Monday, November 29, 2010

By Default

{We are gonna take a break from Moms Like Us for a couple of weeks ..with so much going on with everyone during the holidays I would like to just offer some simple thoughts over the next couple of weeks instead...but no worries, we will come back to it!}

I have realized something over the past couple of months. Its not my own idea but rather a concept that several around me have used lately. Its a concept that has got me thinking about me and how the me-ness of me adds to my stress and my use/misuse of the godly resources I have.

Its this concept of "default settings"  ...who you are, when you arent trying to be anyone else. Its what you are doing mentally, spiritually or emotionally when you arent paying attention. It is what comes naturally to you, without thinking or feeling otherwise. Its your default mode. 

How well I relate to that!

There are default settings on our phones/computers/gps/cameras/coffeemakers, our tv's, our laptops..everything electronic that we own.  We can customize the stuff by making some changes,  we can add apps, tweek here and there to make the equipment fit us better ...but the default settings are always accessible by finding that little red button somewhere that wipes the slate clean and returns everything to the way it was fresh out of the box.  

I feel that way sometimes I am working on being a better person, like I tweek and attend to and try to change but it will take one day when my guard is down and my default button is hit and all things are returned to my base line instincts!  Darn default button.
I think that without realizing it, Paul was talking about these settings when he said, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do and what I hate I do." Romans 7:15 
Who cant relate to that?
We are called to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him ..I think that another way to think about that is to say ..."ignore your default settings, sacrifice them and decide to replace them with God's customized settings instead."  

This week, I would like to explore this idea a little more, especially how it relates to stress and how those settings cause us to misuse our resources and lead to a loss of peace overall.  I hope you will join me in looking at those things about ourselves that perhaps God wants us to sacrifice for the benefit of his glory!

Welcome ifellowshippers glad you are here!

Why Wait?

Okay, I know that you will hate me by my saying this ..I know because I would hate it if someone else said it but ...

Why wait for the new year?

I love the new year.  I love a fresh, new twelve months just sitting there stretching out all clean, uncluttered and ready to be ridden to the anticipatory betterment of me.

I have a whole list of things that I want to be, do and achieve over the next few months or a year.

I am in an exciting place right now.  I feel very much like I am floating in the ocean, with a strong undertow just at my feet ready to pull me in and take me away.  I feel God's power moving through my life, through my family's life and through my friend's lives.  I feel it.

Even still, some of the things I feel inspired to change, do, or work on  I am tempted to move them to the back burner of the new year.

I want to participate in the Radical Experiment ..a one year commitment to praying for the world, reading the bible, giving specifically, giving my time ...but I want to start my one year on January 1st!

I want to focus on getting my body healthier ...but I want to wait until after the holidays, of course.

I want to declutter my house and get rid of things that I dont need ...but I want to wait til the spring.

The New Year seems like a perfect time to start fresh and new...right?

Or, am I putting off the blessings those things will bring me by pushing them to the future?

I think I am gonna try not putting it off. It may throw my whole "new year" rituals off course, but really ..I dont want to wait for another month before I see the benefits of a healthier body, a nurtured spirit, or a decluttered home.

What do you think? ...what New Year's resolutions do you anticipate making that you can get started now?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Prayer Blog

I was using this tip this morning and I realized that I benefited from it so much I should share :)

I have a PRAYER blog :)  Its a blog that I have that is just for me and God to read ;p

It was what I came up with when I realized a few things ...first, I do better with my prayers when I write them down. I have always kept a prayer journal, since I was a young teenager. I have boxes and boxes of journals that chronicle my adolescent, teenage, in like, in love, engaged, just married, pre-kid years :) Since having kids I have had a hard time getting back into the swing of prayer journaling, though I have tried various and asundry methods to do so. I needed a more efficient way

Then, I realized that I type faster than I write.

My brain that loves order likes typed word better than written.

I kept losing where I wrote my prayers ..was in my Stress Less Journal, was it in my planner, a blank book? I dunno. I basically have lost my prayers of the past 5 years.

I find blogging and typing very easy, and have to resist not doing that more than I need to.

So, I set up a blog for myself, where I made it totally private and accessible only to me.The posts are my prayers and thoughts for the day, just between me and God. Some are short and sweet and some are long and drawn out, when I am working through our giving alot over to Him.

Some things I have noted since starting this a few months ago ...
* I love having my prayers dated and timed 
*I love having my prayers so easy to read and reference
*I love having the sidebars to keep a prayer list, personal goal and book list 
* I love being able to quickly type my thoughts
* I love that I can access my prayer journal anywhere, from any computer
* I love that I go back and "comment" on my prayers ..whether an update or a change of heart
* I can link to things, people I am praying for, etc. for future reference 
* I can link straight from there to the online One Year Bible, devotional or bible study sites
* I love having a secret place where God and I can talk amidst the choas that is often all around me while I write :)

 Now, I certainly dont need a computer to pray, worship or praise God. But, it is a great way to focus my mind and work within the resources that I have been given, and use so often! It is also a way I have discovered I can take a weakness (too much time on the computer) and turn it into a blessing instead!

Just thought I would share, in case it helps you as much it as it has me! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Moms Like Us ..You!

This week, instead of having a Mom Like Us share her thoughts ...I would like YOU to share yours!

Are you a mom like us? Can you relate to the moms who have shared their hearts the last few weeks? Which questions did you most relate to?

For the next couple of weeks, I am going to as YOU some of these questions, and I would love for you to answer them ...we havent had a lot of comments on the blog, but I have heard alot of great feedback in other ways. So, I know that these answers are a great encouragement to Moms Like US!

So, this weeks question ...What do you feel is your greatest struggle as wife/mother?

See the links below to see some of the answers of our other Moms Like Us! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One of those weeks ..

It is one of those weeks when blogging isnt the most important thing to do :)

I have thoughts but with the very infrequent blessing of getting to see two of my sweet sisters in teh past two weeks (one I hadnt seen in a year, the other in two) ..blogging just got put appropriately on the back burner :)

Hope to get back on the ban wagon soon enough but meanwhile, I am letting that no-see-em fly away and will look foward to some writing time in the next week or so!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Moms Like Us: Jessica

 Our Mom Like Us of the week is a gal I met through the Seeds of Faith ifellowship (a weekly blog hop for christian women)...I have learned to appreciate and look forward to her wonderful ideas and thoughts on her blog, Our Family for His Glory. She has wonderful wisdom to offer in the area of teaching children and families to love God.  I have really enjoyed getting to know her better through this weeks post ...I know you will too!

{meet Jessica}

My husband (Gabe) & I have been married for 8 1/2 years & have 5 precious children… Alyssa & Elliana just turned 6, Kayla is 4 1/2, Isaiah is 2, & Annabella is 1. After we were fist married, my wonderful husband had the opportunity to do an internship at an amazing church. About a year later, that same church was looking for an associate pastor, & now he has been working there for the past 6 1/2 years. We truly feel blessed! Often people will think we have the perfect life… loving family, hearts for God, happily married, wonderful children… but, we are just like any other family where tears & pain are intermingled with hope & joy!

It is hard to choose a greatest struggle! I think for me, there are many things that (especially combined) become even a greater struggle! Finding balance is one…between housework, being a loving/respectful wife, loving & caring for 5 children, spending time with God, homeschooling our children, helping at church, having time for friends, etc. I feel quite overwhelmed.
So, this is definitely a struggle for me, there just never seem to be enough minutes in the day to accomplish all that I would like to. God has helped me prioritize my days, & I am very blessed to have a husband that is more laid back than me in a lot of ways… this has helped me to let go of a lot of my own expectations.
Raising godly children is another… I know how important it is for ME to be following hard after God, otherwise how can I expect that of my children? I need to be CONTINUALLY seeking God & His guidance while raising this family to one day be lovers of God… it is a struggle, as it gets discouraging, when no fruit is being shown, or when I am just plain tired of dealing with the “heart issues” of our children (& myself)! But it is a struggle well worth fighting for.

I believe God has called me (& really each of us) to bring Him glory in ALL that we do! Right now, my purpose is to be the best mom & wife & homemaker that I can be… to train my children to love & obey God, to be a respectful, caring wife, & to make our home a place where God is truly glorified! When I first had our twins, I was so discouraged that I couldn’t get more involved in reaching others for Christ… a sweet friend lovingly told me that I had 2 precious souls that lived right in my house that needed to be won for Christ. I had never looked at it that way before, & was so encouraged by her words to pour my energy into leading the little ones God had blessed me with to Himself.

I guess I’m not really sure! I know God has given me a love for children, & creative ideas to teach them about God. He has also given me 5 little blessings :) that I learn from every day, & 1 amazing husband that is a godly, loving father to our children! And He gives me strength & joy for each day… otherwise I would never make it through!


I got (with my husband’s help) all the clothes switched around… spring/summer clothes packed away- fall/winter clothes washed, folded & put away in drawers. It is always such a huge endeavor (& I always hope nobody stops by during the process)… but, it is finished- HURRAY!! :) I don’t have to pull out all those bins for another 6 months (hopefully)! {And the kids felt like it was Christmas… getting all the “new” clothes!}


Yes, the house feels at least a little put together if I make sure to have that one chore done. Plus, I expect my kids to make their beds each morning (except for Sundays), so I try to be a good example… making my bed, even when there are a thousand things I would rather be doing. :)


Yes!! :) Well, they are at least getting cleaned in the dishwasher as I type. And, usually I have a couple little helpers that are just dying to come & put the dishes away for me… they’re so sweet!

Sort of! Laundry is one of the things at our house that I often feel I cannot keep up with (although I do have helpers for this as well)! With our 3 girls switching clothes 5 times a day (to put on their ballet leotards & wedding gowns, etc.) & with the fact that this has been a busy week for laundry with all of the clothes switching around we did… I’m OK with the fact that there are some dirty clothes awaiting washing (there always are!!), as well as some clean clothes sitting in laundry baskets waiting to be folded & put away! I like to do laundry on Tuesdays & Fridays, so that I can keep up on the laundry as much as possible, & I am not stuck doing it every day.

Oh, there are SO many! I like to have verses hanging around my house so that I can see them randomly throughout my day! One of my favorites is Philippians 4:6-7 (actually I think I need to memorize all of Philippians)… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer & petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And, Colossians 3:23 is helpful for ALL of us (to remember who we are serving)… “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Stress Less Playdoh

 In our current Beyond Little Hands to His Glory unit, we are learning about Holland. Today, we talked about how the Dutch used a dike to protect Amsterdam from the sea. The book suggested we used playdoh to demonstrate the principle of the structure that was created to protect the city situated in a geographical bowl from the sea that was above it. 

We didnt have any playdoh currently (we buy it on a very regular basis but it seems we cant keep it moist for very long, as much as we play with it!). So, I had to in search of a super easy recipe that didnt entail cooking (I hate cleaning the pot after making that stuff!) or cream of tarter which we are also out of. 

I remembered a video on a friend's blog, Smockity Frocks where she made playdoh using flour, salt, water, oil and food coloring.  It was super, super easy.  The video was a big help to figuring out how it all comes together, and doing with lots of little hands to help :)

She didnt have a written recipe there so I thought I would supplement as my Tuesday Tip :)

Connies Homemade Playdoh Recipe 
 3 cups flour and 1/3 cup salt. Mix together, then add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix, then set aside. Add to a cup of water, 7+ drops of food coloring (we used like 25 or so ..we like it bright!). Pour the water/food coloring slowly into the flour mixture and  keep stirring until you cant stir anymore. Then, drop out dough and knead away until all the flour is added in and the dough is smooth and play ready. 

This was super easy, not too messy (we did it at the table) and a big hit in the Steedly house!
Thought I would pass on this great tip worked for us!

Bring It.

It is one of those mornings, that I am hardly out of bed and I feel like my "everything I need" is already sapped up and run out.

We are all passing around a stomach bug of some kind, which may be the reason the baby was up 10 times last night. Then again, it may be the 7 teeth he is apparently trying to cut at one time. Hubby wasnt feeling well, but needed to fell better because he has a full day of clinical (he is in nursing school) and work today. 

At one point, I was in bed smashed between a three year old who was cold, a fussy baby and said sleeping husband. While there, I was having to feed baby, warm toddler, let hubby sleep, and was being screamed at by the cat to be let out.

I started feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I started in again when my 6 and 3 year old alarm clocks didnt get the message that mommy didnt sleep much last night and could use a bit of extra rest, when they were awake before 7am due to the time change.

This morning, their little voices arent sweet, they are grating. Their antics arent cute, they are annoying. Their requests arent a chance to serve, they are taxing, and my attitude needs an adjustment..clearly :)

I kinna feel out of resources for the day already.

So, I am taking a really deep breath.

I am using you (do you feel used?) to get my head, heart and spirit in order. I am calling on the gifts the Holy Spirit gives because I need each and every one of them this morning ..."love, joy, peace, patience (this may be my top request), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (#2) and self-control." Galatians 5:20

It is one of those days when my resources certainly feel less than other days, but yet my "everything I need" is still promised. My tasks are still mine, and will be amply supplied with the resources I need to complete them to the benefit of His glory.

Deep breath, coffee, some God time and we are good to go. Bring on this day! :)

Whew ..thanks, I needed that :)   Praying for a great day for all of us ...all of you resource sapped mommies, especially :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Moms Like Us: Miriam

This week, our Mom Like Us is a mom I met via the bloggy world..we found each other through comments on ours and others' blogs here and there and yonder. I have been so encouraged by her sweet words of quiet encouragement on my blog, as well as her words on her own blog My Country Cupboard . I enjoyed getting to know her more through these questions, and I know you will as well.

{meet Miriam}

My husband, Daniel, and I have been married 6 ½ wonderful years. We met when I was 11 and he was 14, but it was several years until Daniel realized he was interested in me :) I was 19 when we were married after dating for 9 months (engaged for 2 of those :) )   I am living my dream – I always wanted to be a stay-at-home wife and mama :)  Susannah is our beautiful (and smiley!) 8 month old daughter.   I enjoy cooking and baking from scratch, and love to read a good book when I make the time.  We live in a tiny house on 2 ½ acres and are about ready to break ground for a nice-sized addition onto our home (DIY).  We love the country and look forwards to owning a big farmhouse on several acres one day, Lord willing.

Whew. I'm glad I'm not alone in this one: Time management :)  But I'm working on it.  I'll probably still be working on it 100 years from now if I'm still around! Ha!

As I stated above, I've wanted to be a homemaker for as long as I can remember.  And I really feel like that is my calling.   But He's still working on me... I feel it every day.

My growing up years.  I grew up on a dairy farm where I learned how to work hard and do a job well and completely, think logically, multitask, how to organize, direct and execute a mission, and a whole lotta other stuff that most people don't have the privilege of learning these days (and that's not saying I loved learning those lessons, but they serve me well now!). 

I got my homemade baby food supply restocked :P  I can procrastinate pretty good!


Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Right now it is not made.  I don't “make” it every morning but most days at some point I like to toss the covers back up towards the pillows so it looks somewhat orderly.

HA!!!! <--- that means “far from it”  (But the kitchen is the first room I clean when I clean!)

I'm on top of it in that I'm caught up on washing and drying.  The folding and putting away part... not so much.

2 Corinthians 9:8 
God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work.

{learn more about Miriam by visiting her blog My Country Cupboard}

...and meet some of our other Moms Like Us ...Kim, Brandi, Rachel and Molly 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Return to Center

{Our Mom Like Us of the week, Molly, is our guest poster of the day ...she shared this and I thought it was a great thought! ...see more of Molly's ponderings at Domestic Disarray}

I've taken up yoga recently. And I'm finding that what I've always heard to be true is actually true - what started as a way to lose the baby weight and strengthen my body is becoming a spiritual practice that bleeds over into every area of my life. And I have to say that I love it.

There's one aspect of yoga that has really been speaking to me for a while - it's the idea of returning to center. When you are moving through poses, you always start and end at your center, a resting pose where you can take a few deep breaths before moving on to the next pose. If you find yourself unable to complete a pose, you can always return to your center to regain your balance or rest a tired muscle.

In life, we often need to return to our centers, those resting places where we can compose ourselves, take a breath, and prepare ourselves to take the next step. So often during my day, I find myself tired, stressed, and snappy with my kids, unable to complete the tasks that God has laid before me. In these moments, I remind myself, "Exhale. Return to center."

For me, my "center" isn't a physical place (although we all need those places where we can feel peaceful to contemplate our lives). Instead, returning to center is an act of remembering what is most important to me, at the very core of I am.
  • My calling - to love God and others
  • My desire - to do small things with great love and so to show the world God's heart
  • My identity - to be a woman who lives honestly, embracing my strengths and limitations, without allowing the world's judgments to lessen my knowledge of my worth
  • My family mission - to create a home where 1) my children feel loved, accepted, and appreciated as God made them so that they can become adults who love, accept, and appreciate others in the same way, 2) where learning is loved and promoted so that my children will grow deeper in their understanding of God and His creation, and 3) where our family values are seen through our actions.
When I strip away all of the other stuff I dump onto my life, this center is what is left. And when I take a moment to return to my center, I am able to more clearly see where my time and energy and love should be placed. It grounds me and pushes me to give up the burdens I place on myself, bringing me peace from the self-inflicted stress I find every day. I can look at my messy kitchen and hear my screaming baby and remember that in the midst of it, my preschooler needs to me speak to her with love instead of anger.

So today when you find yourself straying far from where you want to be, I encourage you to take a moment to exhale and return to center.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No See 'Ems

They have these things in South Carolina that we call "no see 'ems" they are these super annoying gnats that buzz around your head, but they are too small to do anything about.  Throughout the summer there are always a couple in the vicinity of ones head, but on occasion you find yourself unfortunately amidst a swarm of the critters and its quite maddening :)

I have realized lately that I have alot of guilt about stuff ..more than I need, and more than I think God wants us to carry around..."This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.. God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. " 1 John 3:2

I have tried to be a little more atuned to those little things that I have unnecessary guilt over ..and try to get rid of them. I have found that there are alot of things that are like the no see 'ems of good ol' SC. They are buzzing around my head, small enough to not be 100% on my radar but annoying my spirit just the same.

It may be stuff like projects that I started but didnt finish, something someone gave me that I dont use or want or have a place for, it may be a book I need to read, or a pile of stuff in the garage that needs going through...these are little things that in and of themselves are nothing. They are just annoying and add to the overall guilt that we already carry in abundance.

For example ...(this requires a little back story) I am most blessed to be part of an annual Ladies Retreat for my church family. As one of the planners it is my role to help take care of those last minute little changes when the speaker sees the agenda a few days before the weekend and mentions that she needs four sessions, instead of three and the whole agenda needs to shift and change to make that work. That is fine ..except that we just printed and cut 100+ of the cutest 4x6 agendas to be placed at each person's place.  SOO..those all have to be reprinted, and recut. 

My sweet friend, Tiffany was cool with that and did a great job to get that done in a short amount of time and to me so I could get those set out before all the girls got to our "retreating" place (If I recall, we also may have done the math wrong and printed 800 instead of one hundred of them and cut them all before she realized it ..).

When everyone arrived, it looked great! So cute. Unfortunately, I didnt noticed until we were well underway that I had accidentally picked up the WRONG agendas, and placed them at everyones spots. I felt HORRIBLE. All that last minute work under pressure and I didnt even use them! Argh!

Those agendas have been sitting in my guest room for three years now. No lie.

I feel sick to my stomach everytime I see that sweet little stack of love from Tiffany.  Stupid no see 'ems.

So, this week I ceremoniously threw that stack away. It was a little sad, for the same reason I hadnt done it before ..guilt. But, I feel that Tiff would think this was hilarious and not want me to feel this way, and really does that help either of us?

ANYWAYS ..that is a long way to go to say, I would encourage you to keep an eye out for those things that cause you just enough guilt to be annoying ...those add up. Employ the Stress Strategies ...get rid of it, get over it ..whatever you need to do. They arent worth the resources we give them!

Stupid no see 'ems :)

{Welcome ifellowshippers!}

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tips On Tuesday: Worship Time

This tip was shared by my friend Kim (one of our Moms Like Us), who has incorporated it into her daily worship time to the great benefit for her and her family :)

Kim suggested taking a church hymnal or devotional song book and to place it where you can see it throughout the day while doing chores. She has her's placed on the back of her sink, just beneath her kitchen window.

She says ...I propped mine open, and had an amazing time of worship while doing the dishes!  There are so many old songs that I had forgotten or that I didn't know all the verses to, and it was so wonderful to sing those old songs while I did the dishes.  At first, I looked up my favorites, but that took too long, so I just started at the beginning and sang all the verses to the songs I knew.  And I knew more than I thought!  Plus, the first section was praise songs, so they were all really upbeat.  I would sing every verse to a song and then turn the page.  I was actually disappointed when all my dishes were washed because I wanted to sing some more--and I'm not even that big of a singer!  

I think this is a great idea! I dont have a kitchen window, but I do have a place near my sink where I can incorporate this tip. I thought about using a recipe book rack as a prop for the book, so I can glance at the book without having to get the book wet or messy.

I love it! ...what ways do you incorporate worship time into your day?!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moms Like Us: Molly

I have been getting some great feedback about this weekly feature! I think you all are right with me when it comes to loving being able to see how we are not alone, or our struggles unique in this crazy job of wife/mom/daughter of God :)

This week ..
{Meet Molly}

I’ve been married to my best friend Kevin for 5 years and am mom to two sweet, spunky, and hysterically funny girls, Charlotte (3) and Katie (almost 1). Kevin is in the Army and has spent half of our marriage (including most of Charlotte’s first 17 months) in Iraq. We moved last year to find a job that would keep him a little closer to home for a while. While he works, I stay home with my girls and our two cats, volunteer with the National Guard’s family programs, and ponder learning the craft of woodworking. 

To balance all of the roles I play. I was Molly long before I was a wife and mom, and I struggle to maintain the delicate balance of dying to myself while still holding on to my identity outside of those roles.  I think it’s easy to swing too far in each direction – to demand that I be put first to the detriment of my family or to always put myself last, also to the detriment of my family. I’m learning that it’s in embracing who God made me to be that I can best fulfill the roles He has blessed me with.

Blessed Theresa of Calcutta once said “What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me can ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” I believe that God has called me to live my very simple life with great love and in doing so to show the world His heart.

There are so many resources God has blessed me with, but so few are unique to me. It’s really the combination of all of them that make my life what it is. But for the sake of the question, one aspect of my life that I am blessed with is having an open mind, with the desire to continually learn more and to challenge myself. I am unafraid to question my deeply held beliefs and to change my understanding of things as I learn new things. I know that if I am truly seeking God, He won’t ever lead me astray. Another resource that I consider invaluable is my education - I have an undergraduate degree in psychology, focusing on interpersonal relationships, and a Masters in child development, focusing on applying current research to inform your work with children and families. For me, that means continually educating myself on what we know about how kids develop – right now I am reading Girls Will Be Girls (JoAnn Deak) and The Philosophical Baby (Alison Gopnik).

I have almost lost all of my weight from the second baby. As of this morning, I only have 5 more pounds to lose!

No. About 1 o’clock in the afternoon, an overwhelming urge to sleep combined with a nicely made bed makes me crazy. It’s just easier to never make it and then curl up in it guilt free while the kids sleep.

ha. are yours?
{ha. NO.}

I wish. Laundry is the bane of my existence. I inevitably miss stains that then set in, and I always sneeze uncontrollably whenever I fold it. And as soon as I breathe a sigh of relief, my family brings me the 17 outfits the 3 of them decided to wear that day and I’m starting all over. I’m making steps to get it under control, but I'm finding it really comes down to willpower, which I strangely seem lack when I need it most.

Honestly, it depends on the moment. My needs are constantly changing, and God speaks to me through different verses at different times in my life. Right now, God has been speaking to me most clearly through great Christian thinkers; the following prayer is by Thomas Merton and no matter where I am in life, I always return to it in times of distress:

MY LORD GOD: I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that my desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
{Thanks so much, Molly!}
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