Drowning?

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So last time I wrote, I was being brave and making some big decisions!

I would love to tell you that I have nailed them and that everything is awesome, but in reality, life is not that simple!

On a positive note, I have completely removed the word “busy” from my vocabulary. It feels so good, and I wish I had done it earlier. Again, it doesn’t mean I don’t have stuff to do, it just means that I am learning to look at things differently and keep all things in perspective! It’s amazing how one small word can make such a big difference, but it can!

So that decision is going well. My other decision I made was to slow down and find my joy. I am determined that there is more to life than running a million miles an hour and running ourselves ragged, for really, no good reason at all!

How is that working for me you ask? Well, not so great this week! I am trying to make time in my busy full schedule but this week feel like I am drowning, and just trying to keep my head above water…..let alone find joy in it!

It is a busy full season at the moment with lots going on. I was trying to make plans with friends to have dinner with them and the earliest we could do it between our schedules was mid-November….now is that crazy or what?

As I survey my “to do” list I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. For every 1 tick, there are another 5 things left to do. Breathe Kathy, just breathe!

Again, please don’t hear me wrong! I LOVE my life and all we are doing, I wouldn’t change it for the world. But God is stretching my capacity and as we all know, that is not always easy!

So I continue to intentionally find the joy around me, and often it’s in the simplest of things: the kids hanging out with us when they don’t have to, the time I get to spend with Phil, just the two of us. Sitting on the deck with a hot chocolate and steering at our wee slice of paradise. Knowing I have friends and family praying for me. Getting a text out of the blue from a friend checking in on me. The fact that Christmas is only 108 sleeps away!!!

The best thing to do when you feel you are drowning is not panic! Panicking doesn’t help. At all. With anything.

So I am breathing, I am intentionally seeking joy and I am thanking God every day for my Blessed life. I am keeping things in perspective and I am enjoying (yes, I said enjoying, not enduring!) this season, knowing that it is just that. It’s a season, and we all know that a new season will follow.

always

 


Speechless!!

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Don’t you think its funny when you are meant to be a writer and you have no words…none!
This is day 2 that I have sat here and tried to fill this page with words……but Nothing! Zilch, Nada! Not a thing!

It’s not that I don’t have any words, I mean really, I am a woman so I am not likely to run out, right?. But it’s more that I don’t have adequate words to convey what is in my heart!

So I am opening up my heart and writing what pours out….

It’s been 2 days since I have been home from Texas and I am beyond grateful at what God orchestrated while I was over there. 14 days of sunshine, hamburgers, shopping, amazing hospitality, good friends, new friends and uninterrupted time with God, planning, dreaming and believing with Him for all He has for me. And in the middle of that was Declare. The reason I made the big trek half way around the world. The reason I left my family. The reason I stepped out of my comfort zone. And the reason I knew God had called me to go.

Declare Conference this year, was more than I ever dreamed it could or would be. After the bar being set so high the last couple of years, I went this year wondering if it was just going to be a fun holiday. It’s a long way to go, and a long time to leave my family for just a fun holiday! I knew God had more in store for me, but really, how could it top last year?  What more could God have for me?

As I prayed on the plane over, God reminded me that He has given me a voice for a reason. He has called and equipped me to speak into (women’s) lives and that He has a bigger plan for my life than I can see, think or imagine at the moment. He assured me that writing is still a big part of my ministry and even though things seem to be changing at light speed for us at the moment, He has still called me to write. He also reminded me that connection is critical for what He has called me to.

As I spent 3 days reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, God spoke into my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine. Dinner conversations, chatting in line for the bathroom, or running into people in the hallway of the Hotel, I knew God had gone before me and pre-ordained my steps and who I would run into! God doesn’t leave things to chance or coincidence. Nope, He knew exactly who I needed to connect with and was with me every step of the way. He even made this introvert girl, who so often feels like a fish out of water, feel like she was where she needed to be, that she actually fitted in! And as for those 1 am talks with my roommate….I seriously have no words for what she means to me or the crazy God connection that we have!

photo credit https://www.facebook.com/cocopaigephotography

To Eryn, Michelle, Anne, Kristin and Jen….I am grateful beyond words for you all. You stepped out in Wild Obedience when God asked you to put on a conference for Christian Women who blog. You allowed His Presence to be felt. You allowed me to be a part of a group of women who are making a difference for His name. Because of these women, the path God has me on has been altered, and the journey I am walking, has now become a journey with like-minded women who do what I do, and most importantly, get why I do what I do! I am part of an Army of Women that God is raising up. Each has their own voice with their own story to share, but we all share the same heart and we are all doing it for the same reason…….Glory for God.

I am still blown away by the generosity of the Declare Team, who presented me with the very first ticket to Declare Conference 2017! Again I was left speechless, but this gift means more to me than I could ever convey. I am so thankful to God and these women who have Blessed me beyond words!

photo credit https://www.facebook.com/cocopaigephotography

photo credit
https://www.facebook.com/cocopaigephotography

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DSC_7836

photo credit https://www.facebook.com/cocopaigephotography

 


How Much Of My Money Do You Want God?

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So a few years ago when I was a baby Christian I went to a Women’s Conference. It was an amazing event and I had the most awesome time with my girlfriends listening to phenomenal Women of God share their hearts. It was all going swimmingly until the last night when they announced they were taking up an offering!

WHAT? An offering? I didn’t know they were receiving an offering, I hadn’t bought any extra money with me! I started to sweat slightly and looked around me. All the women were rummaging through their bags looking for their offerings. What was I going to do? I didn’t want to look stingy? I wanted to be like everyone else, so I too, started rummaging through my bag (knowing full well I had no money in there) I opened up my wallet and pretended to take some money out and held the pretend money tightly in my hand. As the bucket came around, I put my pretend money in it and quickly passed it on.

Did I pull it off? Did anyone notice my hand was empty? Did I look like the good Christian doing what everyone else was doing? As all these thoughts were running through my head and that small line of sweat was dripping down my back, I was so consumed with what I looked like, I didn’t hear the big sigh coming from above!

So, roll on the next year’s conference, and I was almost mad as they announced the offering. I had paid good money to come to this conference and now they were wanting more of my money? If they were taking an offering then what on earth had my ticket money gone to? The ticket wasn’t cheap, surely they could use some of that money for the offering? I could feel the indignation rising within me. And so that year, I sat there with my arms crossed, not even pretending to rummage through my bag. I wasn’t going to be told to give more money when I had already paid to be there. As the bucket came past, I just sat there with my arms folded, not even passing it to the woman next to me. I was taking a stand (for what, I still have no idea!) and I wasn’t going to be sucked in. Again as the thoughts swirled through my mind, I was so consumed with anger that again, I failed to hear the huge sigh coming from above.

For some reason, the next year, I had a complete change of heart. That year I was prepared for the offering and as they announced it, I reached into my bag and pulled out a $50 note. I held it in my hand, pretending to cover it, but making sure everyone around me could see the purple 50 in the corner of the note. I was being so obvious, I may as well have stood on my seat, waved it in the air and yelled, “look at me, look at me, aren’t I awesome and generous?” I placed my $50 in the bucket, making sure it sat on the top so the women next to me would see it. As I sat there thinking how awesome I was, and what a generous Christian I had become, my pride was so loud that again, I couldn’t hear the loud sigh from above.

As I lay in bed that night, I was chatting with God and almost telling Him that He must be so proud of me, for my generosity, and it was only then that I heard His sigh. I was like “What? Didn’t you see how much I gave? Wasn’t that enough? God, how much of my money do you actually want?”

And as clear as day, I heard Him say “Honey, don’t you get it? I don’t want your money, I want your heart.”

Wow! As the tears streamed down my face, I realised what an egg I had been the last few years and as I lay there, I asked God for His forgiveness, which of course I received in an instant.

All He ever wanted was my heart.
He didn’t need my money.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Now, obviously I am not telling you this to brag, I have nothing to brag about, in fact, my behaviour was downright awful, but I am thankful that we are always on a journey with God and He is constantly changing our hearts.

As I moved on from my shameful experiences at women’s conferences, I have learnt a lot about myself, my heart, and Gods plans for me and my money (actually, it is all His anyway!). I no longer make a spectacle of myself when it comes to offerings. I have learnt that it is between me and God, and it actually doesn’t matter what the women next to me is thinking, as long as my heart is right with God, and I am listening to His promptings.

It is never about how much. God doesn’t care how much it is. He has been reminding me this week as I have been writing this, about the widows mite in Luke 21:1-4. She gave all she had, 2 coins, which Jesus said was far better than the hundreds of coins others gave.

It is all about listening to God. It is all about Honour (I will share more about this in another blog!) and it is all about the heart.

How is the condition of your heart?

widow


I Have Lost All My Words!

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Believe me, this is not a good thing when you are a writer!

It is not often that I am left speechless. Normally I have so many words, I struggle to get them all out of my head in an orderly sentence, but this week, every time I open my mouth, nothing seems to come out!

Daughters of the King Weekend, was more than I could ever have hoped or dreamed for. I love how when you take one small step in obedience, God just blows your socks off with what He does.

The team that God placed around me was incredible. They went above and beyond what was expected and each one of them poured their heart and soul into the weekend. I couldn’t have dreamed for a better team.

What really blew me away I think, was that each one of them believed in me and the vision I had. Not one of them was working from a place of selfish gain but each gave themselves completely to what I had envisioned. But really, when it comes down to it, they weren’t even serving me, they were serving God! He is the one who made this all possible, and it is for Him that we do what we do! And so to see my team serving God with all that they had, just made me so grateful and my heart overflowing with thankfulness.
I had so many texts, calls, messages of encouragement and wee gifts from people (all over the world) who knew how much this meant to me. What a humongous deal it was for this dream to finally come to fruition. For the hours I had poured into this and for the tears that were shed when this dream had all but seemed to fade away.

I am seriously beyond grateful to everyone who has supported me in this. And as for my family, well, what can I say? They were legendary. In the week leading up I didn’t have to cook, clean or do laundry once. Phil and the kids really stepped up, and again, I was blown away by the extent that they believed in me.

As I sit at home and try to relax for a couple of days (really must work on this “relaxing” thing, I don’t seem to be very good at it!) I can’t help but think of the weekend and all that was achieved. Not by my might or strength, but by the Grace of God.

Each girl went home knowing that they are loved. That they belong, no matter what and that they are accepted just the way they are! Each girl left knowing that they are a Daughter of the King and they can be brave where ever they are.

I have had feedback from some parents already that have seen a change in their girls and the language they use…..PTL! it makes the sleepless nights, the hard work and the hours on my knee’s all worth it!

And so what now you ask?
Well, I am taking a couple of days to catch up on sleep and try and slow my brain down again, and then I am straight back into it, planning our next event which will be in November. I know right? I can’t wait either!

Stay tuned for details friends…..

a me1

 


Where are the Tissues?

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So, this week it is all feeling quite surreal!
Daughters of the King is THIS WEEKEND!

I know right? It’s hard to believe that in 2 more sleeps I will have 40 girls at Church listening to God’s truth about who they are. That I get the privilege to stand in front of them and tell them how much God loves them, in fact, tell them that He not only loves them but utterly adores them. Not for what they do or for who they think they should be, but just because of who they are. For who He has made them to be.

WOW!

This week I can’t hold back the tears!
Every time someone asks me about #DOT-K, the tears just start flowing! The team at Church prayed for me yesterday and before they had even started, the tears were running down my cheeks.

I just can’t seem to help myself! That this crazy dream I had so (so) many years ago, is now going to be a reality, is just so overwhelming!

For God, and the girls parents to trust me with their precious daughters, is something I take seriously!
I understand how important this time in their lives are, and I am praying that as I speak God’s truth into their hearts, they will walk away, heads held high, having the feeling of being loved, valued and connected. That they can walk away and be brave in their world, whatever that looks like for them!

So, this week I have gone through so many tissues! Every time #DOT-K is mentioned or I think about it, the tears just start flowing again! My family is used to my tears now and just smile and have a wee laugh at me. For people around me, who may not know me so well yet, well ,they are starting to get to know me pretty quick and the problem I have with my leaking eyes.

The tears. The tears are how I know this is a God idea and not just a good idea.

There have been so many people who have come out of the woodwork and offered to help. What started with a team of 1 has now grown to a team of 15 for the weekend and numerous others who are baking, praying and helping with the lead-up. I am overwhelmed with the response to my crazy dream and am brought to tears to see other women walking in their gifting because of #DOT-K.

So as I grab another tissue and wipe my eyes for the hundredth time this week, I am thankful for what God is doing and how He is using me in my giftings.

Just when you think life couldn’t get any better…..

a rock

 


When Your Crazy Dreams Becomes Reality!

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I had this idea once.
I had this idea that I could make a difference in the lives of young girls.
I had this idea of running a weekend where girls could come, hang out, have loads of fun and learn God’s truth about themselves.
I had this idea that God would use me in a mighty way.

Crazy right?
Well, God has a way of turning my crazy into a reality, and in 3 weeks time, I have over 30 girls attending the very first “Daughters of the King” Weekend. To say I am excited is an absolute understatement! Even as I read what I just typed, I can feel the goosebumps on my arms and can feel the excitement welling up inside of me.

Sometimes God gives you an idea and you say “oh, that would be nice one day” and you place it on the shelf for a later time. A time when you are not busy. A time when you are ready. A time when all your ducks are lined up and a time when you are up for the challenge!

But I have learnt that I will never be ready, and that actually the best time is now! There is no better time to jump out of the boat and allow Jesus to walk on the water with me. If I keep waiting for the right moment, it will pass me by and I will be left with my crazy dreams still swirling around my head and there will still be broken girls out there looking for love, acceptance and validation.

My friends the time has come and the time is now!

I am nervous, I am scared and I am super excited! I have an amazing team around me that are supporting through this whole journey. I have people believing in what I do and I have people that pick me up when I start to feel overwhelmed. I know this must be a God thing, I had my first team meeting last night and blubbered my way through it – so professional right? But it seems whenever anyone asks me about Daughters of the King, I can feel the passion rising and the tears just start to run down my cheeks.

This. This is my thing. This is where my passion lies. I was born for such a time as this. And as I navigate this path in faith, I think of the girls that will be impacted by God Himself because I took a step of obedience. Because I took a crazy dream and ran with it. Because I took a step out of my comfort zone and said “Here, I am God, use me for your Glory.”

So here we go. Three weeks and counting. If you could, please pray for me and my team. That we would know God’s peace as we prepare to input into these girls and that every girl who comes, would know that they are truly loved and adored by her Heavenly Father. That she is loved and accepted for who she is, and she would walk away, head held high, knowing she is a Daughter of the Most High King.

a dot


Overwhelmed!

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So I have been doing this whole “Pastor’s Wife” thing for 6 months now. I know right, where does the time go.
And I’m sure the question on your lips is “Have you got the hang of it yet?” Well, to be honest, I don’t know that I will ever get the hang of it!

People are funny creatures and whether I like it or not, a lot of people have preconceived idea’s about what a Pastors Wife should be like. How she should act, how she should dress and the way she should present herself. Now I am learning that I am who I am and I can’t try and be someone I’m not (actually I have never really done that, what you see is what you get!) But I am slowly learning to accept who I am. I am learning that I can’t please everyone and not everyone will like me or the way I do things. I am learning to be ok with all of that, and I am learning to be ok with me!

But the thing I am not ok with is the fact that I constantly feel overwhelmed!

Not overwhelmed at my workload or the things that are expected of me. Not overwhelmed at the thought of leading a group of women into who God has called them to be (actually, that part I really love!) Not even overwhelmed at the pressure I put on myself because I want people to like me!

The thing that really gets me is the enormous hurt and the need that is out there. And it’s not even “out there” it is within our Chuch!

Every week we have the privilege of praying with people and are privy to what some of them are walking through. And to be honest, it’s overwhelming! My heart breaks at what some people are facing in their lives. I stand there and hold back the tears (well, mostly!) and listen as they pour out their hearts. We listen, we pray and then they walk into their week, and I am left with an overwhelming sadness that some days completely consumes me.
How can I solve everyone’s problems?
How can I take their hurt away?
How do I make things easier for them?
How do I stop my prayer life just becoming a shopping list of hurting people?
How do I fix everyone?

And the whole point in all of this is that I can’t!
I can’t fix everyone’s problems and I can’t heal the broken hearted. It is not up to me and it never was! God doesn’t expect me to fix people, that is His job. And really, who am I to think I can do His job?

But, in saying all of that, He has called me. He has called me to stand with people as He ministers to them. He has called me to do what I can and leave the rest to Him. He has called me to be his hands and feet in this broken world. He has called me to point people to Him. To remind people that He is the healer and ultimately in all I do, it’s to point people to Him.

So as I take a deep breathe, and head into another week, I am trying to keep my overwhelmed feelings in check! I am reminding myself that He doesn’t make mistakes, and I am exactly where He wants me. I am reminding myself that He has equipped me for this role. And I am reminding myself to lean into Him and let him carry the burden for me!

a before

 

 


Embracing the “Middle” of my Before & Afters!

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This is me before.
And this is me after.

a meI don’t really look much different do I? Sure, I am wearing different clothes and there are different piles of Phil’s clothes on the floor, but I pretty much look the same. I admit, they are really bad photo’s and Gracie would be horrified at my bad selfies but what can I say, I am old. As I look at these two photo’s, I can see a huge difference!

The before photo was taken just before we accepted the position as Senior Leaders at North End Church, and the after photo is me last week. Now admittedly, this is not my true after photo, as my real “after” won’t  happen till I get to Heaven but for now, this is my after!

I cannot tell you how huge the difference is in these photo’s! I am not even the same person standing in front of the mirror. I have been on a real faith journey and I think I have grown more in the last year than I have in the last 5!

As I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, it’s what happens in the secret place that makes all the difference. God has been stretching and growing me beyond what I ever thought possible. He has expanded my capacity and taken me way out of my comfort zone. But I am grateful. So while I may look the same from the outside, there is a big difference on the inside.

Last night we had a Women’s Event at Church, and I led the women through an exercise about writing their own personal mission statements. Now, I have knowen for a while what mine is:

“To empower and equip Women to be all God has called them to be”

This has been at the core of who I am for years now, but to be honest, I have never fully embraced it. Now I don’t know why this is, I guess it’s all in His perfect timing, but I have stopped beating myself up about what I haven’t done in the past, and looking at the future and what I can do in the here and now.

And so last night, a room full of women each wrote their own mission statement, and to be honest, I was left in tears. To see women rise to their potential, to see some of them finally realise that God has a plan and a purpose for their life. To see women connect with who God has made them to be and for them to know they are truly loved.

This is what God has called me to do! This is my middle. This is what the battle has been for. This is what the  sleepless nights and the tears and the tantrums have all been about. All this so I can live in the middle!

As we head into Easter this weekend, I am constantly reminded of what Jesus did so I could live in my middle. The price He paid on that Wooden Cross so I could live in the freedom of who He has called me to be. I am brought to tears everytime I think of what He did….just for me. And the best way I can honour what was done for me, is to live a life that honours Him in everything I do. To live the best “middle” that I can.

So, as you live in your middle this week, please take time to reflect on the price Christ paid for you. The price He paid so you could live in your middle. The sacrifice and the blood that was shed…..all for you.

a cry

 

 

 


It’s Whats In The Middle That Changes Lives…..

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Last Saturday, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of young women.
I shared some personal stories about how God was making me brave, how we can all live lives that are courageous and how we can run the race God has called each one of us to run. I spoke openly, I spoke honestly and I spoke from the heart.

Now, if you know me at all, you will know that public speaking is not something that comes naturally to me. I get nervous, I get sweaty, I run to the loo every 5 minutes and I get overwhelmed at the thought of speaking in front of a group of people. God has helped me over the years, and I am way better than I use to be, but it is still something that gets me out of my comfort zone.

I had spent hours and hours of preparation leading up to it. Reading books, doing research, going over previous talks I had given on the subject, praying, and seeking God about His heart for these young women. I did everything I could to prepare myself so I could speak truth into their lives.

On the day I was nervous! I had felt good all week, but on the day, all the old fears came flooding back…..What if I said the wrong thing? What if I made a mistake? What if they didn’t like what I had to say? What if? What if? What if?

Breathe Kathy, just breathe!

I quietened my spirit, I breathed, I prayed and off I went!
We had a fantastic afternoon. The girls were excited and hungry for what I had to share. They laughed, they interacted and they all made notes. Each girl left at the end of the afternoon with the strength and courage to be who God has called her to be. She left knowing she can run the race set before her and that she doesn’t need to try and run anyone elses race! She left with a page full of God’s truths about herself and she left with the knowledge that she is loved beyond measure. What more could I ask for?

When the day was done and dusted, I was exhausted but I was happy. And as with everything I am learning through this Lent journey, it is the stuff that happens in the middle that makes the difference.

The fruit didn’t come in the before and afters, but in the middle. Sure my prepeartion was important, and it was great lying on the couch at the end of the day, but it was what happened in the middle with those girls that really matters. It was my obedience to step out of my comfort zone and walk through my fears, that brought freedom for the girls. It was my messy middle that helped them discover more of who God has called them to be.

It says in Joshua 1:5

“For I will be with you, as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you”

I love this verse so much. He is ALWAYS with us. No matter how messy it may look, no matter how far out of our comfort zone we are, and no matter what our “middle” looks like….He is always with us!

So what does your “middle” look like this week?
Where is it that you need to be reminded that God is with you and know that He will never leave you?

And remember, that no matter how messy our middle may seem, there is always the “after” to follow!

a before talk


In The Secret Place….

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In January, I broke a bone in my hand. Somehow I forgot I wasn’t young anymore and so while playing volleyball with the kids and some friends, did an awesome shot and felt a sharp pain in my hand. Being the (stubborn) hero that I am, it wasn’t till 4 days later I got it checked out and sure enough, there on the x-ray was a piece of bone where it shouldn’t be.

So my arm was placed in a cast for 6 weeks.
The cast was a pain!  No swimming (in the middle of summer!) 3 layers covering it while showering, it was hot, it was sweaty and it was itchy. Admittedly there were some perks, I couldn’t do dishes, peel potatoes or fold the washing. The family was awesome at pitching in….but it definitely was not my plan for the summer.

But while the cast was on, there was something going on under it. The bone that was broken was healing. It wasn’t obvious, it wasn’t miraculous, and it wasn’t outwardly changing. But under the safety of that cast, there was healing, mending, and restoration going on.

When the cast came off after the 6 weeks, there was no obvious healing to be seen. You could see the healed bone on the x-ray, but to look at my arm, it looked just the same!

How often is our Christian walk like that. It’s not the big, the spectacular, or the miraculous that changes our lives most often. It is the stuff that happens in the secret place that really shapes and molds us. Often it is unseen by us and by others, yet when we look back we can see the change that has taken place. The feelings that were hurt, now whole. The heart that was broken, now restored. And the past that was shattered, now fully made new.

I know I can go for weeks, or even months and not notice a difference in my walk with God, well at least that what it looks like from the outside. But all the while God is working away and changing me into more of the woman He has called me to be. He is working in the secret place and mending all that is broken within me. He is restoring my heart and giving me hope.

Psalm 91:1 reads:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Jesus paid the price for our sins so we can rest in the presence of the Almighty. He died on the cross so we could be made whole and so we could live a life of freedom. When my arm was broken, there was nothing I could do to fix it except rest. I couldn’t make it heal any faster. So is our walk with God. He doesn’t expect us to perform, but to just rest in him as our healing quietly and secretly takes place.

How is God working in your life at the moment?
What is going on in that secret place?
What is He healing and mending?
Is He asking you to just rest as He brings restoration to your life?

Whatever you are going through this week, it is my prayer that you dwell in the shelter of the Almighty. That you would rest in Him, and know that the healing will come.

a hand