Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


Faith Lessons from a Steak Knife

I have written most of my essays for seminary. And though I’m not finished, I’m not feeling so overwhelmed about it now. I think I need to visit the campus before I’ll be able to finish one essay, and the remainder is resume stuff that I can do in fits and spurts: what areas of Christian leadership I’ve been involved in, campus activities I was part of in college, and my employment record. And then, I’ll submit it. Oh my!

In the meantime, we are really just feeling overjoyed and excited lately. There is so much to be hopeful for. I suppose there always was, but we had lost that excitement of trying to conceive and now it’s back–for the moment. I hope treatment works and works quickly! And we are so very grateful that God has given man this ability to research and find ways to overcome medical challenges. I am so glad he has not withheld from us even these good gifts of medical science.

Last Thursday we had small group to our house for dinner. I love hosting our group (we take turns), but last week was a busy week and I was feeling frazzled. This time I had started early and I was determined to have dinner ready by 7:00. I had from scratch tomato soup in the crockpot (best recipe ever), butter melting on the stove for a roux to add creaminess to the soup, and an assembly line for baked grilled cheese sandwiches (on gluten-free bread for me!) with avocados, tomatoes, and bacon laid out on the counter. The stove had just told me that it was preheated and ready to go. With about twenty minutes before small group was supposed to start–and with my husband still not home from work–I started chopping a frozen stick of butter with a steak knife to fit it in a small bowl to melt so it could be spread on the bread. And then–OUCH! I am not sure why the knife slipped, but I felt the injury before I suspected anything was amiss. I looked down to see a bloody gash on my left index finger.

Now, I can give a shot with expert precision and usually not even feel it. I’m perfectly comfortable reading biological research papers on gamete development, reproductive anomalies, surgical procedures, and hormone functions. I can discuss with doctors all manner of surgical procedures, results of blood work, and what they may be looking for. But friends–when I saw that blood on my finger, I about passed out. The room started spinning and I felt so very hot and I knew I had to snap out of it and get moving.

I ran to the sink and held my finger under cold water for a while. I pinched it together to close the wound, but as soon as I let go, the blood just kept coming out.

I managed to move to the bathroom, where I cleaned the wound properly and bandaged my finger–probably a little too tightly–to stop the bleeding. I called DH and fussed a little about it, because I knew he’d talk me up off the floor and get me back to the kitchen. He did.

By the time I got back to the stove, my butter was burned. I dumped it and started over. And dinner was a bit late. Well, a lot late. We didn’t sit down to eat until 7:40. I love my small group. They didn’t mind. Didn’t bat an eye at the tardy meal, and we had a great meeting anyway.

Later that night, I unwrapped my finger, cleaned it again, and changed to a bandage that wasn’t cutting off the circulation of my fingertip. I checked it and felt sure I didn’t need to go to the emergency room or anything.

As DH and I were snuggled into bed Thursday night, after we’d prayed together, I lay there a moment thinking to myself, huh… we didn’t pray that my finger would heal. And I knew why I didn’t ask God to heal my finger. It’s because I trust, and have no doubt whatsoever, that my finger will get better. That’s part of God’s design for us–cuts can heal themselves. What an amazing thing. And this is something I have taken for granted. I thanked God for healing my finger and fell asleep.

In my prayers, I often want the quick fix. The miracle fix. The supernatural fix. And maybe sometimes that means I’m missing out on what God is doing in the natural, how God is changing my circumstances even without any drama or fanfare.

The next day–really the next few days–my finger was sore. It was painful. And I expected it to be. Although I knew God would heal me, I didn’t wake up Friday morning or Saturday morning or even this morning and find that my finger had  been magically put back together without any time or waiting or effort. I am typing this now with a little medical tape still wrapped around the finger, giving it a little protection from the keys and the germs and keeping it from splitting open again while it is still vulnerable. But even as I am waiting, I don’t feel any less sure that my finger will be healed.

And I think this is faith. I have faith that my finger will heal. And I don’t know if I have that kind of faith for everything. But I want to. I want to have this kind of faith–this certainty, really–that what God has promised will be. I have this faith for my salvation. I really have no doubt that I am forgiven. But I don’t know if I feel as sure about the things that aren’t as straightforward as cut skin or the gospel message. Do I believe God is using me for his glory today? Do I believe that he has ordained my path for a reason? Do I believe that he is working all things for my good?

Some days are better than others.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)


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Learning to Know God Intimately

God is really doing a work in me. While I have been neglecting my relationship with God, he is slowly, sweetly wooing me to an intimacy with him beyond my imagination.


When God wants to get a message across, I love how he does it over and over and over. Apparently he knows subtlety doesn’t work with me–or that this message is too important for subtlety.

And I can’t help but feel that I should be the one striving to have a relationship with God–not the other way around.  He does not need my friendship, there is nothing I can offer him, yet I am convinced there is nothing the Father would not do to woo me to himself.

From today’s reading in my One Year Bible (NLT), God repeated this relationship theme three times. These verses reinforce both how I need that relationship with God and why I am so very blessed to have the opportunity to be in a right and restored relationship with him!

As David is passing the kingdom to Solomon he gives this advice I needed to hear:

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (I Chronicles 28:9).

And we have the privilege of having this relationship, as Paul writes:

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God” (Romans 5:11).

And finally:

“Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone” (Romans 5:18)

What a beautiful reminder of the lengths God has gone to get to us. As blessed as I am by my friendships on this earth, how much more of a blessing it is to have the God of the Universe as a dear and intimate friend.


Modern Miracles?

I’ve been a negligent blogger lately. I guess if I want to over-analyze, it’s probably not a bad thing. I started the blog because I needed a space to write and air my grievances, a space to heal. And I needed to know I wasn’t the only person out here on this messed up ride called infertility. So the fact that I haven’t felt as compelled lately to post–well, I think it may indicate that my attitude has improved. And it has. The peace I mentioned in my last post apparently wasn’t just a momentary fluke, because I’m still feeling it.

My circumstances haven’t changed. We’re still waiting. And honestly, hoping and praying we’ll end up avoiding actually doing inferitlity treatments. It’s a long shot, for sure, but wouldn’t that be amazing? And I know nothing is too difficult for the LORD.

All this has had me thinking lately about miracles and answered prayers. How many miracles do we ignore completely? How many answers to prayer do we miss because we’re too caught up in the day to day? This season of infertility has called our attention more and more toward how God is moving in our lives all the time, in ways we maybe wouldn’t have called out or mentioned before.

It has been amazing to grow through this difficulty with my best friend. I’ve watched his faith deepen throughout the past several months. He’s thanking God for things I don’t think he would have seen God’s hand in even six months ago. He’s taking more leadership for our family as the spiritual head of our household. I have a tendency to step in and take over, infringing on his leadership, but I’ve been praying that would change, and that DH would really be the spiritual leader of our house. Another answer to prayer?

And little tiny things–like how DH’s car passed its inspection this weekend despite having an indicator light on that best estimates suggest will require a $1000 fix we just can’t afford right now. And how our first two rounds of medicine were free because the insurance company and/or the pharmacy messed up and told us they were covered 100 percent, and they actually went by what they told us despite the fact that it should have cost $500+ each time. And how they billed our most recent round of meds as a $20 copay (by the grace of God!).

There are everyday little things that may seem insignificant, but it is so nice to be reminded that God has not forgotten us. He hears us and he cares about us. He’s in it with us and he knows how he will resolve things for us. What an incredible relief!

Ultimately, it’s a reminder that I’m a benefactor of the ultimate miracle: that God loved me enough to find a way to pay the cost of my sin. Forgiveness: What a miracle.

Miracles really do happen all the time. I pray that I won’t be blind to them in my life. And that seeing miracles–both those that affect me directly and others’ answers to prayer–will strengthen my faith that God is, absolutely, beyond any doubt, able to work the miracle of children in my life should he choose. And if not, it’s not because of any lack on his part. It’s because he has something better planned.

Praise God. The God who heals and hears and IS.  


Not Everything Is Constructive

I’ve been feeling pretty convicted about my last post. I shouldn’t have said some of the things I said about my mom. It’s not that these things weren’t true, but I feel like I should have left out the parts that were pointing out her flaws instead of working through my own experience. It’s a fine line, and I wish I could un-write some of those things. But I can’t (I mean, technically, I could delete them–but it wouldn’t really undo what I’ve already said). So I ask for your forgiveness and understanding. 

Upon re-reading it, some of the parts of that post were clearly written out of my hurt and anger. And I know I should have addressed that with her instead of sharing it with the world. Truthfully, I had addressed those things with her. That conversation we had continued for four hours because she wanted to make sure we resolved things before we parted. And we had. So it was wrong of me to rehash the especially bad parts here.

I know it’s my blog and my place to vent and that I am free to say what I want, but I have been reminded of I Corinthians 10:23: “‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is constructive.” So I ask forgiveness for dishonoring my mom in my last post–it wasn’t necessary, and it wasn’t right.

At the end of the day, I know my mom loves me. We are very different people, but she means well. Maybe she’s not the most empathetic person in the world, but she does hurt for me. And I know she was very upset to know that she had hurt me. She just had trouble figuring out how to stop doing it. I do love my mom. And I am very glad she came to visit. And I am glad I have a blog where I can work through some of the most difficult things in this infertility journey in a way that is constructive. The thing is, parts of what I said in my last post simply weren’t constructive.

Thanks for understanding.