The Monster Inside of Me


Why is it that society has made depression and anxiety so taboo?  Does it mean I am weak? Does it mean that I lack faith? Is it my fault? Am I the one to blame?  I have mastered walking about my day with a smile on and cheery eyes. People would never know that deep down inside I have this vicious cycle going on. My head races with everything I am not and the things that I can not get done…I am not worthy nor am I good enough.  My heart sinks with a heavy black cloak because I am so hard on myself and can never reach the potential that my head says I need to be at. The two together create a verge of ADHD that keeps me bouncing and never on task and between exhausted and hyper-emotional.

It takes a moment, or sometimes a few days, to remember to breath.  Slow down!

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On Parenting, Life Phases, and Living in the Moment

We want to welcome guest write, Jen Roland.


Last night, my family returned home from the beach.  For the first time, I finished an entire book on vacation.  I didn’t pack swim diapers or pull-ups.  We even left the baby stroller at home.  Instead of taking my 4 year-old for a ride on my early morning runs, my daughter joined me, excited to be my “workout buddy” while the younger two played at the condo until everyone else woke up.

As I watched my kids play in the surf, I was hit with the realization that my oldest will be nine next month.  Now 4, 6, and 8, my kids are growing up fast.  They don’t need me nearly as much as they used to.

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You Will Never Truly Understand {until it happens to you}

We’re excited to have Laura Acuna as a guest writer this week.


There are some things you just can’t know until you experience them. You think you know, but really you do not. Ultimately, you have to go through the journey yourself to truly understand.

Losing my mother has been this way for me.

Continue reading “You Will Never Truly Understand {until it happens to you}”

Don’t Miss Jesus in the Mundane

We’re excited to have Isabella Morganthal as a guest writer this week.  Isabella’s message gets your heart and mind in tune and looking for Jesus.  Take some time to read.  Enjoy!


When I was fourteen, I remember attending a Christian music festival that impacted my life in many ways.

Every year since then I have continued to attend the festival. The worship, the life-changing messages, and the experience of it all made me feel like I was standing on top of a mountain, and not just the one I was literally standing upon. The worshipful nights of singing about our Creator while the sun would set behind the stage always made God feel so close like you could almost touch Him. His presence felt so near.

But the festival always ended.

Continue reading “Don’t Miss Jesus in the Mundane”

There’s always a possum.


This spring Ruthie and I led a study on finances. We had the best time meeting new friends and getting to know “old” friends better. And we learned a lot from each other about how to do better with our money.

One of the lessons was about contentment. You know, appreciate what you have and not being envious of someone that appears to “have it all”. The conversation quickly went to social media.

Continue reading “There’s always a possum.”


Choices by Mandy.jpg

If you know anything at all about history (def not my favorite subject!), you know that a hundred years ago or even 50 years ago, women didn’t have many choices about what to do with their lives. Young ladies’ goals were pretty much to find a husband, have babies, cook and clean.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do any of those things. I’ve wanted all of those – except for cleaning. Nobody wants to do that – except for maybe a few crazy people like my friend Lindsey. Ha! Ha!

But today, women have soooo many choices.

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Torn by Mary

It’s been accomplished!

Business as usual, that is, until 12:00 noon, when it got suddenly dark. That afternoon, a violent earthquake shook the ground. Then, dramatically, the massive curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was ripped in two by an unseen Hand, from top to bottom.

Let’s look back at the hours and history leading to this very moment.

Jesus was before Caiaphas the high priest and said…

“But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Caiaphas tore his robes and called it blasphemy, condemning Jesus to death. (Matthew 26:64-65)

This was a big deal!

If you refer to Exodus 28:31-32 and Leviticus 21:10-12 you will see that God gave Moses the command on how to make a seamless tunic for the high priest to wear and the instructions that the tunic should not be torn. Doing so would symbolize the end of his priesthood.

So when Caiaphas tore his robe! What a symbol that the man, who for years was responsible for presenting our sacrifice to atone for our sins was no longer suitable to do so.

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
John 19:23-24 ESV

So to bring it all together… The high priest that was set apart as Holy to atone for our sins. Tore his tunic. Symbolizing the end of his priesthood.

Do not miss this!

Jesus, His garment intact.

Caiaphas, his tunic torn…ending his priesthood

While the Roman soldiers gambled for the tunic of Jesus, that was woven together just as God had instructed Moses. Seamlessly woven one piece from top to bottom. It remained intact.  Some believe that this very tunic is on display in Germany. Our new High Priest who came to sacrifice Himself for our sins his blood was spilled for us, His sacrifice is our atonement.

Back to the temple. The curtain that separated them from the dwelling place of God was torn. The place we were not suitable to enter, the place set apart for the Holy priesthood
(1 Kings 6:19-20)

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. Matthew 27:51 ESV

The curtain torn…there is now no separation between us and God.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

Thank you Jesus for what you have endured to set us free from our sin. We don’t deserve it, yet you love us so much you died for us. Lord God, thank you for allowing us to come to you directly through your Son. May we live every day in the love that transpired on that cross. Let your love for us shine through us and into the world to make you known. Thank you! In Jesus name I pray.


Mary BenderMary Bender and her husband Norman live in Greencastle, PA.  They have three energetic boys, and one adorable little girl.  Mary counts herself as being truly blessed to be saved by Christ, who equips her to be a stay at home mom to her four “littles.”  In addition to being a wife and mother, Mary uses her God-given gifts to serve in women’s ministry at her church, LCBC, and as a life group leader.  Mary also uses her passion for women’s ministry for serving on the board of directors for “The Connection.”  It is Mary’s desire to serve and encourage women to have genuine faith while building a home and raising her children.

Unfinished Business: A Good Friday Devotion

We’re excited to have Laura Acuna as a guest writer this week.   Laura’s message for Good Friday gets your mind thinking and heart pumping.  Take some time to read/listen.  Enjoy!


Hello Girlfriends,

As promised, here is a short devotion for Good Friday. I hope you are able to settle in and not rush on to the Easter celebration. Today is a good day to reflect on what He has done and what our response will be to His sacrifice.

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Shot from the Shadows

Shot from the shadows.jpg

The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.

They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. Psalm 11:2

When I read this my mind went right back to one of the most painful chapters of my life. The poisonous arrows came out of nowhere. Straight through my heart.

Someone pulled me aside and told me that I needed to apologize to someone for what I had done and they shared the story they had been told. That I had wronged someone. Badly. I’ll call her “Her”.

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