I’m reading a book by Brené Brown that has me thinking about how to live a “wholehearted life”. She says: “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” *

There is much pressure in our society to do, be and have what others seem to do, be or have.

The message is clear that if you don’t own your home, have a respectable job, a perfect relationship, or a big bank balance, that you aren’t quite good enough. People don’t have to tell you that, you feel it inside.

Worse than that, is the pressure to look a certain way.

If your hair is grey you need to dye it. If you’re the “wrong” shape, you focus on how you should eat differently or exercise more and feel guilty if you don’t. No wonder there is so much on social media about needing that extra cup of coffee or glass of wine!

Some of the lies that plague me are that I should have earned a master’s degree, I’m too old to reach some of my goals and that I might not have enough money to enjoy old age. (When does old age start, anyway?)

I often don’t live up to my own expectations. That’s when I need a friend to counter the lies I am telling myself, with the truth of God’s word.

Ephesians 2: 10 says: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Read that verse again – slowly!

We are created by God for His purposes. This sets us free from self-doubt, blame, and expectations. We have important Kingdom things to do!

What lies from the enemy of our souls are you believing? Take time to sit in God’s presence and listen. Ask Him to tell you the truth about who you are in His eyes. You can ask Him how He sees you and what name He calls you. You might be surprised at what He tells you.

Authenticity is a daily practice.

No one gets it right all the time so encouraging each other to hear God’s heart is part of our work.

Right now, I encourage you to get my book, Flourish in a World Full of People, and do (or redo) a few of the exercises. If you are like me, you read the book and planned to do the work later.

Pick one chapter to read and start practicing today. Gratitude, forgiveness, saying “No”, getting a new perspective…

Click here if you don’t already have a copy and order Brené’s book at the same time!

*The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown


But if we love each other, God lives in us…” 1 John 4: 12

“We love because He first loved us.” verse 19

What is LOVE?

The question should be WHO is love? The Bible says that God is love but what does that mean?

We understand the feelings of intense love when we meet the “person of our dreams” or when we hold our beautiful baby. The challenge comes when we feel irritated with that spouse or child, who is now a toddler or teenager.

My daughter says:

This week my kids are buzzing with talk of Valentines, parties and all things LOVE related.  As a child I often heard 1 Corinthians 13, known as the “love chapter”. To memorize it for a school project, my friend and I wrote a rap.  I can still recite the rap to this day, over 20 years later!! 

Despite this, the phrases can just be words that roll off my tongue, not necessarily words of the heart, that sink down deep and marinate my life, actions, and interactions with the world around me. 

Today my Bible app message was from 1 Corinthians 13: 4, 5 which says “Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”   

The words jumped off the screen.  “It does not demand its own way.”  How many times have I been indignant towards my husband, children, the person who cuts me off and steals my Costco parking spot? According to Jesus, love does not demand its own way.  Yikes.  There’s more: “it is not irritable…”  DOUBLE YIKES.  Guilty! 

My children have sometimes questioned my husband and I about which one we love most.  It’s difficult for children to understand that one child might be more responsive to discipline another more helpful but none of that affects the amount of love we have for them.

I believe the answer to give children is the one God gives all of us… “I love YOU the most. I also love your brother the most and your sister.”

Real love doesn’t have a quantity attached because God is limitless.

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, we know how love looks in our culture. You need a date with a significant other, flowers, chocolates, and maybe breakfast in bed with homemade cards from children.

This message is to remind all of us that those are manifestations of love from the outside. Love on the inside looks very different. It is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful or irritable. That kind of love is only possible when we understand how much we are loved by our Creator God.

May you experience God’s love today…and every day!