• Happy Bulldog Face with tons of little words shaped into a heart

    My Bulldog of Being Right

    I had it in me, my old bulldog of being right. Think soft marshmallow flesh with stocky shoulders and a snarling, sputtering, toothy, aggressive need-to-be-right....

  • Two cups of coffee with frame that reads: Inhale the Future, Exhale the Past

    Struggling with Forgiveness? You’re Not Alone.

    Forgiveness can be a tough nut to crack. It is something that needs to be processed on a deep personal level and, oftentimes, revisited. It’s a sacred act within. So, if you are struggling with forgiveness, you’re not alone....

  • Our Response When Dreams Die text on floral background

    Our Response When Dreams Die

    As the disciples rode the dusty coattails of Jesus’ rising influence, their dream of being a part of a powerful new king’s kingdom was crushed as Jesus hung on the cross and died. I’m sure they were quite perplexed...

  • Person waiting in lonely room with words that read: WAITING, In the wait our faith is challenged. We are asked, "Do you Trust Me even if you lose this?"

    Waiting in Uncertainty

    I’ve waited for a marriage to fall through or be reborn. I’ve waited for pregnancies to end in the dark too soon or come to full fruition in soft whimpers and fresh cries. I’ve waited for business opportunities to flow into my hands or fold like the wind whipping away at what I was never meant to have....

  • Elizabeth Berg quote that describes envy as “the cockroaches of the soul”

    What to do with Envy

    Envy lies as dormant desire buried alive. Nothing buried alive is beautiful. In her book Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True, Elizabeth Berg describes envy as “the cockroaches of the soul”. ...

  • Sometimes I am at by Bravest when I Rest, trusting in God to be able to truly rest

    When Rest is Brave

    Sometimes bravery doesn't wear heavy armor and swing a sharp sword. Sometimes it’s more simple and subtle than that. Sometimes bravery is resting from all we are doing to promote ourselves, pad our self-worth, and calm our eating anxieties....

  • Subtle Forms of Bravery, pastel flowers curling around words

    Subtle Forms of Bravery

    I believe there are some uncommon, often uncelebrated forms of bravery. These subtle forms of bravery do not get enough recognition, but they certainly have a quiet way of weaving honor back into our own chests while they also extending respect into the hearts of......

  • #whatkindofwoman timid, brash, or brave

    #whatkindofwoman Timid, Brash, or Brave?

    I’ve seen women too timid to speak up and raise a hand that they are drowning under years of broken boundaries and layers of heavy waters....

  • #whatkindofwoman critical or approving

    #whatkindofwoman Critical or Approving

    I’ve heard women, somewhat unintentionally, crush conversations quicker than a demolition team taking down a titan of concrete with a critical spirit gone unchecked. ...

  • #whatkindofwoman do you want to be? image of polar ice vs. warm beach with logo: LightandZest.com

    #whatkindofwoman

    I know average women who can walk into a room and fill it with the sunshine of their beaming and generous smile, winning and warming the hearts of men and women alike. I've also seen beautiful women enter a room and chill it almost as quickly as they've entered....

  • Showing small stills from the Andy Griffith Show via Netflix

    The Andy Griffith Show and The Positivity Project

    My heart saddens a little as we wrap up our nightly routine of watching an Andy Griffith Show episode with our two, grade school, children for the past year-and-a-half. ...

  • Woman's hands holding small string of lights overlooking a warm sunset that is reflected in a lake in front of her.

    Warm Winter Wishes, Closing the Cold Behind Us

    As we retreat indoors this season and trim our trees with warm lights, we will purposely close the cold outside. What will we use our strength to close the door to this Christmas season; what will we refuse to let in other than the sharp wind? ...

  • A bright firey circle illustrating anger as a controlled powerful force.

    Anger as a Controlled Burn

    Anger, at its best, is a controlled burn. Farmers use controlled burns as a powerful tool to rid their land of invasive weeds and the clearing of cluttered, useless underbrush. Burn, baby burn. ...

  • No Rose Fears Judgement. She blooms anyway. Rose and text on abstract background.

    No Rose Fears Judgement

    Allowing ourselves to be beautiful has a lot to do with becoming comfortable being seen and not afraid of judgement. For many years, being seen has elicited fear within me; fear of judgement, of being mocked, and then crushed. But look at the flowers. No flower self-protects....

  • Wonderfully Made: Body Image and Self Talk with logo reading LightandZest.com

    Wonderfully Made: Body Image and Self Talk

    Like any person you know, the body will not change willingly without knowing it is loved first. My body starts coming together when I stop picking it apart in the mirror with cruel, sharp scissored words. Healing starts when...

  • Emotional Eating Trap: Are You Stuck? Mad, anxious, emotional eating, yum, weight gain, sad, mad, REPEAT

    When Food is the Wrong Kind of Comfort: Emotional Eating

    Food is never the answer to comfort loneliness, sadness, heartbreak, anger, or stress. Food is to satisfy hunger alone...

  • Counter-Intuitive Hope - REST

    Counter-Intuitive Hope

    Oftentimes, feelings of powerlessness come over me after I've faced circumstances armed and animated with all I've got and nothing's budged. Powerlessness begets hopelessness, or does hopelessness beget powerlessness? (This might just be a chicken-and-egg argument.)...

  • An illustration of a man holding up his own shell, looking lonesomely over at a lonely woman making a small fire outside of her own shell

    Shell-Less Living and the Shell-Crusher

    Sometimes we need to take a great, terrible, long fall from a comfortable perch. It’s the only thing that will crack and crush the shell we never needed in the first place, but we created and clung to out of fear and the comfort of familiarity....

  • Illustration of a rabbit hiding under a tree amidst soft dandelions

    Remaining Tender in a Hard World

    I collect dandelion leaves to feed our children's bunnies on my walks. The leaves I find along the buzzing roadside are tougher leaved and pocked by sharp roadside pebbles....

  • Christian Mindfulness (It's a thing.) Illustration of woman in meditation pose, praying pose

    Christian Mindfulness: It’s a Thing

    Christian Mindfulness: It's a thing and probably an ancient one at that. The most natural rhythm between God and I has become receiving from Him and me giving thanks in return....

  • Loved, illustration of woman darning God's promises across her heart's doubts

    Threads of Trust

    Darning our tattered little minds and tired little hearts with threads of trust, not in our circumstances, but in our God. ...

  • roots wrap stone bread, the message of Christ

    Roots Wrap Stone Bread

    When roots wrap stone bread: How do we untangle the message from the messenger?...

  • Regal Simpleness child with deer

    Regal Simpleness

    Regal Simpleness: Before we were even a twinkle in our mother’s eye, I believe our inmost being was handcrafted by God in a heavenly place....

  • precious stone low poly art with open hand

    Precious Stone

    Precious Stone: This is your value in Christ's presence. I visit with Him in the quiet of my prayer. He shows me my worth in the palm of His hand....

  • Pedestal of the Heart

    The Pedestal of the Heart

    Some Background – Pedestal of Our Hearts It’s my opinion that we all have a pedestal in our hearts: a place of prominence and devotion. It’s a hidden, deep place in our hearts where we want to pour out unconditional love and focus. (This could......

  • Forgiveness: The Pearl of the Onion

    The truth is, forgiveness IS like an onion and it has a lot of layers....

  • Kindness Goes a Long Way

    Does this mean I will always be kind? Probably not. Does it mean that I want to be kind? Yes. Even when I am "Hangry" (hungry + angry)? Yes. Will I make mistakes? Absolutely....