Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Be Of Good Courage

I HURT.  My heart mourns and my foundations have been tested as of late.  Grief and sorrow, the kind that try your faith like an iron in the fire.  Disappointment Betrayal.  Raw, real pain.  The Lord has a way of keeping our hearts even when we don't know they're being kept.  He has a way of carrying our helpless souls through the storm when all we know is that we really JUST. DON'T. UNDERSTAND.

It's very easy for me to fall back on my own empty understanding in times like this.  The kind of reasoning and thoughts that consist of really nothing.  Reasoning that leads to conclusions about how the more I give, the more they take.  Or the more I try, the more I fail.  And above all....that I'm just not ever going to be good enough.  And the harder that I try, the harder I fall flat on my face.

And then I remember.....that I AM NOT MY OWN.  No.  This family is not mine, it is His.  My life is not my own....it is His.  My days are not numbered by my wishes and desires, only by the maker from whom they came.  It's an easy thing to say, but a very, very hard concept to really live.

When I began to realize that the Lord was preparing my heart to trust Him, I had no idea what was to come.  And perhaps I still don't.  I do know that since that day, parts of my heart and life I thought were foundational have been tested, tried, and they have failedFallen short.  Completely and utterly missed the mark on what I believed to be the definition of family. 

Doing the only thing I know to do in my grief, I reach for a hand, a help, to a promise I know is there.  And I find.  Perfect.  Complete.  Understanding.  It is not fixed, it's really not even okay.  But I know that something bigger than myself is at hand.

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. 
               Psalm 27:10
I believe you Lord.

Wait on the Lord:  be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
                                                     Psalm 27:14

I will wait.  I do not have a strength of my own.  I will wait.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. 
                                                Psalm 31:24

Again, You tell me to be of good courage.  Today, it is courage I seek.  Not courage of my own, but courage of Yours.  To you who gave the courage of your only begotten son to die for me, for them, for all who loved and all who hated Him.  It is to you I will turn to for my courage.  Jesus DIED for me.  The least I can do is wait.  And that I will. 

I will wait.  I will trust.  I will PRAISE Your great name Lord for the work you have done in my life.  For the works you continue to do.  Even for the pain I feel and the burden I bear.  I am not my own, I never was.  My purpose lies in what You intend Dear Lord, and I will trust you with my pain.  When my strength does not exist, I will remember that it is Yours that carries me, as it was yours that carried Jesus on the cross. 

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  
                                                 2 Timothy 2:1
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 
                                                 2 Timothy 2:3
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.  And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 
                                                2 Timothy 2:19
Lord, please help me to remember that this is not about me.  Let my life be a living sacrifice to my family, my husband, my children, and above all to you.  Let your love shine through my heart, even if it means through pain, and let me not grumble and complain of the works you see fit in us all.  Please let every failure of mine be covered in your grace and used to Your glory.  Most of all Lord, let my children have hearts after your very own and let them serve Jesus Christ with all of who you've created them to be.  Only then will they be complete and have an unshakable faith to stand when this world....and this human, imperfect Mama.... let them down.  In Jesus' sweet name.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So True To HIS Word

I have such a testimony to share today, although I'm a day late and because of life around me I have only a short, sweet, condensed version to give!


I asked the Lord to teach me to pray, and this journey with Warrior Prayers for the last 21 or so days has been a blessing more than I can give words to. 

In the midst of this, we've had joys and sorrows.  We've had loss and deep disappointment.  I've been afraid.  I've been confused.  My faith was shaken, really shaken to the core.  I've carried sorrows I'm unable to share.  I've journeyed through the valleys of a loved one's death.  My HUSBAND ALMOST LOST HIS LIFE HERE ON THIS EARTH.  My Mama walked out on my children and me.  My sister betrayed this family.  We continue to fight for a child we love.  I have found a lump where a lump does not need to be in my body.  Joy.  Sorrow.  Pain.  Fear.

Then God revealed Himself SO LOUD, SO CLEAR, AND SO ABUNDANTLY to remind me and TEACH me.....how to really pray for this family.  Like Brooke shared in her conclusion....I didn't expect this calling.  But we are here and I SHOUT PRAISES to the Lord tonight.  Praises and thanks.  In the midst of my deepest pain, I opened a grey tattered binder to show my husband what I had been working on while he had been away at work.  The same husband who only came home to us by the grace of God.  The same husband whom God had laid on my heart to also cover deeply and completely with scriptures in prayer recently. 

With the tears that night, we saw God's grace.  We felt His provision.  He gave us the gift of seeing in my own handwriting just where and what scriptures He had led me to pray over my husband, my son, my entire family.  That faith.....the faith that was so shaken only minutes before, was renewed. 

And I remember each time a worry, a fear, an irritation, or a burden creeps upon my mind.....that I am not my own.  My family is not my own.  No....we belong to Him.  I will always fall short and therefore need my Lord and Savior even to serve those I love in the simplest way.  So I am reminded further why I need the Lord to even teach me to pray....because I alone could never be good enough for them and what they deserve.

Only through the love of Christ, the power of God's word, and the Grace He's abundantly showered this family with....do we stand today! 

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Brooke over at Warrior Prayers!  For me this isn't the end of this journey, only the beginning!  We had left on vacation so I had just grabbed extra copies of several days worth of my prayers and the book.....then I came home last night and opened up my original Warrior Prayers book....and I'm so sad to see it come to a close.  The changes, the lessons, your sharing, and above all, using SCRIPTURE to cover my family in prayer......I thank you for letting God use you to help me see the power in doing that for them!  I can only say PRAISE GOD, and thank you for your obedience!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spiritually Dizzy

Dizzy.  Spiritually Dizzy.

Am I the only one who feels this way at times?  So much going on in my heart, my walk with God, my ministry to others, my FAILURES where my intentions were to let Christ's love shine through my life. 

So much going in and around inside of my mind.  Such great ideas, plans, revelations of the work God is doing in my life.  Concerns for others, prayers on their behalf, and struggles in how I should play a part in it all.  And I get dizzy.

Before I started this post, I already knew where the answers to the questions would lie.  Tonight, they lie in not resting and recharging in who God has called me to be.  How much can I possibly have to give when I'm not being filled myself.  And how do I become filled again when the faster I soak it in, the faster I empty to those around me?  Even Christ stepped away to be alone and pray.  And even I know that however unintended, my disobedience lies in not doing enough of that I suppose. 

Dizzy.  I looked up the definition.  The first was simple and made it's point loud and clear


The next pair of definition brought words to the answer I know is waiting in my heart.

Dizzy: (a) having a whirling sensation in the head with a tendency to fall. (b) mentally confused

Referring to 'a tendency to fall', I've been reminded that if I don't do as I know I should, there are always consequences.  The Lord does not give us commands to punish or confuse us.  No, what he demands is out of love, protection, and knowing what's best for our lives even when we are not able.

Tonight I know that I would be foolish and silly to not slow down and find a way to be filled.  I know that the dizziness I refer to will lead to a stumble of heart or mind or control....if I don't reach out and touch the hand that's extended to me for balance.  Only the Lord can steady my way tonight. 

I've prayed, oh how I've prayed.  I've come to some painful realizations today, about some of those around me.  And even more painful, at my failures to one whom I love so very much.  I know that our Lord is faithful and just to forgive.  I also know that He will redeem what I hand to Him in repentance.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   1 John 1:9

Our God is awesome, He is so big, and He has been so faithful to show his presence alive, real, and powerful in my life and this family.  Tonight, I can't keep up.  Tonight I feel unsteady.  And I know the only way to find my balance is to reach out and touch the hand being held out.  Do I have the endurance tonight, for just one more prayer, just one more request.  A simple plea that He take hold of my heart and steady it, steady me.  I don't really know.  Do I just lie down and be still?  Knowing that He is all, knows all, and has all under control?  Or do I continue to wonder, question, and work this out in my utter exhaustion? 

Perhaps I should sign off for the night and give the Lord's job back to Him.  Will I ever learn to step aside and let Him shine?

Lord please keep me tonight and those I love.  You know our needs and my hearts thoughts before they ever come into being.  Please Lord, keep me where you would have me, let your grace cover those I love in protection, guidance, and love where my prayers and actions come short tonight.  In Jesus' name.  AMEN.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

All In A Whisper

It has started as a whisper. 
It hasn't gone away.
And then I remember....
Asking the Lord to teach me to pray.

Today I'm filled with praise.  Everything around me.....He is at work in it all.  I feel His comfort.  I am grateful for the soft, gentle reassurance as He guides my steps.

I feel a fog lifting from my soul.  I've just gone through something major, something big, something that as a rarity was centered around me.  When Mama's down, the world still goes around.  And it has.  I am well today.  Perhaps better than I've been in a very long time.  I praise Him for fixing me.  For helping me see today that my body wasn't broken, it just wasn't well.  And now, I think I can be.

So with a huge burst of energy, I go about being Mama again.  REALLY being Mama.  I've taken little bits on at a time, fighting with myself and worrying emotions most of the way.  I've loved my babies while others cared for them because my body wasn't completely able.  But today, I am well.  Today, I am more than I was before.  Today, He has brought beauty from the ashes in my heart and also my body.

To appoint unto them that mourn in ion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.     Isaiah 61:3

And now....the journey carries on.  We aren't ever REALLY complete in who He's called us to be are we?  That perfection doesn't come until our jobs here on this earth are done.  Mine is not.  Our perfect Father continues to gently call upon my heart.  One whisper at a time.  And I know why. 

....For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required....    Luke 12:48

I praise Him, adore Him, worship Him, and I stand in awe at what He's bestowed upon my life through this family.  I could never give back in service, in love, in adoration, in anything.....even a smidgen of what has been given to me.  But I can pray that He use this life, this family, these blessing.....all to the glory of He from whom they have been given.

That whisper, it tugs a little more on my heart today.  Never too loud.  Never too much.  Just perfectly enough.  Always lovingly clear.....

Do You Trust Me?

In simple things, the small tasks of my day.  I hear His call upon my heart.  Perhaps the words are my own, but the call....it is from Him.  I've stayed in His word.  Come closer to Him in prayer.  I've poured my heart out, covering my family in scripture, in truths He's given us.  In that obedience, He continues to whisper to me at the simplest of times.....

Do You REALLY trust me?

Through a deep breath and the calming of my soul, I remember just how small I am.  I remember just how much I need to give Him.  Where much is given, much is required.  But in His perfect grace, it doesn't feel like a requirement today.  Instead it is a comfort, a peace, a reminder of who I belong to.  And I wonder.  Do I really trust Him with EVERYTHING?

I've tried to control it all.  Hold it all together.  Find the solutions, even in times where I don't have the slightest clue of what the trouble really is.  From the smallest of thing to the biggest of trials in our lives....I've tried to lead the way to resolution.  In the process, only really muddying the waters and making those around me a little tougher for the wear.

And I realize....all of the study in the world, all of the greatest of intentions, all of the wonderful plans I've had....not a one matters unless it was given from HIM!  I am not my own.  My blessings are not self given and definitely not self earned.  No.

Do I Really Trust Him?

Only through His grace, His patience, His love am I able to turn even the smallest of burdens to He whose hands can (and will) carry them.  I can do that.  Only through prayer, which is something He's commanded me to do in the first place.  Isn't it funny how we always think we've come across some HUGE revelation and come to find out.....it was ALL HIS IDEA TO BEGIN WITH!  Surely I'm not the only one who humbly humors myself with that thought!

Do I dare consider this whisper on a larger scale?  Could I ever really share my whole story?  Put words to a testimony that holds such heartaches, struggles, and most importantly FAILURES?  Today, this is my question alone.  Though I know that likely it stems from a distant knock on that door of my heart....today it is only that.

When that purpose shows up at the doorstep of our lives, will I answer?  When the knock becomes so loud, so clear, so obviously my purpose for that day, will I remember the question and from whom it came?  Will I fear the task at hand or will I find the comfort I find today?  Will I try to reconcile the details on my own or will I remember whose plan it was to begin with? 

I will  pray for the grace, the endurance, and the ability to count His commands as blessings.  No matter how small.  No matter how big.  I only need to trust in Him.  How quick He is to remind me of that favorite scripture hidden deep within my heart....

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.    Proverbs 3:5

And I am reminded of what is my job and more importantly, the things that are His.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Hope Inside Her Heart

Tonight I miss my husband.  Tomorrow my friend buries hers.  Can I really follow that sentence with any words that will matter in comparison?  I went to visitation tonight and I couldn't find my footing.  My heart was unable to gain solid ground.

My friend....her heart was hidden tonight.  Hidden behind beauty, grace, busyness.  She couldn't stand still.  That's okay.  We talked last night, we prayed.  Tonight, she went through the motions. 

She has a ministering heart.  To love the Lord, to serve to the Lord, is to have hope amidst the crises.  To know that every tear, every ounce of confusion, every angry bout of not having understanding......He's counted them all, He's loved before it's happened, and His love will continue to hold her in the days to come.  Hope.  With hope, it's okay to not really be okay.

Closer to our Lord.  Further from the things of this world.  Our God.  His word.  My family.  His ways.  Beyond that, I have no solid ground.  My heart still can't find it's footing.  His love will carry me through the night.  The rest will be here in the morning. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

She Who Hates, Attacks, and Hurts

It's been years now.  Years.  It hasn't been a rare occurrence, it's been all but every experience surrounding this part of our lives.  I've prayed.  Many, many prayers.  Some specific, some vague, some filled with words, others only my speechless heart crying out before the Lord.

My family has been hurt, heartbroken, disappointed, and dragged through the mud.  Not just one child, but all of them.  When you hurt one of us, we all hurt.  But in this case, not only one, but all of us have been targeted and wounded....yes, that covers from the head of the home in my strong husband to the baby of us, in all of his precious one year old innocence.  That's alot of hurt, even carried amongst the shoulders of all six of us.  Pain and things that aren't of God have a way of seeping out, reaching their self seeking tendrils to any and all who they can.  That's happened here.  Other people ache at the opportunities lost and the exhaustion they see in us to continue standing and fighting for what is right, for what is important, for what the Lord has told us to do.

Why?  Because we love our oldest child.  A child that was not born of me, but of my husband.  A child whose life is so intertwined and woven within this family that we aren't capable of letting her go, nor have we ever considered doing so.  I love her because she's my husbands daughter.  I love her because she's my children's sister.  I love her because she's my daughter too.  And of course, I love her simply because she is her.  This child IS mine also, because God has given her to me to love, protect, nurture, and parent in a way that He has intended.  I've never tried to take her mother's place.  No.  I've only intended and acted as to play MY role in her life (yes, it's important too).  That role includes supporting and nurturing her relationship with both my husband AND her Mother.  She needs her Mom, she loves her Mom.  A child's place is with their Mother.  Until a mother chooses not to really be a mother.

Horrible things have been said about us.  The most important parts of my family, our values, who we are, and the way we live our lives....those are the things that have been twisted, lied about, and dragged through the mud.  For all to see and look upon.  I've gotten to where I don't defend us.  No, I step away and I pray.  My hope is in the Lord, not in anyone elses opinion or ideas of who we are.

What's been going on for years is not okay, to anyone other than her mother.  The rest of us, our oldest daughter included, we are the ones who pay the price.  The more we try, the more we fight for what's right..... the worse things get.  And the more we are persecuted.  I fear.  I have for a long time now.  As a Mom and wife, my job is to protect this family.  And she continually tries to tear it to the ground. 

The risk of losing her only child didn't make her change her behaviors for the better.  No.  Instead, they've gotten worse.  There is no regard for the heart of our oldest daughter, and certainly no concern for my other three children, my husband, myself, or even the court system and it's orders.  As much as it hurts us, my husband and I have always known this isn't about us.  But is IS about these children, ALL of them.  And it certainly IS ABOUT the way the Lord intends us to protect, care for, and shepard the little hearts that have been entrusted to us.  To ALL OF US!

My children....she has attacked MY CHILDREN!  Did you catch that earlier?  Physically, or even to their faces?  No.  But words are sharp and there's just some places even the lowliest of men don't go.  She has verbally assaulted us in front of our children.  They fear her.  I can accept fear and deal with it, these children shouldn't have to.

My ministry work....she has attacked that too.  How much more personal can her actions be with our Lord?  But that's not for me to decide.

Remember...I have prayed.  I have cried out to our Lord.  I have begged and pleaded with Him to fix this.  I know He will.  I also know that His timing is not my own.  That His plan is bigger, better, and beyond any of my simple understanding. 

In the meantime, we still hurt.  We are robbed of things that should be ours, including parts of our children's innocence and our family's ability to be a whole family, even if that's to be just every other weekend and holidays. 

Now let me share perhaps my biggest struggle in all of this.  Praying for her Mom.  Yes, the one who uses, persecutes, hurts, and attacks us for doing the right thing.  The one who takes from us, not for the sake of the daughter we have in common, but for her own desires.  The one who hates us.  The one who has led us to believe she will only stop if we have nothing to do with the child she's making so vulnerable to the world's ways.  The child she's failing to care for, to lead, and to protect....even when her role in her life came into legal question.  Yes, her.

I've KNOWN I'm to pray for her.  She hurts us.  I spoke to my pastor a long time ago and he assured me that God knows my heart, to keep trusting in Him.  She lies about us.  I've studied at length God's words and promises, to be sure I haven't been led astray, that our righteousness lies in Him alone.  She attacks.  I've turned this to our Lord, to be sure our actions are in harmony with His will for our life and family, and not our own.  She drags us through the mud.  Years into this painful struggle, I STILL. TRY.  TO.  PRAY.  FOR.  HER.

Most of the time, I fail miserably.  My heart is able to force out the thought, a tiny prayer that God's will be done in her life.  Sometimes even the prayer that He be with her.  But do you know how hard it is to pray for someone who is ACTIVELY HURTING your family?  Someone who is exactly what the Bible describes as the type of person we are to have nothing to do with.  One whose only fruits are those of wickedness, even if she brings herself to church on many Sundays?  To pray for the person whose failing the one child that God has blessed her with?  It's almost impossible in my human, fleshly heart.  So usually, my heart resorts to lowering it's head in defeat and asking God to forgive me for not being able to do what He has commanded me to do.  And somehow, I try again.

I try again because I KNOW that the things I can't understand are STILL HIS TRUTHS that He has commanded me to cling to, to trust, to believe, and to act upon.  He has cared for my soul in giving me just a couple of rare, precious moments where I've been able to pray for this woman.  To really pray for her.  These moments have been filled with tears, the release of any fear that this prayer will make my family vulnerable, and the overwhelming, all consuming love of our God.  The God who loves me.  The God who carries me.  The God who accomplished what I myself can never do.  And that includes being able to pray for her.  So yes, I will try again.  For I know this is right.

While we were sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

He didn't only die for those who loved and followed Him.  The key here is in the word WHILE.  Not after we were sinners.  Not when we got our lives together.  No.  He paid the price for us, suffered for us, and died WHILE we still willfully chose to disobey Him.  He died for those who used Him, persecuted, and hated Him.  Isn't it the least I can do to pray for her who hurts us?  It is. 

I'm not capable of doing this on my own.  I'm too human, too scared, too worried about this family to lift her up in prayer on my own. 

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded, is life and peace.  Romans 8:6
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  Romans 8:10

Only through Him, I can.  I am reminded that His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  Christ's strength takes over where I can't succeed.  He carries this weight for me, just as He carried the weight of my sins on the cross.  And I can rest in the peace of obedience.  I prayed for her today.  I really prayed for her.  Not in my strength or ability, but in His.  With the spirit He has allowed to lead my heart.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  Romans 8:14

Because I couldn't, I can't, do it on my own.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to.  But I will be obedient and reach for the things He's told me to.  Even those impossible things.  Simply because ALL things are possible in Him.  It is not mine to decide what our God can accomplish in us, in our families.  No, it is only ours To obey.  To trust.  To follow.  Even when it hurts.

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  Luke 6:27-28

Those are Jesus' own words.  He died for me, for us all, for her.  All He's asking me to do is pray.



Monday, June 13, 2011

Purity Is More Than What It Seems

Reading, studying God's word.  That's been my strength.  Prayer.  Combining the two?  Life changing.  Hearts are opening, waking up.  Changing.  Perhaps mostly mine.  I started this challenge just days ago.  It almost took on its share of what could have been discouragement or confusion.  Instead I just followed His lead and prayed.  This started for my oldest son.  This quickly became about all of us.  Tonight I've found some understanding.  

I hear their sweet, rhythmic breathing as they rest and recharge here in my bedroom.  Just a few hours ago the race was still on, the teeth needing brushed, the brink of cooperation being overcome by the level of the days exhaustion creeping over us all.  Now they rest, and I find my hope.  The pulse of what will keep this Mama tumbling on through tomorrows joys and challenges, discouragement and victories, humor and exhaustion.  I'm being blessed, my heart transformed, and my armor strengthened for this family daily.  And not a moment too soon.  As my body heals, my heart heals.  As my uncertainty and discouragement peel away, I grow ready to stand, to fight, to pray my family through what the world has thrown at us.

Tonight I took the last three day's prayer topics and one by one, verse by verse, I covered this entire family in God's word.  Then I ventured onto my group leader's wonderful blog and found not only more Godly encouragement, but that I too have something to share tonight....

I was blessed to find more information about purity, along with an excerpt from a book on the same, here at this post tonight.  It was so good to read, so very important.  So very true to God's word and plans according to what He's promised us. 

So with tears in my eyes and my heart in my throat, my appreciation and love for what He is giving my family began to pour itself into this keyboard.  And here it is......


Touched.  Changed.  Humbled.  This is me tonight.  You see, my children are still 'little'.  Only my oldest, my stepdaughter (sadly not safe from these things, even in her home) is the possible one I would have considered this a concern for....before tonight.  The Lord has used this section of Warrior Prayers to reveal some big things to me. 

ONE~My oldest daughters future is not mine to decide or assume.  How dare I let her circumstances bring me to an assumption of where her future 'may' lie...especially in this area.  By the Grace of God....she is growing into a beautiful, exceptional, GODLY young woman....in the midst of, and in spite of, her influences.  What little faith I've had.  God is so much bigger than this!  And what a deference from the enemy.  NO MORE!

TWO~I was praying the last several days' scripture over my ENTIRE family.  We consist of Daddy, Me, beautiful 10 year old stepdaughter mentioned above, 6 year old son whom I began this challenge specifically for, 3 year old daughter whose heart I long to nurture as a growing young woman, and my 1 year old precious baby boy.  And I realized....

Purity is not only of the body.  It is not only for the 'pubescent' teen.  It is not only for the sanctity of marriage.  True purity is in our hearts, minds, emotions, and bodies.  It isn't just sexual....it includes every part of who we are.  I believe it's meant to encompass every part of who God has created....and intends for us to be.  So tonight I plead purity over my entire family.  Each and every one of us.  In each and every aspect of who God has created us to be. 

May 'this family' be pure in heart, for 'we' shall see God (Matthew 5:8)
May we be blameless and innocent, a 'FAMILY' of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.  (Philippians 2:15)

May 'we' have religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father; to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep 'ourselves' unstained from the world. (James 1:27)

May 'each one of us' think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, may 'we' think about these things (Philippians 4:8)
I'm so thankful for this challenge, for my group leaders encouraging posts, for all of us sharing in these heart and life changing lessons.  And of course, that our amazing, forgiving, patient, loving Father has allowed me to be here, with these children, at this place in my life, and serving HIM!