Tuesday, November 23, 2010


"Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... 'How did I get through all of that?'" -Unknown.

If anyone had ever predicted this past year to me, in detail, I would have screamed and kicked and cried. I would have thrown a very toddler-like fit at the change that would encroach upon my change-hating self. I would have cursed the day that said transition began to take place and I definitely would have resisted every step. Had the prediction come with, "It will be worth it. And here's why," I would have simply replied, "Bring it on." Wanna know why? Because God is faithful. He gives and He takes away. And what He replaces with what He takes away... man, it's so much more than "worth it". Having what I have now, what I will soon have, what I know He will eventually give me has made every tear, ever groan and every *head desk* completely and undeniably worth.it. And this thought is what will carry me through all of life's changes that I may not necessarily welcome with open arms.

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” –Anne Lamott

"You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You." Isaiah 26:3

More and more I realize that I love written words- because they allow me more time to really think about how I feel and put those feelings into physical imagery. So many times, my brain is working so quickly that when I talk I stutter, skip over entire words in the telling of a story, forget what I mean to say, get distracted or just plain interrupted. But when I write, I get to see the words flow from my mind/heart onto paper or screen. I get to think of what I want as I communicate it. No embarrassing slip ups, no misunderstanding (minus tone which I know can be an issue) and no worry of saying something I didn't mean to say. I'm able to choose phrases and lingo that matches precisely my mood, my intentions or my feelings. I cannot learn too many words and I cannot write too many thoughts. And as they leak onto "paper" I am always grateful for the comfort and accomplishment they bring.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings tunes without words and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson

I'm so thankful; for best friends and accomplices in shopping shenanigans. I'm thankful for being on the receiving end of blessing, though I am fully aware that I am undeserving of good things and amazing people. I'm thankful for friends and family that will stand with me through thick and thin; for a son who makes me smile every day; for the ability to laugh so readily; for being surrounded by people with colorful and rich personalities; for the irreplaceable ones; for the loyal and optimistic ones.

“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” –Vaclav Havel

Newest little lesson: validation. Reminder: validation cannot come from people. Note to self: your validation comes from Christ alone. And if you seek validation from fellow, imperfect humans, you will be disappointed in them and in yourself all at the same time. When Christ validates you, He does so from a place of holiness and perfection. Because He is perfect and calls you perfect, your validation will be untouchable and everlasting and not based your mostly messy life punctuated by good deeds.

“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.” –Jean Karr

I miss the days of cassette tapes with their love-music mixes and disposable cameras with their physically printed memories. There's something about holding a thing of sentimental value in your hands as opposed to being displayed on a glowing screen. I will always own journals and books. I will always have authorial collections in stacks upon stacks- taking up their reserved spaces on my shelves. I will always own CDs and listen to them until they wear out. Because they just seem so much more real when I can hold them in my hands.

Lately? Lately my cheeks have this little ache... I smile constantly. Some change is good.

Monday, November 22, 2010

♫ Random Monday: 11/22/10

Teaching my kiddos the importance of the SHOUT! song!

So...let's all SHOUT for Random Monday, shall we? OMG on a Monday and everything!

Random Monday's have become much, MUCH more random...thanks to a MUCH crazier life. But, I promise once a month or so, to throw in random musings and thoughts. Just what you always wanted, right?!

*I got absolutely spoiled rotten for my birthday. So much so, that I have high hopes to blog about the entire experience. BUT, a shout out, to those that made it absolutely amazing, who joined me for the multiple celebrations, and for overall making me feel adored. <3 A blog will come in your honor, I promise.

*I realized that it's not the matter of years in your life, but the matter of life in your years. <--yes, I stole that. But it's one thing to read it, and a whole different thing to KNOW it. I'm one blessed girl.

*Being a working mom is great most days. I get to see my kids first thing in the morning, pick out their clothes, wish them luck on their day, and usually say their prayers with them at night before bed, or even catch them in the early evening to get a recap on their adventures. Some days though, I do work two jobs, and it's harrrrrrd on my heart strings. Today is definitely one of those rough days

*I hate being lied to. I hate being blown off. And I really hate when they happen at the same time.

*Sometimes, I need more of an ear, than advice. I'm a problem solver by nature, I just like to whine about those problems before I solve them. <--I'm a girl, admittedly.

*There is a gentle balance between spendy and thrifty. It's not good to be too far on either side, trust me.

*You can love any bad behavior, bad germ, and bad luck out of any person. Love cures all.

*"Friends are God's way of apologizing for family." <--this quote will be in my "for days you need a laugh" file.

*It's almost Thanksgiving! And I can't wait to have me some HAM! I despise turkey. We are having a fun string of comments on our Facebook page about the different Thanksgivings our readers have though! Join us: Daily Offensive on Facebook!

*My support system has like...Hulk Hogan...strength. I mean, I've met the guy, and I can tell you that my support system could easy take him on (Thank you, for being the sole reason I survive our hectic lifestyle), and possibly beat him. They're amazing. And so much more attractive.

*I have babbbeeee fever. I mean, I don't want one, but I want to hold one so bad! WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE HAVE A BABY, KTHXBAI.

*Back to face Monday, which, all things considered, isn't too terrible afterall. :)

Yours Truly,

Friday, November 19, 2010

♥Note To Self:

I think I'd like to have a garden full of white and light pink peonies. Then, in the summer, I'd take my sun-hat, white linen dress, favorite book and spend hourrrrs just soaking in the sweet smell and printed words. Dream: (n).

It has just been TOO long since I've walked along the beach, barefoot and full of thoughts. The sound of water always helps me sort through said musings. I'm pretty sure my home in heaven will be a seaside flat. Cause Jesus knows it's what my heart wants most.

Why is it that expensive taste floats around in my blood? It's just not fair. I want allll the pretty things.

Is it weird that I study people's profiles (not the Facebook kind)? I love noticing details like the bridge of a nose, the length of eyelashes, the posture of a forehead and the position of cheekbones. If I were an artist, I think I would have sketched books and books of profiles from everyone I set my eyes upon.

If today had a color, I think it would be powder-purple.

I want a life full of snowflake kisses and counting stars. I want endless summer nights by a campfire and road-trips with the windows rolled down and the music in my hair- feet propped up on the dashboard, bopping to the beat. I want a life infused with unquenchable giggles and nail painting parties. With early morning tea and journal scribbles. I want to always turn to the middle of a book and find it just as thrilling as the beginning or end.

When in doubt, stick your foot out and wait for it to contact with faith.

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." -Hamilton Wright Mable

Someday I want to be involved in a grand comic tragedy in which I can actually blurt out, "Words, don't fail me now!"

Note to self: breathe. Deeply. Breathe in all the goodness of God. Taste and see that He is good. Know He is in control. Fear not but only rejoice in what He's got brewing for you.

Remember the game of story writing? Remember when you'd write one little part and pass it along for another's input? See below:

1. There once was a little penguin. His most precious possession was a finely polished sea stone. One day, his mother, coming back from a day of fishing, misplaced it for rubbish and threw it to the bottom of the sea. Upon discovering her mistake, she frantically searched the depths, but to no avail. The little penguin was so distraught he cried for days. He resolved to search for it no matter what it took and thus be began the most perilous adventure he would ever undertake...

2. The little penguin gathered all of this courage and dove from his home into the depths of the cold sea. Deeper and deeper he swam- only thinking of his precious stone. Suddenly, the little penguin saw out of the corner of his eye a dark figure swimming swiftly toward him...

3. It was a yellow submarine! At first the little penguin was so frightened he could not move. After a few minutes, he realized it was harmless and decided to follow it. Maybe it knew where he stone was!

4. The penguin approached the submarine and realized that it was a different type of submarine than he had ever seen. As he got closer, he saw that there were cages on the submarine. As he peered into the window, he discovered that his mom was in one of the cages! No longer was the little penguin concerned for his sea stone...

5. The little penguin quickly devised a plan to rescue his mother and her friends. This plan involves a very long journey through the penguin town, over the great penguin mountains, through the dangerous arctic-cat caves and eventually to his final destination....

NOW, it's your turn! Add to my story, won't you?! Be sure to see what others have written before you add your two cents. ;-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

♫ I'm going to divorce Brandon.

Oh gosh people, stop looking at me like that. I can't divorce a guy I'm not married to. But IF we were to ever get married, and IF Eva Mendes showed up at our doorstep begging for his companionship, I'd gladly walk away. That's our deal. He has an "out", somebody he can leave me for without any hard feelings. Mine? Oooooh hoho, ladies and gents, mine is Gerard Butler (right?!).

And thennnn, whilst coming up with these words, I found this picture: (please refrain from licking your monitor, ok?)

Post drooling, I'd love to know if you and yours have discussed such madness. Would you leave your guy/gal for a celebrity? If so, who?

In my opinion...you can't really, truly, successfully love somebody until you can admit and love your own shortcomings. I know I'm gorgeous and loveable without the perfect skin and bouncy chest. ;) It's important to be able to openly discuss what you feel are your weaknesses are, and be able to joke about them. He's going to love you anyway ladies, as long as your secure in who you are without his approval. So, lovlies, lust away at your favorite actor/actress, laugh at the unfathomable, and love yourself first. Enjoy the bliss of imperfections!

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

♥ Thoughts

You can't force people to be mature. They have to want to be mature and then take steps toward growth. All you can do is wait patiently and cheer the day when they finally put on grown-up pants and be an adult.

Twenty-six days until my birthday. Just sayin'.

Babies are everywhere and I couldn't be more happy. I get to love on alllll of them when they're around. I get to smell them and remember what it was like to have my own little grunting infant- without the mess or the stress of being a newbie mama.

I heart stackable rings. I do. They're so vintage and awesome.

"Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things." -G. K. Chesterton

Sometimes I wish my life played out like the movie Sliding Doors (with Gwyneth Paltrow) and I could tweak little things here and there to see how they would affect my future. Just for the fun of it. Of course, this would all be a pre-showing and I'd get to choose which version I liked best before allowing it to actually become public and real.

I've said it once, I'll say it again: Sea Lion Woman by Feist rocks my freaking face off.

It seems like my creativity has been ebbing and flowing in a really random pattern, lately. And I can't put my finger on the reason why- but I haven't been able to write and craft or make jewelry at the same time. I have to do one or the other for short seasons of time. Weird.

"There is no justification without sanctification; no forgiveness without renewal of life; no real faith from which the fruits of new obedience do not grow." -Martin Luther

Here's an idea: let's mix up all of our holidays! We can have a July 4th feast, play with pretty sparklers on Christmas, set up a tree for Easter, swap presents for President's Day, give chocolate roses for Thanksgiving. Have I stumbled upon a new, wacky tradition?

I keep having dreams of being pregnant- maybe because I'm surrounded by babies. Or maybe because they make my subconscious happy? I need a modern-day Daniel. Or I need to stop eating cheese pizza before bed.

Oh man, is it so much better to just let things out than to keep them bottled up. The heart can't flourish when it's crowded by angst and negative feelings. It's so so so so important to have people filling up your life who are able to lend an ear (or thumbs? I guess, since we're in a texting era) and be the sunshine that breaks apart the gloomy clouds.

Aaaaand end.

♥Happy Birthday Beautiful Nomz!

Ever have that friend that is just so right for you? The one you love closer than a sibling; who can compare quite closely to a giant piece of chocolate cake; who gets you without even trying? I haz one. Well, I haz more than one. But, today this post is about one in particular. You know of her- she's said co-blogger and "all around goddess of paperclips".

Today, our beautiful and talented Naomi is 27. I KNOW, RIGHT?! While it does sound old, let me assure you that she is not bound by her numerical identity. See why:

She gets quite the thrill at splashing through mud puddles:

She LOVES a good jumping picture:

Her laughter is a catalyst for giggles uncontrolled:

Her dancing skillz are not to be compared:

So, even though Nomz is one year older, I'm pretty sure she's not worried about growing old- or about growing up, for that matter. Because what is age? It's just a number. A silly little number that has no influence whatsoever over our dreams, our hopes or our friends.

Here's a toast to you, my fabulous inspirer of words, I hope this is your best birthday yet! ♥

"Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
-Robert Heinlein

"The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age." -Lucille Ball

"Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing." -G. M. Trevelyan

Thursday, November 11, 2010

♫ Veteran's Day...Mixed Emotion?

It hurts my insides to read the press, the blogs, the tweets, the Facebook posts, etc. today. It seems like a lot of people have turned the day from what it should be, to a political stance.

Today is about remembering. Not just September 11th - the reason our troops our fighting for our country overseas. But about every battle they've ever chosen to fight in all of history. The huge world wars, the fights on our own soil, the battles they fight every day against people that choose not to support them. Today is about remembering not only those that risked and sacrificed their own lives, but those of their families as well.

They fight for our right to be independent, free individuals. People are dying for our right to blog, to eat, to pray, to speak, to live.

Regardless of your political standings, your thoughts on whether we should be fighting a war, remember that these men and women are fighting for you to have an opinion. Celebrate them, pray for them, and thank them...not just today, but every time you see a uniform.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

♫ Help a Mom out!

Over the last few weeks, I've had all this inspiration to write mom-help blogs. And for fear of being judged or criticized, I've chosen to ignore that little prodding inside. It must be a rebellious day, because I've changed my mind. And instead of writing a few different plea-for-advice blogs, I'm putting them all in this one, in a shorter, easier to read form. Be gentle.


My oldest has gone from nightmaring, to slumbering so hard, I have to stick my finger under her nose every night to make sure she's still breathing (yes, I really do it every night). My youngest, only a year behind her, has hit that stage. Every night she wakes up with a nightmare.

We've gotten in to quite the routine. She wakes up, sits up, hollers for me, I go in, she tells me that her heart is broken again (cutest thing everrrrr, right?!), and that she wants to pray about her bad dream. We do, she goes back to sleep, usually peacefully.

Dilemma: It's cold in my house at night, I'm lazy, and after a really rough night last night, Brandon and I reflected on our childhoods and remembered both of our parents asking us to come to their room to report the offense, getting told to get a drink, and go back to bed. I wonder, dear moms, is it the cold house that spurs this decision? Am I doing it backwards or spoiling her by going to her? What did your parents do when you were little?

**Mammaaaaaa, don't leeeeeeeave!**

My oldest, once again for comparison, never went through the abandonment fear. EVER. She also never went through a terrible two, three, or four. So, when my youngest came along, I assumed I'd rock the toddler stages out again with ease. To my surprise, as of late, my youngest has a new fear of me leaving her. She cries, tells me that she is going to miss me, and according to reports...quits the second I walk out of the house.

I normally handle it by giving her extra loves and snuggles, telling her our entire agenda for the day (where she'll be, where I'll be, when we'll be home together, etc.), then I make sure she knows I love her, and I leave. It's gotten slightly better this week, fingers crossed it continues.

Dilemma: Is four the normal age for this, or is it the new routine/new school dance that we're doing? Am I handling it right?

**MY Nightmares**

Obviously, like any mom, my nightmares are that somebody will harm or steal my children in some way. I can't ask for advice, because there is only one way to extinguish that fear: stop loving.. I'll live with the nightmares, thank you very much.

Dilemma: What do you do to ensure the safety of your child? WHY do we tolerate things like this: Sick and Disturbing? (In case you're afraid to click on it, it goes to Amazon dot com, and the only thing that will make your gut churn or raise your brow, is a book title. There are no pictures or not-safe-for-work material.)

It's infuriating that we're enabling! This is only one sick example...there are creepy books, websites, and useful information at hand for scary, scary people to get ahold of...but what do we do as an act of prevention, rather than waiting until something occurs?

Would you consider yourself overprotective?

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

♥I want to go ice skating.

Today, though it hasn't turned out quite like I wanted it to, is still good. That's what I'm telling myself. Yeah, yeah, okay the snow looks a little pretty as it falls slowly outside my window. And, yeah, the Christmas song I'm listening to is transitioning me from disappointment mode into seeing-the-silver-lining mode. So.

Along the jolly holiday lines, I think tonight calls for popcorn, hot chocolate, pajamas and a movie (most likely Love Actually) in a cozy little room with soft twinkling Christmas lights. *sigh*

Today as dad and I were stranded in Laramie, eating our omelets and scrambles at Perkins, I noticed a peculiar atmosphere. All the people were talking to each other. I don't mean people talking to only the other people at their own tables... I mean, the lines of conversation had punctured their social bubbles and people were actually talking with each other. I love that. It instills a little {more} hope in my heart.


Something I'd really LOVE to do one Christmas? Ice skate in London. With the love of my life. In a red pea-coat. To love-song Christmas music blaring on the outside speakers. With little snow flakes swirling about.... wait, wasn't that in movie?! Most likely.

Here it comes. Yep, there it is....... *officially excited for Christmas*

Sorry, I just had to get that bit of holiday gleeing out of the way. I might ebb, it might not. But I couldn't really keep it in. Especially since it was about time to write.

During this week, boyless and hanging out with other mommies, I thought of a few things that I think all moms should have. Here's my short list:

A faux pediatrician. For example, Nomz was my on-call nurse AND doctor for the first 18 months of Mal's life. When I had an issue or a concern and didn't want to fly off of the handle, I'd call her and draw from her experience. She was amaaazing at calming me down when I was freaking for nothing or sweetly suggesting that I take it more seriously. Every mother, every new mother especially, should have a Nomz. But, you can't have my Nomz. Sorry.

Mommies with varying ages of offspring. You know, so you can get your baby-cuddling time in if yours are older. So, you can watch how they discipline and direct their toddlers, so you can enjoy the time you have before your own are teenagers. Seriously, you can learn from other parents and you can appreciate where they are compared to where you are.

A childless friend. Let's be real, when you become a parent nothing else in the world matters. Even your own personal stuff is put on a shelf, covered in a bag of old clothes and forgotten about for a long while. Having a single friend who can remind you of your need for play time (while still respecting and understanding your responsibility as a parent) will help you balance out being a mom and being YOU.

Sometimes, I wish the English language held more words for words. You know, some languages have a word to describe a single thing or feeling and others have a whole plethora (good word, right?!) of options for description. Awesome? Good word. Awesomerest? Better, but still doesn't do something (or someone) that is genuinely more than that any justice. Amazing? Eh. Wondrous? Maybe. Give me more words and I'll tell you if they work.

Aaaaand, because this song has been stuck in my head, you get to share it with me:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

♫ Word Vomit

I'm frustrated with the complexity of life sometimes. I get so wrapped up in my stress, tension, and to-do list, that I forget how easy it is in a moment, to simplify life long enough to enjoy it.

It's been a few weeks since a Random Monday blog, mostly for lack of time. Writing one at this point would just be ridiculous. It'd be 10 miles long, and 3 miles deep!

Instead, I need to just write. Did you ever do those exercises in English, where you weren't allowed to stop your pen from moving for an allotted amount of time? It works like a vacuum on cobwebs...and even makes this fun *shwoop!* noise! ...Well, not so much, but it works.

Please don't feel like you have to read through this mess, or even comment. Strike that. I want you to comment, in the same form. Write everything in your head, for five minutes straight. Under 'anonymous'. Get it all out. I'm listening, and will be praying for every commenter! <3

Annnnnnnnnd go:

We make life too complicated. I love the sound of crunchy leaves. I love my dogs, but I hate the puppy phase. She eats everything. I love my girls, but age four is painful. I love working, but I miss my family. I am tired of the single mom song. I love my God, and I love that He doesn't take roll call. I am afraid to fly, but am trying anyway. I LOVE both of my jobs. I'm overwhelmed with things to be grateful for. I am blessed to have a hellova support team. I love the smell of clean sheets, but not pillowcases. I want all pillowcases to smell like him. My camera and inspiration has been revived. I wish every summer was an Indian one. I have amazing friends. I'm not afraid to be 27, and am actually quite excited for this year. I love my curtains. It's ok that I only see one friend at a time. I will never stop loving ChickFilA. I adore reading. I am journaling again, in an old fashioned kind, pen and paper, the kind my girls will be able to hold and smell someday. I hate that glasses have gone from an accessory to a requirement. I hate short fuses. I hate long nights. I love making up. My bookshelf is my new favorite accessory to the living room, especially when perfectly dusted and topped with a good smelling candle. I wish people wouldn't be afraid of change. I hate laziness. I am not a felon, I am a divorcee...quite different. I am too forgiving. My daughter has my teeth, yay? My other daughter firmly believes that the decorated pumpkin in her room is giving her bad dreams, and that praying and dream catchers save her when they're not too tired. I wonder sometimes, if some people will ever leave denial, and find happiness. I worry even more often, that those same people will put themselves in the ground before realizing that change isnt a bad as they think. I'm hard to love, easy to trust, and fun to watch. I firmly believe in fairies. And wishes. And love. And forever. I find that passion, when squandered, does more harm than good. I'm tired of feeling like a thorn in her side. I miss the "her" that I remember so fondly. I hate being spiteful. I wish he'd get the appreciation he deserves. I have a newfound love for orange. It's impossible to make everybody happy, but it doesn't hurt to try. I live for experience and memories, not matieral items. I want fondue. I love, love, love everything about every kind of lily. Love is never-ending. Kindness is contagious. Naps aren't just for kids.

16 minutes.

Your turn! I'll even make the *shwoop* noise for you!

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

♥Amazing Testimony Time!!

Today started out not so well. I woke up later than I was supposed to in order to get Malachi to the meeting point... you know, the whole week with his dad thing. Bleh.

Anyway, we get to Evanston and after a rather uneventful exchange I jump back in the car and head toward home. Rock Springs is on the way home. In Rock Springs is a Golden Corral. For some reason unbeknownst to us at the time, dad had a craving for... the worst.food.ever.

Seriously, this place makes the Country Buffet look like five-star dining. And we aren't even hungry. Nearly $20 later, we're sitting at a dirty booth and eavesdropping on a father who is clearly fed up with his dirty children. "Seriously?" I think, "I can't believe you're treating your kid like that." and as his toddler bawls his eyes out, he continues to shout his slurred frustrations at them. My heart sinks, I lose my appetite and it's all I can do to stab my knife at the half dry meatloaf on my plate rather than brandish it in his direction.

Possibly out of embarrassment, the guy stands up and offers an excuse for the way he and his own are acting: he is a single dad, going through a divorce, raising two boys who aren't wanted by their mother.

Enter the Holy Spirit and commence heart wrecking. I pray, "Lord, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I thought bad about him when I didn't even know him. Please give him strength and restore his hope. Guide him, provide for him, send him someone to love him to You."

I've given up on my food and watch as dad surveys the rest of the buffet. After about ten minutes of crying into my plate I go looking for him and find him outside talking to the guy as his children play on the restaurant property. Dad comes back in and gives me the low down on Jerry. He'd recently (within the last year) been in a near fatal accident which damaged his spinal cord, broke his ribs, hips, shoulder and left him partially brain damaged. Shortly after the accident his wife and the mother of their two boys left him. He has no job and stands in line every day, beginning at 6am, at the local temp office waiting for work to support his boys.

Heart is effectively smashed to smithereens. I suggest to dad that we help him in anyway possible. He replies, "I gave him all the cash on me." to which I counter, "That's not enough."

Jerry's two adorable boys are ages 2 (Daxton) and 4 (Xander) and steal my heart with their sea green eyes and snotty smiles. "Jerry, let me bless you. What do the boys need?" I ask. He shakes his head and assures me they've got what they need.

"Don't be prideful, I want to bless you."

"No, it's really okay."

"Can I at least buy them a toy, each?" He agrees and I plop Daxton in Malachi's car seat, strap Xander in beside him and Jerry crawls into the last remaining back seat (their car is abandoned in a different parking lot because it has just broken down). We head to Walmart. As we stroll through the store, I grab winter coats, cold medicine, vitamins and allow them to pick out a toy of their choice. We finish with a new leather Bible for Jerry and a $25 gift card for groceries.

Dad and I simultaneously glance over to Jerry and notice that his eyes are gleaming with tears. He says, "Two weeks ago I was asking God to show Himself to me. To help me know He's real and that He loves me. I've been looking for Him but didn't know how to find Him."

Smashed heart begins to soar. "Jerry," I begin, "This is His answer to you. We're doing this so that you know how much you're loved."

Jerry, Daxton and Xander live about a dozen blocks from Walmart. We take them home and enter their tiny little house to make sure they're all settled before we head out. Dad signs his Bible, writes down Romans 8:1-2 and Jeremiah 29:11 and says, "Jerry, have you ever accepted Jesus as your savior?" When he shakes his head, dad asks him if he wants to. "Yes." he chokes out. So, in that tiny little living room filled with hopelessness and pain we begin to pray. Jerry can barely get the prayer out he's crying so much. Apparently Jerry didn't even cry when his mother died or when his brother went to jail. But, he's crying now and he says they're happy tears.

Exit hopelessness. Enter joy, peace, hope, redemption, restoration, healing and LOVE.

Today wasn't such a bad day after all.

Romans 8:1-2 "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ
Jesus 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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