Tag Archives: Bible

Jesus Meets Me In The Morning

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Thunderstorms all around, yet a most quiet silence hovers in the darkness as I met with the Lord this morning. Love time alone in the stillness “before the day”. The Holy Spirit in worship held my heart. Reflective. Encouraged. Passions renewed! Gratitude so very deep that my words fail to adequately express my thanks to a most gracious God. A challenging and yet good year with such joy-filled moments.
  

The thunder reverberates and as the house rumbles I feel it in the depths of my heart. You. ARE. God. #thereisnoneaboveyou #bestill #thelordisnear I pray that you are encouraged to walk in power today.

So many hearts in need that are on my heart this morning! Praying that you will be cared for in ways that your best words cannot express! Ended my time alone with this beautiful reminder to settle in close to the Lord. Pssssttt….. It is not too late for you right where you are to breathe a whispered prayer. You are wonderfully made to be the authentic YOU today. Never forget that beloved of God. Come quietly. He is there. Right there. You are His beloved and exceeding great joy! Walk in it!! Before The Day by Newsong http://youtu.be/rYFcEwDCjik

I Can Learn the Bible: 52 Scriptures Every Kid Should Know Resource

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Are you looking for new ways to excite your children about memorizing Scripture? Get the new FREE printables of Scripture memory cards, progress reward chart, and coloring sheets based on the key verses from I Can Learn the Bible: 52 Scriptures Every Kid Should Know by Holly Hawkins Shivers.

Also, take advantage of a 40% discount on the accompanying devotional book that goes along with the daily Bible verse that your child will be learning.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your (God’s) word.” Psalm 119:9

http://www.faithgateway.com/bible-memory-verses-for-kids-scripture-memorization/?utm_campaign=icanlearnbible&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=ICLTB-twitterad&utm_term=

Learning to Dance Brave

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“Fearful? Fear is always the first step of faith. Forward!” Ann Voskamp

“Whenever you are lost, forward is always the way Home.” Ann Voskamp

I am excited to share this Joy Journey with you!! But as sure as God is at work, the enemy is not far behind.

Yep. So, I took some quiet time away with the Lord today. In God’s sovereignty, I found myself reading the most wonderful passage in Hebrews 11, The Hall of Faith.

In my mind I walked and looked as if portraits of faith lined the walls of this journey.

By faith…..so many cherished men and women of faith led the way with their stories. And I reminded that, no matter what, by an act of faith, they were called by God and it most always led them into difficult places.

Today my heart was refocused for a new opportunity of faith: Learning to “Dance Happy” (Ann Voskamp) So, when fear not faith relentlessly pursues my mind and heart. When anxious thoughts long to consume me and shake my spirit. I have two choices: Fear or Faith

What things shake your faith? Push you to run into fear and anxious living? Are you hurled into an abyss and wonder how to escape? Do you (and I) worry about the things that never really happen? Or if they do, God rules by His Sovereign hand?

I would list my failed faith here but for best use of space, i surrender this time to a faithful God. The Way, the Truth and Life who completes my weakness and lifts my spirit to one of love, power, trust, dependance and grace upon grace!!

John Calvin said that the stability of the world depends on the rejoicing in Your (God’s) works.

I flounder at absorbing the fullness of God’s works!! Yet am smiling all inside at the thought of the Happy Dance and throwing anxiety and fear off the throne that I have empowered it to live !!

I continue on, intent on holding the line of faith that has been entrusted to me. NO MATTER WHAT!! And to replace the fear of the abyss with the will of God for my life that brings me such eternal joy. In every little daily thing, to pursue rejoicing over His works in my little life of faith!!

“I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . .

Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons.

We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.

Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised.

God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours” Hebrews 11:32-40

Friends, this is where the hall of faith does not end, but continues…..with you and I writing a faith-filled life story.. One little faith step at a time….for His glory!!

Today, my joy journal entry:
A Faithful God

And me……

I am learning with each new day how to Dance Brave!

Learning to Dance Brave

Learning to Dance Brave

From the Rising of The Sun….

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“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the LORD is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

Sunsets have always brought to life wonder in me. As a young girl, I would lie in the grass and look heavenward. I considered the mysteries of the world, as a curious observer of clouds in action. Every gaze distinguished shapes that stood out to me as uniquely created for me. I would reach my hand as if to touch the images so very far away only to come up short but better for dreaming, enjoying, experiencing and hoping.

Tonight, at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida keys, I was swept away by the beauty of my surroundings. Inside of me, my heart, resonated the same heart of that little girl long ago with child-like fascination regarding the grandness of the universe and the great things still yet to be explored. Having lived 50 years, I am still growing in wonder and  love with my God. I am still compelled to wander, explore, pray, trust, wait, meditate on the Word, listen, obey and grow in my understanding of my great creator God as He continues to beautifully set in motion His creation for us to enjoy. This brings blessing, honor, pleasure. glory and adoration. A testimony that He is God and there is no other!

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,  and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.” Psalm 16:1-6

The sun-s0aked day welcomed scattered clouds, created as a day for us to treasure. Hiking, walking along the beach hand-in-hand learning about the native culture. slipping our toes into the cool waters, experiencing the coastal elements and relishing in the tropical blue waters. Fair weather, balmy winds and beauty were today at every turn in the Florida Keys. We daily cherish quiet moments, relaxed dinners and have fallen in love with the slow, island pace and enjoy exploring every beautiful corner.

Sunsets, beaches and the natural habitat at Bahia Honda State Park in Florida are filled with well-preserved history.  The coastal setting surely provides interaction with an area that is is almost untouched by unnecessary improvements. Its pristine parks meets the needs of any traveler that may happen upon this oasis of protection, preservation and historic reference for future generations.

At this moment words fail me as I try to paint a picture of my encounter with my Lord, my God and my Savior this night. My heart is full. My mission for relaxation is often complicated by not slowing the pace long enough to communicate with my heavenly Father. I am always going, doing, being, serving, working. Today, after several nights of true rest,  I sat in the sand, knowing that I would have communion with the lover of my soul. My heart was expectant and I longed for His embrace. The need for clarity, love, encouragement and intimacy would meet a felt spiritual need.. The Lord taught me so much in the quietness of those moments. As the Lord always does, when we come seeking Him, He will find us. Tonight He painted a picture of Himself in the sky, just for me. He IS the Light of the World!! Gleaning much from simply being in His presence I renewed a vigor for principles for living as He guided me to Biblical moments and knowledge that challenged me to my core  The darkness of my sin, much like the striations of clouds, shades the brilliance of His light.  My heart is grieved for the times that I have hidden the true light that speaks to hearts regarding the gift of salvation, a hope, a future and heavenly award. My a re-committed life to be a vessel worthy of His light and the furtherance of God’s perfect love come to earth with the purpose of rescue, restoration, reconciliation and renewed hearts.

   Peace, joy, love, hope, and help today.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it  under basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew5: 14-16

God painted a new view of my faith journey with Him in a simple sunset…..L.I.G.H.T.

Life

God’s light shines no matter the circumstances. When our lives seem to be falling apart, God leads our way through speaking wisdom and giving LIFE through the power of the Holy Spirit. His commitment to us is sure and steadfast. Like clockwork, the sun rises and falls in the same way. He is trustworthy, sure, immovable

“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.” John 1:4 NLT

Quote: “I know that life is given us so that we may grow in love. And I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of the flower, the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.” Helen Keller

Invitation

We have been invited into His family and our faith walk continues with an invitation. Are you waiting for the “silver lining? Have you ever posed this question to God? “When will the sun to start shining again”. God is not done. Darkness has no power over Him!! We must accept His invitation to walk every day that we have breath in the Light of His Love!

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” Ephesian 5:8 NLT

Guide

Light is purposeful and directed with meaning. We depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we journey. Imagine one small light in pitch blackness. Faith steps out to take the next step for the Lord, His light shines exactly where we need it to for protection and direction.

“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29 ESV

Harmony

Light shines in spite of us. Tonight the moon slipped quietly behind the clouds just before descending beyond the horizon. Striations of darkness did not obscure the light but it was not fully seen.  No matter how bright the light of God is in us, the power of the light in my walk and testimony is affected by the darkness that I bring to the relationship. God longs and desires to shine in His fullness in our testimony of faith. When I am walking in harmony with my God He is radiant. When our flesh creeps in, the shadows and darkness affects the outcome of light in our lives. His light shines in darkness still and on darkness.  We are affected in ministry because of frail, sinful selves are seen clearly in light of the Son of God.

Read Proverbs 10 regarding to harmony with God!

“Our faith in Jesus brings us into harmony with God. Accepting Jesus’ vision of life, what it can be and how we should live it, aligns our will with God’s will. As a result of this harmony we work for the same goal that God works for.” Rootings Blog

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings hope. While we are all flawed, our testimony of faith will be known by the fruit of our labor. What are we doing for the kingdom? How is He being blessed? Honored? Adored? Refreshed? And how does in shine in our lives. Each one of us uniquely created by God o stand as a correct interpretation of who God is. And what is our message? Jesus loves you without condition, we are partakers in grace and salvation as it is offered to us through the plan of God and sacrifice of His Son.

 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14

GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD!!

“Sunrise, sunset Sunrise, sunset Swiftly fly the years. One season following another. Laden with happiness and tears.” Fiddler On The Roof

Samaritan’s Feet….Changing lives one pair of shoes at a time!

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Making friends......one pair of shoes at a time!

Samaritan’s Feet volunteers & staff, Gaston County Commissioner, Tracy Philbeck and I washing feet and giving a new pair of shoes at Rhyne Elementary in Gastonia, Making Friends, one pair of shoes at a time!

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern,  you understand, is holiness,  not hygiene.” John 13:10

Spending time at the feet of others was the example Jesus set for us to follow as He bowed in subjection to the disciples for the purpose of washing their feet as an act of honor and service. Nothing can be greater, than knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, humbled Himself to the position of servant. As we put ourselves in the position of service, we look up into the eyes of the ones that we have come to serve and say. “You are the most important person at this very moment. I want you to know that you are loved by God and by all of us. We are here today simply because of our heart to love and serve you just as Jesus did.”

Today, I was once again blessed to participate in a shoe distribution with Samaritan’s Feet. The mission and heartbeat of founder, Manny Ohonme, is 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children in the next 10 years You can read more about Manny’s story of how a simple pair of shoes changed his life and led him to follow what was exampled to him by the love of  one who came to serve him.

http://www.samaritansfeet.org/who-is-sf/mannys-story/

I have had the privilege of serving alongside Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie since 2005 and have nothing but the utmost love and respect for this man and his family who daily live out what they believe. While we do not often share the same schedule, we are often in contact and communication. Today, however, Monty and I were blessed with a most special opportunity; to give back to children, teacher’s and staff at an elementary school near our hometown of Dallas, NC. We rallied and gathered our friends to help us support the effort of Samaritan’s Feet in our Jerusalem. Gastonia, NC

On this day, 400 plus children, teachers, and staff would receive our undivided attention as we spent time getting to know them, focusing our hearts and attentions towards them, washing their feet and providing a new pair of socks and shoes for each one of them. The event was a surprise for the entire school and spear-headed by their caring principal, Rebecca Huffstetler.

The day started as usual with the younger children filling our stations. So, precious. Timid. Embarrassed and confused by all these people taking off their old shoes, putting their little feet in cold water, washing them and putting new shoes on their feet. Refreshing, but in time the older children would fill the chairs and their disbelief was often verbalized.

My breath-taking and life-joy moment happened near the end of the day when a less than thrilled tough 5th grade boy sat down in front of me. What would become my favorite conversation of the day began with, “So, lady, how much are they paying you to wash my feet, be nice to me and give me this new pair of shoes?” And with attitude and no smile, I might add. He was not rude. Simple putting it all on the table and in all likelihood, wanting to call me out and say, yep, told you so, they don’t care about me.

“Nothing.” I replied. “God loves me (us), we love you and I came here today to tell you how very special you are to Him and to me. Nothing more. Nothing less.” A cynical 10-year-old smile ensued. Our moment together ended within five-eight minutes and toward the end a new-found, whimsical, wry smile appeared. I held his hands, looked him square in the eyes and ended by letting him know that every step that he takes in these new pair of shoes, that I will be thinking of him, praying for him and trusting his life to a God that wants to do great things in and through him. His name will be written in my prayer journal and I will believe God for His very best until heaven.”

I continued as the Holy Spirit kicked my heart into gear and shared the gospel message of hope, a future, and of surrendering his heart to receive the free gift of life now and eternal through Jesus Christ. The promise of forgiveness, new life and God’s perfect plan for his life. You see, we get moments like these on occasion and I felt the urgency to seize the moment while it was sill today! I continued. “God’s plan for you is perfect. Your story is still being written. When you want to give up or you struggle, think of the silly lady who said, you can do it through complete surrender of your heart to the Lord and the power of God which is greater than your mind can conceive.” God wants you to know that you matter and that He has a plan for your life!! An, sweet friend, I pray for you, I will claim each step for the rest of your days for  God to do “exceedingly, abundantly in your life above all that you can ask or think.” HE IS ABLE!!!

He sheepishly, smiled. I said there is just one more thing. “Can I get a hug?” I have yet in my life until today, felt a more genuine embrace than from his big ole size 10 men’s shoe bear hug that I received from Gods most precious possession.
You see, God spoke directly to his heart today. The Holy Spirit penetrated the deepest part of this young mans soul and there is no doubt in my mind that the God of the universe will make good on a prayer prayed forward for a life in the balance between the god of this world and our heavenly Father’s will for his life.

So, when you wonder if God still uses the smallest of opportunities for His good and His glory, remember the hardened heart of my friend today. And when you pray, you need not know his name but that his heavenly Father is well acquainted with the matters of his precious heart and life. Next time you think, I should do something to help….just do it. Don’t wait. The true blessing will be yours. And when you wonder, does God really still open hearts in the least imaginable ways….like through a pair of shoes, a smile, a hug, a word of affirmation, a touch or a smile? May you see my face smiling back at you and saying….Oh yes He does!! Remember, Jesus said it best….”My concern is holiness…” May we walk simply on this path of righteous living….and trust God for life-changing results! For His glory! Amen and Amen!

Caring for God’s beloved!

Different Kinds of Happy

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Sara Groves Different Kinds of Happy

Love this song…..find the meaning for you and if you are brave….share……Standing here with you and nothing to hide……light shining down to our very insides……Bearing MY soul……wish those two could see us now they never would believe how…..31 years later……there ARE different kinds of happy. Happy. 🙂

Living and the miraculous

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“We live at the edge of the miraculous.” Writer Henry Miller

Butterfly Metamorphosis

New life…..a healthy baby is born.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ!

What miracle is just around your corner?

Heartenings….All!!

Mel

Kirk Cameron presents Monumenta- ln search of America’s National Treasure

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Ryan, Monty and I just finished watching the documentary with Kirk Cameron about the men and women of faith that sacrificed all and fled England in pursuit of religious freedom. I am committed to the role that I will play in securing the freedoms that I have taken for granted for my children, grandchildren and generations to come. My quiet approach to freedom has resulted in complacency. Not standing for my convictions feels like failure to me right now. So, I am actively in pursuit of the role that I will play in the future to insure such liberties for ALL generations to come. One simple person can change the world. My favorite quote from the movie will be my mantra….”Failure is not final!” Amen, Amen and Amen.

Simple Life Heartenings…..the heavens declare!

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Simple Life Heartenings…..the heavens declare!

Simple Life Heartenings…the view from here!

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God, The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.” Psalm 19:1-4

The schedule of my life is often nothing short of chaotic. By being purposeful with my calendar, I am able to cherish carved moments in my quest for enjoying the simple things in my life. The limitations in the hours in a day at home are often complicated by the things that are equally as important.

Not unlike your lives, normalcy is found in juggling the balls related to our lives’ calling, our spouse. family, friendships, personal care, spiritual things, housework (ugh), meals, etc…..and the things that we love the most….gardening, a ride on the Harley, snuggle time on the couch and watching a movie together on a Saturday night, watching the sunset from our front porch….name yours….after all the lists are filled in, there is no energy left even IF we had the time.

And, when we finally get it right, you know, strike the balance, God cocoons you in the grandness of His love. And we are reminded of the simple daily moments that make our hearts complete.

The dates required by our ministry were filled in on the calendar in the Fall of 2011 as soon as our 2012 NASCAR schedule was set. Birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, other important dates, including the due date of March 2 for our first grandchild to arrive, etc…

Rejoicing, on February 28,2012 our grandson, Mason Blake Fannin was born. We missed our first Daytona 500 race in 11 years. In May, Monty’s mom, Bobbie would turn 80 years old. The party was beautiful, She was honored by sharing the night with 100 of her closest friends. On July 17, MRO and the women’s ministry would host 200 ladies at the annual Summer Caution, a pause with a cause event….a night to honor and donate supplies to Bright Blessings, a local non-profit that provides birthday gifts and parties for homeless children in the greater Charlotte, NC area.

And sandwiched between the next race and this event was the opportunity for Monty and I to slip away for a couple of days and have a little Christmas in July. I gave Monty the gift of a hot air balloon ride in Asheville, NC for the both of us. July 18, 2012, we were excited to run away for a few moments of alone time. While exhausted, we were fueled by the excitement of this Bucket List adventure.

It was everything that you might imagine and more. We were cleared to take off, and the excitement began. A scurry of men and women operated with such fervor that they looked like mice scurrying to beat out the others for a piece of cheese. With each movement, the majesty of the beautifully crafted basket and the magnitude of a 90 foot tall balloon was overwhelming.

Within moments of full inflation, we would board with the other 5 men and women and the pilot for an hour of sheer bliss. Not being a fan of heights, I wondered what I might feel. Would the basket hold, will I fall out, just how close are you to the flame required to fill such a large balloon, etc….Fill in your own questions.

As the balloon rose above the other balloon traveling that day as well, I was immediately transfixed by the beauty and majesty of Mount Pisgah. Interestingly, I have just been reading through Deuteronomy and thought back to Moses. Mount Pisgah (Mount Nebo) is the mountain in the Bible from which Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time. Mount Pisgah is where the LORD instructed Moses to go up into the top of Pisgah. Moses was to lift up his eyes westward, northward, southward, and eastward and look but Moses was not to go over Jordan. Mount Nebo (Mount Pisgah) is where Moses was given the view of the Promised Land, from the top of Mount Pisgah. After seeing the land promised by the LORD GOD, Moses died.

I thought of all the work that God did through the life of Moses. He stood on that mountain, saw the Promised Land and yet he would never enter. Deuteronomy 34 says that “No prophet has risen since in Israel like Moses.” And God buried him in the valley.

The pilot of our balloon was asked where will we go? End up? Land? Her reply. Wherever the wind takes us. And it would prove true.

There is no place that I have ever experienced such calm. Such peace. Such stillness. Such grandeur. Even in the winds that carried us.

So I say….from my view.

God is a mighty rushing wind. He leads. He wills. He is consistent and sure. He guides and directs us as we quiet our spirits in order to hear Him. As believers, we are dependent on the direction of the Holy Spirit.

He speaks quietly, reverently, boldly and with great majesty. As did our balloon respond to its complete direction.

Obstacles are allowed. We were on course with a seemingly sure landing site, only to have our basket drag across the treetops. Immediately changing our course. The balloon’s pilot maneuvering its controls to make the slightest changes necessary to regain perspective and control. Not unlike our lives when our course direction has been changed by circumstances beyond our control.Faltering at the controls can prove tragic.

Sometimes God allows us a place on higher ground to find perspective just like God gave to Moses. I am reminded to trust Him even more and be thankful because I do not always get to see a higher view when I find myself battling in the trenches. Tough stuff….want to know the will of God for your life? “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Landing is only one part in the journey of many. No two will be the same. We learn to navigate, defer to His power, and grow from the bumps along the way that lead to learning. With each adventure, our trust in Him grows. His purpose in our lives is His number one objective. Growing in Christ-likeness in order to bring honor and glory to His Name. We were created by Him, for Him.

Thanks for reminding us Lord that there are consequences when we fail to see YOUR perspective. Help us to I find our rest in Your faithfulness along the way. Whether a textbook landing or one that could have looked a little better, each moment teaches us to be more attentive to YOUR way.

Thankfully….You are still God…..despite my best and my worst.

We go through the process of faithfulness by studying His Word and using it in the hopes of being a vessel worthy of use by and for our maker. We operate time and time again and get better at this faith living life. We are allowed Mount Pisgah moments sometimes but not always. Yet, we trust Him when we cannot see the forest for the trees. And we practice, grow, are challenged, see victory, cry, try to sometimes fail.

And above all, we must declare His goodness through the generations and pass it on…..

Where are the winds of God blowing in your life friend? Will we be found faithful to the glory of God as was Moses? The answers do not lie in my perspective but in Him alone….

Finding joy in my simple life……Pray that you are too!!

You are loved!!

Melanie

Children are a gift from the Lord!!

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Children are a gift from the Lord!!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 13-14