What’s Next?

Never A Dull Moment – Wrap Up from the Beach

My gracious… LIVE for 8 minutes. Not sure anybody’s “got time for that,” but it’s been awesome reading through “Never A Dull Moment” with so many of you! I pray God uses what He’s put before us mightily for His glory and our good! Happy Sunday, Facebook Friends! I’m off to catch up with the fam by the beach!



God Does NOT Make Mistakes

Never A Dull Moment – Week 2, Day 6

I could go on and on about my kiddos and how much they have taught me and how much I love them and don’t even get me flipping through all the pictures that I could find and post to go along with this particular devotion.  Instead of all that, though, I have to highlight the most important thing:

God does NOT make mistakes.

When I brought my first-born home from the hospital my life changed in a million ways that I never even thought of.  (For the record, Mom tried to tell me about 700 thousand of them, but I wouldn’t listen… KIDS!)  The biggest issue I faced was wanting to be the “perfect” mother to this precious little squirm worm while simultaneously having no idea what I was doing.  As they say, “Babies don’t come with manuals!”  Or maybe that’s just my mom again? Anyway… a sweet friend gave me the one piece of parenting advice that actually matters. It is the only one that I purposely pass along to other mommas who are just trying to navigate the rapids of parenthood.  She said, “God gave you Caleb because YOU are the perfect mother for him. Period.” Wow. Whew.

Aside from the sweet story of my perfect babies – I’m a little biased! – THAT is the whole point of today’s reading.  No matter what it is in your life that has you questioning God’s wisdom in giving you the assignment, GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES.  Every single person, situation, issue, occurrence, moment, relationship, etc. etc. etc. is intended for your good and His glory.

He has you where you are by design.  Trust Him.  He hand-picked you for the life you are living because there’s good work for only you to do.  Remember that he makes wise choices and He always picks perfectly.

And, now, without further ado, the pictures!  You knew they were coming!!  LOL!

NADM My Perfect Babies4

Resting In The Lord

NADM Is30_15 BNever A Dull Moment – Week 2, Day 2

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. – Isaiah 30:15

I’m just going to stop saying how cool it is that God is so CLEARLY orchestrating each of these days we are walking together.  The idea for today’s reading came from an article I wrote in 2003 when Caleb was just a baby and morphed into what you read earlier today two and half years ago.  My quiet time this morning was all about repenting of my tendency to wrestle control from the Lord, releasing my desire to be the “queen” of my own little kingdom to fully embrace the Lordship of Christ and His Kingdom.  Gracious… clearly, I am still learning and I praise God that He has not given up on teaching this ornery daughter!

Have you ever noticed that in your own life?  As amazing as it is when we see themes in our times with the Lord, when God is clearly speaking to us about a certain issue, sin or circumstance, it still kind of means that we just haven’t quite gotten it yet, right?  LOL!  Bless your hearts… you’ve seen first hand in just these last 9 days that I am very often not the best student.  Trusting God, fully releasing my own grip in favor of His sovereignty is just not an easy lesson for me to learn.  My Sunday school curriculum asked just this morning, “what needs to be repented of and forgiven in your own life?”  My answer?

Death grip control, waking up (and lying down) in anxiousness rather than trust.  O Father, I repent of trying to be my own little “queen,” running “my own little kingdom.”  My time, talents and treasure… it’s all yours.

God is so good.  Where I would have given up long ago, He keeps teaching, encouraging, and reassuring.  I’ll get it eventually.  Today is a new day.  His mercy and grace greets me with MORE THAN ENOUGH.

The Button Pusher

Never A Dull Moment – Week 2, Day 1

Gracious!  I so wish I had no experience with “button pushers,” don’t you?  Unfortunately everyone of us has at least one in our lives and, frankly, we probably do some button pushing of our own.

I’m thankful for the reminders throughout the New Testament that we do not fight against the powers or the people of this world.  I am thankful for Jesus, who shows us how to fight against our true enemy and always makes a way for us.  Flip with me to Luke 4 and take note of a couple things to keep in mind as you walk through this day.

  • Notice that the Devil came to Jesus after he’d been in the desert for 40 days.  When we are tired and hungry, at the end of our ropes in our humanness, we need to be extra vigilant in our awareness of the enemy.  He’s pretty savvy and he’s been doing this tempting/warring thing for quite some time now.  He may come at you when you are well-rested, fed, prayed up, and feeling strong, but chances are really good, he’ll wait until you’re already a little off balance and then strike at your weakest point.  Don’t forget, his goal is to kill, steal and destroy us.  Nice.  Be on the lookout.
  • Those of us who regularly sit under a steeple have probably heard at least one sermon on Luke 4 focused on how Jesus combatted Satan: He used scripture.  I’d like to further point out that Satan did too.  The Devil tempted, Jesus retorted. So, Satan came at Him again.  Again, Jesus pulled out the Word to counter him.  The third time – tenacious, right?! – Satan clearly thought, “Alright, you want to talk scripture, let’s go.”  For the third temptation, instead of simply offering to meet the Messiah’s physical needs or appealing to His rightful place as King, the Devil pulled out a Bible verse. Jerk.  Isn’t that the way He works?  Twisting and manipulating even that which God has intended for our good to battle us?  Jesus never wavers – nor will we, in His strength! – and finally, Satan leaves Him alone.
  • BIG NOTE FOR US: sometimes Satan tempts us to rush ahead of the timetable God has set. Check out Luke 4: 4-8.  Remember, Jesus IS the King.  All the kingdoms of the world ARE rightfully His, but had He bowed to Satan here, rather than waiting on His Father’s timing, all would be lost.  WE would be lost.
  • When you feel weak and ill-equipped to fight, remember that, as a believer in Christ, you have His very fullness within you.  In HIS strength ALL things are possible.  Remember, the end of our passage today: At HIS word, “the demon came out of [the man] without hurting him at all.”

Thank You, Jesus, for coming and showing us exactly how it’s done.  Remind us, teach us, who we are in You and let us never forget the sacrifice that You made so that we can live victorious, abundant lives HERE and live with You forever when we get THERE.  We love You, Lord.  Amen.

There Are No Mundane Tasks

Never A Dull Moment – Week 1, Your Turn to Talk

We made it: one whole week of journeying together, seeing God in the daily, being consistent (for me… sort of!) in our times with the Lord!  Don’t miss the key point wrapped up in that little parenthetical, my Friends.  We do not have to be perfect.  It is OK when things don’t go exactly as planned.  There are days when we are going to feel overwhelmed, but Isaiah 43:10 says we WON’T BE.  I have a business partner who says, “overwhelmed is a choice” and she’s right.

Did you keep going?  Did the Holy Spirit remind you of Himself?  Did you throw up a prayer as you were running out the door?  Are you reading this today?  Good for you!  Way to persevere!  Running the race looks gangly and awkward sometimes, but you just don’t stop.  There’s a reward waiting at the end AND there will be lots of awesome along the way!

So… your turn to talk.  The challenge for today is to consider the “mundane” tasks for which you are responsible and then open your eyes to see the blessings they represent.  I love looking at life this way.  After all, if we are created to do good works which God planned in advance for us to do (we were, see Ephesians 2:10) and if all our days are ordained (they are, see Psalm 139) then there are no mundane tasks, right?

Happy journaling!

WWJD? Not. Rush!

Y’all.  I LOVE how God ALWAYS speaks right into out circumstances.  When I wrote Never A Dull Moment two years ago, I surely did not know I’d be reading through it with you now.  I didn’t know I’d be the PTA President, that Class Assignment Day would be upon me, that I’d be playing “catch up” and lamenting how quickly the days of summer flew past… but God did.

What a PERFECT devotional reading for this day!  And the super cool thing is, I know it is speaking to many of you in the same personal way this morning.  Life. Is. CRAZY!  Our kiddos grow up so fast, vacations fly by, it feels like we need to start putting the Christmas tree up in August!  Ok.  Maybe that last one is just me!  The point is, we are all so busy and time flies.  But, we can BE STILL and KNOW that God is GOD (Psalm 46:10).  And Jesus, as always, gives us a perfect example to follow.

  1. Cover your day in PRAYER
  2. CARE about the people who cross your path
  3. ALWAYS keep the main thing, the main thing

So easy to type.  So hard to DO!  I don’t know if y’all took the time to look up each of the passages mentioned in today’s reading, but I did!  Here’s the thing, Jesus was a VERY busy man!  I think a lot of times, we tend to think of Him as floating through life on this planet with maybe a cute little sheep near His feet and a halo around His head.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  He didn’t live in peaceful, calm, orderly circumstances, BUT He is peace, stayed calm and keeps order.  See the difference?


Mark 5:15-16 says, “the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  YET He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”  Even as people clamored for His attention, He withdrew for prayer.  That word: YET.  YET… even though people wanted Him to heal them, teach them, feed them, go with them, talk to them… He withdrew to pray.  He, better than anyone, knows exactly where our strength comes from.  Jesus was absolutely clear about WHO is in control.  We need to get there.  All of our striving won’t accomplish a fraction of what time in prayer will.  It simply can’t skipped.  No matter what.  YET… even though kiddos are clamoring, the phone is ringing or dinging or beeping or chirping or WHATEVERing; even though your head is spinning, the list is calling… YET she often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.  He must be our first report, not our last resort.


Take a look at Mark 6:34 and let your eyes wander up the page to verse 30.  Please notice that Jesus and the guys were on a little vacay.  They had been commissioned and sent out back at the beginning of chapter 6 and upon their return, Jesus said, “Whew!  You guys were busy!  Way to go!  I think a boys’ weekend is in order (Mark 6:31, The Joeli Version)!”  They made their plans, but when they arrived, their fans had followed them!  Jesus didn’t freak out or cry or scream at His friends (for me, insert: kids, husband, mom, cashier at Wal-mart…).  He stepped ashore (They were at the BEACH, for heaven’s sake!) and “had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd (6:34).”

Oh, how I love Jesus.  What a precious friend and savior.  I am like a sheep without a shepherd.  He took time for me and has compassion on me.  And every day He brings people across my busy path that I can, in turn, have compassion on.

Not too long ago, I was very upset/hurt/frustrated over a situation the details of which, honestly, aren’t even important.  I was talking it out with my kiddos because they were there for it.  They knew I was upset.  They understood WHY I was upset.  But after all my dismay and anger, my girl said: “Mom, you would never have [done that thing that upset you so] because you know Jesus, but maybe that lady is just tripping down the wrong path and maybe she just needs Jesus.”  Oh, my wise girl.

Y’all, every single person we meet every single day as we run through our crazy lives “just needs Jesus.”  We get to BE Jesus.  Oh Holy Spirit, wake us up.  Give us a YOUR compassion and care for the people we see.  Use us to love the wandering sheep and lead them home.


One word for you: MISSION.  What is yours?  Jesus knew He was here to declare the day of the Lord and preach the Good News (see Luke 4:17-21)  We all have a mission too.  We are not all called to DO every thing.  We would do well to spend some time with the Father getting clear on what it is our “main thing” is and then keep it the main thing.  Just like Jesus, we need to allow for interruptions without becoming distracted.

Never A Dull Moment: Spending August with the Dramatic Daughter Herself

Hello Friends!  Those of you who follow my Facebook page know that we are walking through my devotional book, Never A Dull Moment: Conversations with a Dramatic Daughter of the King, this month.  The idea of walking through the devotional book hatched as a result of two things: First, I kept thinking about the stories I share in it.  They are all close to my heart and for some reason, God has been reminding me of them lately.  I personally wanted to read back through them to see what else God has taught me since I first wrote them down.  AND God has given me a platform to share the things that He brings to mind and puts on my heart.  Seems like what He’s teaching me is very often just thing He wants me to pass on… which leads me to the second reason we’re all here.

Over the last few weeks, several of you have reached out to me about your quiet times with the Lord.  We ARE busy people.  We DO have a lot on our plates and as much as we want to prioritize quiet time in our Father’s presence, it seems to be the first thing to slide.  So, my prayer is that this month together will help us establish consistency in our time with the Lord by providing an online community of people who will be traveling this road together.

Never A Dull Moment is all about finding God in the middle of daily “insanity.”  I hope that we develop a true HABIT of BEING STILL in His presence and SEEING HIM even in the midst of our crazy lives… especially in the midst of our crazy lives.  God is all about relationship.  He is not interested in you prettying up for Him.  He’s interested in being central as you walk the walk!  I’m so excited to be walking with you this month!  See you in the word!

Down with Anxiety Girl

Anxiety Girl

I am still slowly picking my way through the book of Luke with my online Bible Study Peeps at Good Morning Girls – and let me first say that slowly processing scripture for yourself is the way. to. GO! I am so enjoying how God is whispering His truths to my heart as I take time to listen to what His living and active WORD might speak into my little life.

This morning found me focused on Luke 21:12-33. My heart was so struck by Christ’s distinct calm in the midst of describing terrible worldwide, as well as, personal calamity. Oh, please take the time to read it right now. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2021:12-33&version=NIV;ESV;CEV;HCSB;NLT

My take away – and my encouragement to you – is very simply: down with Anxiety Girl. Back away from the cape. Do not worry or fret over even the terrible things (much less the frustrating, inconvenient things). They are coming regardless of our worry, firmly in God’s hand and so very temporal – they WILL pass away. As someone so aptly noted in my “face to face” Bible study this week: we win in the end. And, I would add, Anxiety Girl will have nothing to do with it!

When I look around at all that is happening, think about all that will happen and add to that my tendency to stress over things that MIGHT happen, this passage so encourages me to: trust God – PERIOD, to seek His face and His wisdom and most importantly to PRIORITIZE HIS WORD. That seems so basic, as a 25 year veteran to Bible study, but it is so easy to lose track of in the daily. His word is the ONLY thing that will never pass away. Even the most terrible things will one day be history. The concerns I have for my Kiddos, now 7 and 10, will one day be blips – if even that – on the timeline of my days with them, but His Word, His promises to us, His assurances, His example, His sovereignty will never change. Please do not hear me saying that life is not really, really hard some days. I know that it is much easier to type this when all is well, the coffee is hot, the job is secure, the Kiddos are well and the bills are paid than it is to LIVE it when none of those things are true. But even then, something in my heart is so longing to just let. it. go. Even when Anxiety Girl’s get-up is right there ready for me to don, I think I am finally ready to give just trusting Jesus a shot. I think it will be really, really awesome. I think if I seek Him first, Jesus really will give me all the rest as well (Matt. 6:33). I think He will really be able to orchestrate all my stuff way better than I can and I think I really believe Him when He says that tomorrow will worry about itself (Matt. 6:34).

I can fret with the best of them, but Jesus so reminded my heart this morning, that if I seek him first and prioritize His word in all things – in my daily mundane stuff, in my relationships, while the Kiddos and I are coming and going, when Kep wants to talk, when Kevin needs extra TLC, when Caleb needs a happy Momma helping him study for the Social Studies test, when the checking account balance doesn’t look like I want it to, when I feel like I have too much on my plate, when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed, when I’m calm, when I think I know what’s going on and when I have no idea – if in ALL THINGS, I seek Him first and prioritize His word, I will be prioritizing the eternal and giving my family, friends and neighbors something that will never tarnish or fade. I am ready to take Anxiety Girl DOWN. My heart knows that I can’t keep all these plates balanced and spinning. Jesus just stepped in this morning to remind me that HE CAN. Blessings, fellow Super Girls. Give Jesus the cape… He’s got this!

Propitiation: A Big Word I Didn’t Know I Knew

I often say that God did all the hard work for our salvation.  He chased us throughout history, always loving us first; always making a way.  He proved His love for us in that while we were still sinners He sent His Son to die in our place.  He, by the power of His Holy Spirit, draws us to Himself, convicts us of our sin and even cries out on our behalf in prayer when we don’t know what to say.  Jesus stands at the right hand of the Father telling Him over and over again as we come to His throne with our humanness – in our sin – what it is like to actually walk around on this ball of dust held captive by skin.  He does the chasing.  He does loving.  He did the dying and the resurrecting.  He does the drawing.  He does the mediating.  By comparison, our job is so simple.  Our job is to recognize Him as Lord, to see that He loves us, to hear when He calls and to confess our sin – every time.  Our job is to repent and rest and be quiet and trust; to obey and follow and stay focused on Him.  He does the forgiving, the leading and the directing.  Our job is to receive it from Him.

I am working through a pretty hefty book right now by John Stott called The Cross of Christ.  This morning’s lesson is on “propitiation”.  How’s that for a vocabulary word?  It’s so funny to me that I am studying this now because 5 years ago, before sitting under the teaching of my current Pastor, I would have had to look it up in a dictionary.  (Don’t worry… you don’t have to get yours.  I am about to tell you what it means!)  Now, it at least doesn’t scare me!  To “propitiate” means to assuage or appease someone’s anger; to gain or regain the favor or someone else.  Turns out what I “often say” can be summed up in one really big word.  I don’t like thinking too terribly much about the anger of God, but to use my own terminology, “propitiation” simply means that God did all the hard work to save us.  To quote, Stott, “It is God Himself who in holy wrath needs to be propitiated, God Himself who in holy love undertook to do the propitiating, and God Himself who in the Person of His Son died for the propitiation of our sins.  Thus God took His own loving initiative to appease His own righteous anger by bearing it His own self in His own Son when He took our place and died for us.”

I don’t know about you, but that blows me away.  God took His own loving initiative to do the hard work for me because He knew I would never be able to do it for myself.  He bore His own righteous anger at MY sins because He knew I would never be able to withstand it on my own.  And then He, Himself, in His Son, Jesus, died for my sins so that I might be His very own daughter – chosen, adopted, blessed, gifted with every good gift, abundant and eternal life, the Fruit of the Spirit and the very fullness of Christ.  And my job is to simply accept His gift of grace and mercy, rest in His salvation and trust Him with all that I am and all that concerns me.  My job is to simply gaze into my Father’s face and fall in love with Him.

O Father, captivate me.  Even when I struggle and pull away – as children sometimes do – hold me fast.  Change my heart and draw me close.  Whisper my name in the winds of life in this world and the downpour of my daily.  Continue to do the hard work of drawing me to Yourself and make me more and more like Jesus as I keep my eyes fixed on Him.

Embrace the Crazy

OK… this post has less to do with Speechless Ministries per se and more to do with my own craziness, which clearly impacts everything I do – including speaking to various groups as God gives me the opportunity and writing and performing dramas.  Plus, anyone who visits the site should know the real me and, really, that was kind of the point of the “blog” section anyway.  So, here goes: I just left my kid at the karate school.  That’s right: TOTALLY forgot what time I was supposed to pick him up!  Picture it with me: I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, which, since we’re being honest, really should warrant a news crew!  I never cook.  It just so happens that this fall I made some taco soup and miracle of miracles, my Honey loves it and requests it often.  When you only have one “specialty” and your man requests it, you cook it.  Period.  So anyway, I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner and my cell phone rings.  It’s Sensei.  My heart does a little leap!  Not because, mind you, I have forgotten to pick up my child, but because said child is, after all, at KARATE and he could be hurt!


“Hello… Mrs. Mulligan?  This is Sensei calling on behalf of Caleb.”

“Yes?! [Geez, Mister, get to the point… I’m freaking out here!] Is he alright?!”  Note that I have still not realized WHY the poor man is calling!

“Yes… yes, he’s fine, but… class is over.”

“OH MY GOSH!  I am so sorry!  I am on my way as we speak.  I am so sorry!  I was thinking class was over at 7:30!  Oh my gosh!  See you in a minute!!”

The Suburban could not move fast enough through the streets of my town and the whole way there I kept thinking, “Ugh!  I usually try to hide my craziness a little better than this!’  How totally crazy is that?  I know Sensei to be a Christian man and he was all smiles and “no problems” when I got there.  My sweet first born actually argued with me a little when I apologized, saying it was his fault that I was late.  Bless his pumpkin heart.  In the end, all was well and we made our way back home laughing and talking like we usually do.  But as I finished dinner, I decided I shouldn’t try to hide my craziness from anybody.  I’ve officially decided it’s a good thing that my true, slightly disheveled self is now out there for Sensei to know and laugh at over dinner.  (Note I am assuming here that he couldn’t have POSSIBLY realized I was crazy before now!  Ha!)

It’s a good thing because if we’re honest with each another, we’re all crazy in some way.  Some of us are better at hiding it or polishing it up, but the bottom line is, we’ve all lost our minds somewhere along the way.  If you haven’t, you soon will.  And that’s OK.  “Crazy people” need a sense of humor and understanding friends and family – and, incidentally, a really good calendar app on their phones!  “Crazy people” need grace and lots of it.  We need God.  And when we stop trying to hide the crazy, we let God and everyone else get a little closer to us.  We realize more easily how good God and those family and friends have been.  And we are much better equipped to love them from the kind of heart that loves best: an honest, true, open one.

So, the next time you are feeling a little crazy, remember, first of all, that you are not alone.  You can confidently say to yourself, “No worries… I’m sure Joeli is somewhere losing her mind at this very moment!”  And most importantly, remember that God is well aware of your crazy and wants to use it to keep you honest!  Embrace the crazy.  I think we’ll all be better for it!

Previous Older Entries