Tag Archives: Appetites

6 Practical Ways to Increase Your Hunger for God’s Word


I purchased my first goat as a thirteen-year-old fresh out of the city suburbs. I had no idea what I was in for.

I named my new pet Sarah Jane, but my mom called her, “the big, black villain”—mostly due to her size and color. Mostly.

Exactly one day after my purchase, Sarah Jane had four kids. And I had my hands full. Sarah Jane nursed two of the kids, and I bottle fed the other two.

Bottle feeding goat kids is fun. They’re energetic, cute, and always look like they’re up to something. Healthy kids attack a bottle the moment it’s within leap reach. They drain it quickly and use every trick they know to coax for more.

But one morning, when the kids were two weeks old, one of them showed no interest in her bottle. Zero. Her ears drooped, and she made little effort even to be petted. I remember the concern that gripped my heart as I called the farm where I had purchased her mother. Continue reading

A Good Kind of Greedy

Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.

I’m learning the beauty of a word that I used to limit: grace.

Of course, we know that God is gracious, and we are thankful for that; but I am discovering that His graciousness impacts far more of my life than I used to think.

We know that it is through His grace that we are saved.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.—Ephesians 2:8–9

And if you’re in church at all, it’s not difficult to know that people who are hurting or grieving need grace. Just listen to public prayers, and you’ll understand that grace is for people who have lost a loved one.

But in recent years, I’ve begun to see grace in a fuller light. I’m learning that grace is not limited to salvation and loss. Ephesians 2:7 uses the phrase “the exceeding riches of his grace.” Continue reading

Peas, DNA, and Delight

Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.

It was one of the most brilliant ideas of my young life…or at least the best idea of that long lunch.

I was born not liking peas. Try as hard as I might (which wasn’t very hard) to change my tastes, I couldn’t. It must be part of my DNA.

Before I was even old enough to reason through likes and dislikes, I knew that peas were not to be ingested—not by me, anyway. My mom has tales of how as a two-year-old, I would store peas in the sides of my cheeks refusing to swallow them. She says that when we had mixed vegetables, I could even sort the peas out from the corn and carrots while they were all in my mouth and swallow the corn and carrots while storing the peas. Apparently, I even once kept supper peas in my cheeks undetected until morning. Another time, a distraught nursery worker returned me to my parents with full cheeks of peas.

It took me a few years, but one day at lunch, I had a brilliant idea of what to do with my peas. My oldest sister, Nichole, was in charge, and both of my parents were gone. Peas had been served with lunch, and everyone else had long since finished. There I sat at the table with peas staring at me. (And peas make such awful faces when they stare.) Continue reading

A Good Day for Me

Several years before I was born, an eighteen-year-old girl was visited in the hospital by an old friend from high school friend named Dody. In the time that had passed since they had seen each other, Dody had changed, and Joanne couldn’t help but notice.

“Dody, your face looks so…so pretty.”

“That’s because Jesus has changed my life. I trusted Him, and He has changed me.”

Dody’s countenance of joy was so compelling that as soon as Joanne was released from the hospital, she made a call to the Baptist pastor of the church where her grandmother had attended and asked for an appointment. Continue reading

You Are What You Read

There are many gifts from my parents for which I will forever be thankful. One is the gift of reading. And another is the gift of books.

My mom taught me to read, and I actually remember when “the light turned on.” From that moment on, I was a voracious reader. Because we had no television in our home, I read everything I could lay my eyes on—including the ingredients on the cereal box.

But mostly, I read books. Good books. Books that stretched me and challenged me to love God, grow in maturity, and live by faith. And all this was before I was even in third grade.

What kind of books could do this for a grade schooler? Missionary biographies. Continue reading

Want a Clove?

We didn’t eat sugar in our house growing up. But we did eat cloves. Okay—we didn’t eat cloves; I did.

It all started when my mom gave them to us in church (instead of  breath mints) to help us stay awake. She recommended that we suck on them, which my sisters did; but I found they were much more effective when chewed.

Years later, in college, I found I was often struggling to stay awake during class and even at work. With a very full schedule, sleep was at a premium. I remembered the value of cloves, and I filled a small container to keep on my person. It really helped—even if some people did make fun of my odd habit. I always offered they could try one, but they usually declined. At least I could stay awake—when I really needed to!

But the ultimate in clove-eating came this week when I ate them…because I was hungry! I was waiting on someone for lunch and experiencing starvation-like pains in the meantime. (Well, maybe not starvation-like, but pretty severe!)

In desperation, I searched my desk drawers for something…anything…to eat, and that is when I saw my old container of cloves. And, yes, I ate them—not just one or two, but probably fifteen or twenty. (Incidentally, I found that cloves have a way of warming your stomach on the inside—quite helpful for short-term hunger control!) Continue reading