Day 507: Pardon Me Please

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Today’s positivity is, yet again, perfect timing! After yesterday’s conviction through my son (Day 506: Childish Conviction) in which he inadvertently called me out on my sin and altered the course of my approach to this covenant and then yesterday’s positivity just “happened” to be I am free (Day 506: A Slave No More) it was only fitting that today should be…

POSITIVITY: I am pardoned.

Now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Romans 8:1

All of my self-centered attitude. All of my pride. All of my gluttony. All of my food-lust. God will judge me not-guilty for all of it because Jesus stands in my place. And what’s really cool, is that because I am “in” Christ Jesus, God will just dismiss all that has happened, AND He will reward me for returning to Him. He will reward me for jumping off the road most traveled and getting on the road less traveled. (Thank you Mr. Frost for that.)

PRAYER:

God, You ARE Grace and Mercy. Just the fact that You even still interact with humans is evidence of that. And You are the Best of Grace and Mercy because you are also the Judge and the Eye that sees everything. Only You could fairly judge a person’s heart.

I am blessed that You have offered me Your Mercy. I know that given the state of my heart and my motivation, I didn’t deserve it, but you gave it to me all the same. I am blessed to have been treated with such kindness by You… when I think of some of the other ways that you could have tried to get my attention, I know that Your Grace gave me the easy way out.

Thank you for staying so close to me today. I have sensed You and Your Holy Spirit near me several times. Please stay near me longer, God. It is only with You that I am strong. Thank you for my pardon. Forgive me for my sin. Forgive me for being so focused on myself. For thinking I knew what was better than You did. For shoving my face with something other than what would fulfill me. For longing after something other than Your Greatness to sustain. Thank you that I am not guilty. Thank you.

Day 506b: A Slave No More

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Ya know, yesterday on Day 505, I was supposed to write about the positivity of being free.

I tried a bunch of times to write on it, but I just wasn’t… feelin it. (And for good reason.) If you read the post I wrote just moments ago (Day 506a: Childish Conviction) then you’ll see why.

Sin. I wasn’t feeling free because I was still WILLINGLY going back to sin and asking to be its slave. But my little interaction today with my son was like someone spiritually grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking the snot out of me and saying WAKE UP!!!! YOU ARE A SLAVE BUT YOUR SHACKLES ARE OFF! WHY ARE YOU STILL WORKING FOR THIS MASTER? GO! GET OUT OF HERE! BE… FREE.

And I am.

I. am. free.

POSITIVITY: I am free.

Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18

I never understood before I started this covenant journey how restricting myself (a la “becoming a slave to righteous living”) would be FREEING? It just didn’t make sense. Until I actually went through that process and realized that last year I was so incredibly free from food once I restricted my foods with God as my help. Then… enter the turn of the year from 2012 to 2013 and my introducing chocolate back into my life.

Big mistake. Huge. HUGE.

However, I can thank God tonight that He has taken me down this road AGAIN to remind me AGAIN of this truth. Because since I ate that first bite of chocolate in January… I have been enslaved to it again. As I reached out that night to taste my first bite of sweetness, I shackled my tender, tender soul back to the vice that has held me captive for so long.

And now, I should probably expound on that to you guys, but I’d rather just talk to God about it in my prayer.

PRAYER:

Oh my God… how wonderful you have been to me today. How you have reached out yet AGAIN to redirect me. I can be nothing but thankful… no, wait, I can be more. I have hope and freedom once again God. Even as I walked into the house and was immediately assaulted with the all-too-familiar thought of “Hmmmm, what can I snack on?” I smiled God with such peace because I knew that I was free again.

And on that note… wow. Thank you for making confession and conviction SUCH an effective tool in redirecting me. Thank you for using my sweet little boy to speak a dagger of truth into my heart. Oh my Jesus, I needed Your Sword of Truth to cut me clean down the middle so that You could put me back together again. And Hallelujah you did it!

I just feel so full of hope and excitement as I look forward to more and more days and days of peace in my heart as you empower me with strength and the ability to resist these morsels of the former me. Lord Jesus, be close to me now. Stay sooooo close by my side… even now, I can sense that sneaky snaky devil searching in my armor for a weak link. Guard me God with your angels… protect me from evil even if just for a few days while I get my sea legs again. Allow me to be a glory and witness to you as I muddle through this covenant journey.

Oh just THANK YOU GOD… that is all I have tonight. Thanks. Thank you… thank you for this freedom. Thank you.

And a Hallelujah Amen!

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Day 506a: Childish Conviction

I know I’m on my 30 Day Infusion, and although I have had several things that I have wanted to write about over the past week or so that were “negative” I have held back in the effort to focus on the positive things that God wants to infuse into my heart.

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

But what happened this evening, well… it is an override.

Okay. A smidge of background information: Small truth first. Well, big nasty ugly truth.

I have officially lost about 89% of the control that I’d had and have reverted back (big time) to my former self and my former ways of eating. I have been ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit that has been trying over and over again to lead me down the right path. I have purposefully chosen to go out of my way to eat sugar and chocolate. I have been eating “okay” for two or three days and then just “tasting” one little thing on the third day and then it just goes downhill from there.

Well. Actually… if we are being TOTALLY honest here, I have been eating junk for about three days straight. Always thinking, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll get back on track with God.” And always knowing, “No. you. won’t.”

Usually I’d have felt guilty for still writing with a positive focus, like as if it weren’t real… and well, it sorta wasn’t “real” but I just kept telling myself, “Keep infusing yourself with the wonderful, great, positive things that God has said about you and provided for you and eventually it will push out all of your own negative voice. Just keep on keepin on, January.”

So I did.

But I also kept on eating chocolate.

Anyway, this afternoon, my son and I went to the library and then to the grocery store. He asked to get some little cookies as a treat and I caved and then he asked to eat them in the little eating area and I caved again (he is really beyond precious… it’s almost impossible to tell him no). So, as we’re eating up in the little balcony eating area, he took one of the cookies out of the case and said, “So mom, how many more days until you can have sugar again?”

I sorta stumbled over an answer akin to “Oh, I’m… I’m not sure” because, of course… OF. COURSE. I have been doing all of this chocolate eating by myself. Sneaking it to and fro. Shoving it in my mouth when I hear little feet coming down the hall. Silently waiting until my husband is on the phone. So, he doesn’t know that all this time I’ve already BEEN eating sugar.

Gosh, I felt such a tug at my heart.

Butttttttt, not enough of a tug to keep me from eating two of those cookies when we got home plus another cookie that I had stashed, okay, okay… HIDDEN… in the pantry.

{And here it comes… the part where God spoke through my child.}

So, after dinner the boys asked if they could have some Cookie Crisp cereal for dessert. We haven’t had a “junk” cereal in the pantry for a while, so I guess it’s like an extra special treat for them. I said yes, poured them both bowls, and then decided, well… Cookie Crisp cereal is actually totally gross to me, but it’s sorta like eating a cookie and since I’ve already eaten all of the cookies then I might as well eat this too.

Poured myself a bowl.

My son: Mom, are you going to have a bowl, too?

Me: Yeah. Yeah, I think I am.

Son: Well, you know you’ll be breaking your promise to God right? Do you want to break your promise to God?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKAY.

Was. not. expecting. that.

Instant tears.

I paused for a moment… a zillion responses running through my mind while he looked at me… our eyes connected… his gaze was unflinching… and I knew what I HAD to do. For him. For me. For God.

Me: No. No, I don’t want to break my promise. I think I’m just gonna pour it back in.

Son: Okay. Good.

Me: Thank you. Thank you for helping me keep my promise.

And I poured the cereal back into the box. Annnnnnnd, went over and hugged him. Annnnnnnd, took his picture with his Cookie Crisp.

Annnnnnnn, then took the picture of my other son with his Cookie Crisp because he wanted in on that picture-taking-action!

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It was all JUST what I needed.

You know, there are about a gazillion times in a sinners life when we are not ready to get called out on our sins. We just lash back because, I dunno, I guess we are in a sense of denial or buried in our shame. But every once in a while, we are ready. longing. hoping. needing. for someone to call us out.

Thing was… I wasn’t listening to God anymore. And I was hiding it from everyone. So, God had to speak to me through my child {and yes, I am totally bawling right now as I write this… out of thanks and humility and hope and gratefulness}. Through my innocent child who won’t know for years and years to come the impact of that little tiny question when he was a little tiny boy.

Honestly, I think the main reason it grabbed my attention so much wasn’t because of my son seeing me eating junk. It was because of my son watching me. waiting to see… would I follow God.

All of my words up to this point. All of my teaching him. All of my prayers over him. Ev.er.y.thing. hinged on this moment. Would my actions SHOW the truth I had been giving him all this time?!?!?!

Oh and I thank God that He gave me the RIGHT answer. the RIGHT words. the RIGHT action.

But as I stepped back into my day, those cookies were still there. I still desired them.

And guess what?!?!? Good news people… guess what kicked in?

The positives!

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

And those cookies have remained untouched the rest of the day.

And, well, I reckon… I won’t be the one finishing them off this time.

Day 505: Incapable Capability

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I really don’t have words this morning.

This is the eighth draft I have started for this post. I’ve changed the positivity verse three times, but I just can’t seem to get anything to work for me this morning.

Ironically enough, look at what I ended up with for the positivity verse…

POSITIVITY: I am capable.

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

You see, I wasn’t able to write a post because I was being nit picky about my wording, about my anecdotes, etc. But really… we don’t need a bunch of “my words” today… all we need is that truth right there.

I am capable.

I can do everything.

I have been given strength.

PRAYER:

God, it’s funny… this morning as I write and pray to you, I feel so terribly incapable. But I am just reminded it is because I am so incapable… without You. And, oh God, how often I attempt to function without you. And how often I fail epically because I attempt life without you.

But now… now I remember God that You make me capable. You make me able to do things that seem unimaginable. Sometimes that’s eating right, loving the unlovable, healing over deep hurts… but when I use YOUR strength… I am suddenly able.

Today, God, help me to tap into that strength. Remind me over and over again that I am capable with You. That I can do anything and everything with You. That I am strong with You. Help me to triumph today over sin and sadness!

You alone are God. You alone fulfill. You alone are strength and hope.

May I focus on You. alone.

Amen.

Day 504: Unfinished Business

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You know, I always wanted to be an artist. I mean, I guess I sorta am an artist as a writer or as an actress, but I mean, like, an artist in the painting/drawing sense of the word.

I have medium skills at drawing (my dad is a wicked amazing artist so I had some of it in my blood), but nothing to write home about. Once I went to one of those paint in a group what the lady tells you kind of deals (Painting With A Twist) and had a great time.

What I found interesting was that the teacher knew just what the final painting was to look like but we “artists” were just sorta following blindly at times, doing these strokes that seemed sorta odd at the time but would end up being the background or the shading or something. Several times I liked the way it looked and wanted to stop there, but then she’d walk us through a few more steps and we’d end up with it looking even better.

And today as I think about my positivity that “I am unfinished” this painting experience comes to mind. There are times in my life when I think, “God- what is this you are doing with me right now? This is all wrong!” But then afterward I see that the trial or tribulation or simply just a weird road he took me down was just Him putting some shading on me or creating some amazing background. Ya know- things that make sense… later when I’m looking back on them in hindsight. And other times I’ve thought “Oh this is it. I’m just where I want to be. I’m done growing.” Only to realize months later that I was nothing but a sketch at the time. Devoid of color or depth.

So I’m remembering that today as I question a stroke here or there of God’s or if I want to say “Oh forget about it- this is as good as I’m gonna get.” INSTEAD I am going to remind myself…

I am unfinished.

POSITIVITY: I am unfinished.

I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

PRAYER:

God, ya know… You are an amazing artist. Whenever I look around at creation I see amazing things… the ocean in and of itself is just stunning and the mountains are so… wow. Sunsets. Huge swaying trees. All amazing. And that’s just creation! Looking at my children, I’m in awe again. And some of the smiles and laughing eyes that you have made… awesome.

Today as I started the day I was feeling so terribly inadequate. so beat down. But God, your reminder to me that I am UNFINISHED and I feel so much better. Every “mistake” is actually just an incomplete brush stroke… thank you so much for allowing me to be seemingly imperfect while you perfect me. Thank you for not giving up on me as I try sometimes to take the brush from your hands and do the job myself. Thank you for even thinking me worthy to be a potential masterpiece. Your love is almost overwhelming!

Amen.

{Good thing God is a
better artist than me! Ha!}

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Day 503: An Ode To My Mother-In-Law

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You’ll have to forgive me for the lack of elaboration on today’s post. On a whim, we ended up spending the night at my in-laws place in the country and so I didn’t have my laptop and cell reception out here minimal, at best.

Well, my mother-in-law just sent all the boys up to their other house on the property so she and I could have some down time. I’m potty training my 3 year old and was getting… frustrated… so I think she could tell I needed a break. Gotta love a good mother-in-law and boy howdy do I have a good one!

Anyway, that is a pretty good tie in for today’s positivity verse.

I’m not one of God’s chosen people by lineage or birth. I’m, technically, a gentile.

Just like I’m not my mother-in-law’s daughter by birth or lineage. I’m, technically, a stranger.

But just as my mother-in-law has pulled me under her wing to care for me, and give me gifts, and help me, and love me… so did my God. And honestly, she treats me as her very own daughter. Just as God treats me as one of His chosen people of Israel.

You see, my mother-in-law loves me because her son loves me. Because he chose me to be his bride.

And God is able to love me because His Son loves me. Because He chose me to be His bride.

I am loved.

POSITIVITY: I am loved.

God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything? … Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me.

Can anything ever separate me from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39

PRAYER:

God, You are the sweetness of my life. You fill me with Hope and Love when I feel there is nothing but frustration and despair. You love me- Your Son came for me- You embrace me into Your family.

Help me today to honor Your Love with the thoughts that pass through. Help me today to honor You through my actions and my words. May You be honored as I treat my family with respect and kindness. As I care for my body through careful controlled eating. May my life be something that makes You smile today.

I love you. In my best way, I love you. Thank you for accepting my love, God.

Amen.

Day 502: I’m Full Of It

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{Get it? Full of it?!?! Haha!
Full of goofiness, that’s what!}

I have really been looking forward to this one.

If there is one thing that I think most of us struggle with, it is the feeling that there is something missing… something wrong… something off with the way we are. And ya know, I’ve heard these two verses a gajillion times and wow… they are so true:

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

But since I have heard them so many times I think I’ve almost numbed myself over the years to the power of that truth, so today I want to focus on really INFUSING that into my mind and heart. I don’t want to just HEAR those words… I want to live them! And ironically enough, I’m going to do so using a different verse that says a similar thing.

POSITIVITY: I am complete.

In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10

Like, we always think about Jesus as “The Perfect Man” (not in the marriageable meaning of that phrase though… although pretty sure he woulda been the bomb of a husband)… ya know, He was sinless. But more than that… He was AWESOME. No, seriously. I mean… think about the stuff he did. Like, telling his disciples to chill out and let the kids come sit on his lap and get blessed. Bringing back his best friend,Lazarus, to life. Eating and hanging out with sinners that would, according to the temple tradition, make him unclean. Touching lepers who hadn’t felt a hand on them in yearrrrrs. Telling Martha to cool her jets because it was better to be like Mary and just BE with Him. Saving the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned to death. And my favorite… stopping dead in his tracks to acknowledge a woman that had just reached out in faith to be healed.

And I’m not bringing up any of those things to focus on the miracle aspect of each of them… but to point out just how FULL OF LOVE He was… and is.

But then also think about the miracle parts… bringing a dude back to life? allowing a woman to be healed by touching his ROBE? And then there’s always that whole coming-back-to-life thing that is pretty cool, too. All of that points out just how FULL OF POWER He was… and is.

Like the verse above says, I am also made complete through my union with Christ. Which means I am FULL of that same LOVE and I am FULL of that same POWER.

WHO CAN STOP ME!?!?!?!?!?

Okay, so I meant that kinda funny… but also, kinda for real. I mean… WHO CAN STOP ME?!?!? No one… not even Satan because I am united with Christ. I am complete.

PRAYER:

Lord God, wow I am PUMPED to talk to you right now! Cause after remembering all that up there, I am just like… WOW… LET’S DO THIS THANG! You are just so rad to give me the chance to get in on this deal of being part of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth… I think of myself as just a little goofy kid down here but once I realized just now that I am made COMPLETE through You, in You, because of You. I don’t know… it just changes things for me, God. I feel so… so… spiritually unstoppable! And I guess, that’s not really a false place to be in. I am spiritually unstoppable!

It actually brings tears to my eyes to realize that there is NOTHING MISSING in me. Remind me all day today God that I am made complete through your Son, Jesus. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I am full. Full of You and Your radiant awesomeness and beauty. Oh Jesus, that I would FEEL that way today and KNOW today that it’s true. May my life be full and complete as You are full and complete!

AMEN AND HALLELUJAH! 

{When the boys saw me
making my “full of it” pic,
they wanted in on it!}

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Day 501: The Chosen

How about a few reminders first of the past five days of the 30 Day Infusion?

Day 1: I am made for more!
Day 2: I am royalty!
Day 3: I am new!
Day 4: I am cherished!
Day 5: I am strong!

POSITIVITY: I am chosen.

I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16

Ya know, my husband liked me first.

It’s true.

He might not tell it that way, but it IS true. I was dating someone else and my husband started to pursue me before I even thought about a relationship beyond friendship with him. And I had done my fair share of… chasing… boys in my lifetime because despite how AWESOME I was they were just not interested in me. Mom always told me it was because they were intimidated by my awesomeness. So honestly, it was so nice to be sought out. pursued. desired. chosen.

Yeah… chosen. And Jesus has also chosen me. But for two reasons… He chose me simply to be with Him and glorify Him, but also He chose me, like it says above, to “go and produce lasting fruit”. I have a calling… a purpose… a point in being here. And He has chosen me to give strength, He has chosen me to cherish, He has chosen to make me new so that I can produce LASTING fruit, He has chosen me to be royalty and to act like it, and He has chosen me for MORE than just a plain ol life here on Earth!

I am chosen!

PRAYER:

God… You are good to me and you bring me hope and promise and love and fulfillment. With You I can do all these things that I thought were impossible.

Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your plan, and thank you for giving me skills and power. Thank you for making me all that I am and all that I can be and all that you are going to make me. I love focusing on these cool things that you have put in me: strength, love, newness, regality, worth. Help me to focus on those things throughout the bumps of my day. Remind me especially today that I am chosen to live a life that will still have worth for eternity.

Love you so much God! Thank you for my life today.

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Recipe: Ginger Tea In Crockpot

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

Okay, okay so you might be saying “Uhhhh, that ginger looks a lot more like apples than ginger.” And you are right… well, sorta. Technically, I made Apple Ginger Tea but I just threw the apples in because my kids didn’t eat the other half of the Fuji apple I cut for them. It works with or without apple slices!

The main reason I wanted to make my ginger tea in the crockpot was because I kept having to babysit it on the stovetop, I had several boil-overs on accident, and I was losing all of the water because it kept reducing! So, I figured, give it a go in the crock pot! It keeps all the water in there, and I can even leave while it “cooks”. It worked out great! I’m trying to have a cup of ginger tea every day for a month to see if it helps with the inflammation in my hip.

Ginger Tea In The Crockpot

  • 4 cups/1 Liter water, heated to boiling
  • 2 “knobs” of ginger (see the pic below)
  • optional 1/2 Fuji apple, sliced with peels ON
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons lime juice, to taste

Instructions

  1. While you work, heat water to boiling.
  2. Peel the ginger and then “peel-shred” it into the crock pot. (I just use the vegetable peeler and make thin slices of the ginger to get more bang for my buck.)
  3. Add in the apples if you want and then pour in the boiling water.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Pour through a sieve (or, like me, just ladel it into your teavana tea maker to strain it) and then add in honey and lime juice.

Okay, since I could never figure out in recipes what a “knob” of ginger was supposed to be (is it just part of it or the whole thing?) I decided to take a picture of the ginger I used next to a quarter so that you could see exactly what I used. Use more for a stronger tea if you’d like!

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

Day 500: Strong Spirit

Gonna admit… I’m starting my writing of this on what is technically Day 498. It’s just that I got such encouragement from the positivity (I am new!) and prayer (Draw me closer to you, God) today and so I wanted to get ahead a little bit to make sure that each day coming had that positivity and prayer already set for me.

POSITIVITY: I am strong!

God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Honestly, this is one of those verses that I have heard a gazillion times and so at this point I sort of just let it slide through my brain and then trickle down into long term memory. And in true pessimist form, it’s probably because I so often focus on the first part of the verse. All I hear is “fear” and “timidity”. But as I focus on the positive aspects today I just zone in on the second half of what He HAS given me!

POWER! LOVE! SELF-DISCIPLINE!

And really, what a wonderful spirit to have… a combination of power, love, and self-discipline!?!? How cool that He threw those three together into a combo! But really, those three are THE things that I would want! Power… to stand up for what is right and to do whatever God calls me to. Love… to balance the power so that I don’t just run over everyone and everything with power but that I am kind and caring and patient and all that stuff from 1 Corinthians 13. Self-discipline… honestly this one almost throws me off at first as to why it’s in there, but then again, no, it belongs there. For what is power and love is all the more powerful when controlled.

PRAYER: God, You are strength. You are power. You are love. And you are self-discipline. Thank you for giving me all of these things as well. God, please remind me that I already HAVE all of these things! I need to know that you give me the strength to resist things, and well… not just to resist things, but also the power to be above those things. Remind me today God that I have the power to focus on You. to keep my mind on You and Your… awesomeness. to think about the things of eternity instead of things of the earth. Help me to see over and over again that You and Your Words and Your Love is lasting and fulfilling. Keep my eyes lifted to you today God. And remind me that I am strong! Amen!

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