Gratefully blessed!

As I am reading and studying Jim Richard's book, Moving Your Invisible Boundaries, I am moved by his teaching, particularly Chapter 18, Entering the War Zone. Unexpectedly, it was a particularly moving and emotional chapter for me.

As I searched my heart for the cause of the emotion God revealed to me that the emotion was coming from having a grateful heart. It brought back memories of when I was going through a very tumultuous time in my life and was weary from trying to live within my own power. That's when I turned to God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I gave it ALL to Him and stopped trying to live this life all on my own.

Becoming a Christian was intentional. I have always said, "I didn't become a Christian, not to be a Christian." My heart, my thoughts, my actions, my faith and the word of God all needed to be in alignment. That was the choice I made when I surrendered my "old self" to the "new self" that shares in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. As Jim Richards points out, "...we become one with Him in His victories."

As a "baby" Christian I dove into the word and was amazed at how much teaching I had missed out on by not being exposed to the Word of God. Every possible life situation and promise of God was addressed between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22:21. I sought the truth and heart of God through scripture and stepped out in faith...

Since those initial baby steps of faith I have been incredibly blessed. My mind, my heart and my soul are becoming more and more in alignment with the promises of God. His grace and mercy in my life are as undeniable as the teardrops that well up from my heart and stream down my face when I ponder his blessings.

In a recent quiet time of journaling here is what He spoke to me...I hope you too will be blessed by what He shared with me.

"When you are in Him, you are blessed.
When your heart is open, you are blessed.
When you surrender your life, you are blessed.
When you renew your mind, you are blessed.
When you turn away from evil, you are blessed.
When you put others first, you are blessed.
When you choose righteousness instead of sin, you are blessed.
When you give your burdens to Me, you are blessed.
When you love Jesus as much as I love you, you are blessed."

God shows up!

I had to share this...after I wiped my tears! Bruce Wilkinson is teaching about the "Money Key" from his book, You Were Born for This, when God shows up and demonstrates his love, grace and mercy in action.


Angel's Wings

Having recently lost my Aunt, my mother's sister, and now being very close to losing my Uncle, my dad's brother, I was prompted to write this poem during my journal time with God. I hope it provides comfort to others...

(photo from

Angel's Wings
by Bonnie Terk

Angel's wings wrap around the soul
For a journey to the afterglow
Where youth restored won't grow old
And vibrant gardens begin to unfold

To those who sought, asked and knocked
The gates swing open
Not narrow, but wide
To welcome a friend to eternal life

Where mothers hold their babes once more
And families are forever restored
To what the heavenly Father chose
From the beginning of time arose

Weep not for those in the heavenly realm
For their troubles are gone and their memories are well
Weep for the memories no longer created
And hold tight to the ones already stated

Live as though they are by your side
For they look over you from eternal life
Keeping watch both day and night
Waiting with opened arms for your souls flight

Don't hurry through the life your living
But cherish every breath your breathing
For there is a reason and purpose for you to proclaim
And when he greets you God will explain

Be joyful for the time you've had
Whether it was short or long lived
For the time spent with loved ones lost
Was a blessing from your loving God

(originally posted at on February 11, 2013)

Complete His Masterpiece!

So many times throughout our lives we compare ourselves with other people. We think they are so good at something that we wish we were good at, or they relate to people in a way we wish we could. Sometimes we even emulate someone else’s mannerisms or way they speak, particularly when we are younger and trying to “fit in.”

What we tend to forget is that we need to rely on God and the plans He has for our lives. The plan He had when He created each and every one of us differently. Essentially he says to us, “Your job should you choose to accept it is to find out what makes YOU special.” You are a special formulation, being so special that he created only one of you. In ALL of creation there has and will always be only one YOU!

The things that are special about you are different than those of someone else. The combination of gifts, talents, thoughts, experiences, challenges and successes he gave you were created to glorify God’s kingdom on earth and in heaven. He is the great I AM that created the great You. Your mission and purpose is achieved when you accept who you are, including your perceived flaws. If we were not flawed we would be Jesus, and since we are not we can take pressure off ourselves and accept that we were made perfectly in the eyes of God.

It is easy to see God in your life when you focus on your talents, gifts and strengths but isn't it harder to see God when we are looking for him through the “looking glass” of our weaknesses? If you use a magnifying glass on your weaknesses they will seem larger than life. So focus instead on completing the masterpiece that God began in you!

Ephesians 2 (NIV) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Delivering miracles

I love Bruce Wilkinson's books! He has a way of showing us how God is at work in our everyday lives...but are we listening and paying attention?  You Were Born for This opens our eyes and hearts to how we can be delivery agents of miracles for God...but don't read it unless you want to change your life and the lives of others, because you won't view the world in the same way and you will no longer be able to ignore what God wants you to do!

It's a stretch...

I don't know anyone who enjoys it, though we've all done it, and we've all had to clean up the mess at one time or another as a result of someone else being careless, inconsiderate, selfish, thoughtless, rude, or young and untaught. What is it? Encounters with improperly disposed of gum... and relationships!

Yesterday I was the unexpected recipient of an encounter with an improperly disposed of piece of gum, which found its way from a manufacturer to a store shelf, to a purchaser's mouth, where they gnawed on its sweetness for a while and spit it out somewhere between my car and my front door - before it was smashed into the grooves in the sole of my slipper. The sticky blue gum inconveniently stayed there until it was snatched from it's location by the fibrous fingers of my carpet - partially in one location and the remainder in another as I innocently walked through my house... and then I discovered it. "Really? Seriously? That did NOT just happen! Ugghh!"

Since I had company at the time, I made an initial halfhearted attempt to clean it up. It wasn't until this morning, when I could give it my full attention, that I chose the ice cube remedy. Gospel music was flowing from the speakers above me as I patiently waited for it to melt into the carpet and harden the gum. As I picked someone else's germ infested gum from my carpet it made me think about relationships. I know it's quite a "stretch" but I had recently seen two different situations that had given me spiritual thoughts to "chew" on!

Both involved social interactions that I observed with people I know and their friends. Through my observations it seemed that one person was on a healthy path with their life, while their friend or friends were not. It also occurred to me that staying friends could be detrimental to their path and purpose for their life. But ending a relationship goes from sticky to hard when that person is a best friend.

Should their relationships with their so-called "friends" continue I believe there could be lifelong and eternal consequences. Just like me not seeing the inconvenience that clung to the bottom of my slipper, people often fail to see the future effects of clinging to certain unhealthy relationships. Thankfully God offers us a true everlasting, eternal friendship through his Son....We just need to ask.

Proverbs 13:19-20 says, "A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil." Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm."
Despite the annoying inconveniences of improper disposal, millions of people still chew gum - and have unhealthy friendships. But why? 

As I see it, its because they are focused on the cheap bitter sweet taste of immediate pleasure ... and they never seem to step in their own gum!

Unlikely Heroes

“I am a servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word,” spoke Mary the 15 year old, ordinary girl, in the small town of Nazareth. “I am just a simple carpenter”, said Joseph the young man with the pregnant fiancee. Mary and Joseph were ordinary young people, yet this unlikely couple surrendered their dreams, their plans and their lives for every one of us.  They chose to abandon their own plans and follow the plans of God.

Reading the Power of Christmas Prayer, by Stormie Omartian, I was recently prompted to think about how different it might be if God chose a teenager today as the mother of his son Jesus. In today’s times would a 15 year old be willing to be a servant of the Lord?  What would the reactions of the family, boyfriend and society be to a 15 year-old, Starbucks drinking, mall hopping pregnant girl? Would her boyfriend dump her or marry her? Would her best friend take her to the free clinic for a quick abortion, or would she give her child up for adoption? Perhaps she would raise her baby Jesus as a single parent. She might put him in day care so she could work at a minimum wage job while she tried to finish school.  These scenarios are as troubling as they are endless.

Like Mary and Joseph, we are all ordinary people, each with our unique God given gifts and talents. How willing are each of us to follow the plan God has for us? Would we have reacted in the same manner as Mary and Joseph? We pray to God asking him to help us and guide us with our decisions and our troubles, however, when we know the path God wants us to take, do we argue with him about it? Do we say, “Okay I’ll do this but I won’t do that”, or do we say, “I am a servant of the Lord”?

As children of God, we are given the choice to be obedient or disobedient to His word. Our hearts are revealed through our choices.  In Romans 8:28 (NKJV), Paul writes, “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Throughout the Bible you will find ordinary people who were stretched out of their comfort zones to follow God’s plan. Remember, Noah was a drunk, Abraham and Sarah were too old, Jacob was a liar, David had an affair and was a murderer, Joseph was abused, and Rahab was a prostitute. They all had anxiety, fear and tons of questions but they are significant in the Bible because by following God’s plan, their lives had eternal impact.  
If we take the time to stop and listen, to pray and be still, to surrender our fears and embrace God’s plan, we will discover that an “Unlikely Hero” lives inside each and every one of us.

Who's your daddy?

Much to the chagrin of mothers and the pride of fathers, "da-da" is one of the first sounds a baby starts to utter when they discover their voice. As they grow up and mature, "da-da" also matures into such names as daddy, father, papa, pa, pop, old man...Sadly, some may utter the sound but never know their real Father.

Before I was five my parents were divorced and my two sisters and I received periodic visits from our father. My dad had a brother and three sisters and I recall many fun family gatherings with them and our many cousins. Summer gatherings were spent under a huge tree in my grandmother's yard with family members laughing and rocking in metal chairs while all of us kids ran around exploring hidden treasures.

The yard was huge and there was always something of intrigue. I remember the antique washer, which at that time was an antique but still used by my grandmother. There was also  a pedal sharpening wheel mounted with a tractor seat, an old bus and a workshop with a storage room full of treasures that today would make any "Antiques Roadshow" viewer ecstatic to find.

When I was nine my mother remarried and I inherited a stepfather and three more sisters. We were the all female "Brady bunch family!" My stepfather is a wonderful man who was not only a good husband for our mother but also filled the daily role of a father figure. We were all living in a four bedroom apartment and the common courtyard was our "playground." It was there that I was playing when I looked up one day to see someone walking towards me...I excitedly ran up to him to hug him exclaiming, "Uncle Merle!" Mutually surprised, I heard him say, "No honey, it's Daddy!"

I stood there looking confused. I don't know how long it had been since I had seen him last but it must have been a while. He had gained some weight and to my young eyes looked more like his brother than my dad.

Today, thanks to Jesus, I am no longer confused about who my true Father is.  In John 10: 27-30 (NIV) Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

Some aren't as blessed as I have been and don't have one, let alone two earthly father figures, but for everyone Jesus offers us a Father God, who is always there, never changing, always loving us, always guiding us, and full of blessings, grace and mercy. He also has plenty of stored up treasures awaiting our arrival. All I can humbly say is "Thanks Da-Da!"


I found my "Superhero"

    Every "Superhero" has an archenemy or a powerful villain; Superman has Lex Luthor, Batman has the Joker, the Green Hornet has "Mr Big"  Each of these comic book characters possess something that has made them more powerful than the average person - though they also have weaknesses.  In the case of Superman, he is energized by the sun but he is also susceptible to the powerful force of radiation from kryptonite, which makes him extremely ill and can cause him to die - except if it is blocked with impenetrable lead.

The good vs. evil concept didn't start in the media. It has been present since the beginning of creation - God's power vs Satan's evil. Just like each comic issue, episode or superhero movie, there are times in our lives when there is a problem or situation that threatens our well-being or peace. These are the times that require action - Superhero action.

"Wonder Woman's" powers consist of  a lasso of truth which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets that can deflect bullets and a tiara on her head which serves as a projectile. As a Christian woman I realize I am not much different!

My lasso of truth is my Bible. When my thoughts are attacked by the enemy, I need only read my Bible and he is submissive to the truth. But the accuser doesn't give up...he will find ways of sneaking up on us at our weakest moments, especially when we are stressed, tired, hungry, run down, or overworked. He shoots us with his accusations about how we're not good enough, we don't deserve to achieve our desires, dreams and goals, and a plethora of other accusatory thoughts that can become as crippling to us as kryptonite was to Superman...but wait!

When there's a battle I don't need lead, better yet I have "Superhero" armor that can deflect those accusations...I have the armor of God! It says in Ephesians 6:10-12 KJV, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." I am glad to know that I have the "whole" armor of God - way more powerful than a few bracelets!

Unlike superheroes, as a Christian I don't need to wear a disguise. I thank God, not just because after five kids I would look terrible in the skimpy costume and spandex, but because I am free to be the best ME that I can be. I also know that because He is the King and I am his daughter...that means the enemy should look out because I still get to wear the tiara!

Just like superheroes fight villains with supernatural "stronger" abilities or powers, we too are offered a "supernatural" power that is freely available to those who seek it by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior....and for those that don't.... well there's always "Stupor Duck!"

Moving mountains - One rock at a time!

Mountains are a beautiful part of nature's landscape. The view from the top of a mountain gives a grander perspective than the views from ground level. Like standing in front of Mount Everest, life's problems can sometimes seem insurmountable. Despite using our skills, talents and gifts there are times we are faced with challenges that, try as we may, can't be "fixed" by our own efforts. When we finally turn to God and pray for help are we expecting him to provide the solution in our way and on our timetable? I admit there have been times when I have caught myself doing just that.

Being on top of a mountain gives unparalleled views from a perspective that is not seen from the ground below. Similar to being on top of a mountain, God has a perspective that we can't see. He is willing to help us overcome our "mountains" if we surrender them to Him and have absolute faith that He has the perfect solution and the perfect timetable.

Recently, while my husband was reading scripture he was visibly overwhelmed by what Jesus says in Mark 11:23 (KJV), "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."

The Holy Spirit was working in both of us that morning as my husband looked out our living room window at the ocean and shared the passage with me. We had read Mark 11:23 many times before but that morning was different - it prompted action! While he was at work that day I started taking an inventory of the "mountains" in our life. We are abundantly blessed in many ways, but we are also human and therefore, we have our "mountains."  Looking at the beach with its many rocks gave me an idea...

The following morning with a tote bag in hand we selectively collected rocks of all shapes and sizes and took them home. Using a white pencil from my sewing box we wrote on each rock what we perceived as our "mountains." There were rocks for bills, rocks for strongholds in our lives, rocks for weaknesses, and one blank rock for everything else! We reloaded the bag of "mountains" and headed to a secluded spot on the pier. There we prayed over our "mountains." Taking our time, we pondered each rock and what it represented before we took turns casting them to the sea and thanking God for taking care of it. Leaning over the rail with joyful hearts we watched each one as it sailed through the air, heard it kerplunk with a splash, then watched it sink...having faith that it would never be seen again.

God moved mountains in our hearts that day as we stopped trying to conquer our "mountains" and with total submission and faith surrendered them to Him!

What direction are you going?

In an attempt to keep from getting lost many people have purchased GPS systems for their cars to help with navigating unknown territory. I have mine on my "smart" phone and have relied on it many times to get me out of unfamiliar neighborhoods. Occasionally I think I know better than the GPS so I take what I think will be a short cut or shorter route to where I am going. More than once I have been wrong and had to rely on my GPS to get me out of those situations. Of course not all GPS systems are 100 percent accurate...except one...God's GPS - God's Power Steering. If we rely on Him for direction and trust in His Almighty Power, then we will always be steered in the right direction. The direction of eternal victory!

Christians are like cars

Today was the day I decided the inside of my car was far too messy to function in. Months of traveling to and from school with three teenagers had taken its toll on the interior. On sharp turns empty energy drink cans and half full water bottles clanked together under the seat. Door cubbies were overflowing with crumpled tissues, food wrappers and sticky gum. Hairbrushes and hair accessories occupied the rear center console along with crumbled make-up, cold medicine, half eaten food bars and a teen magazine. Tucked away in other orifices were, CD’s, lost sunglasses, broken umbrellas and business brochures. The outside, however, was clean because I’ve learned to spend the extra six dollars and six minutes at the gas station to go on the amusement ride through the car wash. 

The realization hit me that Christian’s are sometimes like my car. We look good on the outside, attend church regularly, tithe and even do some volunteering but what’s going on inside is a different story. Upon close examination of our minds, we find a lot of clutter. We hold onto a lot of things we need to get rid of. We have useful but unused items that we’ve been searching for but forgot we had. We have friends that visit and deposit their trash in our minds, leaving us to clean up the mess. 

In Philippians 4:8, Paul tells us what our minds should be focused on when he says, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things” and he goes on to say, “and the God of peace will be with you”. As Christian’s, this is our daily challenge. If we truly examine our thoughts, we will realize any thought not falling into the category of Philippians 4:8 is from the enemy. 

We have to capture the seed of every thought and decide if it should be planted in our minds. The enemy wants us to worry and to be fearful, jealous, discouraged, hateful, doubtful, suspicious, and troubled. As long as we submit to those thoughts, we are submitting to the enemy. 

The next time you experience a thought falling into the enemy’s category, replace it with the thought that faith and ______ cannot exist in the same body. It’s our choice to dwell on faith or fear, faith or jealousy, faith or discouragement, faith or hate, faith or worry. It will be a struggle, especially in the beginning but in the end we will receive peace. 

There is incredible peace of mind when all that we do on the outside, is a true reflection of all that is happening inside. Let’s face it, when your car is clean on the outside AND the inside don’t you feel a lot better?

B.I.B.L.E. - Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth

Parents often complain that children don’t come with an instruction manual. They try to figure out why the infant is crying, when they’ve already been fed and had their diaper changed. They wonder why their three year old is biting, or the seven year old still sucks his thumb, or their teenager is rebellious. Life would be so much easier if only there was an instruction manual to give step by step instructions, with an index to problems, a troubleshooting section in the back and if all else fails, an 800 number to call for customer support!

So far, the best instruction manual for life, that I have found, is the Bible. One of my favorite t-shirts says it all, B.I.B.L.E., Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth, I can only imagine how my life may have been different if my parents had used the instructions in the Bible for their lives. Our family might have been saved from the devastation of divorce, single mother parenting and financial struggles. My sisters and I would have been taught the Word and hopefully been spared some of the problems that we’ve had to deal with in our lives. If I had been taught, I could have taught my children while they were young. As far back as I can remember, going back to my Great Grandmother, I don’t know of anyone in my immediate family who was a practicing Christian, therefore, I believe our family has seen generations of trials and tribulations that were unnecessary.

My Mother did what she thought was right. I was dropped off at Sunday school when I was five or six. I recall eating donuts but don’t recall much of the teachings, since it wasn’t reinforced in our home. Later in my adolescence, my Mother re-married and I recall us all going to the Catholic Church but never understood much of what was going on. As an adult when I started studying the Bible, I wondered where it had been my whole life. Actually, it was in the family cedar chest, safe and sound and hardly used.

If I have a problem with something mechanical, I am the type to try to figure it out before resorting to looking it up in the manual. It’s only when I can’t fix it on my own that I seek the manual. I was the same way with my life. As I studied God’s Word, I was surprised to discover that almost every bad situation in my life could have been avoided, if I had known and followed the teachings of the Bible. In addition, if others in my life had followed those instructions, I believe the positive effects would have been amazing.  I realized most of the problems and troubles in my life had been the direct result of committing a sin, either mine or by someone else.

God doesn’t promise us a trouble free life, rather, He instructs us to avoid sin, because it adds to our troubles. When those troubles arise, He encourages us to give them up to Him, to seek His Words of instruction and to have faith. “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:9-10, NIV).

We all came into this world with a manual and Jesus gave us all the basic instructions before He left earth. It’s up to us to choose to read it. My study Bible contains an index by subject, a concordance for troubleshooting and just in case, I need it, I can call upon Jesus, toll free, for customer support!

Blind Faith

There have been significant times in my life when I knew I needed to have total faith in God. During those times, I knew I couldn’t control the situation and wouldn’t even want to.  God has a plan and I never want to get in the way of His plans.  He has always been faithful and provided a better outcome than I would have on my own. 

Recently, as I prayed for faith it occurred to me that we aren’t the only ones who have to rely on faith. How much more faith does God need to have in us?  He gave us His Son and the free will to follow Him and it’s up to us to make the choice. It’s a two-way street of faith! We have His teaching available to us but will we follow it? He has total faith in us and in our ability to live by His word.  Do we have the same faith in ourselves? Do we have the faith to submit to His word and trust Him with the outcome for our lives? In John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” 

Being a parent helps me to realize the faith God is placing in us. When we teach our children right from wrong and send them out into the world, we have to have faith and trust in them to follow our teachings. Sometimes we are disappointed but we continue to love them. We let them suffer the consequences, reinforce our teaching and send them out again, hoping they will make better choices. It takes a lot of faith on our part especially after we’ve been disappointed. The truth is that we will always love our children, just as God loves us. 
Faith is like walking blindfolded across a busy street and holding the hand of your Father who can clearly see the dangerous road. You trust in his love and protection to keep you safe from harm until you reach the other side. He puts his faith in you hoping you will walk with him, hold his hand and stay with him until you’ve reached your safe destination. 

Where are you putting your faith? Are you crossing the street blindfolded and alone or are you putting your faith in the Father’s hands? As for me…I know my Father has a vision for my future that I am blinded to….so I hold on tight and trust His sight! 

My Plan or God's Plan?

There are times in my life when I cruise through each day believing I know what is in store for the next day, the next week and the next month. I plan ahead as much as possible and have my day planner handy at all times to document my activities. Most of the time the system seems to work, but not ALL the time, as I’ve experienced lately. The road of life is full of bumps, potholes, detours and U-turns and I haven’t quite found a way to work those into my day planner! 

Our comfort and security comes from familiarity and having a sense of knowing that tomorrow will be fairly predictable. We resist change because it makes us uncomfortable. God on the other hand, likes us to be out of our comfort zones. When we are out of our comfort zone we rely on our faith. We seek our comfort from God. We take the time to try and evaluate what God’s plan is for our lives. Our relationship with Him is strengthened, so it’s no wonder He wants us out of our comfort zone!
At one time or another, the challenge we all face is whether we are following our plan or God’s plan. I know if I follow my own plan there will be little or no discomfort. I don’t totally disregard God’s plan but I know I will follow the path of least resistance. Our human nature, if given a choice, will usually take the easy road vs. the difficult road. We call it the “road less traveled” for a good reason. Then, as in my case, a single event or decision can shift your whole perspective. 

Many years ago, God planted the seeds of greatness into the hearts of my husband and myself. For 10 years we have set personal and business success goals, prayed over those goals and asked God’s help to attain them. We’ve taken the steps necessary to reach our goals. The easy steps but not the difficult steps! We’ve done the comfortable things but avoided the uncomfortable. We invested time when it fit into our schedules but we didn’t schedule the time necessary to complete our goals. We’ve stepped out of our comfort zone numerous times along the way but easily got comfortable again. We have followed our plan long enough. Hebrews 12:1-2, states “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.” 

In God’s infinite wisdom, He gave us the opportunity to make a series of decisions to get REALLY uncomfortable and follow His plan. In a complete step of faith and with a lot of prayer, we’ve decided to give up our material signs of success, so we can complete God’s success plan for our lives. Making the decision to “sell out” was scary, yet surprisingly freeing. By letting go of the things that trap us, we are able to seek what is truly important in life. We’re running the race with perseverance, our eyes fixed on Jesus. How glorious the finish will be!