Moving out, moving on, moving forward

Preschool is done for the year.

My son had been looking forward to all of the end-of-the-year things.  The program.  The last day.  The picnic.

But as we headed out on the final morning of preschool activities, sadness hit him hard:   I want to stay. 

This is his first experience with finishing the year and really enjoying his own summer break, so it’s the first time he’s truly said goodbye to his classroom buddies and considered what it’d be like not to see them a few times every week for  a few months or so.

And that’s a bit sad indeed.

We can look forward to what’s ahead, of course.  His older sisters chime  in with their own reminders that summer is, in fact, awesome.

Then, I remind him that preschool will begin again in the fall and there will be familiar faces and new faces.  It will be worth anticipating.

This works for a moment, but then he remembers again that in order to  move on to the new, he has to  say some goodbyes.  There are some things he has to leave behind.

And saying goodbye….stepping into new places…that’s not always easy.

Sometimes there are assignments and places we make permanent that God intended to be temporary.  We cement our hearts right down and God asks us to be more movable than that.

It’s okay.  It’s good.  It’s necessary.  It’s beautiful even at times to step out of the old, maybe even before we know what new land God has called us to.

We trust Him to show us what that might be.  A land of rest, perhaps.  A land of labor maybe.  A place of new beginnings or maybe one more forward step in this long, connected journey we’ve been on.

The key is remebering that what we’re doing here in this very place is God-led. He could tell us to stay or He could  encourage us to move on. Either way, we lean into His leading.  The blessing is in the obedience.

Me?  I tend to be a permanent foundation builder, in it for the long-haul, committed to hang in and hang on even when God has hinted it’s time to let go.

In the book of Ruth, I find someone else who struggled with making the temporary assignment a permanent destination:

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land.So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there (Ruth 1:1-2 CSB). 

Elimelek left Bethlehem for Moab “for a while.”  Another translation said he “went to sojourn in the country of Moab.”

Maybe he shouldn’t have gone in the first place, trusting  God instead to  provide right there instead of hightailing it  to foreign destinations.  But, he left, and  at first it was supposed to be a temporary trip.

But then “he lived there.”  The ESV says “he remained there.”

The temporary became permanent for him.  He put down roots.  His sons married Moabite women.  They didn’t seem to have any intention of returning to Bethlehem until death changed everything.  Elimelek and his two sons died, leaving their widows, Naomi, Ruth and Orpah, with some significant decisions.

Elimelek settled and stayed.

But Ruth was willing to move.

She moved to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law despite her own grief.

She moved into the fields to glean and to  provide.

She moved onto a threshing floor in the middle of the night to seek a redeemer.

In her book, “A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit,” Nicki Koziarz says Ruth “stays open to the movement of God.”

This is where I’ve been growing.  I’ve been stepping down and then waiting.  Saying goodbye and not turning around and jumping back into the same-old, same-old.   I’ve been listening more.  I’ve been taking my time and refusing to be rushed  into decisions that others seem to feel have to be made right away.

I’ve been leaning into  God and asking for Him to speak the “no” and speak the “yes” so I will know when to stay or go, put down or pick up, relinquish or fight on, say farewell or begin anew.

It starts with this:  Making sure I’m not turning temporary trips into permanent residences, trusting that God can always move me on and being willing indeed to go.

Bible Verses on Obeying God


  • Exodus 19:5 NIV
    Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession
  • Exodus 23:22 ESV
    “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
  • Leviticus 26:3-4 ESV
     “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit...
  • Deuteronomy 4:39-40 NASB
    Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. 40 So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”
  • Deuteronomy 11:1 NIV
    Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.
  • Deuteronomy 11:26-28 ESV
     “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today,28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.
  • Joshua 22:5 ESV
     Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of theLord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
  • 1 Samuel 15:22 HCSB
    Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?
    Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
  • Psalm 103:17-18 ESV
    But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
        and his righteousness to children’s children,
    18 to those who keep his covenant
        and remember to do his commandments.
  • Psalm 119:44 NASB
    So I will keep Your law continually,
    Forever and ever.
  • Psalm 119:60 NASB
    I hastened and did not delay
    To keep Your commandments.
  • Proverbs 19:16 NLT
    Keep the commandments and keep your life;
        despising them leads to death.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:13 NLT
    That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.
  • Isaiah 1:19 ESV
    If you are willing and obedient,
        you shall eat the good of the land;
  • Isaiah 48:18-19 NASB
    “If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
    Then your well-being would have been like a river,
    And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
    19 “Your descendants would have been like the sand,
    And your offspring like its grains;
    Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence.”
  • Jeremiah 7:23 ESV
     But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’
  • Matthew 7:21 ESV
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
  • Luke 11:28 NIVHe replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
  • John 12:26 ESV
    If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
  • John 13:17 ESV
    If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
  • John 14:21 NASB
    He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
  • John 15:10 NASB
    If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
  • John 15:14 ESV
    You are my friends if you do what I command you.
  • Acts 5:29 ESV
    But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
  • Romans 5:19 NIV
    For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Romans 6:16-17 ESV
    Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[a]you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed
  • 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
  • Hebrews 11:8 ESV
    By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
  • James 1:22-25 NLT
    But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
  • 1 Peter 1:14 NIV
    As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
  • 1 John 3:22 NLT
    And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
  • 1 John 3:24 NASB
     The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
  • 1 John 5:3 ESV
    For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
  • 2 John 1:6 ESV
     And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
  • Revelation 14:12 ESV
    Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

This is just practice so mistakes are allowed

My eleven-year-old daughter stepped onto a field yesterday in all her field hockey gear.

She was the one on the field, but I was the one who was nervous.  Some of these girls have been playing for years and this is my girl’s first year.  Would they be gentle with her?  Would the coach be an encourager? (They were and she is!).

This is all new to us.  I don’t even come from a  hometown community where field hockey existed as a sport.  I don’t understand any of the rules or know how you move the ball  around with that funky, slightly curved stick.

When we picked out her equipment, I went to the sports consignment shop and asked a million questions.

She needs shinguards.  Is that the same as soccer shinguards or what?  She needs eye protection.  What in the world?  How do you know what size stick to use?  My goodness that ball is hard.  They really play with this thing?

I am an extreme novice.  A beginner of all beginners.  I’m starting from zero.

And that’s good.

It’s good not  to know all the answers before you even begin.

So, when she walked onto the slightly wet grass yesterday wearing her field hockey shinguards and holding her funky looking stick, I could not have been more proud of her.

She’s brave enough to try something new.

Me?  I don’t like to try new things.  I only want to try something I’m pretty sure I can succeed at, and by succeeding I don’t mean having fun.  I mean not looking foolish or making mistakes or ever falling down or ever doing it wrong.

You know, being perfect.

So, if I can’t be perfect, I don’t want to try.

And that’s wrong.  That’s terribly messed up and mistaken right there.   It creates a fear-driven paralysis and a performance-driven faith.


Not trying is the real failure.  That’s the mistake you can’t correct or overcome.

Trying something new takes humility and the willingness to  put yourself out there in a deeply courageous way.


I read these words today in a book by Sarah Loudin Thomas:

“… getting things wrong is nothing more than one of the steps on the way to getting them right” (Tapestry of Secrets).

Priscilla Shirer also says,

“mistakes are often the greatest teachers to help us learn to discern Him more clearly in the future.  So practice.  Stub your spiritual toes and scrape your spiritual knees.  And once you’re back on your feet, start practicing again” (Discerning the Voice of God).


Maybe so much of my problem is that I’ve seen all of this—life, ministry, hearing from God, jobs and activities–as the “game.”

It’s competition time.  Perform.  Succeed.  Be perfect.  Don’t embarrass yourself.

But maybe I need to see it as practice instead.

Practice is about taking risks.  It’s about building skills.  It’s about ending the day as a better, wiser, more experienced player than the one I was this morning.

It’s about trying something, finding out it doesn’t work, and doing it differently next time.

It’s about learning from the coach and the players around me.  It’s about turning to Jesus, over and over and over again because I know just how much I need Him.


I’ve messed this up as a mom before and I so need to get this right, making our home and our family a safe place to try.  How can our home be a place where we applaud risking-failure while doing something new?  Where we cheer you on for following Jesus and you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be in progress?

I’ve messed this up before as a person, too, and I so need to get this right, being willing to obey God even when it means risking mistakes and stumbles and failures along the way.

After all,  I may see a mistake as THE END, but God doesn’t.  He knows this is practice.

The Psalmist says:

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
    for the Lord upholds his hand.  Psalm 37:23-24 ESV

If our hearts are set on the Lord, if we’re delighting in His way, sure, we might fall sometimes.

But we won’t fail and it won’t be THE END.  We won’t be permanently disqualified from future ministry or written off by God as an unusable vessel, a disappointment, a failure.

No, the Lord holds us up so those moments when we fall, He keeps us from truly failing.   He gently sets us back on our shaky feet.  He leads us forward to try those steps all over again.

And the best part is, He always keeps hold of our hand.


Look What God Has Done—Again!! A Big Announcement and a Prayer Request

psalm 19

So many of you have sweetly asked me at church or at Wal-Mart, here on the blog or on Facebook, “When’s you’re next book coming out?”

And I smiled.

And probably shrugged and said something like, “That’s up to God!”

Well, God did it.  Again.

I’ve tucked the secret away for the last few weeks, but I received the note from my wonderful editor over at Discovery House at the end of April saying, “Congratulations!  We have decided to publish this second book.”

I cried.  Again.  Second book same as the first.

I laid face down and prayed, thanking God and asking for His help and His favor.

When I typed out the first words to my very first book, Ask Me Anything, Lord, I told God exactly what I wanted.  I wanted this to be Him.

I didn’t want to look back in a few years and say, “Look what I did through hard work and perseverance, or through networking, contacts or social media prowess.”

I was willing to work hard and give everything I had to obey Him and write the book, but I didn’t want to make anything happen.  It had to be Him.

It was.  The story of that first book had His fingerprints all over it.

Then I had a new project on my heart and I actually wrote it, all 55,000 words of it.  I prayed over it.  I sent it to agents and publishers and toted my book proposal to a writer’s conference and networked.

I did everything I’m supposed to do.

Nothing happened.

Last summer, I laid on my bed and told God, “It would be easier if You told me to stop writing.  This is hard.  I could be relaxing with my kids at the beach instead of sending out query letters and writing blog posts.  So, maybe I should quit?”

I finished my prayer and I waited for the neon sign of divine approval to pack it all in and head for the ocean with some sand toys and sunscreen.

Instead, in that very moment God gave me what my mother-in-law aptly terms, “a download.”

Woosh.  An idea for another writing project.

I didn’t want another idea, I told Him.  I wanted the holy stamp of approval to quit, not the nudge to write some more.

But you can’t ignore ideas like that.  They take up all the space in your head so you can’t remember your grocery list or what you were making for dinner that night.

I had to write that idea down.  Pronto.

Through the fall and into the winter months, I prayed and read, collecting quotes, tucking away Scripture verses, emailing my editor, writing up the book proposal and then waiting, waiting, and waiting.

I didn’t push, strive, stress or fret over it.  I just obeyed step by step and rested in the knowledge that if He wanted this book to happen, He would do it.

He did.

So now, here I am receiving God’s astonishing grace  in the form of a second book.

All glory to Him!

What’s it about?

Glad you asked!

I’ll be studying the excuses that people in the Bible gave to God when He called them and how we often fall back on those same excuses ourselves (like me telling God, ‘this is hard and I’d like to quit now.  Thank you very much and Amen.”) Like Jonah saying he didn’t want to go to Nineveh or Moses saying God had picked the wrong guy or the ten spies who didn’t want to go into Canaan because giants lived there!

When God calls us to follow Him, sometimes we also want to answer: “Yes, God, but….”

“I want to obey, but I’m ashamed….”

“I want to follow You, but I’m afraid…..”

“I want to believe You, but I could be wrong and I’ll mess this up!”

I’ll be writing about all these fears, insecurities and excuses we give God when He asks us to obey Him, whether He’s calling us to missionary service or to teach Sunday School, to adopt a child or to mentor a young mom at church.

I wanted to write you this message first as a way to praise God because that’s the bottom line:  He is awesome and worthy of praise!

I also wanted to thank you.  Thanks for following this journey with me, for reading the blog, for buying that first book, for sharing my posts, commenting on them, and for the millions of ways you’ve all blessed me!

And I need to ask for your help.

Would you pray for me?

My manuscript is due at the end of this year.  I’ll be juggling all my normal responsibilities plus trying to enjoy  summer break with my four kids (whose idea of summer does not involve sitting around at home while mom writes) and trying to put this book together at the same time.  I cannot do this without God.  I desperately need His help.

I need Him to give me the words to say, the thoughts to share.

I’ve been praying two verses over this project.  Would you pray these verses for me also?

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands.  Psalm 90:17

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14 NLT

Would you also follow along in this journey?  Every time you share posts on Facebook or send your friend an email with my blog, every time you comment here on a post or like my author page on Facebook, that helps me share more about God’s Word and about these writing projects.  Plus, then you don’t miss any updates or news I might have!

The book-writing process is snail-paced.  You might not hear updates from me all the time.  But I promise to keep you in the loop from choosing book covers to selecting a title to letting you know when and how you can actually hold a copy in your hands.  It’s going to be a blast!

In the meantime, thank you so much for your prayers.  They mean so very much to me.

In His Name and for His Glory,

heather signature




Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

When the One Thing You Really Needed to Get Done….Doesn’t Get Done

I had one thing written on my agenda for that day.

One.  Thing.

Every other day was packed with wall-to-wall to-do list items.

But not that day.  I had just one thing I needed to do and  I needed to be efficient and productive so that I could spend all the other days doing all the other things.

My list read:

  1. Writing.

But by 2:00, what I just wrote on this screen so far….that was the extent of my progress.

Amazing, huh?

So, what exactly did I do all day?

A million things, just not that one thing.

I had four sick children with coughs and runny noses.

I cleaned up tissues.

I discovered piles of them next to beds and overflowing from bathroom trashcans.  I found a plastic bag full of them on the counter.  I saw miniature mountains of them here and there where we had chased my baby with a Kleenex.

It felt like the full extent of my productivity was wrapped up in this:  Tissue Clean-Up.

And yet, I had wiped noses.  Made cups of tea.  Cuddled a crying baby who couldn’t figure out why his nose feels like a faucet he can’t turn off.proverbs19

I wrote cards and notes responding to prayer requests and answered messages.

I scribbled nonsensical slivers of ideas down here and there all morning so I wouldn’t forget what I wanted to write about later.

I washed dishes and washed clothes and somehow cleaned a house that still looks messier than when I began.

What have I done?

A million things.  Nothing.  Certainly not that one thing I intended to do.

Somehow when you’ve spent all day doing and doing and yet haven’t crossed that one thing off that to-do list, you feel like a failure.

The dam of condemnation cracks and shatters and spews it all out.

How can you have spent all day doing absolutely nothing?  What in the world are you doing with yourself?  Are you lazy?  Are you inept?  How is your house not spotless and your work not done?

And yet, what good is an agenda, really, if it’s my agenda and not God’s?

We can make these perfect plans and miss out on God completely.  We can push right through the disruptions and the distractions to accomplish our goal and end up lost and far from Him.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“the great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant (or unexpected) things as interruptions in one’s own life, or real life.  The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life.

God’s involvement in my agenda isn’t always painful or unpleasant, but it’s usually unexpected.  Like Proverbs 19:21 says:

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

I am a ‘many plans’ kind of girl and I’ll shove my way right on through the obstacles to make those plans happen.

And yet, here I am this month, Learning When to Say ‘Yes,’ and I’ve found that saying yes to God starts with being flexible.

It starts with offering Him my to-do list and it includes yielding willingly, gently and without complaint to the twists of the day and the altering of the path.

I stink at this.

But, Moses the shepherd out there in the desert got it right.  He had a plan to lead “the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God”  (Exodus 3:1).

That’s when God lit a fire within a bush and captured Moses’s attention.

Moses had to decide.  Stick with his own plan?  Or follow the unexpected.

He chose to bend.

He said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight” (Exodus 3:4).

In The Power of God’s Names, Tony Evans writes:

God didn’t reveal Himself to Moses until Moses turned aside from His ordinary routine.

And that Samaritan that Jesus described in Luke 10…he was traveling the road for a reason.  Others had traveled before him: a priest, a Levite.  They saw a dying man on the side of the road and pressed right on past because he wasn’t on the itinerary.

But the Good Samaritan turned aside.  He stepped off the road.  He took the time.

He walked right out of his own agenda and right on into God’s.

May we always be flexible enough to turn aside and to exchange our agendas and plans for His perfect ones (even if they are unexpected).

What is God’s plan for you today?  Have you asked Him?

To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below!  Won’t you join me this month as I Learn When to Say, ‘Yes?’

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King



It’s 3:00 AM, Give or Take An Hour

It’s 3:00 a.m., give or take an hour.  I didn’t look at the clock when I heard my baby’s cry in the night.

When I slip into the room, I hear him sniffling through his stuffy nose.  He’s been up several times already tonight.  After this, he’ll probably continue to wake every hour or so until morning.

His cry is weary and sad, like he’s asking me to fix what I’m unable to heal.  Like he doesn’t understand why he feels so rotten.  Like he’s apologizing for waking me up yet again.

He scrambles to sit up.  Then he tucks himself into my chest and his head drops down ever-so-slowly onto my shoulders.ortbergquote

I feel his breathing ease into that slow rhythm of rest.  His body radiates warmth and I gently stroke my hand across his forehead and feel the slight fever.

He has this fine, blond dusting of hair on his head.  I comb it down with my fingers, slow….gentle….the lightest touch.

He’s asleep.

With four sick kids, I’ve been up about 4 times already that night.  I know my future, no crystal ball needed.  I’ll likely be up every hour from now until sunshine and the rush of the day begins.

So, the practical side of me knows I need to ease that baby boy back into the crib and slip out of the room again.

Get as much sleep as you can, ’cause, girl, you’re going to need it.

The practical side of me is so smart.

But this baby boy snuggles into me and makes this busy, rushing, speedster of a momma pause, rest, breathe in and out and really listen to the rhythm of breath and the rhythm of life.

Usually, he’s on-the-go (like me).  I try to cuddle him, and he pushes away to pester the cat or crawl after his older sisters or grab at the TV remote, cell phone, or Kindle or whatever catches his attention, which is pretty much anything and pretty much all the time.

I almost never get to hug him.

When he starts walking, what then?

When he’s off to school….off to driving…off to life?  What then?

Better to sit right here in the black of 3:00 a.m. (give or take an hour) and hold my son just a few moments longer.

I think of what I’d been reading that day in Pathway to Purpose by Katie Brazelton.  How she said,

“I now know that the most important stuff that happens in life is often challenging, rarely exhilarating, and frequently frightening.”

and this:

“It is not God’s plan for you to spend today chasing after your future one thing when your many things are right in front of you.”

Surely in this moment, this is the most important thing.

We sure can get caught up in searching from some grand revelation of God’s great plan for our lives.  We want to know His will for us, His purposes for us, how He’s going to use us, not just today but long into the future.

Yet, here in the night, sleep-deprived, zombie-brained momma that I am, I feel that God sees me cuddling a sick child.

I think how too often we miss this truth:

God’s great purpose for us is to serve Him humbly, sacrificially and obediently in the here and now of life.

We don’t have to search beyond that.

I think of Lydia:

 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. (Acts 16:13-15 NIV).

Lydia was the first European Christian convert recorded in Scripture, a woman who accepts Christ, shares it with her family, and offers Paul a place to stay while he shares the gospel.

But it began because she said “yes” to God in the ordinary.pathwaytopurpose

“Yes,” to showing up to work.

“Yes” to listening to a missionary.

“Yes” to responding to the gospel.

“Yes” to sharing it with her family.

“Yes” to opening her home as a missions base and church.

Maybe this month, as I’m learning when to say ‘Yes,’ it’s less about joining programs, committees, and ministries, and more about starting with simple obedience and faithful service day after day.

Looking for purpose?  Looking for God’s plan?

Look to today.

To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below!  Won’t you join me this month as I Learn When to Say, ‘Yes?’

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King


VBS for Grown-Ups: Even When You’re Afraid

Vacation Bible School.  That’s just for kids, right?  Silly songs.  Silly skits.  Silly costumes.  Kids stuff.  Sure.

But is there any message in Scripture that God delivers just for people 12 and under? We older and ‘wiser’ ones sometimes make faith so complicated when the simple beauty of truth is what we really need.

This week, I’ll be singing songs and doing those silly skits from Group Publishing’s Weird Animals VBS at my own church.

Here on the blog, I’ll be sharing with you those same stories, the same lessons, the same truth, but for grown-ups.


I wish I had my four-year-old’s bravery.

She’s this tiny powerhouse of courage, stepping onto roller coasters and water rides that drop you straight down and splash you in the face as you land.

She handles shots, injuries, and dental repairs without tears or drama.

But me?

I’m tossing and turning at night, not thrilled at the thought of food, outright terrified, edgy and far too prone to cry, and I’m wondering how I can bottle up this tiny daughter’s courage to fill up my own wimpy soul.matthew14, photo by Decha Thapanya;

Funny how trying to obey God, trying to step out and do what He’s called you to do can be exhilarating and frightening at the same time.

Sure is like a roller coaster, I guess.

But you know what?  I hate roller coasters.

Maybe that’s what makes this so difficult.

In one month almost exactly, I’ll be swimming in a huge ocean of other writers at my first ever writer’s conference.

It may be a month away, but the battle is here and now.

What if everyone is better than me?

What if every woman there looks more polished and more confident and has all the style and pizzazz that captures attention and I’m the easily overlooked tag-a-long that no one remembers?

What if I stumble over my words? 

What if everyone hates what I write or hates my ideas?

What if I’m just not good enough?

What if I make all the sacrifices to be there and walk out with nothing more than capital F Failure and capital R Rejection?

God calls us to daily obedience.  That’s hard enough some days.

Then sometimes He calls us to all-in, risk-everything, put-yourself-out-there, this-is-crazy kind of vulnerability and trust.

It takes courage.  That doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid.  Courage means you obey Him even when you’re terrified because you trust Him with the results.

The disciples had that courage.  They walked right away from their fishing nets and steady paychecks.

The prophets spoke up for right against all that was wrong despite raging kings and queens and the bounties on their head.

Esther stepped into a throne room not knowing if the king would kill her or lower that scepter and hear what she had to say.

Paul strode into city after city and taught in the synagogue every time, knowing he faced the possibility each time of stoning, imprisonment, beatings, death.

And here I am, doing what I’m supposed to do to get ready:

Write the proposal. Come up with a tagline. Pack a briefcase.  Print business cards.  Connect with other authors. Build a platform.  Choose a snazzy outfit.  Get your hair cut and colored or at least maybe some highlights (maybe that terrifies me more than anything).

Most importantly: Pray.  Pray some more.  Pray every single day.

Here’s what I need:  Holy Spirit courage to do what He’s called me to do and leave the rest up to Him.

Like it says:

But Jesus spoke to them at once. Don’t be afraid,” he said. Take courage. I am here!” (Matthew 14:27 NLT).

Take courage because He’s here, right here with you, present with you, not abandoning you, not sending you out all by your lonesome self.

Ananias needed courage like that, too.  The Lord called Him to seek out a man from Tarsus named Saul.

Not any Saul from Tarsus either:  THE Saul from Tarsus, the notorious Christian-persecutor and murderer.

He had to choose.

Risk it all, even death, and obey?  He knew the cost.  Ananias recited the risks for God, as if God clearly didn’t know the details before sending down the divine orders.

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” (Acts 9:13-14 NIV).

“But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go….” (Acts 9:15 NIV).

Maybe God has called you out, asked you to do something that takes true courage and your heart just trembles at the thought of the call.

Yet, He says, “Go….”

Take courage, dear one.  He is with you.  Even when you’re afraid, Jesus loves you.

He knows the risks.  He knows what makes your heart quake.  He knows the results.

And He promises to be with you.

May I ask this of you?  Would you pray with me and for me this month as I prepare to go to She Speaks in July?  I am so blessed by your prayers for me!


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King


How Can I Dance in Worn-Out Shoes?


She tells me they fit.  “Ballet shoes need to be that tight,” she says.

I’m looking at the worn-out gray of the leather where she’s danced and danced on that shoe, and I’m thinking it’s been two years probably since I bought them for her.

Maybe she’s the dance expert, but this momma knows too small when I see it.20140404-130817.jpg

When you have to crinkle your whole foot up to cram it into the shoe and then whisk your finger back before it gets trapped behind your heel, that means it’s time to let those beloved dance shoes go, baby girl.

So, she plops down onto the bench at the studio reluctantly and I tell her to show the teacher and let the expert decide.

About two minutes later, we start pulling out new shoes to try on and we have to skip size after size to find one that finally fits correctly.

I wonder this: Am I cramming myself right down all squashed and painful into life that doesn’t fit anymore?  Habits I’ve outgrown?  Ministries I need to let go?  Behaviors I need to put behind me?

Am I stubbornly holding onto what isn’t working just because it’s here, because it’s known, because the ill-fitting discomfort of this seems better than the unknown with all its newness and risk and…dare I say it….change?

Am I saying I want to know Christ more, be more like Him, follow Him more closely, but then stubbornly clinging to the same-old, same-old patterns of faith and even sin?

Jesus saw this man, crippled for 38 years, lying out by the pools of Bethesda, the miracle waters they said, the place where the lame, the blind, and the paralyzed congregated in hopes of a healing.

The man didn’t cry out to Jesus to “have mercy.”  He didn’t have friends carry him on a stretcher and lower him down through a roof to get to Jesus’ feet.  He didn’t ask for healing at all, not like others in the Gospels who were desperate to get to Jesus.

This man laid by the pool of Bethesda, just laid there because he’d lain there so long.Photo by Ruud Morijn;

It was Jesus who initiated the miracle, and He began with a question, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6 NIV).

Did he want to get well?  Wasn’t he there at the pool of Bethesda and hadn’t he been there so long?  Wasn’t this what you did when you needed a miracle? 

Of course, he wanted to get well!

Yet, we can say all the right things, make all the right promises, repeat all the good-Christian phrases and still miss the honest truth:

That maybe we don’t want to get well.

Not really.

Maybe we don’t want to know Him more,  don’t want to be healed, to be transformed from the inside out, to obey Him, to follow Him wherever He leads.

If we did, wouldn’t we be desperate to be at His feet?  Wouldn’t we be screaming loud enough to be heard over the crowd, “Have mercy, Son of David!!!?”  Wouldn’t we be begging friends to bring us to Christ and crawling on our hands and knees through a crowd of people just so we could brush the corner of His robe?

Instead, too often we lie there and wait for God to come to us.

And when Jesus does come and He asks, “Do you want faith?  Do you want healing?  Do you want to know me more?  Do you want to follow me?”

We can act all offended.  Pretend like the answer is obvious. We can make excuses.

The man said, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (John 5:7 NIV).

Maybe this was genuine, hopelessness, lack of help.

Or maybe it was justification, excuse-making, avoiding what radical obedience might cost him.

Either way, Grace invited him in.  Grace held that hand right out.

Do you want to get well?

And isn’t that Grace?  Never belligerent.  Never forcing, demanding.  Always inviting. 

Then, when we accept, Jesus gives us the next step.  “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk,” He said.ask-me-anything-lord_kd

The man obeyed.  He stopped waiting, stopped making excuses, and he grabbed that mat up and walked right out of there. 

Today, let’s put aside the ill-fitting, worn out shoes we’ve been cramming ourselves into.  Let’s stop doing what we’ve always done.  Let’s stop justifying the inactivity.

And let’s run hard after Jesus.

Let’s be unashamed and relentless in our pursuit of Jesus and the healing work He wants to do in our life, our hearts, our minds, so that He can look right at us and all that we’re doing to get to Him and know the answer without even asking.

Do you want to get well?

Yes, Lord, and Amen.

 Want to read more about the questions God asks?
Check out my book, Ask Me Anything, Lord, available in paperback and for the Kindle and nook!

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King


A Heart At Rest

Too often it’s the insignificant things.

Like the dishes I had to leave unwashed as I unexpectedly rushed out the door…or the items on the to-do list, there because they need to be done, but truly tomorrow might do just as well as today.

It’s the project that sits unfinished, the playroom with evidence of an abandoned toy sorting marathon on display, and the increasingly evident need for a vacuuming.

Too often this is what overwhelms me, the ultimately unimportant and insignificant trifles and I’m tempted for just one selfish moment to say, ‘no.’14157735_s

‘No, I can’t.  No, I’m too busy.  Not today, not tomorrow, not later or in an hour.  No I can’t give this; it’s mine and I need it.  No, you’ll just have to ask someone else.’

While others are needing the hands and feet of Christ right now in this place where they find themselves ….and while God has told this perpetual Martha to abandon the mess in the kitchen and just sit down restfully at His feet or perhaps head out the door to serve another….still I glance incessantly over my shoulder at the kitchen, thinking of what I need to do.

How can my priorities be so awry?

I know it when I’m there… with a friend, on the phone, lingering at church, sharing the cup of tea, holding a crying daughter, baking cookies for another daughter to share with her class, surprising yet another girl in the lunchroom at school and sitting in a noisy cafeteria while she nibbles on her sandwich.

I know this is what matters.  This is what is important.

People are always more important than productivity. 

The dishes will be done.  I’ll stand on the kitchen mat soon enough with my hands soaking into the suds, rinsing cereal bowls and cups. This, too, will be service and love for others, for my family.

Yet, right now what matters is being with God and loving others as He does, not fretting over the remnants of breakfast in my sink.

God challenges my perspective, shifting my viewpoint that is ever so stubbornly focused on my own needs.

He did this for Peter, too, as Jesus explained that He would die and be raised again.

Peter argued with the Savior:  No way, Lord.  That’ll never happen to you!

“Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (Matthew 16:23 NLT).

That’s my problem, isn’t it?  My blindness to God’s perspective and the way that selfishness tunnels my vision until all I can see are my needs, my rights, my worries, my struggles, my life with my priorities.

I’m seeing things from a human point of view and never lifting my head high enough to see from God’s eyes.

This, then, is the deeply penetrating truth that challenges me: If I’m being obedient to God and loving others as He has told me to, then I needn’t worry about the peripheral, the secondary and the insignificant. 

He will give me the time.  He will help me. He will take care of what I need.

I can trust Him with it all, with every bit of my worry, my cares, my needs, my agenda.  When I’m serving God in obedience, my stressed out, frazzled, distracted soul can rest in His presence.

That’s what it says in 1 John:

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence”  (1 John 3:18-19).

Put love-based-on-truth into action and there I find that heart of rest simply because I’m where God is, doing what He’s called me to do, being obedient to His direction and timing.

In What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, Lysa TerKeurst writes:

I must confess I have moments where my heart is at rest in His presence, but they are broken up by pitfalls and pity parties.  Sometimes I just simply want to be selfish.  But when I choose selfishness, I may be happy for the moment, but I’m miserable in the long run (p. 98).

Yes, I have moments when serving comes easy and I feel the peace in obedience.  But I have those other moments when selfishness tempts me to hide away and to hoard my time or resources.

Ironically, it’s only when I’m pouring out to others that God can fill me up with His presence.

It’s only when I cease striving for myself so that I can serve someone else that God meets all my needs, for provision, for rest, for peace, for wisdom, and for time.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

Complicating Grace

We had given them instructions.

While I was away all day at a conference in Richmond, Dad was on duty for swim lessons and a friend’s birthday party and everything in between.

So, I prepped my daughters in advance with specific instructions because you have to go through the bathrooms at the gym in order to reach the pool.  One dad…three daughters….suddenly this whole 003job becomes more complicated.

“Now, you can’t change at the pool after swim lessons,” I told them.  “You just need to slip your cover-up on over your swimsuits and quickly move through the bathroom to the other side where Dad will be waiting for you. He’ll take you home where you can change.”

He told them the same thing.

So, 20 minutes after he sent them through the bathroom after swim lessons, they finally emerged.

Fully dressed.


Because we had planned this all out, I hadn’t packed them underwear to change into after swim class.  They were, after all, supposed to wear their swim suits home.

I can only imagine what every other woman in the gym bathroom witnessed as these three girls tried to change into clothes and discovered a lack of undergarments.

Oh my.

Fortunately, a mom we know had pity on my youngest and at least gave her a plastic bag for her wet swimsuit.  This is what my daughter told me as soon as I arrived home that night.

“How were swim lessons?” I asked.

“Good.  Natalie’s mom gave me a plastic bag.”


They must have struggled through wet clothes and changing in a public bathroom and searching frantically through the clothes for the things they needed and then had to makeshift a solution when they found their resources were lacking.

But if they had listened to us, yes, if they had just listened and obeyed the simple instructions we’d given, they would have had everything they needed.  It would have been so simple.

And I take this to heart.

Yes, if I just listen to my God—all-knowing, all-powerful, so gracious and loving—then perhaps I wouldn’t struggle with so much insufficiency and lack, perhaps the situations that threaten to drown me in frantic worry and desperate searching would be simplified and peace-filled.

Yet, sometimes I’m just not listening.

And sometimes I’m listening; I’m just not obeying.

Either way, I create havoc.

I’m not alone in this, I know.  God granted Solomon supernatural wisdom, and yet the vast kingdom he inherited from his father, King David, disintegrated when Solomon died.

All because he didn’t listen.

God gave such clear instructions for the kings of Israel:

However, he (the king) must not acquire many horses for himself or send the people back to Egypt to acquire many horses, for the Lord has told you, ‘You are never to go back that way again.’ He must not acquire many wives for himself so that his heart won’t go astray. He must not acquire very large amounts of silver and gold for himself (Deuteronomy 17:16-17).

Three simple commands:

1. Don’t have too many horses (especially ones you get from Egypt, where you were once enslaved).

2. Don’t have many wives (especially those who will lead your heart astray).

3. Don’t build up extreme personal wealth.

Perhaps the rules seemed so arbitrary, even unfair, and certainly not fun.  All the other kings, I’m sure, married for political alliances, acquired wealth and then showed it off, and maintained stables with pride.

Why not Solomon and the kings of Israel?

The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes that “All three prohibitions, then, were designed to reduce the king to the status of a servant totally dependent on His Master, the Lord.”

God planned for his king’s heart to be humbled, for him to remember Who would deliver him in battle and Who would provide for his needs.

Sadly, Solomon doesn’t have a reputation for wisdom alone.  No, he’s known for opulence, and his 700 wives (plus 300 concubines), who led him to worship foreign gods and stone idols.

And his horses.

We’re told: “Solomon had 4,000 stalls for his chariot horses, and he had 12,000 horses” (1 Kings 4:26).  Not only that, but Solomon’s horses came from Egypt (2 Chronicles 1:16).

Lisa Harper writes:

grace can masquerade as difficulty and discipline”(Malachi).

So it was for malachiSolomon.  This was grace in disguise and he missed it, missed seeing through the mask of rules and restrictions to know that God was at work here.

And me, when I’m rushing and not listening, or listening and not heeding, how can I see grace for the grace it is?

Instead, I’m begging, “Mercy,” and this mercy He’s already given.

I still my heart to listen.

I steel my heart to obey.

And grace is what I see.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King