for when we face unknowns (and need to scream a little)

The other night I left my house to go to Bible study and before I got out of our neighborhood I felt the need to scream. Yep. Scream. It had been a busy day. I had a speaking engagement that morning before which I needed to make sure my house was “show-ready” for some potential buyers. Yes, we’ve had our house on the market. Which also meant I needed to drop off my kids and dogs at my mom’s house before the speaking event. All without getting sweaty and frustrated.

By God’s grace, it all went well. I kept it together while corralling all my people and animals. And I definitely sensed the Lord’s presence while speaking to that group of moms. Fast forward to the end of the day, after errands and dinner prep, when I got in my car alone to drive to Bible study. That’s when I needed to scream. So I screamed. Really loud. And it felt nice. Then I prayed. Also really loud about the current stuff in my life and spirit. And then I “heard” God speak a truth so clearly that it was as if He was sitting in the passenger seat talking audibly.




He said, “You’ll get to the other side of these things and you will know and see that I was faithful every single step of the way, Lara.” Exhale. I repeated it aloud, “I’ll get to the other side and see Your faithfulness. I’ll be able to identify things You did and doors You opened or closed. And I’ll praise You, Lord! Which means I can go ahead and praise You now for the ways You will keep on being faithful!” Exhale.

As I thought about the reality of that truth, hope and rest started to arise in me. I confessed my short-sightedness and I asked Him for greater faith in order that I would believe Him. And I praised Him. Because He promises to be faithful to His children. He promises.

So what if, in the middle of whatever the thing is that’s causing us to scream a little, we chose to praise Him for the finished work up ahead? What if we chose to believe that He will indeed work all things together for the good of those who love Him? I’m not talking the sugary sweet, vanilla latte kind of good — though He does those things too. But I mean the real good. The eternal good. The good that transforms us and sanctifies us. The good that draws us deep into the ultimate Good — our Father God.

I’m thinking that choice would affect our screaming. The choice to praise Him for how He is and will be faithful will cause hope to arise — hope in the love and character of our God. Press on, friends. Press on.

Fill me, Lord…

What causes you to “scream” in life these days?

I pray that today would be a day of great rest of soul, specifically about that issue, as you meditate upon the faithfulness of our God.

press in (that’s all I got)

I’m in our-house-is-on-the-market-so-we-must-keep-it-freakishly-clean mode these days. Which is mostly not fun when you homeschool three kids who enjoy starting projects with popsicle sticks and paint even at 7:00 in the morning while your coffee is still making its way into your bloodstream. Hi. Welcome to my first world “problems.”

I haven’t been blogging — which makes me sad — partly because of time constraints, partly because of some speaking engagements, and partly because I feel like I say the same things in this space over and over. My continual message: life can be hard but press into Jesus. Life can be hard but press into Jesus. Life can be hard but press into Jesus. Seriously. That’s all I got.


press in


Life can be hard. And confusing. And irritating. And messy. But in the middle of whatever life brings into our today, we get the choice to press into Jesus. We get to press into the One who can stir up hope in the middle of what should be despair, joy in the valley, strength in our weaknesses, and peace in a world of unknowns.

Marital struggles. Press into Jesus.
Parenting fiascos. Press into Jesus.
Political turmoil. Press into Jesus.
Friendship conflict. Press into Jesus.
Financial hardship. Press into Jesus.

Those three words “press into Jesus” aren’t just theoretical. They’re meant to move our feet. Pressing into Jesus is what we get to do, day in and day out. It’s the reigning in of the heart when it wants to take a train to crazy town. It’s reminding ourselves of truths when the enemy speaks lies about our identity or worth. It’s praying, without ceasing, flowing from the words of Scripture, by faith in the God who hears. It’s staying authentic with other believers who can walk this faith journey by our side.

We press in. We press in and then we press on under the banner of His extravagant love and mercy. That’s all I got. Keep on, friends. Keep on.

Fill me, Lord…

How goes your “pressing in” these days?

my vision’s too small (slam poetry)

I wrote this weeks ago after God “wrecked” me with a bigger vision for my life and relationships. It’s been sitting in my blog drafts for weeks…mainly because sharing my “slam poetry” with you pushes me outside of my comfort zone. And that scares me. But I wrote this as an overflow of God in me, so being scared is just dumb. I pray it blesses.

(Oh and hearing my own voice on the non-professional recording {click here to listen} proves what I try to deny. Twenty years in the deep south means I have a Southern accent.)


my vision's too small


My vision’s too small.

I get distracted and side-tracked-ed
Into thinking that my ego-centric
sphere of the world
Is what it’s all about.

But my vision’s too small.

I get stuck down here.
My insides too affected by people and fears erected,
and I lose sight of the bigger picture —
A holy, holy, holy God on His throne.

My vision’s too small.

All day of every, single day that the calendar hosts,
this world moves towards its eternal destiny.
Second by second, choice by choice
And yet I get entangled with personal preferences —
talking of differences and consequences,
forgetting the transcendence of my King.

My vision’s too small.

God does incomprehensible, seemingly impossible things.
He parts waters, defying all laws of nature.
He raises dead people, defying all human reason.
He transforms hearts from self-gratifying to self-sacrificing.
Bending down.
Touching man.
Changing the desire of human souls.

My vision’s too small.

He speaks so that mere humans can hear.
He writes so that mere humans can understand.
He makes Himself small and comes as a baby
then dies in our place
so that mere humans can scratch the surface of eternal good.
God Almighty ushering in the deep things of God Almighty.

My vision’s too small.

So I pray for a shift.
I ask Him to open my eyes
that I might see as He sees.
Jesus-compassion for the bound and
Love so secure in my Father that
wounds from a friend no longer
hold the same weight they once did.

My vision’s too small.

The Maker of Heaven and Earth with His eternal plan
does what He wants, graciously including man.
He does soul-awakening things that leave eternal footprints
on the road to His throne-room.

My vision’s too small.

There’s no room for small praying.
There’s no room for blind living.
There’s no room for a numbed existence.
Not as long as our God reigns.

How’s your vision?