Inspiration

I read a question earlier about what inspires me to write and thought I would write a short piece detailing my reasons. First, let me state the reasons that were written in the prompt. Is my writing a desire to create lyrical prose, to escape this world, or to explore my inner world? I think a combination of the last two reasons is what inspires me to write. My world is so normal, and I feel insignificant a lot of the time like I’m not important to people. I want to write about characters who are important, who save the day and the planet. They start off insignificant and then become heroes to those around them. I want them to be recognized as valuable and important people who make sure that all around them who are also insignificant are recognized as valuable and important. That recognition, of course, does not happen in our society, or even in the Christian church, so that’s one of the main reasons I want to escape this world through my writing and write about a better world.

I believe exploring my inner world is a natural extension of the first reason so I’m throwing that out there as well. I want the world to be better so I make-up worlds which then need to come out of my head and be written down on paper so I won’t lose the world or the thoughts leading to it. I’m at my happiest when I’m writing about my inner world and describing the ways it can be better than the world I’m currently living in.

I also feel like writing is a big way for me to redeem my past. That is what brings me back to my book and other things I’m writing after a long time away. I’ve used my circumstances to block my writing time for way too long, and this is what I’m hoping to change in 2020. I’m capable of achieving my goals even with four people and a dog in the house, and it’s about time I proved it.

Another part of the prompt said I should write about the last time inspiration hit and how it came about. It was last fall when I noticed the listing for a short story contest. It said to write a story about why the United States hadn’t been back to the moon in fifty years. Any reason, any scenario. But, history had to stay the same. A light dawned. I could fit my character and her desire to be a pilot/astronaut right into it since women were still being discriminated against in the late ’60s and early ’70s. A story started forming in my head. I was able to write over 27,000 words of it during NaNoWriMo. Where I fell down though was in the planning and execution of it. I didn’t flesh out the outline enough which is why the words stopped. I’ve been able to get back to it now and am combining my writing with reading and research to make sure I get the details right because I want this story to be a good story.

Finally, what makes me come back to writing on the worst days? What makes me sit down and write when times are bad? When I write bad times down, they stay on the page. They communicate my thoughts and feelings, and I gain the courage to live another day. I don’t say that lightly. My feelings of insignificance diminish with every word I write down. The stories I write show other people slaying their demons which helps me, and someday others, I hope, to slay their own demons and make this world a much better place.

 

Word of the Month – Discipline

As I’ve been debating on where I want to take my writing life and this blog, in particular, in 2020, I’ve come back to a concept that’s been popular for the last few years. The concept is to pick a “word of the year” that represents what the person hopes to achieve during the year. I do see the wisdom in it though. By thinking of a word for the year, a person can think of how they want their year to go and choose accordingly. But, I decided to take the concept a step further. I have many things I wish to work on this year, and I thought dividing my words into monthly emphases would be a better idea. It also will give me an automatic blog topic for the first blog of each month. So, with all that said, my word for January is discipline, and my post today will explain how I decided on this word and what I want to do with it during this month.

First, the word discipline has two different connotations–one negative and one positive. The definition of the negative connotation of the word is this. Discipline is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” While I believe in the practice of discipline to train people on how to act in society, this is not quite what I had in mind when I chose discipline as my first word of the month. No, I had a more positive connotation of the word in mind. Nowadays, it’s hard to think of the positive aspects of discipline since we hear so much about the negative ones. But, positive is what I was thinking of, and here is the definition. Discipline is training ourselves to do something in a controlled and habitual way. And this is where I thought I needed to begin as I start working on what I want to accomplish in 2020.

I started writing the list of things I want to do in my planner and was surprised by the number of components it had. Most of them had to do with my writing–finishing my novel, posting regularly in this blog, writing in my journal, and writing more stories. Then, there are the activities that go with my writing such as reading and research and the classes and workshops. It looked intimidating without a plan.

I also wrote down my goals for the other parts of my life such as self-care, spending time with family and friends. and the most important part of my life–my faith practice. I want to let God’s voice lead me in all the aspects of my life; in my writing, in the places I go to serve Him, and in the things I do for Him. It’s my desire to reflect Him and who He is to me with everything I do in this life.

This takes discipline which is why I chose the word. I need to train myself physically, mentally, and spiritually as I write, as I practice my faith, and as I live for Him. Training my brain to focus on the tasks I want to accomplish instead of letting myself be distracted with what the world thinks I need to do. It is hard though. So hard to have discipline in my life though I can see the benefits once I learn and apply it. Being disciplined about working towards my goals will do nothing but help me, and help us all, as we move forward in 2020.

God bless you all today!

Be a Noticer

This week I was going to write about the birthday I had over the weekend and how it felt to be a year older. But, instead, I decided to write about noticing instead. It’s been on my heart and mind.

Noticing other people. It’s not wired in us, is it? Except for when they’re interfering in our business or keeping us from where we want to go. We find it hard to pay attention to other people when they’re speaking because we’re thinking of the next thing we want to say and forget learning what another person is interested in if it doesn’t interest us. It’s not worth our time. Then, we wonder why we’re lonely and seem to have few or no friends.

I’ve written about feeling lonely and feeling like I haven’t found my tribe before, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. To think I could only talk about the weather with someone or the latest football score has been disheartening.

But, then I started thinking about the people who notice in my life and thought I would tell you some of their stories today. The first one is my husband. We’ve been married for over twenty-five years, and he’s surprised me with almost every gift he has given me. Yes, I have made lists for my birthday and for Christmas, and he has gotten me some of those gifts. But, it never fails. He’ll notice something in a store that I touch six months before the occasion, and inevitably, it ends up in my pile on Christmas morning. He notices me and the kind of person I am, and I am grateful. I was especially grateful that he bought me an All-Access Pass to Master Class last year which I used to take several classes from well-known authors. I learned so much and was glad he continued it for this coming year.

Another person in my life who notices me is someone who I have known since college. She is one of my best friends, and I consider her an adopted mom. It’s been over thirty years since I first met her, and there are many stories I could tell you. But, I want to focus on one that happened just this week. She sent me a birthday card which she usually does near my birthday. The card had this written in it. “I can’t wait to read your novel.” I felt so validated. I don’t have many people in my life that acknowledge my writing efforts, and sometimes I just don’t feel understood. It’s a “me” thing, I assure you. So, to have her do that made me feel so good.

So, with this on my mind, I decided to make a point of trying this myself. If being noticed made me feel this good, imagine what it could for someone else. At the end of Thanksgiving weekend, the residents of where I live were asked not to bring any more garbage to the dumpster. It was broken, and it would take a few days for someone to come and fix it. Of course, no one listened. Everyone wanted to get rid of their trash from Thanksgiving. Anyway, I had just bought a few Christmas cookie mixes and decided to mix up a batch for our maintenance crew. They would be the ones who would clean up the mess, and I wanted to make sure they knew they were appreciated. I didn’t think a whole lot about it though. It was just…something that felt natural. I also knew I might not get any kind of response. But, I did it anyway. And I think I felt just as good if not better than the young men who received those cookies. They, and the job they did, had been noticed, something we all long for.

I also spent some time with my birthday buddy during the weekend of our birthday. She is a young lady at my church whose birthday is on the same day as mine. She, her mother, and I went to the mall, and I felt joy in noticing the little things she liked. We went up and down escalators, explored stores, and talked about the toys she had bought. It was a great afternoon! (Thank you, Jenny and Ivy!)

Finally, I want to say this. Make an effort to be a noticer. Notice when someone is happy and when someone is sad. Notice, and don’t try to fix it. Just be there. I believe that’s the way Jesus wants us to be present and to show His love to others in our sphere of influence.

God bless you all!

PS–I wrote this last week, but haven’t been able to get it posted before now because of computer problems. Thanks for reading!

Quiet Servant or What I Learned During NaNoWriMo

As promised, I am back in this space after a month of working on a story that I care deeply about. Did I accomplish the goal of National Novel Writing Month which is to write 50,000 words? Did I finish my first draft? The answer would be no to both of those questions. But, I wrote 26,826 words of a story I care deeply about and plan on continuing. I learned some things this year though, and that’s what I want to share with you today.

The first thing I learned was that life still exists during November, and people still expect you to live it unless you have the good fortune to live alone. (Maybe I’ll plan that for next November. Lol) There were dogs who needed walks, people who needed rides, and things that needed to be accomplished like going to the grocery store and paying bills. I did all of those things, of course. I mean, I do like to eat, and having a place to live does have its benefits. 🙂

But, it cut down on the time I had to write, and it made me wonder if I really respected my writing time, or if I’ve made my intentions clear to the people I share my home with. Somehow, I think not. When I, as mom or spouse, let myself be interrupted at the least little issue, it shows me I haven’t made my intentions clear.

For that matter, I also learned that the people closest to me (and I am widening the circle to include friends and acquaintances in this one) are not necessarily the ones who are going to understand my need to get words on the page or on the screen. They are also not the ones who are going to participate in that all-important use of the like, comment or share buttons on social media. Yes, I know this is a more recent invention, but it is also a more visible way for authors to interact with people who read their work, and it can be frustrating when it doesn’t happen.

What also has made me wonder if I’m any good or if it is worth it for me to plan time to write is the lack of commentary on my abilities as a writer. When I see publicity like “Come hear this person speak. He is a gifted communicator,” it makes me think my gift is lacking. Now, I am well aware that I may not have the gift of writing at all and that I may be just shouting into empty space. I don’t know. If I think about it too long, it can be depressing. That is why I so appreciated the meme I saw from Create Magazine yesterday morning. “To the artists who have not yet felt the impact of their work upon others, thank you for showing up, thank you for creating.” It inspired me to keep going.

But, I look at these words and realize I’ve left Jesus out of the equation. No human being is going to care what I create or even care about me, for that matter, as much as He does. And with His love, I can respect what He’s called me to do and respect that I am valuable enough to make the time. Make the time to write.

So, in retrospect, I am a writer and a servant who very often is relegated to the background by the world and those in it even my Christian brothers and sisters. But, Jesus doesn’t relegate me to the background. He loved me enough to die on the cross for me. So, I can write, and I can serve and know that my Lord is well pleased I am using the gifts He has given me. Thank you to all who have inspired me, and may our Lord and Savior continue to inspire those of us who create.

God bless you all today!

Catching my Dreams

I’ve spent this year learning more about my craft. I’ve written stories and worked on a book. I’ve taken classes from people who are writing pros through Master Class (Check it out. It’s excellent.) I’ve also written blog posts and entries in my journal. If all of that was added up, I’ve done a lot of writing. And people I’ve talked to say my writing has improved. But, I’ve noticed something, and it’s changed how I’m going to approach my writing for the rest of the year. I got stuck on a book I was writing. Yes, yes, I know all the stats of beginning writers abandoning what they’re working on to move on to something else, but hear me out.  When I couldn’t think of where else to go with the book I was working on, I started considering where I was trying to go with my writing and what I was really trying to accomplish with it. That’s what I want to talk about today. Catching my dreams.

Dreams can be elusive. Over my lifetime, I’ve gained and lost dreams that have been important to me. I’ve raised a family and homeschooled my children. I’ve moved from place to place so my husband could pursue work which supported our family. I’ve pursued hobbies and maintained relationships. Now, I’m at the place where I want to pursue my dream of becoming a published author, and I didn’t have a book inside of me that I could finish and then improve. Where could I go if I didn’t have that? Not very far, I’m pretty sure.

So, I reached back into my past for the book I wanted to write and made myself a promise. I formulated a main character who was just starting out and had dreams of her own. I did research on those dreams and figured out the best world I could put them in. It would be a story about overcoming obstacles to achieve dreams. And, I would have a first draft completed by the end of November. This draft would have at least 50,000 words which is the goal of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). So, you won’t hear from me for the rest of the month as I chase my dream. As I tell the story that only I can tell. I wish you a wonderful November as you chase and hopefully, catch your dreams which makes the working title of my book appropriate, Dream Catchers. Have a great month, and God bless you!

Words When There Are No Words

I haven’t done the best job of keeping up with this blog recently. I haven’t planned for topics; therefore, posts have gone unwritten. But today…today, I feel the necessity to try and write words where there are no words. Thoughts where there are only tears. Good where I can only see evil.

In case you don’t live in the United States, or you haven’t kept up with the story, a young girl with the sweet nickname of “Cupcake” was kidnapped from my home city. For two weeks, many people have been hunting for her and praying for her safe return. But, last night…last night that ended with the finding of her remains. My heart hurts for this family. It hurts so much. It hurts that I can see the evil present in this society and not know what to do about it. It hurts that times like these seem to be the only times we come together.

And I don’t know what to do about it. Isn’t it funny that I can sit here and write these words and still not know what to do? I feel paralyzed, and yet, I don’t think God wants me to feel this way. He has a purpose for me as I reflect on this tragic event. First, He wants me to pray for this family and all who knew this child as they mourn. I cannot and will not try to imagine their overwhelming pain. But, I can approach the throne of God on their behalf. I can ask Him to give them peace and comfort as they cry.

I can also love and appreciate my family and the community around me more. I know I’m imperfect at this, but, at the same time, I know that the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life and heart can and will help me to love better as long as I don’t get in the way.  🙂

Being a part of the solution instead of a part of the problem is another way I can have an impact. Our world is so divided, so torn apart. Satan wants it that way, you know. He doesn’t want us to know about the incredible love Jesus offers to those who believe in Him. And, if we do believe, Satan does everything he can to make sure that people don’t see Jesus in our lives–don’t see His love or His grace. We can change that. We can mourn with those who mourn, and we can grieve with those who grieve no matter how uncomfortable that might make us. And, we can cling with all our might to the cross, the cross where Jesus demonstrated that love, as I am doing this evening. Oh Jesus, come quickly!

Serious Writers Never Quit: They Find the Way–A Review

I’ve spent this past week reading and considering the words written in this book by Bryan Hutchinson, owner of the Positive Writer blog and website.  https://www.amazon.com/Serious-Writers-Never-Quit-They-ebook/dp/B07XT7BCXV/ref=sr_1_1?crid=XXFQG6QVOD6R&keywords=serious+writers+never+quit&qid=1571002250&s=digital-text&sprefix=serious+writers+never%2Caps%2C304&sr=1-1

Ever since I found his website, I’ve gained knowledge about my craft through his words and the words of others who have guest blogged and written comments. I’ve also read several of his books with this one being the one most recently published. I’ve found that his books have two underlying themes both of which I’ve talked about on this blog myself and both of which I’m looking forward to specifically relating to this book today.

The first of these themes is about the writing craft itself. I found the book knowledgeable and informative. With chapter and section titles such as “What Serious Writing Is All About” “The Way Is In Every Draft”. “A Draft Is A Process”, “What Readers Want” and “Journaling Is The Way”, how could I not? Since I’m working on a book and journaling each day, it was interesting to gain another perspective on both. Hutchinson discusses the fears and doubts that keep us from writing, and the perception that our writing will never be good enough to release to the world. People with perfectionistic tendencies will relate to this one. For myself, I have been paralyzed at times with continuing a story because I couldn’t think of the words which would make it perfect enough to be published. Imagine the number of unfinished stories sitting on people’s computers and in stacks of notebooks around their homes. So many ideas lost to fear and doubt because we, as authors, didn’t believe in ourselves.

This is solved, Hutchinson says, by adopting something called “The Way” which is simply a mental reset of what you think of yourself and your writing. For those of us who experience symptoms of mental illness as I do, this can be a difficult thing. He talks about how instead of calling the first draft of whatever we’re writing “crap” (which is fairly common) we should label it our best writing at this particular time which we’re going to work on improving. This resonates with me today because I had someone tell me that my writing had improved over the amount of time she had been reading it.

It’s hard to do this though, and something, I think, would need to be done on a daily basis. I say this as someone who experiences depression and anxiety and someone who has had to apply these lessons to her own faith as I’ve also discussed here. It is doable, and I say this as someone who has been a consistent journaler for almost seven years.

When I write in my journal, I don’t feel any anxiety whatsoever. My thoughts and feelings are rich, and I can communicate in ways I would never be able to do in person. Between what I’ve written in my journal and in this blog, I’ve gained a confidence I never dreamed I would gain. It’s what keeps me writing. Even though I’ve not published my words in a traditional way yet, I find that I’ve taken the lessons from this book and used them long before I even knew the book existed.

I give this book a five-star rating and can recommend it highly. Be aware though that this is not a one and done lesson. You will be using the lessons from this book daily for the rest of your life as a writer.

 

Rugged Love

This title has been in my head since last week through the things I’ve done for my family and friends. It has followed me through my devotion readings. It even made an appearance as I listened to last Sunday’s sermon. That’s when I knew it would be a good title for today’s blog.

So, what’s rugged love? It’s a term I made up so I want to take my time laying out a definition. First, and foremost, it has to do with the Scripture lesson I heard on Sunday. From Luke 6:27-28, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Jesus’ own words to show us how we need to treat everyone who comes across our path.

Luke goes on to share the examples Jesus shared so His listeners would know how He meant for them to act. From Luke 6:29-31, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

I read Jesus’ words, and rugged love immediately comes to mind. Loving our enemies. People who don’t want good things to happen to us. We’re supposed to do good things for them and love them. I don’t know about you, but this is a hard thing for me. Especially if I know the other person has ill will towards me. I need to reach deep into myself to live these words. To that place in my soul where the Holy Spirit resides. For those of you who are believers, you are probably saying, “Of course. Relying on God’s power is the only way we can love our enemies.” Bear with me though. My point will become clear in a minute.

As I think about Jesus’ words, I think of rugged love as being a love that is forged in a fire. Not dependent on feelings or warm fuzzies. Just wishing for the best to come to that person no matter what they may say or do. That love is a strong love, and that’s why I call it rugged. I don’t succeed at doing or being like that all of the time, and I’m pretty sure the rest of us don’t either.

I want to add something else to my definition of this kind of love. I believe rugged love also comes into play with those we say we love or those we’re supposed to love like our families, friends, and Christian brothers and sisters. There have been plenty of times when someone I love has asked me to do something, and I haven’t wanted to do it. There have also been times I should have reacted to someone with a loving attitude, and I haven’t. I think those times require rugged love as well.

Then, there’s the other side. I’m sure those of us who are parents have told our children no or disciplined them for something they weren’t supposed to be doing. And then there’s the time when it would have been better to keep my mouth shut, and I didn’t. In this life of ours, there are plenty of times where we can speak love and give love to the people around us. For a lot of those times, that love needs to be rugged.

As I said before, we fail at this most of the time. Our pride makes us think of all the ways we should show love and not the ways Jesus tells us to show love. (Love, regardless or rugged love in case I haven’t made the connection clear enough. 🙂 ) We also are selfish and don’t want to take the time to show love unless it can benefit us.

But, when we fail at showing rugged love, God gives us something I want to leave you with. Grace. God’s grace. Ephesians 2:8-9, the theme verses for this blog, say this, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works so that no one can boast.” We can’t show this love by ourselves. It has to come from where God has planted Himself in our hearts.

God bless you all!

 

Difference Maker

Over the past few months, I’ve been praying for something fervently. The specifics are not important. What is important is that God has said wait. That hasn’t sat well with me. This was something I felt like I urgently needed. Well, I wanted it urgently anyway. How’s that for honesty? 🙂 I wanted my request as fast as God could possibly grant it so I wouldn’t feel different anymore. From other people, I mean. I wanted to fit in and not be noticed so I could go about the business God had for me to do. But, as I’ve thought about my request recently, it’s not something God can do quickly. He’s teaching me lessons about prayer, about being different, and about being molded into the person He wants me to be. So, that’s what I want to talk about today–about being a difference-maker.

During my life, I’ve suffered for being different. I wasn’t the most popular child or teen. I wasn’t a cheerleader or a homecoming or prom queen. In fact, I’ve stayed in the background for most of my life much to the chagrin of some of the people in my life and of the world, in general. This world is made for people who are at the forefront or who want to be at the forefront of whatever is going on. People who want to stay in the background are generally not noticed which, I guess, is the point, but bear with me. I do have a point.

God has called us to be different whether we are introverts or extroverts and whether people think differently than us or not. We’re different races, genders, sizes, live at different income levels, and have different interests. He made each of us differently. I get that. I can see it anytime I go outside. What I don’t get though is why we, in the church, insist on classifying everything into a certain order. Our children are in age-classified or grade-classified classes, and we expect the adults we hang out with to have children the same ages as ours. We expect them to have the same life status as we do and the same income level. In fact, Martin Luther King Jr. said this fifty-five years ago. “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.” And, this has been true over my entire life as it has been a lifetime since this statement was made. In all my years of being a Christian, I only found an integrated church seven years ago. Pretty sad, isn’t it?

My point with all of this is that we are different, and it’s time we, in the church, accepted each other for being different. This is easier said than done though, and it brings me to my second point of the situation I’ve been praying about. Prayer. Like I said in my opening paragraph, I’ve been praying for this situation to resolve itself so I wouldn’t feel different anymore. And, of course, I’ve been praying for the situation itself. God has used this time though to teach me about persistent prayer. Praying on my knees. Continuing to pray even when it seems like nothing is happening. Learning how to wait. I liked the quote from Lewis Smedes that John Ortberg used in today’s Devotionals Daily email. “Waiting is the hardest work of hope.” I’ve had to learn how to hope in the midst of the waiting.

This brings me to my final point of being willing to be molded by God into the person He wants me to be. My devotional journal had a Scripture on today’s page I want to share here. From Isaiah 64:8, “Now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” God is molding and forming me even in the midst of this painful situation. I don’t like it. If we, who are Christians, would be honest, I think most of us would say the same. But, there is another quote from John Ortberg I want to share because it sums up everything I’m trying to say. “What God does in us while we wait is as important as what it is we are waiting for.” It stung me as I read it. I should be celebrating the chance to wait and to be my own unique self. Because being different, in my opinion, is the only way I can be a difference-maker for the Kingdom. And, isn’t that who we all, as believers, should aspire to be?

God bless you all!

 

Lament

I experienced something I thought I would never see yesterday morning. I walked into my church’s worship service late because I was greeting and heard psalms being read that I had only ever read in the privacy of my own home. I heard songs that were full of sadness talking about sin and sorrow. It wasn’t the usual fare. I was caught off-guard for a moment, but then I heard the word. Lament. Lament was being talked about from the pulpit. I was astonished, amazed (in a good way) and ecstatic.

Why ecstatic? For the answer to that question, I needed to travel back in time over two years. The blog post search function made it easy. I found my post reviewing the book No More Faking Fine and talking about the lessons I had learned from it. (http://thrivingingrace.com/no-more-faking-fine/) I also found my post from the week before (http://thrivingingrace.com/gods-tears/) talking about what had been going on in my life. I read through both posts and remembered what a healing balm they had been. (There’s a reason God gave me this talent with words.) It was okay with God when I was sad. He listened to the psalmist in Psalm 6: 1-3, 9. “Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?” “The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.” This is good news to me. God listens to all of it–the bad stuff and the good stuff.

So, did I have anything fresh to say about this topic? After all, it’s two years later. I don’t like anything I write to be a rehash of anything I’ve already covered. Actually, I do have something to say. We, in the church, don’t do a good job of lamenting ourselves. Oh, we read the Scriptures of Jesus weeping or God grieving the creating of His people in the Old Testament. But, it doesn’t translate to what we think we’re allowed to do as we live out our lives in this world. When we come together as a community, things are always fine. We don’t feel free to share our hurts and pains, and we definitely don’t feel free to share anything we think we might get judged for. It’s the thing that prevents us, and me especially, from being vulnerable and having a true community experience as I live out this faith of mine.

That’s why I was amazed by the subject of this morning’s service. I already knew that God was okay with lamenting, and as I’ve said on here before, I would be totally happy with my faith just consisting of me and God and not worrying whether I include others or not. The risks of getting hurt or wounded are not nearly as high. But, God wants me to take risks as much as I might not want to. He wants me to be authentic in my joys and sorrows, and He wants me to do this in front of people. Today’s service made me optimistic that others in my community might be ready to do this too.

As we begin this week, may we all be authentic as we live out this Christian life–with our celebrations and with our laments.

God bless you all!