what family looks like


Today is Family day here in Ontario, falling the day after Valentine’s.

Which got me thinking about love and family.

To me, there are three different types of family, which ideally represent the three main types of love:

The family we are born into is meant to be our Agape love foundation. Agape love is meant for each person, whether they know God or not. It was meant to be a love we offer regardless of how we like one another or not, by choosing to love. You may or may not have experienced this type of love in your family, which may make it hard for you to accept God’s choice to love you no matter what.

The family we choose is designed to meet our need for Philos love. Philos love is sisterhood/brotherhood love, the kind of companion or best friend love we all need. And it’s the one we choose for ourselves, based on our likes/dislikes. This kind of love can also not be what we hoped for or expect, as its based upon others.

The family which chooses us represents the best love, God’s love. Eros love is the deep passionate desire and longing kind of love, which initially draws hearts together to long for more besides agape (security) and philos (friendship) love.

All of human love is a pale reflection of the Love which was and is the source of them.

For we are fallible, and will let each other down, even those we love.

God’s love isn’t like ours. It’s puree without flaw. Deliberately chosen and eternally held dear.

His Agape love?
It is for always.
(John 15:12-13, Romans 5:8)

His Philos love?
It is for everyone.
(John 5:20)

His Eros love?
It is forever.
(Song of Song 1:1-4)

For His heart? His heart is:

●To place the lonely into families.
(Psalm 68:6)
●To restore the brokenhearted.
(Psalm 147:3, Psalm 34:18)
●To comfort the hurting and mourners. (Job 5:11)
●To hear your cries. (Isaiah 41:10)
●To fill you with His love. (Ephesians 3:19)
●To never leave you. (Romans 8:37-39)

If your family isn’t quite what you hoped for, wounded you or abandoned you…

If your best friend hurts you or your spouse breaks it off with you…

There is still hope to be found in love.

God’s love is the purest love there is. It is yours to receive, and He longs for you to be one of His.

For He not only made you, He loves you. No matter what. And He wants you part of His family.

Family here on earth may let you down. God never will.

Take a few moments to ponder His love for you.

Allow His love to bypass your wounds and walls, and fill you up beyond your imagination.

For if you invite His love in, He will come. His love cannot help but do so!

Family is about love.
Love which chooses one another even though there may be failures or wounding.

Family is at the heart of God.
For He is family all in One.
Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
Ever loving one another, ever reminding us all we are wanted and loved.

As family.
As friends.
As the Beloved.

Your love language

I have been leading a book study by Danny Silk for the past five weeks, which touched on the 5 Love Languages a few weeks ago.

I was struck by the truth that I need to be a student of everyone I love, to know how to best love them.

Then the lightening bolt of uber truth crashed into my brain this morning as I reread the chapter in preparation for my group tonight:

In order to love You the way You desire to be loved, I need to enroll myself in the “God study” program for the rest of my life.

Not just to know about You, learn what You have done, promise to do and Your amazing love for us all, but to discover how You like to be loved.

The Five Love Languages (as coined by Gary Chapman) are:
○Quality time
○Acts of Service
○Words of Affirmation

As I read this list , I realize that each of them got their start in God
and how HE loves!

(Lovingly touch me)

God reaches down and hold us, picking us up where He finds us. Jesus never failed to lovingly touch those in need.

Touch can also be seen through the love shining in someone’s eyes and especially His gaze, virtually loving us.

God reminds us in His Word to reach out and touch those in need, which ties closely into…

Acts of Service:
(Show me Love)

Each time we help another in need, we are not only showing God we love Him but showing those we help His love.

When our yes is yes and our no is no, we show God we are prepared to serve as He leads, and honor the One guiding us.

And each time we set time aside in our schedule to sit at His feet and meet with him? We show Him love through…

Quality Time:
(Be with me Love)

One on one time when we make Him our sole focus delights His heart.

When we deliberately carve time out to spend it with God? It also becomes a gift…

(Give me Love)

When we offer something that is costly to us that we know the gift’s receiver will adore, we show our love in not only the gift itself but  the thought we invested in it.

As receivers of the best gift ever, we should be seeking to offer all we are as a gift for Him and His glory.

Which leads us to the final love language….

Words of Affirmation:
(Tell me of your Love)

As the living Word, author of the Bible, we know the power and importance of words to God. Words have the power to build up, love and encourage, heal and restore.

Our words have the same ability to bless.

When we offer Him thanks for what He has done, praise for who He is and love as one of His Beloved, God receives love through our words.

As someone whose primary love language is Words of Affirmations, I am most comfortable loving my family and friends that way.

But as I was reminded working through the Love Languages that a student is supposed to study their subject, and adjust their mindset as they learn new information and put new practices into place.

God has not held back one good blessing from each of us children. His love is passionate, determined, focused, deliberate and forever.

How we love God needs to respond to Him in a way which shows Him the depth of our love, in a way which makes Him feel loved.

Invite Him to speak to you about how you express love.  As its author and inspiration, He is bound to have insight into His heart to share with you as you ask.


Check out the 5LoveLanguages.com to learn how you best feel love, and are likely primarily showing love to those around you.

Wanting to dive deeper into love, and connecting on purpose? Visit lovingonpurpose.com and take your love assessment.

unpacking your choices


Yesterday I shared how almost nothing astounds me more than the ability God has given each of us to choose.

To head left or right.
To move or stay.
To say yes or no.
To give or take.
To forgive or hold onto a grudge.

Most of our life happens as a result of our combined choices.

Not happy with your current situation?

It is not only the outside influences you need to examine, but within.

For if you won’t unpack your choices, you will keep making them. and head in the same direction.

Let me share two ways I learned this lesson.

I have a relation who suffers from a combination of bad choices and mental illness. Many of the family stepped in to assist during some pretty traumatic and rocky circumstances. There was a lot of resentment towards those who helped out, because it wasn’t her choice to have us help.

I ended up the target of her rage.

After all I had poured out in time, love and effort to help, I was devastated.

God gently held me as I cried, sent a familiar face to speak His love to me, helped me to forgive her, and clearly released me from assisting moving forward.

In fact, her choice to speak to me that way ended up with consequences which broke open the fact she was dealing with mental illness and she began to receive more support services in her local community.

The result is I don’t visit very often anymore. As much as I love this person, I do not need to be in direct contact with them anymore, and I can serve them best by interceding for her in prayer.

The result of her bad choice resulted in my choice not to put myself in her target zone again without proper cover.

The other situation was one I unwittingly created through my unwise choices. I missed a deadline as I allowed myself to follow the lie that I couldn’t write without waiting for a spark of inspiration. My choice to ask for extra time because of my self doubt caused undue stress on my editor.

The organization’s head (rightly so) lovingly reprimanded me, and brought the situation into the light to see it for what it was.

The result of my bad choice.

Instead of seeking God, i sought the shadows in which to hide.

After surrendering my writing yet again to God, I apologized and gave myself a pre-deadline for my next deadline, so this situation will not occur again.

Positive choices are needed to help us move forward towards the life we want to live.

Not eating healthily over long periods of time results in health problems. Excessive drinking and smoking negatively affect the body. Severe sleep deprivation and unsupported depression can play havoc on the mind. Unforgiveness and nurturing grudges can shut down our emotions.

Negative choices result in negative consequences.

What I appreciate most about God allowing us the freedom to choose?

The choice we have to bring our bad choices and repercussions to God.

For He never leaves us the way He finds us, in the heaping piles of squalor we lie blubbering as our choices return like a boomerang to knock us off our feet.

God not only helps heal us of the fall out from our bad choices, He helps us to make better ones.

He also guides us to see the options He has for us, so we can get a sense of the results of our choices before we even make them.

Prayer and the Word helps us to make healthier choices, and change our lives for the better.

That decision to forgive will set you free in ways you may not even realize for days, weeks or years to come.

That choice to stay and work it out may give you the solid foundation your marriage needs, because of your dependence on God to be the Rock it is based upon.

That no you respond with frees you up to say yes to where He really wants you to use your gifts, and the joy within knowing you pleased Him by choosing His way outweighs the disappointed look of the person to whom you said no.

Your choices can unpack your life for the better when you invite Him to show you how to do just so.

Or add more weight and struggle to your load.

It’s your choice.

Your choice

I was struck at the thought this morning that God leaves much in our hands, but nothing astounds me more than…

The ability to choose.

Choice. To head left or right. To move or stay. To say yes or no. To give or take. To forgive or hold s grudge.

Most of our life happens as a result of our combined choices.

And God, in His plans, leaves the choices up to us.

You see, He made His choice.

The cross and resurrection didn’t just happen. They were His deliberate choice to show us a better way. To reveal His heart for all humanity. To give us an option to choose real life versus being stuck in survival mode. To overcome and defeat sin, instead of being led by it.

His choice was us.

All of us.

His choice sets everyone free who chooses Him.

And there is the crux of the matter.

We need to choose Him in order for His choice to apply to us.

Without welcoming Him in, His choice hovers above without ever landing within the open hearts and spreading the Good News that we are His.

Our choices can block us from fully living as His.

And this free will was His choice.

You see, He loves us so much He wants our love freely given in return.

He wants to be our choice as much as He chose us.

Who wouldn’t want the one they love to return their love?

He made His choice when He laid down His life for you.

Now the choice is yours.

PS. Tomorrow, unpacking our choices….

after the noise


Noise comes in many voices.

When we don’t turn down the voices we are not needing to prioritize, we can miss out on hearing His voice.

The One voice we are most needing to hear.

Pain may be using a megaphone, your kids may be clambering for your attention, or you can’t take the wait so you keep the TV or radio on to drown out the silence.
Or it could be the list of everything you have to do, or what ifs which are speaking loudest in your mind.

Through it all, God waits.

He waits for our attention, after doing all He can to capture ours.

Today has been a weird day for me.  I have been trying not to multi task, and have been able to hear the difference voices competing for my attention.

I want my attention to always be for Him.  Not in the way a child may learn to do something wrong in order to get any attention. I  want to give Him my all.

All my attention, all my affection.

May we all learn to tune out all the loud voices so we can hear His precious whispers when He speaks to us.


You choose to use me.
But more importantly than even that, You choose me.

You chose me before I even came into physical existence.
You knew me, and the plan for me, before You began to shape me into being.

You consider me Your masterpiece.

A piece made with care by the Master.

And as such, I am special to You.

A piece of Your heart, wrapped in the work of Your hands, on display for all to see.

Purposefully made, purposefully chosen, purposefully pursued & adored.


My problem receiving that truth?


By choosing my own feelings over Yours, and by accepting my word as true above Yours, I undermine my own effectiveness in Your hands.

I become the stumbling block from all You have planned for me, the one You call Your masterpiece.

When I get out of my way, humble myself and allow You to be the One whose words I take to heart, whose truth I walk out, whose love I demonstrate, others can see the masterpiece You set out for me to be.

Only when the missing piece submits to the love of the Master can i become Your intended masterpiece.

I struggle with this some days more than others, usually when things have been especially stormy and I feel off kilter.

When I forget who I really am, I set myself up to me moved by the deceiver in the board of defeat he would have me believe is all there is for me.

No more.

After a few painful blows and bouts of tears, I drop to my knees and acknowledge the truth You have always known:

I am Yours, Lord.
I declare You Lord over every area of my life.

May I become as You intended when I leave myself in Your hands,
Your masterpiece,
for Your glory alone.


3 ways words pack a wallop

Many of us can recall a time when we were hurt by someone else’s actions.

But we likely all can remember a time when someone’s words hurt.

Words bypass race, size, religion, gender, class and strike right at the heart of us, often before we know it.

There are three ways we can be wounded by words have been wielded as a weapon:


Gossip can catch us off guard, and broken telephone can contribute to us being hurt when we hear things behind our backs.  Hearing your BFF actually hates your new dress but tells you how flattering it looks to your face because they know how much you like the color & they don’t want to hurt your feelings… still hurts when you realize they withheld the truth from you when asked for it.

Sometimes we don’t know the other person well enough to not accidentally make a comment slip (like how you dislike Timmy’s coffee and it turns out to be their favorite daily coffee place) and hurt their feelings.

Be careful what you say when you don’t know all the facts or people in a situation. Ask God for wisdom to help you steer clear of unintentionally using words that hurt.


When we hear an accusation, we are all initially hurt: either by the truth, or by the lie.

The truth can pack quite the wallop when we are hiding from it, can’t it? There have been times when I need to catch my breath from its jab. The point of these words is to rebuild & restore us, despite the surgery that may be involved uprooting what shouldn’t be within us.

Unfortunately, the delivery method can pack as much of a punch as the words spoken.

When God speaks the truth to us, whether in His word or through another follower, it might be blunt but it is to be delivered with love and a desire for God’s best. Not the judgment that tends to slip out, which reveals the state of our own hearts.

Which leads me to the other way that an accusation can hurt: when its a lie.

You know, “lie” is a word I prefer not to use, because I like to lie down to rest, and I don’t like to use words in two ways when I have an options. Lies as a plural, is perfect. As a writer, word choice is important to me for setting the right background or revealing the best picture.

I choose to use the word “falsehood” for two reasons. False is the opposite of Truth, which also shows we are aligning ourselves with the enemy “hood.”

Falsehoods hurt because of their design. They are enemy snipers designed to take us down any way they can. When they are used by a non-Kingdom dweller, we aren’t as surprised, for we know who they are aligning with by association.

When falsehoods are used by a believer, a tear forms in the fabric of the Kingdom, and a tear falls from the face of its Leader.

We are not designed to speak what is false, but:

Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —think on such things.

Philippians 4:8 NIV

We are not to walk back into the enemy hood we have been delivered out of, but keep the best of the Kingdom on our hearts & in our minds, as the above verse suggests. Even more clear is the comparison seen in the Message version of the same verse below:

Fill your minds and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Philippians 4:8 MSG

Which leads to the last way words can wound us when they are wielded as a weapon:


This reveals more about the character of the speaker than the hearer.

Deliberately using your words, whether truth or false, shows you have a foot in the enemy hood, whether you would like to hear that or not:

Because you KNOW your word will hurt.

And that knowledge means you purposefully are aiming at another person to wound them.

Not cool.

I have been the recipient of deliberate, calculated falsehood in a time of great loss or shock, from those I adored.

Although I have forgiven them, the scar remains.

Those deliberate words? They are the bombs to the single gun shot of unintention and the Uzi of accusation.

Last Word:

All of these wound causing word weapons can come with a complication. How it impacts our relationship with the speaker of these words.

We need to run to God first to ask Him to separate how we have been hurt from the person who hurt us. Once we have dealt with the wounding, then we need to ask Him how we are to speak to the wounder. He may reveal an insight we could not know, and have us either set up a new boundary or reinforce our friendship, addressing the situation from His perspective.

Words hurt, but in His hands we can be fully healed.



For the last 24 hours, I have been hearing the words ‘brave’.

Watching the Disney movie reminded me that we can be brave in hard circumstances when we know we are loved.

Hearing the song “Make Me Brave” by Bethel reminds me exactly who the real brave one is, and it isn’t me.

At least, not on my own.

On the outside, I may appear, as many of us do, to have it all together.

On the inside? A whole other story!

Usually I am trying to rely on my own strength and ability, and when I do so, I fail to make it anywhere close to bravery.

More like a chick who won’t leave her shell, content to hide where it is safe until trouble passes by.

The trouble is, trouble never passes us by for long.

On the flip side, God knew we would have trouble, and designed us to be brave.

He did, honest.

But it’s not brave the way the world defines it.

It is bravery despite the world.

The world says:

“Grin & bear it.”

“Be a real man”

 “That’s not something a women should do”.

” Take it or leave it.”

“You can go your own way.”

God replies:

“I am more than enough for whatever you are facing.”

“A real man or woman  follows My call & purpose for their life.”

“Listen for My voice.”

“I will never leave you or foresake you.”

There is a path that leads to life, and another leading to death.

Which road you choose determines where you end up.
The fork in the road between the two paths?

It’s shaped liked a cross on purpose.

It is time to make the decision.

Live brave.

God is calling us out beyond our comfort zones. The cliff ahead may seem daunting, the waves rushing to crash against the shore.

Knowing God is with me is enough to remind me it’s because of Him I can be brave.

Knowing how much her mother loved her was enough to make Mereda brave when it counted.

God loves us so much Jesus laid down His life for us.

Jesus was able to be brave when it counted, knowing it was part of the plan which brought Him to earth, with the purpose of showing us just how much He loves us.

God can do no less for you and I.

In fact, He is just waiting for us to come to Him, so He can love up on us.

It is that love, and knowing what He has for us to do, that together makes us brave.

Its up to me, to you, to choose…


life is choice

If love is an open door,
life must be an open road.

Both involve choices.

The path you end up taking depends on your choice, and no one else’s.

When you make a bad choice, you veer off the path you were meant to take, and enter a door you were meant to leave shut.

Both have consequences.

Being in the wrong place at the right time can leave you scarred, hurt, in pain, alone, pregnant, hungover or find you waking up somewhere you never expected.

Aligning yourself with the negative can drain the positive until before you know it, you are running on empty.

But you have never gone too far down the path for God to bring you back.

You can leave that room and close that door once and for all.

I am living proof.

When I have hit my lowest, God has been there to remind me just how loving & powerful He is, and how much bigger He is than the situation I am facing.

Not being in the drivers seat is a blessing in disguise when the Driver has perfect up close & long term vision.

Spending time with Him at the wheel helps us to safely navigate what might otherwise cause us to swerve and crash.

Taking the time to wait and pause before making major decisions is also one of the best ways of opening the right door. So is heeding when you are told not to go through a door.

If God has plans for us to prosper, bless and flavour us, why do we tend to rush on in without waiting?

I think most of us are afraid life will pass us by, and we will miss out.
We will miss that one thing we are meant to do, and as a result, miss our purpose for being here.

If you are spending time in His presence, listening for and to His voice, and living life in His Kingdom, you will not miss out.

He promises we will inherit. Those who press in for Him will find Him. He gives wisdom to all who ask.

Life can be a highway to those of us going too fast, moving at our own speed.

I think life is more like a back road passing through a community, connecting us with purpose, help and family.

But most importantly, love is an open door.

The single most important decision you can make in your life is opening the door of your heart to allow God in.

The choice is up to you.

How your life will unfurl depends on it.

free to choose

Freedom has been calling out since losing Eden.

With the beginning of work came the lie of self sufficiency.

We can do out all on our own.

And when we fall, over and over, freedom stands nearby, waiting for our word to step in and help us out from the pit we created.

We have to choose freedom.

The Prodigal son choose to go his own way.
His Father waited for his return.
And oh how they celebrated when he returned, having learned a hard lesson as he strayed from what his father taught him, raised him to be.

God wasn’t, isn’t content to sit back and wait for us to return home. No loving father can take their mind off the child who is fast from home and up to who knows what.

Love longs for the one it loves.


He decided in one holy extravagant outlandish gift to settle the matter once and for all.

Jesus broke through, revealed the love of God up to and beyond His death, and released us from the kingdom of darkness and bondage into the kingdom of heaven.

Heaven. Where love, truth and freedom rule.
24/7, 365 days a year, for eternity.

When we seek freedom, finding it through its Source, heaven reaches down and loosens our shackles.

Who the Son sets free is free indeed.

IS FREE, not will be.
If God has told you that you are free, you are- even if you can’t see any discernable difference.

Is free IN DEED.
Jesus’ selfless act was the deed that sets us free.
He died so we could live free.

Is free INDEED.
The use of the word ‘indeed’ was intentional.
in·deed has two meanings:

1. used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.
So your freedom is confirmed, as indeed emphasizes…

2. used to introduce a further and stronger or more surprising point.
Indeed, your freedom is nor only here waiting, but it is complete and finished once and for all because of Jesus.

Freedom ultimately is a choice.
God made His in offering it to us.

The choice is now ours.

Do you want to live free?

Do you want hope right now in the pit you find yourself- whatever it is?

Do you want to be cleaned from the slime of the pit?

Do you have wounds that need binding up?

Freedom is calling.

How will you answer?