When Stolen Jesus steals your heart

She had me at vomit.

I was recovering from a mild wretched case of the stomach bug when I first stumbled across Jami Amerine’s blog, specifically her post about the need to quarantine oneself when one becomes contaminated by the stomach plague. She spoke truth. Causing me to laugh so hard that my own stomach plague made a brief return. Oh the irony!

Then several weeks later while again scrolling through the bowels refined halls of facebook, I came across yet another post by the same engaging, hilarious, truth-bombing author. It was an open letter to her kids telling them that, while she loves them fiercely, they’re not all that great. I think I spit out the sweet tea I had been drinking. Her words soothed my guilt-laden, flowers-after-the-recital-forgetting self.

And I was hooked.

I craved her raw, authentic, hilarious, truth-filled posts. I wondered about the woman behind the computer screen. I imagined what it would be like to meet for coffee. Would she bring the vandals? (her precious and precocious little boys) Would we laugh so hard we snorted while simultaneously worshipping and praising the Savior we both love?

And then I discovered we shared an agent!


For the first time in my life I felt cool!

(and more than a little intimidated. I mean I average 100 views a week, at best! while Jami’s numbers are counted by the 100’s of thousands)

But what I would soon discover is that Jami will be the first to tell you that numbers, viral posts, and book deals are nothing more than a vehicle by which to proclaim the freedom of the Gospel. She will humbly declare that she is who she is because He is who He is.


Jami writes of freedom and grace and authentic love. Themes which define her life and her writing.

Themes which are woven throughout her first (and completely amazing) book Stolen Jesus.

I have never laughed, cried, pondered and meditated on truth all within the span of three pages before!

Stolen Jesus is the story of how Jami “stole” a picture of Jesus, but ended up having her heart stolen by the real Jesus.


Discouraged by a lifetime of pursuing religion and relationships with counterfeit messiahs (false ideas of Jesus based on human experience and misrepresentations), Jami set out on a course to discover Who the real Jesus was and why He should matter.

What Jami found has completely changed her life!

Stolen Jesus will force you to think about Who Jesus is to you.

The real Jesus.

And once you know Him, it will change everything.


Jami, I am so grateful for your willingness to be used by God to speak truth to hungry hearts. Whether it is truth about vomit, kids, dress size or spiritual matters, you write and speak with a vulnerability and authenticity that is beautiful to behold. I pray that Stolen Jesus will find its way into the hearts and hands of those hungry to receive the truth of Jesus and His unfathomable, unending, always pursuing Grace.
Much love to you my friend,




God, are you mean?

God, are you mean?

I hesitate a moment before writing the words in my journal. Words that I feel a little guilty for writing, for surely God is not mean, right? He is love, He is good, He is kind and gracious and merciful. I know this to be true from what He reveals about Himself in His Word. I know this to be true from what I have personally experienced. And yet, the question gnaws at my soul.

For the past few months I have been on a personal quest to know God more.

God, who are you? Has become the cry of my heart. The subject of each journal entry. The sole question I ask as I go to His Word.

For so long I have assumed I knew God. I have loved Him for as long as I can remember—first trusting in Him at the age of six, while cuddled up in Strawberry Shortcake sheets with a Care Bear tucked under my arm. I attended Christian school, went to youth retreats, participated in Bible studies. I’ve memorized countless verses and passages and can sing most of the old hymns by heart.

But then I had kids.

And they began asking questions.

And…suddenly I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.

“Mommy,” my then five year old son asked while we were driving to the grocery store, “If satan said he was sorry to God, and really meant it, would God forgive him and let him go to heaven?”


“Mama,” my daughter asked a few years back, “Why does the Bible say that God hated Esau? God loves everybody right?”


“Hey Mom,” my now teenage boy begins, “Doesn’t God seem kinda mean sometimes in the Bible? Why did He make Israel kill all those other nations? And why did he have Achan’s entire family stoned just because Achan stole a few things? Is God mean?”


I look down at my journal and trace the words I just wrote.

God, are you mean?

I close my eyes and wait.

For what? I’m not sure.

An answer? A sign? Peace? Wisdom?


All of it. Please Lord.

Who am I? The question swirls around my mind before landing in my heart.

Who am I? My gaze lands on the pages of the Bible lying open before me.

Who am I? My head bows in reverence.

I’m not entirely sure Lord, but I want to know You more. Will you show me? God, will you remove the false ideas and attributes I’ve assigned to You over the years? Will you forgive me for constantly trying to shove you into a box that I can understand? Will you expose the lies about you that I have been believing? And Lord, will you reveal the truth of Yourself through the pages of Your Word?

I open my eyes and they land on ancient words,

“‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the LORD. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’” [Jeremiah 31:33-34 emphasis mine]

Oh, LORD, You are not mean! You are Grace itself. You who answer the prayers of confused mothers and humble truth seekers. And while I will never understand all of Your ways, I will do my best to always trust Your heart.

This quest will continue until the day I stand before Him face to face, and I imagine that even then, I will still spend eternity learning new things about Him.

Yet, it is a quest I will gladly continue for only when we know who God is can we trust what He does. 

So I will continue to sit at His Word and invite Him to reveal Himself to me, and to my children. And when they ask the hard questions (which I pray they will continue to do) we will go to Him together and not be afraid to ask,

God, who are You?

Much love,


Tips for enduring survival mode…

Are you weary today? Exhausted? Fed up? All kinds of done?

I have talked to so many people who feel they are at the end of their ropes. They are battle-weary, wounded, and on edge.

The events of the last few weeks and months have taken their toll. Fires, floods, wind, rain, lack of power, destruction of property, and worst of all, loss of loved ones.

Hearts are aching, tempers are flaring, and spirits are feeling crushed.

Please know that you matter. Your feelings matter. Your frustrations and heartbreaks matter. And that it is ok, good even, for you to let yourself feel all those feelings. You have been through a trauma and you are grieving—if not grieving for a loved one, you are grieving for the way things used to be, before a fire, storm, or circumstances beyond your control changed everything.

Take a moment to let yourself feel.

I know it doesn’t feel good. I know human nature is to avoid things that cause us pain. But feeling is the way to healing. Your brain needs a moment to absorb the trauma and process it. It’s like your brain needs to update to a new operating system (and we all know the problems that eventually happen if we go too long without updating!).

So today, may I encourage you to take a moment to feel all the feelings. Talk about your experience with a caring friend. Write about it in a letter or journal. Draw a picture of how your feeling. Make a computer graphic to illustrate your current mood. The method is not what’s important. It’s the act of allowing yourself to feel it and getting it out that’s important.

And while you are letting yourself feel, be gentle with yourself.

You have been through a lot. You may even still be in “survival mode.” This is not a time to try and get back to normal or push yourself to do a ton of things. This is a time to let yourself heal. Set small manageable and realistic goals for yourself. You will get back up and running at full speed soon enough, but for today go easy with yourself.

Your measure of a successful day may be as simple just brushing your teeth! That’s awesome! That’s worthy of celebrating!

You are stronger than you know and braver than you feel, but you are also hurting and you need time to heal..jpg

So in case you need permission, here it is:

Be gentle with yourself today and take it easy. Focus on your breathing. Pray. Spend some quiet time with God—even if you’re a little mad at Him (it’s ok, He’s big enough to take it!). And set aside some time (even if it’s just 10 minutes) to let yourself feel. And I promise that eventually, some day, you will begin to heal.

Praying for the battle-weary and hurting hearts today,

[If you would like to share your story here, please feel free to do so in the comments. And please know that you are not alone! You have a God who adores you and people who care! I care, and would love to pray for you! (and your willingness to share may just help someone else share)]

“In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Praying for Florida (my home state)

I was 9 years old when hurricane Elena sat off the west coast of FL for days. At only a cat 1 it obviously wasn’t anything compared to Irma. And yet, as a 9 year old little girl having to leave my house and all my prized stuffed animals, it was terrifying. I remember trying to be brave as I watched my parents packing up what they could, but I couldn’t stop shaking and trembling. My dad, noticing my fear, drew me into his arms and said:
Sugar, it’s ok to cry. This is really scary. So let’s sit here for just a minute and be scared together, ok? I want you to let out all that fear and all those tears and I will hold you tight.
And I did, grateful for the permission to stop trying to be brave for a minute.
Then after several minutes, as the tears began to slow, he said: Now, we’re gonna take a big deep breath, hold it for a second and blow it out. And when we blow it out we are going to pray and thank God for being with us, ask Him to give us courage and strength, ask Him to protect us and those we love, and then we are going to get up and go.
“Ready?” he asked.
I nodded my head and together we took a deep, steadying breath before getting up to head to safety.

Florida we cry with you, we pray with you and we take a collective deep breath with you. And while you go about your preparations, those of us who are not in harm’s way, will stay here on our knees in prayer, praying for mercy, for a miracle, for protection.
Floridians, you are stronger than you know, braver than you feel, and most importantly you are not alone!!
Praying without ceasing for the state I love so very much.

You are stronger than you know, braver than you feel. And most importantly- (1).png

God, where are you?

When flood waters rise and unrelenting rain pours from the sky, God where are you?
When fires rage, consuming everything in their destructive path, God where are you?
When hurricanes churn in open waters, terrorizing those in their paths, God where are you?
When a grim-faced doctor reveals a life-changing diagnosis, God where are you?
When nations war against nations, people against people, brothers against brothers, God where are you?
When children are buried, marriages dissolve, and hurting souls take their own lives, God where are you?

I AM here.


The words float toward earth—billowing echoes from the throne of Heaven.

I AM here, the echo repeats, I’m closer than the air you breathe, nearer then the heart beating in your chest.

I AM standing beside you, giving you strength.

I AM whispering peace in your ear.

I AM holding your hand as you stand in broken disbelief.

I AM stroking your hair, catching your tears.

I AM waiting within the pages of My Word.

I AM longing for you to look to Me.

I AM the Sovereign God who promises to never leave you nor forsake you.

I AM brokenhearted with you. I AM grieving with you. I AM saddened with you.

But I AM also the author of Hope, and dear one, your story is not over, this moment does not define you. This storm will pass, and you…my precious child, you will be stronger, braver, bolder. You will be changed because you saw Me in the midst of the storm.

For when you see Me—when you look past the visible, into the face of the eternal—you will never be the same.

This is my promise to you:
In Me you will find strength and peace and rest.
In Me you will find hope and courage and wisdom.
In Me you will find refuge and protection and light.

In Me you will find….life.

Many claim to know me, and to some extent they do, yet they do not always portray Me accurately.

Many assume they know me and delight in spouting off trite facts and false claims, this grieves my heart, for it is not who I am.

Many preach condemnation in my name, telling hurting souls that their storm is my wrath poured out on them. Dear one do not believe them. You see, the Father’s wrath was poured out on the cross, on Me. I bore His wrath—for you. Storms are not God’s wrath against mankind, they are simply….storms.

Yet, many cry out “But You can stop the storm.” And yes, yes, I can, but I do not always do so. And this is hard for you to understand. I know that it is and I understand, because my child, my ways are infinitely more complex than you are able to comprehend.

This is why I long for you to know Who I Am, for in knowing Who I Am, you will trust me in the storm.

I have made it as simple as I can for you to know Me. I AM there in the pages of your Bible. That book you have is not a book of rules. It is not a book of condemnation. It is not a book of bedtime stories or fables. And it is not a how-to-book of good living.

It is My Word.
It is My face reflected on thin pages.
It is a portrait of Me.

Read it and search for Me.

Cling to it and ask Me to reveal Myself. I promise I will.

The waters may not recede as quickly as you would like, the hurricane may not dissipate, the diagnosis may remain, but you will be changed.

You will be strengthened when you see My strength.

And you will be filled with Hope when You see my face.

Praying for everyone affected by storms, fires, pain and heartbreak today. May the God of all comfort, comfort you as only He can—by wrapping His steadfast arms of Love tightly around you and giving you His perfect boundless peace as you seek His beautiful face.

Much love,


Simple Complexities


    adjectivesimpler, simplest.

        1.easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.:
           a simple matter; simple tools.

       2.not elaborate or artificial; plain:
             a simple style.

      3.not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:
               a simple gown.


How I find myself craving the simple things of this world right now. A quiet evening, a dew-laced morning, a hot cup of coffee in my kitchen. Less noise; more quiet.





How my heart aches for simple faith. Faith that believes Jesus’ words to “Come and follow Me” are enough. That in following Him I will find life and hope and peace. That in following Him I will see Him for who He is and myself as He sees me. Faith that doesn’t feel like a burden I drag behind me.




How my soul thirsts for the simple study of God’s Word. “God, who are You?” is the cry of my heart. “Show me who You are, the real You, the true You. Not the you I have always assumed. Not the you I have been told by others. Not the Baptist you, the Methodist you, the Catholic you, the new-age you, the Americanized you. But You, the One True God who delights in revealing Himself to people through the pages of Your Word. Reveal Yourself to Me Lord so that I might see You.



How my mind craves quiet. Silence, where only the still small voice of God can be heard.



How my lungs ache to breathe in God’s peace, like a glorious mist that fills my lungs.



How my eyes take in the beauty found in this world, evidence of God’s Presence here among His people.



Simplicity seems too complex a concept, and yet, it is by its very definition easy to understand—plain. And so I will search for the simple.

I will cling to the unadorned.

I will treasure that which is not elaborate or ornate, in my quest to see more of the One who is. 

For it is in the simple things that complexities of God are revealed.


Much love,


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