The Current DVD Review/Giveaway! CLOSED

The current

 Here’s another Christian movie review coming to you thanks to Family Christian!

I’ve talked before about how difficult it can be to find good family movies these days. But I’m so thankful that more and more Christian movies are finally popping up. Not just films with generally good messages and life lessons, either. Films with the message of God’s love are finally hitting the scene. Woohoo!

My husband and I got the opportunity to watch the movie The Current. I was a little concerned with the acting in it at first, but once I looked past that I enjoyed it. The Current is a sorta coming-of-age story that digs into the big question that so many ask, why do bad things happen to good people? It’s about a boy who moves with his family to live on a campground and meets a friend who forever changes his life. There’s a bunch more to it, but I wouldn’t want to give it away.

I found myself both laughing and shedding a tiny tear at this film. And it totally made me want to go camping. Ok, like a teeny tiny bit. Ok, not really much at all. Bugs, ew.

My girls are a little young to understand this one, but if they were older I’d have no problems with them watching this. It had a great message! SO, you want to win a copy of this DVD for yourself?!

The Current DVD Giveaway

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This giveaway will end on Tuesday, October 21st at 8:59pm CT. The winner will then be chosen at random by And The Winner Is wordpress plugin. I will contact the winner on October 22nd and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them in 24 hours, I will name a new winner. This giveaway is open to those in the US only. 

I received a copy of The Current for the purpose of review by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

The Dove Awards 2014- TONIGHT

Dove Awards

 I had the privilege of attending the 2014 Dove Awards in Nashville, TN  this past week. It was beyond what I expected. Many of my favorites were there and some that I heard for the first time. All of which were amazing! The feeling in that arena was filled with the Holy Spirit. It was anointed no doubt. And love for Jesus was felt with each award given and each performance. 

Kari Jobe

 One of my absolute favorite worshipers performed and I was just beside myself. Kari Jobe sang Forever. Oh. My. Goodness. So glad I got to be there to hear it live. I love how her love for The Lord shines when she sings.


 The Newsboys opened the show with Michael Tait high above the crowd on a platform. He slowly came down and they rocked the house!

King and Country

 The night ended with an amazing performance by For King & Country. 

There is so much more here that I couldn’t possibly share. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) won Worship Song Of The Year which I totally predicted. Ahem, yep. But I won’t give any more of them away. You’ll have to watch them for yourselves!

On TBN TONIGHT October 12th at 7PM PT/9PM CT! I know it’s late for us central timers, but it’s worth it. Bart Millard and Lecrae were hilarious. They really were and they alone are worth watching it for. 

It was honestly more than I expected. I’m so blessed to have been able to go thanks to Family Christian!

5 Things I Want My Daughter To Know About Her Body

Five Things About Body

1. It’s not about looks.

You are not defined by wearing all of the hottest trends, having the cutest hairstyle, or sporting the latest popular shoes. You are not defined by your outer self. God wants you to shine from the inside by sharing your heart! God says it’s what’s on the inside that counts. People will try to tell you that it’s important to stand out by making yourself unique, when they are only making themselves more like each other. A gentle and quiet spirit speaks volumes over striving for acceptable outward appearances any day.

Your body is simply a vessel carrying the more important spirit inside.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. – 1 Peter 3:3-4

The world focuses on appearance; hair, make-up, clothes, skin tone, the entire body. They will nit-pick it to the very core. And yet, God looks past those things and straight to your heart. He knows who you really are despite what others may think. And even despite what you may think even about yourself.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Your value is completely unrelated to appearance. Period.

2. It’s a temple.

After accepting Jesus Christ, your body is where the Holy Spirit lives. He wants you to take good care of His temple. This means eating healthy, getting proper exercise and rest, and abstaining from physical sin. 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Our bodies are already God’s, but offering them fully over to Him as a sacrifice is the ultimate worship to our Creator.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:1-2

3. It’s made just like God’s.

You weren’t made to be just like Selena Gomez or Madonna. You were made in the very image of our amazing Creator. You are so important that God made you with Himself in mind. That’s a pretty awesome blessing! He gave you similar characteristics and the ability to reflect His greatness. You aren’t called to absorb the world’s influences and then reflect that. Your body is a vessel for showing the world God’s character. 

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground. – Genesis 1: 26-27

4. It’s perfect the way it is.

You were made so perfectly precise the way you are. He put more thought than you can ever imagine into every detail of your body. He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head. Praise God for making you so uniquely you!

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:14

Comparison can be a terrible thing when it comes to accepting yourself. The images on TV, in magazines, and all over the internet are nothing but visual representations of physical appearance. They try to set a standard for you that this world wants you to live by. Do NOT fall for this false idea of who you need to be. God made you exactly how He wanted you to be. There is no need to try to be anyone else.

You will always be beautiful to God. He knows and loves you more than anyone else. After all, he DIED for YOU!

5. God cares about your body.

We’ve recognized that the most important part of our being is what is inside, yet we are also called to take good physical care of our bodies. Not because of looks, but because we have to be healthy to carry out the work on earth that God has called us to. It’s obvious that physical fitness is of some importance to God to be mentioned in the scriptures. He wants us to keep our body healthy both physically and spiritually.

Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8

He wants you to enjoy things that you can put into your body, yet…

Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. – Ecclesiastes 3:13

Everything in moderation. 

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  – Philippians 4:5

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Our bodies belong to God and they were made for a purpose: to worship Him.

 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1

And I finally I want to pray this prayer from Ephesians over my girls so that they understand God’s love and how powerful that it truly is. Pray this over your daughters too!

 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21

2014 Dove Awards, I’m There!


 I have some news that I have been dying to share with you and well, basically I am STOKED. That word doesn’t really do my excitement justice. How about thrilled, exhilarated, enthusiastic, or eager? Ok well if you added all those words together then you’d just about understand my excited about this announcement. 

Family Christian is sponsoring me to attend the 2014 Dove Awards! Woo to the hoo!  This is so huge and I am beyond blessed to get this opportunity. I keep pinching myself. I LOVE Christian music and so many of the artists in the industry so to get the chance to see some of them perform, be nominated, or win awards is like a dream come true. Eeeeeep I’m so excited just thinking about it!

This years GMA Dove Awards are being hosted by Bart Millard of MercyMe and Lecrae viagra inde acheter. I am looking forward to performances by:

Kari Jobe
Natalie Grant
Ellie Holcomb
for King & Country

And there are  TON more. Not to mention that I’m excited to see the following presenters:

Amy Grant
Danny Gokey
JD from Hillsong United
Colton Dixon
Sandi Patty

And hello, there are some incredible nominees, too. And I won’t even go there because there are so many. 

So here is some info for YOU. You can follow the Dove Awards for info and happenings here:

Facebook –
Twitter – @GMADoveAwards
Instagram – @gospelmusicassoc
YouTube –
Hashtag – ‪#‎DoveAwards‬
Pinterest –

But don’t you worry, I will be socializing via my outlets during the whole thing so don’t forget to follow ME!

Instagram- @amyedmiston

I actually have more than this, they are just for Pennywise Cook. It may be time to work on this a little, ya think? These two look so sad.

You can STILL get tickets if you want to go! Grab a ticket here and join me. You just can’t tell anyone about my screaming like a teenage girl when the Newsboys perform. 😉

Thank you SO much to Family Christian for sponsoring me. Beyond blessed is the only way I can describe this. Stay tuned for updates, photos, and news!

Max Lucado’s Before Amen

Before Amen

We’ve been going through a series at our church the past couple of Sundays about prayer. It has been such an eye opener. Prayer is such an important part of our walk with Jesus. It’s something that I struggle with, if we’re being honest. I worry if I’m doing it right.

Am I saying the right words? Am I praising His name enough? Asking the right questions. Declaring the right promises.

Yada yada, the list goes on. I think too much. My prayers may become more centered around saying it right than the actual reason for praying. Human nature. It can be so superficial sometimes!

Last year I started reading a Max Lucado book during some really tough times in my life. His words really spoke to me. I adore his writing because I can understand it and it’s not boring. Sound silly, but that’s the kinda book that keeps my attention. I loved his writing so much that I read 11 of his books in about a month’s time. Craziness. I know.

Max Lucado has a new book coming out called Before Amen. It’s written about the simple, yet complex topic of prayer. I am so excited to dig into it and get his perspective. It comes out TOMORROW, September 30th and you can order it over at Family Christian. His books always make great gifts because of the blessings that they bring. I know they have for me.

This post was written by me on behalf of Family Christian. All opinions are 100% mine.

God’s Grace Period


The hubby and I sat down the other night to pay a few bills. Try to contain your jealousy of our wild Tuesday night rendezvous. It was just about as awesome as it sounds. We will work on simmering down over here.

I was telling hubby the amount and due date of a certain bill when I came across a disclaimer underneath the total:

There is a 7-day grace period after which all balances will be considered late.

My first thought was why would anyone waste their time paying their bill on the actual due date when you have 7 whole days before it’s considered late? 

And then it occurred to me that my bill used the principle of grace. I hear about grace all the time at church, in my music, and in the Bible, but never on a bill. I don’t normally associate business and God both using equal principles, but I could just tell that God wanted me to make this connection that day.

I was caught off guard to be honest. Bills are annoying. I mean. I get tired of forking over money each and every month. But I sorta got this weird sense of peace when I read that part about grace. (I’ve read it before, but you know how God likes to bust out a BAM moment when you least expect it. It’s like reading the Bible more than once and noticing a verse that you never noticed before. It almost jumps out at you)

I started thinking about the grace that God, Himself gives to us. It’s all for absolutely nothing. We aren’t even paying Him monthly! In fact, the very definition of grace is the free and unmerited favor of God.

Just wow.

Favor and blessings given directly to us from the King of Kings who reigns over ALL. No strings attached. It’s just His character. What a mighty God that He is to shower us with favor. Our bill with Him is paid. His son Jesus paid our debt and essentially every single late fee we could ever incur. 

For His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. – John 1:16

We are given blessings instead of curses. Love instead of hate. Reward instead of punishment. Strength instead of weakness. Life instead of death.

And that grace period? Yeah, it’s eternal. Never-ending. Never-failing. Forever ours with no late fee.

Getting Back To Normal…

Unsplash / Pixabay

The following is a guest post written by one of my very closest friends, Amanda Bell.

The past two weeks have been some of the most devastating weeks of my life. On Labor Day, 2014, I helped one of my closest friends give her husband a tattoo he’d been wanting for years on his right wrist, with a sharpie marker. My friend and I tucked her into bed next to him, wrapped his arm around her, and left them alone together. Less than five minutes later the Lord took him home.

Five days prior to that day, Jayson had surgery to remove a brain tumor. He had the very same surgery four years ago when they unexpectedly discovered a tumor. Four years ago surgery went well, the tumor was benign, and life went on. In July of this year an MRI discovered the tumor had returned. On Wednesday, August 27th, surgery went well. There were a few small pieces of the tumor they were unable to get out, but it was considered a successful surgery. Jay was eating, talking, laughing, and walking by that night. He even felt well enough for a visit from his six year old daughter the next day. Then things began to change. He became violently ill and was in unbearable pain. The next day they discovered that he was having some abnormal bleeding and swelling in his brain. They also got the devastating news that this tumor was cancerous, and aggressive. And within hours he was hit by a seizure so violent that is stopped his heart twice and he had to be put in a medically induced coma. For the next three days we slowly watched our friend slip away. And then he was gone.

The following days were a blur. Planning for Jay’s service, getting pictures and belongings together, financial planning, appointment scheduling, and trying to comfort Kelly and the girls the best we knew how. Kelly never ceased to amaze me with her strength and faith. Even in the depths of unimaginable pain, she has walked with strength and grace. She praised God in a darkness I can’t imagine, and through watching her I’ve been able to witness what true faith looks like.

I wasn’t always so strong, and I wasn’t always so Christ-like. I had some moments of ridiculous peace that were clearly from the Holy Spirit, but I’ve also had despair, immense sadness, and extreme anger. One afternoon while I was getting ready for Jay’s service, a well-meaning friend stopped me to offer condolences. He had seen the events of the past few days on Facebook. With good intentions, he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t worry, things will get back to normal in a few days’. I bit my lip, forced a smile, and walked away. But the words rang in my ears. ‘Back to normal in a few days’. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe, and like throwing up. The conversation was short, but the words have been on repeat in my mind for days.

Because he had inadvertently vocalized my worst fears – the exact opposite of the harsh reality we face. Things will never get back to normal, this side of heaven. There will be a new and different normal, some day, but normal will never look like it did. There’s no normal when a wife doesn’t have her husband, and two girls don’t have their daddy. Sure, the chaos of planning a memorial service will subside, but once the busyness subsides, real life sets in, and there’s nothing normal or okay about real life at the moment.

All week long I’ve milled this over. Even though it broke my heart, I knew what my friend meant. I’m sure it was something along the lines of ‘things will calm down and it won’t be so hectic’, or something, and I’m sure his intentions were not to be insensitive. But I can’t move past it. Those words hold a dangerous warning.

Because the truth is, for the rest of us, we could potentially get back to some sort of normal. We could go on with life, missing Jay when we allow ourselves to think about it, and thinking what a shame it is that Kelly is now a widow at age 32, and that a 6 and 2-year-old little girl don’t have a daddy. We could tell ourselves that there isn’t anything we can do for our friend, and that we don’t want to overstep our boundaries, so we will give her some space while she grieves and maybe send an occasional text to let her know we are praying for her.

But for our friend, there is no normal. Her partner of the last fourteen years made it to Heaven before her. And while she rejoices for him, she is faced with the reality of raising two girls on one income as a single mom. While she struggles through her own grief she has to parent her daughters through theirs. There’s nothing normal about that.

So after soul searching and ugly crying and seeking Jesus for days, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t ever want to get ‘back to normal’. Please God don’t let me ever get back to a normal where I take the people who are most dear to me for granted. I want a new normal.

I don’t want to waste time being irritated with my husband over things that don’t matter. I’m going to make it right. Now.

I don’t want to rush bedtimes with my babies. I’m going to soak in every second.

I don’t want to waste time on social media. I’m going to get face to face with those who matter most.

I don’t want to let insecurity hold me back. I’m going to embrace life fully.

I don’t want fear of awkwardness to stop me from sharing the Gospel of Jesus with people who are desperate to hear it. I’m going to be brave.

I don’t want to worry more about what people think of me than what the Lord thinks of me. I’m going to believe truth.

I don’t want to hide away because I’m afraid of what someone might say. I’m going to reach out, and be bold.

I don’t want to live in maybe, someday, or what if. I’m going to start today.

My friend, Jayson, lived his life for the glory of the Lord. He loved big, smiled bigger, and changed people’s lives. He impacted more people and won more souls to Christ in his 32 years on earth than some people do in 90. For the honor of my friend, and for the sake of the gospel, I pray things never get back to normal. I’m ready to embrace the new normal. And it starts now.

When His Plan Is Different Than Ours

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago when I was having trouble dealing with some things that didn’t go the way I wanted them to go. Since I wrote this, a very dear friend of ours passed away. Him leaving this earth so early was not in anyone’s plan. It certainly was not in his precious wife and daughters’ plan. I could not have known this was going to happen and I find it so amazing that God put these words on my heart that day for such a time as this. Dear God, we know that you have reasons for things that are beyond our comprehension. Your foolishness is wiser than any human wisdom and your weakness is stronger than our human strength. Thank you for your peace, your joy in the midst of pain, and for surrounding those in need with comfort and love.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. – Roman 8:28

I slowly opened my sleep-filled eyes. I felt fully rested and I wondered how long until my alarm would blare its obnoxious tune at me. I decided to take a gander at the clock. Seven o’clock am on the dot. Wait. Seven o’clock? I get up at Six fifteen! NOOOOO! The bus had gone by five minutes ago, but I could still get my daughter to the school on time if I hurried.

Trying not to kick it into freak-out mode, I woke up my younger daughter who I’m pretty sure was in deep REM sleep because she wouldn’t move a muscle for the first five minutes of my attempts. I threw on my flip-flops (still in my pjs mind you), grabbed a couple of twinkies (for breakfast? yes, I’m a horrible mother), and loaded everyone up and headed for school. Not a single person’s hair in that car was brushed, let alone their teeth. Two of us were still in our pjs, breakfast was less than nutritional, and all of us were half asleep, but by golly my daughter was going to make it to school on time!

I couldn’t help but think that this is the way that my life always seems to go. I can make a perfectly laid out meal plan that we won’t stick to. We have a budget and then our van needs a major repair that wasn’t in said budget. I can make cornbread, but forget the baking powder and it’s now a corn cookie. 

We all have our plans don’t we? It surprises us when things happen differently than we planned. I planned for that alarm to go off and make sure that we were all ready for school. I was extremely surprised to wake up much later than I should have.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Sometimes the best thing we can do is give our plans to the Lord and trust that they will turn out the way He intends.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will. – Psalm 37:5

In the end, God’s Will reigns supreme. He is in control even when we lose that control. It’s hard. It’s messy. Sometimes we white knuckle those plans in our fleshly attempts to regain the control from God. Learning to turn them over in the beginning makes dealing with the outcome so much easier. #preachingtomyself

Whatever we face, even in the change, we can take comfort knowing that our loving and sovereign God has the ultimate plan. And sometimes it may involve your cornbread being a rock-hard cookie instead.

Five Things A Daughter Needs From Her Father

A Daughter

 This one is for all the fathers out there. It seems as though there is a lot of emphasis on the role of a mother in a family. But today I really want to focus on fathers. Specifically, a relationship between a father and his daughter. A father has an impact on his daughter’s life the way a mother cannot.

This planet is such a influencing place. A strong male role model is so important in a daughter’s life. From birth all the way into adulthood, women are essentially shaped by the relationships they have with our fathers. Without a father’s influence, a girl will look to the world to find her identity and reassurance for herself and this can leave permanent effect on her life. Her behavior, self-esteem, emotional stability, and mental health can all depend heavily on the love from her father.

The Bible paints a clear picture of how important a daddy’s love is with how we are loved by God himself. God sent Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice for His children. I can’t think of a bigger gesture of a father’s love than that. And we are to live as close to his example as we can.

While a mother certainly has her place in a daughter’s life, nothing can compare with a father’s love. It’s never too late to put these things things into practice. 

1. Love Her Mother

One of the biggest things a father can give is an example of love towards his wife. Daughters watch these things and learn from them. She watches for the way he expresses his love for his wife. Spoken words, gestures, tones, affection, respect. Theses are all ways that she learns what a loving relationship looks like. They become the example she goes by when looking for a husband later in life. Believe it or not, this will also shape the way sees intimacy when she is married.

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. – Rev. Theodore Hesburgh

If there is a divorce involved, the best thing a dad can do for his daughter is to be respectful towards his ex-wife. There is nothing worse for a girl to hear, than negative comments about her mother. Respect is key.

2. Presence

A daughter needs her father to be involved in her life. Not just when she is young, but also as a teenager and even an adult. Simple conversations with her and interest in activities. These are opportunities to really dig in deep to help out with her physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Isn’t that sneaky? She may never know that this time invested is shaping the way she perceives herself and the world, but it will make a HUGE difference in her life.

Daddy-daughter dates are great ways to catch up with each other. Find out what’s going on in her life and be intentional in creating a firm relationship. Take this time to go out and have fun making memories. Teach her to ride a bike. Let her paint your nails! Ok come on, let go of your manly pride for 10 minutes so your princess can paint your nails. Take her for driving lessons when she gets her permit. 

And most importantly, show up to all of her firsts and big events. It will mean the world to her that you are there to support her. From the first day of kindergarten to her wedding day and every little-big thing in between, share in the excitement of things she will remember forever. Cherish every moment.

3. Verbal Affirmation

Daughters naturally want the approval of their father. Not necessarily the “you are the most amazing and gorgeous daughter that ever walked the earth” kind of approval, but genuine and simple words that remind them that they are loved. They want to know that they matter. That they are accepted no matter what. That they are enough just the way they are.

Daughters need their fathers to tell them that they are valued even when the world may not. Simple encouragements like “you are so creative!”and “I’m proud of you” go a long way to boost a girl’s self-esteem. Each positive affirmation a stepping stone that leads to confidence and good self-esteem. It will become what she believes about herself.

A father’s love will make a big difference by what he says and doesn’t say.

4. Know She Is Beautiful

This is a HUGE part of building confidence and self-esteem. A daughter needs to know that she is beautiful in her daddy’s eyes. Beauty is not just skin deep. Girls need to know that they are beautiful inside too. The world likes to define beauty as a certain body type, hair color, etc. Fathers help to make sure that those things DO NOT define her beauty. This is so essential in the development of a healthy body-image.

Most importantly, tell her that she is perfect just the way that she is. Let her know that God made her perfectly.

I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are your works,
And that my soul knows very well. – Psalm 139:14

Compliment her smile. Verbalize that she is beautiful. She needs to hear this from her father.

5. Protection

A father’s protection is so crucial in all stages of life. In the beginning there’s bad dreams, stranger danger, and bullies. Later on, that protection is needed for her heart and emotional needs, too. Whether girls realize it at the time or not, they are depending on their father to help them develop morals and value themselves. Fathers protect their daughter’s value by showing them how special they are. Know who she is spending time with. Be there when she needs you to listen. Point her in the right direction when she is having trouble on her path. 

Daughters need their fathers to cover them in prayer. In the trials she will go through she needs a strong spiritual leader to lead her to Jesus and pray over her. The enemy is afraid of the powerful prayer of a father for his daughter. What a great time of teaching and example this will be for her to learn how to pray.

The Minister Mom

giografiche / Pixabay

The following is a guest post written by my dear friend, Amy Ford. 

Have you ever found yourself doing nothing you always thought you would do?

You know, that list you made in your freshman year of college with all the things you’d accomplish by twenty-five, by thirty: the charming husband, the master’s degree, the Mediterranean cruise, the book, the baby, the office, the perfect dress size? Have you ever looked at that list which so succinctly quantified success in your eyes and felt like a deflated balloon?

Have you ever found yourself doing everything you never thought you would do?

This is the other list: the mental one. It is full of the judgments and vows we put on ourselves when observing the rest of the world. “I’ll never be that kind of wife/mother/employee/woman.” “I could never live that life.” “I cannot take that kind of risk.”

Whoever first vocalized the adage, “The surest way to make God laugh is to tell Him what you’re going to do (or what you’re not going to do),” was, quite possibly, the wisest person ever.

Okay, I do like to exaggerate, but grant me some poetic license.

This proverb, dear readers, is the story of my adult life. And there are days, honestly, when I look at my life and wonder what my role is and what I am supposed to be doing. Am I doing everything the Lord wants? How do I advance the Kingdom when life and motherhood leave me in survival mode? Behind the endless cracker crumbs and diaper changes and recitations of Pat the Bunny, did I lose the person I thought I was?

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9, NIV

In the swirl, I do not feel chosen, nor royal, holy, or even special. But I do know that I have been called out of darkness into wonderful light, and for that, I have a purpose: to declare the praises of him who called me.

In a worship meeting, as this verse marched through my mind, I remembered the priests of my childhood Catholic church walking down the aisle, like a bride, carrying a silver pot of incense, swinging from a chain. The fragrance permeated the sanctuary. Even if you could not see the priest, you could smell the incense.

We are a priesthood, you and I. Not just your pastor or your husband – you. And if we claim no other calling, we must embrace this one. A priest tends the flame. A priest keeps the fragrance burning. A priest welcomes the presence of the Lord. In fact, he (or she) never leaves His presence.

In my upside-down  place of wondering where I fit in, what I should be doing, I, we, must find our place as priests first. My children should see me tending the fire on the altar of praise between the simple walls of my home. My neighbors should sense the sweet perfume as they pass us walking the dog. In my church, in my community, across oceans, and wherever God calls me, I find rest for my soul in my job as priest, and I pray the incense of my life permeates the places I tread, drawing others to Him.

I find that the fragments of identity and purpose fall into place when I focus on a life of praise. I pray that we all embrace this, our calling.  If  we can do nothing else for God, this is our sufficient destiny! We are chosen ones, holy ones, keepers of the flame and carriers of the Divine presence. We are lifters of praises.

Amy is a writer, Christ-follower, wife, mother, and recovering middle school English teacher. She lives just south of her native Nashville with her husband of eleven years and her two gorgeous and brilliant children (she also wrote this profile herself, in case you couldn’t tell).

Amy has a passion for youth ministry, the arts, and teaching. She looks for the good, noble, lovely, and true in everything — for that is where God’s imprint is found.

Read more from Amy at her personal blog, Epiphany.