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Empty Nest Full Life

on Friday, 01 September 2017. Posted in Devotionals

Jesus promised an abundant life!

empty nest2

September is a time of transition. My baby is in college. In another state! She is adjusting well and that brings me peace. We are empty-nesters. It is weird but not bad. I’ve gotten so much done this morning; it almost makes me giddy. It is quiet but it is kind of nice.

So what now? I’ve been parenting for twenty-four years. Yes, I know I’m still a parent but it is different now. I asked friends on Facebook and received wonderful suggestions:

Laura said “In my experience, although you want to provide your adult children a place to sleep when home on break etc, don't make their room into a shrine for them. Re-claim your helps prepare you emotionally for when they leave the nest permanently.”

Barb said “Enjoy it! They are never totally gone. They come back and they often bring others with them that fill your nest even fuller! Concentrate on making your marriage even stronger and your home a place they want to come back to.”

Linda said “Build your social circle. Spend time at friend's homes and welcome them in yours.”

Kim said “As long as they are happy and thriving so will you  😊 enjoy your new chapter of life  ❤ texting, FaceTime, visits both ways are always welcome and comforting, especially for the mama  😉 I immediately redid all 3 girls rooms, they still have a place to sleep here but it's my space now ‼”

Robin and Val both said “Take lots of!”

Debbie said “Get "10 Great Dates for Empty Nesters"”

Great ideas! Thanks everyone.

My empty nest also gives me time to continue in my passion: mentoring. Sunday, at church, I was still reeling from taking both girls to their perspective Universities. Caitlin, one of my mentees, surprised me at church. She is now a nurse and works nights. Getting to church is a challenge with that schedule. It was so nice to see her and catch up. We chatted over lunch and I was once again reminded that I will never be far from a daughter. As I continue to build relationships with Spiritual daughters. (See Spiritual Kids  for more on this.)

Jesus promised that He came to give an abundant life. (John 10:10) That promise is for life. To me, this means a life full of relationships. Jesus loves people so I love people. Isaiah prophesized about this in Isaiah 54. He encourages the “childless” woman to enlarge her home. And look at this is verse 5.

“For your Creator will be your husband; the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth.”

“Your Creator is your husband”. Now go with me here. God will determine our spiritual children.  He doesn’t desire us to be lonely or without purpose. He desires us to build His Kingdom. We will always have an impact as we follow His lead. Pay attention. He may be trying to fill your “home” or your heart with whom He picked for you.

Later this week, I will meet another young woman. She is a young Mom growing in her leadership skills. She needs me and now I see I need her. Isn’t it lovely how God works these things out? My home may be emptier but my life is full. 

How about you are you looking for a way to live a full life? Contact me and we will talk!

Goodbye Insecurity

on Friday, 02 September 2016. Posted in Devotionals

You are enough.


How can I impact the world? I'm just me. Pretty ordinary. The world is big and intimidating, even scary.extraordinary

And when it gets scary, I remember Stephen.

Acts 6-7 tells Stephen’s story, and it also describes him as “a man full of God’s grace and power.” What a lovely combination! But Stephen isn’t the only one described as being full of grace and power. In Acts 4:33 it says, “with great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all” (NIV). The words for grace used here (both pistes and charis) mean faith as well as joy. And all the apostles were filled with grace, faith, and power through Jesus Christ!

All of us have this grace. All of us. Even you! Jesus’ completeness has influenced your heart. You have the grace, faith, and power you need for the work ahead.

In Review: You + Jesus = Enough

 I spoke to a young friend at a Wednesday night service recently. It was a simple how-are-you exchange and then she asked a question I thought her actions had already answered. “Weren’t we going to get together on a regular basis?” I hadn’t heard or seen her in a year. I assumed she wasn’t interested. But instead of concentrating on who misunderstood, we moved forward. I didn’t allow doubt to step in and cause division; we met at the end of that week and will continue to meet monthly.

Discipleship—mentoring—is not about what you have or have not done. Accomplishments may play into it at times but what you share comes from your struggles as well as your victories. Sharing life is more important than sharing advice. Availability is a stronger role than teaching knowledge. Sure, it’s always nice to have some wisdom to share but your confidence shouldn’t—doesn’t—come from your wisdom or achievements or what you do. It comes from your relationship with Jesus.

You may you think you have nothing to offer, but in reality, you already have everything necessary. When you share your time, it shows others they are important. Jesus did this with the disciples—He shared life with them. He told them they were important because of the time He gave them. He was available.

Are you willing to make yourself available?

Excerpt from Legacy by Leslie Schonfeld click here to purchase your copy.

Grab God's Hand

on Monday, 01 August 2016. Posted in Devotionals

Fearless in 2016 series

Fearless 16

Raise your hand if you love your yearly mammogram.


No? Me either.  Yes, this blog post is about breast exams. TMI? I don’t think so because it addresses another fear. CANCER. Well, not really cancer but the death and suffering that it has potential to cause.

As in the past, I get the call. “You need to come in for a second mammogram.”

Ya, ya, happens every time.

Then the voice said “You will also need an ultrasound, only on the left side.”

Ultrasound? That hasn’t happened before. Just on one side? Usually it is both. Stupid dense breast tissue. Fear whispered “This is bad.”

A week later, a letter arrives in the mail. “You have dense breast tissue. Dense tissue is more likely to develop cancer.” My heart skipped a beat. Fear whispered louder.

The exam consisted of a 3-D mammogram and then the ultrasound. As I lie on the table, my view of the screen is unhindered. My thoughts were jumbled.

“That doesn’t look good. What is that black blob? What does cancer look like? Does it look like that? I’ve seen normal tissue and that is not normal.” Fear was louder now.

Left in the room alone, I waited for the radiologist. I prayed “What is this Jesus?”

“You’re fine.” He answered

“Fine, fine or you’ll walk through this with me as I battle cancer – fine?”

“I’m here you are fine.” He said.

I wasn’t clear what that meant but the Isaiah 41:13 repeated through my thoughts:

13 For I hold you by your right hand—

I, the Lord your God.

And I say to you,

‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

Time crawled by. But I wasn’t alone. Fear and peace battled one another. But I was not alone.

Finally, he Radiologist appeared. Those black blobs are benign cysts. Nothing to worry about. I am fine.

Relief swept over me but also a deep gratitude. Gratitude for a renewed knowledge that no matter what, I am not alone. Neither are you my friend, neither are you.

I've got to be me!

on Sunday, 02 October 2016. Posted in Devotionals

Authentic living in a character-crippling world.


So the question is: how does a person become and stay authentic in this character-crippling world? I don’t think the answer is to list all our cares to everyone we greet. The grocery clerk doesn’t need (or want!) to hear about your cat puking on the carpet. But it’s okay to say you’ve had a rough day. You can be honest and real without complaining about everything. It’s not so much what you say, but how you say it. Don’t fake it ’til you make it. Be your real self. Take some notes from John the Baptist.

 John the Baptist was the epitome of authenticity. Unique and individualistic, he marched to the beat of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 3, I am struck by the remarkable life of this man. He was not influenced by other’s opinions, yet his uniqueness drew others to him. His confidence did not waver.

John was related to Jesus as his cousin. Elizabeth, John’s mother, had a close relationship with Mary, Jesus’ mother. God told Zechariah, John’s father, of John’s coming, though Elizabeth was unable to have children. Yet John’s life path was described to Zechariah before his birth. God paved the way for John’s unique impact on the world. (Read Elizabeth and Zechariah’s story in Luke 1.)

John grew up with the knowledge of his prophesied birth and life. So he prepared for his mission by living in the wilderness. He was gifted with the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17) but he did not try to mimic Elijah. Unabashed by local custom, he survived on honey and locusts. He was viewed as a fanatic by many around him.

 But John lived a life that reflected his faith. Don’t take this for granted—his faith had to be big. He knew what was said of him—that he would prepare the way for the Messiah—but he had yet to see it happen. We now know how his life played out, but as he was living it, he couldn’t see the future. John had promises, predictions, and prophesies, but no outline or step-by-step life plan. This blows my mind. How do you live up to such expectation? Surely only with God can this be possible.

John lived his life to the fullest. Each day his purpose was to prepare his followers’ hearts to accept Jesus. Passionately, he preached repentance, uncertain when his mission would be complete. Many found their Messiah in Jesus because John pointed the way. We was even privileged to baptize Jesus. This was culmination of John’s ministry.

 As Jesus’ influence increased, John faded to the background. Was there an inner struggle here as John’s fame diminished? Perhaps, but we don’t know. His ego had to die; he had to accept this was not about him. Charismatic by nature, he had to give that gift over to God, in a breathtaking act of faith. But he did not escape the human propensity to doubt; we know his faith wavered as he sat in jail, and sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He really was the one John had been preaching about. Jesus pointed to the evidence to assure them He was. (See Matthew 11.) Soon after that John was beheaded.

John’s example screams across the millennia to all Christians. It can never be about what you get. It is not to be about your fame. It is not about feeling good about yourself; it’s always about following


Now think about this. What if John had waited? What if he thought his life’s calling wasn't worth the locusts and honey or social rejection? What if he had said “I’m not sure. Let’s just see how things work out?” If he had been tentative he may have lived longer, to be sure. Risk involves a price and John paid a high one—the ultimate one. I imagine, however, he lived joyfully to the end with no regrets.

Following Jesus is not safe. But it is not about your comfort. It’s about building the Kingdom. (Matthew 28:19) You've probably heard the popular platitude, “The safest place is in the center of God’s will.” This is true for the spiritual self, but not necessarily the earthly self. John ended up in prison, on the wrong side of political favor, and eventually on the sharp end of the guillotine. None of that sounds even close to safety to me.

 But was it worth it? I think John would say it was.

So what does that have to do with you and me? As far as I know, no angel showed up at my conception to announce my grand impact on humanity. It is pretty clear I am not called to wear camel hair. I could handle eating the honey but locusts are out of the question. But I know God has a plan for me, the real me. And one for you, too. The real you. 

Find out more about authentic living and mentoring in Leslie's book Legacy. Click here to purchase. 


on Friday, 03 March 2017. Posted in Devotionals

Even when I'm not feelin' it.


It’s a struggle to stay positive these days. I know I still care way too much about what other’s think of me. I’m frustrated with critical people and find myself critical of them. Don’t you think that is a little dumb? Maybe even hypocritical? I’ve got caught up in examining the minutia of life. I’ve shifted my center of thinking to me and my circumstance. I know better but my emotions have ruled over logic and truth.

So what do we do when we are overwhelmed by the world?


James 1:2 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

James reminds us that this is the opportunity to put Jesus back into the center of my focus. Not so He blocks the problems, but so I can see the problem through Him. He is my Lens for the world. He is the Source of my worth. He is the Director of my steps.

Joy means to have a feeling of well-being. Circumstances do not dictate my comfort. Well, it does but my response to any discomfort is confronted with the reality of Jesus.

Jesus is my Re-creator. Daily He is making me new and more and more into His image.

Jesus is my Source for living water. He sustains me. He purifies me.

Jesus is my Bread. He is my Provider.

Jesus is my Light. He illuminates the truth.

Jesus is my Shepherd. He protects me.

Jesus is my Vine. He is the source of what is good and through Him I produce fruit.

Jesus is my King. I belong to His Kingdom. I am just a visitor here. However, while I’m here I will do all that I can to help bring His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.

I am reminded again of the two verses that would not leave me alone last year:

Micah 6:8 (NLT) No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

James 1:27 (NLT) Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

I pray that we each live this out. We need to trust Him. He is working all for the good of His Kingdom. I don’t see Him, but I trust Him. I see the results of His presence. I lean into it and I know He is working.  In the process, with Jesus in the center, we will be filled with joy.

1 Peter 1:8 (NLT) You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.


on Wednesday, 15 June 2016. Posted in Devotionals, Blog


But why? As a parent, I both love and hate this question. Curiosity in my children delights me. I love to observe them as they work to figure “it” out. On the other hand after an exhausting number of inquiries, I’m done. I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T’ WANT TO THINK AND I’M JUST TOO TIRED TO FIGURE IT OUT! Thankfully, God is not that kind of parent.

As children of God, we have questions. Too often we are afraid to ask them. We fear our questions reflect doubt. A good Christian shouldn’t doubt. That is a lie! Ignoring questions won’t make them go away. In fact, pushing them down allows them to fester, like an infection. Unattended to it will grow.

Recently, I ran into a Scripture verse that opened all sorts of questions.

Isaiah 34:7 (KJV) And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

Unicorns? In the Bible? What?!? Look it up for yourself. It is in the King James Version. Does that make you as uncomfortable as it did me?

Ignored, that could start to cause doubt. Left alone it would quietly gnaw at my faith. Curiosity drove me to examine it in detail.

First stop: Strong Concordance. The word for unicorn here is more commonly translated wild bull. There isn’t an English word that directly translates here most likely because the animal is extinct.

Second stop: Google. Yep, that is right. This brought up some interesting sites to say the least. And with any search, make sure you are reading reputable sites. In the end, the accepted conclusion for the use of unicorn was that word had an entirely different meaning when King James’ scholars were transcribing the Bible. It referred to an animal with one horn, similar to a bull. Not the magical pink unicorns we have all come to love.

It is okay to ask questions. Certainly there are deeper questions then the existence of unicorns. Questions drive us to reconcile what we believe with what we observe. Our faith is to be based on truth. The best way to find truth is to search it out.

If we are not careful Scripture can be misapplied. Our opinions can ebb and flow with cultural influence. I’m not just talking about societal culture but Christian culture as well. We must always seek righteousness but in a Godly manner, never self-righteousness

Doubt is the antithesis to faith. It is not to be nurtured but don’t ignore it either. Face it. Challenge it. Make it prove itself. It will reveal one of two things; a lie believed or a misunderstood truth. We must stomp out the lies and elevate the truth. We can only determine this by growing in our understanding of God’s Word and listening to the still small voice that always speaks. (1 Kings 19:11-13) 

Reach into the Future: Mentor

on Tuesday, 01 August 2017. Posted in Devotionals

Spirtual Mandate: Mentoring

reach the next generation

Mentoring is an ancient practice prevalent in Scripture. Although the word is never used the practice was common. Mandated by God, we are all called to reach the next generation in one form or another. Sadly, it is a dying art that needs resurrection.

I know you are thinking: “I am inadequate. I can’t. I won’t.” Who is the center of this thought pattern?

God says “I can do the impossible. I can. I will. Join me.”

Pray with me “I surrender to you, God. I trust you, God. Here I am send me.” In Jesus Name, AMEN

We have to go beyond what we want to do. We need to stretch and trust. He will catch us if we fall. Join me this month as we examine 31 Scripture verses that encourage mentoring.

  1. Titus 2:4 (NLT) These older women must train the younger women
  2. Titus 2:7 (NLT) And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.
  3. Exodus 17:14 (NLT) After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua
  4. Exodus 24:12-13 (NLT)12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” 13 So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God.
  5. Exodus 33:11 (NLT) Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.
  6. Deuteronomy 34:9 (NLT) Now Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him, doing just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
  7. 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT) You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
  8. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
  9. Psalm 71:18 (NLT) Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
  10. 1 Thessalonians 2:8(NLT) We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
  11. Titus 2:3(NLT) Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.  Instead, they should teach others what is good.
  12. Proverbs 9:9(NLT) Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
  13. Proverbs 1:5 (NLT) Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance
  14. Philippians 4:9 (NLT) Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
  15. Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  16. Isaiah 54:2-3 (NLT)2 “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! 3 For you will soon be bursting at the seams.  Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities.
  17. Hebrews 13:7(NLT) Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.
  18. 2 Kings 22:2 (NLT) He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.
  19. Psalm 71:7 (NLT) My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection.
  20. Ephesians 5:2 (NLT) Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us[a] and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
  21. Exodus 18:20 (NLT) Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives.
  22. Psalm 37:30 (NLT) The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.
  23. Psalm 78:7 (NLT) So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.
  24. Colossians 2:2 (NLT) I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.
  25. Acts 2:42 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
  26. Galatians 6:2(NLT) Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
  27. Psalm 145:4 (NLT) Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.
  28. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
  29. John 13:12-15 (NLT)12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
  30. Acts 9:26-27 (NLT) 26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! 27 Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
  31. Luke 1:56 (NLT) Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.

Spiritual Kids

on Sunday, 30 April 2017. Posted in Devotionals

Spiritual Kids

Spirtual Motherhood

Your descendants aren’t just your biological children. Spiritual children can also be part of our homes. Are you prepared to accept new “daughters” into your life?

Whether or not you have biological kids, when you mentor, you have spiritual kids. You don’t even have to be married! The relationship with your younger friend becomes much like mothering—your nurturing instincts kick in and she becomes your spiritual child.

These relationships develop slowly. They need to be nourished. Not all people in your life will become family. As a mentor, be open to the idea that they might bust open your heart and even house.  “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities” (Isaiah 54:2-3 NLT).

This is exactly how Paul describes his relationship with Timothy—“my true child in the faith,” he writes (I Timothy 1:2 NLT). This is a unique situation, because from what we know of Timothy, his father did not share the same faith. Paul wasn’t a replacement, but an enrichment.

 More than likely, your young friend will already have her own mother, and you will not be a replacement—nor should you be. But your spiritual motherhood is an enrichment in her life, and in yours as well.

Spiritual parenting is not literally raising a child. However, it reflects important aspects of it, particularly when it comes to love. Love your spiritual children unconditionally. While you may choose to dislike some of their behaviors, never reject the individual. Paul set this example for us in his letter to the Thessalonians. Examine the familial language Paul uses; “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (I Thessalonians 2:11-12 NIV).

“As a father deals with his own children.” The apostle Paul made it clear these relationships are strong and long-lasting, much like a parent’s relationship should be. Work to form a bond that lasts. This is not a short-term commitment. Put simply, it means you will be there for them. Demonstrate to them that they matter. They matter to you like your biological kids matter to you.

What does it mean to encourage, comfort, and urge? To encourage someone it means to give them courage to take the next step. When they falter, motivate them to move forward.

For example, one of my young friends was thrown into a leadership position while on a mission trip. She was given no warning and was only a little older than the team she was leading. She did have experience, and she is a trained leader in our church. When she called in a panic, her initial response was to give up and come home. So I asked her questions:

“Did God call you on this trip?”

“I think so?”

“Do you have experience and training you can share?”

“I guess, but I’m scared.”

“That’s good. It will keep you dependent on God. You can do this.”

“Thanks. Pray for me.”

I did not give her much advice. I simply asked those questions and told her I believed in her. I assured her I would pray and I did. In fact the intercession that week was heavy and constant. I did not know what was ahead of her, and neither did she! Once she was overseas, I could not communicate with her, so I too, had to trust Jesus to walk her through this adventure. It turned out to be a challenging trip. But God showed up and God led her. She was strengthened by the experience and now has greater courage!

Encourage but also comfort. Although this generation is more globally aware, they are still somewhat naïve. They can be blindsided by life when it doesn’t go as they plan or expect. Transitioning into adulthood has not gotten easier since I did it (however many years ago that was!). Understanding relationships, making decisions on careers, and establishing independence can be overwhelming. Disappointments occur and your young friends need comfort. They need a safe place to share their fears. Affirm their feelings and point them toward the truth of their situation. This is not a time for advice—it’s a time to reassure them God has a plan. It is a time to demonstrate faithfulness. They can walk away from you but you will not abandon them. And neither will God.

Sometimes it is through their discomfort you can urge them to make the right choices. Lead by example, just as Jesus did (see John 13:15). When your young friends get caught up in a tough circumstance, remind them of the big picture. We all live for God’s Kingdom and His glory. Remind them you too, are imperfect—honesty about your flaws demonstrates your authenticity—but you’re determined to seek after God’s own heart as best you can. They are to do the same.

When life is hard, console and comfort them. Bad things happen to all of us: death, illness, and accidents steal from us. They absorb joy and drive us to despair. Comfort is imperative. Your quiet presence can make the difference in ways you may not understand. Be there for your friend when they experience loss. This gentle act of kindness touches the soul.

As a spiritual mom, urge your children to live a life reflective of Jesus. Urge is a strong word. The Greek word used in I Thessalonians 2:12 is, martureo,1 literally meaning to live as witnesses. Aspire to live as a witness, as well as inspire a life that daily gives testimony to the Holy Spirit in you. This is a tall order and cannot be done without His empowerment. Don’t let this scare you into disqualifying yourself. No—let it inspire you to take the next step of faith. You can do this because He is in you; Jesus is all you need. Let His perfect love drive out the fear that wants to creep in (see I John 4:18). - Excerpt from Legacy by Leslie Schonfeld

Spiritual Motherhood

on Thursday, 02 June 2016. Posted in Devotionals

Growing a family in ways you didn't expect

Legacy children faith

When first married, I wanted a big family—a house full of kids! Adoption seemed like a real possibility. Then after our three kids came, we had a miscarriage and I was tired. It seemed that a family of five is all I could handle. Dreams of adoption vaporized in the crazy days of raising young children. Yet, I always knew there was more to our family than the five of us.

Truth be told, my image was idealistic. I didn’t understand the stress of another human’s 24/7 dependence. I have dealt with a lot of poop, pee, and puke in the last 22 years. (More so in the beginning, in case you are concerned.) Of course, I also didn’t understand the joy of giggles and snuggles either. As I look back now, I see we were caught up in our own little family. Now as we approach the empty nest, I’m glad we chose it this way.

 It wasn’t until I started writing today, that I realized God answered my wish for a big family through spiritual parenting. It was a seed the Lord planted a long time ago but I didn’t understand exactly how it would grow. The young women in my life are dear to me—they’re like my own children. They are an important part of my life. Like my own kids, their love is a joy.

Spiritual Kids

These relationships develop slowly. They need to be nourished and developed. Not all people in your life will become family. As a mentor, be open to the idea that they might bust open your heart and even house. Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities” (Isaiah 54:2-3 NLT).

Your descendants aren’t just your biological children. Spiritual children can also be part of our homes. Are you prepared to accept new “daughters” into your life?

Whether or not you have biological kids, when you mentor, you have spiritual kids. You don’t even have to be married! The relationship with your younger friend becomes much like mothering—your nurturing instincts kick in and she becomes your spiritual child.

This is exactly how Paul describes his relationship with Timothy—“my true child in the faith,” he writes (I Timothy 1:2 NLT). This is a unique situation, because from what we know of Timothy, his father did not share the same faith. Paul wasn’t a replacement, but an enrichment.

 More than likely, your young friend will already have her own mother, and you will not be a replacement—nor should you be. But your spiritual motherhood is an enrichment in her life, and in yours as well.

 What do you think? Are you ready to expand your house? Find out how in Leslie's latest book Legacy. Purchase it here.

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

on Tuesday, 01 November 2016. Posted in Devotionals

20151104 091537


Frustrated that we jump from Halloween to Christmas. I decided it was time to bring back thanksgiving. Not just one day of gorging ourselves but truly embracing gratitude. Honestly, we need to do this all year long. However, it is fun to grab a month and focus on giving thanks.

I wanted to find a personal way to bring this into our home. I announced to my family that we would write one item of gratitude each day of November. I cut out leaves from construction paper, grabbed a fistful of sharpies and we were set.

20151031 155744

True five leaves a day for thirty days is a lot of leaves. 150 to be exact. Yes your hand cramps as your snip away at the colorful paper but trust me it is worth it. This has become a tradition, one my daughter now shares with her college roommates. My kids have enjoyed it so much, those not living at home anymore text in a daily "leaf". I write it on a leaf and add it to our wall.

Some leaves are silly and some sentimental. All bring joy to our home. It brings perspective and an understanding that even in our darkest days, we are blessed.



Colossians 1:11-12(NLT)11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.

If you would like to make your own thankful banner follow the link here.

I would love to see your walls. Post a picture here in the comments or on the Dragonfly Ministry Facebook page. 



Thrive in your Community

on Friday, 30 June 2017. Posted in Devotionals

31 days of connection.


Human beings are designed for relationship. We flourish in healthy community. In this day of social media it is easy for us to connect. Yet, we are still lonely. This month we will examine 31 Scripture verses that encourage connection. A vibrant woman of God thrives in community.

Prayerfully read the statement for the day. Write it in your journal and then reflect on what it means to you. Thank God for your connections!  If you would like this is a document email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy!

Are you looking to increase your connections? Join me for Thirsty Thursdays. See details here.

  1. John 7:38-39 says “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”  (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)”
  2. "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."  Ephesians 5:1-2 
  3. Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”
  4. Romans 12:4-5 “For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
  5. Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
  6. Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
  7. Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
  8. First Thessalonians 4:18 “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
  9. First Thessalonians 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
  10. Acts 2:42 “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”
  11. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
  12. Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NLT) If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
  13. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT) A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
  14. Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT) 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
  15. 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (NLT)25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
  16. Philippians 2:3-4(NLT)3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
  17. Proverbs 17:17 (NLT) A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
  18. John 15:12-13 (NLT)12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
  19. Romans 15:7 (NLT) Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
  20. Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
  21. Colossians 3:13 (NLT) Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
  22. 1 Peter 4:8-9 (NLT)8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
  23. Ephesians 4:2-6 (NLT)2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.
  24. James 5:16 (NLT)16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
  25. Proverbs 15:22 (NLT) Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
  26. Romans 1:12 NLT 12 When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.
  27. 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT)  I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters,[a] by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
  28. Zechariah 7:9-10 (NLT) “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.
  29. Ephesians 5:18-21 (NLT) 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  30. Galatians 6:10 (NLT)10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
  31. Romans 12:16 (NLT) Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Who am I?

on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Posted in Devotionals

30 day discovery

30 day


For the month of June, I’m trying a new idea. Listed below are 30 identity Scriptures, one for each day. Prayerfully read the statement for the day. Write it in your journal and then reflect on what it means to you. A dragonfly woman is confident in her identity in Jesus. Thank God for your identity! If you would like this is a document email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for a copy!

  1. John 1:12 (NLT) But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
  2. John 15:15 (NLT) I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
  3. Romans 5:1 (NLT) Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
  4. 1 Corinthians 6:17 (NLT) But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
  5. Ephesians 2:18 (NLT) Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
  6. Colossians 1:13-14 (NLT) For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
  7. Colossians 2:9-10 (NLT) For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.


  1. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
  2. 1 Corinthians 12:27(NLT) All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
  3. Romans 8:33 (NLT) Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.
  4. Ephesians 1:5 (NLT) God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
  5. Colossians 3:3 (NLT) For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
  6. Philippians 1:6 (NLT) And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
  7. Philippians 3:20 (NLT) But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
  8. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
  9. Romans 8:1 (NLT) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
  10. Romans 8:38 (NLT) And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
  11. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NLT) It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22 and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
  12. John 15:5 (NLT) “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
  13. John 15:16 (NLT) You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
  14. Acts 1:8 (NLT) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  15. 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT) Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
  16. Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
  17. 1 John 5:18 (NLT) We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.


  1. Matthew 5:13-14 (NLT) “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NLT) And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
  3. Ephesians 2:6 (NLT) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
  4. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
  5. Ephesians 3:12 (NLT) Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
  6. 2 Corinthians 6:1 (NLT) As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.



Why do we do CRAZY things for God?

on Friday, 30 December 2016. Posted in Devotionals

Compelled in 2017

2017 word

Why do we do things for God? Why do we do CRAZY things for God? We move way out of our comfort zone, past our personal limits, into what we feel is brave. WHY???

Sometimes we are dangling out there and wonder: did I hear right? What if he said left but I heard right? What if it was that way but I think it was this way? What if I’m wrong? What if I look like a fool? What if I step out and nothing happens? No one is helped. No one sees Jesus. No one new comes to call Him friend? What if?

I’ve been there. I don’t want that to happen. I pull back. I protect myself. I put me first.

True, those who know Jesus know His voice. Jesus himself told us that in the book of John. But I’m imperfect, flawed. My ears are clogged by the din of societal pressures. How do I know?

Who do I think I am? Too full of myself, too judgmental of others. Oh how I need grace and in turn how I need to overflow with graciousness! Jesus what should I do?

Mark 1:12 tells us that “The Spirit compelled Jesus to go to the wilderness.” He went. Jesus moved to the wilderness even though He knew it meant traveling across a pathless, empty wasteland. He traversed the uncultivated and inhospitable landscape for one reason. He was compelled by the Spirit.

We are to follow Jesus’ example. Compelled means a force or pressure. His Holy Spirit lives in us.  He creates an internal pressure that urges us to move. Do we fight it or live it?

compelled continuum

Each of us are within a continuum between compulsion and complacency. If we don’t yield to the Spirit, we stagnate. We miss the quiet urges of the Sprit and we sink into a complacent quagmire.  

The more room He gets, the more compelled we become. I’d rather step out in faith and fall flat on my face then to sit paralyzed by indecision. You too? Then pray this prayer with me and MOVE.

compelled HOly Spirit

Take my hand, Jesus. Lead on. I don’t trust myself to make the right move but I trust you. Correct me when I misstep. Give me courage to overcome my fear. Help me to say no to busyness that distracts me from your desires for me. Encourage me when discouragement overwhelms. Empower me when fatigue creeps in around the edges. I will answer when compelled. Lead on Lord, lead on. AMEN

Be God's Champion Even When You Want to Hide

on Sunday, 01 November 2015. Posted in Devotionals


I love Gideon because I can relate to his story found in Judges 6-8. God told Gideon he was a "valiant warrior." Gideon rung his hands and said, "Are you sure, God? I don't feel like one."

I am both comforted and challenged by this conversation between God and Gideon, because it looks a lot like what happens in my life.

When God approached Gideon He was hiding—Judges 6:11.
When God identified him as a warrior, he questioned God—Judges 6:13.
Gideon said he wasn't gifted—Judges 6:15.
Gideon asked for proof—Judges 6:17.
Gideon was afraid—Judges 6:22.
After a struggle with doubt, he was obedient but in the dark. He stayed hidden—Judges 6:27.
Gideon again questioned God and asked for a sign—Judges 6:38-39.

I love God's patience with Gideon. He continued to instruct and wait for Gideon to get it. Long story short—Gideon became the warrior as God declared. He found the courage necessary through his faith. He no longer had to test the instructions he received, he just followed them. God had shown himself faithful to Gideon, and in turn Gideon was faithful to God.

I am comforted God allows us to see this example. It helps me recognize that insecurity is a universal human challenge. I'm not the only one, and neither are you! But it also reminds me we need to overcome it. Gideon learned to trust God, the one who produces victory.

When we lack confidence in ourselves we need to remember it is God who provides our success, not us. Our confidence needs to be rooted in God's power and God's strength. He will complete His work.

Be courageous, valiant warriors, even when afraid. It's totally okay to seek encouragement as Gideon did. But we must step out and do it! The results are in God's control. Trust Him for His outcome. Push through the obstacles. Most of them are only in our minds anyway. You are God's child, with His acceptance, His rights, destined to do His work. Persevere and do the hard work. God is with you.

Blessed to be a Blessing

on Wednesday, 20 May 2015. Posted in Devotionals

Seven ways to GIVE


Thursday we are cutting old jeans up for shoes for children in Africa. As I write this, it feels a little silly. How can such a little action on our part impact the great evil of poverty? In itself, not much. If you look at the devastation all around the world it can be overwhelming. However, if we each do a little bit the cumulative effect will astound the world. Mother Teresa started by caring for the poor outside her door. In Henry Blackaby’s study Experiencing God, he encourages his readers to look where the Father is working and join Him. If we choose to live out our faith, we can influence the world for good.

What can I give?

  1. Money. This is an obvious one. Worthy organizations are in need of financial support. This allows them to further their work.
  2. Service. Give your time. Do something that helps someone else.
  3. Prayer. Pray for others who work in ministry. Prayer brings power. God’s Holy Spirit empowers us to accomplish His purposes. He moves through prayer. This is our communication tool with the creator of the Universe. Our awe-inspiring, profound, and mysterious God will move when we ask, if it is in accord with His purposes.
  4. Encouragement. Ministry work can isolate the individual. The needs of others weigh on the worker. Your encouragement whether communicated through written word or verbal acknowledgement makes a difference. Send a card, an email, a tweet, a post, a text, or give them a call. Your words may be an answer to their prayer.
  5. Priorities. Make giving a priority. Not as part of your leftovers but as an active part of each day. If you don't have enough money, give your time. No time? Give an act of kindness, a smile, or word of encouragement. Impact the world each day in a positive way. This is your choice. YOU CAN DO IT!
  6. Influence. Everyone influences someone. Coworkers, family, friends, and acquaintances are all influenced by your choices. The question is this: Are others blessed because you were part of their day? How can you impact those around you for good?
  7. Recreation. How do we spend time re-creating ourselves? What brings you joy and refreshment? Can you use it to give back to another? This is why so many walks, runs, and bike-a-thons are popular. People sew for others, cook for others, write for others, garden for others and the list goes on and on. Spread your recreational joy by doing it for and with others.

This is not a naïve principle. It is Biblical. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:2 (NIV) "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Jesus made us part of that nation. We are blessed to be a blessing. He amplified this in Luke 12:48 b (NLT) “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” How will you give to another today?

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