Hosanna in the Highest!

"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him." Matthew 28:1-9

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20


Carried to the Table

I really wanted to post the song "Carried to the Table" by Leeland yesterday in honor of Good Friday.  All week long I've been thinking about how the day Christ died is commemorated by being called "Good Friday."  At the same time I've been faced constantly with my brokenness and weaknesses, and how on my own I can do nothing.  And I am so thankful for the day that Jesus Christ became sin for me, was separated from God his Father, and surrendered his own will so that we might have eternal life, though we don't even deserve it.  What was so terrible for him is truly good for you and me.  How can we ever comprehend this unbelievable love the Father has for us?!  It's unfathomable,  yet I am overcome with gratitude for this incredible sacrifice that forever changes our eternity when we believe and follow Him.

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." Romans 8:38

I'm aware that to even begin to appreciate and honor Christ's goodness and the gift of salvation, we must first face our weaknesses and the sin in our own hearts.  I recently had a conversation with a friend who finds it frustrating that people seem to only put their "best foot forward" online and make their lives seem like they're perfect, whether on Facebook or in the blog world.  It made me think of how much I never want to portray that...yet it's often difficult to open up my brokenness to all and let others see my sin.  I'd much rather come up with some eloquent words and sentences that focus on the "pretty" parts of my life. 

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Well, I'm here to tell you that I desperately need a Savior.  There is a whole lot about me that just isn't pretty.  The only good in me truly comes from Christ alone.  On my own I am painfully prideful, insecure, judgmental, critical, and vain.  I don't always build others up and I often speak in an unkind tone with hurtful words to my husband and those that I love.  I can be easily angered and impatient.  I struggle to not let others thoughts of me define my worth and thoughts of myself.  I consider myself too much and I struggle with comparing myself to others.  I've struggled with anorexia.  I've struggled with emotional eating and being overweight.  I struggle to be vulnerable and admit when I am wrong.  I become anxious when I should trust, and I am often selfish when I should be putting others first.  I have struggled with depression.  I don't like to feel out of control and I struggle with sarcasm.  I am forgetful and scatterbrained.  At times I'm not even close to being a good friend.  If you saw my home you would feel great about yours...because unlike many, it doesn't make me crazy when my home is not perfectly organized...but I often feel like I'm failing because of it.  I used to keep my door closed in college and miss out on relationships because I was embarrassed by my inability to keep a tidy room. 

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

The list could go on...but the point remains...I NEED A SAVIOR.  Any and all fruit and beauty in my life comes from God alone...anything that's good in me is all Jesus - I can take credit for nothing.  My relationship with Him is the source from which anything I might be tempted to boast about comes from.  He is faithful and gracious, full of goodness and mercy.  I am brought to my knees by his forgiveness and redemption in my life.  Because while I am so weak, He is always strong.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Lately I've been listening to the following song often...and any facade I may portray is shattered by its truths.  In honor of Good Friday and the day before Easter, I listen to it in remembrance of what my Lord and Savior did for me and for you...simply because of His great love for his children, His creation that He longs to live in relationship with.  I reflect on my brokenness and his sacrifice today...and tomorrow I sing praises in honor of his resurrection and that he is alive!  Death could not claim him and the tomb could not contain him - and now we too are victorious over it as well.  What a day that will be when we can stand face to face with Him in heaven...or down on our knees in response to his glory...all because Jesus came, died, and rose again.  All that we might live.  We are chosen, we are called, and in our weakness, we are carried by He who is strong.  Thank you Lord.

"Even in my weakness, the Savior called my name; in His holy presence, I am healed and unashamed." Leeland, "Carried to the Table"

And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Luke 9:21

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Phil. 3:7-10


Your Great Name

I am loving the song, "Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant right now.  Such a powerful worship song.  I strongly believe in the power of praying in the name of Jesus, as the bible calls us to do.  I love the line in the song that says, "The enemy; he has to leave, at the sound of your great name."  It is true that the devil cowers in fear when we mention the name of Jesus or when we claim scripture out loud.  This is something I've taken to a whole new level since I've been pregnant, constantly claiming this baby for Christ and casting out the enemy with the power of Jesus' name.  Recently our church held their annual Easter pageant, and I loved seeing the depiction of when Jesus was tempted in the desert, (Matthew 4:1-11), and spoke scripture to drive the devil away.  We need to remember the enemy that attacks us is a terrified coward.  He knows he is defeated and weak, but doesn't want us to believe it.  It's so important that we do not live our lives in fear but rather with the courage and power of the Holy Spirit.  We have been given such a gift to have access to our almighty God and Father and we must claim this opportunity in our lives.

I will never forget the first time I heard Erwin McManus speak and he told a story about his son being scared one night when he went to bed.  I think he was afraid of something in his room and he asked his dad if he would pray that God would take away the fear or the thing that was causing it.  Erwin said something like, "No, but I'll pray that God gives you courage and power through Him to overcome and destroy it."  I love the incredibly powerful perspective he taught his son in that moment. 

We are already victorious in Christ, yet are often tempted to live in fear or believe that we can be defeated at times.  We ask that anything that could cause us fear be taken away, rather than claiming Christ to conquer it.  As Easter approaches, I encourage you to cling more than ever to the redeeming power of Christ and his resurrection, pray in the great name of Jesus, and believe in his power with a courageous boldness.  Pray specific scriptures out loud for your life and your family, believing that God is who He says He is, and He will do what he says He will do.

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11 


Hello Monday

Goodbye weekend, hello Miscellany Monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1.  Girls' Weekend 2011.  Yesterday I returned home from some wonderfully much needed girlfriend time.  Several years ago God beautifully orchestrated a group of amazing women to come together for bible study, friendship, and simply doing life together in Cincinnati.  We all came to the group at different times, but when we met we were all in early/mid twenties, not married, no kids.  So we've been through a lot.  Since then we have been scattered to different states and we are all 30 or over and in all kinds of different seasons of life.  There has been some serious heartache and some beautifully answered prayers in that sweet circle of friends; times when we've stayed in touch well, and times when we've been less connected.  Yet our friendships remain.  It takes a long time to develop deep friendships when you move to a new area and go through some major life transitions like I did a couple years ago.  Definitely some sadness comes a long with that.  Needless to say, it was a joy to be together again for some time away.  We all agreed that the friendships in that group are more like family, and it's just not something that can be recreated.  Our weekend was filled with talking and laughing until our throats hurt, crying together, praying together, and eating some seriously yummy food.  I think most of all we experienced how life giving it is just to have your heart heard, especially by the people who have seen you through much of that life that has carried you to this moment.  Those friends are my soul friends - the ones who will cry with me in my darkest moments, rejoice with me in the best ones.  We are prayer warriors for each other.  I am so grateful.  (And yet I took no pictures...little makeup, lots of pajama wearing...so I'll have to borrow a few from others and share them later!)  Thank you friends for the fun time!!

2.  Baby registry - advice needed!  So after spending so much time with friends who shared all their baby/birth/parenting stories and pumped me up for mine, I came back ready to register.  It's time to get ready for this baby!  (Shocking as that may be to me!!)  So Kevin and I went to Target, signed up to get one of those gun things, and tried to bust a move.  Easier said than done.  So I need some advice from you!!  What are your favorite lists to work from?  What store do you like to start at?  Where should I register?  (I'm thinking Babies R Us, Target, and Amazon)  Kevin loves to have a plan, and I realize I need one!  I've taken care of lots of babies....but never lived with one! :)  Where in the world do you start, and how do you make the best choice on more specific items when a list just gives you generic ideas?  Anyone still with me?  Help!! 

3.  Sweet surrender.  Okay, when you are preparing for your first child, I'm finding that other people's birthing and parenting "war stories" can get me a little crazy if I let them.  (Though at the same time I love reading every single detail of all your birth stories...I'm just so weird right now in real life!! :) Wondering what it will be like for me, getting overwhelmed with the unknown, hearing that "if you think you're getting big/uncomfortable/in pain now, just wait until you're further along!"....it can all get to be a bit much sometimes at this stage of the game.  Of course no one is ill willed, just wanting to share their experience and help me prepare.  I guess I like to live in denial for now. ;)  If you're a bit of a psycho overthinker like me, you have to be very discerning about what to embrace and absorb.  And I'm learning to simply surrender...one day at a time.  I don't know if it's the pregnancy, hormones, or what, but lately I just desire quiet peace.  Especially in my heart.  Like resting in the calm before the storm, and just enjoying that calm.  I want to experience the freedom of trust.  Knowing that this peace and trust is a fruit of the spirit, a result of being connected to the vine, I know now more than ever I need to get connected to Him. 

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:7

4.  A great idea!  Recently I found an awesome idea in a Family Fun magazine.  I don't know about you, but I just hate to throw away cards that people get me for any occasion.  I'm just too sentimental.  However my husband doesn't like the paper pile up, and doesn't think I can really enjoy them the way I have them stored.  So in this magazine I found something that will change my life - making a book out of the cards!  Seems so simple, but genius!  I have lots of leftover metal rings from teaching, so I am planning on punching 2 or 3 holes in the cards, making a cute cover out of  cardstock and maybe something sturdier, then putting them on a shelf or in a basket to enjoy....when I get all this out of storage of course! This will be wonderful to start out for my little person this summer!

Find this super cute idea and the source for this picture here!

5.  Reading this and loving it - I was recently reading the blog, 1+1+1=1, and found a great resource about biblical parenting called Raising Godly Tomatoes.  What's awesome is you can read the whole thing online.  I know there are a million and one opinions on sleep schedules, godly discipline, etc., but I love what the author of this book has to say so far.  I know that every child is different and what our baby will be like is unpredictable at this point, but I'd like to be somewhat prepared, and I know I have more time now than when I'm sleep deprived!  If you've heard of it I'd love to know what you think.  If not, check it out and let me know! 

That's all for now.  More to come this week like new preggo pics and how imperfect I truly am.  Exciting, right? :)  I know I fit a ridiculous amount of words into these posts - imagine talking to me in real life!!!  Also, if I haven't told you enough, your kind words mean the world to me!  I can't tell you what an encouragement you are - so THANK YOU!!!


I Like the Way You Move (Details at 20 Weeks!)

(That's the log cabin!!)

(We decided on this night my belly totally looked like an Easter egg!  Will we be painting it in a couple weeks on vacation??  Of course! :)

I am 20 weeks pregnant!!! Half way there, can you believe it!? We had our big ultrasound appointment Monday and stayed strong with our decision not to find out. Though that was a bit tough for me. The ultrasound tech was so sweet and let me ask a million questions. I told her how crazy it was that she is the only person in the world to know what we're having!
My sweet little dancer is having quite the party in me these days!  It's the most amazing feeling.  I would say if I had been confident about what I had been feeling that I felt movement for the first time around 18 weeks.  A little kick or punch here or there.  Then last Tuesday Kevin and I got mini blizzards at Dairy Queen, and while watching a movie I definitely felt Baby Love do some sort of swimming...it felt like a big bubble.  Very cute and very exciting!  (I think the strawberry cheesequake blizzard helped!)

Then came the ultrasound and seeing our precious baby!!!  Wow.  It was so emotional and wonderful and sweet.  So neat to see how he/she has developed...and of course I think Baby Love is SOOO cute!  :)  It definitely made me want to hold and comfort him or her....though I know he or she is quite cozy and happy in there for now!  We only got a couple photos of that sweet face because the little thing was being quite shy and facing my back most of the time.  (I'll share those soon!)  I just can't wait to find out if it's a boy or a girl...I do believe the surprise will be worth it, but the wait is hard!!  After seeing the baby, then talking to the ultrasound tech/doctor about what makes him/her move the most as well as what that might feel like, I am very much more aware of the baby's movements.  It's almost like I'm more in tuned to them because I saw the little one who's in there doing it!  Crazy.  And I love every second.  I actually prefer to feel the movements as a reminder of my baby's life.  So wake up little one!

I will say that these days I just want to let the tears flow.  I understand the hormones will do that to you, but I also think it's by God's design.  Letting your tears fall is so therapeutic, so natural to how God designed us.  And they're such a reminder of our need for Him.  I'm also not afraid to say I'm having strong moments of feeling overwhelmed lately.  It's taking me a lot of energy to find something that I like to eat on a consistent basis.  Still getting sick and feeling nauseous.  And I'm so very tired.  Both my mind and my body have definitely entered the mom world.  I think a lot about being a good mom now and when the baby comes.  There's so much I want to be doing more consistently.  I'm also not at all a good shopper but in the next couple days I have to take the maternity clothes plunge.  Reality has hit!  I just so badly want to stay positive and enjoy it all.  And truthfully I really am enjoying it in my heart - so fascinating and sweet, even if my body's having a hard time. :)

Other fun facts:

Weight gain: According to the doctor - 4lbs.  According to me, (from the day I found out) - 8lbs.

Baby Size: Sweet thing is the size of a melon! (Maybe if he/she rolled up into a ball??) And the length of a banana!

Names: We have a boy name and a girl name, and I love them.  I look forward to explaining their meanings and why we chose them to Baby Love.  Isn't it crazy but fun how we all have such different tastes and ideas when it comes to naming children?!  A special privilege for sure.

Nursery: I'm going for bright, whimsical, modern, and nostalgic.  We'll see how that goes on a tight budget once we have a place to live!!  Some of my favorite sites for inspiration are Oh Dee Doh, Project Nursery, Petit Collage, Etsy, and Layla Grace.  The blog world is my best friend when it comes to help with this.  Oh how I wish I'd been blogging when I got married! :)

Cravings: Food from one of our favorite restaurants that someone else prepares.  Like a house salad with extra cucumbers, tomatoes, and croutons, with honey mustard and tangy tomato dressing, and a sweet potato and brown bread from Outback.  Or crabcakes, mashed potatoes and warm bread from Mitchell's. Yum.  Food prep and the smell of our own living space is the greatest challenge for me, unfortunately.  (Not that we smell, but you know what I mean! :)  Too bad this is the most budget friendly option!!  And we've actually been living in other people's spaces since we became pregnant, so maybe this contributes??

Maternity clothes: My mom just got me some super cute tops and a pair of pajama pants.  Just in time.  Now I'm on the lookout for some cute skirts and dresses to live in!

Sleeping:  Difficult.  I have never ever slept on my side, so it's been a struggle for me.  I also have crazy dreams.  Last night I dreamt the baby kicked so hard that it's little toes came out of my belly.  Then it crawled out the side of my stomach...and it was a baby doll with curly brown hair!!  What?!  No wonder I'm so tired and overwhelmed.  Ha ha.  I remember panicking and wondering if the doctor could put it back in to keep growing!

Other thoughts:  We have been doing a lot of thinking and praying about the things we want to be most consistent with when it comes to our child.  I think a lot about what I want our home to be like or the different routines I want to do with the baby.  (Singing, reading, praying, etc.)  We also started watching a 5 session dvd series called "Right From the Start," by Barbara and Dennis Rainey.  We watched the first one this week and had a great conversation about the values we want to be the foundation of our family, and how we want to start discipling/training up our little one in the Lord. I know we'll have good days, bad days, and sleep deprived days, and always be in desperate need of God's grace to cover this!

Fun moments: The 20 week ultrasound, and the fact that my mom and grandma were able to come to town for it...feeling the baby move a lot more...wearing my first maternity clothes...having a sweet little 4 yr. old girl at church ask me what I was going to name the baby...having pics of our sweet Baby Love!!!

Verses I am claiming:

"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'....your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:31-34

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." Psalm 150:6


Miscellany Monday

I love that I am writing this post on Spring Break in the midst of a cozy, wonderful thunderstorm. This is one thing I love about spring!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1.  Wonderful news!  Who would have thought that just a few short weeks after announcing I am pregnant, my sweet friend Cait from "the blessed life" would announce she is too!!!  Last year she and I taught together, with our classrooms side-by-side.  We shared many wonderful discussions about life, God, marriage, teaching, blogging, and the future.  She has been such a kind and generous source of encouragement to me.  Who would have thought that this year we would be expecting sweet little ones just six weeks apart!  I am so thrilled for my dear, sweet friend, and I look forward to sharing more of this journey with her.  Please hop over to her blog to celebrate with her and her hubby!

2.  Still sick.  This adorable bundle of blessing growing inside me is still affecting me with some seriously persistent nauseousness.  Not the worst case, but enough to make it hard for me to eat large amounts of anything, or much of a variety.  I'm kind of used to it though, and all along I've said I'll go through whatever I have to for this baby.  Even if it lasts the entire time, I know it will come to an end when that new little life begins!  More than worth it.

3.  Log cabin living.  While I am honestly enjoying the quiet, serene, and cozy log cabin living, my heart is going through some moments of serious wonder about where we'll end up.  I'm loving this set up, but it is not long-term.  Please pray that God provides a home for us at just the right time.  I've not gotten anxious so far in this process, and I really don't want to start.  I know that He will provide, and I'm looking forward to preparing and setting up for Baby Love in our own place.

4.  Storytime.  I think I've mentioned that my husband is part of the staff of a multi-site church campus, which is an extension of the main, much larger church in the area.  Anyway, the campus launched in January, and while it's been a lot of work, it's been fun to build community there and invest in one particular part of the city.  On Sunday mornings I have been the "storyteller" for the 3-5 yr. old's chapel or large group time.  I tell the main bible story that the small group Sunday school teachers will reiterate with activities.  It has been so much fun!  I've quickly learned how good it is for me to have to get excited and silly in front of about 30 - 40 kids each week.  I have loved seeing their amazement at Jesus' life and all the ways he loved others in the Bible and loves us now.  It's also gotten me excited about stories with my own children, and I've been checking out some great sites with resources.  One of my favorites is Hubbard's Cupboard.  Lots of great info. for teaching little ones!

5.  Go Butler!  A born and raised Hoosier at heart, I LOVE March Madness!!!  I get so nervous every year when I'm filling out my brackets, then quickly make my way to the bottom of the standings and toss it out! :)  It seems like every game this year has been a great one - so much fun to watch.  Though I am sad for my husband as his beloved UK team lost in such a bummer of a way.  I am looking forward to tonight...hoping it's not a repeat of last year's final game.  Hope it's a great game - Butler all the way!!!

6.  Dreams deferred.  Who remembers the post I wrote this time last year??  While my writing might not have reflected the depth of my feelings, that was an.awful.time.  Many tears.  Let me open your eyes to a little more of what went on.  I, along with the rest of the staff had been waiting for a month to find out our new grade assignments, and it was extremely stressful.  We were all anxious and on edge.  I was desperately hoping to get kindergarten or first grade because I LOVE teaching that age...it was my dream.  And I was eager to be done with the incredibly difficult first year teaching experience and move on to enjoying the second year with some experience behind me.  Anyway, the Thursday before spring break last year, I found myself crying my eyes out in the principal's office when she had to let me go.  (Yes, I am NOT fun to pink slip :)  They did a re-organization of the school, went to straight grades, and with only 3 kindergarten classrooms, there were one too many teachers and not enough classrooms.  Good-bye first year me.  I was so sad and struggled with feelings of defeat, but I knew in my heart that God would provide.  I told all my sweet colleagues through tears that He would use this situation to be glorified and show His faithfulness.  And He definitely did.  What a moment it was last summer when I was offered the home school job I now have.  Such a blessing.  It has certainly stretched me as all teaching jobs do, but with a much different stress than the administrative responsibilities of public school.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working for this family.  But oh, how I often miss those kiddos.  I poured my heart and soul into my students.  I do have days when I long to welcome 22 sweet little lives into my classroom to influence and learn from each day, but I trust God's plan.  And what a joy this year on spring break be writing about my sweet baby love....a lifetime of the most important teaching and learning ahead of me.   My ultimate dream.  Needless to say, God has used all this to remind me that He is not a God of confusion.  He can be trusted and He is for us even when we feel confused or sad out of our minds.  Seek Him with all your heart, and courageously move where the Spirit leads!!

"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.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:11-13



First of all, sorry I don't have a great April Fools' post to share with you...I just don't think I have the guts. :)  I'll let Joy's Hope handle that one!  Ha ha.  Last year on this day I played hang man with my 3rd and 4th graders at the end of the day and told them I was pregnant.  They were shocked, then laughed, then played the joke on all my teacher friends in our hallway.  It was very funny.  Who would have thought this year it's not a joke!? 

So this week I saw on Facebook that my brother shared a link with a friend of a sermon by Timothy Keller.  Because I respect my brother so much as a man, a follower of Christ and a pastor, I of course thought I would listen to it as well.  Let's just say, it was life-changing for me.  Seriously.  So much so that Kevin and I listened to it together when he got home.  I love simple yet profound messages.  Keller is extremely intelligent and intellectual, yet is awesome at speaking practically.  We've heard him speak one other time at a church planting conference, and I know he has written several great books that my brother has read. (That I need to read!)  One is called "The Reason for God," and his latest is, "Generous Justice."

Anyway, the message really forces you to reflect on what you really adore in life, and where your heart's focus truly is.  He helps you see, by studying The Lord's Prayer, that to have a true perspective of God and experience all other fruit, we must first honor and adore Him.  At the end he talks about the pendulum of God as a holy God, and God as a loving God, in the realm of understanding the sacrifice of His son Jesus.  It has seriously influenced my perspective and prayer life.  I've even found that what we often think of as "praising" or "adoring" God is more along the lines of gratitude for what He's done for us rather than just reflecting on his holiness and who He is.

So I strongly encourage you to take some time this weekend and listen to this message -

Then, if you need a jumpstart on simply adoring Him, try this song...it's the one I've had on repeat all week and have been singing from my soul.  Happy Friday!!!