He Loves Me

I was listening to some older Christian music this week while I was working. I am a little behind technologically in some ways, but I have discovered the wonders of YouTube and the playlist option. Through this I have found music that I have not heard in such a long time – you know, the stuff you remember listening to as a kid that just seem to hold a special place in your heart and memories.

For me, music has always been a source of peace and a way to help focus my mind on God when things are going in “unique” directions. It has also served as way for me to worship my Lord in my own unique way and to express things within my heart that words cannot seem to convey – through music that glorifies God. I was so excited when I found some music from Evie (love her voice!!!), Amy Grant from the earlier years, and the Gaither Trio. So many good songs, good memories, and beautiful worship…and I didn’t get as much work done as I should have, but that is okay. After all, I know that within my heart, my Lord was glorified and that is what matters the most.

In the midst of my musical stroll down through the memories of my heart, one song sticks out. It is one of my favorites by Evie entitled “He Loves Me!” The lyrics are simple, but they are full of so much truth. I was sitting at my desk this morning knowing I needed to do some work, but that lyric just kept running through my head. It was then I had a “light bulb” moment. It was then that the simple truth of that song hit me. He loves me! That was the beginning of my story and will be the end of it was well – He loves me!

The fact that He has started a work in me that He will be faithful to complete is all because of the fact that He loves me. The chorus of this song repeats that phrase over and over while throwing in the idea that it is a “brand new” story and a “brand new” song. For those of us who have followed Him for many years, it is not necessary a new story, but it most certainly can become a brand new song.

1Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Psalm 96:1-2

Coming out of this season of darkness and this desert place within my soul, a new song is forming and coming to life. No, the season is not over nor have I finished passing through this desert place, but I can see beyond now to the sunrise up ahead. The night will be ending, my sorrow will turn to joy, and the simple truth of that song will lift my spirit up to His. God will be gloried, I will be healed and restored, and He will continue that work He started in me.

Why do I KNOW this, you may ask?

Simple.

It is all because He loves me!

Busy, Busy, Busy

Some weeks my life is just crazy busy. There are some days when I am so caught up in all the work I have to do that I forget to eat, forget what day of the week it is, and have trouble keeping track of how many cups of coffee, if any, I have enjoyed that day. At that point, I must ask myself two very important questions: am I forgetting to spend time with the Lord? and am I forgetting to take time to write? What if the work load increases to test your priorities, your faithfulness, your dependence on Him, your dedication to the work He has called you to do? What do you do then? Torn between what you are called to do by the grace of God and the responsibility you have been entrusted with, a balance must be found.

That balance is exactly where I struggle. The work load itself is rather daunting and, when combined with other aspects and events of life, the priority scale tends to get tipped the wrong direction from time to time. What does it look like when this happens in my life, not counting an increase in the stress level and blood pressure? The result is this – I completely forgot to write my blog post for last week and here we are, most of the way through this week and I am just now sitting down to write this now. The frightening thing is, had it not been for a wonderful conversation with my dear friend Paula Michelson, I would probably have forgotten all about it period.

Now, to some people, this may seem like no big deal, but for me, it is. You see, I am trying to make writing more of a priority in my life just as the Lord Himself must be more of a priority. If the words I write are given by Him, if I am not writing, then were does the message go? If I am not writing, I am missing out on that special time I spend with Him. Yes, it is nice to take care of responsibilities, finish to-do lists, and see where progress has been made in the mountainous pile called laundry, but my heart needs that break, that time with Him where He speaks directly into my heart.

One lesson I am learning through this particular moment in my life is that, when He is placed in priority, the other things don’t seem to be as stressful, the work tends to be accomplished quicker, and there is a greater sense of peace. This may seem like an elementary lesson to some, and to some degree it is. In fact, this is a lesson I have learned before in my life – several times over. (One would think I would have remembered it by now…..) However, I am grateful that my Lord loves me enough to teach me the same lesson, to prove Himself to be faithful in the same areas, and to continually remind me of the same things because He knows that I will eventually get it right. He has enough faith in me to know that I will turn to Him, I will put Him back in the forefront, and that I will remember Who is really in charge – and that it is not the work load, the laundry pile, or the grocery list either.

May this week – although it is nearing an end – find you in a place where you are resting in Him, trusting Him for the endurance and strength to conquer the mountains you may face (whether they be laundry filled or not), and placing Him at the forefront of your life. When He offers the “Great Invitation” in Matthew 11:28-30, He never offers to remove the situations, alter the bounds of time and space, or make it all go away. What He does offer to those of us who are willing to answer the invitation, is the opportunity to come to Him, to accept the rest He offers, to learn from Him, and to trust Him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I am not there yet and I still have a ways to go, but, as we all are, I am a work in progress. Thankfully, I know who is the Author and Finisher of my faith and I know that He will be faithful to complete the work He began in me. All I have to do is come to Him, accept His rest, and fall into His everlasting arms.

Dare to Express

I was taught from a young age to never let anyone see you cry, never wear your heart on your sleeve, always keep up a good front, and don’t ever let the heart open too far. While most of these were verbal instructions I received (some of them repeatedly), some were driven home by example. I was always the shortest in the class and some of the boys thought they could pick on me. As far as I remember, I kept a good face on. I did as I was instructed to do and never let them know it bothered me – even though it did. I have continued to use this philosophy in life and consequently have kept most people away at least at arm’s length, if not further.

There are very few people I have ever let in far enough to know how I truly feel – if I even allowed myself to know. What a hollow and lonely existence it has been at times – and it is all of my own doing. But I must ask myself this one hard question: is living my life in this way useful to God? This question, of course, grows into more pointed questions (I happen to love questions…). Does this glorify Him in anyway? How can I be able to reach out to anyone with His love when I can’t even reach out myself?

Once answered, all of these questions then end in one ultimate question. In light of this thought, how then shall I live?

That is, of course, a question that will have different answers for all of us as we all have a different purpose and different challenges.

One of the biggest – and most recent – things I have learned in attempting to answer this question is that living a life that is closed off and inexpressive leads to friendships and relationships that are the same way. If you don’t share how you feel about someone, why should they be inclined to? Yes, it would always be wonderful for someone else to take the initiative, but there are times when we must take that leap of faith, take that step to come out of the protective surroundings of the mask, and say simply, “I appreciate you” or “I am glad you’re my friend” or “I am grateful that God brought you into my life.” One might even be so brave to risk saying, “I love you.”

Friends are a gift from the Father. They were placed here to enrich our lives, strengthen our hearts, walk through life with us – at least pieces of it as His plan would have it – and help us to know Him more.

Tomorrow is never promised. Accidents happen and lives change in an instant. Who is to know what may happen next…. I know for me, I never want to attend another funeral with the regret in my heart that I never told that person how much they meant to me, that I never told them I loved them, that I appreciated them, that they were special to me. Trusting the Father to pass on that message to them is not good enough – and it is not His job. We must tell them while they are here. Honestly, though, is there such a thing as being told you are appreciated or loved too often?

The Word says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves and I completely agree. However, we should dare to show it more, speak it more, live it more. If you love someone, you should know their heart – and allow them to know yours.

Dare to be bold, dare to express, dare to live with no regrets – and dare to never go to another funeral with a list of things you wish you had said. Say them now while you still have the gift of today!!!

Wounds and Scars? Yeah, but what now?

As I am sure everyone has experienced, there has been people in our lives that have caused us emotional harm. Whether it was intentionally or not doesn’t matter. Passed over, over looked, disregarded, tossed out with the trash, taken for granted… Words have been said – or not said – that reached a quiet, tender portion of the heart and created an oozing wound. It is not a deep or desperate wound, but it is just enough to break the integrity of that space and leave a weeping cut. As the years go by, these wounds slowly scab over and stop weeping, but a scar has been left behind. Time after time, wound upon wound, these scars build up to the point where they take over the space. All of this happens so gradually that it is not even noticed. Defense mechanisms begin to be used to protect this hall of scars and become such a part of normal everyday life that they are not noticed as well. Life can continue on as if all is well and no one is the wiser to the well hidden, darkness covered depth of pain residing just under the surface. But what happens if the surface gets cracked?

In the quiet and stillness of the hall of scars residing within a wounded heart, how does one react when light is brought in? While it is very painful, that is where I find myself today. The Lord is steadily cracking open this shell I built around my heart to keep out the hurt, to shelter from the disregard, a place built to escape to when the world forgot I existed. Two unbelievable people have been sent into my life and have blasted the doors away. They have forced me to take a look at my reactions, my standard response lines, and the reality of the emotions behind the things I sarcastically say. Some of this has not been pretty at all, but it has been a huge wake-up call to my heart to start beating again.

For too many years, I allowed others and their words to determine my value or self-worth. Too many years were wasted wondering what other people thought, how I should fit in, and wondering why. But, in the midst of all of this, the Lord spoke to my heart last night: “And God chose what the world looks down on as common or regards as nothing in order to bring to nothing what the world considers important; so that no one should boast before God.” I Corinthians 1:28-29 (CJB)

Listen well to the words of life, my heart! There is hope! What it means, at least to me, is that even God has a plan for me and He finds value in me – especially because the world of my past did not. He saw me even then – and He still sees me now.

My prayer for you, my friend, is that you carefully choose your words. Cherish the heart of the person to whom you are speaking and guard it well. Some scars take a long time to heal, but the ones that were unnecessary and preventable can be the most painful.

Cherish the Body of Christ. Care for your fellow members. Do not overlook the ones who are not exactly like yourself. We were all created with great diversity so that we can each fulfill our role in His church. And it is HIS church, after all… Step out of your comfort zone, guard your tongue, think before your shoot darts out of your mouth, and learn to cherish that which is not like you. You just might be surprised at what you find – if you will dare to look beyond the veil, the mirror, and the walls.

They Said What???

It has been a very busy week of swimming lessons, work, and working during swimming lesson. Through all of the “busyness”, one thing that has stood out in my mind – and has been repeated in several forms – is the power of our words. I have, unfortunately, witnessed more time than I care to count the fact that “sticks and stones” do not break bones – they break hearts instead.

Proverbs 18:21 says that the power of life and death are in the tongue. Interesting thought…. Does that mean I believe I could kill someone with my words or bring them back to life with the same? Not necessarily, at least not in the physical sense (although I will not discount the possibility of a miracle being performed because our Lord is still in that business), but emotionally and spiritually, it is not only a possibility, it is a regular occurrence. It is so easy to spew hurtful words out of our mouths and kill another’s spirit, crush their dreams, break their heart. Listening to the way in which people speak to each other and about each other, I can only image how it breaks our Father’s heart to see and hear how often we trample on others with our words. Matthew 12:34 (KJV) tells us that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. What then does this really say about the condition of our hearts?

As Christians, we have a peculiar challenge that faces us, especially in the unique environment in which we now live. Yes, we are to live a life that is holy, set apart for Him alone. Yes, we are called to be in the world and not of it – to not be conformed to it. We are called to be Salt and Light to a world that is drowning in darkness that seems to grow darker by the day. The challenge then becomes how do we do this? How do we reach the ones who need Him the most, the ones who appear to be falling ever further into darkness? The answer is love. We must reach them with the love of Jesus first and foremost! If we do not reach them with love and look at them the way Jesus does, how will we ever find their heart?

We must also keep in mind that we do not know the road another has traveled or that their heart may contain secrets known only to God. Careless words thrown about may cause hurt and harm to another who will never say a word. Instead, they will just walk away. They will cry on the inside yet again where no one ever sees. They will fall before the feet of Jesus yet again and beg Him to hold them just one more time. An opportunity to be a blessing to someone who is desperate for a kind word uttered in love has been wasted – again.

You will never know what kind of difference you can make in the life of another just by choosing to season your words with grace. Being Salt and Light is so much more than helping bring the lost home – it is caring for hurting members of the Body, it is caring for our own, it is being Jesus to those around us. How can we fulfill what Jesus called the first and foremost of the commandments, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves if we are continually trampling others with our words? Before you open your mouth to speak, ask yourself if you would like to be on the other end of your words? If you would not, then respond as Job did when he was speaking with the Lord, “… I put my hand over my mouth.” Job 40:4, NIV

Season your words with kindness. You never know what secrets of the heart someone may have that hear them or what hurts can be unknowingly inflicted by them.

2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.
3 A dream comes when there are many cares,
and many words mark the speech of a fool.
6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin….
7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
Ecclesiastes 5:2-3, 6, 7, NIV

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:33-37, NIV

A Return to the Cross

This week has been one of repentance, renewed focus, redirected ways of thinking. There has been a need to get back to the basics, to the beginning – and that is Calvary. The cross is the beginning of everything.

In light of that, I wanted to take a different approach to this week’s moment from the River. Rather than discuss what the cross means to me (which, by the way, is everything) or the importance of redemption (which, is essential) or the miraculous gift given to us that day by Jesus (debt paid in full, access to the Throne of Grace, adoption into the Family…), I would rather share with you a picture painted with words. He is the inspiration, He is the picture, He is the reason, He is the poet – I just merely show up and hold the pen.

A HEART’S GETHSEMANE

Sobs of anguish, cries in desperation.
Heart breaking prayers of agony.
Alone, darkness all around.

Three times prayed, three times acknowledged, sweat falls as drops of blood.
Foreknowledge of the future weighing heavy.
Toward His final work He must continue. It is the Father’s will.

Alone again, morning light around. The beating continues, whips fly their task.
Flesh dangles free, body ripped and torn.
The question remains, is this beaten, bludgeoned mass even human?

Forced to bear the burden himself, continuing on alone.
The beating continues, the scorns rain down.
Torment from all around, no mercy in sight.

Nailed in place, suspended in air. Loving hands secured, feet that brought peace now stilled.
Every breath brings pain. Back ripped open by beating, forced against rough-hewn wood.
His mother weeping, watching, witnessing.

“I thirst.”, “Why have you forsaken me?”
“It is finished.”
Death.

Creation reels in agony. The rocks cry out, split open.
Darkness falls all around. Could this really be?
Spear thrust into the side, precious blood spills on this now sacred ground.

Three days in the grave. A stone rolled away. Only grave clothes left behind!
Death defeated!
Life purchased and free.

Sobs of anguish, cries in desperation.
Heart breaking prayers of agony.
Alone, darkness all around.

The revelation’s astounding, mind overwhelmed.
Heart-rending truth from the depths of the soul,
“Oh Lord, those were my nails! It should have been me!”

A quiet knock, a quick reply. Cries of hope and peace.
Gazing at the cross once more, an attempted understanding. Incomprehensible.
Grace! Pardon! Mercy!

Alone no more. Darkness no longer surrounding.
Darkness dispelled, light has entered, peace has come.
It truly is finished for mercy ran to me!

A Legacy? How Will You Be Remembered?

The recent passing of a friend has caused me to stop and think about perspectives and priorities. More importantly, though, it has brought back to mind the concept of our legacy. When we are finally called home and the pain and trials of this earthly life are over, what will those left behind have to say about the life we have lived? Will they be able to say that their lives have been better for having known us or that – even more importantly – they know Jesus just a little better, see Him just a little clearer because of His working in our lives? Is this something we can leave behind us while we still walk the earth or something that is only realized after we are gone?

To those of you blessed enough to have children, do you tend to overlook or take them for granted? Children are a blank canvas given to us by the Artist of Time Himself. He provides the colors and brushes but leaves the art of putting brush to canvas to us. The work of art they become depends on how we allow the Master Artist to guide our brushes and color selection. When the masterpiece is finished, it is our legacy. It is the evidence of His faithfulness in our lives and how we lived out our faith – laid out in living, breathing color.

To those of you with friendships that are cherished, when was the last time you told that person how you felt about them? Do you just assume that they “know” how awesome you think they are and why they are such a valued and treasured part of your life? Friendships are the Lord’s way of touching our hearts in a special way. They are a gift directly from the Father’s heart to help us along the journey. Let us never take for granted the colors they add to our lives, the ways in which the Father will use them to shape us in His image, or miss the realization that a true friend from the Father gives us a glimpse into His heart for us if we will take the time to look. The friendships we leave behind once we are gone are another part of our legacy. May we love enough, be honest enough, and faithful enough to be of use to the Master Artist in adding color and shape to another’s life as their canvas becomes a part of ours and His legacy becomes the dominant feature of the work.

In much the same way, we are Jesus’ legacy. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior, we take the brush that is in our hands and place it in His. We allow Him to color our lives with His love and to contour and sculpt us with His grace. When we think we know what color should come next, it is usually then that the work of art takes a turn for the less-than-admirable. What He does with our hues once we hand the brush back to Him is beyond expectation. He takes our mistakes and stubbornness and uses them to His glory – and our growth. It becomes a beautiful segment on the portrait of grace painted over our lives.

Through the Word, we are able to know Jesus’ legacy and all He has touched, but what about you? What legacy are you leaving behind? If you were on trial for living a life washed in the blood of Jesus, guided by grace, and painted by the hand of the Master, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

3 Steps Forward, 10 Steps Back – and Have A Seat!

Oh my, what a mess!!! Ever seem to have one of those weeks where your gaze on Him has dropped and you feel as though you are going to drown? Where you fall flat on your face? Where your weaknesses are exposed and found to be so much larger than you would like them to be? Ever find yourself in a situation where you are enjoying a nice moment/conversation and a random thought comes along catching you off guard? You don’t really see the harm in it for a moment, but, before you know it, that random thought has taken hold. Maybe you don’t realize it at first, but it just kind of grows. This is a very accurate description of this past week for me – and it was all due to my own choices.

For just a moment in time, I took my eyes of my Lord and focused them on the desires of my heart. Like Peter, I began to sink quickly, but, rather than cry out to Him, I stayed in the water far too long trying to decide how “I felt” and what “I really wanted” – as if it was really about me. I chose to stay in the whirlpool rather than rest with Him in the green pastures beside the calm waters. I chose to explore areas forbidden to my soul, finding nothing but sorrow and emptiness – and possibly a damaged friendship.

As sanity has begun to return, so to speak, and restoration has started yet again, a verse from long ago was brought to mind. I have known this verse for a very long time, but I don’t think that the depth of truth contained in this verse had ever really sunk in before now. Let me assure you, the lesson has become a well learned one this week – and, unfortunately, it was a lesson that didn’t necessarily have to be taught in the first place had I kept my focus where it needed to be. Through His prophet Jeremiah, the LORD says,

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jer 17:9 (NIV)

The King James Version says that the heart is “desperately wicked” rather than “beyond cure.” A much more powerful description and, given recent events, I think the King James captures it a little more accurately. The verse that follows seems to drive the message home even harder.

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their
conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jer 17:10 (NIV)

If am to be “rewarded” for the contents of my heart during this past week, I am in big trouble! However, I know I can take comfort in the promise that not only does He provide grace all sufficient during our times of need, His grace is sufficient in our weakness and His mercies are new every morning.

I cannot say this week has been wasted in all senses of the phrase. Yes, countless opportunities to be a blessing to someone else were missed. Yes, many God-sightings were missed because my focus was on other things beside Him. Yes, I missed the opportunity to find out what was around the next bend in the river because I decided to explore a different stream. However, what I did find was a new sense of adoration for my Lord and a new outpouring of grace. He remains faithful even when we are faithless.

My assurance that Jesus truly is my Messiah is stronger now because of this journey. Does that justify taking the journey? God forbid!! It does, however, prove that He is still working for our good even in the midst of our stupidity and our hardheartedness. He will turn our bad choices into something good for His glory, if we will allow Him the opportunity to do so by humbling ourselves at His feet and allowing His ever-sufficient grace, His boundless mercy, and His limitless love to revive our hearts and turn our focus back to Him.

The new prayer of my heart is this:

Wash me in the waterfall of Your mercy! Pour Your love over my sin-soaked soul so that I feel Your peace and Your grace wash over every pain, every bruise, every stain I have placed upon my heart! My soul cries out like David’s and begs You to create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me! As it is written in Psalms 139:23-24, I willingly invite You to:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV)

Be Still, My Soul!

This past week in my life seemed to be one of back-tracking. I kept trying to push forward and continuing working on the areas in which I struggle, but the more I pushed, the more I saw myself going backward. I finally stopped and asked the Lord what it was that I was missing, what I had missed. The silence seemed deafening for a while… Something happened a few days ago that has caused me to really sit back and evaluate some places in my heart and life. A rather interesting conversation with a friend had taken place and challenged my heart and mind to go places it had not been in a very long time and try to force words to surface to express feelings long buried in the past. The fear of this was overwhelming at first, but my friend was very patient. Through a few prods and challenges, I realized that I have been held captive by this fear for far too many years – and for no reason. When I pushed beyond the fear, the expected result at the end never appeared. The fear was completely without merit – as so many of them are. The silence from the Lord was preparing my heart for this conversation and He used it to His glory to break down walls in my heart erected so many years ago that I do not remember life without them.

So begins the process of rebuilding… and renewal. I am not sure what is around the next bend, but I do know who will be with me when it is found. There will be new challenges to face, new barriers to cross, but I know that He who started the work in me will be faithful to complete it – and it will better prepare me for whatever work He has for me to do. All I have to do is be still and know that He is God – and that is all I need to know!

During this process, when the doubts and fears creep in and questions begin to swirl, it is important to remember to fix our eyes on Jesus. After all, in the midst of the storm, look what happened to Peter when he took His eyes off the Lord….he sank. However, much with like us, Jesus was there immediately reaching out a hand to pull him up again. During those dark times when you wonder why you were made the way that you were and what purpose the Lord could possibly have with your weaknesses or failures, just remember that it is not WHO you are that is important, but rather WHOSE you are. There is a reason and purpose for everything under heaven – and that those weakness are opportunities for Him to be our strength and show His strength in our lives. We just have to trust that He knows the way, He will guide, and He will comfort during the dark times through the valley and rough rapids of the River.

Relax…God’s Got This

There have been many ongoing struggles within the realm of writing. What to write? How do I convey what is on my heart and will the meaning come across clearly and understandable? Do I actually have anything relevant to say? Do I believe that the Lord would have something to say through me? All are very good questions for one who has their focus on the wrong thing, and none of this is helping the Kingdom in any way, shape, or form. While questioning and thinking that I am just trying to make sure that I am doing His will, the reality of it is I am just sitting in neutral, stagnating, and being stubborn. To really be working for Him and doing His will, one must be DOING SOMETHING! Sitting and thinking, while very essential and useful in many situations, is of no use at all if that is all that you do. The journey with Jesus Christ and walking in the will of the Father will not begin or continue along if we spend our entire time sitting, thinking, and continually questioning.

This is a lesson that was driven home to my heart this past week in the most amazing, gentle, and humbling way – as only our Father can do. I love to write poetry, but have not really found a “use” or purpose for it beyond just being something I enjoy. I have submitted some pieces to various contests, but it never went any further. True, they were not Christian based contests and, yes, the testimony of the Lord was presented to some who may or may not know him, but, in the back of my mind, a small part of me still would like to have had that affirmation that I had written something that someone felt was worth reading. The intention was good, but the focus was still just slightly skewed – after all, if I am writing for Him, they are not my words but His anyway and, therefore, they are worth reading. In light of my lack of faith in this area, I put the pen down for a while. I did, however, share a couple of pieces on a FaceBook group page dedicated to Christian poetry. Some nice comments were made and that is as far as it went – or so I thought. Come to find out, the moderator of the group is putting together a compilation of some of the poetry posted to that sight – and two of my pieces are listed among the ones to be included.

For those of us who tend to be just a little hard-headed at times, here is the question for you (and for me). How much time has been lost to stubbornness? Better yet (especially with me), how many kind, sincere words are wasted by second guessing? I know that I have broken the Father’s heart with some of my misdirected stubbornness. I know I have missed out on many God-sightings and blessings by spending too much time sitting, thinking, and second guessing. Therefore, the challenge this week is to speak to my soul and remind my heart to just Be Still and KNOW that He is God – or as my niece would say, just relax – God’s got this!