Author: Susan

Faith, Joy

Making Sense of Crazy Seasons

I’m learning it’s possible to hold two equally true but opposite emotions at the same time: despair and hope; sadness and joy; exhaustion and exhilaration; purpose and discouragement. In recent months, we’ve had medical issues for myself and my family (we are all okay), the death of my father, checking my mother into memory care, the loss of relationships, and a job that has both grown me and challenged me. I’m a bit tired. Entering into a new year serves as a good time to take stock, assess, and attempt to adjust the course, and as I think about all

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Remembering Peter C. (My Dad)

A few people have asked me for a copy of what I wrote and read at my Dad’s memorial, so I thought I would share it here: — Thank you for coming today! My Dad’s death wasn’t a surprise. He had been sick for quite some time. But what was a surprise was the outpouring of stories, and love, and phone calls, and messages from all of you. It was so amazing, humbling, and eye opening to realize what an impact he had on so many people. I just knew him, really, as my Dad. Psalm 27 says, “I would have

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Faith, Married Life, Mom Life, More Posts, Work

Focus On Who You Were Made To Be

It was the kind of day that highlighted all of the places where I fell short. A busy weekend led to a messy home that was short on groceries, simply because I didn’t have the time to refill my cabinets. I just finished navigating a week that contained a CT scan for my husband, a surgery for my son, and deadlines at work. I couldn’t seem to stay asleep, and when I did sleep, my slumber was full of strange anxiety dreams. It was that kind of week.  When I woke up and went to pour my first cup of

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Faith, Living In Tennessee, More Posts, Work

Is God Real? Take a Look at My Past Five Years…

I used to spend a lot of time pondering two questions: Is God real? Does my life even matter? In my last blog post, I wrote about how I’ve come to realize the great impact one person has on the world around them. In this post, I want to tell you another thing I’ve come to know for certain: the God of the Bible is real.  I watch God acting in lives all around me, every single day. When I began working in full-time ministry three years ago, the number of “God stories” I encountered increased exponentially. I see evidence

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Faith, Joy, Married Life, Mom Life, More Posts, Work

Your Life Changes Lives

Lately, I’ve been in awe of how a single person can change the course of someone else’s life. Everyday, we have the opportunity to encourage the people surrounding us, or tear them down. When my life is feeling insignificant and I feel discouraged, it helps to remember some of the people who invested in my life, because it reminds me to stop focusing on myself, and to be a blessing to the people around me. Here’s a quick (and very incomplete) list of some of the people who changed my life, one small act at a time. Who are some of the people who

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Faith, More Posts, Work

Focused On the Track Ahead

It was 5:30 in the morning and I was half a cup of coffee into the day, as I sat, contemplating the day’s requirements. Even though I had a full night’s sleep, I felt weary and tired. Tired of being productive. Tired of navigating the ever-evolving school schedules. Tired of wondering whether it’s safe to go out to eat, or if we should just stay home. Tired of politics. Tired of change. Sound familiar? As I sipped my coffee, assessing the year in exhaustive detail, I asked God where to get the energy to move forward, when I was still bearing the

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Faith, Living In Tennessee, Work

Much Has Happened! A New Job!

This year has stretched me well beyond my comfort zone, and my schedule has been so chaotic, I’ve frequently lost track of the day and month. Much has happened since my last post.  I was happy in my job, even though I never imagined myself doing accounting for a living. Accounting was a necessary evil when I ran my small business; something that had to be done, but I didn’t enjoy. It was different at GraceWorks. The first time I cut a check and realized my efforts stopped someone from being evicted on Christmas Eve, my heart for accounting changed, and I became

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Don’t Fear: Live Out Your Mission!

There is hope amongst the living. There is power in fellowship. Sometimes a hug is the difference between peace and despair. Who knew sentences like those would become controversial? Who could have predicted that being amongst the living; gathering with friends; and hugging a coworker could be harshly judged and seen as irresponsible?  What a crazy era we are living through. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post, and much has happened in my life. While much of the country has been living a life in sequestered seclusion since March, for me, 2020 has been a marathon endurance

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Letting Mistakes Refine You – Not Define You

She wasn’t my child, but I felt my heart swell with mom pride as I watched her perform. She sang with a full, strong voice and owned the stage with confidence. I found myself pulled into her character until….sudden silence…she forgot her lines. Her performing face dropped into panic as she looked towards the prompter and, after a few beats, picked up where she left off. I said a silent prayer for her: “Don’t let this take you off course, sweet girl. Keep on pressing into what you know. Be strong. Be brave. Don’t let this slip up define your

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Faith, Photography

Following God When It Doesn’t Make Sense

It doesn’t make sense to be an artist. Exchanging a high-paying corporate job for camera gear and an altruistic assignment doesn’t sound wise, but I’ve known many who have done exactly that. Moving across the country with no job, not much money, and three kids sounds irresponsible, but it was clear that’s exactly what we were supposed to do. What if what God is telling you to do makes no sense, could financially ruin you, and seems to go against common wisdom? Here’s what you do: You pray, you trust, and you go. Here is what you don’t do: Doubt. I’ve been

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