Let us begin

Lately, there are a number of songs that talk about going back in time to tell yourself what you know now. A chance to tell yourself to walk away from a toxic relationship or to take the job you turned down. While this perspective seems appealing, I am not sure I would take it if given the opportunity.

Yes, there are decisions I made in my past that I regret. People I hurt because of my selfishness or insecurity. I made some pretty foolish decisions when I was eighteen, some that continue to impact me thirty years later. It has become part of who I am and who I am not.

I know as a believer, that God has had a plan for my life since before I was born. I know there were times in my life that the very prayers of someone kept me from danger. I also know that there were times when I chose to do something that was not God-honoring, sometimes I chose to do that deliberately. While I cannot go back and fix it, I know that I can learn from it.

Psalm 18:30-32 says, As for God, his way is perfect; The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure (NIV).

Of the regrets that I can name, the ones that cause the most sadness to me are the ones I knew better than to do, but I did it anyway. In a way, I think that is the definition of regret, I knew better that to do it, but I did it anyway. My poor decisions, my failures, even the losses I experienced, were part of the path that led me to Christ.

When I came to see that all these choices I had made were never going to bring me the happiness, the contentment, the grace, mercy, or forgiveness I needed– that is when I cried out to God. And that is when He answered me. Not with fire, thunder, or lightning but with tenderness. With the very grace and love I needed.

Child, I have been waiting for you to call my name. I have wanted to pick you up, dust you off, mend your brokenness, and wipe your tears. But you never called out to me until now.

God is not a belligerent dictator, He is a gentleman. He will not come where He is not invited. But oh, Best Beloved, when God is invited into your life and heart. Wow. I learned that day, that He has the power to take my regrets and turn them into blessings. He did that day, He still does today.

Mother Teresa once said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin.” That was the lesson I learned from God the day He came into my life. I would not be able to go back and change the life I had lived before that day. I would not be able to tell the future, to know fully what would happen tomorrow. But while it was still called today, I could experience His grace. His mercy and learn the lesson that the past is in the past for a reason.

Now, the enemy is going to try and attack any way and any chance he can, to stop me from growing in Christ, to keep my story from being used to encourage others. It is what he does. He wants to bring up the regrets and the failures and tell me that I cannot possibly be used by God for God’s purposes and glory. But that is a lie.

God is in the business of taking people’s messes and turning them into messages. Scripture is full of story after story that show His redemptive power. Some of my favorite stories include the woman at the well in John 4 and the woman caught in adultery in John 8. Each time Jesus met the woman, their story was anything but a fairytale. But instead of taking them to task and in one case stoning her for her sins, Jesus turned the story on its head. He told the woman at the well that there was a way to get Living Water, to never thirst again. She had made a mess of thirsting for love from men who would never satisfy her thirst for eternal healing,

The woman in John 8 was seeking love in the wrong places and had made a complete mess of things. Jesus, who by all authority had the right to cast the first stone, as the only person there who was without sin, did nothing. He gave the woman another chance. A chance to change her mess into a message of grace. Of mercy and forgiveness.

Best Beloved, let us leave the past where it belongs- behind us. The future is somewhere on the horizon. Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:4).

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Listen to my love

Every day my hubby and I drive into work together. Throughout the half-hour ride we listen to the radio and he makes up lyrics to the music to flirt with me. I once asked him why he does this and he said that way if he dies first I will think of him whenever I hear the songs. He is not the classic Hallmark-movie-kind-of-guy with flowers and candlelight and I am ok with that. We have our silly ways of expressing how we feel and I love the way he makes me laugh and smile.

There are times when I think people can get so focused on how they think love should look that they miss the love that is being given to them. If I was only looking for a Hallmark-movie-kind-of-guy I would have missed my husband and all the joy and memories we have created in the past twenty-plus years.

God’s love is not a stereotype either. In our desire to understand the kind of love He has for us, we tend to miss the ways He is expressing it to us. Every morning when I wake up I can mutter that I have to get up or I can be grateful for another day to share joy and hope with others. I can be grateful for the sunrise or complain about the brightness of the sun.

These images were taken within a few minutes of each other. I watched as the sky changed color and how the sun’s rays touched each item with a richness and warmth. Seeing each subtle change, I could imagine how God might look on His children as they slept and then as they slowly woke. The love I have felt watching my own children as they sleep is only a fraction of the love God feels for us.

When I go on a walk during my lunch I listen to the birds singing, feel the warmth of the sun, the caress of the breeze and I hear the love God has for us as His creation. Sure there are cars and trucks rumbling by where I walk, I could be irritated by their interruption or I could be glad there are other people in this world.

Best Beloved, are your ears tuned to the songs of God calling to you today? Wooing you to Him? I may be time to disconnect from your own playlist and plug into the one God has created just for you.

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing, (‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬).

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear, (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:43‬ ‭NIV‬‬).

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love (‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬).

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What’s in a name

When I was born my folks expected a boy. My mermaid cousin had been born just a few months before me, prior to her it had been over 120 years since a girl was born in our family line. So the odds were in favor of a boy, but here I was instead. At first my parents thought they had a name for me, but my mom knew too many “mean girls” with the same name. Instead, they named me Gretchen. No namesake for anyone in our family tree. No particular connection to anything, it was just a name they liked.

Over the past fifty years I have had a lot of misunderstanding about my name. My father’s students once gave him a gift for me and the card was addressed to Guchard. Apparently Gretchen was not odd enough, they had to create their own name for me.

My friends have called me Gert for the better part of our friendship, along with some variations of Gert. The same with my mom and brother. One of the wedding receptions held for my husband and me included a cake with an inscription using my nickname, Gert.

In college I worked with special needs adults, aged eighteen to sixty-five. My name took on a variety of pronunciations, including completely different names. Some of the clients called me Gretchen, others called me Rachel or Crystal. One of the younger clients called me Mommy Gretchen.

I now work in customer service where due to regional pronunciation and familiarity my name has continued to evolve into names like, Princess, Precious, Bridget, and my personal favorite, Duchess.

As you may imagine, I have had a love/hate experience with my name most of my life. There is one name I have never hated though, no matter what may be happening in my life. My Heavenly Father has always called me His Child. Even when I rebelled like the Prodigal Daughter I was, He loved me. He has called me Precious, Beloved, Beautiful One, and Sweet Girl. Each name specific to where I was during my journey, the battles I may have been facing, or the cries of my heart that could not be described with words. God understood them all and He loved me in spite of it all and often through it all.

I do not know your situation today, Best Beloved. You may be facing a broken marriage, a strained relationship with your child, even a sense of insecurity at work. You may have never been shown favor, value, or love in ways that would fill your soul. But. Dear One, God is the soul-filler. He is the Redeemer, Restorer, Healer, Savior.

Come to Him, call to Him, He will come to you. Be honest about the broken places, He knows all about them already, He just wants you to entrust Him with them. When you allow Him to move into your life and heart there will be a change. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it ( Revelation 2:17 NIV, bold mine).

Come. Let His love and mercies wash over you, restore and heal you. Let Him give you a new name; one that will never spoken cruelly, mispronounced, or misunderstood.


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Somewhere in the world…

In the first year or so after my fiancé and I broke up I often wondered if there would ever be a future husband for me. During that same season I heard the song Somewhere in the World, by Wayne Watson, a tender song of prayer for his sons’ future wife.

I found myself praying for my possible husband-to-be and for the man of God I hoped he would be. Not long after my husband and I became engaged, he gave me the verse Proverbs 31:10, even writing it on the matting of a photo of me as a blessing.

Who can find a capable wife? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life, (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:10-12‬ ‭HCSB, bold mine‬‬).

Years after we were married, a pastor spoke of verses 11 and 12 from the same passage and dear hubby tapped my leg and whispered that was true of me.

Our sons are now nineteen and twenty. Throughout their lives I have prayed over them and for them, including praying for their future wife. I am not as consistent now in my prayers, but whenever an attribute comes to mind, I pray for my sons and the women who may one day be my daughters-in-law.

I have watched marriages fail because one spouse never fully let go of his or her self to focus on the union they had made. No matter the determination of the spouse who is focused on the marriage, if the husband or wife is not, the marriage will not survive.

My prayers for my sons and their spouse still continue. Prayers for wisdom as they begin dating, for purity and forgiveness as they wait, grace and mercy for each other and themselves. A sense of teamwork and working together for the same goal.

Whether you are a parent or not, your prayers are just as precious. Pray for your nieces and nephews. Pray for your friends little children.

Each prayer spoken helps guide him or her, even if you never see the fruit of your prayer.

I am grateful for the people who spoke into my life and prayed for me- even before I was born, to know God and have His hands working in life. Those precious, precious prayers have not come back void and neither will your precious prayers.



Two songs that have resonated with me regarding my sons:

Wayne Watson, Somewhere in the World

Rebecca St. James, Wait for Me

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3 a.m. thoughts and other mind ramblings

I have missed writing this past week. I have had the urge to write multiple times, but suddenly the topic or the time to write are gone and the next task stands taping its foot for my attention. I have worked over ninth-seven hours in the past two weeks and still maintained joy and a desire to encourage others. A feat I am not able to claim as my own, Only God comes to mind.

As I write, one son has just completed second semester finals for his sophomore year at college and my second son is sending me Snapchat images of his mountain biking trip in Wyoming. Mother’s Day is this weekend here in the States; my mom and dad are marking their third and ninth Mother’s Day respectively, without their mothers. My mom is over eight hours away from me and my kids will not be home, so in one way, it’s just another day.

Dear hubby and I acquired nine chickens this week as well. They are my favorite breeds, I have broken my rule and given them names, even though I know they will eventually be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Our dogs, Jack and Sam really want to get into the bird pen and check them out, but that is not an option. Last time they had access to our birds they tried to pluck al the feather off of one of our ducks. Not a helpful thing to do.

I have been sleeping deeply and dreaming about bizarre things like being the chauffeur for Kate Middleton; who in my dream is pregnant with their third child. Or dreaming about attending the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party for my ex-fiancé and his wife. I cannot tell you what I ate before going to bed, but I am willing to bet I have been working through some unresolved things in my subconscious.

I miss hearing the tune of God singing over me when I take 45-minutes or so to just be quiet with Him. I have been taking walks during my breaks or lunch at work, barefoot in the grass or as I walk on the sidewalk around my building. I have been seeking the touch and presence of Him though nature, interaction with coworkers, just something to help me refocus my attention to “higher things.”

Hubby and I have been enjoying the drive to and from work, sharing silly things that happened during the day or hubby flirts with me by making up song lyrics and teasing me about something. After almost thirty years together as friends and in marriage, I can say I am still madly in love with him.

My brain cannot seem to disconnect from the wall tonight. I try to find a different sleeping position, I check my phone to remove any of those annoying reminders that I have something to check on in an app.

I want to start cutting the grass, folding laundry, doing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, and vacuuming the floors, but it’s still dark outside, people are sleeping, and I do not want to cause trouble for those who can actually remain asleep. Hubby and I are going to my first renaissance faire today. I will need some energy to do my usual to-do list and go there, plus the errands hubby will want to do since we are so close to the big city.

So there it is, the mind ramblings I am having in the middle of the night. I wish it were earth shattering, life changing, or the solution to something that needs attention on a larger scale. Then I could at least explain why I am awake right now.

Best Beloved, what keeps your mind running in the middle of the night when you should be sleeping? Are you wondering how to pay the bills, meet a deadline, get over a loss, get help for the healing you need? Whatever it is, God is awake and ready to listen. One of my favorite chapters in the Old Testament describes God staying awake all night long to meet our needs.

Psalm 121

1 I lift my eyes toward the mountains.

Where will my help come from?

2 My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not allow your foot to slip;

your Protector will not slumber.

4 Indeed, the Protector of Israel

does not slumber or sleep.

5 The Lord protects you;

the Lord is a shelter right by your side.

6 The sun will not strike you by day

or the moon by night.

7 The Lord will protect you from all harm;

He will protect your life.

8 The Lord will protect your coming and going

both now and forever.

So I can stay up all night wondering, fretting, thinking, and over-thinking, or I can trust Him to care for me right now, right where I am, and know that He understands and loves me. God is on watch, so I can go to bed. I think I will do just that.

Good night, sleep well.

Blessings, oxoxox

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The little things are the best things

Last night my favorite blond son messaged me and shared a tender part of his heart with me. I am guarding what he shared with lots of love and prayers for him. I am very honored that he would share it with me.

As my sons were growing up there were sweet moments when my favorite redheaded son would come and snuggle with me on the couch and share what was weighing on his mind or his heart. Sometimes I would ask questions, sometimes I just listened. It wasn’t about finding answers, but about knowing his heart and his thoughts were important to me. He was important to me.

My mom used to joke that I was guaranteed to come and share some life-changing experience with her at around 11 o’clock at night. It was a time for me to tell her about my heart when the room was dark and no one could see what my face might disclose.

The only thing that mattered was the time we spent talking things through and knowing what I was concerned about was important to her, I was important to her.

May and June have days set aside for our parents to be celebrated, but not everyone had or has a healthy relationship with their parents. Some no longer have parents here with whom to share the day.

I am blessed with a healthy, strong relationship with both parents. I am also blessed with “bonus” moms and dads who are aunts, uncles, (Jim and Miri, Jon, Joanie), or dear family friends who long ago became family members. Carol, Rich, Vicki, especially come to mind.

Each person has spoken into my life during seasons of indecision or a loss of hope. Each one has given me the courage to continue on my faith journey, infusing me with joy and the hope I had lost.

My Heavenly Father has blessed me again and again with living blessings who have given comfort, helped me heal, and pushed me onward.

Best Beloved, you may not have children surrounding you this Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. You may have an estranged relationship with your parents, but God has surely placed precious people in your life who have encouraged, challenged, corrected, and comforted you when it was needed.

A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray (Proverbs 25:11 HCSB).

Celebrate these relationships, the people you have are blessings and they may need to hear it from you today.

Sending love to you,


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When the words don’t come

I have been silent for a few days, busy with work and day to day life. Wanting to write, but unsure of what to say. I have always been more comfortable with guys than girls as friends- minus my three female besties. I have also become the “mom” to many young men and women. I have given relationship advice, parenting advice, and listened as my “kids” tell me about their broken hearts. I have grown to love each one of them dearly.

One of these precious people battles with mental health issues. I have not been given privy to the specifics, but I have learned to read certain signals for the days when he is down. I want to be able to encourage him, give him an ear to bend as needed. But I don’t have “magic” words. I don’t even have words that would fit a “muggle.”

What do you do when the words don’t come?

The more I want to be an encourager, the more I find how many are people are in need of some sunshine. I know that being a happy person can be difficult. Others may have hearts that are shaded gray and dark, while my heart is full of joy and gratitude.

As a believer, hope and faith have grown in me, like a seedling in well prepared soil. My heart desires the blessings of knowing that there is more than just the sorrow and pain around me. I pray for the hearts of those who hurt. I pray I will see it and know how to respond to their hurt. In fact one of my favorite verses is a prayer for just that. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, (Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭HCSB). ‬‬

So, this is what it comes down to in the end. A prayer and an invitation. May those who need it, hear it and accept the invitation.

Dear Friend, please hear me. You are valuable. You are treasured. Your sweet way of stopping during our day to check in with me means so much. I wrestle with finding the balance between being a “mom” and being a close friend. I am here. My ear is waiting to be bent. My couch is comfy, I have big pillows to lean on, smaller pillows to hug, blankets to bundle under. My kitchen is full of food to eat, things to drink. I have beds to sleep in when you’re tired. Do not walk on to the battlefield alone. I am your friend and I am here.

With love, oxoxoxo

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Music, music, everywhere

This morning as I prepared for work the lyrics to, “Isn’t it Ironic” by Alanis Morissette played in my head. Now, back in 1996 when the song came out, I am sure I sang along to the lyrics, they are easy to memorize, catchy tune, etc. I read the lyrics today for the first time. It is exactly the angst-y kind of music one would expect from that decade. Despair without hope kind of stuff.

In the 1970’s my folks had a huge radio/record player/8-track tape combination stereo. Even with all of the options available my mom still kept the station fixed on the Christian station. Classmates believed I was not allowed to listen to anything else. I knew that was not true, but our family just chose uplifting music.

In fifth grade I decided to “show my classmates” that I could listen to regular stations. The song that I heard was by Rod Stewart. I do not remember the title, I remember the lyrics were about a young girl who left her parents for a guy she loved and in the end all I could think of was how she broke her parents’ hearts. I was so disappointed with the song I immediately went back to the Christian radio station.

Fast forward to high school. Footloose (1984) came out and as a teenager, I identified with Ren and Ariel trying to find my footing and rebelling against what I saw as wrong. Now as an adult and parent to two young adult sons, I understand more of what John Lithgow’s character was trying to express to Lori Singer. That music can be used to uplift the spirit when it is downfallen or it can be used to confuse the emotions.

I think of the first notes of the National Anthem here is the US. I can hardly make it through singing the first verse without tearing up, the music pulls on the very best of what I hope and pray for my country. Other songs, like the one that was on the radio when I was raped, make my skin crawl and I want to smash all the radios.

This month as I was battling through the struggles I was facing, I made a playlist. It contains close to thirty different songs that remind me of my faith journey, remind me of my husband and our marriage journey. The song that played when we lit the unity candles during our wedding ceremony still makes me weepy. Or the song I chose as my battle anthem to keep fight for my marriage when things get tough.

Over the last twenty years or so, my mom and I have kept up a banter about songs and hymns we love. Whenever she hears one she really likes she will say, “I want you to play that at my funeral.” As you can imagine, in order to fit in all the songs she “wants at her funeral” I am going to have to start the music about a month prior to her passing.

Best Beloved, I do not know what you have on repeat in iTunes or on your stereo. I do know that when God gave us the gift of music He blessed us in ways we will not fully understand this side of Heaven.

Rich Mullins once said of music that it does not feed us, clothe us, or protect us but just try to imagine our lives without it (paraphrase mine). God’s song is everywhere. All we need to do is listen.


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Here’s to the heroes and heroines

It would seem the world is waiting for the e new Avengers:Endgame movie which officially opens this weekend. I admit, I really have enjoyed the Marvel movies, so many of my favorite actors and actresses have been a part of them. While I enjoy Captain America and the like, I realize there are more tangible people I would rather celebrate.

In my hometown area the past two weeks or so, there has been a search for a young boy who mysteriously disappeared one night from his home. Yesterday his body was discovered, his parents are in custody. Police officers, firefighters, and community volunteers spent countless hours getting the word out to watch for the little boy, setting up search parties, any and everything that could possibly bring about a happy ending. The community has requested everyone wear blue in memory of this young boy.

My bonus-brother-in-law (outlaw) is a tow truck driver. He is often called to the site of serious accidents, semis that have jack-knifed on highways and the like. The state where he works has a law that requires people to slow down and move over in traffic when they see the flashing lights of emergency workers on the side of the road. Recently a state trooper was killed because a driver did not obey the law. My bonus-sister-in-law (in love), his wife, often posts Facebook reminders of the law to help spread the word to Slow down, Move over.

I have at least a half-dozen family members who work in the medical field. Most of them nurses, all of them a vital part of the care a person receives when admitted to the hospital. One of them, my mermaid-cousin I posted about before, works specifically with cancer patients. She is there with the family and the patient to assist with the hard things, the last things, which will help the patient “die well.” With dignity, honor, grace, and love. It is a task, a passion, and a gift that she has to meet each person with all she has, the same way she loved our grandparents and her father. A real-life Steel Magnolia.

Those same grandparents were married in 1936. She was a young, gentle-yet-determined farmer’s daughter who moved to another state to make money to send home to help out. Grandpa was a wise, amiable, farmer who saw her and knew she was the one. They were married for sixty-three years before he passed away. She joked him ten years later. They saw each other through the Great Depression, World War II, health scares, and untold number of other situations because they fully believed in their vows to each other. For better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, til death do us part.

My husband has been battling some pretty huge emotional issues the past six months. He has severe depression which has led to his admission for observation for both 24-hours and 72-hours. He has also decided to be honest with himself and come “out” of the closet. It has been a long time coming, nothing I did not know before we married. As he describes it, “I’m a gay man happily living a straight life.” It has been difficult for many to understand our personal story, why now, etc. After his life-long battle with trying to be who he was not, I am proud of his decision to come out.

The people I have mentioned above, they are my heroes and heroines. I admire their courage, tenacity, the determination to keep going forward when so many have given up.

Best Beloved, some days it is necessary to take stock in who and what you believe in, who you look to for courage. Yes, every single day my faith is what helps me climb out of bed. Never a doubt about to Whom I am grateful. I just know that those who do the day-to-day tasks that go unnoticed by so many, are not unnoticed by me.

Who do you need to say thank you to today? Who is overdue for that thank you? It’s time to say it. Sing their praises or maybe just whisper in their ear. Don’t let the day go by, your word of encouragement may be the very word they need to keep going forward.



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The day I realized I wasn’t perfect

Ok, there are many days when I realized I was to perfect. Like the day in grade school when someone did not want to be my friend because I did not fit in their group. I had moved to the town, I was an “outsider” and my ideas were different from theirs. It was a tough few years, but on this side of it, I can see the good.

In high school, I was not perfect either. I was not tall and slender, with flowing blond hair and the right amount of “whatever.” Instead I was an average girl, with red hair, glasses, a little too loud, a little too unrefined. I did not date an athlete, I was not asked to join the National Honor Society. I had a small circle of friends and we banded together. From the other side, thirty-years later, I am glad that I did not try to become someone else. I like who I am.

May 31, 1993 was probably the toughest day to learn I was not perfect. That was the day my fiancé of three years broke off our engagement. Just nineteen days before the wedding. Hearing him say he could not marry me was one of the biggest rejections I ever faced. I was devastated, but I was not destroyed. Little did I know, that God was working in the heart of the man I would marry at the very same time my fiancé was breaking up with me.

During a recent quiet moment with my husband I said, “I am sorry I am not the perfect wife for you. It’s all I ever wanted to be.”

He wisely responded, “You may not be perfect, but God knew you were exactly what I needed.” I started to protest, then he continued, “Besides, who else do you know who would put up with all of my s***? Until you find someone else who would do that, you’ll have to accept that you’re who I need.”

There it was. The truth about perfection. No airbrushed images, no plastic surgery, overdone makeup, not one thing. Just a moment of truth and nothing being held back. My perfection is not going to be found outside. My perfection was found inside. In my heart, where I continued to grow love for my best friend, my husband, the young man God spoke to all those years ago as I reeled from my sudden break up.

God’s perfection is never what we see as perfection. We get so busy looking on the outside at the “packaging” that we forget to find out if the “gift” inside is worthwhile. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7).

I am not here to be perfect for anyone or anything. I am here, as a believer who trusted in the Perfect God for salvation and redemption. A believer who is being perfected in His image, in His perfect timing, to become exactly who I was created to become. A fully matured child of God. No more, no less, just right.

Best Beloved, I don’t know what you are measuring up to today. It could be the co-worker who seems to achieve all of the attention and accolades. It could be the classmate who seems to ace all the tests and have all the friends. Or it could be a sibling who seems to excel in every task and seems to have all the right ideas.

God did not make to you to be someone else, God made you to be you, someone who is here at this very time, for His great purposes. Nothing more, nothing less. Do not let the enemy cloud the mirror you stand in front of each day. When you stand there in the morning or the evening remind yourself – You are a child of God being perfected in His very image.

After that, nothing else will matter. It takes time to think this way and live this way, but it will come with practice. After all, practice does make perfect.

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This past week has been emotionally exhausting as I have worked through a number of issues and situations that were unexpected. I was able to take yesterday off from work, thanks in part to great leadership. My hubby woke for work like usual and brought a cup of coffee to me. I set it next to the bed and decided I would drink it after I woke up a little more. I turned over and never heard him leave.

I woke again at 3:33 p.m.

I had slept for close to sixteen hours straight.

I have never been one to seek sleep and will often push myself past the point of exhaustion. Sleep is necessary, but only after you have something to show for your day. It is an unhealthy view, I realize, but a mental training that can be hard to break.

My Heavenly Father, is wise. Wiser than me, for sure. He knew I could not continue with the habits I had and remain healthy. So when I fell asleep He cared for me, watched over me and blessed me with the simple point of sleep.

Falling into a deep rest with him allowed me to restore the parts of my life and soul that needed it. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, LORD, enable me to live securely (Psalm 4:8).

It is this truth, Best Beloved, that we seek and follow our Heavenly Father, who loves us, knows what is best for us. He will give us exact what is needed, if only we would allow Him to do so.

Have all of my issues and concerns been resolved? No. Do I know Who holds me in the palm of His hand? Yes.

I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the LORD sustains me (Psalm 3:5).

He has. He does. He will.

All I have to do is give it to Him and sleep.

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