#Determination- Made to Crave Blog Hop

Can you believe its Thursday again? I love blog hop day; the day when so many women come together in one place to share their words. These words may be struggles that we all face and feel so real or they may be victories, tiny or huge, that we can all celebrate with each other.

I have been loving the word of the week in Made to Crave. There is something about focusing on one word that truly helps you conquer your battles that lie ahead. I have seen people focus on one word an entire year… Can you imagine the benefits?

Last weeks word was #Empowered… which went right along with our theme song that I cannot stop playing in my head (which is a GREAT thing!).

This weeks word is #Determination.

When you have been feeling down on yourself for a long time, these are some pretty tough words to live; feeling empowered and working with determination. However, I got this, GOD is on my side. He isn’t sitting in Heaven saying, “Nope, she can’t do this!”

NO WAY ….

God is sitting up in heaven on the front row bleacher of our lives with a foam finger going, “You CAN do this! Believe in yourself! TRUST ME! I can get you through ANYTHING!”

Just sit and think about that for a moment.

 

 

Ok STILL THINKING? REALLY THINK ABOUT IT!

 

 

Cue the Jeopardy Music….. LOL

 

Ok, So I hope you really did think about God being your #1 Cheerleader and Fan. Because I don’t know about you? But I know that makes me feel #Determined and #Empowered. And like Melissa has been singing all the time, “I got the power!” I feel it!

In chapter 5 this week of Made to Crave (Author- Lysa Terkeurst), she pointed out a verse in Romans. How is it that I have read through the entire Bible twice now from cover to cover and we still miss these power packed verses? You know why? Because sometimes the truth hurts… and we overlook those verses that hit home and sometimes we really just are not in the moment where we are looking at the verse in that manner. Either way, I love when a verse comes alive for me.

Romans 8:37 tells us:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

 

Really?

I am MORE than a conqueror because of Jesus Love! ❤ AMEN!

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We need determination, Ladies! (or gents :P)

Every time we feel like we have a reason why we cannot do this…. God will give us ten thousand reasons why we CAN. He believes in us!

Yet, I know for me, I sit sometimes and am filled with fear and worry and I am tired of wasting my peace from today on the worry of yesterday or the fears of tomorrow. I am #DETERMINED to make this My year, My time, My Life to Crave GOD with all my being and my entire soul.

I loved this graphic with the arrows… God is caring for me… (AND YOU! YES YOU SITTING RIGHT THERE READING THIS!!!!!!) He loves us and does not want us to be fearful that the journey will not work. He wants us to jump up and down with determination that this is going to work!

George Lucas once said, “Your focus determines your reality.”

If you are focused that you will fail, then guess what? You probably will.

I want my focus on God, because Gods love will NEVER fail me; therefore I will not fail. I may trip a few times, and I may need to ask for help from God to get me back up again. But I will not fail, because my God is an Amazing God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

we are NEW in Christ. Let your old self go! Let your old habits disappear! God is with us!

Blessings,

Amy

HMJ- January 24th 2014

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…

What a great week! After switching our meal plan to clean eating last weekend… I am now a barrel of energy! 🙂 I love how UNBLOATED I feel! 😀 Amazing how you do not even realize just how “Blah” you feel when eating certain foods; even foods you thought were so healthy.

And I lost another POUND! 😀 YAY

In our homeschool this week…

Gadget has done amazing with his work this week. He completed his little History recap and Spelling Test with full recollection of what we have been studying. Makes me smile when he is so proud that he can spell so many more words each week.

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My favorite thing this week was…

Taking the time to pray each time I had a small victory in my healthy eating or when I needed God to just say, “Yes, my child, you are doing the right thing by NOT choosing THAT food.”

Here is a peek of outside my beautiful window each morning… the picture was taken late afternoon, but in the morning when I wake to read my Bible and drink my Morning cup of Tea, the sun is just shining through my kitchen like a flood of light.

I am building a prayer path each day to grow closer to God; it feels AMAZING!

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I’m Reading…

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Oh wow… is this GOOD! I am so thankful that a friend of mines led me to Karen Kingsbury’s books. They are so gripping and have such a good faith base.

I’m cooking…

Tonight, we are trying this recipe:

Mongolian Beef Recipe

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/mongolian-beef-10000001940984/
We love Chinese… and both my husband and I love experimenting to make recipes healthier. We are going to give this one a whirl along with some homemade veggie filled- Baked egg rolls.

I’m grateful for…

God-LIFE- LOVE- Hope- FAITH- PRAYER!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

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Here is a little sneak peek into some of the foods I have been enjoying this week. I love being able to say with EVERY single bite of the food I have eaten this week, that I am fighting off disease … not fueling it!

Have a Blessed Week!

Permissible but not Beneficial

The Believers Freedom

In my student Bible, that is the title of this section in 1 Corinthians. I love these titles because sometimes they can totally sum up an entire chapter.

In my weight loss journey, I have tried many different options, different workouts, different plans, but they all ended in the same way; me feeling like a failure because I was still yet again at the same weight.

However, since starting Made to Crave (Written by Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries), I have been digging deep down in my soul figuring out the why’s and the how’s of how my body works and why it works the way it does. Now I am starting to realize that if I am bone dry honest with myself, I was allowing myself too much permission for things.

In the plan that I am doing now, they advertise you can eat anything you want as long as you eat the serving size and write it down and its in your allotted daily target. However, I don’t want to keep doing the same thing I have been doing with little to no results.

I WANT CHANGES.

In order for changes to occur, I need to actually MAKE THEM. Yep, sounds simple right? You may be reading this saying, I FEEL THE SAME WAY, or you could be reading this and thinking, “Why did it take her so long to figure out something so simple?”

I cannot give myself permission to eat “anything I want” if I am striving to get my body back to the health level that God intends it to be living. I need to address WHY I may want something sometimes and figure something healthy out in that things place. Because, as I have been reading, no matter what you are craving, it is some type of mineral or nutrient your body actually needs.

1 Corinthians 10:23 tells us:

“Everything is permissible”–

See, if we read just the first sentence and go off running and yelling, “Hallelujah, the Bible tells me EVERYTHING is permissible.”

HOLD THE PHONE… Keep Reading…

It tells us after that:

but not everything is beneficial…

That makes you think doesn’t it?

I know it makes me sit down and say, Oops, maybe I have been going about this the wrong way. Even if I can track a 10 point brownie, does not mean my body would be happy if I ATE THAT 10 point brownie.

It does not even have to be that literal. I can track any kind of meat made in any kind of sauce with any kind of side.

Does it mean that just because you can, means you should?

IT would NOT be beneficial to my body to think like that. So I have been making the transition to CLEAN EATING; well we as a family have been transitioning.

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Visit: http://www.skinnymom.com/2013/03/14/clean-eating-dos-and-donts-for-getting-started/?_szp=236172 for more info

As I read down further into 1 Corinthians 10, I found some really great treats of a verse.

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Wow.

I mean really!!! READ THAT AGAIN!

We are not seeking approval of the world, we are looking to CRAVE GOD.

God put fruit on the earth to be like Natures Skittles, plants that help make food taste good without any chemicals.

I read something this week and laughed, So I thought I would share it with you too!

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I chuckled, because how many things have I eaten in the past; you know like last week? That’s the past right?

Well I am Moving forward with my Confident Heart to CRAVE GOD! Will you join me? Hop on my Get Healthy train with me! The more the merrier.

So every time I go to eat something now, this little sentence sticks in my head and starts playing in Techno Color :P…

Amy, IS THIS BENEFICIAL???? Or ARE YOU JUST GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION???

If the answer is, “No, this is not going to help my body in any way.” Then I am not putting it inside my body.

Have a blessed Week!

#Empowered

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My Soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord. My Heart and my flesh cry out for the living

God. Psalm 84:2

Empowered.

What a strong word. I want to feel empowered; I yearn for empowerment.

I am an overcomer.

I will take hold of this journey and get healthier.

Today is the beginning of the rest of my life, and I am taking hold of it right now.

I want to crave God and put him in his rightful spot of the ONLY thing I crave.

I have the right to do anything– you say— but not everything is beneficial.

I have the right to do anything, but not everything is constructive.

1 Corinthians 10:23

I am so excited about the progress of this study. I have support and constant love of my Father in Heaven who is always there to guide me when I have lost my way. He is the lighthouse keeper of my life.

Blessings,

 

HMJ- January 18th

Homeschool Mother's Journal Link Up

In my life this week…

I so missed doing these HMJ’s, and I am so happy to be back. Hmmm… in my life this week, I started this wordpress blog and migrated from blogger. I will always love blogger but I loved the simplicity that WordPress offers. Gadget got his first big boy bike! YAY! He had been apprehensive to try out the pedals on every different bike we had gotten in the past. He always wanted to “Fred Flinstone” it around using his feet to propel but we finally made another milestone; using the pedals.

I am also very excited to start my Made To Crave Bible Study tomorrow with P31. This will be my Third OBS with them. I am ready and rearing to go!

In our homeschool this week…

This past week we dove into our second week of the New Year. Gadget had his second spelling test. We had dabbled a little with spelling words (about five a week) since September but we are doing 8 a week now with one dictation sentence. HE LOVES IT! This kid is so mines LOL I used to get teased because I would want to do more school all the time.

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We have been learning different sight words and word families!

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This is a little activity to practice cutting these out and placing stickers inside the lines.

In History and Geography, we have been continuing our “Road Trip USA” from the lovely Erika at confessions of a Homeschooler. We Love her studies. This past week, we focused on Kentucky and Louisiana. He really is loving learning them. And can state the capitals and states for about 13 of them now.

In Science, we have been continuing Sonlight Science A and learning all about plants. Gadget absolutely has been thrilled with his science experiment with the kidney beans. He planted about five in scott Towel and he has checked them daily. Here is what they are looking like after about one week:

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In art, he has been learning how to construct pictures using basic shapes. He was very proud of his picture.

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Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

I think my biggest tip this week is to allow your kids to take extra time when they really love something. When I first started, I thought you had to get it done, and had to finish what was set for that day. I have learned that is not always the case. I love when he shows such interest in something and wants to “study some more mom” or “one more page mom”.

So my best advice is to “Let their interests lead the studies sometimes”.

My favorite thing this week was…

Watching Gadget ride down the street on his training wheel bike! It was such a proud moment for us all; he was proud of himself too.

He kept saying, “Mom I cant believe it! I am riding a bike”.

Parenthood is so rewarding.

My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Well if riding the bike did not score top notch, I would say he was very proud of his ball practice. He is getting so much better at throwing and catching. Its been a big motor skill week!

Things I’m working on…

I am working on my Weight Watchers program and as of tomorrow, Made to Crave Bible Study. Everything with me now is focusing on getting healthier and living simpler enjoying what I already have instead of wanting for more! I am also working towards my 1000 Gifts; writing them down or jotting them in the app that Ann Voskamp has so nicely put together.

I’m cooking…

Steak and Potatoes tonight! Its our Saturday Grill night and I am not cooking HAHA. My hubby takes the chef reigns each Saturday!

What we are reading…

Gadget is reading an assortment of books for school… Here is what he is reading:

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Dick and Jane compilation, Reader D Abeka, I can Read Book 1 and He picked the other off his book shelf. He is so thrilled that he can read now all by himself.

I just finished One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and The Chance by Karen Kingsbury. This week I will be starting my Made to Crave book as well as Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury.

I’m grateful for…

Life and its little adventures.

Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

Product Details

This DVD projector for outside to host movies in the neighborhood. I think it would be such a neat thing, and in our neighborhood there are two other families that homeschool as well.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

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Gadget on his Bike this Afternoon

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Have a Blessed Week!

Made to Crave- Favorite

P31 OBS Blog Hop

As the sun peaks its rays through the clouds just trying to get through, I sit in stillness. The air is crisp and cool this January morning.
It’s not often that outside feels like a winter day here in the Bahamas. I take a deep breathe of cool, fresh goodness.
It feels wonderful; the breeze on my face.
This coming week, I am starting a new Online Bible Study with my P31 Family called Made to Crave. They asked for us to blog about one of their topics, and one of them is “What is your favorite verse?”
Favorite is such a funny word to me. I can tell you that I love blue and that I love pink but I can never answer the typical, “What is your favorite color?” type of question. Whenever I read those questionnaires and I Get to the “favorite” questions, my mind goes blank. I have such a love for different colors, music, movies etc..
Instantly, my mind overflows with verses that mean the world to me. I think I could never tell someone my absolute favorite verse because I have verses for different situations. This past year, I have grown closer to God than ever before. I re-read the entire Bible from cover to cover in 90 days; what an accomplishment. More importantly though, I prayed to Him so much more than before. I have found such peace over the past few months just talking to God.
I talk to God about the weather.
I talk to God about whats bothering me.
I talk to God about helping me with my get healthy journey.
God is always listening. I find that so comforting and yet why is it that we forget that so easily?
A verse that came to mind that is definitely one of my favorites is Isaiah 41:10 which states,
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
I had read this verse many times and passed over it, until one day the Lord whispered to me to stay still and to listen to what I was reading; Pay attention Amy.
So many days had passed where I had not even cared if it was raining or hot, yet no matter the weather God is with me. He is helping me and lifting me up because he is My God.
As I sit here, and let the breeze freshen my body, God is refreshing my soul, one verse at a time.
I could never choose a “favorite” but I can definitely let God speak to me through his many words that touch my heart.
Whenever I answer those favorite questions, I always say the same thing, “There are too many things that I love to name just one.” The challenge now is to actually appreciate each of those things that I know in my heart is loved and cherished.
I pray that in the coming weeks, as I begin a new journey with Made to Crave (check it out HERE) that my heart can find even more of Gods Words to speak to my soul and that my heart will listen completely.
Blessings My P31 Friends,

Happy 2014

As I sit here and think on the year that has passed and the new possibilities for the upcoming one, I smile. I sit and smile. Why? Because I just have this huge feeling that this year is going to be filled with a lot of new adventures for our family.

WE are only guaranteed right now, so I am going to hold onto my hope and take each day as its own, and not let anyone or anything take that hope from my heart.

I pray that God can touch our hearts as we have some big decisions to make and are very excited to make them as a family. Because really, no matter what life throws at us, If we have God and our Family then we can take on anything.

So 2014, Lets do this…
Here’s to a great year.
My blessing and wish for your family too!

#I Am Not

I am NOT a Failure.

From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a Mom. I was the little girl rocking a baby doll and putting it to sleep. I would lay in my Moms bed and feed my dolly.

Sometimes, my big brother even pushed around “my baby” and I. Aren’t we cute? hahah So when I got married in 2005, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I got the baby fever as they call it. A year later, it happened, I was ecstatic. However, that pregnancy did not end as I had hoped. I felt like an utter failure. I mean how can I lose the first baby I ever tried to bring on this earth? I felt alone. I felt like, “What did I do?”. “Did I exercise too hard?” “Did I eat something wrong?” “Did I lift something too heavy?” I was adamant that it was something I did that caused this to happen. Months passed and I started to find some closure but I still felt like it was my fault.
A year later, I found myself expecting again. I was so nervous. I made it to the end of that pregnancy and look what God blessed me with?

Look at those squishy cheeks!!!!!! Oh my…. they grow so fast. So after a few years of enjoying and snuggling this adorable little man. We got the baby fever again. Only this time, a few years later, it is sort of ending up without the result we hoped for in the beginning. Why do you think whenever things are going great, we don’t feel like such a failure. However, when the tides turn, and the world is looking grim, we get it into our heads that we are not good enough or do not deserve things. God does not promise us an easy road of life, in fact God actually tells us we will have trials.
Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
God does not want us walking around so afraid. He wants us to have courage; the courage to get through the dark times and the light.
The last few months, I have been dedicating my life even more to Christ. I have always believed but I wanted to do more than just believe. I wanted that personal relationship to grow deeper each day as I pray to Him and as I come to Him before anyone else.
I stopped watching a lot of different shows on television and stopped reading a lot of the fiction books. I found beautiful authors that captivate my reading love that uplift Christ and his teachings. Right now, I am in love with Lori Wick.
Nevertheless, when I first started to make this transition, people did not understand why. I had to remind myself, I do not have to please other people. I started feeling guilty about what was I going to explain to them when they ask me why I made such a different change. They would ask “Why does it bother you now?” Well it bothers me now, because I started seeing some of the shows on tv for what they truly are instead of what I was making excuses for them to be. I do not need to be putting that stuff in my head. How can I want a closer relationship with God if im putting garbage from television in there all day? I am not judging. I still have some shows I love like Hart of Dixie and Greys Anatomy… but I tried to take the ones that refer to things in an evil tone out completely.
I felt like I had to justify my decisions.
I felt like a failure to these people, like I was letting them down somehow for changing my mind.
I am NOT a failure.
I do not have to justify my decisions to anybody other than God himself, and even then I have to repent and pray for my decisions.
Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
I do not have to fear them.
Psalm 31:24

Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.

 So as I made this transition, I started feeling a calling again… a calling of the baby nature. I Felt like God was telling me it was time to trust in Him with it all; to have a little faith.

Once again, who starts feeling like a failure?
Only this time, I have been well equipped with the Word of God on my side. I have given this to God and I pray to Him every day that when or if it His will, things will happen again for us. But if it is not His will, then I know that I have been royally blessed as a Mommy already…. and He is working things in my life that have been amazing. I am finally losing weight, hosting a weight loss meeting and running a preteen Girl Youth Group called God Girls. God is actively working in my life and I trust him with all my heart.
Psalm 9:10

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
I will not let these lines define who I am as a Mother, Wife, Role Model, daughter etc…

Everything Has Its Time

3 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,     And a time to die; A time to plant,     And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill,     And a time to heal; A time to break down,     And a time to build up; A time to weep,     And a time to laugh; A time to mourn,     And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones,     And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace,     And a time to refrain from embracing;

I do not have to feel like a failure at anything I do when my eyes are set on the Lord. He has me in His best interest, and when I look at the grand scheme of my life, every choice has led me where I sit and type this today. I will not justify them, because even if some of those things failed, I am not a “failure”. Sometimes we just have to try again.
If at first we don’t succeed, try try again. God needed a lot of little angels up in Heaven cheering me on for something, and one day I will say, “Oh that must have been what I was called to do”. But for now, I will continue praising Him and lifting His name up for all the blessings that he has bestowed upon my life so far, and I will NOT let any one person or thing define all the roles that God has given me to live.

A Letter From God

Dear Amy,
I know that doubt creeps into your mind sometimes no matter how hard you try to overlook it. I see your Heart. I know what is in your inner most thoughts.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” I Peter 2:9
I have chosen you. I called you out of the darkness into my light and you accepted my love. I forgive everything you bring to me. I make them white as snow.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will lift you up with my victorious right hand” Isaiah 41:10
You see I am not sitting up in Heaven thinking you are not measuring up to another person. I count each of you as equals. I see that you worry you won’t be the perfect wife. I even saw that it took you well into your marriage before you would even speak your mind because you were afraid that he would leave you. But now you see how strong your marriage is when you put me first, and not be afraid to say what is going on in your mind.
I see that sometimes you feel guilty if you are having a rough day and end up losing your patience as a Mom. You have listened to my calling to be a homeschooling mother. You have few breaks and never ask for anything in return. Be kind to yourself. There will be moments when you need to remember, “I am HERE”. You do not have to do it all alone.
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Phil 1:6
I have a plan for you. I will continue to work in your heart until the day has come when I send my Son to bring you all home to ME. I will not forget you. You are GOOD enough.
I see that sometimes you make yourself feel upset over not getting that perfect grade in your schooling. That is not your fault. There have been people on your walk in life that have led you to believe that a B+ was not good enough. I am here to tell you that it is. When you try your best, It is BETTER than enough. DO not let others take the joy out of what you are doing. You are bettering your education to become a brighter, stronger and more confident teacher.
You do not have to make up  your mind yet. If you feel called to homeschool, then do it. I believe in you. You do not have to answer to another soul but Me. I am your Heavenly Father, and I bet even your earthly Father would tell you the very same thing. He believes in you too.
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
I know that you worry sometimes that you may never have another baby. Even when that beautiful smile is on the outside, I see when your heart is aching to hold another beautiful baby. Have no Fear, If it is in your plan that I have for you, It will happen. Nevertheless, I will continue to fulfill your purpose for Me.
So take a deep breathe, my child, and remember that you are good enough for me. There is nobody else that you need to strive up to other than being the best you on earth as you live out each day to grow closer to Me. I believe in You, and I have placed people in your life that believe in you too if you open up your heart to believe it for yourself.
Remember that you will have days when you are just trying to get by and days when you feel you are on top of the world. However, sometimes we must go through trials to learn a valuable lesson. Always remember, If I bring you to it, I will always bring you through it.
I am always here to listen to what you have to say. Nothing you say is too little or not good enough for me to hear.
Your Ever loving Father,
God

A Confident Heart Blog Hop

I looked the word “doubt” up in the dictionary and it states that doubt means a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.

A Lack of conviction? Surely it cannot mean that we are lacking in our faith, right? But it does. When we doubt, we are simply telling God through our actions that we do not trust in His plan for us. We are afraid and doubting that His journey that we are to walk is just too much.
It is so easy to become uncertain about things in our lives. Especially now that life seems to have gotten more chaotic than years gone by. We are always rushing this way and that way to things sometimes we cannot even state why we do. I read something the other day that says, “If you are too busy to pray, then you are busier then God intends for you.”

Stop.
Take a deep breath.
Recount your steps to where that uncertainty derived from and PRAY. We need to ask God to help us with our uncertainty and as Renee tells us take us into the light and out of the shadow of our doubts. I do not want to walk around with a lack of faith. I want to walk around filled with the perfect and unfailing love of our God knowing that as Jeremiah 29:11 states:
“For I know the plans I have for You, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God knows our plans. Sometimes however amidst that lack of faith that we give to Him, He allows us to go off plan because it teaches us to back up and say Uh Oh, I am sorry Lord, YOU are in control.
So let us go back to our verse. It asks us why “doubt arises in our hearts?” Our hearts are where all these feelings and emotions stem from. It is where this lack of faith starts and if not dealt with in the beginning, doubt can grow and grow into so many other emotions and sometimes straight up fear and guilt. As we let the shadow grow and belittle us, we forget that Gods light can overcome all and any doubt in our hearts. He can banish it from there if we just simply Ask Him. God does not want our hearts troubled or in fear of things. God wants our hearts to be filled with the light.
God wants us to move forward. So whenever we are starting to feel that doubt arise in our hearts, we must remember to #move forward into the light, out of the darkness and into the arms of the Father who is always ready and willing to hold onto us. He is ready to guide our path if we relinquish control over our journey.