Trailblazing

When I think of trailblazing, I think of the trips my son has been on with his youth group over the past four years. Hiking in the mountains in such places like North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Colorado. He has had some amazing experiences in some beautiful parts of the United States. I see the pictures and wonder what kind of trail he walked on to get to the top of the mountain. The stories of what they ate or where they pitched their tents (and what happened after they pitched said tents) have become family lore. He has blazed new trails by taking these experiences and making them his own, and they have made him the wonderful young man he is today.

But, trailblazing doesn’t just happen on a mountain. It can happen in other places too. I had a friend call me a survivor the other week. I didn’t understand until he explained further because I sure don’t feel like a survivor. He explained, “You talk about things that make other people uncomfortable. You show your faith in ways I’m not sure other people understand. But, God does, and I think that’s what you have to keep in mind. You encourage more people than you know.” I almost cried. Even with the experiences I’ve had over the last couple of weeks which have highlighted the bad parts of my character, to know that someone had been encouraged by my words meant the world to me.

Now, as far as me actually being a trailblazer, I know it’s not something I’m doing alone. I can’t be doing it alone. It’s not possible. When words come into my head, I get an overwhelming urge to put them down on paper and weave them into pictures I see in my mind’s eye. They bring so much understanding to my heart when I re-read them. It reminds me of Psalm 119:105. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” It also reminds me of I Corinthians 2:13. “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, exclaiming spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”

So, if what I said in the previous paragraph is true, then God is the one who has a hand in my writing. He is giving me the words to put onto paper, to weave into pictures, to minister in His Name. But the doubts and fears creep in to my brain especially after the past few weeks. If I’m a trailblazer, then the biggest thing I’m going after is doubt and fear. I feel unworthy to bear the name of Jesus-follower. I’m too different to do anything for God’s kingdom. And for me to think that I could actually write. I can hear the cruel laughter right now.

But, maybe the point I’m missing is from a story in Mark 9. Jesus is talking to the father of a boy who is possessed by an evil spirit. Starting in Verse 21, “Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ ‘From childhood,’ he answered. ‘It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'” Those last words, “help me overcome my unbelief.” Maybe those are the words I need to use with a Christian brother or sister and have them pray for me. Maybe those are the words that would remove the crippling anxiety and depression from my heart. Or maybe they are just the spoken words God is waiting for me to use to bring Him glory in a world that devalues honesty and makes our faith a shadow of what it could be. Authentic community–maybe the first steps begin with me, and, as I accomplish them, maybe they could trail blaze a new beginning for my faith!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

Will My Writing Matter?

I had no business being the oldest in my family. I was always expected to be the example for my younger siblings, but, as I grew into an adolescent and then into a young adult, I wondered, who was going to be the example for me. I had no idea what I was doing and having my mistakes continuously pointed out didn’t help.

Even though I felt unqualified to be the example, I kind of fell into the role naturally once I got to college. My college church had children’s missions groups I became involved with–Mission Friends for preschoolers, Girls in Action for elementary-aged girls, and Acteens for teenaged girls. That time was a precious time for me. The relationships I formed with the ladies I helped and with the girls were life-changing relationships, and all it took was making myself available to be a mentor. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know what I was doing. Just showing up was what mattered, and I gained far more than they did.

I continued this as I married and had children of my own–working in the nursery on Sundays and working with Mission Friends on Wednesdays. My privilege during those years was watching the other children grow up next to my own sons and sharing life experiences together. This quote from the author reminds me of those experiences. “The Bible challenges men and women to lead by example and also to teach and pour into those younger than they are, a few steps behind.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs)

As with all things that are one-sided, I eventually burnt out on teaching and mentoring and everything else that was going on in that particular church. My husband and I left the church. They were willing to let us lead, teach, and participate, but when it actually came to mentoring us or being in authentic community with us, me in particular, not so much. We were too different. We didn’t have enough money, and we didn’t live in the right place. The curse of the Western church, I think, or the church in a wealthy area, at the very least.

We spent almost eight years outside of the church, most of our sons’ middle childhood. My husband mentored some younger people who worked for him, but, other than that, I concentrated on raising and homeschooling our sons once we started our homeschooling journey. I ached for some mentoring of my own, but the few people I had in my life who would have been willing lived a long way away. I had no one in my daily life to follow as an example. I was doing it on my own, following my own instincts.

It was during and after this time, when I came back to the church, that a long, dormant talent came back to me. I started writing again and began to fill journals with my thoughts, feelings, and inadequacies. There were more of the last one than there had been before because I had lived more of life. But, I also filled them with the faith that was beginning to re-blossom and the questions that were coming to mind because of that faith. I found it much easier to write in my journals and then in my blogs than I did to speak to people in person. Words didn’t take advantage of me like people could and reading back over the words gave me the guidance I was craving.

But, I looked over the words I just wrote and realized something was missing. While I was learning a lot from the letters I wrote to God and from the growing relationship I had with Him, it was missing something. Relationships with real people. Really? Those same real people who have discouraged me in my relationship with God now? Yes, those same people. While my inner psyche goes, ‘Ugh. Really, God? Sometimes, I don’t like people very much,’ He returns my comment with a touch of sarcasm, ‘And sometimes they don’t like you very much.’ Touche, I think. He has reminded me I’m just as human as other people are. A sobering reminder.

It brings up another question, however, one that is important to me. Will my writing matter? Why has God given me this talent to write if no one reads it? I don’t know if it will matter in the grand scheme of things. I don’t know if God has placed this on my heart to do while other, more important things are going on in His Kingdom. I only know that God has placed writing on my heart and that it is something I need to do. My hope is that people who read this after I’m gone will receive insight and wisdom–insight and wisdom they can take with them into their real-life relationships.

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

The Second Greatest Commandment

I’m not sure any of us ever think of the second greatest commandment. I mean, why would we think of the second one when we can think of the first one. Isn’t our society all about who or what is first? Do we remember the people who win silver medals in the Olympics? Do we remember the loser of the Super Bowl or the NCAA basketball tournament? Do we remember the loser of the World Cup? No, I can honestly say I don’t remember any of those people or teams. It’s in our mindset to remember who’s first.

Don’t get me wrong. What Jesus says is the first commandment is important. It’s very important. From Matthew 22:37-38, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.'” It’s one of the bedrock statements of our faith.

The second part is too, but there is one little part of Jesus’ statement I think we neglect, and it is what I want to talk about today. From Matthew 22:39-40, “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Here’s another question. What part am I talking about? Don’t we emphasize all  the words of these verses? Read the quote of Matthew 22:39 again and see what part I emphasize. “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” We go all out on the “loving your neighbor” part. We sacrifice; we serve; we give. All benchmarks of our faith. But, the “as yourself” part, not so much. In fact, if we say we love ourselves, we’re accused of being selfish and narcissistic. Sometimes, I feel it even goes to not admitting sorrow or sadness ourselves. Why should we admit sorrow or sadness? We have Jesus in our lives. We should be happy all of the time. I do know that part is not true, however.

What the author says in today’s devotion from 100 Days to Brave has given me permission to think about these things. She says, “You have to love yourself to love others well.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) I agree with this, and I believe Jesus says it too which brings me back to the messages about myself that have been in my head for a long time. I talked about them yesterday when I was speaking of the words I grew up hearing. “You’re too heavy.” “You’re too quiet.” “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re different.” “You’re not enough like a woman.” “You’re odd.” “You’re too smart.” “What you feel doesn’t matter.”

Lots of messages, as you can see. Though these messages are well-entrenched in my head, I believe I’ve been able to love other people over the years. I remembered what it felt like not to be believed in as the person I was, and I never wanted  anyone to feel the way I felt. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Plenty of them. But, I’ve done the best I could with what I had.

But, I’ve had to consider something today, and it’s made me wonder if I am a Christian at all. Wow, from the author of a Christian blog no less, but bear with me. The author of the devotional talks about how our relationships could be even better, that we could “love others well” as I quoted earlier, if we loved ourselves. They would be different. I know that. If I was able to live that truth, I know they would be different.

She asked some questions though at the end of today’s devotion that I’ve had to seriously consider. “Do you love yourself? Do you see yourself the way God sees you? Do you recognize how absolutely lovable you are? (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) She goes on to say that loving others is easy when we can see that truth. I can’t though. My answers to all those questions is no. No, I don’t love myself. No, I don’t see myself the way God sees me. And no, I don’t recognize how lovable I am. I know I love Jesus with all of my heart, but I don’t know if He loves me, and I know I don’t love myself.

So, I’m left wondering if I’m even a Christian after these realizations. Because I’m different, I don’t feel worthy of God’s love. How’s that for an ending? 🙁 Don’t worry though. I’m still going to write my way through the rest of this devotional and see if I can figure things out. Figure out if I am a Christian and figure out this bravery thing.

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

Words Can Heal and Words Can Destroy

This has not been the best month for me in using words. I have been wounded by words and have lashed out because I’ve been wounded. I’ve even managed to destroy relationships in the process. I’m sure we’ve all been there.

I should have known better. I should have known better because of what it says in Proverbs 12:18. “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” And what about I Peter 3:9? “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you many inherit a blessing.” The You Version Bible app was also helpful in finding references in Scripture. From Amos 5:13, “Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil.” And finally, from Matthew 12:36 – 37, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Punishing words, right? Convicting words? Yes, all of that and more. I have no excuse especially with the background I come from. I spent a lot of my younger life hearing words that destroyed me and the person I was becoming. “You’re too heavy.” “You’re too quiet.” “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re different.” “You’re not enough like a woman.” “You’re odd.” “You’re too smart.” “What you feel doesn’t matter.” So, I learned to stuff my feelings down and to not acknowledge them. They didn’t matter anyway. They didn’t matter to anyone else so they shouldn’t matter to me. I think all of us would say feelings shouldn’t matter, but boy, is it a challenge to not react to hurting words.

Because of these words which were spoken to me, I’ve always tried to be kind in the way I’ve treated others. I know Jesus wants us to, and being like Jesus has been my aspiration since I came to know Him–to be more like Him and less like myself. Shouldn’t it be that way for all of us who are believers? Shouldn’t we remember verses like Matthew 5:11 or Psalm 119:50 when we are hurting instead of lashing out?

We don’t though because we are human and because we haven’t gone home yet. We don’t remember the words from Psalm 119:50. “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”

So, as I conclude this post, the best piece of advice I have to offer is this. Don’t do what I did. Don’t destroy relationships with your words. I may never fit in. I may always be the odd one. I may always be the one that’s not wanted. But, I can do a better job of doing what the author says in today’s devotion. “Brave people use their words to heal. Speaking with kindness about other people’s hearts and minds and bodies can go a long way to heal.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) May we all remember this truth today!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

The Meaning of the Sabbath Again

This morning’s devotion from 100 Days to Brave is about the Sabbath. I could have tried to write something original to today. But between what I wrote yesterday about rest and what I wrote three years ago about the Sabbath, I think I’ve covered it. So, I’m going to share the post I wrote three years ago. Enjoy and have a wonderful day! If you’re in the United States, have a wonderful holiday weekend!

The Meaning of the Sabbath

In Genesis 2:2-3 it says, “By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.”

Have you ever thought about what this truly means? Rest. God rested from the work He had done. There are many examples of how people have interpreted this. The Old Testament has lists of what could and could not be done on the Sabbath by the Jewish people. In the nineteenth century, there were people who didn’t do any physical work on Sundays and who didn’t go anywhere either. They rested. And then we come to today. We consider going to church our Sabbath duty and after we come home, we do all the “work” we weren’t able to do during the week or we run around and do whatever activity comes to mind and call it rest.

There are some who would say these are all cultural changes, and, of course, we are still honoring the Sabbath Day by what we do on Sundays. I’m not so sure. What about the waitress who works in the restaurant where we have lunch? What about the grocery story clerk?  What about the nurse in the hospital? And here’s the big one, what about our church staffs? Is Sunday a day of rest for them? These are challenging questions. Sometimes I get to the end of the day on Sunday and wonder why I am so tired if this day is supposed to be a day of rest.

A little while ago, I read something that has the potential to answer this question. God doesn’t want us to have a list of dos and don’ts about the Sabbath. And I think it doesn’t really matter to Him what we do or don’t do on Sunday although a break from responsibilities is nice. No, he wants us to abide in Him always.

The term that was used in my devotional resonated with me, and it helped me come to a deeper understanding. This term is “soul Sabbath – a settled, deep stillness, a quiet relaxation in body and soul.” I had never heard it before, but it makes sense to me.  Experiencing a “soul Sabbath”  is the same as abiding in God which is what all of us who profess faith are supposed to do. It is also the hardest place to get to in having faith. God wants this for us though as demonstrated by Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-29.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Lord, this my prayer for all of us.

God’s blessings on you all today!

Time to Rest

At the beginning of the week, I said I was going to take some time off from my obligations.( http://thrivingingrace.com/play-time/ ) Even though I wasn’t able to go on a vacation, I could still rest and listen, really listen, to what God was calling me to do next.

So, how is it going so far? I think it’s going well, and I’m starting to feel better. I’ve done some things I enjoy (related to Monday’s devotion about play), and I’ve closed my eyes and let my mind drift when I’ve needed to. (related to today’s devotion about rest)

Rest, why aren’t we willing to do that often enough? Why do we work ourselves to the point of exhaustion and burnout, to the point of needing to step away and not just wanting to step away because it’s our choice? For me, I think it’s because I haven’t wanted to be forgotten. During my marriage, I have been the main caretaker when someone has been sick. Through my husband’s health problems and whenever my children were sick, I’ve always been the one taking care of them. No one has taken care of me. I’ve gone out and been faithful so I could have contact with other people.

But, I got to a point where I knew I needed rest. I needed to take care of myself even if no one else would. I needed to work on climbing out of the pit and find out what this faith of mine actually meant to me. So, I’ve done that. Even my sons have noticed that mom hasn’t been to church this week. I’m doing something different with my faith life, and it’s being noticed. It’s part of what this becoming brave journey has been all about. To be brave enough not to care what others might think; to only care what my Lord and Savior thinks of this life I’m living.

I know I will feel better about myself and my life once this rest period is over. I know this because I’m already looking forward to taking my first steps this coming Sunday. Very thankful to God for validating my feelings through the author’s words this morning. “Be brave enough to rest–knowing that you need it. Knowing that it’s healthy. Knowing that even God Himself rests.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs)

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

Everything in Moderation

Yesterday, I said I was going to discuss having a healthier approach to eating today which is the topic of today’s devotion. I thought about just quoting today’s verse and saying that God wants us to eat our vegetables. There could be a case for not saying anything more and ending this post here, but I don’t think God wants me to. I think God wants me to expound a bit further.

As I was growing up, I thought things had to be done one way or the other. Exercise all the time or don’t exercise. Eat good foods like fruits or veggies or eat cake or ice cream. Nothing in the middle. Couple that idea with people who said I had to eat certain foods, and I was at a loss about how this “eating well” think was supposed to work. (I can’t eat peas to this day because I gag on the taste and the texture.)

But, I have learned to like vegetables and fruits and how to eat in a more healthy way. And it stared with learning about moderation. The fastest way for me to want too much of something is to be told I can’t have it. It’s gotten me into trouble over the years. Thinking everything needed to be all or nothing has resulted in different diets and approaches I have spent way too much money on.

The only thing that God wants us to go all in on is Him. That includes eating and drinking like it says in I Corinthians 10:31. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This doesn’t mean you can’t eat one hamburger. It means eating five hamburgers in a row is probably not a good idea. It’s the same way for a piece of cake or a serving of ice cream. You can eat them occasionally, or in moderation, but you shouldn’t eat them all of the time. See what I mean? Moderation in everything.

I especially liked what the author had to say about eating. “You should be thinking about what you’re eating, not just inhaling.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) I guess that’s what I’ve been doing over the last few years. Thinking about it. I’ve realized that by thinking about it I’m enjoying what I eat more, and I get fuller faster. A good realization for me, by all accounts.

So, as I end this post, I want to reiterate that I want to honor God with all the parts of my life including my eating habits. Praying for bravery for all of us as we seek to bring glory to our Lord and Savior in this important part of our lives!

Praying for God’s blessings on you all today!

Exercise Time

I had a rough time with this concept when I was growing up. Not with not knowing how to exercise. That part was easy. I even got to take aerobic dance as a PE class at my high school in the early 80’s. This high school had PE classes that consisted of a specific activity instead of a hodge-podge of activities. Pretty cool, right?

No, my problem was how exercise related with the various diets I was always on and how those two things related to how I felt about myself. I didn’t feel valuable because of my size, and I wasn’t able to un-link exercise from losing weight. I kept trying though. I wanted to look like how all the people in my life said I should look like. God didn’t really enter into the equation because I was looking to other people for approval of my size and not considering that God might have made me the way I was for a reason.

Now, I want to be clear here. I don’t think God gives us approval to abuse our bodies. It’s what the author talks about in today’s devotion. From Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” This verse doesn’t say we have to weigh a certain amount of pounds or be a particular size. It says to take care of our bodies and that we’re worshiping God when we do so. Then, there’s the next verse. Verse 2. “Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing  of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

I wish I had been able to figure both of these out earlier. Maybe I wouldn’t have gone to the extremes I’ve gone to over my life to be the size that society says I should be. God doesn’t want us to do that. He wants us to take care of the bodies He has given us, and one of the ways we can do it is by exercising. Like the author says, “Your size isn’t the issue. There isn’t an attractive size or an ugly size. But there is a point at which you become unhealthy and your body suffers. (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs)

I’ve slowly come to realize the truth of this statement over the past few years and have begun to treat my body better than I did in my earlier years– eating better which I will discuss more tomorrow and exercising. I have also experienced another benefit of exercising. When I exercise consistently, I’m able to manage my depression and the feelings that come with it in a better way, and I hear God in a better way too. It’s almost like a fog clears in my brain by the time I’m done with my walks, and that’s a good thing for me.

So, exercise is good for all the parts of us–not only the physical part, but also the mental and spiritual parts. It helps us to do the work God wants us to do for the time we are meant to be here. It also helps us to love others in His Name. Praying we can all remember how God wants us to treat our bodies as we serve Him!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

 

Play Time

I’m sitting at the lake near where we live on this first Monday morning of the rest of my life since retiring from homeschool teaching on Friday. It’s gorgeous down here–just the right hint of cool breeze and very little of the humidity that my area will get increasing amounts of later on in the summer. It’s gorgeous, and it’s peaceful. I can see the breeze moving the water and the top of the trees. I can feel it as it blows through my hair I’ve been growing out. It’s like a kiss from the Holy Spirit.

I’ve come to a realization. I doubt it’s very profound for the rest of you, but it was for me. My life has been full of obligations for the last several years. Obligations of teaching; obligations of taking care of my home; obligations of faith; and obligations of behavior. We all have obligations in our lives, most of them placed by ourselves, but others also expect things of us. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of meeting my obligations, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for play. There hasn’t even been time for a vacation. Who takes vacations when they’re paying for a child to get through college? 🙂 I’m not complaining though. As a parent, I would sacrifice anything for my kids.

But, I haven’t had any time off, and it’s affected me–mentally, physically, and spiritually. It’s put me in a pit which I’ve started working my way out of. And part of that work involves self-care, or play. Coincidentally, play is the subject of today’s devotion. I can resonate with this quote from the author as I sit here. “It’s almost like a deep breath on a really hard journey of courage.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) I’m able to take a deep breath here unlike anywhere else right now. My journey to courage has been hard this spring especially over the last few weeks, and I haven’t taken the time to play or just the time to rest from my obligations. Much as I hate to admit it, worship has even become rote. With that being said, I know I need some renewal.

Sitting down here to write this post has been a good start. Today’s Scripture verse is more meaningful too because I’m sitting in the middle of God’s creation. From Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” It feels good to be in the middle of God’s creation and to know that He doesn’t see my sins because of what Jesus did for all of us on the cross. I can praise Him here, and I know it’s a start.

So, this week I’m going to do some self-care. I might not be able to go on a vacation, but I can take a rest from my obligations. I can work on climbing out of the pit and learn how to worship again with freedom and without obligation. May we all be able to see God’s presence in whatever situations we are in today!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

Practicing at Being Brave

Today’s devotion is about discipline. Who among us likes discipline? Come on, let’s see the hands. ***sees no hands raised*** Now, who among us dislikes discipline? ***Everyone in the room has their hand raised.*** That’s better. At least, we’re willing to admit it.

I’ve never liked discipline although I know it’s necessary in our lives. We need to be disciplined as we go about our daily lives; we need to follow the rules and laws that have been set out for us; and we need to teach our children the rules and laws they need to follow. These are all important things though it can be painful to receive or go through this discipline. Like it says in Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Righteousness and peace, who wouldn’t want that?

But, there’s another image of the word discipline many of us have to overcome before we can get to the true God-given meaning of the word. This image equates discipline with the word abusive. Many people spank, hit, yell, scream, and say words of condemnation in the name of discipline. I’m pretty sure many of us have done one or more of these things, and if we haven’t, then we know someone who has.

We also have read stories in the Bible of God’s discipline of Israel. I’ve known people who have read these stories in the Old Testament who want nothing to do with a god who seems angry, distant, and uncaring to the people He created. Do you see the reasoning and the equating of discipline with abusive?

Jesus’ death on the cross though brought all of us grace. He accepts us as we are no matter what we’ve done or how different we are from everyone else. He loves us in a way I know no one else on this planet can, and I am grateful He is always there for me. Thriving in Grace, after all, is the name of this blog. 🙂

But, what about discipline or the title of today’s post–Practicing at Being Brave? How are they related to what I think God means for discipline to be? I’m glad you asked. I found wisdom and encouragement from what the author had to say in this morning’s devotion and from the book of 2 Timothy in the Bible. As I’ve blogged through this devotional and learned about being brave, I’ve realized that I need to practice what I’ve been learning which is what the author said. “…discipline isn’t rules you have to live by or laws you have to obey. Discipline is the work done on the practice field so you are ready for the big game.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) God doesn’t leave us lacking either. From 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” These are the things I need to do a better job of being brave.

So, as I end this post, I want to leave you with this quote from the author as encouragement for this Friday. “It’s the practice that makes perfect, and the practice makes you brave.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs)

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!