Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We carved pumpkins with some friends this week.  Here's how they turned out.

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And we added one more into the mix today. Elijah got to paint a pumpkin at school this week and he got to bring it home today!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

7 Days in Ephesians: Day 7

 Ephesians 6
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also[b] is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; 22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.
23 Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Oh how I love this part.  We just finished up an 8 week series today with our kids in Lakewood Kids  on the armor of God. 

God gives us such a clear picture of the things to clothe ourselves in, and it's been so much fun studying each individual piece. You can click the link above and see what we taught on for each piece, but I'll let you do that on your own.

My favorite piece of armor is the offensive weapon. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The kids thought I was crazy at first when I said, that their BIBLE was a sword. 

God gave us all the things we needed to fight off the evil one. Including a sword that ultimately is the demise of Satan. Love it.

Have you clothed yourself in the armor today?    Are you protected from the attacks Satan wants to throw at you? And have you hidden God's word in your heart so you can stand firm against the attacks? 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

7 Days in Ephesians: Day 6

Ephesians 5

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.[c]
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[d] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[e] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 6

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”[a]
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

I love God's design for the family. I love how He patterns it after His own relationship with us.  He gives us a tangible way to feel HIS love. 

What better way to experience God's blessings than by allowing Him to mold you into this kind of wife or husband? 

Friday, October 26, 2012

7 Days in Ephesians: Day 5

Ephesians 4

23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,”[e] for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”:[f] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 5

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know,[a] that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit[b] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Oh look, there's my favorite word!


Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

I posted this as my facebook status one day last week.


: build
: establish
: to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge : uplift

Take some time today to build someone up. Encourage them, and tell them they are loved. ♥ 

I love how this word finds its way into my vocabulary so often. I just love encouraging others. But more than that, I HATE seeing people torn down by others.

If you aren't lifting someone up, you're tearing them down. Purpose yourself to bring words of LIFE to someone today!

7 Days in Ephesians: Day 4

Ephesians 4

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you[a] all.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”[b]
(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[c] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of[d] the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

This passage is jam packed so I'll probably back up after I finish the week and REALLY dig into this. But here's where I stand right now.

 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

I didn't even get past the first verse.  And that's ok.

I love how Paul here says to walk worth of the calling with which you were called.

I don't know about yall but this is HARD. We are all called according to His purpose for our lives in some way or another.

Me: God gave me a heart for children and youth. He also gave me a heart more recently for women and marriage.  To walk worthy of this is HARD.

What if I lived my life as if I had no calling. As if nothing mattered but me?  I just read an article about a Kindergarten teacher who is suspended because of some nasty things she said about kids on her facebook page

Seriously, if we are called to minister to people (which we all are), we have to hold ourselves accountable. 

 The power of life and death are in your words.  But they are also in your actions.

What are you saying on Facebook daily?  What are you showing people with your lifestyle? 

Are you walking worthy of your calling?    


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

7 Days in Ephesians: Day 3

Ephesians 3

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship[a] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;[b] 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[c] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I love today's passage.  But I really love this verse:

12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

So many times the Bible mentions that we have boldness and confidence or something like it.

One of my favorite verses says this: 

For God has not granted us a spirit of fear, but one of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND. (emphasis mine)

I love how Paul so often reminds us that we are His children, not meant to be cowering in the shadows, but to be BOLD. Full of POWER. CONFIDENT.

Go out and do something for Christ with confidence today.     

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

7 Days in Ephesians: Day 2

Ephesians 2

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

I really love how this chapter shows us God's grace. 

I think about some friends who recently adopted. Their little girl is no less theirs because she didn't come from their womb. She is so much a part of their heart that you wouldn't know the difference. 

This is how God is with us. Though we were sinners, Gentiles even, God loved us and saw fit to adopt us into His kingdom. But we aren't just leftovers He thought He'd let in. He loves us just like He loves Israel. He loves us like any other child. He loves us so much that He allows us to be a part of Him.

We are no longer strangers or foreigners. We are members of God's household. Seriously. Wow.

I think the best part. Is that the body is being formed together to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.  (v. 22)


Monday, October 22, 2012

7 Days in Ephesians: Day 1

Ephesians 1

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[b] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding[c] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

This chapter is full of excitement for those of us who believe.    

First up,  adoption.   Verse 5 says that we were predestined into adoption through Christ.  Struggling with knowing you belong?  Guess what! God's adopted us as His very own through His Son. Not only this, but it says that He chose us before the foundation of the world and He sees us as holy and blameless.   

Next up, redemption through His blood.  How else would God see us as holy and blameless before Him in love?  We are born sinners so the redemption is so important. 

And, look... an inheritance.  

I especially love this next part.  We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, our guarantee until the redemption of the purchased possession.    
We were bought with Jesus' blood but the possession won't be redeemed until the day we are standing before our Lord. So... enter the Holy Spirit as our seal, our guarantee! We are bought with His blood and we are FREE!

     And this last verse is so powerful.

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Enough said.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Our life in Instagrams.

Daddy and Asher enjoying some free french fries   
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Elijah sleeping, with his leg crossed. That's how we know he's really asleep.
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Mommy and her sweet girl.

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Elijah helped mommy make homemade lasagna last week!
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Another with my sweet girl.
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What girl doesn't want to wear mommy's tiara and veil? She thought she was a princess!
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Kyley and Asher watching something on daddy's phone.

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hot chocolate for everyone with colored marshmallows!
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Me and my tiny!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Like father like son.

 I shared this on my facebook page recently with a link to the second picture. But I felt it was blog worthy.

Like father like son much? 

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

19 months old.

Yesterday, Asher turned 19 months. Just a few more months and he'll be TWO! 

In the last month, he's given up his paci and starting talking MUCH more. He'll repeat almost ANYTHING. 

His favorite food is STILL a banana. And I have to avoid them in the store still. He loves them and would eat them all day long if we'd let him I'm sure.

He learned the word "juice"   which he uses for any type of drink now. He was saying drink, but I guess he just thought juice was better. 

He likes to yell "jump jump jump" and start bouncing and trying to jump.

"yes maam" is a favorite, he's so cute when he says yes maam.

He's just so much fun. This age really is great. :) Remind me of that when he's up all night one night haha

No seriously, he's a pretty good sleeper but this transition to no paci has taken some time for him to get used to. Even though it was his decision to give it up, sleeping has been a little different since then. He's waking up to nurse once in the night still like he was, but the time it takes to put him back to sleep is considerably longer now. 

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a few pictures of the last few weeks :) 

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I sure do love this little guy !

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's a .... project beyond my culinary expertise.

I have to admit, this was so much fun, and I can't wait to do it again for future babies born into our group.

We are so blessed to be adding so many more munchkins to the group. I feel like we're multiplying so quickly these days.

In just a few short weeks (hopefully, preterm labor stinks, so we're praying for a few more weeks), Jan and Marlon will add not one but TWO sweet littles to the group. We can't wait to meet them, but please little ones be good to mama and hold off just a little while longer!

This post is really about Savannah and Peden's addition to the group though!

Last week, they had an ultrasound and we schemed up a plan to have a small 'gender reveal' party at small group.

So, Thursday night, I got into baking mode and made a batch of cupcakes.  I wasn't sure HOW I was going to get the icing in the middle, seeing as how I didn't have any culinary background and no idea what I was doing. So.... I chose a trusty medicine syringe.

Pink or blue, what will I use?


I opened up the first color... Pink for those of you who don't already know. And I spilled it all over the floor and my hands. So after cleaning that up, I proceeded to also stain my hands blue to hide the evidence of using pink. Ha.


So, I injected all the pink icing....


And then I iced the tops and tried to keep the kids out of them until group Friday night.

It was so much fun getting to see everyone excited to share in Savannah and Peden's joy. We can't wait to meet sweet little miss Rebekah.    We love her already.

And just for good measure... a picture of my tiny after eating some chocolate icing.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Sometimes fear can overtake us.  

Sometimes it can stop us cold in our tracks.

I'm reminded quickly this morning of the fragility of life. 

If you've never met Julee or Kelly through their blogs (I 'met' Julee through her appearances on Kelly's blog obviously), then you're missing out.  

Julee just tragically lost her husband in a car accident.

My first response was to panic, what would I do if I was put in her situation?  Where would I go? How would I support our kids?  What would I do without my best friend for the rest of my life? 

I'm sure these are things she wonders. Pray for her dear friends. 

But back to fear. I was struck with a fear so palpable all I could do was pray. 

I'm quickly drawn to my favorite verse.

2 Timothy 1:7

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Thank God for a spirit of power, and love, and a sound mind. Fear doesn't have to rule over us!

Jesus had a LOT to say about worry.  Here are a few examples.

Matthew 6:25-27  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Matthew 6:34  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Luke 12:25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you;my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

and then Paul gives us another one of my favorites.

Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I'm so glad that I don't have to live in fear. Tomorrow doesn't matter, as long as I live each day according to God's calling on my life, I know that tomorrow will hold whatever it brings and worry doesn't need to consume me. 

And thank God for that peace. That sweet peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Hug your babies tight today, and tell your spouse how much you adore them. But look forward to many more days and don't worry about what the world throws around to cause fear.