when Christmas sucked.

When all I could do was breathe. And breathing even hurt.

Last Christmas sucked. Just sucked. From the outside I am sure I gave the impression that everything was amazing. I had just returned home from Uganda with our newest son and we were one happy, send out Christmas cards to pretend we were, happy family. We lied. I lied. It was me. I lied to save myself. To save myself from all of you knowing that we were falling apart. And by we, I mean me. I was falling apart. I couldn’t breathe. It hurt too much. I cancelled Christmas. I literally cancelled going home for the holiday. I could not imagine being in a room full of people that wanted to love me. When I could not even stand the thought of a person hugging me much less wanting to talk to me. I could barely get dressed. I felt like if I brushed my hair and my teeth it was a productive day. People wanted to visit. It was torture. Torture to pretend that life inside our house wasn’t falling apart. Torture to pretend that I wasn’t broken. A broken mess of a mom not even trying to be a wife. I could not tolerate who I was or who I was pretending to be. It felt like my skin was crawling and I wanted to run away. But I was too afraid to even leave my own home. I became obsessed that something horrible was going to happen to me and my kids. And I thought that if I just removed myself from the equation that everyone would be better.

That is just the tip of the Christmas package of pain last year. Under many more months and layers of therapy we uncovered deep fears and anxiety that suffocated who I was for months.

So sweet one….I get it. I get that Christmas may be excruciating for you. That you just want to wake up and it all be gone. The expectations that others place on you or worse yet, those that you put on yourself will never be met. And it’s ok. It’s ok to be in pain. It’s ok to be lonely. It’s ok to say out loud that it sucks. That is hurts. That you can’t find the joy. That it hurts to breathe.

Just know that you are not alone. I get it. And I am sure if we were all more honest and didn’t send out “everything is sunshine and my life looks like Pinterest” Christmas cards, we could all start to breathe. We could all start to heal. And give each other grace that where you are this Christmas is enough.

In honor of Billy Graham- what is your legacy?

Today is Billy Grahams birthday. He is 95. 95 years of life on this earth. 95 years to leave his mark. His legacy. This got me to thinking. What kind of legacy do I want to leave? It also had me thinking that I am so relieved that I did not leave this earth before the age of 25. Lord knows there were many times I should have. Yet only by His grace am I still alive today.

When I was younger I remember my great- grandfathers both held certain men in high esteem. On my sweet Catholic great- grandfathers wall hung a gold plated framed picture of the pope. Next to it was a picture of Jesus. They hung on the right side of his rocker at the same level. I have to imagine that he believed that the pope was Jesus in the flesh and he wanted to always remember him in his prayers. While my Christian Reformed grandfather holds Billy Graham in the same esteem. To this day he will tell me stories of revivals that he has seen or heard and the eternal impact that Billy Graham has had on him and the way he has lived his life.

In 2007 I had an amazing opportunity to serve alongside Samaritans Purse in Liberia. Serving those afflicted with HIV/ AIDS it was my first time falling in love with Africa and realizing the joy we lacked here in the US. Although it is Billy Graham’s son Franklin’s organization I felt like I was getting to experience a part of the Graham legacy that my grandfather had experienced.

So today being the patriarch Billy’s birthday I have to imagine that as he looks over the birthday cake with his family singing him praises that he is filled with gratitude. Knowing that he has left a legacy that has changed the not only their lives but the lives of those all over the world.

So what kind of legacy will you leave?

Will you be more concerned with what grades your child has? With what clubs they are in? How popular they are? Will you look back and say wow I am glad that every weekend was overbooked with activities that I never got to really know my children? Will you look at your bank statement and be pleased that you never gave extravagantly to someone who really needed it? Will you be calm before your maker knowing you believed 10% was not for you? Will you be filled with joy that you spent more hours at the gym than on your knees before the King? Will you be satisfied that you went to brunch with your friends or slept in on Sunday morning instead of worshiping the one who made you? Will you be at peace knowing that you never took the moments to share the love of Jesus with the little ones living under your roof? Will you be rested knowing that you continued to live like you were in a frat house every weekend instead of growing up and being the man of the house? Will you be content knowing that you never knew that your neighbor was in so much pain but your pride to walk across the street kept you inside? Will you be delighted knowing that your kids went to elite colleges but never learned what empathy was?

If I were to have passed before the age of 25 I cannot imagine the legacy I would have left. Be selfish. Drink whenever you want. You don’t have to be married. You can believe whatever you want to believe. You have no one to worry about but yourself. Spend money on things that make you look better than everyone else.

I want to leave a different legacy. I want to do better.

I want my legacy to say mercy. Love big. Love with reckless abandon. Give away. Give away everything. Things mean nothing. Create memories. Slow down. Say no. Serve. All the time serve. Serve someone who can never serve you back. Take pictures. Write stories. Tell your story. You are never too lost. Don’t be afraid. Travel the world. Make sure your feet and heart stay red. Sit at the feet of Jesus and let His love permeate over you. Tell others about redemption. Give grace. Receive grace. Fight for your community. Fight for each other. But don’t fight with each other. Reach out and feel the hand of Jesus. And most of all….know that you matter.

Take a moment and think. What kind of legacy are you leaving?

more elmo less emailing.-things I am learning from just being present.

Last night while riding in the car with my oldest she asked how she could be praying for me. Now before you go all “my kid never asked me that before! I can’t even get a full sentence out of my teenager!” You need to know that the youth pastor just minutes before had given all the kids an assignment that night to ask their parents the same question. And if they were too nervous or weren’t on the same spiritual walk as their parental unit that they could ask God to bless their household.

It wasn’t long after she asked that I knew what had been on my heart for a while now.

“To be present. With you. With all of you.”

I have a close friend who has five little bambinos. She has told me on numerous occasions that she does not volunteer for any projects outside of her home at this time in her life. And without even questioning it I completely agree with her. This sweet one has her hands full and then some. I have never viewed her as selfish or self -centered. She is basically the opposite. She pours her heart and soul into what is before her. That happens to be five precious blessings at her feet. In fact I would never think of asking her to head up a project or expect her to ever be on a team for anything.

A few days ago though the thought came to my head as I was dropping off my fifth child at school for 2.5 hours. I have five kids! No it’s not a surprise to me. I know how many kids I have. And although they are not all little they are still a lot of work. At times I think that having teenagers and toddlers at the same time is the ultimate parental test. Although the needs are different they still need me, the needs just come in hormonal waves. When I had one child I went to play dates, story times, watched Elmo, read book after book after book, and took naps. I did not volunteer to be any more than who I was. Yet now with five I seem to think that I can do all of that and take on any and every project that comes my way. While the projects may be good. I am learning again it is not good for my soul.And its not good for my families soul.

I have come face to face with the reality that I have limitations. I need breathing room. I need quiet time. I need to exercise. I need to lay my face on the floor before my God. I need to talk to my husband. And this is hard to do with the phone ringing, email sending, text answering life I have been trying to keep up with. I do not thrive on this. Others might. I don’t.

I need to do laundry. I need to clean the house. I need to prepare meals. Grocery shop. Make and go to doctor’s appointments. Sporting events. Concerts ( and yes that included the infamous recorder concert, don’t be jealous). Sporting awards. Mowing the lawn. Shoveling the snow. And try to catch the stupid dog that ran away again. Somewhere in there bring all the kids to school and remember to pick them back up again.

I need to be present. I crave it. To be all there. If I am not there and I am everywhere else I start to fall apart. I start to get anxious. I start to catch my breath. I start to get really ugly with myself and with others. I start to lose sleep. I start to forget things. I start to think that these other things are more important that the five little (some not so little) at my feet. So why is it ok for me to give grace to others who have multiple children and forget to look in the mirror and breathe grace in for myself?

It’s not. So I am choosing grace. Just grace.

assessments.

This past week Ephraim’s teacher came for a home visit. The program that he is in for early intervention has it as one of their requirements that they visit the homes of their students. There is a higher risk of child abuse and neglect when the child has special needs or is labeled “at risk”. I was looking forward to her seeing how well he has integrated into the home environment. What I wasn’t looking forward to was the acting out that occurred the entire time she was here. He kept covering my mouth telling me to be quiet. He wanted her all to himself. He asked her to move in. It really was a highlight of my mothering career. My two other children home at the time then proceeded to answer the phone and play the bongo drums at the feet of the teacher. It felt like I was being taped for my own reality TV show on a network that no one would watch.

The report from the visit wasn’t what I was expecting. She mentioned several times how she was concerned how far behind he was. His language fluency as well as his social skills in comparison to his age was not measuring up. At first I was a little disturbed by her assessment of our sweet boy. And I wanted to say yes I know he is not at the correct developmental age. However, he is not even close to where he was a year ago. In this mama’s eyes he has come leaps and bounds from where he started from. And to compare him to a child the same age that was born and raised from birth with two parents in a first world country is just unfair.

Yet, this is how I compare myself. Daily I compare myself.

I love reading blogs. I am a bit of a blogaholic . There are blogs that I run across that I make a note to read later and then there are blogs that my smarty pants friends post and write that I learn so much from. But then there are the blogs that I follow religiously .They make me laugh and contemplate life and faith. For a long time though I only read adoption and mom blogs. I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone in the struggle. But you know what I kept feeling? I am not good enough. I don’t homeschool my kids anymore. I am homeschool dropout. I must not love my kids enough then. I don’t make my own detergent. Therefore I must not care about the environment or the stench of store bought detergent on my children. My children also do not match. Like ever. I shop at thrift stores and clearance racks. That is it. So I must not care if my kids never make the GAP adds. I also am not a size 4. I think I was a size 4 in elementary school for a month or so but I will never be small. So that means I must not care about my health or how attractive I am to my husband anymore. I know this is not true. I do.

But this is what I do, I compare myself to standards that don’t make sense. They are not even in the same ballpark. Making assessments with women I don’t know. Trying to assess where I am today with women that I discovered are at least ten years younger than me. Here I am sitting in my self- examination pity party trying to mirror the lives of people that I have no business holding my worth up against .

I am basically telling God that where I am today is not good enough. That how far He has carried me . Emptied me. Healed me. Transformed me is not enough. And that is just not acceptable. Where I am is not where I’d like to be. But from where I was a year ago is only by His grace. And His grace is enough.

holding onto the back of a motorcycle and other lessons I am learning.

Parenting is hard. Parenting a teenage girl is like watching home movie reels of yourself and wanting to write a different ending. I was an atrocious teenager. For example, if you thought of the worst kid your kid could hang out with in high school and then look them up in the yearbook, there would be a picture of me. It’s not like I was rowdy or destructive. I was self-destructive. Which is the worst kind. I was a lost girl. A sad girl. I was every youth pastor’s worst nightmare. I put on the best front. Attending mass with my parents. Going on retreats. Holding part time jobs since I was 14. So to some I was the friend you wanted for your son or daughter. But I should have worn a shirt that said “Run away from me!”

The regrets I have are overwhelming and if I didn’t bathe in God’s grace I would drown in them. But the thing is, my daughter is the age that I was when thing started to go downhill on the back of a motorcycle. And the correlations are frightening. She looks just like my sister with the personality of me now. Not the me before Jesus, but the” I want to change the world” traits. For that I am grateful. But I am scared.

I sit and listen to my husband discussing the latest dilemma with our oldest for hours last night and I just pray. I can hear her say how unfair we are. How strict. How we don’t trust her. I hear her plead to be trusted. And then I hear my husband answer we do. We do trust you. But God trusts us to make decisions for you that you may or may not agree with. You don’t have to. That is because we are your parents and not your friends. We will always be your biggest cheerleaders. We wish we could be the “yes” parents. But we know that it would be the worst thing for you. Yes, we do ask for advice from those that we admire as parents and people. We do let you be with your friends and hang out with them .But you know our rules. No dances. No dating. You have to introduce us to them. You are not supposed to be or look like the world and God will honor your obedience. We love you so much and will do whatever we can to make sure that Jesus is evident in your life. Please don’t forget that. We adore you.

I sit on the couch and just thank God that I have a calm and collected husband. Because if I had the chance I would just let her know that this was not my first rodeo and everything she was trying to pull with us I had done. And done it way better. I would also let her know that I had already filled out an application for her to join a convent in the hills of France. I am sure all of that would have gone over real well.

Instead I heard crying. And hugging. And blowing of noses.

I did not say a word. I think God made me sit on that couch and just be a listener. A learner. Teaching me that she is not you. She will make mistakes. She will make decisions that you don’t agree with. I would imagine that Jesus would softly whisper to me… But here is your chance. Here is your chance to show her the waterfall of grace that I have poured over you. Rest in this. She is mine and I adore her more.

sweet ones.–dreams for my daughters.

Dear sweet ones,

I watch you growing into the girls I always wished I could be and it makes me pause for a moment and think. I wish someone would have told me so many things when I was your age. Although maybe someone did and I was already so far gone that I just closed my ears to what was being laid out before me. So this is my advice to you now. Feel free to Tweet or Instagram it, whatever you need to do to remember it.

– Never color your hair. Seriously don’t start. You have gorgeous hair and once you start you end up spending hundreds of dollars to keep it up. You have your aunt’s gorgeous hair and I am a bit jealous. But if you do color your hair don’t do it yourself. I beg of you it will cost a lot of money to correct. And it hurts and is painful. Make sure you want photos of yourself taken with that color. Don’t try to convince me that purple will still look classy in 15 years.

-Don’t ever date anyone that is not as amazing as your dad. You both adore your dad so much and he feels the same about you. Don’t forget that. When that boy or man child starts paying attention to you talk to your dad about him and listen. If you can’t or if he doesn’t even have the courage to talk face to face with your dad then walk away. Better yet run. Because sweet girls you think your daddy hung the moon and the man you marry needs to hold it in place.

-Don’t go to college. Ok. Hear me out. Don’t go to college if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Just because you have a college degree does not make you any better than anyone else. Believe me some of the people I love and respect the most are changing the world more by never stepping in a college classroom. You don’t have to spend $30,000 a year to figure that out. And debt sucks. Travel the world. Go on a mission trip go on many! Ask tough questions. Follow your passion not the crowd. And if the crowd is your passion than we have another problem. I want you to see and know other countries and other cultures. I want you touch the oceans with your toes and see the evidence of God in the face of devastation.

– Open your heart to the possibility that God has something more than just high school drama for you He will meet you there.

-Throw away the credit card applications before you even walk in the door. They are liars. They do not want the best for you. They want the best for the world. And you are not of the world.

-Don’t fight with your sister. Love each other well. Learn her love language and speak it to her. Don’t wait until it is too late to make amends. Your siblings are your blood and they deserve all of you. I messed up in this area and I don’t want you to have the same hole in your heart like I do.

-Say no. Say no before you say yes. I want you to know how to balance your life. And just because it is good does not mean that it is always a yes. Good things deserve a no too.

-Know God. Explore Him. Claim Him as your own. Read His word. Soak in His Presence. Sit silently and hear His voice. Know that He is pursuing you so stop running and let Him catch you, hold you , and love you.

-Learn to change a tire. Grocery shop. Know how to cook all of your favorite meals and your siblings meals too. Give money away to complete strangers. Write thank you notes. Always have stamps on you. Know your family’s history. Ask questions. Tell your story. You never know how your story will heal another’s.

-Come home. You will leave at some point and I will sob. It will probably be an ugly cry and very embarrassing. But after you leave and start your own life. Come home. Visit. Call. Write letters. Skype. Facetime. Whatever you need to do to stay connected. If you need gas money I will send it. I will eat cereal all week if it means that I get to see your sweet face. Home is where we are. Home is where you began and the two should always matter to you. And if you don’t call. Don’t worry I will.

I love you to the moon and back,

mom.

When you check every box

Massie Family-Massie Family-0018

This morning we had our first OT ( Occupational Therapy) appointment for our youngest daughter. Of course with a first appointment comes with it a file of papers to complete. Asking questions such as what her birthdate and insurance coverage was. It then turned to more pressing questions such as what was my diet like while I was pregnant. Did she lift her head at the appropriate developmental stage? What prenatal testing did I go through? What was her weight, her Apgar score and other things this mommy brain could hardly remember? By the fourth child I am lucky I remember her name much less to actually keep track of anything in a baby book.

Towards the end of the questions they asked if there was any additional information about “the mother” that they needed to know. I sat staring at the question. Wrestling with my thoughts whether the truth at this moment was something I could look over. Whether or not I could suggest something but not quite say it. After what seemed endless I wrote these words- “ After Emerson was born I suffered from postpartum depression and did not attach to her for quite a long time” I wanted to add…”I’m sorry, I blame myself for all of this”. Instead I signed at the bottom and left it at that.

This morning at the office I was handed more questionnaires, specifically about where she is right now. Asking questions about her social skills, her auditory and sensory processing and other issues that interfere with her learning and being six. As I read and began to answer the questions I realized how many boxes I had checked “frequently”. For a brief moment it was a sigh of relief that perhaps someone understood the issues that had never been given a name. That she finally would be given a language we could all understand. Yet as I sat there with tears streaming down my face another voice was going through my head…” This is your fault”;” You should have gotten her help years ago”. “It is your depression that did this”.” She doesn’t deserve this.”

Believe me I have enough guilt in my heart I didn’t need to carry anymore.

I sit now with Truth in front of me. Trying to remind myself that the words are not good, and pure and holy do not come from God. And all I can utter is “Jesus please.”

I fully comprehend that this is only the beginning of our journey with her. And to many of you this seems so minuscule. But for today. For where we are. I ask for grace.

not a winter mom.

I suck as a mom. That is, as a winter mom. I am not ashamed to admit it. I literally know that I am a more loveable and likeable mom in the summer. That is not to say I don’t love winter. I do . I have Michigan blood in me. So of course I love winter . I love to build snowmen, shoveling, skiing, sledding, and snow days. Yet having Michigan blood in me also means that I love the lake, sand dunes, camping, gardening, mowing the lawn, hiking, boating, skiing, swimming, campfires and a great tan. With that said though I have noticed that I do better as a mom in the summer. I think I was supposed to be born in California or somewhere magical where the weather is always warm and the pool is always open.

You see in the summer the kids are all home. I love them home. I love being home with them. I see other moms Facebook status’s that they are dreading having their kids home. While others are signing their kids up for different activities all summer and they end of being a taxi driver instead. Not me. I want them home. They need to be home. Together. Just us as a family.

And this is why I am a better after the last day of school.

-Popsicles.( Who doesn’t smile eating one?)

-Bike rides ( Grateful that they love to be outside and could care less to play any video games)

-Library reading program (ok. Really only 3 of my children fully participate. The other two could care less if they ever read an entire book ever. Proud mama moment)

-Camping ( the best, cheapest vacation we have ever done with our kids, best memories and you constantly smell like campfire which is a plus)

-Michigan (if we could move there for the summer we totally would, so instead we take as many trips as we can to visit family )

-Pool ( We have amazing friends who let us live at their pool and we also get passes to a local swimming hole. We literally will spend hours a day there, every day. I am so lucky my kids love the sun and are little fishes like me.)

-Campfires ( I love the smell of campfires. I know it’s weird. Whatever. I love it.)

-Smore’s( I think smore’s should be a food group. Along with caramel. So we try and have them as much as our bellies can take.)

-Friends ( I love being the house that kids come to for play dates, popsicles, lunch with our door constantly swinging open.)

No schedule( This one is my favorite. We have no schedule. We don’t sign our kids up for camps all summer. They can go to church camp and that is about it. We really want them here with us. Playing. Laughing. Fighting. Learning. Reading.)

And to be honest serotonin. I know you usually don’t see that on your “what I love about summer lists” but it makes mine. In the winter it seems to not even show up in me so by the time that spring rolls around I know my delivery of serotonin is coming soon. I am a happier mom. Full of energy mom. Cannot wait to try out a new park mom. Love to pack a picnic mom. Yes you can have three popsicle’s for lunch mom. Don’t judge. It’s summer.

bikini’s are stupid.

One of my biggest struggles is watching my oldest get older. Of course I struggle with all my kids having more birthdays. But my oldest. She was my beginning. She was the reason I get to be a mom. She was when I discovered how much I could love someone who couldn’t love me back.Why God chose me to carry her, love her, be transformed by her I will never quite grasp. But He has.

When I was a mom to two young toddlers I went to story time, play dates, and the infamous MOPS (mothers of preschoolers). There I learned from other moms.I met some of my dearest friends there. I learned how to sooth a screaming baby. What bottles to buy. What books to read to them that would surely get them into Harvard. (We’ll be lucky the last few kids even go to community college) How to discipline effectively. What crafts and outings to have with my little bundles of joy. But now. Now here I am with a toddler. Two in elementary. One in middle school. And then one in high school. And not just in high school but she looks like she could be in college. Lord have mercy.

And I don’t have a group. There is no MOT (mothers of teenagers) . Apparently after they are toddlers we moms don’t need any more support or help. I have no group of moms to go to once a week to bounce things off of. To gain wisdom from. To know what to react to and what not to. What battle to fight and which ones are only going to cause more rebellion. To talk about wonderful things we so blissfully experience during the years of 12-I don’t know when it ends.

I just realized the other day that I have three years left with the oldest. Three years until she graduates and goes away to school. This scares me if we are being honest. It keeps me up at night. If I am being a good mom. If I have listened enough. If I have fought hard enough for her. If I yelled too much( I have) . If I have been too strict or not strict enough. If she knows how much I want to keep her in a safe little bubble and not let the world hurt her anymore.

I know this is unrealistic. I know.( my therapist likes to tell me it is) But I still feel these things. I still feel alone in this teenager crazy hormone world. I have maybe a couple of mom friends who have teenagers. That’s it. There is not a group to go to and just cry talk every week. I want to bundle her up and send her to Alaska.( Because in Alaska maybe not every other girl wears a bikini) And then she can come home when she has found a nice guy who wants to travel the world or has decided to become a nun. But until then I am on my knees begging God to protect her. To never stop chasing her. To bring her to her own knees .For her to fall in love with her Savior. To want to live a life serving Him. And if this doesn’t happen that I trust that she is God’s. She always has been. She always will be. And her life is part of His story and He gets to write it. I don’t.

The other women.

 

When my oldest daughter was still in utero. Or really since I peed on that stick. I knew that I could not do this one my own. Part of it was being a very young mom and the other was realizing how fortunate I was growing up. So when my oldest was about nine maybe ten I gave her a list of phone numbers of women in her life that I trusted enough to give her Godly counsel. She carries that list everywhere. There are things that she just doesn’t want to talk to me about, and that’s ok. But I wanted her to have safe place to go to when mom or dad aren’t there or she needs another perspective. I completely support and agree with the line “it takes a village”. And I wanted to make sure that my kids had strong, amazing, confident, Godly women to call on. The list has surely grown over the past couple of years seeing we have been over abundantly blessed by a church we call family. Even so, now two of my daughters carry a list.

I was fortunate enough to be brought up “in a village” environment and was determined that my daughter now my five children would do the same. I am perplexed by those women and mothers that feel like they can and want to do it all on their own. They make no attempt to make friends and reach out to those around them. I just feel like it is so much easier to be a part of a village.

I was raised with aunts and grandmothers who were always intertwined in our lives. They were second mothers to me. Teaching me things that my mom gave full room for me to learn from someone else. She too was busy raising five children. That is where the village of aunts stepped in. My aunts taught me important things like all the words to the Footloose soundtrack and how to play volleyball like the guys on Top Gun. They taught me how to shop for a bargain. They taught me that you could look beautiful and better with secondhand garments. They taught me to appreciate the piano and let the music engulf every part of my being. My aunts brought me to my first concerts. Don’t be jealous of my early exposure to REO Speedwagon and Richard Marx my cool aunts were completely responsible for that. They taught me how to get the best tans with baby oil and peroxide. They let me stay summers with them staying up late into the evening having “girl talk”. My aunts taught me how to be a good mom. How to be a servant of Christ. How to care for the fatherless. How to be respectful and kind. They taught me to seek Christ and hold Him in the highest honor.

And now that I have five little ones. And some are not so little anymore, I need help. And women around me have taught me that we each have something to offer and teach to each other. I cannot teach my children how to sew. That is my mom’s job. I cannot bring them to Taylor Swift concert. That is my sister’s job. I cannot teach them what it is like to work full time and have an amazing career. That is my other sister’s job. I have friends who will teach them better by example how to be patient, generous, amazing educated women. They will be taught what it is like to fight for your spouse and how to date with a Christian perspective. They will know what it is like to be the church and take care of each other. I will not teach them to drive. I could, but I think I will leave that to their dad and uncles. I cannot teach them to make the perfect bread. That is nana’s job. I cannot teach them how to pick out the perfect outfit. That’s my friend’s job. I may not teach them everything they need to know but I do know that I have an amazing group of sisters, friends, aunts, and especially nana’s that will teach them countless things they need to grow to be strong, God passionate people.

Don’t discount those strong women in your life. Whether related or not we all have a responsibility to be the village to the children around us. Let others help you. Invite in the wisdom. Welcome the different perspective. God knows we all need it.

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1John 4:12 NLT