what is truth?

what is truth?

What is truth?

Isn’t this the question of our day.

I suppose it’s been the question since the beginning of time.

I imagine the moment when Jesus goes before the Roman governor telling him the reason he was born and came into the world was to “testify to the truth” (John 18:37). Pilate responds with a puff of arrogance and disillusionment. “What is truth?” he retorts.

I get it. It’s frustrating and confusing to be told so many mixed messages. To have truth defined and redefined, subjective to the point where we doubt that there is even such a thing as Truth.

If I think long and hard about it, I wonder if the questioning of truth is actually more about trust than it is truth (do I trust someone else to tell me what is true or do I get to be the one in charge and decide what is true on my own?)

Defining, demonstrating and declaring truth is what Jesus came to do. It’s who he is; the very nature of his being is Truth.

But it’s super hard to adopt his truth – to believe that it is truly TRUE and let it inform how we think and live – if we don’t first trust him. Is he good? Is he for us? Are his ways really worth following?

This trust might happen in an instant … but more likely, it is what develops incrementally through daily choices, through community, and Truth-filled reminders.

We are a people who are prone to wander.

And he remains.

Let us fix our eyes on him. Let us fill our minds and hearts with the things that cause us to trust in him. And as we do, “may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace” so that we will “overflow with hope” (Romans 15:13) to a questioning world that always has and always will be longing for Truth.

Order a set of Truth For Today cards for daily reminders of God’s goodness and faithfulness.


four ways to display Christmas Truth for Today cards

four ways to display Christmas Truth for Today cards

The Christmas Truth for Today cards are a delightful way to keep our eyes and hearts focused on Jesus all season long.

Looking for ways to display the cards? Here are four simple ideas:

string them up: 

Add your favorite cards to a string with paper clips (just knot the clips to keep them in place). You could add a new card each day in December as we approach Christmas day! A string of cards across your mantle would be so pretty, but it also works to just tack them into a blank wall for instant decor.

set them out: 

Look for a frame that holds square photos (I found this one at HomeGoods) and set atop a stack of books for a pretty Christmas display. Perfect for an entry console, bedside table, or on your desk.

stick them up: 

Stick sweet reminders of Bible truths around the house. Simply tape a card to your bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, or wherever you’d like to be reminded of God’s goodness on a regular basis! Washi tape or masking tape works great and won’t ruin the cards once you’re ready to swap them out for another. 

stack them up: 

Place a stack of cards in a shallow bowl to keep on your dinner table. Each night, take turns choosing a card to read together. 

I hope these ideas are helpful and encourage you and your loved ones this Christmas season!

order Christmas Truth for Today here

when it feels like more than you can handle

when it feels like more than you can handle

“I just don’t know how I’m going to get it all done”, I said out loud, not really meaning to. I was picking up or dropping off and sat in my car with the window rolled down chatting with my friend and her teenage daughters.

“Auntie Emily,” sweet Piper responded back quickly, looking me straight in the eyes. “God wouldn’t ask you to do all of it if He were not going to help you.”

I’ve been carrying those comforting words with me all weekend.

How is your to-do list looking? A touch overwhelming? Neverending? More than you feel capable of handling? Mine too.

I’m reminded, once again, (this time by the cutest 14 year old) that no one says we have to do it on our own. We don’t have to pretend we have it all together or prove our worth by what we do. We are just asked to do it faithfully, patiently, humbly, cheerfully.

Let’s take a deep breath, my friends, and remember that we are but jars of clay.

I love how the Message paraphrase puts 2 Corinthians 4:7:

“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.”

If he asked you to do it, surely He will be there to help. And let it be His power within you that receives the glory with each checkmark on your to-do list.


the newsletter

Included each week:

  • lovely links to good, true and beautiful things to read, listen to and watch
  • behind the scenes peeks from the studio
  • free phone wallpaper

our hope is an anchor

our hope is an anchor

One of my best friends asked me how I was doing and my answer surprised me.

I make it a general practice to answer the “how are you?” question with more than “fine”. It feels like we walk around all day answering fine when that’s not really the case. At some point over the last couple of years, I decided I was no longer going to hide behind fine.

Once the produce manager at my little market asked how I was doing and I made the split-second decision to be honest with him. I ended up with teary eyes saying that I was not having a great day and the poor guy didn’t know what to do with me. But I see him often enough and know him just enough to not lie to him with pleasantries.

Anyway, when my friend asked this past week how I was doing, a rumble of emotions fell out of my mouth that I didn’t know were there.

“I feel upside down, somersaulty, unsettled,” I answered.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent hours researching and second-guessing and ultimately choosing to homeschool and while we’re good with our decision, it just took a lot out of me to get there.

There’s a subtle grief stirred up with school and sports and events no longer looking how they’ve always looked. It’s not a super big deal, and we know it won’t always be this way (will it?!) but the disappointment is for real.

COVID has everything heightened and confusing and disorienting. Politics feel the same.

We’re tearing up our house to make changes we’ve been planning for years which is very exciting, but it meant moving my office and uprooting routine and while this is all wonderful, it is different and different things make me feel unsettled.

I’m still finding my way with this new way of writing and sharing more of my faith and dealing with the consequences of changing how I present myself and our life online. Disappointing people is my very worst thing and so my insides have been in tension – trusting that this is the work God has for me, however unpopular or vulnerable it might be, even though it is the harder option.

There isn’t anything inherently bad or wrong about any of these. They just leave me feeling topsy-turvey.

I know well enough by now that unsettledness is not a thing to be feared (I talk so much about this in my upcoming book). I know that changes and transitions are held firmly by my God who loves and sees me and is worthy to be trusted. I know that when I feel this angsty feeling of upside-downness, it is just revealing my lack of control and perhaps this is the very best place to be because it leads me back to a surrendered trust in the one who actually does have it all under control.

So if you are feeling as I am – a bit tossed about, somersaulty and dizzy and having a harder time than normal finding your footing – let this truth reorient you:

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

He is our anchor and He will not let go. May we reach out and take hold of this hope.


the newsletter

Included each week

  • lovely links to good, true and beautiful things to read, listen to and watch
  • behind the scenes peeks from the studio
  • free phone wallpaper

clothes of a different kind

clothes of a different kind

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV

Summertime draws out the worst of my body insecurities. Swimsuits and shorts and sleeveless shirts that expose my pale skin and less-toned-than-I-wish arms and tummy that stretched out too many times to ever be flat again.

When I get insecure, I reach for the easiest forms of self-comfort: comparison and consumerism.

First, I compare. Who looks best in a swimsuit? Who has better skin? Who has cellulite? Who has skinnier arms? I play this ugly game in my head always looking and assessing and trying to figure out where I stand.

Then, I consume. Maybe I just need a cuter dress or sunglasses or sandals or nail polish or coverup or sunhat or tank to feel better about myself, even if just for a moment.

Compare and consume. Compare and consume. On and on, trying to make the insecurities go away.

Cultural wisdom would tell me to stop comparing and instead turn my gaze to how strong and beautiful and capable my body is. I birthed four kids! I can run! My skin will age well! 

Cultural wisdom would also tell me to buy the things that make me feel better about me. Self-tanner! New cut-off shorts! Little chunks of silicon you stuff into your bikini top!

Trust me, I’ve tried all of these. There is value, of course, in both positive self-talk and choosing outfits that fit. But these tactics alone are insufficient.

One morning a few weeks ago, I became aware of the ugly compare and consume habits that were happening inside me. The good news about God is that He is full of grace. He knows this tender part of me. He’s faithful to pull me out of the pit and realign my heart.

That morning on my bed He reminded me that I was caught up in looking to outward things to heal the inward muck. I was self-focused and self-consumed and kept grasping for a shiny new thing to make the insecurity go away. A new dress is nice and finding a swimsuit that flatters is reasonable, but my inner dialog was getting out of hand. He made me and loves me and has far more important things for me to do than obsess over skinny thighs and a closet full of adorable outfits.

The truth is, all of our insecurities are made obsolete when we remember our unchanging, forever identity as deeply wanted and valued children of God. With His help, we can clothe ourselves with compassion, not comparison. Kindness, not judgment. Humility, not pride. Gentleness, not criticism. Patience, not perfection.

And whether we put on the cutest summer dress or not, we can have all the confidence in the world that we are chosen, holy and dearly loved.

this is the day

this is the day

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NIV

She burst into tears. “I don’t like school! I’m never going back!”

This was so out of character. First of all, Audrey isn’t one for overly-dramatic emotional outbursts, and second, she LOVES school.

After some consoling and wiping tears and taking deep breaths we got to the bottom of it:

Her beloved Mrs. K. had taken maternity leave and the brand new Miss B. was doing everything differently. The kids were noisy and disrespectful, the regular, comfortable routine was shifted, everything felt strange and messed up and she just wanted things to go back to how they used to be.

She’s a girl after my own change-resistant heart.

The next morning when I went in to wake her for school, she looked up at me with her wild bed hair and barely awake eyes. “Mom, I’ve been thinking about it and decided that I’m just going to keep reminding myself that today’s going to be a good day, today’s going to be a good day, today’s going to be a good day.

Positive self-talk is important and valuable and I’m not here to dismiss it. Keeping those words in her mind all day would surely help her look for the good instead of focusing on what was going terribly wrong. So I smiled back and told her that was a great idea.

But I couldn’t leave it there.

On the way to school, a song popped into mind from my childhood. Perhaps you know it too?

🎶This is the day (this is the day), that the Lord has made (that the Lord has made) I will rejoice (I will rejoice) and be glad in it (and be glad in it) 🎶

I sang it to her and she giggled and for a brief moment in the school drop-off line, the Lord reminded me of something so simple, but so profound: It’s not actually about having good or bad days. Surely there will be both and more often than not, good and bad will show up on the exact same day. No, we can’t put our hope in having day after day of good days. I can’t set my daughter up for that.

Instead, that little song taken from an ancient song reminds us that whether life is smooth and comfortable and the way things “should” be or whether it has turned upside-down and feels strange and disorienting, it is still a day the Lord made and we are wise to rejoice in it.

BUT ALSO, the psalmist in 118 is referring to one particular day that changed every day after … the day when Jesus died and defeated death and made a way for us to be healed and set free and no longer bound by our own efforts to save ourselves. THIS is the day we celebrate because that one day changed every day going forward. It points to the greatest act of God on our behalf and this is worth rejoicing and being glad about.

So whether a day is good or bad or a mix of both, we can live and breathe and move confidently in the truth that Jesus has and will and is continuing to redeem what is broken, restore what is lost, and renew all things.

This is the truth I hope sinks down deep into my daughter’s heart. Mine too.