February 25, 2014

You Heard My Cry

Jocelyn wakes up from her nap. I hear her cries over the monitor. 

I understand why she might be a little frightened. Her room is dark. There is a roaring waterfall in the corner (baby white noise) drowning out our Guatemalan soundtrack of street dogs, firecrackers, car horns and alarms. And mommy is nowhere to be found.

In order for me to get from my work station to Jocelyn’s room, I have to walk across our living room and kitchen and down a long, slightly creepy hallway. For some reason it makes me think “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” The lights are dim, it takes ten large strides to get through it, and there are no doors until you reach the end.

To make the wait a little less painful for Jocelyn, I begin to sing. I sing starting at the beginning of the hallway, all the way to the end where her room is.

“You are my sunshine. My only sunshine…”

I get closer and closer. My voice gets louder and louder. 

And the moment Jocelyn hears my voice, she stops crying. In fact, many times she not only stops crying, but starts cooing along, laughing as she waits for me to arrive and pick her up.

I know she is not comforted because of my beautiful singing voice. (Because I do not have a beautiful singing voice.) She is comforted simply because she knows it's me, she hears my voice. Mommy is near.

It’s not just my familiar face that brings her comfort, it’s my voice from afar, reminding her that I am there, there to take care of her and to love her.

There are days when I feel alone, in the dark, confused, sad, angry, doubtful, frustrated, scared. These emotions can come on for a variety of reasons. Our decision to move back right now makes me sad, sometimes doubtful. Sharing my innermost thoughts for the entire world to see sometimes leaves me feeling scared, a little vulnerable. And then there’s the “everyday stuff” that at times gets topped with some “unexpected stuff.”

But just as a mother’s voice comforts her daughter, our Father’s voice is there to comfort us too. He hears our cries. And He responds. He reminds us He is always there, there to take care of us, to love us. We hear God’s voice in different ways, but it comforts us, guides us, {leads} us beside quite waters, {restores} our soul. 

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

One way I have especially been comforted, have especially heard God's voice recently is through the encouragement of family and friends. Many have taken the time to reach out and explain that they have had similar experiences and emotions as my own (a decision to move, the everyday life of motherhood). Others have encouraged me to say they enjoyed something I wrote, that it was perfect timing. (Although I can’t take credit for God’s timing, it’s certainly fantastic to hear that God used me in a helpful way.) And I want to thank you for taking that time to encourage me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

All the encouragement I have received has been a fantastic reminder that through the uncertainty, the stress, the unknown, God is always in control. He is leading me as his sheep, (his dumb, wandering, wayward sheep,) and comforting me with His voice.

Because there is nothing more comforting to me than hearing that there are others out there who understand how I feel, who have been through the same struggles, who get it.

Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.

And how great is it to know that we have a Savior who can say that in any and every situation we are in? Who always understands how we feel, who has been there before, who gets it?

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

There are a lot of tough things about being a mom. 
This is not one of them.

I need to remember, as Christ's little sheep, to yearn for Him, just as Jocelyn yearns for me. If I am anywhere in sight, she wants to be with me, in my arms, patting my face, yanking my hair. I need to yearn for God with just as much fervor. Seeking His voice, longing for Him above all else. Clinging to His words. 

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

They are not just idle words for you - they are your life.

Grace and Peace,

February 20, 2014

A Photo Album You Won't Find on Facebook

Let me begin with a few disclaimers:

1. Don't let the title fool you. I love Facebook. Without it, I would not have known that my sister got engaged or that my nephew was born. (True story.) Facebook has given me at least the illusion that I know what has been going on in people's lives over the past three years.

2. I do believe that taking "selfies" and posting them on Facebook is possibly the second most vain thing a person can do. (Second, only, to taking a "selfie" and then blogging about it. Shall we call those "bloggies" for the sake of today's post?)

3. I am not on "the Twitter." But I will attempt a few of #these throughout.

4. Reading hashtags out loud makes me feel like I am smack back in kindergarten learning to sound out "cat." Or like I am trying to play Mad Gab. By myself.

Alright, let's begin.

So often, Facebook is all like...

#wearesoinlove #soulmate #heisthebest #sheisahottie #perfectcouple #barf

#weddingday #happilyeverafter #noalbumshouldhavefivehundredphotos 
#allthepicturesarethesamepose #wedontcarewhatcolorthenapkinswere

#vacation #ninetyeightdegrees #beachandpalmtrees #iamfreezing #yousuck

#weareexpecting #betyoudidnotseethatcoming #wereyoutryingtogetpregnant #pleasekeepyournakedpregnantbellytoyourself

#allamericanfamily #honorrollchildren #bradybunch #mykidspoopdontstink

#ransevenmilestoday #onlyglistening

#goodmorningeveryone #alreadyconqueredtheworldanditsonlyfiveam #ithinkeveryonewantstoseeapictureofmycoffeecuptoday

And finally,


But Facebook doesn't always tell the whole story. 

Not every day is as happy as a wedding day, or as exciting as a baby's birth, or as rejuvenating as a tropical vacation, or filled with enough motivation to run seven miles and still not eat a cupcake. That stuff is real, it happens, but it is not the norm, it is not "every day real."

So over the past week I embarked on a journey to capture some of the "every day real" moments that I experience in my life. I hope you enjoy them, but also realize that not everything is always running perfectly smooth at the Broekhuis residence. (And if you are easily queasy and don't like the sight of a haggard, slightly rundown woman in the morning taking "bloggies" of herself, you can stop scrolling now.)

A few more disclaimers:

5. All of these are #nofilter photos.

6. I humiliate myself for the sake of making others feel better about themselves.

7. Get ready to see...the rest of the story. #paulharvey 

So now, drum roll please...A Photo Album You Won't Find on Facebook.

#itsfivethirtyinthemorning #ihavenotyetconqueredtheworld #myworldhasconqueredme

#sometimesthishappens #howtogetreadywithasixmonthold #worstmomever

#freshoutoftheshower #lookiactuallyworemakeupyesterday #zombiesdoexist

#redmoleabovemylip #thankyoupregnancyforruiningeverysquareinchofmybody #notthebeautymarkiwanted

#youcanthidebigfeet #youcanhideuglytoes #pedicurefrommysisterswedding #happyninemonthanniversarytomynailpolish


#musicalseahorse #thescapegoatofmyfrustration #beenchuckedagainstthewallonceortwice #poorinnocentmusicalseahorse #stillworkslikeacharm

#stickynonstickpan #alliwantedwasafewpancakes

#myhomeoffice #workfromhomemom

#poopface #push


#dirtydishes #evendirtiersink

#ihatewhenidothis #a;sdlfj;alsdjf;lasjdf;lkasjdf #seehowlongittakesyoutofigureitout

#notasmartphone #extremelystupidphone

#playinghideandseek #sheisasoreloser

#stillneedtobabyproofthehouse #fourontheflooryounglady


#sweepeveryday #dirtytoes #whatsthepoint

#callofduty #pleasedontmakenoise #justfiveminutespeace

#bedtimestory #ihavethesebooksmemorized

And my all-time personal favorite,

#middleofthenight #stumbletothenursery #completelysleepdeprived #whywhywhy

Now that I have completely scarred you and you will never look at me the same again, let me get to the point. I don't share this to complain about my "everyday real life." I love my life, and even like it 98% of the time. But I think we need to remember again, that Facebook does not always tell the whole story. It's easy to see all the pictures and statuses and wish our lives would be different, wish our lives would be more like "theirs." Wish, wish, wish.

But behind the wedding bells, the Ken and Barbie photos, and the American Girl Doll children, there is a whole lot more going on. A lot that we don't see. A lot more "every day real." (Except of course, for our friends who constantly fill our news feed with their complaints. We do get to see every part of their lives.)

But remember, that behind the wedding bells there are probably a few marital miscommunications. 

Remember, that behind the American Girl Doll children there are probably a few "up all nights" and poopy diapers.

Remember, that behind the awesome dream job there is probably some stress.

Remember, that behind that annoyingly motivated, perky morning "selfie" person, there might also be some sort of fear or loneliness or personal struggle.

Remember, that behind all of the beautiful, awesome, exciting, life-changing, happy stuff that seems worth sharing, there is probably some dirty, messy, difficult, challenging stuff that someone doesn't want social media to know about too.

No, I don't think we need to start sharing all of our #middleofthenightwakeupcall photos, and complain about all the stuff that isn't our favorite. That would be doing everyone a disservice. (And I don't need to scar people any more than I have already done here today.)

And this is not a plea to change Facebook. Facebook is exactly what it was designed to be: a place to share. 

Facebook is not the problem. We are the problem.

We don't always remember what we should every time we log in and see a new photo album or status. We don't always use social media wisely, react to it maturely. We don't always keep that #littlegreenmonster at bay, and remember that perfection and happiness is not found in photo-shopped Facebook albums or statuses with hundreds of "likes."

So please, keep sharing, liking, commenting, browsing, at times even stalking. Otherwise, how else will I know what's going on in your life so many miles away? ;)

But be wise. And guard yourself against those lies that creep in and destroy joy.

And if you're still feeling down...just take another browse through this photo album of my "bloggies" that you will never, ever in a million years find on Facebook. You're bound to feel at least a little happier, right?

Grace and Peace,

February 17, 2014

Small Things with Great Love

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

Collin and I have been reading the book Finding Calcutta by Mary Poplin, who spent an extended time with Mother Theresa and the Missionaries of Charity in India. While it is argued whether or not Mother Theresa was the originator of the above quote, it is the perfect summary of the work and service that she and the Sisters devoted their lives to.

“Answer the door whenever the doorbell rings.”

I know it is a very small thing, but it is the way I have been trying to show “great love” this past week. It is not just about answering the door, it is about making myself available to others whenever the Lord asks me to be. I struggle with this. I am selfish with my time. I protect it, sometimes hoard it from others. I know that I have my limits; I cannot be everything to everyone. But these days I have this weird sense that it’s God standing out there knocking, wondering if I’m available to share some “great love” today. Today and every day. And this last week we experienced how small things really do lead to great love.

“Please, accompany me.”

The doorbell had rung at 9 p.m. that evening. Our friend Victor was sitting across the table, tears running down his face. His mother had passed away that morning, and he was heartbroken. “Please, accompany me. Please come to the cemetery. It would mean so much. You are not just my friends, you are my family.” Although we had never even met his mom, we knew she had been sick and that his family had been taking care of her for a long time. The next day we crossed the cemetery, an area of land that from afar looks like a tiny city, filled with every size, shape, and color grave imaginable. We walked past the beautifully carved and sculpted burial sites to the back of the cemetery where many caskets are only covered in a mound of dirt. We watched from a distance as Victor’s cousin performed a short service, reading Scripture and singing. The family wept. Tears. Pain.

“Answer the door whenever the doorbell rings.”

It was 10 a.m. this time. Victor was sitting across from me, explaining that their family was still Q1,500 (about $185) short of paying for the Q4,500 (about $560) funeral. The man at the funeral service had generously let the family have the casket without paying the entire bill, but now Victor only had a few days to pay off the debt with no resources left. “Please. This is the last favor I will ever ask.” More tears. “I feel so bad asking you for so much! I work every day, but right now there is no business. I ask for loans from so many, and can never pay them back. You have done so much for me, and I know that I can never pay you back. I just pray that God will multiply His blessings upon you.”

“Please, help me.”

I have talked about this before, how sometimes “helping” is complicated. At times we wonder if covering an entire debt or just giving money helps, or if it creates more problems. I won’t go into all the details here, but the situation did get quite complicated for us. However, we couldn't fight the fact that for some reason, we felt very convicted. Politics aside, we knew we were being called to give. We were able to cover almost half with the last of the money that had been donated to us from friends and family for these types of situations. After so much debate in our minds, I have never felt so much peace in my heart with our decision to give.

“Please, accompany me.”

Yesterday at church we met a man from Lansing, Michigan.  “Please accompany me to brunch! I know a great place that I would love to take you to! I’ll pay.” (How did he know that our two favorite things are food and free food?!) That morning he had prayed for God to show him someone he could take out for breakfast after church. God chose us. We shared wonderful conversation, a fantastic meal. (Guatemalans do breakfast very well.)

“I am a pencil in God’s hand.”

I do not share this to gloat, to tell the world the "good” we have done. 

I share this because this past week has been filled with many small things. So often we think we are supposed to change the entire world, do big things and become famous for it, accomplish something that creates astounding statistics. But sometimes we need to stop and focus on changing one person’s world, on doing small things that maybe nobody notices, on accomplishing something that might only seem like a “drop in the bucket.”

I share this because as we walked home from our wonderful, delicious, free brunch yesterday, we talked about how the meal felt like another sign from our generous Father. We didn't view breakfast as a reward for our small actions this past week, but it was most definitely a sign telling us to never be afraid to give, to never hold back from doing these “small things with great love” because we are constantly being shown the same favor. Others are continuously showing us great love. It was a reminder that we are always called to “pay it forward.” We are always provided for, shown generosity to, so we can always show generosity towards others.

In her book, Mary Poplin writes, “Mother Theresa often referred to herself as a ‘pencil in God’s hand.’ She believed that everything she was able to do was done by God’s power working through her…Their confidence that God works through them grants them power, grace, and humility. For them, each task must be done with love – small things done with great love.”

I want to be that pencil. I want to focus on the little things each day, to notice the one person in front of me who needs to be written a message of grace and extra care. I want to share the great love with others that I have been shown over and over, again and again in my own life.

Grace and Peace,

February 13, 2014

Beautiful Deception

At times when I am sitting in my chair and working, I look up, glance behind the lacy curtains hanging above our sofa, and I see this:

Against all the cement block, metal, and telephone wires, grows a radiant flowering shrub of vines, cascading out the side of our neighbor’ roof. The bright green vines and shocking purple petals are a stand out in this small concrete jungle. My eyes are instantly drawn to them. They are beautiful.

But a random glance one day made me take a closer look at these flowering vines. For one the beautiful vines, bright green and purple, had grown long, and was reaching for something to hold onto. And what it had caught was another small piece of beauty, a rose bush that had been growing about five feet away.

My beautiful vines had not only gotten a hold of it, but had entangled itself in the rose bush, choking the life out of the roses, which also once grew big and striking, bright yellow and pink. And suddenly, my beautiful vines did not seem so beautiful anymore.

Through this, I am reminded of the lies that I so often let myself get entangled with.

If only you were shorter with a few more curves.  Then you would be beautiful.

If somebody doesn't like you, then nobody likes you.

Why aren't you still teaching? Don’t you realize a whole class of children needs you more than your one daughter? You aren't contributing to the world by staying home.

You are strong enough to handle this on your own. You are in control. Don’t ask for help.

Just get all your work done first. Then you will have time for Scripture.

You did what? You thought what?! You are a horrible mother.

Why do you keep writing? Why do you pretend you have something good to say?

You aren't feeling content today.  You must have made a wrong decision, took a wrong turn somewhere.

If only {this} would happen, then you could be happy.

Deceit is everywhere, sneaking its way through media, telling me I’m not beautiful enough, rich enough, popular enough, funny enough, smart enough, creative enough, busy enough. Telling me that I’m not “enough.”

And at first glance, these lies appear beautiful. These lies I let fill my head and take over my heart appear harmless, glamorous even. They stand out compared to the monotonous parts of my life and make me think I am missing something, that if I had more, had different, had better, then I would be made complete. 

They appear be good things, simple motivational messages, positive pleas to make myself “better,” self-help to make myself “enough” for the world. But there is absolutely no satisfaction in chasing something that won’t end, in pursuing something that will never say “perfect,” or “just right,” or “good.” And in reality, this deception, these beautiful lies, are choking me, strangling me until I am left shriveled, lifeless.

So, I need to recognize when I am being fed lies.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

I need to protect myself against deception.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

I need to realize that these messages are not from my Creator.

{The devil} was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

I need to keep my heart and my mind devoted to Truth.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Because even though a thriving vine may appear shocking and beautiful, exciting, it may require a closer look to see what it’s hiding, to see what it's strangling.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

I need to mature away from these lies, away from deceit that only distracts me from my purpose.

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Because my worth, my value, my life, is not measured in what I look like, or what I accomplish. I am worthy to my Creator, simply because I am His beloved creation. I am a rose bush, beautiful, full of thorns and bristly leaves, full of flaws and mistakes, but beautiful nonetheless. Beautiful, if I don’t let myself get entangled.

So I am not going to waste any more of my time, my energy on these lies, on beautiful deception.

Grace and Peace,

February 10, 2014

This Valentine's Day, Learn a New Language

Collin had just graduated from college. At the time I was a sophomore, and we had been dating a mere six months.

I remember writing him a letter to congratulate him on his achievements, pouring as much of my feelings and admiration onto that piece of paper as I could without actually spitting out the words “I love you.” (We weren’t there quite yet.) I gave him the letter and told him to read it on his own later.

But of course, I still wanted to know what he thought of it, so I asked him on the phone. Okay, I didn’t really ask. I said, “Soooooo…?”

“Soooooo…what?” (Strange. He doesn't know what “Soooooo…”was referring to. Maybe he didn’t read the letter yet.)

I continued to prod. “Soooooo…what did you think?”

“What do I think about what?” (Okay, he must not have read it.)

“Um…what did you think about the letter? Did you read it yet?”

“Oh yeah, that. Thanks.”

(Thanks?! That’s it?! Why was he not rejoicing over the sheer beauty of the words I had so carefully crafted on that piece of paper? Why was he not telling me how he was going to store it in his keepsake box where he could take it out every day and read it just so he could relive the sentiments I had inspired him to feel?!)

You can imagine my confusion and disappointment, as well as the mini dating spat that followed.

Flashback to 2010.

But while I did not get the reaction I was hoping for, I did learn something new that day. I learned that I had it all wrong: I was speaking the wrong language.

I’m guessing many of you have heard of the 5 Love Languages, written by Gary Chapman. If not, I recommend reading it or the following short summary: There are five different ways you can show love and be loved - gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Learn which language of love your spouse appreciates most, and “speak” it.
Of course we can be a combination of love languages, but I am above all else a “words of affirmation” gal. I am so easily lifted up with kind words, you could probably sucker me into anything if you sweet talked me enough. And because I love to be loved with words, that is how I most naturally attempt to love others, (at least when sarcasm does not get in the way.)

But the truth is, Collin is not a “words of affirmation” guy. At least, not in the same ways that I am a “words of affirmation” gal. As a wife there are simple ways I can use words to encourage, uplift, and affirm my husband, as well as simple ways to avoid tearing him down. (Like at times, learning to tone down the sarcasm.) But sonnets and poetry and carefully crafted, mushy love notes are not where it’s at with him.

So here is why this gets tricky for me: the Golden Rule does not apply to "love languages."

“Words of affirmation unto Collin, because I would like them done unto me” is not how marriage works. (At least, that’s what I have found out for us in our few short years of being married.) Just because I would love for Collin to write me love songs and whisper sweet nothings in my ear all day long, does not mean that is the way he likes to be loved.

Which means that all of the sudden, the way Collin likes to be loved may not be the way I most naturally “speak” love.

It’s like trying to communicate to someone in English when they only speak Spanish. English is the only language you speak, so it’s the language that naturally comes out. But you quickly realize they aren't getting the message. You repeat yourself, you try speaking louder. (Surely they will understand you when you speak louder.) Nothing changes. They are confused. You are frustrated. But the answer seems so obvious, right?

I need to speak Collin’s language, the language he best understands the "I love you” I want to communicate.

It might be tricky. It might take work. It might feel awkward at first, like putting together sentences in a new language when I only know the vocabulary to ask “where is the bathroom?” And it might be something that I don’t enjoy doing at all. (Like sitting on the couch and watching baseball. Or offering to give a back rub. I hate both those things.)

But what I have learned is that when I put forth the effort to speak his language, to work through the awkwardness of something that doesn't always come naturally, it is so worth it. As Chapman describes in his book, our “love tanks” are filled. We get on the same page; we live in better marital harmony. We feel encouraged to “keep on keepin' on.”

I will never forget when Collin sent me an email from work, the morning after I had been up way too many times with Jocelyn. It was a simple note, complimenting me as a wife and a mom, encouraging me to get through another "mom day." It was like the wind in my sails had picked up, and suddenly the pooped-through clothes I was changing did not seem so horrible anymore.

Because he was speaking my language.

And on the flip side of things, learning Collin’s love language has helped me not only learn how to better love him, but also how to interpret his actions of love for me. Maybe I am not getting a love song written for me every day, but his doing the dishes and sweeping the kitchen and giving Jocelyn a bath are the “acts of service” that he is so naturally good at. He is saying “I love you” in the ways he knows best.

So on this Valentine’s Day, this horribly clich├ęd/Hallmark holiday, let’s learn a new language, our spouse’s love language.

For the “gifts” people, it might still mean roses and chocolates. For the “words” people, it might still mean a last minute card from the gas station with a heartfelt note written inside. Or it might mean trying something new, like doing the dishes, or sitting on the couch and watching ESPN with a positive attitude.

Either way, I think it’s a great occasion to learn a new language. And speak it.

Grace and Peace,

February 7, 2014

Force Feeding

Don't you know it’s good for you?

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul...{it is} sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

Don’t you know you need it?

Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Don’t you want to be filled?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Aren't you tired of feeling hungry?

Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Don't you know I am trying to take care of you?

No one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.

Don't you know that I love you?

He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Don't you know that I want what’s best for you?

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?...How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Why do you run from me?

Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Why do you try to hide?

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Why do you deny what is good?

{He} satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

You don't have time?

You are anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary.

You have other things to do?

Be still, and know that I am God.

You think you are being filled in other ways?

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

You think you are satisfied?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Don't you know your satisfaction in these things is temporary?

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?

No, I won't force feed you.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Because love does not force through fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

Instead, I will wait patiently.

Love is patient and kind.

I will wait for you and love you and long for you.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.

I will wait with rest, nourishment, and fulfillment.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

And when you are ready, you can come to me.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Come, and I can give you everything you need.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

I will be here. Waiting.

He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Grace and Peace,