Just Ask for the Milk

I was recently at the closest grocery store to my house – the one I go to for all the convenient things we eat or need – Grocery Outlet. I love that place…I just make sure I look at the expiration dates on dairy before I put it in my cart, but I love it there because they really do have what we need – all except “lactose-free” milk. I’ve been shopping there for years now, and every time, I just felt as if I had to make two separate trips – an additional one to Fred Meyer, JUST for our lactose-free milk. It’s so annoying! But I’ve just always done it.

Then it dawned on me to ask if it’s possible to get it there. Yeah… after almost 5 years, I thought to ask. The checker got a manager, and she walked up, and I asked her if I could ask for an item that I continue to not see -one that our family uses all the time. She turned me down right away, “Sorry, the way we work is that we get items delivered to our main warehouse from other stores, and if it’s not there, it’s just not there.” So I replied, “Oh, so it’s not possible to make a request for an item?” “Hmm… No, not really. No. Sorry.”

I normally would have just thanked her for her time and left, but that day I thought, why not let her know what it is. Not that it would change the policy or how they work, but why not. So I looked down, and then up at her again, this time, specific, “…it’s lactose-free milk. Not soy, almond, cashew, or coconut milk. Lactose-free.” She repeated it back to me and then said, I can ask our warehouse guy that does our orders to see if he can look for it next time he pulls he does one. Do you mind waiting here for a few minutes?”

“Not at all”, I said, surprised. And a few minutes later she returned.  “He said he’d add it to the order Thursday, and it can be here Friday. Homogenized or 2%?”


“Is $2.57 ok?”

“Yep! Thank you.”

What just happened? She went from saying they don’t “do requests for certain items” to “we can order that item for you this week”! What’s the difference?


As I walked away, I heard her yell back to me, “2%, right?” I yelled back, “Yes. Thanks!”

And this might seem like the silliest analogy because it’s about milk of all things, but I really do feel like God was telling me as I drove home,

“Be specific when you ask for what you need of me. Even if it feels like the odds are against you. Even if you’ve not experienced it yet. Just ask. You never know.
I might say, Yes. I can do that.” This was a “wink from God” that really encouraged and empowered me.


Voicing Praise Will Shake the Faulty Foundation of Lies

One night, it was around midnight, on the other side of the planet, two guys were thrown in prison – wrongfully. But their prayer and praise and hymn singing resulted in earth and soul-shaking miracles.


The very foundations of the prison were shaken. This was literal. Today, we do not find ourselves in literal prisons – but rather, demonic strongholds, or fortresses. These strongholds also have foundations. What would be the foundation of addiction, for example? The foundation of depression? The foundation of pride? I would venture to suggest that the foundation for most if not all demonic strongholds – that which all outward symptoms are built upon, is deceit. Lies.

When we see our prison-like circumstance as an opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus (in prayer and praise), the very foundation upon which demons have been stationed – becomes powerfully shaken! The core of their arsenal, their “Big Guns”, Lies, are dismantled. Rendered impotent.

And as a result, every time, there is a releasing. There is a spiritual opening of doors, and breaking of chains! 😳

There is a supernatural freedom that accompanies the proclamation of Truth.

But notice – the last 4 words of this passage. “Everyone’s chains were unfastened.”

Freedom did not just come to Paul and to Silas. But when they used their voices in the midst of their utter agony, sitting in their pools of blood, to give praise to Jesus, and lift up expectant prayers…everyone around them who was held captive became free! Paul and Silas’s decision to praise in the prison directly resulted in not just their own release, but the release of everyone else in that dungeon.

Our praise in duress. Our fervent, expectant prayer. Our singing – can do the same. Make it loud. Our God will shake the enemy to his core. He will open doors that were sealed and locked before. He will unfasten tight chains that were once the source of pain.

When have you encountered immediate freedom from bondage after deciding to sing, praise and pray to Jesus?

To be Remembered as Your Preschool Teacher

Sometimes I wonder how much of a difference I’m making in the lives of the preschoolers I teach. I wonder why I’m throwing so much of myself into this.

I know I’m there to demonstrate love, first, to nurture and teach them their ABC’s, bend down and coach them on how to write their first name, and give them room to explore and play like tiny civil humans. I know I do so much more than that, too. Like… give them tips on pencil-holding, nose-blowing, turn-taking, Bible verse-remembering, and germ-containing.

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Curious…but Content

Tonight we were called “downstairs” for a little meeting with our landlords, to discuss some changes in the future. We kinda knew what this meant… a move is upon us. There are many, many good things about this, including the fact that they’re giving us 5+ months notice!

As I lay down next to Angel and Braylon individually when it was time for bed, and asked them both to pray, they both did. And they both thanked God genuinely for the time we’ve had here at 1528 Hess Creek Ct. in Newberg. By the time we move, around July 1, I assume, it will be 5 years in this gorgeous home and quaint little town together.

I wrapped up each of their prayers with a declaration of faith and thanksgiving, to God, for preparing the way ahead for us. And as we delight in Him, and seek His Kingdom, our desires will be met ~ and even more. This is not a hope or a hunch. It is a promise.

And I am curious… but content.

To Let Out the Great Power

At the preschool where I work, during “nap time”, I sat by one of my little students who had a rough morning. As I draped my fingers lightly down her face and rubbed her blanket covered tummy until she fell asleep, my eyes wandered to another little one 2 nap mats away.
This one is special to me as I believe her mom is struggling with addiction and/or relapses since a rehab experience in September. 2 months ago, as nap time approached, this little girl would say repeatedly in a state of absolute panic,

“Will I wake up?!”

But this day, just a few days ago, she was wired. Not necessarily anxious that I could tell, just flopping around like a fish out of water, trying all kinds of positions to get comfortable. 

I got up as I sensed the Lord nudging me her way. As I began to walk,

I envisioned myself

blessing her with peace, with my hand on her forehead…& her just falling right to sleep.


Simple. But highly improbable. Here’s the thing. I had nothing to lose. Some thoughts are our own. Some are straight from the enemy of our soul. And some are from God’s Spirit. I do not believe that thought, or vision was my own.

It was the Lord’s thought in MY mind.

Imagine! It’s got to happen so much more than we realize. For the Word of God says:

We have the mind of Christ himself. We have boldness and access to the Father.

So I walked over and did just what I (He) thought to do. I bent down, pressed my hand against her head and said, I bless you with peace in the Name of Jesus. May you have peace and comfort not just here and now, but at home as well. May you sleep …”
and even before I finished this declaration, she laid flat on her back, of her own volition, positioned both arms by her sides, and closed her eyes.  This was just as encouraging as it was surprising to me. As I continued for just a bit longer, I watched her face. She was completely motionless. Relaxed. Not even her eyelids were moving. Within those maybe 2 short minutes of declaring, her body came under submission to the words of God.

I believe it, because I saw it. She was out. I am believing still, for more peace to manifest in her home.

We have a Great Power at work within us.

How incredible and humbling this is. Ephesians 3:20 gives us this promise.

We have it…at work…already within us. My next question then would be,

What if we let it out more?

Lord Jesus, keep speaking – we want to hear your voice, we want to recognize it as YOURS, and see your beloved ones as you see them. Treat them as you treat them.

Love them as you love them.

AngeLingo – Prayer for a Friend’s Leg

Tonight she randomly broke the silence on the couch and told me that her close friend, Katia has had pain in her leg all week. She even had to wear a special kind of sock that compresses her muscle – and she was walking stiff-legged up until yesterday. Then Angel said she prayed for her. She didn’t want Katia going on vacation to Hawaii (today) with so much pain and discomfort in her leg. So she said that she prayed – from across the gym – as Katia was talking with Lila.

And today, she came to school with no compression sock, and she was better! Her leg was healed.

I love that she used the terms better and healed.

I love that she prayed…even if from across the gym, and I love that she told us about it, excitedly.   It seems so small…but just that little story showed us her heart of compassion. The heart of God for his children, for their restoration and health. Even if it’s to be able to enjoy a vacation! Love wants the best.

I’m so proud of you, Angel. Keep praying for people. No matter what happens. Keep praying.

What is Soul Rest?

One thing that puts a little smile on my face on any given day, is when I see a hummingbird fly over to my feeder and take a drink. I usually think the words, “Drink Up!” which makes me think of drinking in the things of the Spirit. Maybe that’s why I don’t like it empty for too long.


Today I realized when watching one little guy sip to his heart’s content, that his wings never stopped. Did you know a hummingbird’s wings beat between 50 and 200 flaps per second depending on the direction of flight, the purpose of their flight and the surrounding air conditions? After thinking about it, only one in about four will actually stop flying when they drink at my glass feeder. They get enough food to last them a while, and they’re off. They’re fed… sustained, and then they resume their busy little schedule of whatever it is hummingbirds do.

I watched, hesitant to move, waiting for his wings to stop. But they never did.

An average hummingbird’s heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute (compared to the average human heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute). A hummingbird takes an average of 250 breaths in that one minute – and that is when they’re at rest. Their breathing pace naturally increases when they are in flight.

A moment later, I heard through the kitchen window glass, the hum of those wings as my tiny friend flew away and disappeared through a hole in the hedge. I squinted for a last glimpse of him – and wondered if God ever watches us like I do hummingbirds… waiting for our wings to stop. Waiting for us to actually rest while we take in what He’s left for us take in. We sip on our Sunday morning message. We “drink up” our devotional, and I wonder if it matters to Him how often we drink a little at a time, “on the go”.

There must be more value to rest than we can consciously grasp. This world values the opposite. It overwhelmingly values busyness, often equating busyness with productivity. “If I can just keep flapping my wings while getting this food, I can get more accomplished. Carve some seconds off.” “If I can just soak in some decent lyrics while I’m driving…” “If I can cook dinner while I get one more chapter read from my audiobook…”

But either I’m lazy, or I’m wise to think it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re more productive. At least in God’s eyes. So…what is “productive”, what is “accomplished” in God’s eyes?

Am I lazy, or am I wise to think that resting is crucial? Even Godly. That as upside-down as it might seem, resting in Him – in his presence – in the faithfulness of his words – without a scheduled start and finish time – is probably the most productive thing we’ll do all day – or all week.

But rest is not a given. It’s not something that is transmitted to us if we slow down, sit in front of the fire or have a screen off for long enough. I mean, doesn’t even the term “long enough” change from day to day, depending on a dozen variables? True rest, from what I’m noticing, is more of an opportunity that comes to people as a direct result of their obedience to what God is telling them to do. It’s not even non-scheduled chill time with Him. Although non-scheduled chill time with Him is some underestimated gooood stuff, that I am valuing more and more with each year.

Soul-rest is a gift from God Himself, written about in Hebrews 4. Read that whole thing – it’s only 16 verses long. And the last 3 give hope to the weary and busy of us – the weak and tempted of us. Please – keep reading till the end!

I want to be intentional this year, to stay “rested” in Him. Meaning, not just not busy or multi-tasking. Because neither one of those is wrong. But to stay rested by checking myself – and asking, “God, am I walking out what you’re asking of me in this season?” And the inverse – if I notice I’m not at rest, asking Him, “Ok, Dad… I feel stress. I know something’s off-balance. Am I not obeying? Is it as simple as not believing a promise you gave me a long time ago? What is it? Would you help me pinpoint it?”

Every single child of God has access to a special kind of rest that no one else in the world has access to, because of Christ. Soul rest. He makes it possible. And obedience makes it ours. Let’s drink up.