Don’t Hide the Best of You

I’d been droning on for an hour. Kris, my husband, was listening patiently, giving head nods and occasional verbal affirmation that he was still present in the conversation.

I’d been spilling to him everything I thought the Lord was leading me to do, how difficult it was, and the fact that the Lord just will not give up on me. I explained to him how terrifying it all was, and how I was afraid to succeed, because that would create a harder fall if I failed. I was afraid to fail, because I didn’t want to let God or anyone else down.

I was afraid of rejection. Ridicule. I was afraid I would have to sacrifice family time. I was afraid that pursuing these things would mean I would be distracted from my responsibilities at home, leading to failure there, as well. What if I was hearing God wrong? What if it’s not the right time? What if I’m rushing God? What if these aren’t His callings at all, and it’s just desires of my own heart that I’m projecting onto God? What if I disobey Him by moving forward with these pursuits? What if I disobey Him by NOT moving forward with them?

What if people see what I’ve produced, and hate it? Or worse … laugh at it?

I sat there in tears, my heart exhausted from the expulsion of so much raw emotion.

My husband got this little grin on his face and said, “Don’t hide the best of you just because you’re afraid it might be the worst of you.”

Holy cow. Did that really just come out of his mouth? I mean, after an hour of spilling my guts, how can Kris come back with that one statement and floor me like that? I was struck silent by the power God expressed through him.

“You’re tough,” Kris said. “You can do this.”

Funny. Years ago I had accepted the fact that I was soft, and weak. That’s what I believed. “You’re too oversensitive,” I’ve been told a million times, even though I thought myself to be simultaneously thick-skinned and tenderhearted. Why does tenderheartedness have to be shamed? “I’m not sure you can handle this,” I’m usually told in the face of something emotionally difficult or stressful. “You’re too nice.” I mean, really, how is that a bad thing? It didn’t matter what other encouraging words came my way, it didn’t matter how many positive affirmations were spoken to me, my soul took in the poison and proceeded to wilt. 

A lightbulb flickered in my soul, then. I became aware of how these words had been twisted in my ears my entire life to keep me firmly grounded. To keep me firmly under the thumb of a cruel devil who wanted to keep me small.

Having a tender heart doesn’t mean I’m weak. It’s possible to be a warrior with a tender heart.


photo by Timothy Eberly

My Heavenly Father knew it was there, because He created every part of me with intention (see Psalm 139:13-14for proof).

My husband sees it. He’s always seen it.

I just couldn’t see it for myself.

Take a look at your own heart. What lies have you believed for far too long? What strengths have been lying dormant because you didn’t allow yourself to believe it was there?

It’s time to rise up. Reach into your soul, into the center where God lives, and find the hilt of that sword. It’s there. Shake off the dirt and get familiar with swinging it. Look at it carefully, and present it to Christ. He gave it to you. It has a design on the blade specifically carved for you by your Maker. 

It’s time to grow. It’s time to refuse to stay small.

It’s time to fling off the chains.

It’s time to boldly step forward, with the armor of God intact.

My sword is ready.

It’s time to move.

The Zero-Expense Writing Year, Part 6: God’s Hilarious Provision for Podcasting, and Conclusion

In Part 5, my prayer focus turned to the podcast, where The Simple Word sat empty. The episodes had reached 90 days old, which means they were auto-deleted. This was the rules for a free podcast subscription plan.

My immediate concern, however, was how to safely transport my mic and laptop to my oh-so-glamorous recording studio – aka, my car.

It seemed like a tiny, ridiculous request to pray for God to provide a carrying case for my mic. The ones I’d found online started at $100 (gulp) and I had no other bag/packpack that worked.

I prayed anyway.

Suddenly, the most perfect solution popped into my head.

I sat back in my chair and began giggling to myself. Could it really be that simple…?

The boys became curious about my solitary laughter. They ran over and begged me to tell them what was so funny.

I went downtairs into the garage, followed by my two sons who were berating me with questions. What are you doing? Where are you going? Why are you digging around on the shelf? What are you doing with my old lunchbox?

It was Spiderman.

And it was perfect.

I brought the Spiderman lunchbox back upstairs and set it on my desk. The boys watched curiously.

“Do you guys want to see what it looks like when God provides in the most unexpected ways?” I asked them.

I explained everything to them. Deleting the website. Making the money to remove the ads. The podcast … everything.

Wesley went to my closet and brought out the mic, which was attached to its own tabletop stand. “It won’t fit. It’s too tall,” he said.

I turned a screw on the side, and the mic folded down on itself, cupped and protected by its own stand.

I slipped the mic inside the Spiderman lunchbox, zipped it up, and laughed and laughed.

The boys laughed.

I took the mic out and put it back in. I zipped it and unzipped it. I stood up and held it by the handle, like Wesley did when he carried it to school as a three-year-old.

We laughed and laughed.

I went to the closet and remembered that I had a large three-ring binder that wasn’t being used for anything. I brought it out, carried the Spiderman lunchbox-turned-mic-case, and went downstairs to my car.

The boys followed, again asking me questions as they descended the stairs behind me. Where are you going? Are you going to record? Why do you have a binder? Why are you going to the garage? Ooooooooh…. that’s perfect!

I set the binder on the passenger’s seat. It’s wedge shape turned the tilted passenger’s seat into a perfect, flat desk.

Wesley nodded his approval as we shared a WOW moment. Caleb discovered sidewalk chalk in a bucket and began drawing on the garage floor.

“Welp,” I said. “Let’s go back upstairs and finish school.”

Basically, I floated up the stairs.

A Spiderman lunchbox is such a tiny thing. It’s something that’s been gathering dust on that shelf in the garage for literally five years. It somehow survived my massive truckloads of donations. There it sat, with its large white eyes, waiting for God to use it.

It gave me renewed hope, however, that more of His provision was coming.

Because when He calls you, He equips you.

The next day, I found myself preoccupied with thoughts about the podcast subscription plan. As long as I stayed on a free plan, the episodes auto-deleted after 90 days, and I needed at least $12 per month to keep them active.

God began leading me in His plan for how He intended to provide for the podcast subscription.

And I immediately began begging Him not to do it that way. Any way but that way. I’d been saying YES to everything so far … but this? God. Please, no.

He was leading me to ask friends and family for support.

And that was the LAST thing I wanted to do.

Let’s pause for a moment here to get a little more personal … I don’t like asking for help. I pride myself in being an independent woman. With my husband traveling for work, his absence left a gaping hole in our family dynamic and left us all scrambling for balance. It was disheartening, and in some ways, it angered me. Not at him, but at myself. It was all I could do to hold it together for myself and the boys while he was gone, because the pain of missing him was so immense.

It made me feel weak. And that’s what angered me.

I’m crazy about my husband. But being without him was just too hard.

Did that mean I relied on him too much? Did I need him too much? I wasn’t nearly as independent as I thought. This realization really messed me up. It dawned on me that God was dealing with me through all of this in a way I wasn’t expecting… He was breaking down my pride. Not just my pride over “my” work … But my pride in general.

And here I thought this zero-expense endeavor was MY commitment to GOD. Nope. It was just one tool that He used to show me that I had a pride issue that needed to be fixed. After all, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

So … I prayed, and said YES to God.

I opened a Patreon account, then called my mom.

As I stumbled through an awkward and clumsy explanation, my mom listened. I caught my own reflection in the mirror. My face, neck and chest were fiery red. The skin burned with a sense of embarrassment, all the way to the tips of my ears.

My mom happily agreed to contribute. It was nearly everything I needed for the month.

As I agonized over it all via text with my sweet friend, Cindy, she fired a message back that said she’d like to contribute. I’d not even officially asked her yet.

Her portion covered the rest, and then some.

I felt immediate relief. Finally, I didn’t have to approach anyone else with any more invitations to contribute. After all, I’ve not even finished writing the “bonuses” that Patreon contributers would receive for their generosity.

To my horror, the Father nudged me yet again. He wanted me to approach the other names He brought to mind as I prayed for provision. Of course, I argued, pointing out that my needs were met. Why approach others?

He’s been silent on His reasons, as He often is. But there’s one thing that He made clear to me … My vision for the podcast is very different from His, in a positive way. My only responsibility is to be obedient. To trust. And to say YES when He calls, no matter what.

Can We Really Trust God?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

As a Christian, you would think this scripture would be easy to follow. Trusting God – that’s easy, right? He’s our Creator. Our Protector. Of course we can trust him.


So why don’t we? Why don’t I? Continue reading “Can We Really Trust God?”