Thursday, December 13, 2012

Let Go

As the year of 2013 approaches, I find myself reflecting over the year that has been, and as I weigh the ups and downs I'm not sure whether or not I'm ready to embark on a new year just yet.  Though I've definitely grown closer to God through the tests, temptations, and trials that have been, I also find a part of myself wanting to regress rather than progress, and the further back the better.  In just one recent evening, I inundated my speakers with sounds reminiscent of my younger, less spiritually challenging days.  Among my selections were Savage Garden, Phil Collins, and even Cyndi Lauper.  It seems the 90's weren't far back enough, I closed my eyes and allowed mental time travel to take me back even to the 80's when my hair stood straight up and my greatest care in the world was which car Barbie should drive to meet Ken.  It's not that 2012 has been bad; on the contrary, it has been amazing, but it has been more difficult than not and I suppose my momentary return to the fetal position is just a whiny attempt to avoid continued growing pains that accompany spiritual acrobatics.  My most recent, and hopefully last, annual gymnastic feat of the spirit involved testing I never dreamed would come, when out of an unforeseen encounter my heart was insidiously catapulted from the present to the past and then forward once again. "Jesus, steady my feet," become my plea of recent days, and after a brief retreat to the oceanic views from Seal Beach, He finally did.  So, this year? This year, I let go.

Friday, December 7, 2012

You Are Going to Die
I'm not sure how you happened upon this blog post, but I don't think I personally would have made it past the title.  I don't readily click on or read anything that screams out "you are going to die," so I'm not sure what it says about you that you're still reading, but contrary to how it appears, I'm not planning on a morbid post. And by the way, why is it that we are so quick to connect the topic of death with morbidity?  Though the pain and sorrow felt among death's survivors is undeniable, death in and of itself is merely a final doorway to eternity (good news for the one who knows Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior, not so good for those still rejecting Him, which brings us to the point of this discourse.)  I'm on the topic because I recently read the obituary of an old friend from college, and though we lost touch more than a decade ago, I was more than just surprised to learn of his passing; I was troubled.  At just 33 years of age, he left behind a wife and two young children, who will no doubt be struggling through this now bittersweet Christmas season. I look back and remember casually talking to him on the Hendrix College campus, and as I reflect over the memories, I'm reminded of how little we know this side of Heaven about our final day. Fourteen years ago when I knew him, neither of us had any idea that he would die on September 17th of 2012, and as I contemplate the utter uncertainty of death, I can't help but also wonder about my own. As a Christian, I know I'm not supposed to fear death (Psalm 23:4) because it's merely the beginning of my existence as God originally intended it, but the reality is that for many years, I did fear it. I didn't just fear it; I dreaded it, couldn't stand to think about it, and would shut down mentally and emotionally when faced with the reconciliation of it.  That being said, however, I have fortunately learned along my walk with God that I tend to build things up in my mind to be worse than they actually are or will one day be.  What a sweet relief to have finally become aware of my propensity for dramatic exaggeration of life events.  Death isn't to be feared (again, ask yourself whether or not you know Jesus Christ), although I know it can be difficult not to, but like it or not, you are going to die.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Go On

  I've been going through a certain circumstance lately that I know God is using to change me, strengthen me, and improve me in general, but it is unequivocally the most challenging situation I've ever been in since my walk with Him began and until today, I felt anything but strengthened.  I cried the entire way to work recently because of the situation and in my tears I softly told God that I couldn't do it anymore. Through words I'm not even sure I spoke out loud, I told Him what He already knew - that my very last ounce of strength was gone and I was at the end of my rope.  I felt numb.  My husband called that particular day to check on me and I could hear the emptiness in my own voice as I responded through a blank stare with "I'm fine," but the truth was - I wasn't fine. I have been at a new level of spiritual turmoil unlike any I've ever known and I've been completely beaten down by the task of enduring through the pain (2 Timothy 2) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ (v. 3).  "God, I can't do this anymore. I've got nothing left. Please help me," I softly whispered not long ago.  Though I knew He was there and with me, I felt like I could barely breathe, and the painstaking effort that goes into the daily act of living threatened to suffocate anything left in me.  "I simply can't go on," I thought to myself, but then? I go on. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'll Take Izzy

Not long ago, my husband and I had a disagreement on what course of action to take regarding a certain circumstance, and though I petitioned him with my best smile and pleading gaze, his answer to the dilemma was a firm no.  At one point I thought the welling tears in my eyes would change his mind, but to my surprise he stood strong.  I could see that it hurt him to see me hurt and if there was any doubt about that, he removed it when he brought me a sweet card by Emily Matthews.  Alongside her words, he wrote his own that said to see me smile he would give me anything, but for now he just couldn't say yes to what I wanted and hoped I could understand.  "I want us to have a good future" were among the words he wrote, but rather than wrapping myself in the comfort of his stable and tomorrow-based approach in decision making, I felt bitter that he couldn't join me in the excitement of just living for today.  "We may not even be here tomorrow or next week or next year, so why focus on then when we live here in this day?" I responded as a soft trickle of genuine tears fell down my cheeks.  Honestly, I don't know what left me more wounded - the fact that I didn't get what I wanted or that he actually followed through with telling me no.  Doting and giving to a fault, Sam rarely uses that two letter word and actually stands by it against my persistence, so when it became evident that no really meant no,  I became confused and hurt.  However, within just a few minutes of praying about it and reading the words in the card over and over again, God quickly helped me realize that not only was Sam right to tell me no, but he also was right in his approach of looking towards the future.   

Thursday, November 1, 2012

City Lights
This has been an especially trying week, both emotionally and spiritually, but as it nears the weekend, I'm moved to humble gratitude for the trials and tribulations that have been.  On Monday, I called my husband in a borderline hysterical fit of tears over the challenges that arise when flesh battles spirit (Matthew 26:41) and by Tuesday I was even weaker from the fight. "God, I know You wont let me break, but I don't think I have much more bend in me. Please, please, Father, help me," I softly whispered in fatigue.  I was beginning to feel numb as I fought back tears each morning and afternoon, and as Wednesday approached, I honestly didn't know how much more I could take, but suddenly God showed up in radiant form and my peace was restored. As I drove to work yesterday, I marveled at the sweet experience I have each day to watch the city wake up.  It's still dark outside when I leave, so as I inch onto the freeway to take my place in line with my fellow commuters I'm immersed into a steady stream of yellow and red indicators that life is still moving forward, I am precisely where I'm meant to be, and God is still in control.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Choose Us

I went to Arkansas a couple of weeks ago and as I landed at the Little Rock National Airport, I couldn't wait to see what God had in store for the few short days I would be there.  I wondered if it would feel like home when I got off the plane, and whether or not I would be ready to return to California when the time came. What I found was a conflict so great I didn't know which way to turn, so I prayed and I've never stopped.  I've since discovered that although I thought for a time I was meant to return to Arkansas permanently, I'm not.  California is my home and it's where I'll stay for now, but oh what a journey of discovery with God it has been along the way.  There have been ups, downs, turnarounds, and roundabouts where I made both progress and mistakes, lane changes, and even missed some streets.  I have prayed, cried, and sought the Lord perhaps more fervently than ever before, and as always, He has been faithful to provide resolution, peace, and comfort.  Though I don't have all the answers, I have more of Him than I've had in the past, because with each new experience we go through with God, we grow.  Or, at least we should, but this growth often involves difficult choices.  What choices are you faced with today, and will you choose God?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Go Back

Not long ago, I felt God telling me to "go back" and as I considered to where, specifically, it was He wanted me to go back, I came up with several possibilities.  First, I considered that He wanted me to go back to Arkansas where I was raised and just spend time with my parents. "God, I'll need a few plane tickets for the fam and time off work if you'd like for me to return to my roots," I told Him in playful prayer, excited over the possibility of seeing my family again.  Well, after some more thought (and no plane tickets or time off) I decided that perhaps He wanted me to go back to the church where I was led to the Cross, which was a small Baptist church in Cave City, Arkansas - First Missionary Baptist Church I believe it was called.  It turned out that wasn't what He had in mind either, so finally, it dawned on me that my actual walk, a genuine and reciprocal walk, with Him began in Bakersfield, California. Fortunately, that was a much more doable trip to coordinate since we're only a few hours south of there.  So, we got packed and headed north, and it was there that God spoke life and hope into a future I had been beginning to question.  All I had to do was go back.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Now I See
After two days without a shower and very little food, I finally came up for air from the ocean of production I dived into at the onset of the weekend.  I didn't even realize where the time had gone, nor did I care.  I was in the zone.  I was a powerhouse of God's Spirit and wisdom as I pulled pieces of my life's puzzle together after weeks of prayer, fasting, and circle making (Read Mark Batterson's The Circle Maker).  Resembling a mad scientist with wild hair and crazy eyes, my life's potion was almost complete, and not even the interruptions of spouse and child could make me stop mixing as God poured the long sought after components in.  Fortunately, I became aware of the time elapsed since I first sat down, so the thought of blood clots forming in my legs (does anyone else think like this or is it just me?) ushered me up for a brisk walk with the family. With each step I felt the surge of passion rise within me as I shared my progress with my husband. God's light was ablaze within my body, spirit, mind, and soul, and I didn't ever want the feeling to end.  The spiritual highs you experience walking with God are indescribably sweet and far more euphoric than any drug induced state, so if you've never met Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but would like to, feel free to contact me through email or messaging and I'll respond as quickly as I can. In the meantime, I wonder what gets you excited and going each day.  Do you know why you're here and what you're meant to accomplish, or are you stuck without any clear vision of where it is you're meant to go and what it is you're meant to do?  Are you in a job you hate?  A rut along a foggy path?  A time of despair with no signs of hope?  What do you see when you open the windows into your future, and is what you see what God sees?  I assure you, He has an amazing plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) so if you haven't discovered it yet, keep looking.  For me, I've known for a long time that God's call on my life involved ministry, counseling, and writing, but how they all three tied together was unclear until recently. Finally, however, through the blood, sweat, and tears of days passed, God brought my vision into focus and where I was once blind, now I see (John 9:25). 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Selfless Ambition

I was utterly helpless to stop the tears from falling once they started, and even though I could feel God telling me to forgive myself as He already had, I just couldn't. I was too overwhelmed by the truth of my selfishness and pride as they lay bare and ugly before me.  How could I have been so unknowlingly self-seeking and destructive?  Worse, how could I have been so prideful about a selflessness that simply didn't exist? These were the questions I asked myself one night some time ago after days of praying for God to reveal me to ...well, me.  "God, if there's anything in my heart that grieves You or for which I need to repent, please show me," is essentially what I asked, and although I already knew to be prepared for what He might reveal, I wasn't prepared at all.  As it turns out, I had been pridefully thinking more highly of myself than I ought in a certain circumstance, and in another I had completely sacrificed the well-being of another for my own misplaced selfish gain.  I was so disappointed in myself in that painful moment of clarity, and hearing God tell me I was forgiven only seemed to make me feel worse.  I continued to softly cry, and although I finally mustered the courage to ask God to help me forgive myself, I was determined not to ever fall into those pits again.  Instead, I decided to live the rest of my life with selfless ambition. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Not too long ago I started working at a financial planning and investments company, and as an employee working in the wealth management industry, I was required to go through a somewhat extensive background search.  I was fingerprinted, credit checked, and intimately examined, at least from a "who are you, who have you been, and who will you become," perspective.  What followed was an interrogation, passed judgment, and a verdict of unacceptable by the brokerage firm through whom my boss does her clearing, and when I was asked to provide detailed information for each credit report ding, I felt embarrassed, rejected, and absolutely naked.  To make it worse, my new boss, whom I'd barely known 24 hours, was unable to conceal her utter shock and horror at what she saw through the doors of my past.  There was absolutely nothing in my personal life, neither past nor present, that was hidden from her and I was absolutely humiliated when the worst parts of my history resurfaced.  "God, what are You doing? What is it I'm meant to learn?  Why am I here!?" I asked through choked sobs after my boss not so tactfully informed me she'd never seen anything so bad.  For my first two days on the job I did little more than cry, clean my face, and then cry some more.  I went home feeling numb, confused, and completely exposed, but it was through that raw and painful exposure that I learned a new level of trusting God to work everything out for my good (Romans 8:28).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Whole Heart

I recently returned home from a mission trip to Door of Faith Orphanage in Mexico, and it was in the weeks leading up to my departure that I truly worked through giving God my whole heart for the first time. Though prior to this trip I believed I had given Him my heart in its entirety, I have since discovered that the piece of it held by my seven year old son was still under lock and key and not even God had been invited in. For all my confessions of a heart fully surrendered to the Lord, it turns out I had surrendered only the part that involved me as a stand alone woman. I stood at the foot of the cross entirely alone with my son held back from God by my own arm. I dared not surrender his life and well being into God's hands, but instead kept him tucked away into the facade of my own personal control in this life. God has now shown me, however, that I've never been less in control of not only my own life, but also that of my son's and every other loved one to whom I'm emotionally connected. I can no more control the future of my child than I can the stars of the universe and to think otherwise is not only grossly self-deceptive, but also extremely foolish and prideful. How dare I assume the position of God Almighty as my son's ultimate protector, and yet I've done it determinedly and faithfully every day for as long as I can recall. Bear in mind that I'm not dismissing my authority as his parental protector; I'm referring specifically to the protection that can come only from above, and it wasn't until my departure for another country that I fully surrendered authority and control and gave the Lord my whole heart - I gave Him my son.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Place

As my husband roared with laughter, I turned to look at him in genuine shock. "What? Why are you laughing?" I asked in puzzlement.  "You just said you needed a weekend retreat! Why do you think you need a weekend retreat?" he asked, still laughing.  "Well, because I do," I replied back matter-of-factly as I dramatically threw myself down on the bed.  With my face buried in pillows, I tried to explain in the most theatrical tone I could muster. "I'm confused," I whined, voice muffled by the pillows cradling my face.  "About what!?" he asked as he unsuccessfully tried to contain his laughter. "Stop laughing. I really need to have a weekend retreat out in nature where I can just pray and ponder and figure everything out" I said. "What do you need to figure out!?" he asked in bewilderment as he leaned down to patronizingly caress my hairOrdinarily I would have slapped his hand away and told him to stop the condescension, but I was so entrenched in my own pity party, I couldn't even find the strength to make him stop. "Everything!" I cried as I threw my arms out in exasperation, knocking pillows off the bed in the process.  "God is just not making things clear enough," I said, and to which Sam replied, "isn't He though?"  "Ooohh....clever response," I thought to myself, and although I was tempted to give his answer consideration, I decided instead to continue building my case.  "No, Sam, He's not. If He would just come right down here and tell me what to do, I would do it, but He keeps changing things up on me and throwing weird things like my current job into the mix.  Moreover, I'm not making money doing what I love and what I know He has called me to do, so how can I put my entire self into the ministry when 45 hours a week I'm working somewhere else! It just doesn't make sense and God just isn't giving me direction!" and with that I exited my own stage and waited expectantly on him to agree...or applaud...or request an encore.  He didn't.  Instead, he said what my heart already knew - "until you embrace where you are and learn to love it and work at it as God would have you do then you're never going to find your place because it will always be the next better thing around the corner.  Your place is right here, right now."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just Get It

Have you ever worked so hard at doing something to glorify God that you wound up working overtime on glorifying yourself rather than Him? An often completely unintentional "oops," but one that happens all too frequently among believers who wish to lead others into a heart relationship with God. Sometimes we get so busy being "glorifying" to God that we lose sight of what truly glorifies Him the most - letting Him lead.  In trying to stand firm in our faith and devoted to our Lord, we accidentally get caught up in "my way" rather than God's way, and the results are rarely the glorifying outcome we started out trying to produce.  I've come to realize something in recent months and it's that you can't bring glory to God for another person. That's the other person's job, yet so often we try to multi-manage lives and wind up living everyone else's life but our own.  It's absolutely exhausting, but it doesn't have to be if we'll just stay focused on living our own path, bringing glory to God through our own life, and staying true to our own convictions while accepting that everyone's convictions are not always our own.  It sounds easy enough, but it's more difficult than it sounds when you're madly in love with Christ and want the whole world to feel what you feel. Instead, when you find yourself wanting to show God to another person, your zeal might really only wind up showing off you rather than showing God.  In our quest to "help" people "get" God the way we do in our own hearts, we wind up preventing them from "getting" anything at all, and in the process we accidentally put ourselves in the role only God can fill.  You can't cause another person to "just get it" as you do; they have to get it on their own and on the timetable set between them and God, so just get this - trying to force someone to "get" God the way you do usually results only in repelling them away from the very God you're trying to cause them to get.   

Friday, February 24, 2012

Until I Didn't

As I threw his lunch in the trash and stormed out of the room in anger, my eyes began to well with tears.  I just wanted them both to leave so I could open the gates for the flood that was bursting at my ducts.  In the time span of 24 hours I had been dealt an emotionally crushing blow in my personal life that left me far less together than what I wanted.  This was not the time for wise cracks, jokes, and ungratefulness.  Sam looked at me in surprise and with a confused half grin on his face as if to determine whether or not I was really angry, and, perhaps whether or not I really just threw the lunch I made for him in the trash.  Though I wasn't completely sure why, I really was angry. "Ungrateful, unappreciative family," I thought resentfully to myself as I reflected over the last half hour of our morning together.  I was up at 4:30 to spend time with God and what a glorious feeling I had when I closed my Bible.  "God, no matter what happened to me yesterday, today is going to be a great day!" I affirmed with my Lord and  Savior, but it was less than two hours into the day after that when I exploded in an angry torrent over an unappreciated ham sandwich and baggy of peanuts. What had my day come to now?  It started with loud complaints from my seven year old over the scrambled egg breakfast I began to prepare.  "Mama, I don't want eggs," Ashton declared in an intolerantly whiny voice.  "Well, it's what I'm making, Ashton," I firmly replied, and at that moment Sam walked in with a request for oatmeal rather than eggs.  Simultaneous to this was Ashton asking me to get his school clothes for the day, to which I responded by telling him I was busy with breakfast and "you'll have to get them yourself this morning."  "But, mama..." the whining recommenced.  Meanwhile, Sam stood leaning against the chair talking instead of helping as I grew frustrated over having to prepare two different breakfasts, two packed lunches, and a weather appropriate outfit for my son - all at the same time and against the moving clock. I simply couldn't listen to anymore complaining as my already fragile emotional state threatened to crack.  I just wanted to hear something, anything, from one of them that would ease my building tension, but when it never came I grew angry, resentful, and mean - until I didn't. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Let Your Light Shine

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It seems lately that God is leading me through muddy waters of humility and murky clouds of submission, but while I used to find such stops in life repugnant and frightening, I now feel a calm peace because I see through my lenses of eternity rather than my physical eyes that see only into the world.  Having said that, however, I, like anyone else, still have to wade through the mud and squint through the fog before I can reach my place of inner peace and trust.  This past week, for example, I was near melting down as I surveyed prospective living accommodations in Long Beach.  As soon as I pulled up to my stop and looked around I was ready to back out and head home, but I decided instead to stop a woman walking with her dog and ask for information. After inquiring about the neighborhood's general safety and activity, she let me know that I would need to keep my things locked up, because "we do have some break-ins," and that I didn't have to worry too much about the local drug dealers because "they pretty much keep to themselves."  Though she also reassured me that she had no qualms about taking her pooch out for a 1 a.m. potty, I simply couldn't move my thoughts past the peaceful drug dealers and not so uncommon break-ins - so I began to pray.  I told God I would live wherever He told me to live, but that He would need to give me an extra measure of trust in His protection because in that moment I was questioning His methods.  It was shortly after this and much more prayer when I realized that the light He has called me to be in the world will not shine brightly in an already lit room; it will shine the brightest in the room where the lights are off.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time Well Spent

I was talking with a friend the other day about the commodity of time, and as I listened to her present its value to me from an eternal perspective, I became increasingly aware of how I spend my own time.  Since then I have been joyfully driving my husband crazy by letting him know that "I'm spent" (my newly adopted favorite phrase) when I have to spend too much of my time explaining something to him that I feel he should already have gotten.  My newly found appreciation for the time allotted to me each day has been the object of considerable amounts of teasing and playful eye rolling on his part, but I'm not dejected; instead I am inspired and encouraged to take fresh inventory of how I spend each of my days.  Though we all know that yesterday can never be retrieved or repeated or redone, we don't often spend time thinking about actual time as it is handed to us by God. But I think we should.  We take great note of the hundred dollar bill we spend at the grocery store or the donation we make to our church, but we fail to notice the five minutes we spend berating someone we love when they let us down or leave us disappointed.  The difference is - we can earn that hundred dollars back and receive double for what we gave to our church, but we'll never get back those five minutes.  How did you spend your last five minutes as you happened across this blog entry?  Was it time well spent?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Falling Sky

Several months ago I sat in church one Sunday morning and listened to our church's mission team coordinator talk about her trip to Medellin and Bogota in Colombia just weeks before. She talked about many things, both good and bad, but of them all I can only recall the story of heroin addiction and other abuse among children as young as six years old. As she talked my eyes filled with tears and I could see nothing in my mind except my own six year old son, accompanied by the image of a grown man or woman injecting a narcotic filled needle into his precious arm. I quietly began to sob as I sat in my chair and listened to her speak. I wanted to go get my son out of the childcare room and wrap him in my arms, but I wasn't able to move from my seat yet. Little did I know at the time, God was keeping me there to hear every word for a purpose. I kept listening, and as I did I saw more clearly than ever my son's face, but I didn't see it as it is everyday. I saw it as one of the children's faces over in Colombia that was being described from the front of the church. In my mind, he was bruised, battered, addicted, and recruited into a life of crime as a child soldier. He had a bomb strapped to his chest and was sent to be killed as the bomb he wore killed those around him. With just the right amount of heroin flowing through his veins, he did as his recruiters instructed and without arguing. Moments after following orders, his life exploded. This was the horrific image I saw as I listened to our mission team coordinator describe this lifestyle for kids my own son's age, and this is when my heart shattered and my sky fell.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"I Am Who I Am"

 You know that feeling you get when you're so overwhelmed you start crying but in the midst of it you're able to burst into laughter? I had such a moment earlier this afternoon when I set out to accomplish the tasks before me.  I'm in completely new territory with the ministry God has called me into, and as I rise to meet the challenges it often presents, it's not unusual for me to start feeling overwhelmed and burst into tears.  However, in the midst of my mini drama tear shedding scene this afternoon, God pointed out the utter absurdity of my whining and complaining.  It was as if He opened a door into the spirit realm of my life over the last 10 years and I saw how completely precious and God ordained it is that I'm here where I am given where I've been.  In an instant my newbie angst over the daily grind of ministry work was washed into a deep and hearty ocean of laughter mixed with fresh tear drops of joy and gratitude.  I playfully envisioned what it must be like for God to work with me on a daily basis (exasperated slaps to the forehead, eye rolling, shaking of the head from side to side, etc), especially during my more intensive growth seasons, and I imagine at times it gets hysterical.  He is so patient with me, and it's during times like now, when my faith and ministerial abilities are being stretched further than ever before, that I am literally brought to my face in praise and worship.  What an indescribably amazing God we serve, and it was during work today when I was tasked with finding an actual picture of "GOD"  that I really offered deep reflection to the mystery of our Lord and Savior.  "God, what are you?" I whispered softly as I tried to envision what I will actually see on that day when He and I stand Face to face.   As I scanned the pictures that Google offered after typing in "pictures of God" I sat in awe over this amazing God, Who, when asked to identify Himself by Moses, replied with "I Am Who I Am."(Exodus 3:14)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Year of the Bird

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So with the commencement of a new year, I have been feeling like I should somehow be writing something new and fresh and hip, but the more I pushed to come up with something, I became increasingly aware of the fact that I'm just not "hip" anymore.  It seems my once swag m.o. has given way to that of humble sensibility. God help us all, it seems I'm growing up. Grown up or not, however, I've tried more than once to start an entry since January 1, but until a few days ago when I decided that this was going to be my "year of the bird" I had nothing, nada, zip, zilch.  It all changed though when I recently went out on a walk with my son.  From the minute I opened the door to the time we returned home, I heard birds singing at unprecedented volumes. It was perhaps one of the most delightful walks I've ever taken.  The community mowers were just finishing up so the air contained the sweetest smell of freshly cut grass, and combined with the most natural music of various birds in the nearby trees, I could do nothing but smile as I walked with a newly found skip in my step. It was one of those moments when you can actually taste and see that God is good because I could actually taste the goodness of what I smelled and smell the beauty of what I saw. It was absolutely remarkable.

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." - Psalm 34:8