1. #breakingcamp – unshakable courage

    This series has been so good for my soul. I feel like God has been changing my life and changing my perspective even more about death and life and heaven.  I say this in my heart every week, but this message is my favorite!  God was speaking so incredibly through my husband.

    This week was a hard week for me, feeling discouraged, having a hard time taking heart.  And this weekend’s message from God’s Word was just what my downcast soul needed.

    One of the things my husband said that I had never heard or considered before was when He brought up the fact that Jesus said He was preparing a place for us:

    “He’s not just preparing a place for you,

    He’s also preparing you for that place.”

    I love that loving, intimate thought that Jesus is custom building a place just for us, perfect for us. He knows us, He loves us, and He’s building something we’re going to LOVE!

    And my husband’s point, “we see things that are unseen” was my big take away truth. God was telling me and reminding me to CHOOSE to see life, to CHOOSE to see what I can’t see with the naked eye.  In the difficult moments in life, when we’re losing heart, when the situations in life feel like they’re swallowing us up, we have a choice. We can choose to rejoice or we can choose to complain.

    “True courage isn’t to not feel fear, but it’s to feel fear and believe God anyway.”

    Psalm 27:13 – I would’ve lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

    Catch this message if you missed it.

  2. Thirty One is a Good Number

    Before I turned twenty three, I thought how incredible it would be to have a theme for the year, an anthem, something specific to focus on, to memorize, to pray in my life, to allow God to saturate into my soul. And I thought, Psalm 23 would be perfect for my twenty-third year! And thus began the start of my yearly themes for my life. Some years it’s been whole chapters, some years it’s been verses or passages in the Bible that I felt God leading me to learn and to study more deeply.

    I don’t know if I’m supposed to reveal my age at this point in my life, but about half way through last year I realized I was turning 31 this year and I knew exactly what I wanted to study –  Proverbs 31 – and I was so excited!

    My birthday was January 11, and at that point it had been 22 days since Lenya went to heaven, and I remember feeling numb and shocked and just sad. And in the midst of the grief, Proverbs 31 has been one of the passages I’ve been studying and I just love the example we get in the Word of a godly, hard working woman who highly values her family and her responsibilities. For example, verse 25 says:

    “Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.”

    I’ve heard that the Proverbs 31 woman wasn’t a real person or that she doesn’t really exist, that she was just an example to lead the way for us, but the older I get, the more I’ve seen women in my life with all of these qualities. Of course no woman, no person is perfect, but I love the inspiration of this woman. I also love the examples God places in our lives who lead the way, who inspire, who challenge, who lead by example how to be a woman. A few of these women in my life are Lenya Heitzig and Cathe Laurie.  These ladies are treasures and pure gold in my life.

    So for me, this yearly anthem habit has been so rich and rewarding. Memorizing God’s Word is always important, and my sweet friend Crystal Lewis has an inspiring way to do this on her blog.  To be meditating on and growing in super specific ways, for me, has been so needed and so refreshing.

    “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

  3. A Better Life is Waiting

    There is going to come a day when we will leave this life and enter into eternity [which we’ve been learning all about in our #breakingcamp series at fresh life]. And on that day, for the believer in Jesus, it will be a better day. Actually there isn’t a good enough word to describe that day. Jesus called heaven paradise, which means a place of extreme beauty, delight or happiness, so we’ll be in pure perfection in His presence.
    Our daughter Lenya Avery has been in Heaven 142 days and her better life (that we didn’t think would come so soon) is what she is fully enjoying right now.

    The song “Better Life” by Paper Route was her (self-proclaimed) favorite song that she kept listening to the week before she went to heaven. I have a very vivid and clear memory of her sitting on the couch, holding my iPad in her sweet little arms listening carefully to this song.  And I can’t help but think that the simplicity of this song prepared her for what she would encounter, and at the same time prepared us for the shock, and the pain and the grief that we were about to experience.

    While her death was traumatic and so sudden, it was quick, and she was instantly in God’s very presence because that’s what the Bible says, “to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord.”

    While Lenya is experiencing fullness of joy in His presence, we are left rejoicing because of that fact, but also, left in this world of grief and the aching of missing our Lenya Lion, knowing we won’t ever be with her or snuggle her or listen to her beautiful raspy voice again here on earth. And recently realizing the “big” days like birthdays and her graduating and getting married, we’ll never experience. Yet in this pain, the hope of seeing her again – either when God brings us home to heaven or when Jesus comes back for His church – is what holds us.

    Our better life is waiting for us. Until then we’re running hard toward heaven and doing all that is within us to tell the world that there is a God who loves them and showed that love through Christ – that those who are stranded in sin would find life and liberty in Christ! We’re going to continue to take what God has given us to do and do it with all our heart.

    “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. but if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” Philippians 1:21-23

    A better life is waiting.

  4. #breakingcamp – “Future Nostalgia”


    “not leaving home, but going home.”

    This weekend, my husband preached the third message in our current series, “breaking camp,” and again, God was opening my eyes to the truth of what life and death and heaven and hell is all about. This weekend was all about being homesick for heaven, how all of creation has a built-in mechanism that causes us to groan or sigh with anxiety about the life that is to come.

    It’s always hard to hone in on one single thing, but if I had to choose one truth to take away from this weekend, it’s this:

    “the groaning in our souls is a mechanism to keep us on our toes, to not settle, to remind us that we don’t belong here.”

    My husband went on to describe the feeling you get at a funeral of someone you love, or when you hear tragic news, or when you wake up in the morning and your body creaks and aches – all of these things point to our need for a life that is real, and that life is found in heaven.

    Such an amazing weekend and if you missed it, you can take a listen here.

    “this groaning is the soundtrack of our soul, the desire to go to our true home.”




  5. happy birthday mr. lusko

    “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”  Proverbs 11:30

    It’s my husband’s birthday, and I just want to mention a few things about this amazing, godly man who I get to live life with.

    God has given him a very special, unique calling and He has equipped him with such wisdom and understanding and leadership that just leaves me in awe so often. My husband is able to balance and handle so many responsibilities and in the midst of that he is able to lead and care for his family with such tenderness. We absolutely risk the ocean, we’re snakebirds, we have a wild and adventurous and non-stop life, and what’s so beautiful is that my husband somehow threads through it all the priority of time spent with me, with his daughters and it’s wonderful.  He is able to work so hard and to rest real good for God’s glory.  And with the deep yearning and longing for heaven that has been ramped up in our souls, we know this life will soon be passed, and only what’s done for Christ will last.


    I’m so thankful and so incredibly honored that I get to be married to such a man. That we get to serve God together, raise these beautiful girls together, lead a spectacular team and be a part of what God is doing with Fresh Life. It blows my mind everyday that we get to do this. God is so good, and I believe what is to come this next year for my husband is just going to be next level. There’s no stopping what God will do through a pastor who is fully surrendered to God, who loves Him and loves his family and his church, and Levi is this man, and I love him so.

    Happy birthday sweet heart!