Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Heart to Heart

Like most little girls, I grew up amidst the magical delights of princesses, princes, glass coaches, and dreams of happily ever after! Plus, I had the additional joy of having parents who encouraged me to believe ANYTHING was possible! Plus, PLUS, it is strongly written in my genetic code to imagine HUGE, dream BIG, and not to settle for anything less than the biggest bam EVER!

I was an adult before I realized that I could want something that actually could be a really stupid thing to want. I lived by the seat of my pants! I had always let the wind take me where it would. If I felt it, I went for it! And that phrase, "follow your heart"? Wow. Turns out that is not the smartest advice.

Here's why.

The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9

What?! I thought we were SUPPOSED to follow our heart! The oldest and wisest women in all movies and books say to follow your heart. They mean, if your insides are telling you to go for it, then you should!

But Jeremiah wasn't the only prophet to say otherwise...

Heeeere's Solomon!
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Proverbs 28:26

And heeeere's Moses!
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.
Genesis 6:5

And (drum roll please) straight from the Master himself, Jesus Christ!
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Matthew 15:19

This realization changed EVERYTHING for me! To the extreme! Surprise, surprise, that I would do anything "extreme," right? Lol! I had such a powerful "overtaking" of my own heart's deceit, I actually stopped praying some very specific prayers in case I was "praying amiss!" I have absolute faith that when I present needs, requests, or desires to God that he WILL answer me! I have prayed for multiple people to be healed of cancer, and BAM! They were instantly cured! I have prayed for money and have gotten it! I have prayed for homes to be made available to people and within hours it has happened. It is not that I am anything special. I simply, LITERALLY, believe that God set prayer up FOR THE PURPOSE OF HIM DOING IT! He said, "You have not because you ask not." So I believe that when I ask, I get it!

How can you pray for God to heal someone when you might be praying that way out of selfishness? How can you pray that so-and-so gets a specific job when you may be asking for something that could ultimately hurt a lot of people? How can you pray that God would give you a specific house, or car, or ANYTHING when it could be your deceitful heart telling you only the good of it?!

I did not know how to pray about people who had hurt me, turned their back on me, or spoken ill of me. Part of me wanted to ask God to bring them back to me while part of me wanted to tell God to strike them dead where they stood!

There is example after example of God doing what people asked of him even though it was not best for them. There are examples of God honoring prayers of destruction and prayers of exaltation. And I do mean that when people prayed, God would destroy someone by striking them down, or exalt them by elevating their status; He did just that!

When a person believes in the power of prayer as I do, AND you realize your heart can deceive you... Whew! I was in a jam!

I spent weeks and weeks in frustration. Literally crying without uttering a word because I didn't know what was the right thing to pray for.

Then, as my wonderful savior ALWAYS does, he started speaking HIS thoughts into my spirit. And, also as he always does, he was using his eternal, written word to do so.

Jesus reminded me that even though it’s true that my heart or "feelings" can deceive me, he is stronger, mightier, and more powerful than my deceptive heart! (1 John 3:20) As sure as a person could have a deceptive heart, they can also have an UPRIGHT heart! (Psalms 7:10) It's a simple matter of ASKING FOR an acceptable heart! (Psalms 19:14) It is as simple as praying that God would CREATE a clean heart! (Psalms 51:10) God is no stranger to creation! He is not caught off guard when we show up saying, "Jesus, take this stony heart out of me and give me a tender heart." It is his good pleasure to write HIS desires on your heart so that we will not have to struggle with our deceitful desires. (Ezekiel 36:26)

The heart truly IS deceitful. And the question Jeremiah asked in 17:9, "Who can know it?" was answered that day as I sat in God's presence. I could feel his smile, as a father smiles on his child. He said to my spirit, "I'm the one who knows it. I'm the one who KNOWS your heart." (Psalms 44:21)

As God calmed my fears, and comforted my troubled soul, I began to pray, "Lord, I'm going to ask for some specific things, but I'm not positive I'm asking for the exact RIGHT things. So you know my heart. You know that what I REALLY want, more than anything, is for YOUR PERFECT WILL TO BE DONE."

I'm sure there are very few wack-jobs in this world as crazy and literal as I am. Which means that you will likely not go through this same hoopla over something so simple. But you should be aware and remember that your heart (feelings, emotions, cravings) actually CAN be deceitful and draw you into wanting things that in reality you do not want. It's a deception.

But also be aware that a continual surrender to God's plan and his written word will shine a light on your heart and dispel all the shadows of deception.

Perhaps I'll blog about how to pray effectively later. But for now I will at least say that I think it is a very good habit to pray prayers of surrender and repentance BEFORE you lay out your list of requests.

What a great God to love us so much.

Denée Richardson, Le Muser

~Thanks to Lisa Velie for editing.

Psalms 7:10 (KJV)
My defence [is] of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

Psalms 10:17 (KJV)
LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

Psalms 19:14 (KJV)
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalms 37:4 (KJV)
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalms 37:31 (KJV)
The law of his God [is] in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

Psalms 44:21 (KJV)
Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Psalms 51:10 (KJV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Ezekiel 36:26 (KJV)
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
1 John 3:20

The Glory of Enduring

I used to have to think of really sad things in order to shed a tear. I grew up in a very demonstrative, emotional, Pentecostal church. In the altar all the people around me would be weeping, and regardless of the sermon topic, my eyes would be as dry as an old mailbox post! My best tear-jerker as an eight or nine year old was to remember my beloved dog, Suzy, who'd been hit by a car. A simple conjuring up of the day my parents told me she'd been killed and I could squeeze out a few water-works.

But then LIFE happened. An uppercut to the breadbasket, multiple slaps to other cheeks! Add to that a couple stabs in the back region, and good gracious! Now I've had to come up with some clever means to get the flow to cease!

Until this point in my life I did not understand the concept of "endure." I'm not sure I can describe my initial idea of what it meant to endure. Perhaps I thought it was for losers. As if the only people who had enduring to do were ones that had made some really dumb decisions repetitively and now were a public scourge. I honestly am not sure what I thought it meant to endure.

But, honey, I can SURE ENOUGH tell you what it is like now! And CLEARLY it's not limited to losers, because, uh, I am not a loser!

[In my best "preacher voice"]
I shall take my text from, because nobody can say it better than a legit, acclaimed, accredited dictionary.

It's A Verb
The first thing to comprehend is that "endure" is not a sissy, whipped-pup, loser status. Endure is a verb. A verb means ACTION. If you are in a state of endurance you are working your head off!! You are not still or finished! If you are enduring you are engaged in high action!

To Continue To Exist
The next thing to know about enduring is that it means YOU EXIST, and everybody, be they friend, family, spirit, or foe, knows it! Sometimes when you are enduring, you feel alone. You may feel forgotten about. But I can promise you, the fact that you are enduring means you exist! And there may be enemies who wish you would give in, but you will NOT give in because you EXIST, and you exist because you are enduring!

Suffer Without Yielding
Another thing I have learned about enduring is that you do indeed suffer. But you suffer WITHOUT YIELDING! The most adverse and darkest forces can come against you. You may cry, you may hurt, but you will NOT YIELD! A fetal position may be your prayer posture, but you will not yield! You are enduring!

Make Lasting
The reason endurance is so important is because it kills two birds with one stone. It ensures that the right outcome is fulfilled, and it MAKES YOU LASTING! It hardens you. Not in the sense that you become a jerk to the world because you don't care what anybody thinks about you. But it makes you TOUGH! It makes you STRONGER!

Lasting, Recognized Worth
In the midst of the "enduring" process there is absolutely NOTHING that seems worth the blood, sweat, and tears of endurance. But you endure anyway! And the natural result, without you seeking for it, without you demanding it, is that you will have a higher valued life. People who may not even know the story of all you endured will be able to recognize that you made it. The ground that you conquer in the midst of your endurance will ALWAYS be yours! Anything, everything, and anyone of high value endured.

Truth endures. Truth has been rejected and persecuted time and time again, but it endures and its endurance has given it so much power it can set the hardest heart free!

A soldier endures. Soldiers endure separation from family, harsh living conditions, even the risk of death. But they endure and millions of people are free because they carried out the verb!

Oysters endure the irritation of a grain of sand, forcing it into a constant effort of endurance, and a pearl is the result.

And finally, Christ endured. He ENDURED the cross. There is NOTHING to indicate that he enjoyed a single second from the pre-crucifixion beating to hanging nude on a cross. He carried out the action of the word; he endured the cross and despised the shame. And because he endured we have access to freedom from the slavery of sin and death!

So, you may FEEL like a loser when you are forced to endure some things, or when you look around you and nobody seems to understand. When you are in the midst of endurance even the most well-meaning people can seem to add the heaviest weight to our endurance. But the greatest prophets, the holiest men and women in scripture, the most brave, incredible, people ENDURED. And if they would have given up when their friends or families deserted them we wouldn't have the treasures of their testimonies with us today.

YOU can do this! Do not give up!! Hold to God's unchanging hand!! Say like Job, "Though he slay me I will trust him." God has NEVER left anyone unrewarded for enduring all the way through to victory. Because you are still enduring does not mean you are in sin, or a loser, or unloved by God. It means one thing; you are enduring. I don't mean to be cruel here, but, so what?! Lots of us have and are! Cowboy up and finish this out! You are a treasure in the making!

Having done all to stand... STAND!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sit, Eat, & Talk [Part 2]

Sit, Eat, and Talk [Part 2]
This is part 2 of a 2 part series.

I am not going to belabor this point simply because this is the ONE point that most everyone agrees on. We need to eat more healthful foods to be healthier. HOW healthy you need to eat is where opinions get loud. Also, we get loud about WHAT is healthy. It is a heavily touted topic in the media. It is literally obsessed over, and stands are made that can make us feel like losers or idiots regardless of how disciplined we may have become in our eating habits.

My personal soapbox is "moderation." I eat mostly fresh, whole, raw foods. But I also eat bread, butter, pizza, burgers, etc. It is my personal habit that if I eat at, say McDonald's, I order a plain hamburger, small kids-sized fry, and a small diet coke, no ice. I throw one of the slices of the bun out and find myself more than satisfied. I do not do this daily. But I will eat this way a couple times in a month without fear or guilt.

I think a good place to start learning about better nutritional choices is with a program called Eat This Not That. (@eatthisnotthat on Twitter) I also value Weight Watchers as an excellent education program. For me, I did a lot of growing and morphing in my foodie education as I lost over 60 pounds in the course of 3 years. Some people might need to lose 60 pounds in a few months. It is not the healthiest way, but set your goals and go for it. Whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP!!

Okay. In part one I said we would bring up the couch again, so here it is. Meals eaten on a couch with or without the family present is not how food is supposed to be eaten. It fosters laziness and depression simultaneously, and does not allow your brain or digestive tract to do their jobs. I grew up with eating a meal involving family conversation. At breakfast it may have only been me eating while my mom bustled around the kitchen, but we were talking. Lunch, of course, was at school, and I LOVED that time of day with my friends! Dinner included every member of our family around the table. No exceptions. BOTH parents and all three children. Through our teens this remained mandatory. As autonomous adults we are STILL called to my mother's table once a week, and the wrath is great enough that if we MUST miss, we sit through our business meetings with that familiar knot in our stomach that we acquired as sixteen year olds, knowing the present pleasure will NOT be worth the soon to ensue wrath.

Sitting down to eat together was moved to the top of my priorities list as this past summer ended in my own household. My children and I did not sit together for a meal nearly as often as was needed. I don't always enjoy every meal since we have been living out my dreams of familial meals, but nothing is easy at first. My kids were not used to deferring to the other sibling in conversations. If they are tense, I'm tense. But after nearly three months we are getting better at it, and we are all enjoying it a little more each time. It is my earnest hope that by the time they are in college I will have mastered whatever that "look" is that my mother gives if we so much as insinuate we might not make a meal. I can already tell I am going to need that "look."

Again, as with sitting versus lying or slouching, your brain gets bossy to all your bodily functions when you eat your meal in an upright position, WITH other people, as you talk to each other.

Additionally, our moods are affected by brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Among the more important ones are serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, melatonin, insulin, and prostaglandins. The first one that should pop out at you is insulin. Over 25,000,000 Americans have diabetes. That is 8.3% of our population! Our moods are GREATLY affected by insulin. Besides what you put in your mouth, you can help balance insulin levels by involving yourself in healthy communication! Serotonin is another one that you should be aware of your ability to contribute to its production. It helps give you a sense of control. It is also related to memory, sexual function, social behaviors, and the ability to learn. And GUESS where this important neurotransmitter MUST have ease of freedom to do its job in your body... IN YOUR DIGESTIVE TRACT!! Ninety percent of it is synthesized there, and this feel-good chemical's release is connected to healthy communication.

The command station of your brain works best in a social environment. These amazing chemicals mentioned help ward off depression. These neurotransmitters are triggered by being with people and talking, sharing, listening, and loving. People who are married live longer than single people. People who are members of churches, synagogues and clubs also live longer, healthier lives. People who beat cancer tend to have strong social ties. Talking with people while you eat a meal makes your brain a very happy manager indeed!

Sit, Eat, and Talk
When you sit at a table for a healthful meal with people and talk during the meal, your brain sends out an ARMY of workers! It is amazing!
Your eyes say, "Look at that food!"
Your nose says, "Smells delish!"
Your brain says, "CLEARLY our human is about to eat because they are sitting upright." And then he bellows down to your midsection, "Open up the chemical supply! We've got to break this food down into fuel for all of us!"
Then you start talking and listening, and your brain exclaims, "Good gracious! Dopamine! Get yourself and all those touchy-feely buddies of yours out here!"

It does not take very long for you to go through these motions and create these habits. Sitting to eat healthful, portioned foods, while talking with people, will start helping your body feel better for you!

When your body feels better, your dreams feel attainable! When your body feels better, your spouse looks more attractive! When your body feels better, you have more self confidence!

What an amazing body God created for us to inhabit!

Le Muser; Denée Richardson

~Thanks to Lisa Velie for editing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sit, Eat, & Talk [Part 1]

I have loved every portion and stage of parenting. My two M&M's (Morgan & Madison) are teens now, and I STILL love it! Being engaged is the key. And though I have a strong urge to blog about how to enjoy parenting, I'll stay on task. [Muttered repetitively: I WILL stay on task. I WILL stay on task.]

When M&M were 3 years old, and four, and five, and six... Okay. Every month of their existence as children, it seemed, they would be asked, "What do we do in a restaurant?" And they would reply with the answer I had taught them which was, "Sit, eat, and talk." At the park they would take a bite or two of food, dash off to a slide and come back for another bite, before running to explore more of the park's wonders. At home we were accustomed to eating for a few minutes, and then the kids would end up on the floor coloring, come back up to the table for a bite or two, then run to bring a toy back to the table. While this description brings me back to wanting to talk about parenting, "I WILL stay on task!"

Of course when we would go to a restaurant the kids assumed we had the same routine of taking a bite, playing on the floor, and racing around the table, but this behavior brought angry stares from fellow diners who had come out to enjoy a peaceful, adult environment. So, we started reminding them of the proper behavior at the table, most particularly at a restaurant, and eventually at all tables. All you are supposed to do at meal time is sit, eat, and talk. Even now, you and I as adults need to make sure this is our meal time habit.

Sitting should most definitely be our posture for eating most, if not all, of our meals. We should not eat lying down in a bed, or shove food in our mouths while behind the wheel of a car. A light stroll is easier on your digestion system, but it still limits its full potential. And the couch cannot be considered the proper "sitting" position for a meal either. We'll bring that up again later.

Our body is a learning machine and the brain of the entire operation is... well, the brain! Research has shown that people who are blind and cannot see their food are less likely to be obese. People who do not possess a sense of smell also tend to have leaner bodies. And just as our sense of smell and sight tells our brain whether or not our tongue is going to enjoy the taste of a food, so our brain tells our digestive system how much acids and enzymes to produce based on the position of your body. If your body is lying down, your brain gets all bossy with your hydrochloric acid and pepcide. They start trying to do their job and Brain asks, "What are you doing?" When Hydro and Pep try to explain that Saliva said food was forthcoming, your brain gets on the PA system and sends out the announcement, "This human is trying to sleep! Am I the only brain around here?! Can't you see he's lying down?! DUH! All you acids and gastric juices need to go to bed as well!" (The brain is quite sarcastic.)

With that, your food goes undigested, and your body gets "heartburn" because your entire digestive system is confused by your behavior. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a huge problem that is directly related to not only not consuming good fuels for your body to break down, but also to not relaxing in a seated position while eating.

Please continue to Part 2 of this 2 part series.

Le Muser; Denée Richardson

~Thanks to Lisa Velie for editing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lift Up Your Eyes

Lisa's Edit

Psalms 121:1 (KJV)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I am emotionally driven. I am not sure if this is a prominently "feminine" trait, or perhaps it could be an "artistic" trait. As I happen to be a female artist, I have BOTH reasons coursing into my "excuse" pipeline. I get in a situation, and it's like a canvas has been wrapped around my head and fastened tightly by twine about my neck, as if I'm a scarecrow! All I can see, smell, hear, and taste is THAT moment, THAT emotion. It is quite an overwhelming and consuming feeling! However, I have been alive long enough to experience the power of peace and common sense that comes to loosen the twine of flesh binding that canvas to my senses. And as knowledge lifts that canvas off my head, low and behold, there is an amazing, breathtaking, masterpiece on that canvas! And my blood, snot, sweat, and tears have contributed to the beauty of that art! But there is no way for me to see it unless I invite peace and knowledge to free me.

Whether we are male or female, artsy or logical, we ALL have been guilty of not being able to see the big picture. And God GREATLY dislikes when we do this. God depends on our trusting him. He will forgive us when we don't. (Thank goodness! Because I would be a hopeless case without his mercy in this area!) But when humanity absolutely and stubbornly refuses to relax and chill in the middle of a crisis, God can't fulfill his will. When we decide to function as if everything is proper and normal., and all the while we cannot see, hear or do anything right because we are consumed by "the moment" we can greatly damage ourselves. We have each been guilty of this behavior. People who live life consumed by "the moment" boldly plow destructively through life, ticked at "all of them" for not seeing things how we see it! All along our head is enveloped by emotions of "the moment," like a hostage held captive by a terrorist!

It is an act of the will to bring your life to a screeching halt, to apologize to everyone you may have hurt in your sincere, yet carnal efforts to remedy a crisis, and just start over. It is a PAINFUL act! It is an action of humility and crucifixion! But it is the best way to get yourself free from the terror holding you hostage.

You have to answer this question: Do I believe God is in control?

If you do not believe this then the darkness and confusion plaguing your life will sadly continue dogging you to your grave. If, however, you DO believe God is in control, then there is hope of a bright, present future! (2 Peter 1:2-4)

Because, if you believe God is in control then you have taken all human power out of the equation. Your boss no longer has power in your life, your ex no longer has power, your abuser no longer has power. Suddenly there is no reason to be angry at people. There is no reason to need so-and-so to do anything in particular for you to be happy. It is all about God working all things out for your good! And he WILL, because he loves you! (Romans 8:28)

One of the results of believing God is in control is that you will begin to seek HIS favor. Seeking his favor will put you in a position to be used as a tool by him. And there is NOTHING more fulfilling than being used of God to fulfill his purpose in the earth! (2 Peter 1:9)

God can and will move any and all people in or out of your life as he sees fit. The canvas makes us hope for people to be or to do something particular in our lives based on the suffocation of the canvas. What we should be doing is resting in the confidence that God loves us and is looking out for our good. Whether ANY of the people in your situation are right or wrong MUST be irrelevant. Only in this action and choice is the canvas released.

God can work out an AMAZING plan that you are guaranteed to love, but only if you will stop obsessing over the people and circumstances in this moment, and focus instead on God's ability to unfold something amazing. (Ephesians 3:20)

Think, if you will, about the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness, coming to the Promise Land. Do you think Moses, Joshua, or Caleb had life any better than the rest of them? Absolutely not! They had the same food, same heat, same sand, same EVERYTHING! The difference in these men and the rest of the people was their behavior which was BASED ON THEIR FOCUS. They were ALL lacking their favorite fruits and vegetables. They were ALL chased by Pharaoh's army. But Moses, Joshua, and Caleb chose to focus on the prize at the end of the journey rather than to focus on the journey. Moses was not able to enjoy the victory of the Promise Land because in a moment of "canvas suffocation" he lashed out. He took his eyes off the prize and acted in a moment of passion. God takes "canvas decisions" seriously. In his incomprehensible grace he will forgive us and help us move forward, but he will allow us to pay the price for them. (Numbers 20:7-12)

It does not matter how much I dislike "this wilderness." I can choose to focus on the wildness, and murmur and complain, or I can focus on God's big picture plan, WHICH IS THE PROMISED LAND!

God does not ask anything of me that he did not do himself. It is a God-nature to focus on the prize, NOT the journey to the prize. That is why he was shocked at the people's complaining in the desert. These humans were created in HIS image. They could have lifted up their eyes from the desert sands and focused on the prize. But they didn't. These people spent their emotions and energies on the lack if quail, lack of fruit, the harshness of the desert, the size of the people, etc. God did not know what to do with people who focused more on the difficulties than the prize.

God demonstrated the possibilities of releasing ourselves of the canvas when he himself, God robed in flesh, endured the cross "...for the prize set before him." It is his nature to live by trusting the big picture rather than the emotion of the moment. It is why he preserved Joshua and Caleb and let the others die. They lived out HIS nature. They did not say they loved the desert. We do not find scripture depicting Joshua and Caleb acting as if the wilderness was not a hard place to function in. But they stayed focused on the promised prize.

Do you know that Jesus did not embrace the cross? Jesus did not one time express joy in the crucifixion. Before he was arrested he begged in intense prayer that "the cup would pass." And once the arrest and crucifixion process began, Jesus DESPISED the shame. He endured what he had to and he despised every ticking minute of it. Faith does not say, "I love being on the cross!" Faith says, "this cross isn't the end of the story!" (Matthew 26:39, Hebrew 12:2, Romans 6:4)

So, yes. I despise the cross... I loathe the desert. I hate this emotional canvas that can sometimes be frightening and suffocating. It is during these times, if I am not careful, that I will foolishly think the world should function at my needs and commands. All along not a single decision I make is based on the freeing power of knowledge! I'm trying to build my life and the lives of my children (and all of us have other lives that we are also somehow contributing to the building of) and trying to do so literally blindfolded! (1 John 2:11)


I say stop to myself and to you, and to this world around me! Husbands and wives, men and women of all races and ages, "STOP!!!"

When we feel the noose tighten we have got to recognize what is happening and just... stop.

"Do I believe God is in control?"

Yes, I do. And that in itself lifts the canvas from my thinking, and at that point I CHOOSE to lift my eyes from the desert sands, and look up. When we look up we will see the big picture. We will see him working all these things out for our good. We will see that it does not matter if the people in our lives are right or wrong. We will see that God WILL fulfill our lives with power and glory when we focus on HIM.

How do we "just choose" to lift our eyes? How is it possible to see the big picture when the canvas is too close? The closer we get to God, the easier this becomes. We are changed into his likeness from glory to glory. We are able to do as Christ did on the cross and focus on the prize, but we cannot do this with our own carnal strength. The power of God's spirit working in us helps us to accomplish this. (Jude 1:24, Ephesians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 3:18)

God has and will give who and what is needed. You may cry, you will likely get angry, and you will feel a lot of emotions. But faith in God says, I wouldn't change one thing. I want NOTHING but HIS almighty hand unfolding HIS perfect plan.

...because HIS ways are higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:9)

So instead of allowing the tightly bound emotional canvas engulfing your mind to dictate your behavior, find a place of solitude & prayer. Get out your Bible and study the behaviors of men and women of faith. Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and do not allow yourself to lean on your own understanding. In all of your decisions acknowledge Him. Then you will start to see the prize. He will give you the desires of your heart. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

Le Muser; Denée Richardson

~Thanks to Lisa Velie for editing.