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  The pressure is overwhelming, isn't it? The pressure to perform, to fit in, to measure up. The pressure to do it all, be it all, experience it all. The pressure to be the first, the best, to do the most. The pressure to be enough. I know how you feel, because I am one of you. I am a woman whose worth is too often tied up in the external. I am a woman trying to measure my worth, and this is the conclusion I've reached: We're using the wrong measurement to determine our success. We look far and wide, high and low, and into places with no validity to validate ourselves. We ask the world what it thinks and blindly accept what it offers. We listen to our culture instead of our Creator. Our culture loudly proclaims the measure of the moment, and when it changes, we're left reeling and reinventing ourselves. We're left wondering if the next measure will find us lacking or if we'll finally see our worth. We keep measuring ourselves with an ever-changing ideal, and then we wonder why we can't find peace in who we are. We're using the wrong standards.   Click here to continue reading this post over at Kindred Mom.  "Kindred Mom is a...


  Do you live with the mindset of abundance or deprivation? Do you rest in the fact that you have all you need, or do you wonder if there's something more that should be coming your way? These are questions I've been pondering a lot lately, and I've learned there are no simple answers. My conscious mind knows that every need I have is met, and I'm striving to be like Paul, who "learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (4:12). But the truth is that I find myself drifting into discontentment when I live without intention. The truth is that I often overlook my met needs while desiring to have others' abundance. The truth is that my mindset is often one of deprivation. And it's not necessarily about stuff - it's about relationships, opportunities, and even God's love. Here's the tension: I am not deprived. But I let Satan tell me that I am. I do not go without. But I focus on what others seem to have. God has richly blessed me. But I still believe He's closed his hand. This is the way of the earth-bound believer, is it not? From the first people created came the question of what God...


  It's time to start thinking about what to read on summer vacation! Woo hoo! Is there anything better than reading by the ocean? I think not. So here are four of my suggestions for summer reading 2017: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. With everything in the news lately about North Korea and leader Kim Jong-Un, I've been curious about this country and its people. I admit my ignorance was strong! Although this book was published in 2009, it is still a great resource for understanding North Korea. The author interviewed and got to know people who had defected from North Korea into neighboring China or South Korea, and they gave detailed and unbelievable accounts of what life is really like for North Korean citizens. From tales of surveillance and starvation to gender expectations, this book is an eye-opener for what it's like to live in a Communist nation. I could not put it down! It's not dry or boring like a textbook. Rather, it is facts presented through stories, which is always the best way to learn. (I really want my son to read it, but there are some places with profanity, so I might wait...


  Tears filled my eyes yesterday as I raised my arms in worship and declared the truths of the hymn, "It Is Well with My Soul." Because it is. It finally is. Six years ago, it wasn't, and I wasn't sure it ever would be again. Six years ago at this exact time, my marriage had fallen apart. My husband was gone, and I was begging God to bring him back. Six years ago today, my soul was struggling to believe that the God who is love still loved me, and my soul was trying to make sense of a God whose plans to prosper and not harm me included a devastating separation and divorce. My faith was battling my sight, and my emotions were clouding my belief. Every day I had to remind myself that God had not forsaken me, and every day I had to tell myself to praise him despite how I felt. Some days I succeeded, and some days I failed. When you're in the midst of a storm, your faith becomes more than a mere profession of words. It becomes a lifeline to keep you alive. When sorrows like sea billows roll, it's easy to drown. Some days I felt...