I'm Not Enough

About fifteen years ago, Brandon and I were volunteering as youth leaders. Our youth pastor approached me with a question, “Heather, would you take the service the week after next?” Take the service? As in preach?!?! I pretty much said, “no” right then and there. Actually, I’m sure it was probably more delicate with something along the lines of, “Oh I don’t think so.” But our youth pastor, who had been my own youth pastor, didn’t let me off the hook that easily. He instructed me to do something that I’m pretty sure he knew would change my answer—he told me to pray about it.

Well, enough said. You know what happened.

I ended up taking the service—although it was laden with disclaimers that I was just “sharing” and not “preaching.” Preaching just seemed like too big of shoes to fill.

When I think about my journey as a speaker, that moment was the starting line; the beginnings of the Lord revealing His calling to me step-by-step through each opportunity He’s provided.

While the Lord has given me a vision of the work He has for me as a speaker, I sometimes confront doubt rising up in my heart. Not doubting God, but doubting myself, doubting my ability to accomplish what He desires for me to do.

Have you ever done the same?

Here’s a few scenarios right off the top of my head that may cause you to question if you have what it takes:

  • starting a new job
  • becoming a parent—and then pretty much every day thereafter
  • leading a small group
  • starting a new business venture
  • applying for college
  • graduating from college
  • writing a book
  • starting a blog
  • planting a church

There’s countless more, and if I sat here for a bit longer I know I could fill at least a page, but for the sake of word count, we’ll move on.

I know someone else who questioned if they were enough.


God called Moses to do a work and speak to the king of Egypt. But Moses didn’t want to and made all kinds of excuses. The Lord was so patient with him and from what I read, really gave him some things to beef him up to stand before the king. You know—just a few things like a shepherd’s staff turning into and out-of a snake, and his hand instantaneously being afflicted with and then delivered from a severe skin disorder, oh and last but not least, the thing with the Nile River water turning into blood. I’m saying if that doesn’t make you feel that you’re on a guaranteed winning side, I just don’t know what will.

But honestly, I get Moses.

A few weeks ago the Lord opened a big door of opportunity to me. I accepted the invitation to speak for an event, but then afterward questioned if I was enough. I shared my doubts with Brandon and he looked at me as if I had just fallen off a pumpkin truck. The guy really says a lot with his eyes. Probably why he doesn’t need to utilize as many words as I do.

Moses, on the other hand, was not good with words. And not even these words from the Lord in Exodus 4:11-12 could change his mind, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” God was so gracious to Moses and met him where he was. He’s so awesome like that. He meets us all right where we are. If you want to read on a little further you’ll see that God allowed Moses’ bro to speak for him—Aaron was good with words, plus it’s just pretty cool to see this portrait of family coming together for a big moment in biblical history like this!

Now that I’m in the planning stages of this big event, I’m getting pretty excited, mostly because I’ve reminded myself of God’s Word right there— Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say. He’s been so faithful each and every time from all those years ago when our youth pastor said, “take the service.”

So here’s where it stands—when we doubt, it’s probably because there’s some fear somewhere in it.

You know what Brooklyn and I just discussed recently? Identifying the antidote to fear. It’s faith. Each time we are confronted with fear, we fight it with faith.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I don’t know about you, but when I think of evidence, I think of something I can see. But faith is the evidence of what we can’t see. So if you can’t see yourself, let’s say graduating from college, starting a new job, leading a ministry or maybe writing a book, but if the Lord has planted it in your heart, then you can stand firm in faith that it will be, even though nothing with your physical eyes tells you so. You walk by faith—the substance of things hoped for.

Last but not least, let’s close with this thought. Don’t feel the pressure to be enough. We were never meant to be. If we were, we wouldn’t need Jesus. When I consistently put myself out there in situations that make me question if I am enough, those situations are opportunities to remind how much I need Him.

II Corinthians 3:4-5 says, “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.”

I am enough in Him!!! And so are you!!!

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The Other Side of Failing

When my friend Sara and I were revamping the website from to we also reworked the tag line. Changing the name of the website was going to lose the emphasis placed on the “RN” in jouRNey, but it was still my hope to reflect my work as a nurse somewhere in the new tag line.

We met the goal with two words: “little doses.” It’s a subtle hint most may not even see.   But here’s the story behind it. As a NICU nurse, the amount of medication I administer to my tiny, tiny patients is quite small. Too much is harmful, but those itty-bitty doses achieve great things in their bodies.

That is what I wanted this place to be. A place where you can pop in for a few minutes and grab a little dose of something good. My heartbeat was to inject small amounts of inspiration, joy, strength and encouragement from my life moments into yours.

This last week I received more than a “little dose” from a life moment with my daughter.

Let me give a short back-story.

There was a mother and daughter who had a beautiful relationship. But then, something changed. It started with an “H” and ended with “ormones”! It was NOT pretty! This change brought out the worst, most ugly, dark sides of both the mother and daughter. If it had been a marriage, I’m most certain divorce court would have been considered, but parent/child relationships face the good, the bad and the ugly and sometimes have to just hang on for dear life.

Yes. That’s our story. That’s Brooklyn and me. I’ll share more about the season in the book I’m writing, but for now, I want to share with you one of the scriptures I stood on in those dark moments.

Galatians 6:9 NLT So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

I’m not proclaiming there won’t be any more bumps in the road, but I am sharing that when everything hit the fan, when doors were slamming, drinks were tossing, and voices yelling, I’d stand on this scripture as if on a mountain and quote it at the top of my lungs. We got tired. We were wore out. We got discouraged. We were disheartened, disappointed and dismayed at times, but—we would not give up.

“…..a harvest of blessing IF we don’t give up.”

The day the Lord so faithfully brought our baby girl into this world, He had every intention of her life being a blessing. Not just for her parents, but for herself and for Him. We weren’t giving up on that.

And what a blessing she was to me this last week. Watching Galatians 6:9 at work in her own personal life injected an incredibly special dose of inspiration, joy, strength and encouragement into my heart.

Brooklyn’s half birthday fell on Sunday, September 4th. Labor Day on Monday pushed Brooklyn back in being able to test for her driver’s permit to Tuesday. She wanted to be the first in line when they opened. We got up on Tuesday at 5am, left the house at 6am and pulled in the parking lot at 6:33am to line up for the 7am opening. Brooklyn was seventh in line.

I stood, waiting excitedly for her to complete her test knowing that she’d get her paper signed and off to the tag agency we’d go for her permit. Well, she didn’t pass.

A bit taken aback, she declared that we aren’t the type of people who quit in the face of failure and that she wanted to try again the next day. Super proud parent moment.

So. There you have it. We got up Wednesday morning, a smidge bit earlier at 4:30am, left the house at 5:30am, and we arrived an hour before opening, putting us third in line. We checked in and the agent asked Brooklyn, “Did they tell you about the skip button?” Brooklyn said, “No.” The agent informed, “If you don’t know the answer to a question, you can hit ‘skip’. If it’s a question you need it will come back around, but it may not come back at all.” Awesome!

I took a seat over by the door on the bench. Brooklyn completed the test and walked around the corner. I whispered, “How’d it go?” She shook her head. I responded quietly and compassionately, “What?”

We’re doing a parent-taught driving course, so I knew she knew the information to pass the test. We got in the car and before I could ask a question the floodgates opened. Whoa! Emotion! Hold the phone!

In borderline hysteria she proceeded to express all the inadequacies attached to that test. I was sifting through my mental rolodex of encouraging words, when she revealed, “And when I checked back in with the lady, she asked me why I didn’t skip any of the questions but I just thought I could answer them without having to!!!”

“Wait. What?” I couldn’t believe she didn’t take the lady’s advice and skip the questions. Not one!   This shifted our conversation from the topic of intellect to the issue of pride. Was she too prideful to humble herself in admitting that she possibly didn’t have all the answers to every question? Hmm.

The girl made it back before school started and I anticipated the possibility that she may just want to push it off for a few days to review. Maybe she’d want to go ahead and miss school for an afternoon testing time. Some of us just can’t think when the sun is barely up.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t surprised when I picked her up from school and she decided to go back on Thursday, for the third day in a row, before the crack of dawn to try again. Nope. I wasn’t shocked. Galatians 6:9 was at work within her. She was gonna reap a blessing cause she wasn’t gonna give up!

So up we were again, in the dark of the morning, headed in for round three reviewing the blessing of the “skip” button! In the true ironies of life, I got pulled over for doing around or about 75 in a 65. Let me tell you about grace. The Lord must have sprinkled our car with the pixie dust of His favor because that officer gave me a warning on no account of my own. Although I’m a talker, I don’t say too much when flashing lights, a uniform and handcuffs accompany the individual. What a story for Brooklyn to tell her kids one day.

Brooklyn checked in, was humble, raw and transparent with the agent and confirmed what she needed to know to approach this test. “Ma’am, this is my third time here.” (Which honestly, the lady already knew. By this point we felt maybe we should add the two Department of Public Safety agents to our Christmas card list). Brooklyn expressed her understanding of the skip button wanting to make sure it would not penalize her for the number of times she hit it. Then Brooklyn went over to take her test. At this point I headed out to the car, where she and I had agreed to meet.

I sat in the car with a small view of Brooklyn standing at the voting-booth-style computer. I prayed for her. “Lord, You created her innermost being. You stitched her together. I pray You speak Your peace, calmness and confidence from the top of her head to the sole of her feet. Let her know You have equipped her for success. Give her assurance.” And on and on I prayed.

I watched as she walked back over to the lady, had an exchange that I couldn’t see and proceeded out to the car. I got out of the car and there she did it—a thumbs up! I may have gotten overly excited. Oh, who am I kidding?! I totally got overly excited and she and I hugged and jumped like giddy girls in the parking lot of the DPS!

Brooklyn said that when she went back to the agent to get her paper signed, the lady exclaimed, for all to hear, “You passed!!!” And she only skipped two questions, not missing any! The agent was so happy for Brooklyn!

“…..a harvest of blessing IF we don’t give up.”

I know Brooklyn contemplated canning the whole idea. I know because in her despair of failing the second time she expressed those very thoughts. But we all know that’s not even a logical option. She’d have to pass it at some point in her life.

The question for us to consider though is: How many blessings have we missed out on because we gave up?

I can’t recall how many times I’ve said, “Just forget it!” or “I’m done!” or “I quit!” Sometimes our emotions make us completely illogical. Exactly the reason we don’t make important decisions when we’re super emotional. In those times, this Voice inside me says, “Heather, don’t give up. I have good things in store for you. Believe. Persevere. Press in.”

The Lord whispers that truth to all of us. Our challenges may look a little different but we’ve all got them, and there is a blessing tucked inside each and every one we overcome!

Thank you for spending some time allowing me to share this life moment with you! Please take it for the little dose of inspiration, joy, strength and encouragement it has tucked into it.

Bless you!

*side note- thankful my girl wanted me to share this story for whomever it could encourage.

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Held On for Sweet Success!!!!


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Peace with Others

No one likes to be criticized. No one enjoys negative comments. No one desires or requests put-downs. But the reality is, anyone who does anything takes the risk of being ridiculed. The tendency is, fly under the radar. Don’t do anything to stand out. Don’t do anything to create a target. Don’t do anything to warrant attention, ‘cause it could be negative. When it comes to making a list of things we love about ourselves versus things we don’t really like or would like to change, the latter tends to be an easier list to make. I know it is for me. And I actually observed this when speaking at a women’s conference. I gave the ladies thirty seconds to make a list of things they didn’t like about themselves and then the same amount of time to make a list of things they loved about themselves. The “things loved” list was shorter than the “things not liked” list. Which means that we are hard enough on ourselves without the help of others. So why the need to contribute to someone’s “things not liked” list?

One thing I wish I could change about myself is how I care about others’ opinions of me. I can’t begin to describe how it hurts me when I realize I’ve been the topic of destructive speech or when I’m the recipient of unpleasant actions. It’s an emotion I much rather avoid. Therefore, it’s tempting to disregard the callings, ignore the vision and forget about being the person God desires me to be.

Yep. I just wrote that! Because, it is for real! I seriously have those thoughts. But I know I’m not the only one—which is why I wrote it. This blog is relational; reaching out, walking through and regrouping when these unpleasantries of life surface.

For someone who cares about others, I surely do put myself in a position of being criticized. I spent years performing vocally. Talk about vulnerability. There is always someone in the audience who thinks they could have sang it better, and many times probably could. I’ve opened my life up to numerous people through public speaking. While the Lord has given me the blessing of knowing and seeing lives touched through that ministry, I also am well aware of the critical hearts. And then there is here, in my writings. I share my life with countless people and yet again, there are those who have blessed my heart with encouragement, and others who have picked me apart.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us there is life and death in the power of the tongue, and many people are walking around like zombies because of the words they choose to speak. How refreshing to speak life. I know. I know. Sometimes it’s a challenge, but that’s when we can remember what Thumper’s father says. Remember? In Disney’s Bambi, when Thumper points out that Bambi doesn’t walk very well, his mama says, “Thumper, what did your father tell you this morning?” Yes. You remember. “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” Putting people down is like dripping barbeque sauce on a white shirt; it stains. While we may ask for God’s forgiveness and their forgiveness, while we may try to clean it up, those words leave a mark, and not just on their heart, but on ours too.

Yes, those thoughts like, “what’s the point?” and “who really cares?” cross my mind. And although it bothers me and hurts me, it’s not gonna stop me, because I know these are tactics to prevent me from doing and being what the Lord desires. Who said it would be easy? Who said it’d always be fun or pleasant?

I realize there are people who flat out don’t like me, they don’t agree with me and they don’t want anything to do with me. But I can’t let pessimisms predicate who I am. And you can’t either. At the end of each day, remember whom we live to please. He gives us the courage to fly in the radar. He equips us to be all we can. He’s the greatest contributor to our best qualities. And He reassures us when the world hurts us.

May you feel His peace…..

Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV) When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Romans 12:18 (NIV) If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

So cute…. So true….


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In June 2010 my husband and I traveled to New York for a six-day vacation to celebrate our 11th anniversary in the Big Apple. It was a special time spent together touring touching places like the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the World Trade Center site and Ellis Island. We crammed all we could into our opportunity there. One thought consistently crossed my mind as we traveled about the city; God knew each and every individual we passed. 099

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Perhaps being from a small town contributes to the fascination I have in looking at numerous different faces in big cities. I had these same thoughts years ago when traveling in Europe with my high school. This obviously continued into my adulthood.  Even on our family Disney trips I’ll save parade spots and just “people watch.” But something about standing in Time Square with the massive digital signs, towering buildings, commotion of traffic and diversity of people amazed me there was not a familiar face around, but there was to my Heavenly Father. He created each and every one of those individuals and He knew each and every one of their names and their stories. But did they know Him? And if not, what kept them from knowing a God who loves them so?

The opinions and assumptions to those questions could be as numerous as the faces I’ve seen. But it’s a thought that leads me right to my own backyard. And my answer goes right back to the Big Apple.

Parents desire to impart to their children what is most important to them, and for us, our faith is the foundation of our home, of our life. So what could possibly keep our children from clinging to the faith we are so dedicated? Distractions. At times, it’s like having massive digital signs, towering buildings, commotion of traffic all right here in our living room. Even things that seem good can be a distraction from the goodness God has in store. Things like friends, relationships, school, beauty, and popularity to name a few.

You may be wondering, “Where did this come from?” Well, this comes from my current experiences with raising our teenage daughter. There are continual discussions around our kitchen table after the boys go to bed. And although I light heartedly say I’ll need a vacation after she is raised, it is nothing but true how incredibly exhausting it is to reiterate and use her current life situations to illustrate the principles and values we have spoke into her life from the beginning. But one thing I know for sure, I know we will look back and be assured that we gave it our all.

Our greatest tool is talking. I can’t count how many times she has said, “Hmm. Well, I never thought about it like that.” WHY??? Because she is thirteen. Our kids need our help in such a big way, because they are encountering life with no life experience. And maybe their experiences and challenges are different from our experiences and challenges. What do we do then? We pray. We discuss what God’s Word says. We ask for wisdom.

For instance, I never considered the challenges beauty could bring to one’s life until now. My experiences were quite different from my daughter’s. Nevertheless, could still be as equally destructive.

In this self obsessed culture of social media and “selfies,” it is easy to see how a young woman could become fogged with the presentation of her package over the contents of her heart, her character, her talents and her mind. It is obvious that an emphasis on appearance and continual peer approval can inflate a young girl’s ego. Have you ever encountered a person who is more concerned with the attention they get than any depth of devotion? This paves the way for shallow relationships and narcissistic behavior.

Sometimes we are puzzled with questions of confidence. But is it their confidence that some girls struggle? Or is their beauty their feeling of control or their source of experiencing a little power? We’ve observed it in the business world, but how about in the school halls?

Inversely, there are beautiful young women who are innocent of their appearance. Their abilities could be disregarded as just a pretty face. Flattery words could be mistaken for genuineness. Expressions of affections could be incorrectly received as sincere. This results in damaging their security in order to feed someone else’s ego.

As much as I longed to hear the complimentary words of others, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I was never distracted by such, but rather forced to dig deep to find my beauty. Silencing the voices of flattery was never an issue in my life; silencing the voices of ridicule was. But the latter made me aware of a beauty that will never age or wrinkle, and that is beauty of the heart.

We may not be standing in Time Square, but there is plenty of commotion; there are plenty of distractions. We know them by names like twitter, instagram, phones, and school, to name a few.

May you be blessed as you guide your precious daughter to be who God has called her to be; in all the noise, may she hear His voice.

Keeping it real with our girls……

Psalm 12:3 NIV May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue.

Proverbs 7:21 NLT So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.

Proverbs 26:28 NIV A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 28:23 NLT In the end, people appreciate honest criticism
 far more than flattery.

Proverbs 29:5 NLT To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet.

Romans 16:17-18 NIV I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

Proverbs 31:30 NLT Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Celebrating our daughter's #13 in March 2014. May she bring God glory.


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