God’s Love Language

standard February 21, 2018 1 response

Did you know that over one million people get engaged every year on Valentine’s Day? Isn’t that wild? That means that roughly 500,000 new Pinterest boards titled “My Wedding!” are being created right now.

But after all the months of planning are over and the last dance at the wedding is finally done, the happy couple will soon begin the delicate art of discovering each other’s love languages.

Based on Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, I’ve found that my personal love language is “words of affirmation.” It always warms my heart and makes me beam when my husband compliments me or when my daughter tells me that she likes something I’ve made for her. I thrive when I am praised for a job well done.

My husband on the other hand feels loved by “acts of service.” If I run a special errand for him, the man is happy as can be and looks at me with all the heart eyes.

Scripture tells us in no uncertain terms that God’s love language is OBEDIENCE. It’s what He desires from His children and it pleases His heart tremendously. The word “obey” occurs over 200 times in the Bible! We find it in the Old Testament passage found in Psalm 119:34 “Help me understand your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart” as well as the New Testament passage in 1 John 2:5, “But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.”

However, obedience is not always easy. We must train our hearts and minds to want to obey God. We face countless amounts of temptation on a daily basis, but we need to realize that God is fully aware of each one of these struggles. Christ Himself was tempted, experiencing firsthand just how hard full obedience can be. Yet Christ valued His relationship with the Father, choosing obedience over comfort and because He did, we have the glorious gift of eternal life.

Relationship matters. If we are committed to knowing God’s Word and spending time with Him in prayer, then our love for Him will grow deeper each day. But what’s amazing is that it’s not one-sided. God reciprocates our obedience with blessings! Deuteronomy 28 mentions several blessings that are accompanied by fully obeying the Lord, such as blessings in our work, our children, and our daily routines.

Just as a new bride desires to shower her husband with love, we must teach ourselves to obey God’s instructions in order to show Him love. The beautiful result is a relationship that lasts!

Father, thank You for the opportunity to show You love by obeying your commands. My desire is to please Your heart. Teach me how to walk in obedience daily.

Top 5 Reasons to Love “The Greatest Showman”

standard January 31, 2018 Leave a response

Have you had a chance to see The Greatest Showman yet? If not, drop what you’re doing and get thyself to the nearest theatre, thus sayeth the Lord. For time’s sake I won’t summarize the whole movie (that would be a full post in itself), but rather I’d like to pull out some of the themes of the movie that I believe can apply to our everyday lives.

Presenting the Top 5 Reasons to Love The Greatest Showman:

  1. Don’t be afraid to dream impossible dreams. T. Barnum has a dream in his heart to start a magical show like none other, but he gets sidetracked by life. When he loses his corporate job, he takes a chance on his dream. At first no one comes to the circus, but with ingenuity and hard work, Barnum finally makes his dream a reality and the circus becomes a huge success. God has put a dream in your heart too! It may seem impossible and you don’t have a clue how it will ever be realized; you may have been sidetracked by life and feeling like that dream was just that…a pipe dream. But Jesus says, “All things are possible for one who believes,” (Mark 9:23). Put your faith in the One who can make your dreams come true and be willing to work hard to achieve them. For with great risk comes great reward!


  1. Come alive to experience all that life has in store for you. Barnum first fills his museum with wax statues and stuffed animals until his little girls suggest that he needs things that are alive, not dead, to attract the people. So, Barnum searches for “unusual persons,” enticing them to come alive and start dreamin’ with their eyes wide open. At first they are reticent because for years they have hidden themselves from the public, but Barnum’s joy is contagious and they truly do come alive. The same can be true of you and me. If we feel as if we’re sleepwalking through this life, we start to feel spiritually dead. But God’s plan is that we live a FULL life, filled with abundant joy. Jesus also said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, a better life than they ever dreamed of,” (John 10:10). Come one, come all. You hear the call; for anyone who is searching for a way to break free. Come Alive!


  1. Even if the world rejects you, know that you are glorious. As the acts of the show do come alive they start to speak out against how they have always been treated. They’ve been told to hide away; run away; no one’ll love you as you are. But they have had enough! And they declare that they are brave, they are bruised, this is who they are meant to be. In this lifetime we will be cut by the sharpest of words of others. They will threaten to break us down to dust, but we must listen to the voice of the One who speaks life into us. God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love and have continued my faithfulness to you,” (Jeremiah 31:3). Believe that and sing with passion like the bearded woman: I know that I deserve your love. There’s nothing I’m not worthy of. This is me!


  1. It is possible to rewrite the stars, but the change starts with us. Within the story a handsome, white aristocrat named Phillip begins to fall for a beautiful, black trapeze artist. Of course, their love is forbidden due to their racial differences and Phillip is met with severe opposition from his parents. Phillip protests, “Father, the world is changing.” Fast forward to 2018 and we need to ask ourselves: has the world really changed that much in the last 180 years? If so, why are we still harboring prejudices against people who have a different skin color than we do? This is not how Jesus wants us to live. “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,” (Acts 17:26). It’s time to rewrite the stars and love others with different skin color than us as we love ourselves. What if we rewrite the stars? Is it impossible? Say that it’s possible!


  1. When you lose your way, remember your first love and come back home. When all the fortune and fame of P.T. Barnum’s success sets in, he begins to lose his way. He doesn’t do anything immoral per se, but he neglects his family to spend time with a very talented and beautiful woman and he also treats the acts of his circus with disrespect. Through a series of unfortunate events he loses everything and he eventually realizes what truly matters is his family and friends, and he resolves to not be blinded by the lights of fame any longer. Sometimes this happens to us in our everyday lives as well. We aren’t necessarily doing anything harmful to others, but before we know it our selfish desires have crept in and we are no longer walking in the light. But then, we remember our first love and we resolve to return to Him and He welcomes us with open arms. “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7). From now on…Stop and remember your first love. Come back home.


In the end, The Greatest Showman is a beautiful story of inclusion and acceptance of all people, something that Jesus Christ Himself taught. And if it’s crazy, then live a little crazy, because as P.T. Barnum said, “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”

Be. The. LIGHT!


standard November 8, 2017 2 responses

My nephew Jeremiah was barely a month old when I had an opportunity to babysit him for the afternoon. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on him for a few hours and kiss on his sweet round cheeks.

If you’ve ever been around a newborn, then you know that they typically only eat and sleep which was just fine with me because I was ready to do some cuddling.

After feeding Jeremiah, he immediately went to sleep on my chest and his soft breathing in and out lulled me into a state of rest. With each sweet snore that he made my soul became more and more still.  As I soaked in the moment it reminded me of what it means to truly abide.

Jesus tells us in John 15:9:

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.”     

The word “abide” in the original language also carries these definitions: to remain, to dwell, and my personal favorite, to be held.   

When you wake each morning take some time to spend with the Lord. As you do, you will feel that love growing stronger with each passing day. Jesus loves you so fully and completely.

Just as Jeremiah was content to be held and loved on by me that afternoon, allow yourself to feel the love of your Savior.

Just Abide.

When Valentine’s Day Makes You Feel Unloved

standard February 10, 2016 Leave a response

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and everywhere you look there are stuffed teddy bears holding red hearts, big balloons with “Be Mine” stamped across it, and rows and rows of chocolate.

But what if Valentine’s Day holds no joy for you and the thought of all those happy couples feeding each other chocolate-covered strawberries is enough to make you want to scream…or at the very least, eat a whole bag of conversation hearts?

Such was the case for me one particular Valentine’s Day.  I was in high school and did not have a boyfriend or even the prospect of one.  All that week my school was taking orders for Candy Grams to be delivered to the one you were “going with” or “had a crush on.” (Sidenote: Candy Grams are most certainly from Satan.)  Needless to say, I was having serious anxiety about going to school that day knowing that all my friends would be receiving multiple Candy Grams and I would be left feeling unloved, unpopular, and every other kind of “un” you can think of.  Yet each time the classroom door would open for a Candy Gram delivery, a little bit of hope would spring up inside of me: A Candy Gram for me? Sike!

Well, someone must have seen my misery because that Valentine’s Day morning when I went out to my car there was the most amazing surprise waiting for me!  Helium balloons with “Be My Valentine” written across them filled the space in the tiny car and on the driver’s seat was a box in the shape of a heart filled with Russell Stover’s chocolates with a note that simply said, “Your Secret Admirer.”  I drove to school that day on cloud nine with the biggest smile on my face, wondering to myself: Who could this wonderful Secret Admirer be?  And how did he know that I loved Russell Stover’s candy?  That’s the very same brand that my dad always gets my mom for Valentine’s Day!

That day I didn’t care how many Candy Grams were passed out to other girls.  I had a Secret Admirer and I felt loved…even if I did suspect that the admirer was pretty close to home.

You have an Admirer too, Friend!  He longs to lavish you with sweet surprises and love.  He sends you Valentine’s notes with things like,

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh how beautiful! (Song of Songs 1:15)

I will go before you and I will be with you.  I will never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

I am abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)

That’s better than a plain old Candy Gram, don’t you think?  It’s endless love from a faithful God who thinks you are the most beautiful woman He has ever seen.  And you are beautiful, you know.

If you find yourself this Valentine’s Day without an earthly Valentine, that’s ok.  Pick yourself up a box of chocolates and shake off the urge to want to strangle the stuffed bears.

Remember that you have Someone who loves you to the moon and back.  Literally.


What’s Your “Word” for 2016?

standard January 13, 2016 6 responses

Years ago at the church I attended, our pastor would always encourage us to adopt a specific word for the year.  I thought this was a great idea in theory, but I never took the time to actually implement it.  Boy, was I missing out on a simple joy that this life has to offer!

Speaking of joy, fast forward several years to 2015 where my friend Lesli adopted the word Joy for the year. You may remember her post JOY: A Choice, Not a Feeling.  I watched her take this word and run with it. And guess what? Joy permeated her entire year.  And not just hers but also those she came in contact with.  It was truly a joy to be around her.

Another good friend of mine chose the word Love to focus on for the year and she noted how crazy it was that she would see the word everywhere around her…in her news feed, on her favorite brand of clothing, and in verses of Scripture that she had read a hundred times before but never really noticed the word love.  It got to where so many others knew her word was Love and they would send her text messages or post to her Facebook wall whenever they saw the word.  How nice to be known to others as love!

So how does one go about picking a word for the new year?  Well, there are several ways.

  1. Think of something that you’d like to work on in the new year.  Not just as a new year’s resolution, but something that you will carry with you throughout the year.  One great idea I heard was from a friend who wants to improve her self-discipline (i.e. putting limits on entertainment; doing the hard things first instead of procrastinating).  Now, that’s a word!
  2. Choose something you want more of in your life: Gratitude, Peace, Patience.  The list is endless.
  3. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to a specific word. Now, of course I know that He will be at work in the above two ways as well, but this approach is just strictly having Him lead you to a random word.  Such was the case with the selection of my personal word for 2016: Hope.   A precious friend of mine gave me a stack of cards on HOPE.  At first, I was thinking, “I’m digging it. Hope for the future, and all that.”  But when I really sat down to think about it, there IS so much for me to be hopeful about in 2016.  Hope for my mom’s total healing from breast cancer.  Hope for my girls and their continued spiritual growth.  Hope for this new Bible study that has formed that I have the honor to teach.  And such an expectant hope of where God wants to take Reflecting Light as a ministry after my graduation in May.  The Holy Spirit whispered to my soul, “Take it, April.  Pick up the word Hope.”  So I did and I am loving what He is teaching me through this “not-so little” word.


Once you have your word selected (or in #3’s case, given to you), take some time to look it up.  You can go to Blue Letter Bible and plug your specific word in and voilà…every verse containing that word will be listed and you can study it in-depth with their study tools.  It’s so easy and you don’t ever have to be intimidated by an old-school concordance again.

Lastly, let the word take up residence in your heart and in your actions.  If your word is gentleness, let it be evident to all (Philippians 4:5).  If it is self-discipline, memorize 2 Timothy 1:7.  If it is hope, then study the book of Jeremiah and learn exactly what God meant when He said He will give us a “hope and a future.”  The point is simply to carry the word with you throughout the year and let God teach you about it through His Word.  Nothing could be more fantastic.

I told you, Dear Reader, that our future is bright for 2016 and it can be richer with a simple word.  So, tell me, what’s your “WORD” for 2016?

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

standard February 4, 2015 2 responses

I was standing in the after-school pick up line waiting for my Kindergartener to come out. When she did, I asked her teacher for a report on her behavior for the day. The teacher said, “She was great, but I had to move her at nap time because she was kissing a little boy on the forehead.”

What?! We do not kiss boys! Her daddy and I explained this to her and she nodded her head like she understood, but I could see her confusion…she was just trying to be sweet to the boy and now she is receiving a lecture on germs and other people’s personal space.

Then the weekend rolls around and I receive a text from my friend displaying a note that my 2nd grade daughter had written to her son and it looks like this:

IMG_6594 copy

I am dying! “Love you” with a heart on the exclamation point!!! Who are these forward girls? Didn’t their mama teach them better? (Ahem..)

Then it hit me. Don’t I preach day in and day out for them to love others? Isn’t that what they are doing in their own, sweet, innocent ways?

Romans 12:10 says, “Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.” And my Kindergartener must have been taking literal St. Peter’s instructions of, “Greet one another with a kiss of love,” (see 1 Peter 5:14).

Jesus, thank You for reminding me through the actions of my children that we are called to love one another as You have loved us. And also for the reminder to “outdo” each other in order to show our brothers and sisters honor. We have this love to give because You first loved us.

And by simply giving the gift of LOVE, the world will be a better place.