Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Perfection ?!?!

Christmas Perfection???

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, well, you know:


Christmas boxes E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E, cookies baking, decorations on the mantel, stockings hung to perfection, Christmas movie on and everyone smiling while taking in the Christmas spirit; not exactly.

More like: BAH-HUMBUG!

Now, don't get me wrong, the above description is everything I love about Christmas and what I somehow really envisioned as we so effortless pulled the boxes out of the attic. The problem with my Christmas fairy tale was no one in my family got the memo; NO ONE!

The boxes were exploding at the seams and bursting chaos into my house. Slowly, things began to make it from the box and into the proper holiday spot. The tree was picked out and eventually the decorating began. I wrapped the tree tightly, in what seemed like an extra long process this year, of lights and called the family in to help with the decorating.

And....I waited.....and waited.

A few sweet souls hung a few ornaments until that turned into War World Three. We were fighting over who was hanging whose ornament and where they put it.

I was chasing another one outside that had NO desire to help at all!

HANG -IT-HERE!!!! Really?!?! I guess me yelling kind of fueled the fire. What was I thinking; well, I wasn't.

As the day went on nothing went right. I broke too many ornaments to count.

We attempted to all watch a movie until they ALL dispersed into the unknown like someone caught their pants on fire. 

I guess at that point it was safe to say that my perfect holiday spirit was GONE! I was so mad and upset that no one was helping me get into the Christmas cheer.

I had memories of being a little girl and decorating with my mom and making cookies at Christmas time and how perfect it all was, and yet I began to realize that my memories may not be so exact.

Yes, we did all those things, but I am sure there was arguing and it was not always perfect, but it was so much more that made me remember it that way.

My husband ask me why I was so upset, was I expecting perfection?

"Of course not,"  was my first thought, and then I realized that was exactly what I wanted. I had this idea of what the Christmas season should look like and how it should feel and I was completely let down when my family did not meet my unbelievably unreal expectations.

The truth is, no holiday and no family is ever perfect. The reason my memories are so great is because it was not about the decorating itself but about being together and the memories we made in our home around Christmas that mattered the most.

My kids are getting older and may or may not always what to help "deck the halls", but that does not mean we cannot enjoy what Christmas is all about.

As I looked around at my house and the pictures of all the hard work, none of it mattered as much as one single picture. One picture really got my attention.

It was a picture taken from a program our church presented about what Christmas is all about. Jesus Christ and the story of His life. It reminded me that without Him, I have nothing and I am nothing.

Without Him, I have no family to cherish this special time of year where we can celebrate His birth.

We so often get wrapped up in the "feeling" of Christmas cheer that we forget to search deep within our hearts for the only true gift ever given.

Give and celebrate. Deck the halls and love like never before, but do it because God first loved you. Give because He gave the only gift that never stops giving.

The truth is, I have always loved the innocence of little kids at Christmas time, but the reality is that my kids are no little anymore and the innocence is fading faster than I can blink.

The problem was that my reality of what perfection is had become slightly obscured.

Perfection is the mess we make while making cookies. The lessons learned and teachable moments. The memories made through the good and bad.

Perfection is a tiny baby wrapped in cloth and laying in a manger. He was sent to give us the moments to be Christ in the flesh to those who only see the chaos in Christmas,

Because of Him, it truly is a perfect Christmas.

 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”  Luke 2:14



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Friday, November 30, 2012

Waiting Room

Waiting Room

My body was trembling and my heart was numb. My hands were wrapped tightly around the steering wheel as I somehow weaved in and out of traffic. My heart knew what my mind was so desperately trying to fight…I wanted hope, I wanted a miracle!

I will never forget that long drive to the hospital. I’m still not sure how I even drove my car because I remember my hands on my stomach the whole way there. I was praying, pleading and begging for my little girl to start moving.

I knew in my heart something was very bad, I knew God was trying to prepare me, but I just couldn’t listen; I couldn’t let go. I had plans and a life prepared for the precious life that had been growing so perfectly inside my womb, how could something be wrong?

Her lifeless little body curled up on that ultrasound machine, with no flickering heartbeat, is a vision I have often had nightmares about. It is a moment where I remember my world crashing faster than I could breathe, and yet it is a memory of my daughter I will never forget. I will never forget how perfect her little spine looked or how tiny her 10 little toes were.  Her arms were curled up to her chest as if she were sleeping ever so sweetly.

They placed me in a room where I would deliver my sweet baby. I remember the waiting…what was I waiting for?  Labor brings joy and yet what was I getting. In some ways, I just wanted her to stay inside me. I wanted to hold her close to my heart and never let go. My labor brought pain and yet joy I never imagined. I feel in love the moment they placed her in my arms. I wanted the moment to last forever.

I held her close to my heart and kissed her ever so gently. Tears rolled from my eyes as my heart tried to understand God’s plan, His purpose.

Why? Why does He need her? I know that His plans are greater than any I could ever imagine, but why did He let her go.

I waited so long for her, I longed for her, I prayed for her.

I was given her and I loved her and then I had to let go and understand that God had bigger plans for her life.

We all fall down, and often it feels like the storm we are facing has no end, and yet God does have a plan. We search, pray and beg God for answers and then we can’t seem to understand when His answer is no because it does not align with the plans we had for ourselves.

God knows best, sees all and has a purpose for your life, my life. So often I have felt like I am stuck in that waiting room of life and I am never going to get an answer or maybe the answer I want, but God is still there. He is waiting with you and guiding you to His perfect plan, which sometimes includes saying no.

Death, divorce, finance, family, children and jobs are only a handful of situations which leave you waiting and pleading with God for help. God may so no, He may say yes, and He may say wait, but no matter what He says you will only see and understand His answer when you have a constant relationship with Him.

Give your life to Him and let Him lead you through the waiting room and into the life He has in store.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Most holidays always seem too filled with a certain level of hustle and bustle and well let’s face it; stress! We search for the perfect recipe and holiday décor to light up the room as our guest arrive. We cook and plan and research until it seems we can do no more. And then…does the food matter? Does the décor matter? Yes, it is pretty and yes, good food is always a treat, but why all the stress?

I learned something while preparing our meal and gathering this year; it’s the people that matter. I love putting it all together, but if I let the perfection of it all get too me then I have lost what I should really be thankful for.

It does not matter if the turkey is perfect or the table is set just right. What matters is that my kids made cookies and we laughed when the bag exploded all over the floor and the macaroni and cheese went flying all over the place. The smiles on my kids faces when my mom and step dad showed up early this morning and surprised us. (Earlier then we thought). It matters that we are together and we are making memories.

Family can be gone way too soon and way before we are ready. Don’t let the stress of holidays take away from the memories you could be making…
Life is short...too short...MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MOMENT GOD GIVES YOU!!!

Be thankful today! Be blessed by all God has given you. Be blessed by all God has done! He is good!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Making cookies...What didn't burst onto the floor that

My pasta maker!!! His favorite. He was SO proud!

My sweet cook! Chocolate overload!!!

The food that God has blessed us to enjoy together....YUMMY!

A little football.
A perfect day.....
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Take a Stand 2012

Who will you Stand for in 2012

 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

Romans 13

I’ve never really been too big into politics, so I guess you can imagine that I really dislike election time. Now, don’t get me wrong, the election is VERY important, and I think it is very important that we all vote, but I don’t like what it does to everyone.

It is battle in every aspect of the word. Republican versus democrat, this law versus that law, he did this but he did that, when does it stop?

November 6th!

The party or law you choose may not win, you might not get your way…

I understand that people are passionate about what they feel, but God’s people should be spending more time with Him about who and what to vote for, then trying to convince everyone else what is right or wrong.

It is so important that we all do our homework and really understand who and what we are voting for, but more importantly we need to ask ourselves, WHO do we stand for and WHO are we fighting for?

No matter how the election turns out our battle is still the same. At the finish line who is in control? Who is left standing when we are all too weak to keep fighting? Who has even given us the freedom to make a choice in the first place?

 I stand for Christ. No matter who wins, I still put my faith in Him.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I just hate all the fighting while trying to convince others your side is right.

God loved us so much He gave us the freedom to make a choice. If God's people are making choices based on biblical principles then our choices are Christ centered and God directed.
When it is all over, in the end, God is in control! He allows us to make the choice and then I believe He will lead us from there. He allows everything to happen...
We have the freedom to make a choice and God should be guiding that choice through pray and direction.

Who do you stand for? Who are teaching your children to stand for, to respect? I want my children to know that God allows and appoints ALL kings and leaders and we will respect them no matter what. No matter how angry politics may make us, God can and will lead His people to His will, even if we don't understand it.

Romans 13 says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

As the election comes to an end and you head out to vote, just remember, Today is a gift from Him. No matter what our future holds, He will be there. We may be surprised, and we may or may not like how certain things end up, but God is leading us if only we choose to follow.

Who do you stand for today?  Can we let go of the control we so desperately think we hold? Make a choice and give it to God.

Giving up control does not mean that we simply stand on the sidelines and wait for God to sweep us into His arms and flow blessings upon us. No, it simply means that we are giving Him the control to lead us; guide us, and direct us toward His will and not our own.

Who will choose today? Forever?

Pray for our nation today. Pray for America!!!

We need God more then EVER!!!

Johnny Diaz: Stand For You Listen to the words, it is SO perfect!!! 

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

March Of Dimes Walk

The weeks following Bethany’s death were anything but normal. I would go to bed and yet never sleep. I would wake up in deep sweats from nightmares haunting my very existence.

I often found myself on my face, buried in the ground, crying out for God to make my life feel right again…somehow…someway.

Visions of her little face and perfect 7lb 3 oz. body would race through my mind, I couldn’t understand; I didn’t want to understand.

I still remember the phone call from the doctor with her autopsy report. I had been waiting for what felt like months for that call, and it had finally come.

Her words, “Nothing was wrong, “were almost as hard as the night I went to the hospital and heard the words, “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.”

How could there be nothing wrong? How does a full term healthy pregnancy and healthy baby just die?

I think a part of me had longed for that phone call to hear that something was wrong. If I could wrap my hands around something that caused her death then at least I could begin to heal and try to understand that she was sick.

I did not get that. I got nothing. I got no answers. She was healthy. She was perfect.

So why?

It took a long time for me to come to understand that I will never get an answer until I see my Lord face to face. I had to learn the hardest lesson for any parent to learn; my children are not mine, they are God’s. I was given 37 weeks to feel her, love her and watch her grow. That was God’s plan for her.

I will never fully understand God’s plan, but I do know that through her life and death she has a voice. She has made me who I am today and reminds me of who I want to be every day. I want to help others and be a voice for hurting moms everywhere.

Through His strength I am learning that I can be a part of things that are bigger than even I can imagine. My daughter came home from school and asked if she could participate in the March of Dimes Walk with her school. I’m not sure she really even began to understand what this meant to me.

March of Dimes not only raises money to help babies who are born to soon and need help, but it also helps to research stillbirth and why it happens so often.  Too many babies leave this world too soon and too many parents are left with empty arms.

I was honored to walk with my daughter who is still with me in honor of my daughter in Heaven. I was amazed at how many people came to the walk and I got to meet some amazing parents who have gone through what I have.

I wish I had longer with Bethany here on Earth, but I have a lifetime to show the World God’s amazing love through her story and an Eternity to be with her.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Signing

Having a book signing is something you only hear about, it’s not something you ever imagine you would or could be a part of. Well, that was until I did get to be a part of one.

It still seems crazy to me that I have written a book and I am an author. I feel way too inadequate to have anything anyone would want or need to read, and yet I know that the words in my book are not from me but God. It is because of Him I have a story and because of Him I found Joy and Hope! It is because of Him I have a future.

The book signing went well and was really neat. I have to say though, I totally felt out of place. The sweet ladies who had their book there as well seemed like naturals, and me, well; not so much!  I had knots in my stomach like I was going to say the wrong thing or something. I want my story to be uplifting and for people to see that through any darkness there is light. The only problem is that so often I feel like all people see is the sadness, the hurt and the pain. Yes, that is there, but so much hope and joy came through the hurt and sadness that I hope and pray others are willing to see.

I know that Bethany is a gift in my life. I know and believe so deeply that her story of life and death is my story of darkness and light. I pray that God can and will continue to give me the strength to use my story to help others for His glory. I want to do so much more. I want to help others so much more. I pray I can!
I still have some signed copies if you want one please just send me an email.  I will ship for a small shipping fee.
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Parenting is tough

I found this picture online and I loved it! Are we this passoniate about our prayer life? Do we fall before God and just pray and listen? I want to be!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. Every day I send my children into the world praying I have taught them well and I am guiding them in the right direction. Now, my children are far from perfect and I stumble and fall as a parent daily; I think we are often on a rollercoaster ride together!

As a parent who truly cares about every detail of my kids’ lives, maybe too much, I know I can appear to be too involved or overbearing. The problem is I love them too much and unfortunately I also know reality; I’ve been there! Unlike so many people I know, I know what it feels like to have your child one day and stand at their funeral the next. I know that tomorrow is no guarantee and that scares me to death sometimes.

At any moment any one of my children could be gone. I wonder with every event of their lives if I am guiding them in the right direction. I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t tell you how often I wonder if my words to them, my help or guidance might be the last thing I say or do for them.

I’m not saying I live in fear because I don’t, I just want to do everything right, I want to give them my best with every day that God gives me with them.

I mess up and fall flat on my face too many times to count. So often I really think I am helping and just end up making a big mess out of things. My heart is in the right place and I love them so much it hurts. It hurts that I don’t have my other little girl here to fight with, love on and make her life just as fun and crazy as my other kids.

When you lose a child you world is never the same, your life is never the same, and you could never parent the same way you did before.

I question every decision, doubt myself too often, and pray that one day these chains of grief that hold my heart captive will break free.

Being a parent is always a reminder that there is one sweet little girl in Heaven I will NEVER get to parent.

At the end of the day my only saving grace is that Christ holds the key to my heart. On days when I feel like everything is falling apart, HE is there. On days when I feel like it is too hard to be a parent, I turn to the only true Father I need to guide me.

On days when I have no answers at all, I fall to my knees and He is there to listen and guide. He is my example. I want to be a parent who listens, loves and guides. Who corrects and disciplines when needed.

 I want to be a parent who never stops caring and never stops trying no matter how often I think I may fail or get it wrong.

And most of all I want to be a praying parent who never stops seeking guidance from Christ!

Today is here and my sweet little girl is a daily reminder and gift to me that life is short.  I have to live each day doing the best I can and being who God has called me to be. I will always love her and miss her, but through her death I learned that I can’t get yesterday back, but I can decide how I will react about today no matter what the outcome may be!

It doesn’t matter if we try and fail or try and succeed, as long as you live your life for GOD! Mistakes are simply an opportunity for God to work on your heart and allow you to grow!!!
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Play BALL!

Dedication or Passion???

The sweat, blood, and tears radiate from their little faces as they take the field. The passion to play no matter what consumes their entire existence, and nothing can get in their way.

Inning after inning they take the field fighting harder and harder with passion pushing them to the end.

Sweat saturates their entire bodies.

Tears of joy swell in their eyes as often as the occasional tears of regret and disappointment when the ball slips under their glove.

The blood comes as the player slides in to steal a base determined to get there regardless of the scrapes and bruises which always accompany the battle.  

Nothing can overpower the heart and passion of a baseball player. No amount of sweat, tears, or blood could ever tear him away from the game. It’s all about the heart of the game. The love and desire to play wins every time.

 Where is our passion? Our love?

We so often want this fairy tale with no bumps, no bruises, and no tears; we want perfection with no work! We want God to give us a perfect life, and we want to live it to the fullest, but yet we never really want to feel anything.

If a baseball player never stepped onto the field, they would never get hurt or lose a game. They would also never know the feeling of victory.

In order to live life, we have to spread our wings and fly. We have to let go of failure and just start living. Sure, we are going to fail, get hurt and stumble along the way, but we are also going to succeed. We are going to grow closer to Christ because with every fall He picks us up and teaches us how to make it to the finish line. He teaches us how to have victory in our hearts and in our life.

He also teaches us that life is not about the blood, sweat, and tears, but about how we choose to get back up again.

Don’t just sit the bench……PLAY BALL!
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Book FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to the Labor Day Book Fair!

Wayman publishing has teamed up
with many phenomenal authors
to bring you this Labor Day weekend event.


For three whole days
--September 2-3-4--
you can download these featured

e-books for FREE.

. . . And . . .

You can download many other books
to entertain you in the days ahead.

Discover Upcoming Books!

Author’s biography The author was born in Athens, Greece in 1955 and is a dual U.S. / Greek citizen. After obtaining his Engineering Sc. B. degree in mechanical engineering from Brown University in 1977 he went on to Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA in 1979. He is married and has two children and lives in Athens but often visits America (Boston where his daughter studies and his son works). He is currently employed by the largest Greek manufacturing Co. (10% of Greek exports) as the Senior Financial Analyst. His interests include poetry, romance fiction and actively following economic developments in the U.S. and Europe.
Coming Soon!

. . . Also . . .

You can enter to win CASH or physical books
by outstanding authors such as
Valerie Bowen,
Adrienne deWolfe,
Peter Thomas Senese,
Lucy Swing,
Kara Tollman.

In honor of Melynda Fleury--who has bravely been fighting diabetes and almost completely lost her eyesight--Wayman Publishing and Rick Gualtieri are also donating 5-10% profit from select physical book sales to the American Diabetes Association.

We hope you enjoyed discovering new authors and their stories
at our Labor Day Blogfest and Book Fair.

If you'd like to share this post,
please free free to grab the following code:

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

We have officially been back in school for one whole month. This means the so called craziness of what we call life has resumed in full force. In other words:
"Why don't you have shoes on? We are walking out of the house and I'm leaving NOW!"....
"Why do I need shoes?"

“Mom, I have NO more underwear left.”
"Mom, I left my lunch at home."

 “Hurry up and eat before we leave for practice.”

 “Where are your cleats? Where is your dance bag? HURRY UP WITH THAT HOMEWORK!
Did you practice piano?”

And my favorite: “DO we have ANY food in this house?”

Yes, this is what WE call life! The crazy thing is; I’m not sure I will ever get the hang of it. As crazy as most of those scenarios are, they are all true. Laundry seems like it has multiplied by 50 now that I have started working. I just never have time to keep up with it, and as soon as I do, there is MORE!!! 

I’m really not sure when there is ever time to go to the grocery store, I mean really; CEREAL for dinner???

I can’t tell you how many appointments I have forgotten or forgotten to even make; good grief!

I seriously need another me walking around reminding me what to do ALL day long. I am so very exhausted at the end of the day and so often I just don’t even know where to start when I do have 5 minutes to breathe.

The truth is; it’s killing me! I so want to be super mom. I want to be great at doing it all and be great at getting it all done and the reality is; I feel like I am miserably failing!

I want my family to be happy and I want my kids to love life, but I don’t want them to have a mom that never has it together.

Why is it that as a mom it becomes so easy and natural to feel like a failure when things go wrong? We place so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect in all we do and we raise the bar so high that we can never obtain the perfection we are trying to reach.

I was half-heartedly tucking my sweet little boy into bed and he hugged me so tight he wouldn’t let go. I said good night and tried to pull away. I’m not sure I will ever forget his words…. “I’ll NEVER let go! I’ll love you FOREVER!” I sank into the bed beside him as tears filled my eyes. There was something about what he said that made me feel that Jesus was whispering those words in my ear. It was almost like He was using my sweet little boy to remind me that He was always there and He would never leave me, EVER!

Throughout all my imperfections and flaws, my Lord loves me just the same. I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to be super mom, and I never will! Now, am I going to have it all together by tomorrow, probably not, but I know that I am not alone. Jesus is there guiding me and reminding me that I can do this.

If we have cereal for dinner, well I don’t have to feel terrible because at least my family was able to eat. I have to learn to stop being so hard on myself and allow Jesus to help find a way and a plan to figure out this life that He has laid out for me.

I’ll NEVER let go! I’ll love Him FOREVER. He will Never let go. He will love you FOREVER!  Treasure the blessings God wants you to have….treasure the gifts and moments that often come through our children because the real truth is this;  I would not trade any of it for a moment of peace even if someone begged me :)

First Day of School 2012!!!


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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Faith to BELIEVE

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1: 5-6
Getting to the finish line was anything but easy. I guess there was a part of me that thought this journey would be easy; well, easier. I thought I would finish my degree, get a job, and start working. Boy was I wrong! I had no clue that my plan was no exactly what God had in mind.

          God needed me to wait….be patient…and listen. Do you know how hard that is? I have taken the teaching certification test many times, and was beginning to feel incapable of passing. I wanted to give up.

          I then begin to see that I was somewhat like a wave tossing in the ocean. The lack of faith in my own life was throwing me back and forth and all over the place. I was defeated because I felt defeated. I gave up. I forgot that even through the bumpy spots of the journey, God was still there. My vision was blurred to the reality of God’s goodness He had in store.

          Through the unknown paths and heartache, God reminded me to have faith. He reminded me that this was His plan and He would see me through.

          My journey to getting a job and becoming a teacher was not meant to be easy because I still had so much to learn.

          I learned that if I doubt God’s wisdom how can I accept that He has given it to me?  I learned that I can never give up and never stop believing that God has a plan for me.

          As I opened my e-mail this week and finally saw the words “PASSED” on my test, my eyes filled with tears as I praised God for His faithfulness. I know that I will get to teach in God’s timing and I know that my life is always in His hands!!!!

Praise God for the faith to believe!!!
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Trust in HIM

Psalm 143:8, "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."

DO you ever feel overwhelmed to the point of not even knowing where to start?

Your brain is going a mile a minute, and yet you can’t seem to slow down long enough to put one thought in order.

Where does God fit into this chaos? This overwhelming, can’t think straight, busy day or life?

Sometimes I look around at the mess and it seems too big! I feel as though the walls are caving in and I can’t escape. Is it the mess in my house, my life, or both?

I often wonder where I might schedule God into this lifestyle. I’m overwhelmed and yet where is God? Is He there when I show up to church on Sunday’s? Is He there in the midst of my mental breakdown? Is He there when I just can’t take it anymore and I am begging Him to rescue me?

Yes, He is there, but He wants more. He wants to be there ALL the time, not just when we are crying out for help in the midst of chaos.

He wants to guide you through the mess and into the calm. He wants to show you that life doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

I think the problem with too many Christians have is that we think we have to show the world our life is perfect, simply because we are Christians. We think others expect to see us living great because Christ has saved us.  We are ashamed to let others see us broken.

We don't need to show the world that life is perfect with Christ; we need to show them that we are broken and life is renewed with Christ!

Life is overwhelming, messy and downright crazy, but God is ready and waiting to walk hand and hand through the mess with you. Trust that He will guide you and love you like no one else ever could.

Put your trust in God to bring you through every moment of your life, good or bad. Don’t just look for Him in the chaos or when you go to church. Look for Him every morning and every minute that you breathe.

He will love you…He will guide you….He will NEVER leave you!

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