Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Dark is the Holiest place"

That quote from Ann's book keeps consuming my mind. It fills my thoughts. Makes me think hard, possible because Friday is coming.

Friday.... a day we set aside to remember.... because we forget.

We forget that Friday, a day we call Good Friday, wasn't really a "good" day. I would rather think of it as "dark" Friday. Because that is really the only way to describe it.

The very people He came to save rejected Him.

The men He spent so much time with abandoned Him, and one even went as far as to betray Him.

He was dragged to court in the dead of night and wrongly accused.

The morning of that dark Friday He stood before a crowd.... a crowd made up of people who at that very moment were in the midst of one their most sacred religious festivals. Passover, a period of 7 days in which the Jews were supposed to remember where they came from, and to dwell in the hope that was to come. A time to remember slavery... to remember living in darkness and to remember being brought out of the darkness. A time to remember that one day their Messiah would come to save them from eternal darkness.

And yet there He was, standing right in front of their very eyes and yet they forgot.....

So He stood there, looking into the crowd, into the very eyes which He came to set free. His ears took in their hate filled cries, yet He never looked back. No matter what they said.... no matter what they did He still loved them..... He still wanted to offer them grace... saving grace.

It only got worse.... He was dragged off and beaten, like a lamb led to be slaughtered. His body was torn and His blood ran. He suffered through the humiliation, and made the lonely walk to the top of the hill where He would breathe His last. Then men picked up hammers and began to nail His hands, the very hands that created them, to a tree.

Then the dreadful moment came upon Him.... that moment when the sins of the world... my sins... your sins..... where laid on His back. The Father had to turn His face from the Son. Forsaken by the Father, the ultimate darkness. And for a brief moment it appeared that evil had won.


The day, it was dark, but oh how Holy it was. And as I think on that dark Friday that quote fills my thoughts and yes, I see it. The words slowly begin to make sense. It was dark that day..... the darkest this world has ever experienced. But oh how Holy it was.... maybe even the Holiest of days.... because the Son, the Lamb of God had finally done what He had came to do.... be the perfect sacrifice.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 
John 1:10-14

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend update

It's been a little while since I have done a random updating post and I figured that now would be a good time for one:-) It's spring here in Arkansas and since I now live on a 10 acre farm that means LOTS of work. My roomate/the farm owner does most of the work but I try to help where and when I can. This years spring task was to reseed 5 acres and split up the current pastures into smaller 1-horse paddocks. Not-so-easy of a task. All that to say there has been little time for riding.... which probably contributes to the downer attitude I have over the last few months. Maybe you have heard the old saying from Winston Churchill, "There is something about the outside of the horse that is good for the inside of a man." Let me tell..... man is that true. Thankfully most of the farm work is done and as long as the weather holds out riding can be the primary focus in the evenings after work. My soul is very thankful and is praying for good weather!!!

So other things going on besides farm work..... well..... not much, lol. Actually this week has been kinda quiet, although I forsee the next week to be extremely busy!!!

Well I'm a fantastic aunt.... really, I am:-) I just helped my sis find my nephew a puppy for his 4th birthday:-o Oh and he is a cutie!!! He is part aussie part who knows, a shelter find and sweet as they come. He is currently staying at the Flying Solo as we await the little guy's birthday.... the puppy is actually is a present from his grandparents but they are out of town so I stepped up, lol.

Reason #1 for a crazy week.... I now have a 5 month old puppy for a week to deal with. A puppy who is not housebroke and not crate trained:-/ I will say that the first day/night wasn't so bad. While he has no idea that he is supposed to pee outside, he does understand that peeing in the crate is a no-no, the bathroom floor is far more inviting!! Crate training isn't so bad. He only barked for a few minutes last nights and was quiet the rest of the night, and even went in quietly after our 2 am potty break (which after 10 min out in the windy cold air he still wouldn't go). Hopefully he will only get better!!

I will try and post some pics of the little guy... whose name is Bentley (it suited him  so we just left it) and show off all his cuteness!!! My dog strider doesn't really know what to think of this new puppy..... I think he will be glad to see him go, he gets a little jealous, lol.

Reason #2 for a crazy week..... I am, along with the bestie, taking 2 p girls to the Disney Princess on ice for their 5th and 11th birthday. Bestie and I are picking them up for a picnik then meeting their mom, other 2 sisters, and 3 friends for the show. It's going to be an awesome day but will kinda through the week off since I have to figure out how to get my Wed job done in the evenings after work and find time to ride as well, plus keep tabs on a puppy.

Hoepfully I will find some time to jump on here and post a few this week.... we will see!!! Hope your weekend has been fabulous and that your week will be quieter then mine will:-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

The perspective of years

On Monday I continued writing on my journey through Ann's book. Chapter 8 is on trusting God and I only got through a portion of the chapter in my last post so consider this Chapter 8 part 2:-)

Towards the end of the chapter Ann makes this statement.
"Sometimes we don't fully see in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good - until we have the perspective of years.
In time, years, dust settles.
In memory, ages, God emerges.
Then when we look back, we see God's back."
Then she uses a beautiful illustration from Exodus 33. Moses asks to see God's glory, and this is the response he gets.
"And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” -Exodus 33:19-21
I have read this story... taught on this story many times, and never have I thought of the cleft God stuck Moses in as a dark place. But Ann catches it, and I read on.... and it catches me off guard because one would think that sticking Moses in a cleft and covering him would be just a minor detail, yet now I see it as the most important detail. It's dark in the cleft.... it's even darker when He places His hand over the cleft. Darkness.... unable to see.... no way to know what is going outside..... that is where Moses was placed. It was only after Moses entered the darkness.... the unknown..... that He was then able to see the glory of God. And Ann has this to say.
"When it gets dark, it's only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected, with His hand?... In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look."
Can it really be true, this idea that "dark is the holiest ground?" The statement is hard, and I want to see it as impossible.... but what about the lesson I taught just a few days ago to those young ones. Did not Jesus experience the darkest possible place that day as He hung on the cross? But isn't it through the darkness of the cross... through the death of an innocent man that God's glory was fully revealed? And suddenly the statement doesn't seem so impossible.

But sometimes we don't see Him in the midst of darkness... sometimes it's so dark and we can't see a thing, that is when we have to trust (there's that word again) that He is faithful and will never leave. Because sometimes we don't see Him till later on down the road, till we take a peck in that rear-view mirror. And As Ann says, "I've an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long. long distance, before we can look back and see God's back in the rear-view mirror... maybe sometimes about as far as heaven- that kind of distance."

*I wrote Ch 8 part 1 here.
*All unmarked quotes are from Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Always reminding

I write on trust and struggle hard to live what I write. The practice isn't easy and a life long with patterns of distrust is hard to change. One day is easier then the previous and yet the next is harder then before. It comes and goes... this nailing of new habits. Some days I wake up, hammer in hand and ready to pound. Other days I wake and I don't even look at the hammer, the old habit looks far too enticing. Sure some days I just forget, while other days I chose to forget. A text from a friend, a verse sent to my inbox.... gentle reminders that I do not fight the battle alone, because He is always there... always reminding.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. 
Psalm 112:6-8

Monday, April 11, 2011

"God and I, we've long had trust issues."

That is the first line of chapter 8.... and suddenly I can't breathe. It's only eight words long yet it makes my heart stop. Oh Ann, really, you too? I thought I was alone.... I thought that most "christians" didn't: long have trust issues. Sure I know everyone struggles to trust at times... but to long have trust issues, I thought, maybe, I was alone. That is my life, summed up in eight simple words. "God and I, we've long had trust issues."

And then I close the book, place it on the nightstand, and turn off the light. Nope.... just not going to go there Ann.

I lay there, staring at the ceiling.... I kind of want to know what Ann says about it... kind of.

Sleep never comes, might as well read.

In the New Testament the word pisteuo is found two hundred and twenty times. We usually see this word translated in to belief. However Ann's research says it literally means "to put one's faith in; to trust."

Hmmm..... not so sure I like where this is going. I tend to wrinkle my nose up to that "T" word.... apparently Ann does too... because she says so just a few sentences later. Yet she is braver then I and proposes the question, one I would never have the courage to ask.
"Without trust in the good news of Jesus, without trust in the good news of God's saving work even in this moment, without an active, moment-by-moment trust in the good news of all-sovereign, all-good God, how can we claim to fully believe?"
I know... have known this truth, yet it's one of those things that I struggle to push from the "knowing of the head to the bleeding of the heart." It's not a new truth, one I know and often fail to remember. Ann names it, and it's not a pretty name and the name of it in one way shocks me, yet really doesn't, after all it makes complete sense.
"If authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, them to choose stress is an act of disbelief.... atheism.
Anything less then gratitude and trust is practical atheism."
 Because the lack of faith isn't necessarily an intellectual disbelief in God's existence as much as it is a distrust that there is a good God. But if I don't emotionally believe and trust in the goodness of God, do I truly believe? Doesn't a believer have to trust? And isn't trust a day-to-day action, not a one-time event?

Sunday comes and it's the first Sunday of the month, the week my church sets aside to remember. To break the bread and drink the blood in remembrance of Him. Because He says to. And we give thanks and remember the sacrifice, the sacrifice that was made so that we could fully live. Do we fully grasped what it means to fully live? Do we understand this faith we claim to live by? Do we even care to find out?

We live in a world that appears to beg for tolerance, yet really what they want is something that is real. Too many times I see Christianity described as just another one of the world's religions, and so many.... too many live their life as if it were. Far too often we forget... I forget.... that the reason why our God is different is because He is real..... and He seeks relationships. I recently read, and I wish I remember where, that we serve a BIG God, but not too big because He cares for every little sparrow, every little circumstance, every single person. The God we serve isn't interest is religion, He is interested in you.... and in me. Faith isn't just knowledge in a Holy, supreme and sovereign God. Faith is an action, one that requires trust, and that seeks for joy in every situation, in every single second of the day.
"This is what faith really is:
believing, not with the head or the lips or out of habit,
but believing with one's whole life.
It means seeking community with...
Christ in every situation in life..."
~Jurgen Moltmann
We don't get to chose what area of our life we give to Him and what area we get to keep. When we truly believe.... trust.... in Him then we give it all up. Oh how we forget that God isn't some far off being who sits high on His throne, unapproachable, and without a care as to what we do. He is approachable, He is near, He is attentive to His children. Yet He is King over all and He is Sovereign and no, I don't quite understand how a God so powerful, so mighty, so Holy can be so near, and so attentive, and have time for lowly little me. And I guess that's why I forget because I believe the lie that He doesn't have time to fulfill His promises, that He doesn't want to hear my little requests. The truth is that He is not satisfied when I settle to just know of Him, He wants me to know Him. To personally, know, to personally walk with Him. 
 “God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”
 ~Ernest Boyer, Jr.
 And knowing God is the only way to fully live, but knowing God requires trusting Him. Ann says, "It's only when you live the prayer of thanksgiving that you live the power of trusting God." Once again we are led back to eucharisteo. Because it is because of the grace (charis) that we get the chance to live, and only through giving thanks (eucharisteo) can we receive joy (chara). And isn't that what we really want? A joy filled life is the only way to fully live, and joy isn't an emotion, it's a way of life. We can find joy in the dark, we can find it in the sadness... in the pain.... and in ever other circumstance because the sovereign God we serve is in control and all things work out for those who love Him (Ro 8:28).


New friends

Late talks, all about Him

Encouragement from the new friends

Sweet memories made with precious children


New flowers


Baking bread with a friend

The smell of fresh baked bread

Watching children enjoy the fresh bread

Teaching a lesson on remembering

Unleaven bread, a prefect picture of our need for remembrance

A Father who is willing to remind us, over and over again

A Father who never forgets

For the blood that saves

* I wrote about chapter 7 here
* All unmarked quotes come from chapter 8 of Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts

Friday, April 8, 2011

Don't forget

I read a book and write a post about needing to remember His gifts, to remember that He is in control, and to remember that I must come to Him empty. I wrestle with the issue of emptiness because the pouring out is painful. As my flesh pours out I realize how incapable I am, and that my life is not for me to direct. And for a strong-willed, independent, fighter like me,  that reality does not sit well. But this outpouring of flesh must continue.... He will not be satisfied with a half-empty person.

I was directed to this blog, and the quote in the first paragraph was one that I can't help but share.
"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!"
-Abraham Kuyper
He is not satisfied with a little... we cannot just say the yes, we must learn to live it. And the word live is not a past action... because it is not good enough that we lived the yes last week. No, we must LIVE the yes. That means day after day we must die to self, pour out the flesh and allow Him to fill every inch of our being. It takes practice and practice isn't easy, but it's the practice that makes the life change.

Later that day my eyes take in another quote on a friends facebook that catches my attention.
 "Over and over again, in order to move forward in his relationship with God, Abraham was called to make a fresh surrender to God. To do so required that he let go, relinquish control, and trust a God he could not see."
Nancy DeMoss
Even Abraham had to practice. But our practice is not in vain. We do not rest in our faith, because we are mere humans who fail over and over again. It is in His faithfulness that we rest. It is the faith of Almighty to which we cling and it will never fail us.

My guess is... after two quotes on the same subject that He is making sure that I don't forget:-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The fight for a blessing

In the first few pages of chapter 7 from Ann's book I read this quote that Ann so beautifully states, "That God tries to gently drive the words of Caussade from the knowing of my head to the bleeding of my heart." Oh how I long for the knowledge that sits in the brain to make its way into the veins. To live the knowledge... the yes.... that my head knows. The quote is strong, makes me think hard, and I want this quote to make it all the way down to the heart, and I want my heart to pump it to ever corner of my being.
"You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies - though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you expect by the will of God, and yet (God's) beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is." 
If I cling to that truth... that all is His will.... then I will see Him in everything. And then I read this, "I'm blind to joy's well every time I really don't want it." So I don't see joy because I chose not to, never because it isn't there. Joy.... grace.... God..... is always there, but I don't always want to see Him. She takes it a step further. When we reject joy it is not just joy we are rejecting. It is Him, the giver of joy, that we ultimately reject. And when we reject Him we are really saying that don't want God. Never will He withhold joy from our lives, we withhold it from ourselves.

I read on..... she tells the story of Jacob. Oh how I love the story of Jacob, I am a Jacob. Jacob the rusher, the one who believed the lie that He wouldn't fulfill His promise. Jacob, the man who thought God needed help. And Jacob, the one known for his fight with an angel.
"All that while Jacob hadn't known who he was wrestling. Just a man in the dark, a man he couldn't see. And in the black, all that night, it was the face of God over him that he was struggling again. God is behind the faces."
He is behind it all... even in the dark He is there. It is up to us to seek out His face. And sometimes we have to fight for the blessings.... fight through the dark in order to reach the light. 

* I wrote about chapter 6 here
* All quotes are from Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts

Monday, April 4, 2011

His promises never fail

It's officially spring in Arkansas but with the rain coupled with cold weather it doesn't quite feel like spring just yet. However it is beginning to look like spring. Small bits of green are forming on the branches and the tulips and daffodils are in full swing.

As I sit inside sipping on fresh coffee I think about how deceiving it looks outside. I can see the pretty tulips, their bright colors filling my porch with beauty, and the green grass starting to form in the yard. It sure does look like spring. But as I found out that morning as I opened the back door to go feed my Romeo, it does not feel like spring. It is cold, and wet, and I quickly went back inside to dig out my warm gloves and a heavy jacket.

Although it is cold and miserable outside I know spring is almost here. Winter is on its way out and I have no doubt that warmer weather will shortly arrive. Spring always follows winter, every time. it never fails.

As I make the long drive to church later that morning I wrestle out loud and He hears. He speaks and I hear. Then later that morning I sit and I listen some more. The message speaks right to my heart. The pastor reads from a book and my dry soul soaks in the much needed water. He then reads a verse that does far more to quench my thirst then pages from a book.
You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.
Joshua 23:14
So even though it still looks like winter spring is on its way. Because He always fulfills His promises, and He has made me many. It is in His faithfulness that I must cling to. He is ALWAYS faithful and His promises never fail. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What a week

Well a quick side trip from Ann's book. This past week has been CRAZY!!! It actually sorta started a few weeks ago when my cat started showing some weird symptoms that I just wasn't sure if they were odd or just a phase she was going through, then she started having accidents and that is extremely odd for her so then I started to worry and scheduled a vet appointment. After doing some research I became very worried that she had some major disease that would require me to have to put her down. I can deal with many things but not accidents, especially not from a cat.

Well Sunday morning my dumb, er lovely dog darted out the door and into the sun. Something he does every other week or so and it really just makes me mad. He was running off almost every day so that caused him to have to be tied up instead of having his freedom to run around the farm. Dogs who don't stay on the farm on their own are confined to a rope.

So Sunday morning I'm tired, not yet awake and he takes advantage of the door opening, and away he goes. No big deal really, I'm already running late so whatever I'll deal with him later. After all the dog always comes back within 12 hours. Meanwhile I go about my Sunday as usual with a few moments spent worrying about tomorrows appointment for Pippin. She is after all my companion of 8 years and has moved everywhere with me and is very well behaved, she's my baby. The dog is NOT my baby, he is my dog, whom I love but he is not well behaved thus not as special as the cat (mind you this is being written shortly after he ran off so not many good thoughts about him right now, however I really do love him).

So I come home, late, no dog. Hmmmm.... ok whatever, I'm tired so I'm going to bed. So be it if he wants to sleep out in the cold and the rain. Monday morning and still.... no dog. At this point maybe I should of started to be worried. My roommate I think thought of him more then I did as she kept asking if he had come home, but not me, remember I'm worried about my baby. So cat is loaded in carrier, she's a nervous traveler so I'm not thrilled about having to do this but I need to know what if something is wrong so we are going.

We get to vet, spend an hour with the vet, and a huge vet bill later I walk out in a daze..... diabetes..... my cat has diabetes. Really??!!??? Oh and a bladder infection, with urinary problems that require a special diet.  Oh, and did I mention.... diabetes??? Yep, I am also leaving with a vial of insulin and a package of needles because my cat now needs a shot twice a day for the rest of her life.... and a special diet which is different then the urinary diet.

And then the roomie texts again about the dog.... ummmm, the dog?? What dog??? I can no longer afford a dog..... he better not come home!!!! That's how I felt about the dog at that moment.

Back to the diabetes, who has a cat that has diabetes???? What the heck??? I mean for real!!! So I decided that I was going to treat it for a month. See how it goes, see if I can find a way to pay for insulin, and see if Pip doesn't hate me after giving her a shot. Oh and did I mention she has to have shots. I mean with a real needle. Needles make me lightheaded, like I can't even watch the vet give my horses, my dog, my cat a shot.... and now I am going to be giving a shot twice a day!!!!

Meanwhile, someone else is texting me about the dog... grrrr, I really want at this moment to NOT own a dog.

Roommate comes home and comments, not on the cat's diabetes, but on how weird it is that Strider is still missing. I smile and say something polite.... really Strider.... I'm so not worried about you.

He apparently doesn't care that I'm not worried about him, after all he always has, and always will do whatever he wants to do, not what I want him to do. Because..... Monday night he appears..... and not in way that would at all improve upon my feelings towards him.

The cat and I, after a long stressful day, had gone to bed early, before midnight actually (never happens). But around midnight I am jolted awake by this horrendous noise..... after I register what is going on I realize exactly what that noise is..... my dog!!! Some siren is going off somewhere and it hurts his ears, so he howls. Not a pretty howl but a loud obnoxious howl that I would recognize anywhere. So like a good mom, I crawl out of bed and let him and pet him, and tell him I'm glad he is home, and even feed him dinner (ok, so maybe I was a little worried about him).

Thankfully although the week started out on a crazy note, it didn't continue like that. I have done an enormous amount of research on diabetes and have resolved to get over my fear of giving shots. The dog and I are trying to communicate better and hopefully he will lose his stubborn-I-don't-want-to-listen-to-you attitude someday before he dies (he is 7, and pretty stuck in ways but I remain hopeful!!!).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Not so unlike an Israelite

I have been studying the Old Testament, partly because it is what I have been teaching to my Sunday school class.... partly because I love the history and the way I can identify with the ones who have walked before.

I read chapter 6 of that book and Ann is honest and silently I am relieved that she is human and that she forgets too. Even the one who wrote the book on it forgets to count and suddenly I realize I'm too hard on myself, expect too much, and essentially set myself up for failure.
"I am a wandering Israelite who sees the flame in the sky above, the pillar, the smoke from the mountain, the earth open up and give way, and still I forget."
How many times do I read those stories and laugh at their stupidity, at how many times they screw up, time and time again they forget that He always comes through. But then I stop and and I think about myself and at how many times I do the same thing. I forget every day, I fail to live the yes, and I live the no, yet I criticize the Israelites for the very thing I am so good at doing myself. They lived under reminders, a cloud during the day and a flame at night, and yet, still, they forgot.

So I keep reading. I read of her chasing the moon and smile because I have my own "chasing the moon experiences." Slowly my mind traces back over those "chasing the moon" experiences and suddenly I feel a smidgen of that desire for Him that has been covered by dark and all of a sudden a spark of light is seen.
"Eucharisteo is everywhere and I want to see eucharisteo everywhere and I want to remember how badly I really want to see it."
And that has been my prayer as of late, that I would remember how badly I want Him, how badly I need Him. That I would want to want Him.

My attention is drawn back to the fact that we live in a sin-cursed world and in sin-cursed bodies that need reminding. And sometimes the only way to remember is to fall.
"Pain is everywhere, and wherever the pain there can be everywhere grace, and yes Jesus, I am struggling and I get turned around but I think I know, at least, in part, what I want. If I had never run, if I had never fallen, and here, I am not sure I would have known with blazing clarity. I may not know all that it means, but this is what I want."
And the cycle will be endless, because we are just like the Israelites, and history always repeats itself. That is why we cling to faith because faith is not something that we did but it is something that we live. It's not a thing to put in the past, its a thing to cling to in the present. 
"Faith is not a one-in-the-past action, but faith is always a way of seeing, a seeking for God in everything."
We must look and we must seek because we only find what we are looking for when we seek. And to find Him we cannot seek merely with our eyes, no, to find Him we must seek with all our heart, all our mind, and with all our soul. For it is not enough to just gaze upon Him, we must empty ourselves of all that is meaningless and allow Him to make us whole.

* I wrote about chapter 5 here
* All quotes come from Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts Ch 6