Category Archives: life stories

Words of Life or Death

The gift of a woman’s story is often what God uses to speak hope into the stories of others. My friend, Dr. Michelle Bengtson has told such a story.  It is my honor to share it with you today!

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Dr. Michelle Bengtson

We’ve all heard the childhood rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break by bones, but names will never hurt me.” I knew from a very young age that that was a lie. Even as I said them on the playground in response to a peer’s cruel taunts, I knew it wasn’t true.

Words hurt.

Scripture tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21), but do we teach our children that? Or do we perpetuate ignorance by reciting simple rhymes?

Having worked in the field of psychology for over 20 years, it’s evident to me that children don’t realize the long-term significance of what they say.  They behave toward others in the very same way that’s been modeled to them.

As an adult who has been wounded by the words of others since early childhood, I probably err on the side of not saying enough—not wanting to draw any more attention to myself or risk further rejection.

Only three years old when I was stricken with an undiagnosable and life threatening illness, I was left to deal with the physical and emotional ramifications the rest of my life. Continue reading Words of Life or Death

For 26 years…!


Dear Brielle,

All day long I have thought of you! Since 7:28am this morning. It is almost unfathomable to realize it has been 26 years since the date of your birth!

This evening I just sat pondering your birth.

We lived in Honeybrook, PA. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, about 1:00am and by 3:00am we were making our way to the hospital. It don’t take long at all after that.  You couldn’t wait. There you were! 7:28am.

It was amazing! You were amazing! Continue reading For 26 years…!

28 Years Ago Today…!

Dear Cait,

Twenty-eight years ago today, I was 28 years old. (yes, go ahead and do the math!)

You made me a mom for the 1st time.  Caitlin Renee Burrus bears the weight of names close to both your mom and dad,  Kathlyn and Rennie. I am sorry to do that to you!

You,  little girl, changed our world in ways we couldn’t imagine. Your Dad has often said he planned for how to feed you and dress you, provide a bed for you and a room of your very own in our small apartment. He planned for everything but how he would feel when you were born.  He saw your face, there was not doubt you were his.  The love he had for you was instant.

C & doll darker Continue reading 28 Years Ago Today…!

Ready to launch your dream?

Have you ever made a decision that you knew was good, but you feared at the same time?

One year ago, I did!  I made a choice to enter the Bluffton Center for Entreprenuer’s Ropp Tripplet Business Plan CompetitionYou can read my story here!

My friend, Beth Boehr, of Beyond Budgeting and B&B Investments had entered her business a couple of years earlier and had encouraged me to work through the process.  I knew she had worked so hard, but was so excited about it. So it did!

It was a decision that brought Continue reading Ready to launch your dream?

Delight for 2015!

I have struggled to find the right WORD for the new year!

I usual pick one, or a few to remind me what I want to be about.

For the last two years I chose

  • GIVE the gift of PRESENCE

They have been good words which continue to remind me what I want to be about. I made progress in each area but have significant steps that remain. You may not know what I mean by them. But I do. I read them over regularly in an effort to stay focused on my purpose.

But I was struck yesterday morning as Rennie was preaching for a pastor friend was on vacation. He used Psalm 1 “Blessed is the one who….” Continue reading Delight for 2015!

Let’s Do This! Sarah’s Story!

Today I made two visits that I knew I would make one year ago. One with Sarah’s mom and the other to Sarah’s husband.

I met Sarah when I was ‘the youth pastor’s wife’ and Sarah was one of the youth. She was quiet, but when she smiled, you felt like smiling with her.

SeveralSarah years later she became the ‘youth pastor’s wife’ and my husband was the lead. Her personality remained reserved, but her smile was now matched by an incredible passion for the Lord that oozed out of her and sweetly touched the lives of the young people of our church.

And me! Continue reading Let’s Do This! Sarah’s Story!