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All posts for the month March, 2013

Lessons in the Lawn: Dealing with The Blight

Published March 29, 2013 by Dawn

I am so sore and achy from what may have been one of the toughest and most physically taxing conversations I’ve had with The Father. Well, that is, He used my chore yesterday to speak to me of many truths I needed to hear. I only hope I can remember all of them in relating them today.

I got up yesterday morning knowing that before the end of the day, I needed to rake the yard to get all the sticks out of the way so I could mow. I don’t usually put this much effort into preparing the yard for mowing because, well, it’s hard work. My yard is much bigger than I like when it comes to yard work, though I think it’s perfectly adequate for town life any other day. So I guess since I already mentioned that I usually do not put this much work into the yard, you can rightly deduce that my yard was quite a mess. I’ve lived here for over four years and had never raked the yard in it’s entirety. I was totally cool with the disheveled look of leaves everywhere, which come with the territory here. Five tall oaks literally surround my house and then there is random foliage everywhere in the back. I could make a pile as tall as Babel if I wanted to. But I don’t, and never have, so I did the minimal work necessary to ensure that the front and back door were accessible. I’m not lazy, it’s just too much work! I always figured, “…to dust you will return.” Keeps the worms busy.

So yesterday, I had to tackle this nasty mess of a yard because for the first time in four years, it really bugged me. Well, not really. What bugged me was the fact that every summer for the past four years, I’ve bought a new lawnmower because they keep breaking on me. Finally it dawned on me: maybe it’s the terrain. Maybe the sticks and dirt are screwing up the lawnmower. Or maybe it’s because I let the grass grow just long enough to annoy the guy who puts out weed notices before I get out the mower. Maybe the mower can’t handle all the overgrown wildness. So, I submitted to all this overwhelming evidence convicting me and decided to take care of the yard this year, and even bought a lawnmower that will only screw up if I screw it up. It’s a rotary mower, which means I don’t have to mess with gas, oil or oil filters, or those stupid cables that get it working. All I have to do is push it. And since I decided to finally do the yard justice, I had to first rake it. So I started out, and immediately realized what a tough task it was going to be. Four years of sticks built up and pushed to the outer edge of the yard required some major muscle. It would not have been so hard, except that there was also this massive entanglement of weeds to rake through to get the sticks into a pile that could then be moved to a fire. Oh my aching back! As I was raking the front yard, the Spirit began speaking to me and revealed this truth: this is a lot like what our lives are like. It’s totally a human approach to dealing with things. We brush things off to the side and let them accumulate in a place that isn’t as visible and won’t get in the way while we get on with life. The problem is, the junk doesn’t go anywhere, it just sits there and builds up over time and will eventually have to be dealt with. And the longer it sits, the more embedded it becomes and the harder it is to remove, and to aggravate the process of dealing with it when you eventually get around to it is this massive entanglement that’s grown up around it. Oh my! What work!

I got through the front yard, not without difficulty but still relatively easily compared to what awaited me in the back. Halfway around the house, I realized that I would have to set my face like flint and press on to get the job done. The closer I got to the backyard, the less I like this job, but I knew I had to press on and press on I did.

I should mention here that I had enlisted both kids for this work. For the first time in their royal lives, I told the prince and princess they were going to help me. I taught my son yesterday that there should never be a gentleman sitting around watching while a lady works. If she rolls up her sleeves, then buddy, you had better be one step ahead of her making her job a little lighter. He did great for a while, but right after I set my face like flint in order to not be overwhelmed by the size of the backyard awaiting me, the pressure got to him. I’m pretty sure it was the devil trying to get me to throw up my hands in defeat, but I was determined to finish it. He wasn’t, and he threw a huge fit, ran away (ran around the block and came back home) and broke my heart with his hateful words. But I kept my calm while he ranted, prayed while he ran, and fell apart the moment he wasn’t looking anymore. I looked to Heaven and cried, “He is your son and I’m done dealing with this today! If you won’t help me with the yard, deal with your son! …And please protect him because I am not running after him this time” Yes, I embarrassingly admit I said that to the Lord. And then I apologized for not being humble. Emotions were high and I was still hating yard work, even though I had committed myself to finishing it.

My son eventually came back and apologized. He told me he was tired of the work and it was making him angry. I get that. I totally get that. Nothing makes me boil more than yard work, truly. Well, yard work and fighting with my kids. While he was throwing his tantrum, my daughter was inside screaming for me to help her do something that I had asked her to do. She made it very clear she was either incapable or unwilling to do it without my help. I ended up doing it myself. I went back outside and the Spirit began to speak again. Through my children, I learned that there will be those who come alongside you to help who cannot keep up with the work. They will desert you or overwhelm you with their endless need for help. In other words, they will distract you. You have to remain committed to the work and press on even as these things come at you. Life will continue to go on around you and your work for God. It doesn’t stop and it doesn’t get easier. In reality, you can be assured it will get much harder. You simply have to deal with it and continue the job. There is no other option.

As I moved into the backyard, the mere size of it tempted me to quit. Where do I start? How will I ever get this done? Doubt and fear and anxiety attacked me all at once. I was sinking into despair very quickly, when I realized this was an attack. An anxiety attack. Deal with it! So, I began to rake in big circles with the pile in the middle, and a little at a time, parts of the yard were finished. I could not have handled it had I kept my eye on the big picture. So instead I focused on small chunks of the yard and accomplished each one, feeling success instead of defeat as the yard slowly became more appealing to the eyes. This must be why God, in His infinite mercy, reveals to us a little at a time. He only asks that we worry about and focus on today. We would literally be paralyzed and unable to move in any direction if we saw the entirety of His work. He instead gives us a little of it at a time, and strengthens us to handle it. Encourages us to finish it, and then moves us on into something that is usually bigger and harder. But by then, we are prepared for it. How ingenious!

Midway through the back yard, which was hours into the work, my son left with my friend Amy and I was left with my princess as my only help. This part hurt. My lighter died, so instead of burning small piles, it became necessary to pick up the small piles and take them to the big pile. Oh dear me, you would have thought she was going to die! She whined and complained, asked hundreds of questions that could have been answered by some good old common sense, and otherwise drove me nuts with her inability to do anything on her own, including think! I was numb from muscle pain, aggravated by the high-pitched screeching was having a hard enough time thinking for myself, much less for her too. I began to pray, and things got really ironic. I looked at her and saw myself … this is what I do to God. All the time. I’m a whiny princess who has a million questions and doubts that I can do anything right without constant reassurance. I laughed and cried at this revelation. I had been doing this to God all day. Well, okay, all my life really.

With three-fourths of the yard done, I was becoming weary. It had been a long day. I literally raked for seven hours, minus a short break to fight with my son, a moment to drink a glass of water, and about half an hour to talk with a friend. So about six hours of raking time. My muscles were torn to shreds, my heart was torn to shreds, and I was so close to being done. Not the yard, me. I was close to calling it quits when the Spirit spoke again. This is it: the moment when most people call it “good enough” and walk away without finishing the work. To finish means pushing yourselves past the limits. To quit now seems like an act of mercy on yourself. After all, you’ve done so much already, and it looks great! The effects of your work are clearly visible, and what’s left of the mess can’t possibly make that much of a difference. You’ve done well. Walk away. Oh, it sounded so good! But I knew in my spirit, I had come too far to quit. There were still sticks to be raked and those sticks could still damage my lawnmower. Sure, I had done an amazing job and spent myself far beyond what I normally would have. Sure, it was “good enough.” But the job wasn’t done. I hadn’t given it my all. I hadn’t finished yet. The last fourth of the yard was literally the hardest physical demand I had ever faced and if it weren’t for the spiritual lesson being learned in it, I would have quit. I had never in my life persevered through something so rigorous to my flesh. Even fasting had never hurt this much. And the Spirit kept saying, “This is perseverance. This is continuing when everything in you wants to quit, and everyone else had quit on you. This is the moment that truly matters. The finish line is ahead, keep going!” I cried out in pain and frustration, I paused to simply breathe, I raked on. I stopped, looked at the yard that was left, felt desperately far from done and encouraged myself to keep going. When I finally finished raking the yard, I surveyed the yard in satisfaction, and then realized there was more work to be done. Everyone had quit on me, remember? And their work had to be done still. I straightened myself up and pushed on. Finish it. Finish all of it. You can do this! And finally, it was finished!

I woke up this morning in pain. I ache in places I didn’t know you could ache in. Muscles I have not used in years are screaming at me every time I move. It was worth it. I looked outside this morning and realized it had rained last night. There are sticks all over my yard again. Yep, I’m going to have to do it again. I’m not exactly excited about it, but I have atleast embraced the responsibility. And I have learned much in it. And each time I rake the yard, I will remember these things, which will serve me well the rest of my life. I am done taking the easy road, done giving up when everyone else does, done complaining and whining when things get tough, and done quitting when it’s “good enough.” Thank you, Lord, for your Spirit’s guidance.

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Date Night

Published March 24, 2013 by Dawn

A night of divine inspiration, a night with The Father’s blessing. A date night with The One I married, my Jesus. It doesn’t happen often. After all, I have two kids who are always here with me. But it seems as they get older and the distance between us gradually increases with their natural desire for autonomy drawing them steadily farther from my arms, I find myself alone more often. Last night, my daughter went to her friend’s, my son to his and I realized I had been blessed with time to catch up on my relationship with Christ.

My first impulse is to fill the void: call up a friend, make my way to a crowded place and wile away the hours until morning with loads of espresso. But yesterday evening, I sensed a purpose in my night. It was time to reignite the passion between us. After a quick nap, I got up and got ready for the evening. I put on my best, grabbed Jesus: The One and Only by Beth Moore and headed out the door for dinner and a movie.

After going to the theater and picking up a ticket for the late viewing of Oz, the Great and Powerful, I headed to my favorite restaurant for a delicious Mexican dinner. The moment I got there, a dear couple that I go to church with spotted me and motioned me over. They were kind enough to ask if I wanted to join them, and though I really didn’t want to put them off, I had a purpose to my evening that could not be forfeited in exchange for good conversation. I begged them to forgive me for putting them off, and went to sit down with my Love. I basked in His presence through dinner, learning more of Him as I read a few chapters of my book. After dinner, I grabbed an espresso to get me through the movie and headed over to the theater, still early for my movie. I sat in the lobby and listened to His sweet voice speak to me through the pages of the book, revealing more and more of himself as I waited for the movie to start.

After the movie, I went home and laid in bed for an hour or so, still talking to Him. Finally, I went to bed in the wee hours of the morning, my heart filled with peace and a renewed delight in Christ. Date nights are so wonderful!

An Arranged Marriage

Published March 24, 2013 by Dawn

This isn’t really what I envisioned of marriage. I don’t think many of us do. What most of us want is to be caught up in a whirlwind love that takes your breath away, knocks you off your feet then gently pulls you along. Oh sure, I’ve had moment like that. Moments of rapturous adoration in which I look at him and my heart melts. But few. Very few. Mostly, I feel like I don’t yet know him. And for all the time we have been together and all that I have seen and heard of him, I fear he’s just as much a stranger to me today as he was the day we wed.

Our marriage was planned before my birth. It seems to me that this is all that I was born for. Not because my emotions tell me so, but because my life has been driven by this invisible force pulling us together. It was inevitable, but not altogether unwanted. After all, what little girl doesn’t want to grow up and marry a prince? I had grown up in a fantasy world made of castles in the sky in which he and I lived happily ever after. But here we are and the day in and day out demands of life have slowly pulled my castles in the air down to earth. Our address is no longer Cloud 9 Lover’s Lane. It’s something quite ordinary and less romantic.

I am learning more and more about him everyday. And more and more about marriage in general. Like, despite what they say, love isn’t something you fall into. If you want to compare it to a river, it’s not a downstream float. Love is a raging river, fierce and exciting and terrifying. You don’t just float down it. Your work at it, every muscle in your body working to get you over the rapids of life together as a couple. He and I, committed to one another forever, work daily to stay in the same boat as we face the rapids. The spray of the river often impairs my vision as I try to work alongside him. He seems to always know what he’s doing and I struggle to keep up. The swells, the rocks, all dangerous unless we work together as a team and I must admit, he’s really the only one who knows how to do this.

Lying here tonight with him beside me, I marvel at how little I know this man, how little I know of love, and how much I wish I could be the wife he deserves. I still fight the urge to run. I’ve been fighting it since the day we married. I didn’t know him then, and I still know little of him now. Just when I think I have something of him figured out, he reveals another part of himself that I have to come to terms with. The pieces don’t always fit together, and new revelations gives new form and dimension to old ones. Will I ever understand this man that I love?

Reader: understand that this is but another metaphor of my relationship with Christ, whom I am beginning to know intimately as my Husband. I have wrestled lately to know him more, in light of the fact that I know so little of him in the first place. Sure, I know the scriptures. But knowing scriptures is a small part of knowing the person of Christ. It is through the scriptures that He is first revealed to us, first awakened in us. But there becomes then a daily walk in which He becomes that man beside us, ahead of us, leading us on. For when we take up our cross, we are beckoned to follow Him. Would you follow a man you do not know to a death your flesh does not want? No, of course not. So it stands to reason that He would reveal himself to us in such a way that we can know him and trust him without question. That is the intimacy of relationship. A marriage we were all born for. An arranged marriage between us and Him, in which we come face-to-face with a love that requires work on our part, as we strive to overcome the flesh and embrace Him in spirit and in truth. And as much as He reveals himself to us daily, there is always more to learn. Some of it doesn’t make sense, some of it makes us uncomfortable. Some of it changes things we thought we knew about Him. All of it draws us closer to Him as we surrender our will and our desires to embrace His. As we come to trust Him, we can more readily admit that He knows these waters way better than we do. We can work next to Him, freely allowing Him to take control as it become quite obvious that He is the expert and we are little more than helpful passengers. In the end, however, He is our Prince. Our Husband. Committed for all eternity to love us and care for us, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. And not even death can part us. What a marriage it is, after all!

Congratulations on a -wait, what?

Published March 20, 2013 by Dawn

You know that one person in your life that, excepting your own responsibility for the chaos, you can blame them for it? I will not hide the fact that I have such a person. Most, if not all, of us do. Not only that, but I have been reminded anew that I am still a sinner saved by grace. It all happened when my life crossed paths with this person today…

It was one of those things you can’t avoid. A “bound to happen” kind of thing. I stood there in an attitude of what I thought was graciousness. After all, my mouth can be insanely unkind without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and I thought I was graciously keeping all my thoughts to myself, a kind of mercy if you will. You know, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” So with my mouth closed and my mind wide open, I was struggling to take captive every thought. And most of them sounded so much like something that would normally come out of my mouth that I entertained them for a while. But I didn’t say anything. For a grueling 30 minutes or so, I was mute. Unbelievable, right?!

I went straight home after that and started cooking dinner, and while I’m standing at the counter frying fish, I mentally began to pat myself on the back. Congratulations on a job well done! And I heard an echo in my spirit, “Congratulation on a façade well done!” What? Wait a minute! That’s not what I said … what do you mean? I was real! I was so real! I was so real with myself that I controlled everything inside of me that was dying to come out! Don’t I get credit for that?

Um, no.

Turns out, Jesus wasn’t pleased. Sure, I kept my thoughts to myself and didn’t hurt anyone else, but I still hurt myself. I still came home steeped in sin. Ugh! Wretched creature that I am!

I probed the Spirit for guidance into the Word and what I received as understanding is this: the Holy Spirit had guided my actions, but not so much my thoughts. And Jesus said that if we entertain thoughts of sin, we are guilty of that sin. Thank God for grace and mercy, right? This is a tough pill to swallow, and many of us make allowances for ourselves that cause us to totally disregard the reality of our guilt. Thank you, Spirit, for calling me out on the unrighteousness inside me and humbling me once again. Thank you for showing me again just how much I need the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of the Father and the Your guidance in all things.

PUSH!

Published March 17, 2013 by Dawn

We’ve all seen birth, whether that be in real life experience or from watching some vague rendition of it on television. Regardless of how much or how little the process we’ve seen, this line is universally known: “Okay now, PUSH!”

I was awakened by The Spirit pretty early this morning, as I have been every morning for the past month or so, and because I have been enshrouded by apathy as of late, I rolled over and buried my nose under the covers intent upon recovering the dream that had been interrupted. I heard in my spirit as I drifted back off to sleep, “Push against the wall.” Sounded like way too much work way too early in the morning.

I am ashamed to admit that I have fallen far from where I was in terms of submission to God and commitment to His Will. I have excused my lax approach to fasting and prayer these last few months as His Spirit has spoken words that, embarrassingly, have fallen on my deaf ears. And even I have wondered, “What is my problem!?” An hour after I rolled over this morning, His Mercy fall in droplets and interrupted my dreams again. Well, His Mercy fell in the form of rain from my ceiling … God has a funny way of getting our attention sometimes.

I lay there for a few minutes listening to water hit the edge of my bed and wondered if I could sleep through the sound of it … completely committed to laziness. Then each tiny noise was followed by a tiny splash on my face. There was no way I was going to be able to sleep through that. So I got up and decided to finally come to the feet of Jesus in submission. Let me tell you something, God is definitely longsuffering to have welcomed me back so passively after putting up with my rebelliousness for the past few months. Yes, His Mercy runs deep.

I knelt by the edge of the couch, in lieu of a dry bedside, and was quiet before Him. I know that we are beckoned to come boldly to the throne of Grace, but I had been running from Him and felt both humbled and a little afraid. A rebellious child knows there is safety in silence sometimes. But in His infinite mercy, which is beyond my understanding, He lavished on me. Like the Father who runs to His prodigal child, The Lord opened His arms for me and wrapped me in an embrace I clearly did not deserve. He’s so good to His children.

After pouring out my heart and allowing Him to rid me of all the pain, fear, and hesitation, I sat before Him with my Word opened and began to read:

“Incline your ear and come to Me. Hear and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you … Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on Him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.” (Is. 55:3, 6-7)

Waves of mercy, waves of grace. Thank you, Father, for being to patient with your rebellious child. You know that I have not been running after fleshly things, but for the sake of flesh. I am reluctant to surrender all of it to you.

Dear reader, it is not that I have run after worldliness. I have run from a calling. I have run from a work that seems impossible to fulfill. I have run out of fear that I will disappoint My Father. That’s why the prodigal son ran. He had squandered what his father had entrusted to him. Sure, his pursuit of cheap thrills is what started the whole mess. But isn’t that what we’re after when we refuse to go deeper in God? We’re content with cheap thrills that require very little from us. The going deeper is quite terrifying to a person whose comfortable on the surface. But that comfort is a harlot. She will take you on a short ride and rob you blind in the process. I wonder to myself, what all have I forfeited these past few months for the sake of fleshly comfort? What guidance have I missed? What time have I surrendered? What accomplishments have been lost?

Not only was I afraid, I was discouraged. I have submitted so many things to God and been given promises yet to be fulfilled. I have grown weary in the waiting, and disappointed at His timing. His Word, His promises which had sustained me were whispered so many times that I had become numb to them. What was once a Living Word inside of me seemed suddenly to be cliché. My spirit, no longer in strong communion with God, had become numb to the power of His voice.

This morning, however, His Word became alive again. He whispered softly to me:

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it … But on this one shall I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word … ‘Shall I bring to the time of birth and not cause delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?’ says your God.” (Is. 55:11, 66:9)

Oh my heart! We’re almost there! And like a new parent who’s read all the materials on how to care for this baby still trembles at the thought of so much responsibility over something so tender and fragile, I tremble. I asked Him, “What do you need from me to accomplish this birth? His gentle reply was, “Push!”

“It’s gonna be worth it.”

Published March 13, 2013 by Dawn

Spent some time in worship last night. I’ve really just been needing God to speak a Rhema word to me. You know, a word in season. A word that speaks specifically to my prayer and gives renewal and direction. I am in need of a Rhema word. As I laid here listening to worship music, letting it draw me into His presence (or draw Him into mine), I realized that the music was a conversation taking place between His heart and mine. Still echoing today is this line: It’s gonna be worth it. It’s gonna be worth it all. Gonna be worth it…

I realize that there is nothing significantly wrong with my life. I mean, sure, it’s tough. But no tougher than the next gal. Some days are harder than others. For instance, yesterday, the hardest thing I had to do was drag myself out of the house one last time for my daughter’s volleyball practice. Today, my car demanded an emergency visit to the mechanic in several different languages, my furnace filter got sucked up into the black hole inside the furnace, cats have somehow managed to find their way into my basement and create a massive stink, and I realized there was a window loose in the basement door. Yep, some days are definitely worse than others. But even still, it’s not as bad as it could be, I know.

As I took apart the furnace panel by panel, wrestled the filter out through a one-inch slot in the bottom, nailed cardboard to a broken window and caulked the door, I thought about all the things that could be wrong but aren’t. Such as, I am not the parent in a sleep-induced coma who will wake up and bury their child tomorrow. I’m not the mother sleeping huddled around babies in an alley. I’m not kissing hungry babies goodnight. I’m blessed beyond measure, actually. Sure, I may be faced with uncertainty in areas of my life. I’m struggling to know what God would have me to do as far as work and ministry, and those things weigh heavy on my heart. I am constantly aware of needs that I feel should be filled in one way or another and aren’t (atleast in the way I envision them). And all of this hurts. But my spirit ever reminds me, “it’s gonna be worth it.”

I think of Jesus and all He went through to save me, and I imagine that the Spirit whispered this to Him over and over. Through the tears at Gethsemane: “It’s gonna be worth it.” Through the arrest and beatings: “It’s gonna be worth it.” Through the physical pain of the cross: “It’s gonna be worth it.” Through the heartache of mockery and rejection: “It’s gonna be worth it.” Through The Father turning His face away: “It’s gonna be worth it.” And finally, through death: “It’s gonna be worth it.”

Three days later, it was worth it. So worth it. Jesus came face to face with Death, Hell and The Grave, defeated them, redeemed His Beloved (us!) and then sat down at the very right hand of Almighty God. Oh, it was so worth it! My heart is uplifted with this reality. God gave Jesus exactly what He promised as Jesus fulfilled His purpose.

I guess I just needed to be reminded that life doesn’t have to make sense. There will always be taint of death and destruction. It’s my birthright, in a sense, of my carnality. A constant reminder of my need for Him. There will always be pain and suffering, some things that will hurt worse than others. There will always be rejection and mockery. There’s a something to be done that doesn’t necessarily fit the plan or feel good. However, there will also always be a whisper in my heart, “It’s gonna be worth it. It’s gonna be worth it all.” All that I imagine Heaven to be cannot even come close to reality. If “eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard…” I really have no idea just how much is waiting for me there. But I hold to this promise, as surely as Jesus did, “It’s gonna be worth it.”

You Have No Idea The Affect You Have…

Published March 6, 2013 by Dawn

My daughter and I spent some much needed Girl Time at the Chinese restaurant last Sunday. We don’t get to indulge this way often, and just the two of us makes it even more special. Fully satisfied with our meal, we giddily cracked open the end-of-meal fortune cookie. We know there’s nothing remotely real about a fortune cookie, that’s not where our hope lies, but we still like to crack open the cookie and read the strip of paper. My attention was abruptly torn from my fortune cookie by an indignant huff, and I looked over to see her holding up her paper with this look of complete bewilderment on her face. She said, “I’m not sure how to take this! Is it a compliment or an insult.” I looked down at her paper and busted out laughing. Her cookie read: “You have no idea the affect you have on others.”

I think its accurate to say most, if not all, of us would take that as a compliment. She, in her unique mixture of child-like innocence and wisdom beyond her years, took this line to heart in a very literal sense and ended up confused. “What affect do I have on people?”

I’ve been thinking about this for over a day now, and it’s true for most of us: we simply have no idea the affect we have on others. Whether that’s flattering or not is another story. I spend a lot of time in my own mind, considering the things I do and say to others, and after all the inward analysis, I often come up with the same conclusion. My words and actions sometimes fall far short of their intended purpose, or they go beyond their intended purpose. My relationships are swayed by seemingly small stones flung half-heartedly into a large pond. In a literal sense, the things I do and say with seeming carelessness create situations and reap consequences I rarely intend. What a complex world we live in!

In light of this profound thought, I will definitely be giving more forethought to my actions and the things I say. I may not ever be perfect this side of heaven, but I know that I can always strive to walk closer to the Holy Spirit. I know that I can make sure that my talk reflects that walk, so that people will know just by looking that there is something different about me. I want to reflect the heart of Christ. Ultimately, that is the affect I want to have on people.