How one night I couldn’t sleep

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There are so many things competing for our attention as mothers, as people. I’ve talked lately about surrendering things in our lives to give more time to God. That certainly doesn’t negate our responsibilities as mothers, wives, or what have you.

But it does leave a lasting question of priorities lingering in our minds. Did the Lord give me more than I could bear?

After a long day of doing what I do, I laid down relieved to be connected with my pillow again. I was so tired and prepared to fall asleep right away. But my mind kept racing with life still active in my head. The things that worried me, the things that excited me, prayers going out,recounting the day and the like. I tried to not think, I tried not to-do, tossing, turning, balloons, rainbows, anything? Nothing. My husband fast asleep beside me, I’m wondering how in the world does he do this? He mutters as if he read my mind, “just go to sleep, don’t think.”

I whispered to the Lord now looking at the clock donning 12:30 am.  “Please help me sleep.”

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

Rest your head, my sweet baby girl.

Here is the thing. There is a lot on my plate, some more than I can handle, some that I can easily hanker down. The Lord has given me (us) too much to show me that I am not enough and that he is quite enough.

Many of us mama’s get weary or tired or just straight exhausted but the key to redeeming those days is trusting and leaning on God’s unchanging unfailing word. When we find the days keeping us awake at night we can trust that once we surrender the uncontrollable to God, he will give us peace to rest in his name and carry on another day.

So what do we do when life keeps us up at night and our burdens are too much bear? We give them to God, we cast them on him because they ARE too much but by his strength we can bear them. Through his will we can do this and trust him.

 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
 He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
 The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
 For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.

-Psalm 103 11-14

We are only dust. We are fragile but God’s love and care are eternal. My commentary read this:

” When God examines our lives he remembers our human condition. Our weakness should never be used as a justification for sin. His mercy takes everything into account. God will deal (and care) for you compassionately. Trust him”

That scripture at that moment came to my mind but there are so many others that we can carry with us and hold on to.

Here are some scriptures that I hope encourage your heart and give you the confidence to slow down and rest in him when the burdens of life feel like they are too much. Reminders really that God is mighty and ultimate when our lives are too messy and the things that fill them get heavy.

Casting our cares- Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28

Letting God be  our safe haven– In peace I will lie down and sleep,  for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalms 4:8

Surrendering humbly- Give your burdens to the Lordand he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Psalm 55:22

 

Waiting on the Lord- Wait patiently for the LordBe brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

Trusting in the Lord- Let all that I am wait quietly before God,  for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.  My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times.  Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. 

Psalm 62:5-8

Praying while we wait-  Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Phillipians 4: 4-9

 

Be encouraged!

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Linking Up With:  Playdates with God,  Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31

You Might Also Like: A holy Mess, Surrender, I confess I’m an Imperfect Mother, Guest Post From a New Mommy

 

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The Blessing of Being a Boy Mom

The last few weeks for me have been exhausting to say the least. Especially with baby number three being thrown into the mix. When people ask me, Oh do you hope it’s a girl?” My not so humble reply is, “Yes! I’m so tired of being a boy mom I need a change!”

I thought about how my boys may feel had they heard their emotionally unfiltered mama bolt out these words. My thought process then was to ask myself, “What’s so bad about being a boy mom?” My answer to that question would have to be nothing for 10,000 please!

In doing our review of how our boys are growing upward, outward and inward, my husband and I often have to stop and process through all the things that make us mad to get to the things that are great about our growing boys. Now that is real parenting huh?! This made me want to reach farther and write down all the joys of being a boy mom that would remind me of the blessings they are to me. We’ve been through a lot as boy and mama and I want them to know that nothing they ever do or say can change my mind about how over the hills in love I am with them.

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My blessings. I can’t help but recollect those bad days when I’m frustrated and at my whits end and a little warm body comes to snuggle me at the kitchen sink with whispers that mama is the best. Or the times I look up to see a young man running toward me in distress.

My blessings are surely the one’s who make me yell and scream, maybe even tug my strands at times. But my blessings are also the one’s who come to my rescue with a song of God’s love when my heart is aching.

My blessings are the pleases and thank you’s unexpectedly. The smiles with missing teeth. The middle of the night call to be protected from fevers. My blessings are the spilled kool-aid 3 times on my well mopped kitchen floor from dying eggs at Easter.

My blessings pour tight hugs on me just because. I chose this picture to represent my blessings because they are flawed, sweet  young men whose hearts belong to mama, whose love is motivated by God.

When I can see my boys playing quietly together it is such a blessing. When I can hear them say a whole verse of scripture is a blessing.

Bikes with no training wheels waiting to be conquered bless me. Love notes to the greatest mama in the universe smell so sweet.

The opportunities to walk alongside of them in difficulty means more to me.

Being a boy mom takes courage to me. To have had to look my sin in the face and to remind them that I will sin and their trust should be in Jesus; for them at young to be so forgiving and loving is my blessing.

I used to often wonder why God gave me boys. And my testimony of faith is that I was a useless whimp without them. They have truly taught me the meaning of strength and courage, faith and wisdom. They have truly taught me the meaning of standing firm to see the Lord’s Salvation.

I often write about the trials and tribulation of mamahood, but truthfully the trials and tribulation of training a child and nurturing them into adults are what make motherhood special.

This post is not meant to be one with structure and poise but one filled with random meaningful ramblings of how being a mother of boys is a blessing.

The strong-willed, tree climbing, accident prone, big baby cryer, mama butt smackin, smart mouth havin, silly joke lovin, mess cravin, faith growing, sticky cheek, hungry man-eating,  noise makin, bug pickin, boy.  That’s my blessing.

This morning I was not feeling very well and my hubby and Kid Hero blessed me by letting me sleep. My Kid Hero Got himself all ready for school and took care of me before we set out to the bus. What a huge blessing!

I’m so grateful for my boys, to believe like they believe, to love like they love, to see God the way they do is absolutely amazing!

 

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.        -Mark 10:13-16

Children are a gift from the Lordthey are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.    -Psalm 127: 3-5

 The tears we cry as mama’s wanting the best for our boys, the prayers we lift up for them to acknowledge God as their savior, the frustrations we pour out onto journal pages, the nights we just want them to see how much we love them, the sweat that pours from chasing them up and down the stairs, the stories we read when nobody feels well, the noses we wipe when ours needs it too, the hours we work to see them flourish as believers, fathers, and husbands, the hands we hold just because, the smiles we seek that make our day; The tough times and heartache, the good times and gathering all remind me that they are my blessings and that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Some times I forget to look at my purpose in their lives and sometimes when I look I see that I was never better suited to be their mama.

Being a boy mom is the most precious my mom says, ” when they get older they will come back and bless your life two times over, after all the stress they take you through.”

Be encouraged dear boy mama, that you are a wonderful part of God’s plan in their life and that they are a wonderful part of his. Make it count. Pour your sweat and tears into how you raise them. Let the battlefield of boy be your mission.

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Linking Up With:  Playdates with God,  Titus Tuesdays, Living Proverbs 31, Growing Homemakers

You Might Also Like: A Holy Mess, I Confess I’m an Imperfect Mother, How to Train a Superhero: Beginners Edition, Confessions of a SuperMOM Wannabe, Protecting the Purity: How to Shepherd Your Children

 

A Holy Mess-a word of encouragement for the Mama’s

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Most of us have problems that arise in our lives. My belief is that the way we handle those problems show how much God is at work in each of us. Whether great or small.

This phrase stuck strongly in my mind as I reflected on one of those days where I’ve felt defeated as a mom and wife. Attitudes flared that day, frustration was at the core of each situation and stress plagued the night. I just wanted to get through the day without having to wrestle someone and put them in a headlock.

A holy mess.

What that means to me is that no matter where God takes us on this road to righteousness, his master plan is to refine us by the fire of our trials and tribulation.

I slip up and yell some things that probably are best unsaid. I thought some things that God would not have been pleased with and I’m pretty sure my mannerisms displayed it all. But God is working on me…on us. His word is alive and at work in our everyday lives. It heals, restores, and renews. We are holy and we are a mess, still clay in the potters hand being molded and shaped to his design.

Motherhood is hard but such a wonderful blessing. Being a wife is an amazing honor but there are times I don’t want to care for my family the way I do and would like to just escape and steal away those quiet moments or better, sleep.

I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I pray today that we mama’s, whether weary, tired or in distress would continue to look to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith and that we would, even in our weariness, trust the Lord with all of our hearts and continue in the strength of him to get up daily and devote our lives to him by stewarding our families and our lives well. I pray that we will have the strength to go to God and in honesty spill our hearts and let his word wash and renew us.

Life for us unravels and we spend a lot of time trying to roll it all up. We work hard trying to get it all together and other times we just let some of those tangles just hang all out. There are times when motherhood is disappointing, when some moments are not wished to be relived. But here dear friends is a reminder that our children are our gift even though we feel undeserved . Our husbands are our blessing, even when we are defeated, and this work that we have been called to, to care for and nurture our needy families, is not useless, unprofitable or burdensome.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. -1 Corinthians 15:58

Sometimes we need to be reminded that our job is valuable and vital, that we are important and appreciated and loved. That even in our messiness, God is choosing and rooting for us.

I’d like to share this video today in hopes that it will encourage those mama’s who are burnt out and in need of a joy booster or that reminder. For us moms and women who feel like our mess is bigger than our calling.

This is for the MOMS.

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Linking up with: wedded wednesdays, playdates with GodTitus2sday

You Might Also Like: Surrender, Young Mother Redeemed, I don’t like the taste of salt, I Confess. I’m an Imperfect Mother.

Surrender

howtotrainasuperheroI sat down for quiet time with the Lord and I proceeded to turn my rusty bible pages to Proverbs.

A little background:

It’s not everyday that I get to sit down to this quiet time, and to be honest, some days my bible barely makes it open. So this year I’ve asked the Lord to renew my thirst for his word and help me to be a little more diligent in showing myself approved. I’m so excited about this because God has truly been meeting me in this place of quiet with him.

Anyway. In flipping to get from James to Proverbs, my eyes caught the words of Jesus dead center, so I decided to ask the Lord if that is where I should be.

Undoubtedly quiet time is about more than just being still. Everything that makes this idea possible is listening.

I read:

Matthew 8:18-22

When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.  Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”

Matthew 8:22

But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”

I don’t know what it was that kept me at this place but I was stuck on verse twenty-two. What was the meaning of this? And essentially what was the Lord wanting me to understand?

And then I read the commentary..

It is possible that this disciple was not asking permission to go to his father’s funeral but rather to put off following Jesus until his elderly father died. Perhaps he was the first-born son and wanted to be sure to claim his inheritance. Perhaps he didn’t want to face his father’s wrath if he left the family business to follow an itinerant preacher. Whether his concern was financial security, family approval, or something else, he did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet.  Jesus, however, would not accept his excuse.

Jesus was always direct with those who wanted to follow him. He made sure they counted the cost and set aside any conditions they might have for following him. As God’s Son, Jesus did not hesitate to demand complete loyalty. Even family loyalty was not to take priority  over the demands of obedience. His direct challenge forces us to ask ourselves about our own priorities in following him. The decision to follow Jesus should not be put off, even though other loyalties compete for our attention. Nothing should be placed above total commitment to living for him.”

Most would agree that the man wanting to be with his father was a valid excuse. But in my mind I can’t help but think, “this is Jesus here.” The alpha and omega, beginning and end calling this man to serve alongside of him as a disciple. Yup, this man was clearly out of whack!

But as a mother this is me. Never able to bring my mind fully to the king of kings. Why? because my mind plays subject to so many other things that are happening around me. There’s basketball practice’s, menu planning, serving my husband, household projects and more . Not forgetting that Jesus is my priority but not making much effort to make him that either.

Just one more thing needs to be done before that time with Jesus. And before you know it, my quiet time with Jesus or those moments of listening and meditating are victim to a tired and weary momma.

In reading this I can already think of some things that need to be surrendered to get more time with God or to stop and realize those little beauties in life that God has given.

Challenge:

What in your life is God calling for you to surrender just to be with him? What can be less to give God more?

Live on purpose,

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Linking up with: wedded wednesdays, playdates with GodTitus2sday

Young Mother Redeemed

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Here I was, a young mother at the age of sixteen staring a new-born baby boy in the face and not knowing what was to come. Not understanding the Lord’s grace in my life nor my role to intentionally convey that to my child. I was a baby myself but I made a mature decision to carry out my pregnancy and “grow up.”

I made the necessary plans, secured a job and set my focus to be a mother instead of a child, and I thought my plans were all worked out. I carefully played along in life acting confident in who I was but in doubt not really having a clue. I worked, went home and tended to my baby boy, being present but unavailable.

Nobody counseled me on the hard times, sleepless nights and stress of being a single mother or a mother period. Nor the anger that came from regretting my past mistakes, the insanity I would sometimes face and the constant search of selecting the next man of my life. I ran to people and I let them tell me what the future held  for me and the decisions I should make and soon those very same people I learned were the one’s laughing in my face behind my back. I married so that I wouldn’t be alone and  hoped that those pieces I thought were missing would be put together again.

Well, growing up I learned that looking for love in the wrong place will leave you in a dark, lonely, and frustrated place. I grew further and further away from God and began to get angry at him. Now how does that sound? Me being angry at God for the choices I made and wanting him to make them disappear without reaping the consequences. I wanted a microwave faith. One that worked when I wanted it to.

But somewhere in my early twenties through divorce and other things I found myself on my knees begging God to meet me where I was. But he didn’t need to. Why? because he never left, I just pushed him away. Once I realized this truth it opened the door to other things. Things that I convinced myself of  weren’t making any sense and God’s truth did. So I decided right there that I would put my faith in Jesus and let him take the woman I saw in the mirror everyday and clean her up. And in exchange he helped me to understand that the battle’s I was trying so hard to fight were overcome in his name.

I can’t really say that things got better over night because they didn’t, but me knowing that because I put my faith in trusting in the blood that was shed for me on the cross by Jesus, I was walking in a new way. Not one where I started naming and claiming my future and blaming everything on the devil but a way where I understood the fact that I am a sinner and I will do it everyday. However, in Jesus I have the freedom to go to God, repent and start over again. And guess what? I had the freedom to forgive my self and know that all of my mistakes were nailed to the cross in Jesus’ name.

So I know this sounds like what an older person would say but trust me I look back and wish I would have listened to some of those things.

Young mother… you need to know your worth and what you were made for. You were born in the image of a king so great in his majesty that a single look will knock you out. How great is that? Even those ugliest things that you find about yourself are amazing. You were created to worship that king in everything that you do. Being diligent on your job or at school is worship, stepping up as a mother is worship, showing those little eye’s how you depend on God in your singleness or married-ness is worship.

Worship God with your life by doing the very best you can do and holding on to God when you have fallen.

Wait on God, you are not dented or bruised. You are not trash or reused. You are made whole by the Gospel of Jesus and it’s truth.

Your mission is now your child and getting that child to understand who he is and why he was created and for whom he was created. You were created to worship God. Focus on bringing up your baby or babies not having a man or things.

Be an example of what a godly woman should look like. And choose to receive the joy of the Lord everyday.

When you have accepted Jesus’ lordship in your life (allowing Jesus to wash you and restore you) you will be able to live redeemed. Knowing that nothing can separate you from the love of God and that he has a plan in the midst of your sorrow, happiness,pain, anger, fatigue and frustration..and that is for you to grow.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.     -James 1:3

The Gospel makes people whole…that means it is for you.

Live life on purpose, with purpose, for purpose,

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Linking up with: wedded wednesdaysplaydates with GodTitus2sday

You might also like: Motherhood: The Jesus Culture (Guest Post by Jenn), Motherhood: The Jesus Culture (Guest Post By Victorine), I Don’t Like The Taste of Salt

I Confess I’m an Imperfect Mother

It’s so funny how this came about. Years ago I had plans to write a book titled Confessions of A Teen-aged mom. Don’t ask me what happened, I guess life took its toll and the book got lost. It may still come about one day.

I had plans of writing how my first child came and living through the pain of being shunned from my previous church. There were chapters on midnight feedings and how I was too tired and fell asleep breastfeeding. Along with many other chapters like anger and children, confessions of a single mom, suicidal roller-coaster and the like.

I feel like I’ve been through it all. I’ve got battle scars to prove my journey. Two failed relationships, one failed marriage, custody battles, living paycheck to paycheck paying for daycare and private school on my own and fears through the marriage I am in.

I’ve been compared, knocked down, looked over, mentally and emotionally abused and what have you. Who hasn’t?

Nonetheless, this day I get up every morning with new hope and a greater vision to seek God’s best in my life and the lives of my children.

But I am not perfect. I just laid that out. I’m not the screaming mom that takes single leaps in a bound when my boy’s cry. I am not the super organized mom or the mom that has her child in 10,000 biblical activities through the year. I’m not the mom that never catches an attitude or wakes up super early to start breakfast. I second that. I am certainly not the mom who get’s all her house work done, home school’s perfectly, nurtures perfectly or loves perfectly but these are very broad subjects.

If the chance comes I’m making a pizza and calling it dinner. I try to limit T.V. but sometimes, when I’m tired, there are pajama days. Sometimes dishes are left in my sink and the dirt on the floor may linger a few weeks.

Sometimes I don’t get dressed or even brush my teeth (don’t judge me).

But who is all these things?

Who has it together all the time? And if you do, then you are your own Saviour because there is no need.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

I fail and I fall. You got me. But I’m still growing. That’s the important thing.

I’m so imperfect and yet so glad that I am. Because through these imperfections God shows me how to slow down and catch up on life, the fun free one. He shows me to depend on him for his strength, his wisdom and his control. Not to compare myself to another mother or woman and what he has set before them. What God has given me is for me.

My crazy busy life, my personality, my husband, my struggles, my children, my ridiculous strength, my annoying yet amazing family, It’s all for Nykiah, because it’s apart of his work within me and the end of the story.

I am imperfect but He is stronger when I am weak and greater in my vulnerabilities. I am exactly what he wants me to be and how he needs me now. So that his glory can be completed in me. I’m just a dented, chipped, puzzle piece learning how to fit in his plan and stand where he wants me on the stage. I’m dress rehearsing for the real thing when all my responsibility will be to bow down and worship the king of kings.

I didn’t use to can but I do now. I never made pizza dough but I do now. I don’t have any girls, but I have boys. I don’t have a huge house but I have one. I don’t have long hair, but it’s healthy. I don’t always say the right things but I’m working on it.  I love God and I love people. Isn’t that really the point of all of this? Aren’t these really what the Lord has asked of us?

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22: 34-40 (ESV)

So while I’m focusing on what I’m not and who I could be, He is looking at greater things.

Praise God if another mom does more than me, praise God if another mom does less. We all have one thing in common, Jesus, his love and his work; Or that we love what we do and we are crazy for doing it!

I hope you can see your imperfections as another reason to give Christ your life. For someone already perfect needing nothing, it wouldn’t be a lot.

Trust him today and walk on the path he has you. Whether crazy and blessed or worst and a mess. Trust Him. And by all means, rejoice with other moms and women for their strength, humility and work that they were called to! (In other words, don’t hate, congratulate!)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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Linking up with: Wedded Wednesday and thebettermom

Finding Beauty in the Mess

howtotrainasuperhero

your standing staring dead on at the mirror. Something in you has become unhappy. you began looking at your face and begin to pick away at it. You don’t like what you see.

“I’ve gained some weight?” You think.

Then crack a smile to hide how you feel about your flawed body. It’s not enough.

You began searching.

Searching for options to fix appearance.

Makeup then clothes, something new maybe.

Immediately you began holding yourself to someone else’s standard of
beauty.

So and so goes to this place, and so and so’s husband allows
them to do this every so many weeks. I will be more beautiful
if I went there and had money to do what so and does.

I don’t have time to look presentable. Truth is this how you
feel on the inside.

Psalm 139:14

How you made me is amazing and wonderful.I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful.I know that very well.

To the weary mom or the weary wife:
Some of your days may look like this. It may pass and it may
not. You may feel unhappy with your body. You may be too tired
to brush your teeth. The unhappy feeling may not go away. And
Jesus may stop being your satisfaction.

But here’s his standard of beauty: The truth
That you are made in his image. Imagine that? This powerful,
mighty God, who rules the world and gives the bird a new
song, this God who sits high on his throne, who can’t be seen
with a single eye because his majesty is so beautiful.

You were made like this. And no lipstick, foundation, or
piece of jewelry can fix that.
What’s better Gods plan is for you to look the same inside.