Refreshing…

I want to write more than I do. That’s fact. Another fact … I’ve not made blog writing a priority in my life in this season. There’s school, there’s work, there’s the growing list of personal goals, and the truth is I’ve been experiencing lots of fatigue lately. I’d just brushed it off as my overextended life catching up with me. I’d started taking a new multivitamin (cuz apparently the gummy vitamins don’t include iron) and I feel worlds better. Apparently iron is really important in one’s life. So, with four weeks left in school, I’m climbing out from under a rock and am beginning to feel a bit refreshed and rejuvenated. I’ll be glad when school is over…Lord willing, three more semesters is all I have left!

Anywho, fall has been filled with great fun. I took a weekend trip to Western MD that proved to be very therapeutic for me. I’d reached a place where I was just going through the motions in many areas of my life. My desire to be present was real, but I’ve just been emotionally and mentally spent. I couldn’t hear God and couldn’t really feel God, so spiritually, I felt stuck. Work has been filled with lots of transitions and the adjustment has been met with some tough moments of challenge. And school, well, a full-time course load paired with a new position leading a team of five people has been interesting.

Nevertheless, Western Maryland was good for my soul. I feel like the Living Water began to drip drop in my soul again. I felt alive again. But more than anything, the sisterhood I found in the trip made my heart smile. I don’t have biological sisters, and while I love my brother a whole lot, he doesn’t understand what it means to be a woman. Sometimes, I wish I’d grown up with a sister who could relate to my journey or offer a listening ear, but that’s not my life story. I do have a cousin or two that I talk to a lot, but I just wonder how life would be different if I’d had a sister. While I didn’t do a great deal of talking on this trip (because the introvert in me finds talking to be too much at times), I left knowing, I’ve got some sisters who have my back, are rooting for my success, and are committed to pushing me towards my goals when I’m ready to give up. Sisters that aren’t threatened by my gifts, but sisters who see something in me that they refuse to let die. I’m thankful.

I also had a chance to check out The Underground Railroad Experience Trail. It was lots of fun and a great learning experience. I walked the trail in the comfort of daylight and kinda warm weather. The docent leading my small group shared most slaves escaped under the cover of night during winter months, particularly between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Given my experience on the trail, I cannot imagine. The trail was narrow, there was a good bit of climbing, without signage I wouldn’t have known which direction I was traveling. The experience gave me a greater sense of appreciation for the courage with the slaves who journeyed on the underground railroad. I definitely need to add seeing the movie Harriet to my list in the coming weeks.

Of course we know, it wouldn’t be fall for me if there wasn’t at least one day of apple picking. So, I visited the farm a few times to pick lots of veggies and apples. I made a large batch of applesauce (to share with family and friends of course) and an apple crisp for the office. I really enjoy baking and sharing the goods with others. I’m looking forward to the farm opening up again in the spring.

So, it’s been a refreshing fall for me. Did a few new things (I’ll talk about being the featured guest on a Sunday morning radio show a little later) and a few old things. I’m looking forward to what the remainder of the year has in store!!!!

Celebrating Survivors

We celebrated cancer survivors as a part of this morning’s worship service at my church today. After we’d finished praying with those who have survived their bout with cancer or are currently fighting cancer, I returned to my seat where it occurred to me that I never thought about the struggle my grandmother faced as she battled cancer multiple times. It hit me in an odd way, in some ways leaving me with feelings of shame and guilt and in other ways it made me smile because she truly was a survivor. Mom Putt was incredibly sick, but I never considered the struggles and challenges that came along with her cancer diagnosis. In my 18-year old youth and 30-something young adult minds, I only saw the fighter and the survivor in her. She was my strong-willed grandmother who would live. That was the bottom line, death wasn’t an option, until death was certain without divine intervention. Cancer treatment was just something that had to happen, but in my mind, it never affected her. She went, stayed there for a few hours, came home and life moved on. That’s what I saw, but I’m certain that was the wrong understanding.

Because I never saw cancer affect my grandmother until the very end, I never thought about her needing a blanket to take with her to treatment because she may have been cold. I never thought about picking her up some soup because it may have been soothing to her stomach. Even though I knew my grandmother was sick, I never viewed her in that light. She was my grandmother, the one who fixed all my favorites when I came home from college for a weekend visit. She was my grandmother, the one who always managed to make everything alright. I mean, she and my grandfather could solve any problem I had! She was my grandmother, the one who defied the odds and kicked cancer’s butt twice before God said, “No more.” I saw my grandmother and I saw the survivor, but I never saw the pain and stress of the fight. For that, I’m sorry. In writing this, I’m not guilting myself, I just wish I would’ve known better and been more supportive of her in the moment.

As I was sitting in church, my mind drifted back to when my grandmother’s home flooded during my freshman year at Morgan. She lost so much. While undergoing treatment, she had to move in with my aunt, yet she was still so concerned about others having everything they needed. With a bandana or twisted wig on her head (cuz only she could walk into church with a wig on backwards with not a care in this world), she just kept on living like nothing changed. If she was in pain, she never said anything . . . I never heard her complain. Perhaps in her mind, she was simply protecting me from the realities my young mind couldn’t handle. I’ll never know, but as an adult, I can say with certainty she showed me how to face one’s greatest challenges with confidence and faith. She showed me that when all we have is a prayer to stand on, we stand on that prayer with complete confidence of God’s ability to work in desperate situations.

Back in 1998/99, we never celebrated my grandmother being cancer free with the ringing of a bell or a party, but I remember after her home flooded, my family worked tirelessly to get my grandmother back into her home before Christmas. This was no minor flood, the water was waist high, the hardwood floors buckled, the river was truly in the house. The house had to dry out completely and be cleaned throughly, so I couldn’t understand the rush. But maybe, this was our family’s way of celebrating my grandmother’s survivorship. Christmas was her favorite holiday, so being able to celebrate Christmas in her home after she’d been through so much was the least we could do to make her smile.

I may be rambling a bit tonight, had lots on my mind as we come to the end of breast cancer awareness month. That wasn’t my grandmother’s cancer, but that doesn’t really matter, cancer is cancer. And so, it’s been six long years since Mom Putt passed away, yet sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Today was one of those days . . .

An Introvert Fail . . . I Guess

Despite what some people believe, I am a classic introvert. I have learned to love people and I can even mix and mingle with folks, but on many days I still reach a point where I need alone time. My mother and I often debate about my desire for this alone time. Sometimes it takes the form of her asking me why I’m so eager to go to bed when I’m home visiting for the weekend; other times, it takes the form of her directly telling me my introvert ways are a bit ridiculous. I let her talk, but am intentional in not diminishing the value of the introvert in me. I’ve learned introverts have many great qualities, we are deep thinkers and incredibly loyal friends. We give good advice and are incredible problem solvers. We just need time and space and alone moments.

And while I’ve come to learn and appreciate the great things about being an introvert, there are moments like tonight when I feel like my introversion leads to failing moments. After a long week in the office, I decided I needed some self care. I found out about an event a few weeks ago that I was going to attend tonight. So . . . I left the office on time, came home to change my clothes quickly, got in the car and headed out. I knew I’d be about 15 minutes late arriving at the event, but that was no big deal, it wouldn’t be a problem. Then, I missed my turn and got delayed another five minutes. That was the trigger. When I arrived, there were lots of cars in the parking lot and no one else seemed to be late getting there (sure those people existed, I just didn’t see them). I panicked, I couldn’t get out of the car. I tried really, really hard, but the thought of people looking at me as I walked in the room was so terrifying that I circled the parking lot, paused in a parking and ultimately left. I drove 30 minutes for self-care, panicked, and left . . .

I was disappointed in myself, but my response wasn’t shocking to me. This used to be my norm. I remember driving to the gym on many occasions, parking my car, turning off the ignition, then leaving because I couldn’t pull myself together to get out of the car and go inside. It’s been a really long time since this has happened to me, but for introverts, this happens. And while I am completely comfortable with being an introvert, I felt a great deal of shame of tonight because fear and anxiety won. I could physically feel the shame gripping my body (there were almost tears) because I didn’t have the strength to overcome the fear and anxiety I was feeling. I felt like I failed, but I didn’t. I honored my truth in the moment and opted to protect me. My emotional safety was more important than being out and about tonight.

There are some who would shame me for my response tonight. You see, in response to things like what I went through tonight, people have a tendency to say things like, “God has not given us a spirit of fear”. And while I respect that line of thinking (and trust me, I’ve been told this exact thing before, along with depression is not of God), I do not agree with it. What happened tonight is no reflection of the God in me, it is a reflection of my humanness and my human need to feel safe and be away from the crowd at times. Yes, in some ways I feel like I failed majorly tonight, but in other ways, I feel like the crowd just wasn’t what I needed to be restored on this night. Whatever the explanation, I wouldn’t wish this off the charts introversion on anyone . . . it’s a challenging space to live in.

I’ve got another event next Friday night. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been feeling a bit of anxiety about it all week. Deep down I want to go and be present, but I’m just not sure I can do it . . .

Le sigh . . .

When Ready

Most mornings, it takes me about 40 minutes to get to work. The drive is typically peaceful and gives me sufficient time to prepare for the day ahead. I usually alternate between audiobooks, music, and podcasts to get my day started. Today I listened to a sermon entitled, The Detour is For Your Destiny. It was just the word I needed to hear.

I have been feeling sorry for myself lately. Life’s seeming setbacks have quickly been turning into painful disappointments. In my alone moments, I have cried and formed stories to help explain what God is doing in my life. Nevertheless, I have become discontent. I have found reasons to be discontent about the home I recently purchased, a friend not taking responsibility for his stuff, me not being at the next level on my job, and others getting more public accolades for their work than me. My truth … I’ve been hurting while trying to serve God and others with a smile on my face. But, the weight of my hurt has finally broken my spirit. My emotions are not directed at a person, I’m not even convinced they are directed at God, they just exist in a gigantic way. And, I have reached the place where I accept that I need to feel what I’m feeling and be okay with it. It’s a vulnerable place, but it’s also therapeutic.

In listening to the sermon during my ride this morning, the pastor said something I desperately needed to hear. “More than God wants you in the season now, God wants you in the season ready.” I’ve been fixated on now. I want to be married NOW, I deserve a promotion NOW, I want to be finished school NOW, I want to be at my next place in ministry NOW, I want my dream home NOW, I need this, that, and the other NOW. Time is quickly passing by and I do not have time to wait, so I need things to happen NOW! But God is not concerned about me existing in my desired season now, God wants to me reach the season designed specifically for me when I am ready. That kinda sucks, right! Obviously, God forgot I have an opinion on the matter.

I don’t like this truth. It doesn’t take away my sadness. This truth makes God seem cold and heartless, but God’s detour is God’s way of showing the depth of His love for creation. God’s love for me runs so deep that He will lovingly watch me get angry, throw a temper tantrum, privately cry, and give up on seeing the incredible promises for my life, all the while knowing what the end will be. God looks with a bird’s eye view; I look at the here and now. God knows the exact moment when I’ll cross the threshold marked ready; I think I’ve already made it. God knows the magnitude of what I have not yet seen; I have no idea what God has in store for me. So, God lets me struggle and wrestle with my emotions as I wait until I reach that place called ready. I don’t like it, and I’ve not been so patient, but I’m thankful God still loves me and still wants to bless me as I wade through the meantime. One day, I hope I’ll make it to ready!

My Hair!

I am super proud of my AMP roommate and Morgan friend, Samiha! She published her first book, My Hair, a few months ago. As usual, I was a little slow ordering it, but I made up for it by buying two copies of this incredible book! If you have any young Black children in your life, you should get a copy for them. You’d be supporting my friend, but more importantly you would be affirming the beauty of the kinks and coils of our Black hair for a young person. This story highlights the beautiful things about black hair without diminishing the characteristics of others’ hair. We need to hear more of that in this world, we don’t have to put down others to build ourselves up. We can coexist and love one another genuinely through all of our differences.

Sharing this message is the essence of what I do these days. I try to get people to appreciate the diverse nature of humanity. It’s not a threat. It doesn’t make me less important and you more important, it simply diversifies one’s thoughts, conversations, and experiences when one is open to it. Too many of us aren’t open to it, whether it be in relationships, at work, or in organizations, we’re closed-minded. Yet, I believe a healthy amount of self-love, a bit of courage, and an appreciation for what others bring to the table makes us all better people.

A Strange Road!

I’m always amazed when people mention they’ve missed reading my blogs. Because I am who I am, I generally think people aren’t all that interested; however, given that a few folks have mentioned the silence of my voice here lately, I thought I’d find some time to write.

Man . . . it’s been a messy and strange road these past few months. I’m plugging away at seminary. After my summer courses, I will be at the halfway point . . . I never thought this day would arrive, I’m thankful! If I’m completely honest, when I started this seminary process, I’m not quite sure I even cared if this day would arrive because I was still fighting God . . . A LOT. I used to be a combative and rebellious seminarian, now I am in love with the process and experience. Studying and learning matter to me in a different way. It’s no longer the fulfillment of a requirement someone is requiring of me, rather it’s a willing response to God’s incredible call to serve.

Then, there’s work. Work is good, but work is strange. I feel like I’ve become quite comfortable and confident in my voice and value in this space. That’s great for me, but doesn’t always fit pretty in a box and there are moments when I feel incredibly stifled. Opportunities have been opening up for me in unexpected ways. I’m grateful, but I’m very mindful and view each experience as a God moment. I consider it a privilege for God to give me a chance to share my voice with others on a larger platform; therefore, I’m intentional and deliberate in what I say. On the surface, it may seem as if I’m simply talking about my career path or some diversity/inclusion topic, but with each experience comes with the opportunity to speak life to someone, a stranger perhaps. That’s not a light assignment, it’s just as important as preparing and preaching a sermon for me. It’s my opportunity to encourage someone in their journey and I feel honored to be called by God to do such work. It’s not about me, it’s about availing myself to be used to be a blessing on whatever platform presents itself to me.

Today, I received an interesting e-mail from someone who attended an event I spoke at last week. I know it’s a compliment, but it was framed in an interesting way. It was the reminder that my work matters.

“Oh boy, here come the ‘Big Wigs’. Aint nothing they can teach me!” They couldn’t relate to me, they’re too far up.  And one by one, as each of you told YOUR STORY, of where you came from, how you got there, and where you wanted to go, each one of you Giants shrunk to normal sized people, walked right off the stage, came and sat down beside me, took my hand and said “Fret not, we…are you!…yes we’ve traveled different paths but our stories are the same in a lot of ways”.

And into my heart each of you went.  So, after I buried my especially judgmental thoughts of you being “the black sellout” of the bunch, when you had the unmitigated gall of saying “I’m a black woman and she’s white woman” out loud… in front of tons of people(????) and telling the audience how its ok not to jump right into an opportunity JUST because it presents itself, and how it’s ok to stay where you are, master the current position RIGHT NOW, then move on, I said to myself, “I really like her…and I need her to mentor me, she gets me…lol!”

When I read the e-mail, I chuckled, then I smiled. I don’t know this person at all, but I am so thankful I said something that resonated with her. I thrive on being just an ordinary, everyday person who can connect on some level with all who cross my path. Maybe it should be flattering, but I’m no giant, I’m just regular and will always be just regular no matter where life may take me.

So, I’m on a windy, messy road at the moment. There’s been no progress on my 101 list, but I’m growing in so many other ways. I’m excited about the future.

Journey to 101: Setting Sail with the Fam!

I’m pretty sure I’m always missing in action on this blog. It’s not intentional, it’s purely a reflection of life. It’s always a busy time. I returned back to seminary (kinda full-time), I continue to settle into my home (I LOVE IT!!!!), and work is always exciting and busy. So . . . I’ve been having lots of fun, doing lots of work, and keeping busy. I did manage to check a couple things off my 101 list though…

Going on a vacation with my family and going on a cruise! Yay!!!!!

For the Thanksgiving holiday, I enjoyed a week away with the family cruising to the Bahamas. We had a blast! The time went quick, but I loved nearly every minute of my time away. My love of the time was questionable while riding on the airboat with the alligators, crocodiles, or whatever that was swimming next to us, but other than that it was all good.

Snorkeling in Nassau

Perhaps for the first time ever, I was intentional in leaving technology at home during this trip. I had planned to read two books, but that didn’t happen. I didn’t check e-mail, I didn’t access social media, and with the exception of one evening, I didn’t talk on the phone. It was so nice to be disconnected from my daily routine and be present with my family.

Despite what my mother thinks, this introvert really does love people. But sometimes we really do need a break and a moment of disconnection from life’s daily routine which includes people. This vacation did it for me. It also reminded me of the great need I have in my life to be intentional in taking vacation at least once annually. In reality, I think I need it a bit more down time . . . one day I’ll get there.

The highlights of the trip—seeing my nephews smile the entire week (this made me smile), seeing the beautiful homes as we rode out to go snorkeling (I need to own a home on the water one day), snorkeling with the fam, singing karaoke, and reenacting an episode of the Swamp People. It was an awesome time away with those I love the most. I definitely am ready for my next cruise because either I slept through a lot or I just didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do. No complaints though because I really needed the rest. I don’t ever have to spend another Thanksgiving at home helping to prepare a large meal, I’m completely fine with being away and relaxing in a new place.

Beyond Shame

After what feels like weeks of constant motion, I’m delighted to be sitting still this morning. I know there is work to be done today (I’ll get to it), but to be still and in total silence for this moment is delightful. It’s a cherished moment. It’s a reminder that I need this every week—a moment of sabbath. Exhale . . . 

I discovered a major truth about myself last week—I’m moving beyond shame! This may not be a big deal to others, but it’s a huge moment in my life. I’ve struggled with feelings of shame for many, many years. I’ve wrestled with this in therapy, I’ve battled it in silence in my alone time. I’ve fussed with God about it. I thought I’d never conquer it. In my mind, I thought it may have been the thorn in my flesh, but I’m thankful to know the courageous work I’ve done is finally paying off.

What’s shame?

Well, Brene Brown (aka one of my favorite authors) says, “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” According to her, guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort. On the other hand, shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection. That’s deep! Guilt is good, but shame is bad, real bad. Shame means something is inherently wrong with me, as a result I’m a failure at many things.

I know shame all too well. For a long time, shame was my first and middle name (perhaps my last name too). It is extremely hard to live with. In some ways, I wish it was an official diagnosis and there was a medication one could take to make it go away. I mean, it’s not depression, it’s not PTSD, but it’s a real thing. One has to struggle, wrestle, and fight with shame to overcome its grip. It’s a hidden thing that outsiders looking in probably cannot understand, but it’s real.

Shame has been a beast in my life! For many years, it has caused me to distance myself from my extended family and isolate in social settings. It has also caused me to make some poor decisions. The good news is, I’ve made great progress! Often we don’t even realize the progress we’ve made until we encounter an experience that would throw us back into our old behaviors. That’s where I was a week ago. Something happened that usually would’ve thrown me into the “woe is me” narrative. For a hot second, I felt shame, but I quickly snapped out of it. I evaluated the situation and realized, I had absolutely no reason to feel shame. Yes, I was guilty of a thing or two, but the shame narrative that tried to creep in had to go! In response to shame, I declared I am enough and I am worthy!

I believe moving beyond shame will give me the courage to open so many incredible doors in my life that have been present for some time. It frees me to live and love. It frees me to be me without feeling like I’m undeserving or unworthy. It frees me to live out my dreams without thinking they’re too big or too crazy for me. While I know, I’ll have to actively fight shame for all of my days, I’m thankful that my past experiences and feelings do not have to determine my present or future life. I can move beyond shame!

A Journal and Journey Through My Past…

GodIsAbleTemplateSaturday was a big day in my life—MOVING DAY! There were stressful and intense moments, but I’m settling into my new space and loving it. I love the neighborhood and the neighbors whom I’ve met so far have been great. I’m super happy and excited about this new season in my journey.

One of the greatest parts of this move has been stumbling upon my old journals. It’s amazing how some of my feelings have remained the same, yet in other areas, I’ve changed so much! One of the musings that struck me deep was written on June 18, 2011. I remember that day so clearly. My church had just finished a Bible study series entitled Experiencing God and we spent that day together on a silent retreat. I was quietly struggling greatly with God and ministry in that season, I was determined to do things my way, yet I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling of God calling me to do a greater work for Him. I’m the fighter who thought I could wear God out with all of my punches and running. God won, and the winning sorta, kinda started on June 18, 2011!

It was that day when my former pastor sought me out to be her partner during the morning icebreaker. I was so distraught about this happening . . . I tried to avoid my former pastor at all times like the plague. God was working on me and I had heard through the grapevine my pastor had her eye on me (Translation: God had probably put something about me in her spirit, and she was trying to observe and see what God was talking about. I wanted no parts of such.) I had planned to leave the retreat super early to go to a friend’s birthday party in New Jersey, but this icebreaker partnership messed up that plan. Fast forward several years and my former pastor has become a mother to me. Together we share a wonderful bond and I’ve stopped fighting God. Certainly, He and I still have differences of opinions, but I don’t have the same level of fight towards Him in me. Praise the Lord!

This is what I wrote on that day:

I must trust God completely and believe that if I remain in Him and stay obedient, He will grant me the desires of my heart. He will bless my life beyond belief, He will provide for all of my needs. I will not be lacking in any area and, in due season, He will give me overflow. I will not struggle to pay bills, everything will not be perfect, but in Him I will not have earthly worries.

Like the tree, I’m [God] too big for your to grasp. You can’t wrap your arms around me, so stop trying! What God’s doing is something I can’t analyze my way through. Stop trying to figure out what I’m  doing and just do what I tell you to do. I’m trying to prepare you for the end result and I need you to do what I’m telling you to do. Stop trying to figure out what the end result is. It may or may not be what you think it is.

I’m stuck to you like glue. It must be done My way.

Reading this, given where I am in my present life, is a refreshing reminder of God’s sovereign power. I had no idea what God had in store for me then, but everything He put on my heart that day has proven true. He is truly blessing me beyond belief . . . the home I was blessed to purchase is certainly a “beyond belief” blessing. This job I’ve got is a “beyond belief” blessing. No matter how hard I try to figure it out, God still confuses me and others in my circle. He’s beyond my grasp, but He’s faithful and just. And, He’s shown me time and time again that He’s stuck to me like glue. God truly loves me and I absolutely love Him.

I wonder what the remaining journals have in store for me.

Until next time . . .

Journey to 101: Get that House!

9640 Front ViewMy writing has been at a standstill as of late. As usual when life seems to take over, it seems writing is the first thing thrown out the window. This time, my writing came to a halt for a good reason. I’ve been diligently pursuing one of the biggest items on my 101 list . . . buying my first home! Last Friday, I checked it off my list. I am officially a homeowner. YAY!!!!!!!

What a journey it has been to get to this place. I’ve felt frustration, anger, joy, nervousness, incredible faith, palpable fear, and everything else along the way. I thought I’d be buying my home a year ago, but it took a bit longer. I suppose bumps in the road are inevitable even when we think we’re fully prepared. There were several moments when I was ready to go out, rent an apartment, and keep it moving. But . . . I didn’t. I stayed the course and managed to stumble upon the home of my dreams.

There’s a lesson in my story. It’s simply this, in the face of giants, be bold enough to rise up and face them. Don’t run from them for God’s greatest blessings are truly on the other side of fear. I tackled real fear and self-doubt on my path homeownership. I felt like I didn’t make enough money as a single, Black woman. I believed my credit score wasn’t good enough. I felt like I didn’t have enough money saved up for the down payment and closing costs. But, perhaps my greatest fear was being afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle the monthly mortgage payment. Many days and nights I spent hours running numbers through my head and writing them out on paper to assure myself that I could handle this major purchase. I may not have shared the musings of my mind aloud, but lots of thinking was happening. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous when I signed all of the final paperwork. I was . . . so my Mom came to be my support system in the room. On the other side of signing those papers, I can honestly say my excitement beats out all of the nervousness I felt no questions asked!

9640 KitchenI’m so excited to share my home with friends and family. I’m looking forward to hosting dinner parties and baking holiday cookies and pies. I’m excited to watch football and share in game nights with friends. More than anything I’m excited to start living my best life! It’s the start of a brand new season for me and I’m so happy with all God is doing in my life! During this past year and half, I’ve seen the best in my family as they’ve supported me and shared in my sacrifice so I could reach this goal. I couldn’t have done it without them. I’ll forever be grateful. This past year and a half has also allowed me to see the best in me. I did lots of hard self-work and I am amazed by the healing and wholeness God has brought into my life!

And so for this incredible blessing of my new home and the journey that accompanied it, I offer this verse from Psalm 118 as my thanks. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes!