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Unplanned for Us, Planned by God

Unplanned for Us, Planned by God

“…God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is...

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To Our Monthly Donors: Thank You

To Our Monthly Donors: Thank You

My heart is full of thankfulness today. As the financial assistant at Bridgehaven, part of my job is to process all of the monetary gifts that we receive to support our ministry. As I do this, I encounter many names (maybe yours!) that are very familiar to...

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100 Ways

100 Ways

A couple days ago during our staff prayer time here at Bridgehaven, one of our staff members handed out a blank list to all of us with the title, “Ways I have seen God work”. The list had 100 different lines numbered on it, and we were challenged during...

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An Open Letter to a Birth Mother

An Open Letter to a Birth Mother

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11  You and I have never met. There’s a good chance you’re not aware that I exist. But you changed my...

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A Reason to Hope

A Reason to Hope

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! Psalm 42:11 We have so many reasons to feel hopeless. To feel deep discouragement and a sad heart. The finalization of a divorce that wasn’t wanted, a devastating diagnosis for a...

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Serenity

Serenity

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I have this prayer sitting on a card in my room, and I glance at it almost every day. Sometimes, when I glance at...

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Letting Go of the Planner

Letting Go of the Planner

Do you love new things? Do you like change? If you answered yes, we can’t be friends unless you are talking about new planners or new jeans. Not shopping for jeans, just the actual having of a great-fitting pair of jeans. Anyway, new things are scary and...

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Chasing “Normal”

It’s the time of year mothers around the country are exhaling a collective sigh of relief. Summer is over and school is back in session. We are getting back into the swing of things with our schedules and disciplines. As we strive for a feeling normalcy,...

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Facing the Impossible

Facing the Impossible

Sometimes, we face seemingly impossible situations. We come face to face with something we didn’t plan for, we didn’t necessarily desire, or didn’t feel like we could handle. At times, our mind and heart take us through every emotion, and other times, we...

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Radical Love

Radical Love

September 1, 2018. A day in my heart that symbolizes a harvest of love. The sealing ceremony of covenant between my brother and his bride. The celebrative and hope-filled agreement and future between two families. Can you not discern this new day of...

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The Miracle of Shutting Up

The Miracle of Shutting Up

“Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.” – Andrew Stanton So much of my job is spent in a state of utter helplessness, because so much of my job is spent in conversation with people.  People are difficult....

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Adjust Your Sails

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails. I was always the crew. I’ve been the crew since I was about 5 or so years old and my Grandpa Rudy put me in a sailboat with Andi, my 7-year-old cousin. My illustrious sailing career started the moment...

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Tuesday morning. I was not expecting the news, the result of weeks of praying and searching. I was not expecting the deep sadness that followed. Mollie Tibbetts, the third beautiful life lost in our state in such a short time. Sadie Alvarado, Jake Wilson,...

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Navigating Difficult Conversation

Navigating Difficult Conversation

A couple weeks ago, the leadership team from Bridgehaven attended a simulcast of the Global Leadership Summit. We heard from some amazing speakers and leaders in our world today. The topics were thought-provoking and even convicting on a personal level....

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Finding Contentment

Finding Contentment

Imagine with me. You see a little girl, possibly just six years old. She has long, blonde hair pulled into tight ringlets. She’s wearing a little dress that has just the right amount of poofiness, with a pair of white pumps, perfect for going to church....

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Dance Before the Lord

Dance Before the Lord

Dance like no one is watching (even though the whole world is watching via Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat…) This is Havi. She is barely two. She has no idea that she has just danced before the world. No inhibitions. Just the admiration of her parents, a...

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Think About These Things

Think About These Things

Some mornings for me are harder than others. Some mornings, or should I say very few mornings, I wake up feeling energized and ready. But most times I argue with God about getting out of bed, and He lovingly reminds me of His mercy and the new things He...

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Being Stretched

Being Stretched

As I was growing up, I always dreamed of being a teacher. Just like my mom. I saw and heard stories of how she impacted people’s lives every day, how she inspired youth, and how she was filled to the brim with passion for seeing others succeed. I thought,...

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I’m Not Enough (And Neither Are You)

I’m Not Enough (And Neither Are You)

A couple weeks ago, my little girl walked up to a mannequin in the men’s department at Younkers, threw her arms around its legs, and smiled up at me. “Look! It’s my daddy! Is it my daddy?” she asked. I froze. My heart shriveled in fear as I stood looking...

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God is a Baseball Guy

God is a Baseball Guy

If your summer is anything like mine, the tops of your legs are sunburned and you probably should have invested in stock for Fels-Naptha. For those of you who do not know what in the world I am talking about, you are most likely not a baseball mom....

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A Father’s Heart

A Father’s Heart

I highly doubt my husband and I are going to be awarded medals any time soon for our efforts in parenting. In fact, we are constantly learning what not to do and reflecting upon how we handled things and how we might “do better next time.” Yet, there are...

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The Picture On My Wall

The Picture On My Wall

Yesterday morning in our staff prayer time at Bridgehaven, Rachel Pheasant, our Marketing Coordinator, shared a very touching and convicting blog she wrote a few years back about an experience she had during a trip to Rwanda. It sparked great conversation...

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Brave Parenting

Brave Parenting

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” – 1 Corinthians 14:33 We recently held our first Empowerment Event in Client Support for all Earn While You Learn (EWYL) clients. “Brave Parenting: love them enough to do the hard things” was the topic and...

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The Battle for “Those Young People”

The Battle for “Those Young People”

Every few years this very old, very dear book, It’s Me, O Lord , wanders off my bookshelf and drops into my hands,  usually at a time when I need to be reminded not to take myself too seriously.  In one of her poems, “Too Old to Run,”  author Anne...

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Be Strong and Courageous

Be Strong and Courageous

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:9 We did it.  We planned, prepared and executed another annual gala.  But somehow, it was different.  It had a new...

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The Master Gardener

The Master Gardener

Man. Don’t we all just get caught up from time to time in plans we create in our minds? Plans we create because we don’t think something is moving fast enough. We want it to look a certain way. We think it will give us a greater sense of peace. Or when we...

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Joyful Honor

"So joyfully welcome him in the Lord and make sure you honor such people highly." -Philippians 2:29 Honor: admire, give special recognition, hold in high esteem, respect, privilege, fulfill or keep in agreement. Joy: a feeling of great happiness or...

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I Choose Joy

I Choose Joy

I know something about you.  Yes, you. Regardless of your marital status, age, ethnicity, gender, income, beliefs, height, or weight– I can tell you with certainty we have something big in common.  We both want to be happy. I know this because it is a...

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He Equips the Called

He Equips the Called

“The Lord doesn’t call the equipped – He equips the called.” Jacob was a liar, David was a murderer, Elijah was suicidal, Rahab was a prostitute, and Peter denied Christ. Despite their failures, wrongdoings, and flaws, they all aided God in different ways....

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Push Back with Hope

Push Back with Hope

I consider myself a glass-half-full kind of gal. But I will tell ya’, there are things of this world that really get me down or bring me to a dark place of discouragement and hopelessness. As I write this, I am attending the MLK50 Conference streaming live...

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Have Mercy On Me

Have Mercy On Me

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” (Matthew 26:15) For the times I handed You over, Lord, for popularity and acceptance, have mercy on me. For the times I handed You over, Lord, for comfort and ease, have mercy on me. For the...

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Come to the Table

Come to the Table

Easter is such an amazing and anointed time to testify the goodness and consuming love of Jesus, the victory of the cross, the gift of forgiveness, the tearing of the veil, and friendship accessibility we have with our Redeemer! May we make and take...

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Peer-to-Peer Mentors: Where Are They Now?

…That time when I took eight high school students to Washington, D.C. for a week to lobby for sexual health education on Capitol Hill! This little gem popped up on my Facebook memories feed and brought back some great memories.  In 2009, I was privileged...

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Pants

I called her Pants.  She called herself Cool Aunt Nancy.  Others called her sister, friend and mom.  She was a wife and a grandma.  She was one of the most awesome people I have ever met, and I was so blessed to have her in my life.  As she was leaving...

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What Your Wilderness?

What Your Wilderness?

As the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness in the book of Exodus, there’s this constant cycle and theme of God’s provision, a restlessness from the Israelites leading to grumbling, fear, and self-reliance. God hears their grumbling and again...

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Learning to be Vulnerable

Learning to be Vulnerable

“Every time we are introduced to someone new, try to be creative or start a difficult conversation, we take a risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings – we strive to appear perfect…when we shut...

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Focus: Church Engagement and Kingdom Building

Focus: Church Engagement and Kingdom Building

At the 2015 Care Net conference, Roland Warren, President of Care Net, shared with us and other pregnancy support centers from around the country that God had given him a vision. That vision was to see pregnancy support centers re-evaluate and incorporate...

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An Open Letter

An Open Letter

To the girl facing an unplanned pregnancy: The last thing I wanted was to be pregnant. As I sat in the counseling room at Bridgehaven, I had no idea what was in store for my future. All I knew was I was alone. The father of my baby was not involved, I was...

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He Knows My Name

He Knows My Name

To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3. Over the holidays, we were delighted to spend some time in Indianapolis with five of our six grandchildren. This year, my husband,...

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