fencer- we must learn to hold onto God’s Word as we adapt and adjust to the challenges that will come – and they will come friend. Try as we might, we cannot fix these experiences for our children. What we can do is demonstrate to our children what is of most importance: Holding firmly to God’s Word & trusting in His promises. Ultimately, we must learn to hold onto hope with them for God’s best, even when the season we find ourselves in changes and plans have to be adjusted.


Friend, this new school year will be unlike any other. It won’t be normal, but we have the advantage – we can cheer each other on! Heck, we ourselves are still walking through all of this with you.


You, dear friend, are guiding and leading your kiddos into the unknown (cue Elsa from Disney’s Frozen!). Especially your seniors! The class of 2021 was granted a front row seat to watch their upperclassmen walk through a difficult season. Classes went remote. Lockers were cleaned out with the hope of returning. The return was cancelled. Classes finished online. Graduations & continuations were cancelled. Graduations and continuations became Drive-thru and online experiences. Some didn’t even get to have a ceremony. We were super blessed that our district was able to put ceremonies together in July (#weared51). And yes, it was crazy hot and we cried through the whole thing. It was worth it to see our sweet girl experience a dream come true even if it looked different than once imagined.


All of those experiences happened for a reason- to prepare your students, Class of 2021 (and you too, mama), for this season. Seasons change; that’s what they do. I think that’s why I love Fall so much is because you can visibly see the changes occurring in nature. Leaves change color and float to the ground. Fruit that was once on those same trees can be enjoyed later because they have been preserved. I truly believe that in this school year, as experiences continue to change, we will get to see some preservation. We just have to hold onto God and choose how we will respond to life as it happens.

Milestones can still be momentous and the experiences of this year can still be epic.

To your students, I say this: Hold onto the joy that this season can still bring. It might look totally different than you could’ve imagined but, you can do it. Whether learning remotely or in person, in a hybrid way or even homeschooling for this season, you have the opportunity to learn from those who literally walked before you and approach your school year with complete trust in God.

Parents of this new school year- Hold on. Class of 2021 -Hold on.

Friends, you and I get to choose how we will enter this season and how we will respond to ever-changing circumstances. Will we huff and puff and be mad at every turn because one more thing has been stripped away from our children’s experience? Or will we sing and even give thanks for how God will use these moments of loss for His glory? Let’s choose wisely friends. May we hold onto each other with gentleness and grace as we stick together and hold on to Him.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, today we just want to thank You for the strength You provide for us. Thank You Lord for enabling us to hold onto You and Your promises in the midst of all that we experience in this life. Lord, we choose today to hold Your Word deep within our hearts. It’s so easy to become frustrated at this new normal we are all experiencing, but You Lord, have offered us a better way – You’ve offered us the choice to put our hope in You. Today we know that this school year will not be like any we have experienced before. Lord, we surrender our expectations and ideas of this school year to You. We know that You are still providing ways and opportunities for us to stretch our faith and trust in Your plans. When our arms feel weak from the tasks of each day, help us to hold them up in surrender and worship to You. When our hearts and minds feel overwhelmed with decisions we are making for our children or with our children, help us to hold onto Your peace as we navigate this road together. Lord, help our eyes to see the joy that still remains and to help redirect the eyes and focus of our children – that they too may focus on the joy and beauty of this season as you prepare all of us for the seasons ahead. We trust You and invite You to do Your will in our lives and in the lives of our children. Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: This song below has been on my current playlist for a few weeks now…the chorus invites us to surrender and invite God to do whatever He wants to do. Friend, I pray this song blesses your heart and places hope deep within you. His way is better.

BONUS MATERIAL: Here is a pic of us with our 2020 Graduate on her actual graduation day. It happened almost 2 months later than planned but it happened! Praise God!