Running Shoes

Running From Relationships

 shoes-93756_960_720

I’m a runner. Oh no, not the kind you probably are thinking of….the put your sneakers on, hit the ground and go kind? No, that’s not me. I’m more of the kind of girl whose scars from the past have made her unintentionally (or maybe sometimes intentionally) flee when red flags or hurts in relationships happen. Yep, I’m a runner.

Did you know you can actually have friendship PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)? When I first read about it in Lisa-Jo Baker’s new book Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding & Keeping Lasting Friendships, I thought it was a brilliant way to describe the hurts from childhood, teen, and adult friendships that stay with us, sometimes subtly, without even realizing the scars are there. For me, it showed up in my inner runner girl. It was less painful to run from a hard relationship or person than to stay and grow through it. Now, I do believe that there are some toxic relationships that we are meant to flee from. It’s learning to figure out the difference and trust your instincts to know when it’s worth working through. Some of my relationship scars go back as far as first grade and some as recent as last year. The good news is that I’ve discovered there can be healing for some of those wounds and restoration for some relationships …if we are willing to do the work and feel the discomfort that healing and growth sometimes bring.

our relationships have subtle, yet powerful, lifelong impacts on us. This means that while they can burden us with unwelcome PTSD, they also have highly reparative capabilities too. The relationship patterns we have learned can become clues that lead us back to the scene of the original crime and equip us with tools to investigate, understand, and prevent it from happening again.”
~ Lisa-Jo Baker Never Unfriended

When I was offered a pre-release copy of Never Unfriended, I had no idea how much it would impact me or even those I’ve shared it with. The subtitle is The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships, so I thought, well, I think I know how to do that…some of my friendships span decades. I cherish my relationships. But I realized I was overlooking the painful relationships in my life, the ones over the years where I hit my emotional remote control button and put my wall up or the ones I ran from. So, I decided to dig deeper and quickly found myself highlighting many of the author’s words. I’ve underlined so many sentences in Never Unfriended that it now resembles a coloring book. What I found most refreshing was the author’s gut deep honesty. She shared so many things that I’ve thought but didn’t have the words to say or maybe didn’t want to be vulnerable enough to share. It was a reminder to me that we are not alone. There is always somebody else going through something similar, and sometimes there are many somebodies. As Lisa-Jo shared, sometimes that person next to you is waiting for someone else to speak up. For someone to admit that relationships can be hard, that rejection stinks, and that even the strongest {appearing} person can actually be very weak. Lisa-Jo did that for us….she spoke up with all her vulnerability and raw insight, and all different types of women around the internet and coffee shops are shouting “me too.”

Speaking of the internet, the chapter on FOMO(fear of missing out) is one of my favorites. We are doubly blessed and cursed with all the ways to connect via social media. Actually, that term “connect” in reference to social media is interesting. So many studies have found that the more people are “connected” through Facebook, Instagram, twitter, etc, the more lack of connection and actually loneliness is taking place. It’s created a false sense of friendship and connection.

“…..we have got to demote our social media status, our obsession with inclusion, and our fear of missing out and get it OUT of the hallowed place. We have worshipped at the altar of inclusion when we were built to worship at the altar of the only living God. Living tied to clicks and likes and friend requests on Facebook will drain the life out of us”- Lisa-Jo Baker, chapter 2, Never Unfriended

Through my ever changing years of being a woman, I am so very thankful for relationships. What I ultimately found in reading this book was that our relationship with God and being able to rest in who we are is the most important thing. There’s an inner strength when you feel complete and loved by the Creator, which then helps in all your other relationships. Who knows? I just may hang up my running shoes. 


Jesus is never tired of me always needing Him. Instead, He is delighted by how desperately I need his validation and He never, ever withholds it from me. Or from you.” Lisa-Jo Baker, chapter 5, Never Unfriended

Advertisements

Chasing the Wind

SDC10719

If you simplify your life, quit chasing the wind, and be quiet before Him, He’ll show up.” Chip Ingram

Quit chasing the wind <—-That right there. That phrase speaks to me.

I can add that phrase to “stop the glorification of busy,” be true to yourself,” and “you are enough.” Combine all 4 of those phrases and you have my summer mantra.

I’ve written and erased so many words….wanting to share with you my thoughts on what those phrases mean to me and how they’ve changed how I feel about many things, how I now approach my days or think about things. The thing is, each time I try to express my thoughts, it just doesn’t seem to be the right way. The words don’t do the thoughts justice. And those who know me know I’m all about justice. By the way, I wrote that last sentence while chuckling, but it is true.

I would love to encourage you to embrace those phrases for yourself, to really allow them to sink in and not just say them, to maybe even change a few things in your thoughts, in your life…to own those phrases. But I realize that we are all on a different path and in a different place. It’s taken me a long time….in my opinion, too long….to quit chasing the wind, to quit pursuing the wrong things,to quit trying to fit in within the wrong places. It’s very freeing to realize that we are not meant to pursue it all, or to fit in in all areas or places.  And then to release a big sigh when you actually allow yourself to be still and find the path your supposed to be on, to find the place you do fit in. When that square peg finally finds that square hole….good gravy, it’s a beautiful thing. So, what do I mean by fitting in? I mean…fitting into your own skin. Being all you. Not feeling like you have to be doing what everyone else is doing. To be quiet enough to hear that still small voice….that voice that gives you peace…God’s voice….and go in that direction.

Wishing you beauty and freedom today. Take a nice slow walk and quit chasing the wind.

 

 

 

 

Spring and Slumps

memorial wknd 2012 022

 

Spring is such a fresh and energizing time of year. At least, in theory it is….in reality, for the homeschool mom it often is a time of burn out and feeling depleted. I’ve been pondering why that is and one thought is that it’s a form of exhaustion that happens after the holidays. The fall brings the slow train ride up the hill to Thanksgiving, with December feeling like you’ve hit the top of the hill. All the shopping, prepping, and events that go with the holiday season are like a giant culmination of fun mixed with some stress. Then that slow train starts speeding down the hill to January and February. The train comes to a stop and it can be a mixture of “gee, that was fun, what now?” and “I’m whooped, and brain fried. Can we just get to May/June?” ….and “Where’s the sun?” (but that’s a whole other post).

My train came to a sudden stop in January, and ever since I’ve been rethinking our days and dissecting my feeling of burnout. I’ve come to the point where I decided I could either keep feeling fried, or I could do something different. Change is my new remedy for feeling blah. In my mind, I decided….change something, what have I got to lose? I could make some low risk changes and hope for some high return on my risk investment. First, I made a mental list of the things that were not bringing me joy or were pretty much sucking the life out of our home (and home school). Then I gave myself some self talk to stir up the courage to do something different, even possibly go the opposite direction. As soon as I did that…figured out what was weighing us down or holding us back and made new choices…. I felt more like myself. Truly, when you figure out the way YOU should go and go in that direction, many other things just naturally fall into place.

With that being said, I wanted to share some ideas for changing things up…..

1. If you’re feeling sluggish or bummed out…exercise in any form could help. For me, walking has done wonders.

2. Look over your schedule (your kids schedule) and determine what is absolutely essential. What things are important for the greater good of you, your children, your family, and keep those things. Let go of the other things. They may possibly be time and energy suckers. It’s better to do one thing great than several things mediocre.

3. Is there something in your school work line up that has been driving you and the kids crazy? Maybe the way you teach or the way they learn? Figuring out your teaching style and their learning style can make a big difference in home school joy. One year, I realized that our home school style at the time was causing us to hit a brick wall daily. Once we tweaked things, everyone felt more peace.

4. Move some furniture or organize a room. Those that know me well know that I love to move furniture. I’ve been doing it since I was a child. It brings me joy and makes things feel fresh. Just decluttering a drawer can make you feel like you are moving forward and changing things.

Moving forward….I guess that is my ultimate hope. When burn out and slumps set in, change could be a simple solution. Keep moving forward {and cut yourself some slack, you are not alone in feeling that way}.

Thinking on Transtions

cropped-garden11.jpg

Transition. That word has been on my mind a lot lately. It pertains to so many areas of life, and it can be approached in a positive or negative way.

Transition: noun

1.movement, passage, or change from one position, state,subject, concept, etc., to another; change:

example; the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

I’ve sort of started analyzing transitions going on in my life and started dissecting them a bit….because that’s my thing; I love to tweak and analyze. It helps me process change and it fills my cup. Usually taking my cup from half empty to half full. So, please join me on my mini analysis of a couple transitions.

Location transition has been something I’ve embraced. We’ve moved several times over the past 15 years so I have experienced new city/state transitions over and over again. I pretty much dig it. To this day my mother is shocked by the fact that I love moving. I was the little girl who sat by her feet and didn’t want to go to sleep overs. Honestly, I think my mother’s compassion and respect for my feelings by not pushing me to do the various things I did not want to do (nor could handle at that age) helped to mature me into the grown woman who loves and embraces adventure. Go figure.

I love moving to new states, investigating the area, finding a new, probably temporary, place to live, and pretty much diving into a fun new life- adventure. You might think a quick trip somewhere could feel the same, but it doesn’t. At least to me it doesn’t. The fact that you are setting new roots and exploring all the inner workings of a new city brings it to a level that travel only touches on. Moving transitions can be sad for all you have to leave behind (family, friends) but I’ve found those relationships stay strong as you work harder to stay in touch and share about your new area. From our experience, the transition that moving involves has been really fun.The key, for us, has been to transition slowly into our new surroundings. Finding a fun new diner or new playground each week helped us to transition in a positive way.

The transition of age has been a bit harder {for me}. As our children grow from stage to stage, the easing into transition has been emotional {for me}.  The hardest thing has been realizing and watching our boys go from the elementary age to being teens. Woah Nelly, this has been a roller coaster for my emotions. Watching our boys grow and change caused a wave of realization to come over me…..I thought about all the things that were ending, all the no-mores, and suddenly I found myself walking into their room in the middle of the night just to look at them or give them a hug and even cry a little.

At the start of this transition I thought about and analyzed all the negatives. And, man, it would bring me to a dark place. A really sad and lonely mama place. Eventually, I got a little tired of that sad, melancholy feeling. I prayed, I vented, and prayed some more. What I realized I needed was to change the way I viewed this transition into the teen years. Every time a sad thought would come flooding into my brain, I would replace it with a positive thought. Eventually, I have started to embrace and enjoy this stage of teen transition. Instead of mourning the loss of the single digit years, I have started embracing and loving the 13+ years. I’m trying not to look too far into the future, just trying to enjoy each day with my teens. I’ve found that the more positive I am about this new stage, the happier my teens are. I still get a little weepy from time to time….thinking about how the years are flying by, but those momentary tears are surrounded by a lot of laughter and energy. Teens are pretty awesome.

Transitions can be so hard both emotionally and mentally. If possible, choosing to find the good things, the positive within the transition, can help in so many ways.  It’s comforting to know that through all our life transitions there is one thing that doesn’t change  ….“Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

It’s a bright sunshiny day….or not

74497___gustavorezende___Kids_6_03

The snow is starting to melt and the sun is shining. That right there….the sun is shining. In our city it’s a rare and awesome thing. It’s amazing how the sun can fuel my energy. It makes me want to de-clutter, organize, and clean. As soon as the clouds cover that beautiful sun, all I want to do is stay in my pjs, grab a book, and get on the couch.

It’s funny how when the sun is shining my perspective seems clearer. Hope seems more obtainable. Everything seems a bit brighter.
The thing is, on those other days, the days where it’s grey outside and everything feels gloomy….how do we bring in some synthetic sun? How do we find some oomph to get us through the gloom? Hopefully, we’ve been implementing a self-care routine {even one thing}, but we may need an added jolt to give a good spark to our day.

A few quick oomph starters….

1. Write….journal, get those thoughts out, send a note to a loved one. Writing sometimes clears the head which allows space for other {hopefully better} thoughts.
2. Beverage of choice and an inspiring book. Maybe tea? Whatever is your cup of tea….(pun intended) flavor or book choice
3. Some form of exercise. A walk, some jumping jacks in your family room, stretching. Anything that gets your body moving gets those good endorphins pumping through your body.
4. Get out of the house if you can. Even a trip to Wegmans or Target can make a difference.
5. And fill your mind with good thoughts

“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.” Philippians 4:8

On Finding Self-Care

Do you remember the “me time” movement a few years back? My boys were probably toddler age at the time. All over the internet or in the local support groups you would hear about how important it was to have me time…time for yourself. I’m going to be totally honest and say I never jumped on that movement. I did need time to myself, and my days felt crazy and hectic, but that particular concept never fully resonated with me. I realize now it’s because what I really needed was self-care. Now, I’m guessing you may have heard those buzz words.

Self-care, and the idea that we need to take care of ourselves to then be able to be our best for others {family, work, whatever….}, is just a practical and healthy concept. I’ve noticed that many women push themselves until exhaustion….both mental and physical. We don’t stop until we are forced to. We wake up some days wondering, “why am I so exhausted?” never fully realizing that our over scheduled days and long to do list could very well be our worst enemy.

This morning I woke up feeling depleted and realized it was 40 minutes past my normal wake up time. I had to tell myself that it was ok and that I needed rest. I was even trying to tell myself to sleep a little longer. I can do that because I have 13 year olds who can make their own breakfast, get dressed, etc. But what do you do when you have little ones and need rest? I’m not going to pretend that I have some magic solution. Every one of us has a unique situation so there is no one size fits all self-care recipe. I think that is the most important principle of self-care….you have to figure out, through trial and error, what is your best remedy.

image

When my twins were little, I was able to limit outside activities, so that’s what I did. We spent many days at home in our pajamas. In fact, most of our home movies will star me in my pjs, no make-up, and hair wild & free. At one point, I enlisted a family member to watch our boys for a couple hours each week just so I could slowly walk around Target. That little child-less Target trip did wonders for my week. So, I guess I was administering self-care without even realizing it.

Jump to today and I think I’ve perfected my unique self-care routine….may I suggest some ideas? But remember the best self-care routine is the one that speaks to YOU, the one that causes you to feel refreshed. Maybe make a list of a few things that quickly come to mind and which bring you joy. That’s what I did to come up with my own routine.

1. “Be still and know that I am God….” Psalm 46:10. I like the New American Standard version… “Cease striving and know that I am God.” For sure this is my number one cure for blah and lifeless days. I will make a cup of tea, sit, pray, read….I will just be still. You may be thinking, “yeah, but she has 13 year olds who aren’t tugging at her…” You’d be surprised. I find the moment I’m still, suddenly husband and boys need me, or want to talk. In those moments I do stop and answer or listen, but then go right back to that quiet moment.
2. Rest. Oh, how I love me some sleep. I’ve read that even a 15 minute nap in the middle of the day can help meet your sleep quota. I’m going to start testing that theory out. Get it when you can is my mantra.
3. Chocolate and tea…or coffee….or whatever floats my boat on that day. I usually add this part of self-care to the “Be still” moment.
4. I listen to encouraging podcasts or read a good book. For me, encouragement or reading and feeling a “me too” moment does wonders for my attitude. It can give me energy and make me feel hopeful. I seek out these things often.
5. A walk. Preferably outside in fresh air. Love the adrenaline boost it gives me.
6. Etc, etc…..

My list goes on. It’s actually pretty long, but as you can see, it’s totally unique to me. And really the things on my list are things you may already do. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that it’s good that we take care of ourselves. You may be thinking, nahh I’m not into books or podcasts. Ohh that reminds me, I forgot music…give me a good song, one I want to sing along with and I get an instant mood boost. The point is, there are so many things we can do, but we often forget to do any of them. If you’re feeling depleted, take a couple moments to scratch out your own list. Hopefully, you’ll see that taking some time to take care of yourself will do wonders…for yourself and also your family.

 

Hello, 2016!

It’s still 2015 {for just a few more days} but I am already thinking on 2016. I know I’m posting this in January, but I’m actually writing it in December, on Christmas Eve to be exact. I should be prepping for family coming for dinner, prepping for tomorrow…yeah, I’m all about prepping….but instead, I’m avoiding it all and writing some thoughts before they float away.

Over the last month, something clicked in my head and I realized that I was letting some negative things take precedence. Not intentionally. Heck no….I thrive on all things positive {don’t we all?} so if I had recognized it as it was happening I would have squashed it in its tracks, the negative stuff, that is. Nope. As with most things negative, it was a subtle and slow process. I love how God can just turn a switch in your head, like that click I mentioned earlier, and suddenly you see things clearly. I also love that we have the ability to make a choice. As Claire mentioned, choosing to view the day in a new way, and as Ginger wrote about, to choose hope. Angela spoke of how a bad day, or chaos from our kids can be turned around with our response, and Deborah spoke about feeling depleted but choosing to surrender. I sense a totally unplanned theme with all us mamas, and I’m digging it. We all, you included, have bad days, bad seasons, bad {insert your choice}, but we also all have the ability to turn a switch, make a choice, change an attitude.

That power is right there waiting for us. We don’t have to drive to the store or save up enough money to purchase it. It’s right there in our own head and heart, placed there by our heavenly Father. Why don’t we use it? I know for me, times of depression, whether due to hormone/chemical imbalance or life situations, can quickly make me feel empty, weak, and totally powerless. In those times, I’m learning to find my fuel. For me it’s prayer, a walk, rest, a good book. Those are some of my remedies. What are yours? I feel like if we recognize and prepare ourselves for those times of discouragement we conquer them much quicker. Yes, of course, with God’s help. It’s all with God’s help.

2016….I’m feeling hopeful, joyful, and refreshed about it. Isn’t that one of the best things about starting a new year? It’s like you are suddenly allowed to let go of a bunch of mistakes and baggage. A new year is a legitimate reason to refocus and begin anew. I’m hoping for better choices and sustained joy. I’m wishing this for all of us. And when you start to see me slipping a bit and allowing the negative to take precedence, please feel free to remind me of how good positive feels. I’ll do the same for you.

Peace out 2015….hello 2016.

 

joy

 

Monkey Brain

As I was sitting drinking my Saturday coffee and going over the to-do list for the day, I realized that my mind felt less cluttered and calm rather than jumbled with racing thoughts. My mom refers to that jumbled thoughts feeling as….monkey brain. She says it’s when your mind is so full of thoughts, ideas, or whatever, that it feels like a bunch of tiny monkeys running around in your head. That pretty much sums up my brain the last few weeks.

I could blame the monkey brain and opposite of calm that I had been feeling on Christmas prep and life in general lately. Greg travels a lot this time of month so I often feel the extra responsibility from his absence. But when I thought about it, his work and travel schedule hasn’t bothered me. He loves his job which makes me thankful that he’s spending his time doing something he enjoys, and the boys and I pretty much have our routine running smoothly. Thankfully, my monkey brain wasn’t from the busyness of December, or our crazy family routine this month. Sometimes I actually think I thrive from strange schedules and random routines. Busy, not so much, but random and strange,bring it on.

As I thought about it, what was different is that I had not gone on Facebook in days. I’ve never been a big Facebook-er, but over the past few months {with my anonymous account} I had been going on local home school boards, favorite authors, or inspiring Facebook pages more often. I wouldn’t really participate or add in my comments on these pages, so I felt more like a voyeur, which felt odd and unnatural. I wanted to be aware of what was going on in case there was something we wanted to participate in, but yet I realized that I felt so much on the outside that I never felt comfortable jumping in. I started to feel the monkey brain starting as I wondered if I should go from anonymous to full in {on Facebook}. Even though I didn’t feel like all the events and things listed were necessarily things we would do, the thought of them still filled my brain. Honestly, it made me feel a little wonky {my word for not feeling myself}.

fomo

I’ve mentioned before about FOMO {fear of missing out}. Sadly, in my opinion, even though Facebook can be wonderful and bring old friends and family together plus a bunch of other great things….it can also have a negative impact. It can accentuate the FOMO and make you feel like your current life needs to be more. For me, the little I would go on to FB made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough or I wasn’t good enough or part of enough. It was telling me I needed to do and be more, and that I was failing, or worse-making me feel rejected. Don’t even get me started on the feeling of being left out after viewing something on FB. I have had more than a few friends share of hurt feelings or rejection after seeing photos or reading about something they wish they had been part of. Personally, I would actually find myself praying before going on FB hoping to not feel anything negative as I read or after I got off. Again, I had also been seeing/reading some wonderful things. The trouble is, there can always be a little junky-junk mixed in with the good, just enough to tarnish the good.

The truth is that what we read and the pictures we see on FB are not the full story.  I am very sure the reality of the actual situation doesn’t match the story we concoct in our head. Regardless, they are someone else’s stories, not mine or yours. I know I want to live MY story and not live vicariously through someone else’s. The best scenario is having whatever we view or read on Facebook or other places not affect us, to not let the heaviness of inadequacy or comparison weigh us down, to actually not even let comparisons happen.  The best thing would be to know that how our days are spent are just as they should be; kiss FOMO goodbye and replace it with the peace of knowing that what you do or don’t do is the best for you and your family. At least that is what I want.

So for the past several days I just stopped. I stopped checking in to FB and I fully became present in what was in front of me or on my calendar. Guess what I noticed? As each day went by, the monkey brain and gloomy feeling of FOMO faded away.  My world felt a little smaller, but it felt stronger and better. I believe the more I become grounded in knowing what is best for us, the more the other stuff won’t matter. I know this is true because it’s happening already. I’m feeling more clarity after just a few days. I’m not sure what to do from here. Maybe sometimes, the less you know the better? As far as Facebook, I’ve talked to several friends who have also shared that they were considering deleting their accounts. Is it an all or nothing thing? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. For now, I’m going to keep praying about it and pay attention to His guidance through it all. For now, I’m happy to say goodbye to the monkeys and hello to calm.

Because of Adoption

Because it’s National Adoption Month, I sat down today hoping to write and to share about our adoption journey. I think it’s actually a very neat story filled with unexpected “angels”, the speed of time that can only be from God, and the blessing of a double gift. I try to encourage people when they are waiting for something and the waiting feels like it’s taking forever….we waited 12 years to become parents and ended up with 2 unexpected gifts. Adopting twins….with less than 30 days to prepare for their birth.

twins laughing
I started writing about all the details that led to our twins’ adoption, and then I started thinking. Though the story of how we found our boys and all the little things that happened is so important to us, what was really on my heart as I wrote about our journey is how thankful and proud I am to be a family formed through adoption.

me and the boys 001

One of the hardest things about adoption for me, is that not a day goes by that I don’t think about the boys’ birth parents. I wonder where they are and who they’ve become. It’s hard because, though I am forever grateful to them and we are connected, I sometimes wonder….will they show up at my door one day wanting our boys? A million other questions and thoughts will pass quickly through my mind, and then life goes on.  Adoption is a beautiful and deep thing.  I know that I’m their mom, but I don’t know what it’s like to carry them in my womb and give birth to them. I’ve had to let the sadness over that fact go because, quite honestly, it is what it is. Another woman carried them in her womb. It’s strange because at the same time, and as years pass, I forget that I did not give birth to them. We don’t know what those days were like for her or our babies. All we know is the moment that she and the boys’ birthfather chose us ….and all the days after that moment. Though the birth parents have chosen to have minimal contact {we never know when they will send an email and then disappear, it happens every few years}, we know that the adoption changed them, as well.

greg and boys
Adoption is a complicated thing. When I look at my boys , I see her …or him. I wonder, when they struggle or excel in an area if it is because of genetics or nurture. A combo of both, maybe? What is their health history…where are their ancestors from? When I look at my boys I also see God’s gifts to us. I believe each of our children are chosen for us, whether adopted or birthed. He chose our twins for us….and He chose us for them.

The other day, one of my boys thanked me for adopting them. He thanked me? Oh my word, dear boy, I am the one who is so very thankful. I feel so honored to be a mom through adoption.

I know that each person’s adoption journey is different. I’m not pretending that it is always roses and butterflies. My sister’s adoption journey took 3 years and included lots of complications. Adoption is an amazing, unique to each, hard to explain thing.

Because of a choice by the birth parents, we are parents. Because of adoption, I am a mom. I’m still in awe when I am called mom. Because of adoption, we are a family. A priceless gift that has changed all of us forever. Quite frankly, adoption rocks.

christmas 2011 024

He Fails Us Not

There are certain songs that just give me butterflies. You know, the kind that make you feel so deeply, that make you want to move and sing along. If I’m driving in my car and one of my favorite songs come on I sing out loud, very loud. This is one of those songs. I dare you to listen to it and not start singing. Ok, maybe I don’t dare you, but I encourage you to watch and listen.

Along with making me want to sing….this song speaks to me. Loudly! It touches my heart and fills me with compassion. It puts things in perspective. Read the words that pop up as the music plays. They are words of heartache but also seem filled with hope. And I believe hope is contagious.

We all have something going on, something we might be struggling with, or a loved one is struggling with…but…. He is bigger than the battle. Our hope is secure. He fails us not.