Saturday, March 31, 2012

The "to do" List

John is gone for the weekend with my youngest. They went camping and I'm sure they're having the manly times of their lives. My oldest is working double shifts and the middle is off at school, so I'm here with Daisy contemplating my day. I have plans on top of plans of what to do to fill my time. There is that stack of books I've been meaning to read....oh, but there's that stack of laundry spilling from the laundry room. There are the cute craft projects I've wanted to do to celebrate Spring, but the toilets need scrubbing and the dust bunnies are planning a revolution. I sat down to read a bit and looked at the devotion for April 1 which is tomorrow. God has a way of speaking a few words to me and hitting home every time.

From Jesus Calling....April 1....
Talk with me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.

There you have it. My list vs. what God would have me do. As always, when I read His words and study His ways, my ways change for the better. I'll keep you posted as to what He directs me to do, but whatever it turns out to be, I'll be staying in touch with Him as I go.

What's on your list today?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


A person could learn a lot from a dog. I know I learn from my dog, Daisy. She's so clever, but boy is she stubborn and she picks up bad habits in a flash.

She's getting a little porky, so we've been trying to reduce her food intake...just a wee bit...but she is not having it. The problem is that I've been spoiling her and adding little treats to her food, just a bit here and there, and now she won't eat her dry kibble. So, I either give her a bit of "gravy" every time she eats or I suffer the LOOK. You know the one I'm talking about, the sad brown eyed, why don't you love me look that goes right to my heart and sends me to the treat jar. I'm trying to break her of the habit.

This treat war has made me think. Who provides for my needs? God. When does he provide? Daily. Do I want for anything? No. But, I am dissatisfied with the dry kibble in my bowl. It's a little boring and I'm a little tired of it and I want gravy! Lord, give me gravy in order to make my everyday life a bit more palatable and I'll be a happy tail wagging kind of girl! But, no gravy and I'll look in my bowl and sigh and lay down with a disappointed huff. Harumpph!

So, I wean Daisy from the gravy and teach her to be thankful for what she gets. This is a process and it won't be easy because she is SOOOO spoiled, and it's not going to be easy for me, either. I'm going to practice it...each and every day giving thanks for the simple things and having a grateful heart that my NEEDS are met. God can decide when He's going to give me gravy or even IF He's going to give me gravy, and I will practice being content and thankful.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting and Praying

A few years back my family hiked Old Rag. It was a challenging experience for me physically, but by the end of the hike, my trust in the Lord was challenged as well.

As we hiked, but older boys strayed from the well worn path and took to the boulders above. Like mountain goats, they leapt from rock to rock and my heart leapt in my throat. I had to quit watching them or I would have been sick or would have demanded they come down. I tried that at first, but they didn't listen...they were looking for adventure.

The little brother was holding them back. They felt like they could move so much faster without a tagalong, so as we neared the end of the trail, as the sun was getting lower in the sky, they asked if they could hike on ahead to the parking lot and wait for us there. How much trouble could two teen boys get into on a simple path that led straight to the lot? We sent them on their way and resumed our slow trek out.

Finally, we got to the parking lot, but our boys weren't there! We had taken a longer time than expected but they should have been where we told them to wait. We looked all over and called out, but no answer. My husband ran down to the creek thinking boys like to throw rocks but they weren't there either. We began asking emerging hikers if they had seen them but the answer was always no.

My heart grew so heavy. Even now as I write this, I remember the dread...the awful dread that I felt. I had lost my boys, my precious precious boys, and my frightened mind jumped to the worst conclusions. My husband hugged me and told me to wait in the car with Jonathan and he'd go back up the trail and look for them. So, Jonathan and I sat and we waited. I had my Bible in the car with me and I clutched it to my chest, praying over and over simple little words....oh please, oh please, oh please...not really knowing what to say except bring them back to me, oh God!

After what seemed like an eternity, the dusk gathering and the chill increasing, I heard voices. They were laughing voices, chattering voices and I recognized them as my boys! They were safe and fine and having the best time. I threw my arms around them and praised God they were safe. John soon came out of the woods and we all very happily piled into the van and headed home, crisis over for the day.

The interesting thing is that they never thought of themselves as lost. They had accidentally taken a fork in the path which lead to a different car lot. They realized this right away and turned around and headed back but it took a while and they had no way of knowing we were looking frantically for them. I'll never forget that day and my fear, but I'll also never forget God's protecting hand and His comfort.

My friend and fellow sister in Christ, Sheila Lueking, has been going through this for a couple of weeks now. Her son, Derek, is missing in the Smoky Mountains and volunteers have been faithfully searching for him, going up trails, asking other hikers if they've seen him. Day after day this is going on, with Sheila and her family praying and not giving up hope that Derek will come laughing and chattering down a trail and be returned to them, having had an adventure but whole and fine.

I'm praying for the Luekings out of the place in my heart that, in a very tiny way, understands. In no way can I really compare my lost boys story, but it gives me the most minute glimmer of what they are experiencing and it helps me pray. Join me in praying for them and if you have any information on Derek Lueking, you can contact us here at the blog, or you can contact his family through their Facebook page.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spoiled Rotten

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

I’m so spoiled, it’s ridiculous. Seriously. Even if I don’t compare myself and my life to people in third world countries or even to the poorest people in our country, I’m spoiled. In fact, all I have to do is compare myself to myself.

And what exactly, you may wonder, prompted me to come to this conclusion? Rain. Yep, rain. I dawdled around the house Saturday morning when it was looking like it was going to rain and waited to go to the grocery store after it started raining. A little drizzle going from the car to the store wasn’t bad, but it was raining a little harder by the time I finished. I had very strategically parked the car next to the cart return area and I smartly put the cart in the covered area so the groceries would stay dry, and then proceeded to load up the trunk. The “little more than a drizzle” steadily and quickly became a pretty good rain and the hoodie that I thought was water resistant turned out not to be. I was already in a grumble-y mood because long gone are the days of three loaves of bread for a dollar and the cost of eating healthy…fresh fruits and veggies instead of prepackaged food with two dozen ingredients I can’t pronounce and have no idea what they are…is exorbitant. Sigh.

So, there I was getting grumpier and grumpier because it’s a little chilly on top of everything else. Sixty six degrees after 80+ degrees feels chilly even in March. Wow. What a spoiled brat I am. I have money to buy food. I have a car to transport the groceries. I have a heater in the car if I want to use it and dryer at home for the hoodie. When I get home, I will pull into a garage and walk a few steps into the kitchen. Some things won’t even make it that far because they will go into the extra freezer in the garage. And yet I grumble. How ungrateful can a person get?

I grew up the only child of a single mom who didn’t drive. We walked to the grocery store. On big grocery days we waited for a cab and sometimes the wait was long. After I got married I lived in a townhouse with an assigned parking space yards from the house and walked up a sidewalk and a flight of concrete stairs to get to the front door. I did that for 25 years in the cold, the heat, the rain, and the snow. There were times that our funds were so limited that I clipped coupons voraciously and went to three different stores to get the best deals each week. One week I fed a family of 5 on $15…quite a feat even for the 80’s. Another time I stood outside the grocery store and cried when I dropped the glass bottle of catsup I just bought because we didn’t have the money for another one until the next pay check.

And yet, there I was Saturday grumbling about a little bit of rain. Convicted. Instead I need to be thanking and praising God for every one of my many blessings! The only problem with that is that if I really took time to notice my blessings, I don’t think I would have enough time in one day to count them all. I better thank God for the computer, the Internet, my mind, and my English teachers, stop typing and get started on that prayer!

1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Oh Vanity, Vanity
The bain of humanity
Mine eyes doth see
Thou hast also, sadly afflicted me

I used to think I wasn’t vain. That was before things started to sag, shift, grey, fade, wrinkle, and, yes, creak. Sigh. Then I was reading James this afternoon…probably should have been wearing my reading glasses, but I digress…Chapter 1 verse 11 says, “For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.” As will our beauty, at least as the world, especially our American culture, sees beauty.

Thankfully, the Lord does not view beauty in the same way and I imagine that at the core of who we are, we don’t either, really. Think about the woman in your life who has the most positive influence on you. Perhaps this is a grandmother, mother, sister, friend, cousin, mentor. Think about the woman who is always there for you no matter what the physical distance is between you. She’s the one who laughs with you, cries with you, and loves you no matter what. She speaks truth into your life whether you like it or not and you love her for it because you know she loves you. She may even chastise you and it’s still ok because you know it’s your best interest that she’s concerned about. Other times she overlooks an offense so grievous that you wish she’d yell at you, but instead, she comforts you and forgives.

Now, close your eyes and picture this woman. I bet you smiled. Maybe you even shed a tear…perhaps because she’s not with you anymore and you miss her, or perhaps your love for her welled up and spilled out your eyes. I imagine you’d say she’s beautiful regardless of how grey her hair might be or how many wrinkles she may have. I bet she has a beautiful smile and I bet when you think about how she dresses that makes you smile. Maybe she’s always dressed to perfection like my grandmother who wore heels and white gloves to the grocery store. Or maybe she wears a fanny pack because she has a propensity to lose a purse when she sets it down…yes, that’s the woman who led me to Christ and discipled me and has been a huge part of my life. She will not be on the cover of Vogue any more than I will be, but they are missing out because she’s one of the most beautiful women I know.

But, Susan, you say, how does that help me? I’m still sagging, graying, fading, and all the rest. Let’s face it ladies, many of us don’t feel as beautiful as we once did, assuming we ever really did feel beautiful in the first place. But, here’s the thing…the thing that really matters…the people who love you, the people you’ve invested in, they, like God, see a beautiful women, just like the woman you were thinking about a moment ago. My mother, grandmother, and close friends have always been and will always be beautiful.

I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t wear make-up or do our hair or wear nice clothes, if we want to. But I am saying let’s not focus on that stuff and by all means let’s not worry and fret over the sagging, etc. I admit that there was a time I’d look in the mirror and wish certain parts of me weren’t sagging. How in the world and when did that happen? And if this is what I look like now, I hate to think what it’s going to be like 20 or 30 years down the road.

Then I felt a lump and the surgeon used the M word on my first visit. Six weeks later I was in my post-op hospital room expecting to freak out when the surgeon took the bandages off to check on me. A mastectomy had always been one of my worst fears. Physically, that part of us (and our hair) says “woman” louder than anything else. And you know what? It doesn’t matter and I don’t give a second thought to the sagging on the other side. Who gives a rip??? Not me. Not anymore. I have my life and I have my health. The exterior stuff doesn’t hold a candle to the rest of it. I finally know experientially what I’ve always said I believe…my womanhood and my beauty are so much more than just the physical. You want to really be a beautiful woman? Invest. Love others with a godly passion. Let God fill you and do what our pastors have been talking about this year. Overflow, be generous with your heart, and let your beauty shine for all the world to see!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pay It Forward....Best Friend Style

Alina Burton tells the story of her best friend's life changing generosity.

“You got a friend in me” (Toy Story) On the other hand, as I sing it today “You got some kindness in you.☺ My life has been a roller coaster, especially when it came to relationships. Being the oldest child of 5 kids with two navy parents, we moved a lot so I got use to saying hello to new friends but keeping them at a far distance because in 2-3 years I would be moving again. However, life changed when I went to college and met my husband at freshman orientation and my best friend Bethany. Saying the word “best friend” was weird to say or even think 6 years ago because I never thought I would actually have a person in my life that I could call my best friend besides my husband. As Joe and I grew stronger as a couple, we became very good friends with Bethany and her husband Franklin. We eventually were hitched with our family and closes friends in May 2008. However, many of our close friends left our side very fast except for Bethany and Franklin.

Soon after we got married, Joe and I started to struggle financially, our full time jobs dropped down to part-time positions. We decided our best move was to move near Joe’s family in Maryland and teach at one of the local private schools. We loved teaching at the school but our paychecks were not paying our bills. This private school kept its tuition down very low so the school was affordable for all socially economic families. But, we no longer could afford living in Maryland unless one of us got another job that paid more. During this hard time of struggle, our friends Bethany and Franklin would help us as much as possible. Whenever we would take a weekend trip to NoVa to see them they would pay for our gas as a gift or give us gift cards so Joe and I could go on a date. One time Bethany and Franklin came to visit us and they saw that our heater broke right at the beginning of the winter and they went out and bought us a heater that we were able to roll around the house. They kept providing us with kind gifts, because someone in their past showed them kindness when they needed help.

During one visit, Joe and I told Bethany and Franklin that we were climbing into debt and we both were trying to find another job. I was trying to get into the public school system but that following year only 17 teachers were hired in the entire district. Joe was starting graduate school in the fall and trying to find a job in his field of study. As good friends, they said that they would pray for us and look for jobs and cheap homes around their city. We prayed and prayed and nothing seemed to happen to our timeline. Then one afternoon while talking to Bethany about us coming to take a weekend visit, she said that she and Franklin had something to discuss with us when we came. Joe and I had no idea, but we knew it had to be good, because Bethany’s tone was happy but also serious. Because of the seriousness in her voice, Joe and I decided to cancel our weekend plans and head to NoVa to see them.

When we got there, we were anxious about this important discussion. They sat us down and said, “So, you know we are finishing the basement like a guest house? We are offering it to you two for 2 years without rent.” Our mouths dropped. We really did not know what to say, I do not remember what we said at the moment but after praying and thinking about moving into their basement we decided it would be dumb if we did not take them up on their offer. We have always loved the acts of kindness Bethany and Franklin have shown us but letting us move in and not pay them, rent was huge. They have said countless times to us that someone in their life has helped them in the past so they needed to pass the gift of kindness to someone else, which was us ☺

In three months, Joe and I will be credit card debt free and only have our student loans. We will finally be able to save for a house and plan our future family. We could not be in this great position without God and our friends that showed us a great gift of kindness. Daily Joe and I try to pass kindness but we hope in the future we will be able to make someone’s mouth drop when we are able to show him or her a huge act of kindness.

Giving Freely, Growing Richer

Julie Davis shares her thoughts on how generous people have been since Mike's been deployed. Thank you Julie!!

Generous ~ showing readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected; showing kindness toward others

Proverbs 11:24 "One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want."

2 Corinthians 9:7 "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Generous acts, when they happen to you - big or small, it can change your life in an instant. A big act of generosity that has happened to me in the last 6 months comes from my Mom (& Dad). She would say, "I'm just being a Mom and coming to help you out." But, I know differently - she is being generous!! My husband's picture hangs on our deployment board at GLCC, and has been there since the beginning of October 2011. We have four small children, and needless to say, being without my helpmate - my most generous and incredible gift from God, is not easy. When we heard of this deployment happening, I called my Mom, and she willingly agreed without hesitation to come out from Washington state to stay with me and the children for two different trips, each for about 6-7 weeks! What an incredible gift of generosity from both of my parents' hearts. These visits have blessed us tremendously, and I truly cannot thank them enough.

Another act of generosity happened when we received the only true snowfall that required some shoveling this year. I was thankful it happened on a Saturday morning, so I could take my time in getting out there to shovel as we didn't have anywhere we needed to be that morning. So I sat enjoying a leisurely start to my Saturday morning when I heard the sound of the shovel scraping my driveway. When I peeked out my curtains I saw our neighbor, (and friend from our connect group at GLCC) out there shoveling my driveway with his children. When thanked his response was "no problem" - it was something very small in his mind, but it made my day so much brighter and lightened my load for the day

Another instance of generosity occurred on Valentine's Day. Through GLCC I met this lady, who has become my friend, with an immediate bond of being military wives it was easy Bless her heart, for paying forward what she said was once done for her. She showed up on my doorstep on Valentine's day with a bouquet of flowers and what I thought was a card. We chatted a few minutes, and she was on her way after giving me a hug. After she left I opened the "card" to see it was actually a gift certificate for a pedicure!! GENEROUS! Such a thoughtful act of kindness, that will be paid forward.

I share these moments of generosity to encourage each of us to stop and think back, and see those moments of generosity in our own lives. Now stop and think of those moments of generosity that have come from GLCC. A sermon that has touched your heart forever (I think those are too numerous to count for me), children's ministry workers pouring Jesus' love into the little ones of the church (yes! yes! yes!), mission work, outreach, music that spoke to your heart, Bible studies, connect groups, a smile, a greeting, a place to call home... I could go on and on... think of these moments, pray about how you can in turn be generous to those around you, and especially to GLCC!! Remember, big or small acts of generosity can make a tremendous impact, so don't for a moment think that what you can do won't make it difference. It will.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Life

The boys wanted a dog. The begged and begged for a puppy but I just couldn't bring myself to go through all the training and the mess. Yes, puppies were cute, but they were potentially destructive and time consuming and I knew I would be the main caregiver. Forget all the promises that they would walk her and feed her and love her, etc...I knew! It would fall to me and I didn't have the time.

But, I caved. We were out shopping one day and we noticed a large group of people gathered in front of Petsmart, so being nosy we wandered over and saw dogs. Lots and lots of dogs and all of them to be adopted. I had three young boys with their big eyes all begging me to get a dog. Even Dad pitched in and I said, "We'll think about it" stalling for time.

Passing quickly by the umpteen yapping Black Lab puppies, we noticed a yellow dog lying in the sunshine. She was scabbed and scratched and she smelled to high heaven. We walked on by, got to the end of the lineup and began to walk back. We came back by the the yellow dog just as an enthusiastic toddler fell full weight on top of it. I held my breath, waiting for the dog to bite or bark or snarl, but the dog picked up her head and looked at the little girl, put her head back down and resumed napping. This was MY KIND OF DOG! I didn't want drama or high maintenance, but wanted a good fit for our young family and if a dog could withstand a body slam from a toddler, I needed that dog.

We bought her. She had been a farm dog and was scratched from fighting for food with the other farm dogs. She had burrs in her fur, and smelled of skunk...really, really smelled of skunk. She limped because her right paw had been injured some way. Her name was listed as Cletus. Yes, Cletus! We signed the paperwork and brought her home and she became ours.

Washed, and washed again, she gradually lost the skunk smell. We picked off the burrs, cared for the wounds, got her a new collar, and set about naming her. All the boys got a vote and we put them in a hat and drew out Daisy. She has been Daisy ever since and Cletus is but a distant memory.

She's lying beside me this morning, enjoying the life of leisure she leads and I am reminded of our new life in Christ. I know I had nothing to recommend me when Jesus chose me. I bore the scars of the poor choices I made and I had the stench of sinfulness around me, but the Lord did not pass me by. He picked me up, loved me, gave me a new life and a new name and I am his child forever. What a wonderful day when I was able to live a new way and with a new Master.

I know, in the way dog owners do, that Daisy appreciates her home. She sits at my feet and licks my hands and gazes into my eyes with her big brown ones. She follows me everywhere and longs to be with me, staying close to be ready to jump when I jump. In her old life, she had to fight for everything but now she is at peace. She knows we will provide and trusts us to care for her because she's learned we are trustworthy, just as I have learned that God is trustworthy.

Daisy is a rescued dog and I am a rescued human and we are both so thankful.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Movies for the Jamaica Library

A note from Pastor Steve....

Our preparations for Jamaica are coming along. Pray for the team as we are concentrating on planning our various ministries while we are down in Jamaica.

Just a reminder that we are collecting used educational videos in both VHS and DVD format for Jamaica. There is a red box in my office that is slowly filling. At some point, I may end up going over to McKay Used books in Manassas and purchasing some resources, but if I can get them from other sources I will.

So please scan through that old video library and if you have any discovery channel, history channel or national geographic resources, let me know. Bible videos are good too. At this time, there is not a need for recreational videos...just educational ones.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Morning by Morning New Mercies I See

We pulled into the camp site that was nestled in a hillside. It was a beautiful little spot, nice and level and once the camper was set up, we had a nice view of the pond. We couldn't have picked a more suitable place except for one thing. A two lane country road ran along the top of the hill and the occasional car seemed awfully close. My husband remarked that he felt uncomfortable there, imagining a car leaving the road and landing smack on the top of our pop-up.

Once camp was set up, we went down the road to our adventure of the day. We were going to a Native American pow wow, something we had wanted to do for a while. My ancestors were, in part, Monacan Indians, and we were curious as to their ways and customs. We were gone the entire day, and when the boys began to make noise, we packed everyone back into the car and drove through the dusk back to the campsite. Everyone was scrubbed down and prepared for bed and as it approached 10pm, something happened that I would never forget.

Out of the blue, there came the most horrific squealing of breaks and the tearing sound of metal hitting metal. The night went absolutely silent, then the cries started. Growing louder and louder, the cries turned into screams and I knew I had to do something. We were the closest to the road, there were people in trouble, and we needed to help them. I grabbed up our still damp towels, told my oldest to stay put and watch his sleeping brothers and took off up the dark lane. My husband was in close pursuit, begging me not to go, afraid of what I might find when I got there. I told him I MUST go, and kept on running until the accident came into sight.

At the entrance of the campground, a minivan was crammed into the bank and on the opposite side of the road, a large truck was upside down in the ditch. A woman was staggering around in the road, calling for someone to help her husband who was pinned behind the wheel of the minivan, moaning and crying out to her and his son in the back seat. My mind wheeled and whirled. I didn't know first aid beyond the most basic...after all I was the mother of three boys...but this was big stuff. This was HUGE, and there I stood with a few damp towels and nothing else.

I went to the lady who was obviously in shock and led her gently to the bank where I got her seated. I wrapped my jacket around her to help keep her warm but by then she was shaking and I was shaking. My husband and another male camper went to the van to see what they could do for the injured man, but it was fairly obvious that they were helpless. They propped him up as best as they could and comforted him with words and prayers and I did the same with his wife on the bank. I did the only thing I could. I prayed and prayed and prayed, like I had never done before.

After a while...seemed like forever...a helicopter arrived along with ground crews and they took over. The trapped man was fading quickly and we got his wife to the side of his vehicle and they said their goodbyes and then they took him away in the chopper. He died in route to the hospital. His wife and his son were taken away to be patched up and taken away too. In the other vehicle, two people died and another was transported to an area hospital. It was all like a very bad dream and I thought such ugliness would mar me forever.

But....morning came. After a few hours sleep, I was up and making my way across a sun sparkled dewy field toward the bath house when these words came to mind. "Great is Thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness, Morning by morning, new mercies I see, All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me." The Lord had given me that bright and sparkly new morning and the wonderful words of that hymn to remind me that I can trust Him to make broken things new and to bring beauty from ashes.

I'll never forget that night and the horrors of the wreck. I'll also never forget the next morning and the wonder of a fresh day and a fresh start and God's enduring faithfulness.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Learning to Walk

I couldn't wait for my little boy to learn how to do things. I spent so much time with him practicing rolling over, and sitting, scooting, and finally standing. Then came walking and those first lurching steps holding onto my hand were incredibly exciting for me. We would stroll around the house or along the sidewalk, my body contorted as I leaned over far enough for him to grasp my big hand with his little one. I knew he was just on the cusp of walking on his own, but when I let him go, he would wobble, go weak in the knees and then plop his little bottom down and sit.

At this point I noticed a funny thing. If, as we were walking, I let go, he would drop. If, as we were walking, I slowly eased my hand away...letting him hold a finger....and then replaced it with a CRAYON (yes a crayon of all things) he would continue on uninterrupted for a few more steps. I did this several times and found it so interesting that he would walk on, thinking he was holding my hand, when in reality, all he had was a slender cylinder of colored wax...but it gave him confidence and he walked.

Why am I writing about walking babies holding crayons? I have had a letter honest to goodness letter and it brought something to mind. In it, a young lady shared with me her desire to learn to walk with the Lord, independent of anyone she might be leaning on too much. She desires to learn to trust God fully and have a relationship with Him...fully, one that does not come from other people being her support. My heart is full to overflowing that this precious young lady is seeking God's face and stepping out with courage to see where He will take her in her life. It's not easy and it's not always fun, and it's not always pretty, but I know that when we seek Him, He is there. He Promises.

So, my young friend, as you step out on your own, taking your baby steps toward the Lord, know His hand is holding yours and that He won't let you go....

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.