Collect the Commas

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4:00 AM Faith

Life is a series of commas, not periods. (Matthew McConaughey)

The best stories always have twists and turns. Don’t place a period where a comma is emerging. Your story is filled with courage and overcoming obstacles. Keep collecting  commas. You are in the middle of a great success story.  

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2)

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Sometimes All You Need Is a YouTube Video

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Today I was listening to an audio book, and realized I was lost.

The book came highly regarded by several sources, and I loved the beginning! However, as I started to get busy with other things as I was listening, I got lost. All of a sudden a book I had hours before been devouring, was now filled with rambling and a story that I could not figure out. After coming to grips with the fact that I needed to do stop and do something different, I decided to consult YouTube!

The opportunitity to to instantly search for a video to deliver a lesson or discussion on a particular topic that makes learning manageable.

Within seconds, I found a video about the author of my book. She was explaining her memoir, and talking about her story. A few of the things she said filled in several gaps for me, and I was able to continue reading. This time, I continued with an even deeper idea of what the book was about.

It is not uncommon for me to look for videos when I want to learn something new. Audio-processing is one way I learn best. The magic happens when a new level of understanding emerges. Often the best videos are the ones that I watch after taking a look at a few. Different videos serve different purposes. Sometimes it happens right away, and sometimes after a process of searching- the perfect video is found. Videos can connect information that is difficult to otherwise process. And, more than even helping us form a basic level of understanding, it is the video that opens up a whole new world in our awarness of a topic.

Create More Energy

Running Gives me the Opportunity to Be at my Best

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The Morning Workout

Before anyone is awake, I am up.

4:00 AM is the time my alarm shows. I crave the opportunity to be up when the world is quiet. When I look outside it is still dark, and 4:00 AM feels intentional. Without an alarm, I would not necessarily be awake at the 4:00 AM hour. As a veteran runner, full-time teacher, and mom of three kids, there is only one way to guarantee that a daily workout happens- and that is by making it part of the morning routine. The coolest thing about the morning workout is that it feels like I stole something from the rest of the day. As the world is waking up, I have already put in several miles, lifted weights and done something I can be proud of. I was a runner in college, before I got married, had kids and began teaching. Today, I continue to compete as an athelete and love knowing that I can embrace an identity I am really proud of.

Besides gaining confidence from having an amazing run, working out gives me the opportunity to create energy. When I start running, my mind is filled with noise. As I ease into the run, it eventually gets quiet. And, at the end of a run I am fueled and ready to take on anything! After I run I think clearly, am more creative, open to possiblities and much more calm. The morning run is a gift.

As I think about the fact that I have been given a gift, I realize that I have to protect what I have created. After a run, I have energy, and I can give it to anyone or anything. The challenge now becomes making sure that I don’t waste what has been given to me. I have to be picky about where my energy goes.

When I run I get closer to becoming the best I can offer the world.

Space for the Unfamiliar

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What if it wasn’t wrong, it was just unfamiliar?

In life, we are given a set of experiences. To develop empathy and an awareness of what other people’s experiences are like, we have to find ways to connect with people who live and think differently than we do. This sounds easy to do in theory, but learning requires being intentional about the people and resources we surround ourselves. Books and podcasts have become a few of the ways I have expanded my thinking and made space for the unfamiliar.  

A Shared Perspective is a Good Thing, but not the Path to Growth.

It is awesome when you find someone who shares a similar perspective to you in several areas. However, real learning, growth and depth happen when we hold space for a different way of thinking. 

Sometimes it is difficult to know how to respond when someone says something that makes you question your thoughts on a topic.  

More Alike than Different

A few years ago, I read Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. Michelle Obama is someone I admire, but at the time, not someone who I thought I had a lot in common with. After the book remained steady on the Best Seller Lists and received high praise from several people, I decided to give it a chance. While Our stories are drastically different, as Michelle’s life story unfolded, I couldn’t help but think several times, “I would have done that too, or that is exactly what I am trying to do as a working mom”. When she talked about everything from applying to law school, supporting her husband, being present for her girls, and finding a way to work out no matter what, I realized how much I had in common with her. 

Unfamiliar things can be overwhelming.

Unfamiliar can be uncomfortable. Embarking on an unfamiliar experience requires courage and a willingness to be challenged or required to try something new. Being willing to take risks and challenge ourselves to make space for new ways of thinking.  And sometimes it is scary to toe the line of a new perspective. Last week I listened to The Dave Burgess Show, The Dave Burgess Show , a new podcast that I look forward to for inspiration each week, and listened to a perspective that I was unfamiliar with. I thought I had a good handle on what the guest was going to talk about, but as the show began, I realized a mix of familiar things and unfamiliar approaches. At first, as a listener, I wondered if I was in the right place.

Mom of ALL Capes 

When I first started listening to Amber Coleman-Mortley, or Mom of All Capes as she is known on social media, on The Dave Burgess Show, I was drawn to her passion and drive to express ideas in a way that motivates people to change.  Honestly, as she was introduced to the show, and I read a little bit of her background, I was not sure I would relate to her enough. She had a book in the works, a huge platform where she was an advocate for change, a podcast with her daughters and seemed to articulate the most complex topics with grace. Amber had a way of approaching topics with an incredibly authentic voice. 

Her perspective was bold, beautiful, and very unique. She had a way of explaining things that made sense. 

Raising Civic-Minded Kids

As I continued to listen to her, I realized how much I was not aware of. One of the first things she said was that she was trying to raise civic-minded kids. She wants to raise kids who are empowered.  As she explained her mission, I realized how much I agreed with her on many things.  A focus on raising Civic-Minded kids is something that I could focus on more. I was also impressed to find out that she has a podcast, Let’s K-12 Better, featuring discussions with her daughters.   

I Just Got Her

Amber also explained how important it is to discover what our kids are passionate about.  While we think we know, it is still worthwhile to stop and ask them what they are into.  Lastly, as the episode was coming to an end, Amber was asked why she is known as “The Mom of All Capes” on social media.  She explained that she is a superhero and has to wear several capes as a mom.  She talked about being willing to do whatever is needed. 

The fierce love a parent feels is something you understand when you have kids.  

Our Methods are Different, but We are More Alike than I Realized

We are all on a journey to find a way to share our mission with the world and leave it better than we found it.  Everyone has a different way of doing this. Some of the things people say and do are unfamiliar, and that can be overwhelming.  However, real growth happens when we make space for the unfamiliar. Excellence includes new ideas and the courage to consider that the best perspective is evolving and willing to make space for the unfamiliar.

What We Want Changes

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Sometimes What We Want Changes

It’s funny how we outgrow what we once thought we couldn’t live without, and then fall in love with what we didn’t even know we wanted. Life keeps leading us on journeys we would never go on if it were up to us. Don’t be afraid. Have faith. Find the lessons. 

God is not a God of chaos but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

4:00 AM Faith

This devotion comes from a collection called 4:00 AM Faith. I am blessed to be able to write daily and send it to several people. If you are looking for a daily faith boost that shares a message of hope send me an email at .

This is Important!

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And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And This! And This!” And each day it is up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” (Ian Thomas)

Let your eyes look directly ahead, And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. (Proverbs 4:25)


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Choose Your Battles

Don’t Tire Out Before the Ones that Matter

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Don’t Tire Early

Choose your battles wisely because if you fight them all, you’ll be too tired to win the really important ones.

Preparation for Battle

When I think about going into battle, pictures of swords, horses, and armor fill my mind. I think about the physical process of getting ready and the mental stamina needed to prepare for what might be a grueling task.

It is okay not to fight in every battle you are invited to. Choosing not to engage does not count as a loss.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. (Exodus 14:14)

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This post comes from a devotional series called 4:00 AM Faith. It is written each morning and sent in a condensed format to several people. If you are interested in receiving a daily faith boost, email me at

Don’t Let Your Ship Sink

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Ships don’t sink because of the water around them;  ships sink because of the water that gets in them.  Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.  

Don’t Let Negativity In

Little by little, almost so gradually that we hardly notice it, negativity from the world around us has the ability to take a hold of us if we don’t keep an eye out for it.  Negativity that takes a hold of us from the world makes it difficult to cultivate a life that will inspire others. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

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A Different Person

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I was Different

“I could tell you my adventures-  beginning from this morning,” but it’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then. (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

We Did the Best We Knew How

We do the best we know how until we have new information or have had an experience that gives us a new outlook.  

Love Yourself as You Would Others

1 Corinthians 13:5 reminds us when we have love and compassion for ourselves, we are not to be easily angered, nor keep a record of wrongs. 

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Keep Moving Forward and CHASE YOUR IMPOSSIBLE


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“The most complicated skill is to be simple.”― Dejan Stojanovic

Considering the Word Simple

The word simple is defined as saying “To make something easy to understand or do.  It is not to do something in a complex or fancy way”.  I have often heard people say when planning an event, that they want to keep it simple. 

As I thought about the word simple, I was intrigued and pondered why it is such a skill to keep events, relationships, health, words, productivity, faith, and lifestyle to the point and uncomplicated.  

Simplicity Frees us of Confusion

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that when words and ideas are carefully chosen, leaving out anything unnecessary, there is a challenge to be disciplined without excuses.  We are given the opportunity to be freed of any confusion and have the opportunity to see a clear path in the direction we want to go.  God’s word is packed with several short verses that very articulate His message. 

Sometimes the simplest verses are the most complex.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 reads,  “Rejoice always, pray continually”. 

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4:00 AM Faith is sent daily.  It is sent daily in a condensed email or text format.  If you would like a daily faith boost, send an email to and specific if you would like to receive a text or email message.

Keep Moving Forward and CHASE YOUR IMPOSSIBLE