Welcome!

So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Stuck

More than three months have passed since I last composed a blog post. Somewhere in those three months I found myself stuck. I've been in Ohio for 16 months now and, while my relationship with my GPS has been downgraded to "just friends" and I own six OSU shirts, I still don't feel at home here. Almost any mention of my friends in Missouri leads to tears.

I do have a new job this school year, and while I like it and my team and co-workers are great, it's full of new--new curriculum, new grade level, new acronyms (IPDPY, SLO's, OTES. . . ), new program, new schedule. Every time I think that I'm in a groove, I get a new email about something else that needs to be done, preferably yesterday.

Most significant for me is that I feel far from God and disconnected from Him. I know that we all have desert periods in our relationship with the Lord. I realize that feelings are not the basis for my faith. I am aware of many of the prescriptions:  Keep up the disciplines of the faith. Focus my attention outwardly. Ask God to reveal the problem and/or solution. Check, check, check (well, maybe not the second one so much. . . ).

I consciously did not change the name of this blog after I got married, knowing that, as long as I am alive, the waiting won't end. All that I know to do right now is to keep seeking the Lord as best I can and wait for Him to soften my heart and help me to see what He is doing. I am thankful for music, as it's one way my heart is touched in this empty place. Today I listened to a song that I remembered from the Faithwalkers conferences that I have attended many times in the past, and it reminded me that, not matter where I am, God's love remains: Your Love Remains

Your Love Remains*:

When I don’t feel it
When I don’t give it
When I don’t want it
Your love remains
When I don’t see it
When I am sinful
When I am winning
Your love remains
When I am waking
When I am working
When I am resting
Your love remains
When I am doubting
When I am fighting
As I do worry
Your love remains
When I am tired
When I am broken
When I’m resistant
Your love remains
When I am lonely
When I’m surrounded
When I’m uncertain
Your love remains
When I am tempted
When I am mourning
When I am waiting
Your love remains
When I am restless
When I’m indifferent
When I’m unfocused
Your love remains
When You renewed me
When You restored me
When You redeem me
Your love remains
When You come claim me
When this life is over
In Your arms forever
I will remain

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:29)
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."(Jude 1:24-25)


*Your Love Remains words and music by Steele Croswhite  2009 Dusty 3 Music ASCAP CCLI

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are

We are all really good at hiding. Mostly, we hide behind images and phrases hand-selected to make us look good. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. We hide behind banal conversation: 'Hi, how are you?" "Good, thanks, you?" "Fine." Sometimes we pretend we aren't hiding, offering a prayer request that seems like we're being open but it's not the real thing we are worried about or scared of or need. I'm particularly good at this one, because it can include blogging about thoughts I have, but not really going deep enough to address the real issue.

Why do we hide? There are probably lots of reasons, but for me, it comes down to one pervasive reason: Fear of rejection. If I show my true self and you don't like it, then that will hurt and maybe I will find out that I'm not worthy of attention or friendship or love. So, I present to you my good self, mostly, and hope that it's enough.

There is an account in the Bible, in Luke 8 (and Matthew 9 and Mark 5) about a woman who really wanted to hide. She had been bleeding for 12 years and no one could help her. Bleeding for twelve years straight would be miserable enough. In those days, however, it wasn't just inconvenient and exhausting, but isolating. She would have been, according to Jewish law, considered unclean and been excluded from many societal and relational activities. Somehow, this woman hears about Jesus and how He has healed people. According to Matthew, she saids to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I will be made well." (Matthew 9:21). She touches Jesus' robe and immediately the bleeding stops and she is healed. Her plan, apparently, was just to blend back into the crowd and go home. However, Jesus has a different plan:

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” (Luke 8:46-47)

Why did the woman come back to Jesus and show herself? Because she realized that she was not hidden.  Jesus saw her, knew her, and was calling her to come to Him. The first part of the process of following Christ is to come to Him, and one of the ways that Jesus draws us to Him is that He knows us completely and still wants us to come.

A definitive moment for me with God was when I (rule-following, straight-A, never-been-drunk, never-did-drugs, never-smoked-a-cigarette good girl that I was) realized that God knew all the hidden sin in my heart. He knew every critical thought, every mean impulse, every self-righteous judgement, and He still loved and called me.  When I stopped hiding my true self from God (as if I could)  I recognized and received the grace He was offering me.

The text above says that the woman told all the people what she had touched Jesus and how she was healed. It would be embarrassing enough in this day to stand up in a crowd of both men and women and share how you had been bleeding for twelve years. Imagine it in Bible times, when women weren't even allowed to mix with men during their period. Yet, once realizing that she was no longer hidden and was seen and wanted by Jesus, the woman does just that. Though still trembling, she comes out of hiding.

I believe that one purpose for marriage is to show us a picture of God and how He relates to people. When I read this story, it was on the heels of me being very crabby and not-very-nice to my husband. He gets to see the worst of me. If I am pursuing intimacy at all levels in my marriage, there is not a lot of hiding. Simply living with someone else eliminates subterfuge as well. We see the worst of one another, and yet we forgive and accept one another anyway.

I have also had moments of community in which the people involved have been able to stop hiding and be their true selves, sin and all. I think it is what God calls us to. He wants us to stop hiding from ourselves, from each other, and most of all, from Him.

How do we stop? ("How" is always my biggest question). What I see in this story is that I stop hiding when I trust and believe that Jesus sees me, knows me, and accepts me. If I know this truth and stay connected to Christ, I don't need to hide any longer.  When I stop hiding, like this woman did, my faith increases, there is healing, and I can live my life in peace rather than in the stress of pretending.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

That Whole Judging Thing

"What right do you have to judge me?" This phrase is often spoken (many times shouted) in the hopes of ending an argument. Pages and pages of text could be written discussing the different types of judgement Jesus speaks about in the Bible. A few days ago, I read an account in Luke 7:36-50 in which my own sometimes judgmental heart was exposed.

In summary, Jesus accepts an invitation to the home of a Pharisee, Simon. While Jesus was there, a woman of the village who was a known sinner (maybe a prostitute) anoints Jesus' feet with oil and wipes His feet with her hair. Simon is scandalized and thinks to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner." (Luke 7:39b) Jesus points out to Simon that this woman loves Jesus because she is, indeed, a sinner and has been forgiven much by Jesus. She has honored Jesus much more than Simon, who has not even fulfilled the rules of good etiquette for the time (given water to wash with, anointed Jesus' head with oil). Jesus commends the woman's faith and tells her to go in peace.

I have always before seen the Pharisee, Simon, as judging the woman and trying to provoke Jesus, and I think he is, indeed, doing that. However, what I noticed this time was that Simon was judging Jesus. He was looking at Jesus with the sole purpose of noticing what He was doing wrong and calling Him out on it. Simon, in essence, was seeing only Jesus' "sins". In contrast, when Jesus looked at the woman, He focused on her heart. He saw her heart of love and worship and welcomed her. Jesus knew she was a sinner. He was aware of her sin. But that was not what He chose to notice.

Often I am like the Pharisee. I notice all the things that someone is doing wrong. Sometimes what I notice is truly sin. Sometimes it's just not the way I would do things. Regardless, when I focus only on a person's sinful actions, I don't see their heart. I don't see the love or friendship they may be offering, or the brokenness that has brought them to that place.

The second point I noticed was far more chilling to me. Simon, in focusing only on the sins of Jesus and the woman completely missed not just the heart of the woman, but Jesus Himself. Simon wasn't seeing Jesus as He was. Simon was only finding fault to support his own opinion. I never want to be so focused on fault-finding that I miss Jesus. I want to see Him as clearly as possible, and, instead of judging much, to love much.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Figuring out my Foundation

Sometimes I think most of my Christian life consists of suddenly realizing the import of facts or stories that I have read numerous times. Today I was reading Jesus' words in Luke 6:46-49:
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.
The phrase that I stopped on today was "dug deep." All spring, a house has been under construction near our backyard. I watched from my bedroom window as the foundation was dug out using bulldozers and other heavy equipment. A well-built foundation holds the weight of the house and ensures that the walls are straight and everything holds together.

I have heard the story of the two houses since I was a child in Sunday school (read all the way through and you can share in the video remembrance). I've known that foundation = rock = Jesus is the formula for withstanding the trials and storms of life. I had never thought about the difficulty of digging deep to build a foundation. It's hard to dig into soil and make a big hole and empty it out and make it suitable for a concrete or rock foundation.

My favorite and most frustrating question in life is not "why", but "how". How do I build a solid foundation in my life and faith? Truth is to be the foundation of all I do, and John 14:1 says that Jesus IS the truth. So, part of foundation-building involves knowing and understanding the truth of the Bible for myself, and cultivating a relationship with Jesus in which I come to know Him better and better. Some truths are indisputable if I am to build a foundation based on Jesus: Jesus' divinity. His atoning death on the cross. The Trinity. The omnipotence of God. Some truths are less clear and open to interpretation: worship styles, the position of women in the church, the definition of modesty. My job as a believer is to go to the Lord and to the Bible and let God use Himself, His words, and the stories of wise people to build my firm foundation. I also need help to get rid of things in my foundation that will make it weak. As I realize that something I thought was true isn't, I need to dig it out and get rid of it.

Looking back at the passage, the "how" is clearly answered in the second sentence. If I am to build my foundation on a rock, I need to hear the words of Jesus and DO them. The hearing is easy. The doing is much harder. It's not enough to know that I should love my neighbor. I must, by my actions, show love to actual people. Meaning that my wishes, my plans, and my schedule are not sacrosanct. If the Bible says that my speech is to be gracious and without complaining, then I no longer have license for snark and criticism.

I am thankful that, unlike a building's foundation, which is build once and hopefully never needs repair again, my foundation is becoming (I hope) ever more solid as I learn more and more of the truth of Christ and obey more and more of His teachings.

As promised, the song (with the caveat that the second half of it is not exactly good theology, so consider yourself warned):


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

If Jesus Did It, So Can I

I love summer! More time to sleep, and to think, and to blog.

Yesterday I was reading in Luke. Back in January, I decided to pursue depth rather than breadth in my Bible reading. So, I've read through John, Ephesians, much of Psalms, and am a couple of chapters into the book of Luke. Taking my time instead of rushing through, I have noticed details that I have missed before.

Luke 4:16 states (about Jesus): "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read." I had never thought about whether Jesus "went to church", or to synagogue, as observant Jews did (and do). Now I know. It was His habit to go to the synagogue. He was a regular church attender.

I attend church almost every Sunday, and have for almost my entire life.* In recent years, I have struggled with maintaining my focus during the worship service. I've heard the Bible stories multiple times by now. I played piano on a worship team for over fifteen years. I have opinions about the music, about the message, about the bulletin. If there is a typo or a missing apostrophe on the screen up front, I see it. If something is done differently that I think it should be, I often comment about it, if only to my husband. Because, you see, I know all about the best way it should be done, or at the least, a much better way. If only they listened to me, church would run smoother and impart more meaning.

"As was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. . . " Jesus, the perfect son of God and member of the Trinity, went to church. Up until this day, when He was in his thirties, He was not, as far as I know, a teacher in the synagogue, or part of the service, but a participant. For years and years, Jesus sat in the synagogue while human beings did church. I imagine that there were mistakes made. Songs or psalms sung in weird keys or even off-key and at varying tempos. Misinterpretation of His Father's words. He could have been thinking of all the things that were imperfect 100% of the time.

Ouch. So sometimes the songs aren't sung the way I want them to be. Or the message doesn't appeal to me. Or there's confusion about "your" and "you're". Who is supposed to be the focus of church, anyhow? If the One Who is the reason for church could make it His custom to go, then so can I. If the only One Who could authoritatively know how it all SHOULD be done could, in humility, worship and learn in the synagogue, then I think I can manage to worship and learn at my local church. In fact, I'm sure of it.



*Opinions are my own and apply to all churches and no specific churches.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Please Double Check Before Pressing "Send"

One week. Two blog posts. Must be summer! This morning I was praying. I journal my prayers because it helps me to stay focused. I was asking God for something, and I noticed that I amended my first request to make it more specific, to be sure that God knew exactly what I meant. For example, if I had been praying for a new job, I might have changed the simple prayer of "Please, Lord, help me to find a new job" to "Please, Lord, help me to find a new job closer to home that is more what I like and would give us a better income."

Why do I think I need to be so detailed with God? He already knows what I need. Besides, He's under no obligation to follow my directions, informative as they may be. As I pondered this, I realized that my prayers revealed two false beliefs about God. First, I am praying as if God is waiting to trip me up: "Aha, she didn't specify what kind of job she wanted, so I'll give her a terrible one to teach her to be more honest about what she wants." Second, I am not trusting that the Lord sovereignly gives me what I need.

Last night I was in a group discussing Matthew 7:7-11:
 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give hima stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Much of the discussion centered around the last verses, which compare God to a father. As my heavenly father, God has my best interests at heart. He loves me and already knows what I need. Whether I ask for it or not, and whether I specify just exactly what I want, He will give me precisely what I need in His best timing. 

The rub? What God knows I need and what I think I need may not be the same. Some answers to prayer requests are "No." Negative answers hurt and send me back to the Lord for comfort and peace. The Bible tells us to ask God for what we want and what we need. However, the asking is not an Amazon order, sent within two days with free shipping as long as I select the desired product, fill in the right credit card numbers, and check the correct box. The Christian walk always comes back to relationship. I come to God, tell Him my desires and what I need, and then I wait to see what will happen.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Joy. . . Where?

I got married. I moved to Ohio. I moved houses. I lost my blog. Then I found it again. I've been busy. But I'm back, at least for today!

I enjoy reading Ann Voskamp's blog (A Holy Experience). One recent post hit me right in the heart. In that post (found here: When You Want to Thrive Instead of Just Barely Survive ) Ann talks about joy:

What do I want my children to remember — my joy in clean floors, made beds and ironed shirts — or my joy of the Lord?  You will be most remembered — by what brought you most joy.  The joy of the Lord is your strength and the person of Christ is your unassailable joy – and the battle for joy is nothing less than fighting the good fight of faith.

You learn a lot in the first year of marriage. I'm 11 months in, and I have discovered much more clearly that I often find joy in the wrong things. Many external circumstances bring me peace and joy: A clean house. Crumb-free counters. Squeaky, shiny dishes. A neatly made bed. Dirt-free floors. A sparkling, whisker-free sink basin. Notice a pattern? My husband has. I have apologized about 287 times for being naggy, picky, and bossy.  While cleanliness is a admirable goal, I have often pursued it at the expense of my husband's feelings.

I don't want to die and have people remember me by saying that I found joy in a clean house or shiny dishes. I want to find joy in my husband, in laughter, in having friends over, in cooking together and being sloppy as we create. I want my heart to be happy and at peace no matter what the state of my sink or floor.

As a Christian, I should be overflowing with joy in the Lord all the time. I am loved. I am forgiven. I am free. Just that should provide peace to my heart. Sometimes, though, LOTS of times, it doesn't. Instead of being grateful and thankful, I let myself focus on things that don't really matter. In my case, I think it's due to familiar twins: Anxiety and Control.

Anxiety haunts me sometimes. What if something happens to my husband? What if the basement floods (as it rains and rains and rains)? What if the car crashes? What if . . . I could make a never-ending list. In my human heart, my answer is control. If I control everything I can control, then the anxiety recedes. For just a little while, just a little bit.

The "joy" that I feel from vacuumed floors and a tidy bed fades. The control of the environment masquerading as peacefulness is a never-ending battle. The carpet gets dirty. The bed needs made again. The price of messing up the clean is calculated in a discouraged husband and a frustrated wife. The only real and lasting joy comes from God. Where do I get it?  Psalm 16:11 says that ". . .in your presence there is fullness of joy.  . "  To get joy, I need to spend time with God. Sigh. Always and forever it comes back to my relationship with Jesus, and going to Him to meet my needs.

Some of you may remember this song from Vacation Bible School, church camp or Sunday school:


I want the joy (joy, joy, joy) in my heart to come from Jesus, not my housekeeping.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

MWF misses BFFs (and Parenthood)

In a week I will have been married for seven months. I love my husband and I love being married (though we are still figuring lots of things out). What I don't love is living eight hours away from my closest friends. People warned me that marriage as an "older" person (over forty) would be challenging. I don't think marriage has been any more challenging as a fortysomething, because I think that the annoyance of compromising and doing things differently after having done them another way for years is balanced out by the continuing wonderment of finally having found someone (and the reality that my husband has been the one compromising the most). 

What has been challenging is friendship. Getting married after forty--piece of cake. Finding friends after forty? Really difficult. Most people in my demographic have their friends already. They are nice enough, but all the friendship slots are filled. Plus, I have friends who go back fifteen, twenty, even thirty years. They know my history. I don't have to explain the backstory. To start over again with someone new is daunting.

There are times I don't miss my friends as much. I have work, a new marriage, and house-hunting. But then there are weeks when I cry at everything. One TV show that I have watched for its duration is "Parenthood". The last episode was a few weeks ago, and at the end, I bawled. Over TV. I started thinking about why I was sad. The reason I liked "Parenthood" in the first place was because it was about a family which was also a community. They knew each other, they talked to each other, they had traditions, they loved each other. I'm sure I would have been teary in Missouri as well, but here in Ohio, with my friends miles away, it felt like losing more people in my circle and losing another familiar set of people whom I saw every Thursday night. 

The name of my blog, yet again and probably always, comes back to haunt me. I want friends and community because that is the way that God has created me (and how He created all of us, I believe). Yet, once again, I can't have what I want quickly. Even if I met my new best friend tomorrow, she wouldn't feel like my old best friend until time has passed. My husband was praying for me last week, asking the Lord to help me to use this loneliness to draw closer to Him. At the time, I was having none of it. Somehow it seems I already lived that. I think it was being single all those years that helped deepen my relationship to the Lord. Wasn't that enough? My attitude: "I don't want God. I want friends."

Apparently I'm a slow, slow learner. I was in St. Louis this past weekend, and visited the church I had been attending the year before I got married, The Summit. One of the reasons I started going there was because almost every message reminded me that Jesus meets all of our needs, and that whenever we are feeling anxious, or upset, or fearful, it's usually because we have put something else in place of Jesus and fear losing it. Sunday I was confronted with this again. The message discussed the Song of Solomon, sex, and marital oneness, but at one point the pastor reiterated how the most intimate relationship of our heart is with Jesus. Converging with this thought were several conversations with friends in which I discovered that they too, though living in the same place they had always lived, were feeling lonely and disconnected. Maybe all of us experience these moments even without moving to a new state. 

I don't have an answer for how to find friends (though one of my Missouri girls loaned me "MWF Seeking BFF" and it's been a great read). However, I have repented of my "Who needs God, I want friends" attitude and am trying to accept the reality that one of the happiest times of my life also contains some of the saddest moments. I was single a long (very long) time, and yet finally met my husband. I may not have close friends in Ohio for a long (hopefully not that long) time. But even if not, I can continue to trust that God will meet my needs. The verse that strengthened me through those years of singleness still applies: 
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
God is at work. I am still waiting.





 
 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Deepen

Happy New Year! What an amazing, crazy, and wonderful year 2014 was! Lots and lots of changes for me--getting married, moving, getting a new job. It was a year for activity. I planned a wedding, packed up my stuff, sold my house, found that job, moved into my husband's house. There wasn't a lot of time for reflection after that decision to get married and move to Ohio.

A friend asked who had, instead of resolutions, a word for 2015. Initially I didn't reply, since I hadn't thought about much of anything for 2015 except for losing this "happy weight" gained from a decadent honeymoon and a husband who's a good cook. As I began thinking more about what I wanted out of 2015, and also trying to discern what the Lord might want for me, I first considered the word "ponder".

For the last 5-6 years, I have read through the Bible each year. Initially, I did it so that I would have structure for my scripture reading and a working knowledge of the whole Bible, not just the parts that I liked. I highly recommend reading through the Bible (not necessarily in a year) at least once. However, for my personality, the focus can shift from knowing God more deeply through His Word to GETTING THROUGH THIS BIBLE, come what may, no matter what, just so I can say that I did it.

My husband and I spent Christmas Eve with his family, including his two young nieces. Watching them open gifts was a study in contrasts. The five-year-old had as her goal opening the presents. All of them. As quickly as possible. And then making sure everyone else had opened all their presents, as well.  The three-year-old, however, would open a present, take a good look at it, start playing with it, and forget about all the other presents (until helpful big sister reminded her).

My approach to both the Bible and life is all too frequently the same as my older niece's approach to present opening (and yes, I, too, am an older sister). I don't want to stop and think deeply and deliberately about what the Bible says, or to spend time figuring out how I feel about uprooting and moving and starting a new life (I get as far as "sad," cry, and then I'm done). I don't want to take time and make serious goals for 2015 for my marriage and my life.

As I was thinking and praying about how to structure my Bible reading this year, I really felt like I needed to slow down so that I could ponder what I was reading, and not just fly through it. "Ponder" seemed like a good word for the year. But then, as I thought about other goals, the word "deepen" came to mind. I want to deepen my relationship with the Lord. I want to deepen my relationship with Paul. The last thought is trickier. I need to deepen my roots in Ohio, though I may not really want to.

I just spent a week in Missouri with friends and family and friends who are family. It was like a piece of heaven to be with people who know me already and who love me already and to connect with them and enjoy their company. I treasure the time, I treasure the relationships, and I am committed to nurturing those relationships the best I can over time and distance. And yet I am called and committed to be here, in Ohio, with my husband, and to make a new life with him. My challenge is to determine how to both put down roots and yet stay connected with friends from other places. The two are not mutually exclusive; yet somehow I feel disloyal to think about making a new life. I also feel tired. It's hard to start over with friends when you are in your forties. People already have their friends and their history. Nevertheless, I feel prompted to pursue building friendships here.

Slowing down and going deep are not natural for me. Yet I am believing (as best I can) that taking time to read one book of the Bible at a time without a schedule (gasp) will lead to more understanding of God. Taking time to spend with my husband in the small moments, by turning away from Facebook and HGTV will increase our intimacy. Being brave and making the effort to connect with and get to know new people will help Ohio feel more like home.

I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:12, ESV)

Anyone else have a word for 2015?