Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

I was just thinking about some of my favorite things for this year & thought I'd share them. I figure if Oprah can do it, then I can, too...even if I'm not a fan of hers & even though my "readership" is far less than her viewership! You may find you like some of them, too.

Favorite Things:

     *Revlon blackhead remover: This cleans pores out better than anything I've ever used, including the pore strips.  Kind of a gross thing to post, but it needed to be said.

     *The Regimen from I've always had issues with acne & this is the best thing I've ever found. I use the cleanser, treatment, & moisturizer (the moisturizer only at night, replacing it with Oil of Olay's moisturizer for the daytime), & as long as I use it twice a day, every day, I never break out anymore!

     *Portable dishwasher: We don't have room in our kitchen for a built-in dishwasher, & washing dishes by hand can be overwhelming, so this thing has been wonderful! Now, instead of spending hours cleaning the kitchen, I can be done in a fraction of the time!

     *Adirondack chairs: Sturdy, comfortable, beachy...must I say more?

Favorite Events:

     *Starting the adoption process: We are so excited to be going through the process to adopt 2 children from Ethiopia. You can see our progress on the side of this blog & read our reasons for adopting in our 2 adoption posts from September (here & here).

     *Getting Jake: I love this dog! He's got a wonderful disposition & personality, & is just so darn cute! I think he's been good for Ginger, too.
     *Ginger going into remission: We got the diagnosis of cancer for my baby girl last Christmas Eve, found an excellent vet who started her on chemo in January, & she went into remission. Her lymph nodes swelled up again in the summer & we did another round of chemo, & she's still in remission! Praise God!
     *Camping in TN: Michael took me camping in TN the first time in '07 & we went back this past year in late October again. I LOVE The Smoky Mountains & Cade's Cove!  The picture below shows a view from a remote backwoods trail overlooking the Cove.  I literally cried when I saw it because of how God's creation reflects His glory.  This picture doesn't do it justice!
     *Seeing the beach for the 1st time: Yep, I'm now 32 & only saw the beach for the first time this past summer. I was so awed by God's majesty that I cried (yes, I do that a lot) - I mean, if the ocean is that big, & He cups all the waters of the entire world in the palm of His hand, how big & awesome must He be?!
Favorite Books:
     *There's No Me Without You: This is my number 1 favorite book of this year, which struck Michael as odd since I cried & raged my way through it. That's because of the truth regarding the injustice in this world done to those who are helpless by those who are corrupted by power. Seeing the devastation especially to the children - devastation that could be prevented & corrected even now - was horrifying.  But as emotionally drained as it left me, I will read it again & again & I recommend it to each & every person I know.
     *Desiring God: Anyone who knows me, knows John Piper is my favorite preacher. I can have a difficult time reading him, though; he's much more intellectual than I, so I have to put in some effort to follow him. But because of the time he's spent in God's Word & the exposition that follows, he's SO worth that effort! This book was an excellent work in showing that our greatest joy should be found in Christ. Another book that I think everyone should read.

     *Keeping Holiday: This one is going to be a Christmas tradition for me. I read it last year, & loved it so much that I just had to read it again this year. It is a fictional story, quite short, about a boy & his cousin trying to find the "real Holiday". At first, it's symbolic of the differences between the trappings of the secular Christmas & the real meaning behind Christmas that so few of us truly seek out. The story quickly turns to symbolize the journey of salvation. It's charming, biblical, & simply wonderful!

     *Broken-Down House: I'm only a few chapters into this one, but I simply love it! I was gripped from page 1. This is a book about how we all live in a "broken-down house" (this sin-filled world) that doesn't work like the "builder" (God) created it to work. We have to live here, though, & we're called to live our lives in the power of God & His Word. It's an awesome book filled with excellent illustrations.  I can hardly put it down...even at 5 in the morning!

     *A Wife After God's Own Heart: I've only just started this one, too (I've picked up Michael's penchant for reading more than one book at a time), but my highlighter's already thrown up all over it! In just 1 chapter, I've highlighted & starred quite a bit! I've taken a pause to work on the applications/homework at the end of the chapter, & am really looking forward to doing them! I definitely want to be "a wife after God's own heart", & I'm excited about the challenge this book will be to me!

Favorite Music

     *"To Be Like Jesus": The new kids' CD from Sovereign Grace. I can't say enough good about this CD! Solidly biblical words, great music, applicable to children & adults's an all-around fabulous CD!

     *"Wake Thy Slumbering Children": The 5th volume of music from Indelible Grace. Michael & I listen to this one over & over! We both love how these folks put both well-known & sometimes forgotten hymns to new music. I didn't think I'd like the concept of this, but hearing a song with new music really makes you pay attention to the words.

     *Kate Rusby: I don't have any of her CDs, but a friend posted one of her songs on FB, & I was immediately hooked. She's an English folk singer, & I love the songs as well as her lilting voice. From what I can tell, she's got a really bubbly personality, too, which adds to her likability as far as I'm concerned.

     *Lecrae & Shai Linne: Yes, this is an odd entry for me, as I am no fan of rap/hip hop. Not in the least. Truthfully, I rather detest the stuff. However, I can't say enough about how much I love Lecrae's song "Don't Waste Your Life". Oh, my goodness, the thoroughly biblical words give me chills. Seriously. Chills. And Shai Linne? I haven't heard a song that isn't chock full of Scripture! These fellas singing rap music know more theology than a lot of seminary-trained pastors!  (And yes, I did mean to write that.)

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you try any of my favorite things, let me know what you think. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Blessed Life

I turned 32 today. I'm not sure how that happened...well, I am, but you know what I mean. One day I was 20, & then overnight it seems, I was able to say things like "I haven't seen so-&-so since we graduated 13 years ago." Regardless of what my brother says (who is a mere 2 years younger than I), I realize I'm not old. A fact that my sweet niece confirmed when she called today. But then I don't think you're truly old until you act like it. Sometimes, people who are in their late 80s who think & act younger aren't even old yet! So, anyways, looking back over my life, I see God's fingerprints everywhere. Of course, I see them in His choosing me before the foundation of the world as His child, to be saved from my sin & His wrath by His Son's atoning death. I see them in His blessing me with my family. I see them in His blessing me with my sweet Michael, our pets, & our home. I also see Him in the trying times:
     *My parents' divorce, which He used to drive me to His Word that shows me how to be a godly wife, what a godly husband will be like, & that marriage is from Him & I should rely on Him if hard times come.
     *My molestation, which He used to drive me to reliance on Him for forgiveness toward those who wounded me & gave me a righteously fierce protection over others, as well as intense empathy for others' pain. (As an aside, He also used Mark Driscoll's sermon on expiation to show me that not only did Jesus' death in my stead cleanse me of my own sin, but it cleansed me from the sins committed against me. How freeing!)
     *My infertility (although reversible), which He still uses to show me that He is enough, whether He gives me children or not.
     *The years-long rift between a loved one & me, which He used to show me that while others will fail me, He will not; that He has always been & will always be right there with me, loving me, guiding me, & sanctifying me until I reflect Christ perfectly.

That's the purpose of trials in the life of a child of God -- they are instruments lovingly used by our wise & sovereign heavenly Father to mold us into the image of Christ for His glory. Everywhere in my life, I see proof of God, proof of His love, proof of His guidance, proof that He will work out His plan for my good & His glory. He is an infinitely holy God who is infinitely worthy of all of my praise! Without Him, I am nothing. Because of Him, I've led - & continue to lead, regardless of what trials may come my way - a truly blessed life.

*My gracious Father in heaven, thank you. Thank you for my life & all of the blessings that you have bestowed upon me. Thank you for this wonderful birthday spent with my precious husband.  Thank you, most of all, for giving me You. For being my God, my Father. For saving me from my sin. You never fail me, You always love me & do what's best for me, even when it hurts. Please continue to draw me to You & sanctify me so that I reflect Your Son to the world. Glorify Yourself through my life. I love You, Lord; help me to love You supremely. In Christ's holy name, Amen.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Packing an Umbrella

We've all heard the old adage "If you pray for rain, you'd better pack an umbrella". Mama sent me an email just this morning with a story about a couple married 5 years who prayed for children & proved this adage true as God blessed them with 4 children in as many years. At the top, she told me that this would be me in a couple of years, realizing my heart's desire in a house full of children. I pray so. My heart has really been aching the last few days for my children. My arms have felt so empty. I asked Michael today through tears, "How can I miss someone so much that I've never met?" We were standing in Costco, looking at the children's clothes, which I was affectionately stroking, wishing for the babies that I'm trusting God to give us. I decided then to "pack an umbrella". So, in faith that God is working to bring our children to us, Michael & I bought 6 outfits -- 3 girls' & 3 boys'.  These are closeup shots of the coordinating bibs that came with the outfits.  They're so cute!
We know that God has called us to this adoption, & because that's true, we also know that He will complete the adoption & unite us with our babies when the time is right. Sometimes it can be hard to hold on to this assurance, though, especially as more time goes by & we still don't have the funds to move on. Although I have these weak moments (thankfully few) where I wonder how it's all going to happen - if it's all going to happen - knowing that it will happen in God's time is comforting to me in my waiting. It's also comforting to know that our family & friends who love us are supporting & praying with us for peace, patience, & for the safety & well-being of our babies until God brings them to us. So, as we wait, we also prepare for God to bring the rain. I hope it's a deluge!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jesus is the reason for the season...or is He?

"Jesus is the reason for the season". At least, that's what we say. But - like my mama always taught me - actions speak louder than words. Lately, I've been looking around - at others & at myself - & wondering how true this sentiment really is. Is Jesus really "the reason for the season"?

I've always loved Christmas, always been a bit of a fanatic, in fact. There was a time when I started playing Christmas music in July. (Seriously, you can ask my mama.) When I was growing up, I decorated my room, complete with my own little Christmas tree. Santas & snowmen, colored lights & snowglobes...the whole deal. I've always loved the idyllic Christmas. You know, the one with old-fashioned dresses, sleigh rides, church bells, snow. Of course, growing up in Louisiana, I never got that. Except the year we went to Wisconsin for Christmas, but I digress.

Do you see what's missing here? I (& I would suspect, a lot of other people, possibly even you) have thrown out the little rhyme above, along with a sprinkling of "Happy birthday, Jesus" throughout the years, but the main event involved the tree & the food & the company & the presents & looking at lights & get the idea. Oh, I would have never said that, but my actions did. We all, Christians & unbelievers alike, scurry around all in a flutter about what we're going to buy for our spouse & children, extended family, & friends. Where's dinner going to be? Are we going to have turkey or ham, dressing or stuffing? After Christmas, the customary query is "What did you get?" I could go on, but surely you see where I'm going. If Jesus is really "the reason for the season", then why don't we focus more on Him? Why is it that we can go even to Christian homes & see Santa & Frosty displayed prominently en masse & one little nativity scene set on the mantle or coffee table? And I'm not just pointing fingers here; I've been guilty of the very same thing for years! It seems to me that this sends a mixed message. Especially to children & unbelievers. If Christmas is about Jesus, then why does Santa have such a prominent role? How does opening presents for ourselves celebrate Jesus' birth? I mean, be honest, as you take your children to see Santa, are you thinking about how much Christ is glorified in that? As you shop for & open presents, are you thinking, "This is for You, Jesus!"? Hardly.

Christmas is not about presents or any of the other things that we, along with the world, strive so hard to make it about. Christmas is about Jesus. He came down from heaven & became incarnate for our sake. Think about this! He, the Lord of glory, chose to be born to an unwed teenage mother in a stable filled with animals...for us! So that He could live the one & only perfect life & die the one & only sin-atoning death in our place to save us from the deserved wrath of God! How could we, who claim to love Him & be His disciples, possibly make Christmas about anything less than this? Does this mean we throw out all of our Santas & snowmen, don't decorate a tree or the house, & don't buy presents? I can't answer that for you, because it's a heart issue. I think the question we need to ask ourselves is, "How does this make me focus on & glorify Christ?" If it doesn't, it should go. And again, we should ask, "How does this show others that I value Christ supremely?" As much of a kick as I get out of my "Jingle Bell Rock" Santa, for the life of me, I can't figure how he helps me glorify Christ or how he shows others that I love Christ supremely.

I guess the main question I'm asking myself this year is, what are my actions saying about my heart? What are yours?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Do Not Be Anxious Fools

My Bible has a separation in Luke 12 between verses 21 & 22, but I (Michael) was struck today that these actually go together. Verses 13-21 tell us about the man who wants Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance with him, followed by Jesus telling the parable of the rich fool who wanted to build bigger barns to store his plentiful crops. Jesus' hearers (including us) are warned that the person who "lays up treasure for himself & is not rich toward God" will meet the same fate as this rich fool. If your Bible is like mine, there is now a separation. All too often, we see the separation, which was not there in the original, & fail to see how the passages are connected. But these are very connected! Jesus issues the warning in verse 21 & then flows right into an admonishment in verse 22 not to be anxious about our lives, even the very basic aspects of what we will eat or wear. But we are, aren't we? Aren't we concerned about meeting our basic needs, especially when money is tight? How will I pay this bill? Will there be enough money to cover groceries? This even spills over into bigger issues. The truck needs new tires & brakes. The house needs a new roof. We need to save for retirement. For us, we can sometimes be overwhelmed by how we're going to afford to pay for this adoption. How in the world are we going to come up with $28,000?! On one income! Then, I read Jesus' words in this passage: do not be anxious, God cares for us more than the birds & lilies. I also see His indictment: "O you of little faith!" Choosing to be anxious - & it is a choice - means that I don't trust that God is in control of my life, that He loves me enough to take care of me. Choosing to accumulate possessions & wealth so that I don't have any worries means that I'm choosing not to rely on God. It also means that my treasure is in my "stuff" rather than in God. But, as believers, we're called to higher & better things. "Instead, seek His kingdom first, & these things will be added to you," remembering that "one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions". If we are seeking after Him, He will give us what we need. So, we have no cause for worry! Then, look where this leads us! God is providing for us, we have no need to worry about our needs, & that opens us up to "sell your possessions & give to the needy". We can do this because we have "a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches & no moth destroys"! We show ourselves to be true disciples of Christ by our outward actions, which demonstrate what we value most & show where our heart is. If our heart is with Christ, then we can easily lay aside our possessions for the sake of meeting others' needs. However, if our heart is with our possessions, then we will cling to, & even increase, them because we can't bear to be without them. And when we are seeking after the world's riches ("the good American life") at all costs - even going into debt & ignoring the plight of the poor to do so - we cannot lay up treasure in heaven. As believers, we have to intentionally & deliberately be counter-cultural in all ways, including how we use our possessions. We can choose to be slaves to the ungodly ways of our culture & lay up no treasure in heaven, but then we must clearly understand that this is "friendship with the world" & "enmity with God". If we choose this, we must be aware that we will have our reward here & our eternity will be hell. Our other choice is to break the chains of our slavery to "things", so that we're free to give to the advancement of the Gospel & to the care of the poor & helpless all over the world. But we can't have both, we can't serve both God & money. So, "choose you this day whom ye will for me & my house, we will serve the Lord"!

*Our most gracious heavenly Father, we thank You with all that we are for providing for us each day! We realize that everything we have - our food, clean water, clothing, home, jobs, & so much more - come straight from Your hand. So often, we forget to thank You, even forget that these things do indeed come from You. Please forgive us & continue to sanctify us through Your Word. Help us to realize that our possessions are not lasting & have not been given to us for ourselves. Help us to use our possessions as they are meant to be in the advance of Your kingdom. Convict us of the millions who are dying each day without the very things we take for granted...& without You. Ignite a passion in us to spread Your Gospel to the very corners of the Earth, showing people Christ's love in our actions. We love You & worship You, for You alone are worthy of all honor & praise! In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why adopt? Why Ethiopia? Part 2

Yesterday, we explained why we're adopting as opposed to attempting to conceive through fertility treatments & such.  Today, we'd like to deal with why we're adopting from Ethiopia rather than domestically. 

So...why Ethiopia?  There are so many reasons I can give!  The most important reason is that we simply feel God leading us there.  We could have gone the domestic route - we thought about it & may do so in the future - but we simply feel that for now, God is leading us to Ethiopia.  We believe our God is sovereign & that He ordained that all of our children - birth & adopted - be ours from before the foundation of the world.  The most basic reason that we're adopting from Ethiopia is that our children are in Ethiopia, just as God has willed.  Like I said, we've always wanted to adopt (seriously, like from the time I was 12 & Michael was a teenager), but we thought we would wait until after we had "our own" children.  (As an aside, I detest that phrase now; they won't be our biological children, but they will be "our own" children.)  Then, my sister- & brother-in-law started the process; we were over at their house one night this past January & spent literally hours watching You Tube videos showing adoption stories, a lot of them from Ethiopia.  Watching all of these children who had no one suddenly becoming part of a family was simply extraordinary!  I cried the whole time & was completely drained by the end of the day.  Michael & I drove home talking about how we didn't have to wait; we could adopt now.  One reason we chose Ethiopia is because of how speedy their process is compared to other nations.  But the main reason, other than God's leading, is that as we began researching Ethiopia to get a better feel of the culture, we discovered the dire situation facing these beautiful people.  For Ethiopia's orphans, many of whom are living on the streets, life is a daily struggle to survive.  There are between 4 & 6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone, & most of them don't live to see their 5th birthday; they're dying from starvation, preventable diseases, & subhuman conditions.  More than 26,000 children around the world die every single day from these conditions!  That's 1,080+ every hour, 18+ every minute!  Imagine if our church were representative of these statistics.  In a matter of minutes, not one child would be left alive.  Learning this, we simply couldn't turn our backs on the situation.  We have to save these children.

One of the "flagship" verses of adoption is James 1:27.  As Christ's church, we are all called to "visit orphans & widows in their distress".  We just recently heard a sermon explaining that "visit" means save, as in all the times that God "visited" His people in distress.  He didn't just comfort them & then leave them in their situations; He rescued them from the situations.  We are all called to rescue orphans, whether by means of adoption or by means of facilitating adoption.  You know what's been amazing in this for me personally?  I've never met my children - they may not even be born yet - but I know that before creation, God planned them to be mine, & I love them to the very bottom of my soul.  I may not have them in my arms yet, but they are firmly planted in my heart.

*Our most gracious heavenly Father, please help us, as Your adopted children, to reflect your heart by adopting orphans from all over the world.  These children are so precious, & they need us to rescue them from poverty, disease, & death.  We can't do it without You, though.  Please make Your people - Your bride - burn with a passion for adoption for Your glory!  In Christ's holy name, Amen.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why adopt? Why Ethiopia? Part 1

Michael & I have been asked more than once now 2 questions in particular regarding our adoption:  Why are you adopting rather than trying to conceive on your own or with a doctor's help?  Why are you adopting from Ethiopia rather than domestically?  I recently corresponded with a dear friend concerning these 2 issues, & I figure that for every person brave enough to ask these questions out loud, there are a few more who are wondering.  So, I would like to share our reasons here.

It's probably easier to start with why we're adopting at all.  First of all, it "just so happens" that we have both always wanted to adopt transracially, specifically African.  We are not able to conceive right now due to my PCOS, but weight loss will clear that up (which we are working on), & Lord willing, one day we will be "bellied up" (an awesome expression that's new to me!).  Regardless of if we ever have biological children or not, we will adopt.  We want to adopt in addition to having biological children, not in lieu of.  Adoption is costly, & we could spend that money on fertility treatments instead.  However, God has chosen not to create a child in my womb right now, while He has chosen to create all of the many children around the world who have become orphans through no fault of their own.  We believe our money is better spent rescuing these children rather than bucking against God's plan for us in our barrenness.  God is concerned with orphans, as He testifies in His Word, & we as His children should reflect His heart.  In adoption, we show the world God's love for & adoption of us.  He is, after all, an adoptive Father Himself.  Because we have been adopted "vertically" by Him, we have a desire to adopt "horizontally" the orphans in this world.  These are children who have no one to love them; no one to protect, support, or comfort them; no place to call home.  They are worthy of all of these things, & by adopting them, we show the world who God is.  Isn't that beautiful?!  We also fulfill the Great Commission in adoption.  We are taking children who, if left as orphans, will most likely never hear the gospel of Jesus Christ & are training them in the admonition of the Lord.  We are discipling them in Christ!  Again, it's just beautiful!

I'll cover why we feel led to adopt from Ethiopia rather than domestically in the next post.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

God Provides

Okay, so the most amazing thing happened yesterday! But before I tell you that, I have to give some background. As most of you probably know, Michael & I are a one-income family. He's an RN on a cardiac surgical unit, & I - though once an elementary school teacher - am now a housewife. (Much to both of our satisfaction, I might add, though that's probably another post!) In our desire to add "parent" to our job descriptions, we've embarked upon a journey to adopt 2 children from Ethiopia. Being a one-income family, & not having a spare $27,000 laying around - shocking, I know - we're sometimes unsure how we are ever going to afford this adoption. Two days ago, we were reminded of how truly daunting this venture may be. You see, we had our first home study meeting with our fabulous social worker, Claire, who proceeded to lay out the next few steps that we will need to fund. We've paid around $2,000 into the process up to this point, and our next few steps will cost almost $2,400. Wow! Never mind not having $27,000 laying around; we don't even have this much! Here's where God steps in. He knows our need. He's placed this desire in our hearts & this call on our lives. We've both reminded each other a few times already - & will no doubt do so many more times in this journey - that because He's given us this desire & call, that He will provide the way for us to fulfill it. We know this to the bottom of our souls, & He has proven faithful. You see, on the way home from our meeting, we discussed our new dilemma. How are we going to come up with this amount of money? We are definitely going to have to sacrifice; that's part of being a parent, after all, not to mention being a Christian. (Although, it doesn't really feel like we're sacrificing anything when the end result in both instances is so rewarding!) Extra shifts at Michael's work are scarce, almost nonexistent. I can sew & sell some things, but probably not $2,400 worth. The money from our paychecks mostly goes toward bills & necessities with some left over to put back in savings. So, where are we going to get the money? Turns out, from God. We just got our paycheck & somehow, in some truly inexplicable way, NONE of that money is needed for bills. Seriously -- NONE! Amazingly, the large bulk of this paycheck can go into savings toward our adoption! So, whereas we were a couple thousand dollars short of paying for these next few steps, now we only lack a couple hundred!

*God, You are so faithful to us, & we are so grateful to You!  Thank You for giving us this desire to rescue orphans & give them an everlasting family who will love, nurture, protect, & disciple them. Thank You for giving us this opportunity to reflect Your love for us & to reflect Your adoption of us as Your children, by loving & adopting these children. And, thank You for providing the way to fulfill Your calling. We love You! In Christ's holy name, Amen.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Learning to Love as Christ

There is a difficult person in my life that I have to deal with. So often, I don't want to deal with her, so I try my hardest to avoid doing so. Or, I deal with her in a very begrudging manner, lamenting over what an inconvenience it is to me. Until today. Today, I saw her in a different light. I saw her through the eyes of Christ. I saw how lonely she is. I saw how wounded she is. I saw how selfish I've been. In avoiding dealing with her, I've exacerbated her loneliness & pain......and reflected Christ poorly. No, to be more direct, I've lied about who Christ is. I have felt justified in avoiding her as much as possible because, after all, her poor behavior deserves my shunning of her. "I don't have to put myself into an abusive situation", I said to myself (& my husband) just last night. "She has to learn that her bad behavior has consequences & she can't just treat people any way she wants to & get away with it" was my next statement. But today, I was forced to deal with her, & Christ brought me face-to-face with my sin. What if Christ had used the same arguments with me? What if He had said, "I don't have to die for her! She's just going to continue to sin against Me. She's going to take My sacrifice for granted as she chooses sin over Me time & again. She's not worthy for Me to die for. She has to learn that her bad behavior has consequences that she has to pay for." If He had taken the same approach with me that I've taken with her, I would be sent to hell. Thank God (literally), He did not do this! Thank God that He became incarnate, lived a perfectly sinless life, died for my sins - bearing God's wrath - & rose again all on my behalf -- even though I am SO unworthy! Without His grace & mercy, I would be hopeless & helpless. And as His child, as His redeemed & justified child, I am to serve others in the same way. Even when they're rude, arrogant, or simply irritating. Even when they ridicule, insult, & abuse me (as they did Him). Not begrudgingly, but with joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, self-control, & gentleness.

*God, please help me to love this person as You have loved me. Give me Your mercy & humility in dealing with her so that when she looks at me, she sees You. Please use me in any way You choose to minister to her. Heal her wounds & show her that she needs You, all the while continuing to sanctify me. Glorify Yourself through me, Lord. In Christ's holy name, Amen.