Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When God made the rain stop

My dear sweet friend R told me I should write this down so my girls have it later. So I thought I'd make it official and post it here because perhaps it might encourage someone else who's wondering if God is listening. He is.

I promise.

When I was 20, I had signed up to go on a missions trip to Brazil with my college. Granted, I am no longer 20 and this is not a current event. But, the story is, I believe, an important one about God.

I had been diagnosed with a nasty case of mono during the spring of that year. It was running rampant through the campus that spring, and since I catch every nasty virus, why not add this one to my collection. I was pretty sick and my trip was in jeopardy.

So my team leaders laid out some pretty strict standards for me. I had to ask for help. I had to take help when it was offered. And, I couldn't exert myself. These were hard for me.

We had an intense week of training and team building before we left. The last full day was Solo Day. This was a day devised to place each member in a specific place, by herself, for 8 hours. That 8 hours was to be spent in solitude and silence, hanging out with Jesus.

It just so happened that this particular spring was an El Nino spring. It rained for days and weeks and months. This particular week was no different. And Solo Day was a deluge of Noah proportions. The forecast was for inches of rain.

My health necessitated some accommodations. So my leaders put me in a school van in the gravel parking lot next to the pond. The pond was about a quarter mile from the campus proper (we had a small campus). This parking lot also played host to a gazebo. They left me in the van with some blankets, some water, and a sleeping bag. I also had my Bible, a journal, and a letter my leaders wrote for me.

It was pouring.

I noticed, though, that in the gazebo, my friend Paul, who was part of a team going to China (It should be noted that this particular spring, my college was sending 20 different teams out into the world so this was a busy week), was sentenced to spend Solo Day in the gazebo in the elements. He had nothing but a jacket.

Here I was in my quasi-cozy van with a jacket, a blanket, and a sleeping bag. He was in the cold and wet and while maybe he wasn't being rained directly on, he was sure victim to the sideways rain when the wind kicked in.

I had quandary Number One. I had been told, in no uncertain terms, that I was to, under no circumstance, leave the van. My health depended on it. My trip depended on it. My team was depending on it. The van was the extent of my physical existence and to leave the van would be risking the wrath of the powers that be.

I am a rule follower. I do not like getting in trouble. I do not like disappointing people.

But my friend was sitting in the rain which would make an 8 hour solo day feel like 88 hours. I had a sleeping bag I didn't need.

So I honked the horn to get his attention since I couldn't very well roll down the window and holler at him because we had taken a vow of silence.

He looked over. I opened the door and held up the sleeping bag. His eyes got really, really big as he realized what I was offering. He ran over and grabbed it, gave me a grateful look and ran back to the gazebo.

Problem solved.

We each had been left with some water but also exhorted to be careful how much we drank. Me, specifically, since there was no restroom even remotely close, I didn't have the keys to the van to drive back to the dorms, and I had been given strict direction to not leave the van because it was raining so hard.

I took three sips of water. That's it. Three. Remember? I'm a rule follower.

I took a little snooze. I spent some time in the Word and journaling.

And the rain came down.

And then, quandary Number Two. I had to pee. I would use more appropriate language, but it doesn't capture the tension, or the urgency, of my situation. At all.

One minute I was fine. The next minute, I had to pee. Like I-hadn't-peed-in-24 hours-and-drank-14-gallons-of-water-my-bladder's-gonna-burst-I-might-have-an-accident kind of pee. I would say I was making good use of hyperbole here, but I'm not. I'm telling the truth.

I asked God to make me not have to pee.
I tried sleeping, hoping that might take my mind off it.
I tried shifting positions.
I begged God to fix my bladder.
He did not answer that prayer exactly.
I only had to pee more. If that was even possible.

And the rain came down.

I was starting to lose my mind because all I could think about was having to pee. And not having anywhere to pee. And the rain continued to fall in sheets. And I was freaking out in my blue school van in the parking lot next to the pond.

I came to the realization that One: I was going to have to leave the van to pee. Or I would pee my pants. And Two: I needed to figure out a way to stay dry so I could stay warm so I could stay healthy given I had several more hours to spend in the van before I got picked up, and I really didn't want to disappoint anyone.

So I prayed for God to stop the rain. I admit, it was sort of a Hail Mary, last ditch effort, kind of prayer. I was really, really hoping He would hear but not really counting on it because, let's face it, He has a lot to deal with and I was just one little girl sitting in an old blue van in a gravel parking lot next to a pond during a really heavy rainstorm, who also had to pee. It's not like that was at the top of anyone's priority list except mine.

It was not the kind of rain that was going to stop. It had been raining for 36 hours non-stop. Sheets of rain, waves of rain, buckets of rain, rivers of rain. I had my doubts, but I was really hoping that God would have mercy so I could avoid an embarrassing situation should I pee my pants or an uncomfortable one should I get cold and wet and sick again. I was really hoping that in the busyness of His day, He might catch the desperate prayer of a desperate girl in a somewhat desperate situation and grant me five minutes of His all Sovereign time.

I prayed for God to stop the rain. For five minutes. I figured I could cross the street to a more secluded (there was a boy in the gazebo so I needed a little seclusion), hilly area and take care of business and get back to the van in five minutes. I was desperate. I was so desperate.

And I squatted next to the side door of the van with my nose pressed against the glass as I kept praying over and over for God to make the rain stop so I could pee. My eyes lifted towards the heavens.

And I sat in awestruck wonder as the rain started to lessen. The endless drumming drone of the rain on the roof of the van was suddenly quieter. They sky lightened a touch. The rain continued to lighten until it was just a rain shower, then a sprinkle, then a mist. Then. Nothing. At all.

The rain had stopped.

And I sat in the van with my jaw hanging down to my feet and my eyes as big as saucers and my heart was beating so loud I could hear it in my ears. Because I couldn't believe what I just witnessed. And I sat there dumbfounded.

Until I felt a little nudge on my shoulder and a little voice in my head, "Girl, get going. Your five minutes is ticking."

Oh, yeah. Five minutes to pee. He was giving me five minutes to pee because He knew I was trying to take care of myself. He knew I had few viable options that would satisfy my leaders who had made their expectations abundantly clear. He knew that He was my only option. And because He's a Good Father, of course He answered.

I shouldn't have been so surprised. But I was. Little old me sitting in a decrepit blue van and the King, the Lord, of Everything reached out His hand like an umbrella, used His thumb and His index finger to part the curtain directly over me and my blue van, to shield me from the rain so I could stay dry.

I slammed open the side door of the van and scampered across the street until I found a secluded, semi-private spot to take care of business. I did. I knew I had wasted a precious few seconds with my jaw hanging open so I had no time to waste. Just as I was scampering back across the street, the sky darkened and I felt a sprinkle of rain on my forehead. I jumped into the van and just as I slammed that door shut, sealing myself again in the safety and warmth of the van, the skies opened up.

And the rain came down.

And I sat there. In my van. And grinned.

Because He saw me. He heard me. And He made the rain stop. 

For me.

Grace Always Rises,

P.S. Sweet sister-friends, I am linked up today with Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory and Holley Gerth at Coffee for your Heart. Join me for some encouragement.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A letter to the real you on one of those days...

Dear sister,

You know, I get that you are thinking you don't have much to offer, much to give, much to say.

I know that you have lived with fear as a monkey on your back, drowning in all those what ifs and if onlys.

I know how you are tired and work-worn and sometimes you feel invisible, like you just kind of blend in with the finger paint on your walls and the dust bunnies collecting in corners and the chipped paint in the kitchen.

I know you just want to be understood and when he thinks like a waffle and you think in spaghetti, that's a tall order.

I know you feel like you spend more time reprimanding your kids than maybe the mom next door or all the moms in your zip code and how does one go about not doing that because you can't let them run amok. Or can you?

I know you want to stop living in your head and running over every comment and conversation you have or haven't had so they go according to plan or so you can fix them so they go according to plan.

I know you want to have community and deep friendships that make you laugh and won't look at you funny when all that laughing frees up all those tears that might be stockpiled.

I know how you second guess every thing you do or say because you are afraid of what someone might think or say and you don't want to make someone uncomfortable or say words you can't unsay because you know how words have power.

I know how you have this idea of what a perfect mom or a perfect wife or a perfect Christ follower is in your head and probably only half of it is actually correct and the other half is just your perception which is hardly ever accurate.

I know how you work zealously, faithfully, tirelessly to make sure all your ducks are in a row, maybe a crooked row, a very crooked row, but they're there and they're standing, so it's a row.

I know how sometimes there's just so much noise and so many little people talking all at once all over each other and then the dog poops all over the floor and someone spills a cup of milk and you feel like your head might just explode into a thousand pieces and you somehow hold it all together because if your head explodes, who will clean the spilled milk?

But do you know...

...that everything you do for the least of these matters. Means something. Imparts some piece of heaven into eternity. That every tear you dry and nose you help blow or shoe you tie or mess you clean up or laundry you fold or dinner you feed...every single mundane, seemingly meaningless humdrum task you do, day in and day out, matters. It so matters. It matters to HIM.

...that sometimes you just need to take a load off. Seriously. Unburden your shoulders of the to do list and just shift the burden to Jesus.  Busyness is not a fruit of the Spirit. On the seventh day of Creation, God invented the notion of rest. So perhaps we should follow His example. It's okay. Everything will still be there when you're done resting, but it won't feel so overwhelming. So just rest for a minute. Or five.

Or maybe ten.

...that all those things that maybe irk you about the husband are the very same things that you fell in love with all those years ago...find the space in your heart to remember why and choose to love those pesky, irksome things again.

...that breathing is good. Deep breathing is better. And if you are focused on deep breathing then it's really hard to yell at the same time. So let the kids run amok. You just keep deep breathing. They will still be there when you feel like you can be constructive instead of destructive.

...that your community is a phone call, a text, an email away. We can't all sit around waiting to be pursued by friends, sometimes you have to make the effort, the contact, and take the risk. Sweet sister, be bold. Be brave.

...that God has imparted His Spirit into you. So it serves to reason that He gives you wisdom to share at certain times to certain people. When you second guess yourself in that moment, you are believing a lie. Again, be brave. Where He has put you, who He has near you--it's all because He'd like to use you right there whether it's in the grocery store or the doctor's office or at the park. Trust and obey.

...that comparison and competition are not fruits of the Spirit.  They breed discontent because you suddenly like someone else's gifts or body or personality or lifestyle more than your own.  You forget how you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and He made you just exactly how you are. He loves all your little quirks and all your faults and foibles because He knows that if you'd just let all these imperfections go straight into the hands of Jesus, He'd draw you so close and you'd know that His power is made complete in our weakness.

...that comparison and competition also breed fear. You start looking other places for affirmation and direction instead of to the One who loves you just as you are. And that constant search takes your focus off Jesus and that's when you start to second guess yourself and talk yourself out of things that might change your life. Or someone else's life.

...that your what ifs and if onlys might never actually come to fruition. So spend your time, your days and ways living in the now, living in this moment. Choose faith over fear. Say it out loud. "I choose faith over fear." Don't borrow trouble because it's energy spent on the hypothetical that you could invest in the now.

...that Jesus always know where your ducks are, even if you don't. Just keep doing the thing He's asked you to do until He points you in a different direction. When you need your ducks, He'll make sure you have them. And along the way, you might find you don't need those ducks as much as you thought.
You just need Jesus.

...that all this noise and these little people tripping under your feet and tripping you out won't always be there. One day it'll be so so quiet and you'll wish for all this noise. So maybe just be in this moment, in every moment. Because these moments won't pass you by again. They are your ministry. All of this noise and chaos and laundry and dishes and teeth that need brushing and booboos that need band-aids. This is what matters because this is where you are. 

...that you are beautiful. You should remember that when you're having a fat day or a no shower day or a bad hair day. Because those are not the measure of your beauty. Your heart is. And sister, your heart is lovely.

...that His mercies are new every morning. And if you need to claim new mercies every hour, I'm sure He won't keep a tally.

...that His grace is abundant, extravagant, immense. And it's for you. Drink from the ocean of His grace and be at peace. Even when they're throwing cereal to the dog and the sink is overflowing and you can't find any pair of shoes that actually match for any of your children and there's a million Lego pieces all over the floor and the baby had a blowout as you were walking out the door. Sister, be at peace.

And then maybe laugh.

Grace Always Rises,

P.S. Sweet sister-friends, I am linked up today with Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory and Holley Gerth at Coffee for your Heart. Join me for some encouragement.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When the princess burps

When the princess she still a princess?
Does she suddenly lose her princess-ness because her behavior doesn't match her title?
Is she somehow less than a princess?

My friend was getting married. This, of course, necessitated a new sparkly dress which I found for a steal at one of my favorite stores.  When the big day arrived and it was time for me to get ready, I had three small visitors lounging on my bed as I carefully laid my dress out,
and they touched reverent fingers to all those shining sparkles.
And then as I stepped into my sparkly dress, those sweet girls oohed and aahed at the cascade of sparkles  that settled around my shoulders and down to my knees.  And they were so excited that mama was in a princess dress that I had to send them downstairs so I could have some peace and a little bit of quiet.  As  they begrudgingly scampered down the stairs, I heard their silly chatter waft back up and my heart smiled  because it's good for a girl to think her mama's a princess too sometimes.

I hightailed it out to the car, carefully positioning me and all my spangles in the seat. 
My three little people smiled wide grins beneath bright eyes at me and my dress and I smiled wide right back because sometimes when you see yourself through the eyes of your little people, you feel just a little bit invincible and a whole lot of loveliness.

My sweet K said, "Mama you sure look just like princess."
I glanced back and smiled, "Thank you sweet girl."
I love her.

I completed my maneuvering, carefully arranged the seat belt around all the sparkles, 
and then I burped. 
Out of the blue. No warning. No pause of breath to lead up to it. No pressure in my chest. Nothing.
It just came out of its own accord. And I have to admit I may have surprised myself a little.
 I heard a gasp from behind me. A very large, collective gasp that was a 
harmonic compilation of three distinct voices.

"Mama! Princesses do NOT burp!" K stated emphatically, disbelievingly, shocked. 
I turned to look in the back seat, a little sheepish over my accidental faux pas. 
And as my gaze swept over to R, I saw her already big brown eyes grow exponentially rounder as she, too, was aghast at my unprincess-like behavior. 
Even the Eldest was looking at me with incredulity in her face.
What's a mama-who-was-a-princess-and-now-is-banished-from-princessdom to do?
 I laughed.

But what if she was right--princesses probably do NOT burp. 
Especially in front of others. 
 In my mind I hold the same standard for princesses as my girls. 
Granted, our standards may be slightly biased by the 
profusion of Disney princesses that grace our DVD shelf, but still...
They have perfect, princess-like manners. 
They do not burp or break wind.
They do not interrupt or run through halls.
They do not shout in church or steal books from the library.
They always flush the toilet and they never leave their clothes on the floor.
Princesses are gracious and kind and genteel.
Until they burp in public and then all bets are off.

But does a princess's behavior change her princess status?
Does her proper princess behavior make her more of a princess?
Or is she a princess despite her behavior?

So I started thinking.

We are daughters of the Most High God. He calls us His Beloved. 
Our names our etched on the palm of His hand.

But do we live that way? Do we act that way? Do we believe it into the warp and weft of our very beings and let it saturate every cell until we don't just know it, we know it?

I confess...I don't very often.

I don't live every day like I'm the daughter of a King, a princess of a King.
But it doesn't make me any less His daughter, any less a princess.

I don't live every day like I'm His Beloved.
But it doesn't make me any less His Beloved.

I don't live every day confident that the God of all Creation sees me. Knows me. Loves me.
But my doubt and disbelief don't make it any less true.

I don't live every day knowing that I'm secure because my name is etched on the palm of His hand.
But it doesn't make my name any less inscribed. It doesn't make me any less known to my Creator.

I don't live every day exemplifying proper-Kingdom-princess behavior 
which is vastly different from proper Disney princess behavior
(that would be living each moment the way Jesus would want me to--I make mistakes. A LOT of them.)
But He doesn't kick me out of His Kingdom or disown me or find a replacement for me.
He loves me in spite of my faults and scoots me closer to His throne and gently reminds me of who He is and thus who I am so next time maybe I'll remember.

I'm so thankful we serve an immutable, unchangeable God. I'm so thankful He's not governed by emotions or behaviors, but that He's governed by His truths which are rooted in His Word which was breathed from His spirit into the hands of His servants who faithfully wrote it down. I'm so thankful that my transient ways and my frenetic emotions and my unsavory behaviors don't change the truth of who I am in Him, or who He has made me to be, or how He sees me.

I'm so grateful.

And while I'd like nothing better than to live every day living in the truth, I know that takes more of Jesus, more of His truth, more of His love, more of loving like Him.

And if on occasion, this princess burps, well, maybe it makes Him laugh too.

Grace Always Rises,

P.S. I'm linked up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and #TellHisStory and Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart today. Stop by to be encouraged. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

When you'd rather run and hide

It's always a bit awkward when you overhear or accidentally see something unkind about you that was never said to you. That you somehow know was not going to be mentioned to you either.

It hurts even though you know that it shouldn't.  You work hard and you love hard and you serve hard and a callous statement can send all that spinning into a vortex of insecurity and strife.

I had that happen.

I saw something that I didn't mean to see, that wasn't meant for me to see, that probably wasn't meant to hurt, though it did that job all the same. And when I saw it, we both played it off like I didn't.

I left and I could feel my heart beat straight out of my chest and my hands shook like an aspen leaf in a hurricane and I knew I couldn't just leave it because I would send myself into a place I didn't really want to go. You know that place. That place filled with self-condemnation and fear and insecurity and low self-esteem and a host of other unsavory untruths. That place where all of our previously won battles over insecurity and what people think about us are pulled straight up from the depths of whatever sea they were previously buried in and then held up for the whole world, or just you, to see and smirk at.

I had to be an adult and put on my big girl pants and face my fear and have a critical conversation.

For the record, critical conversations are not my favorite thing. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who loves critical conversations because they happen when life gets critical. And who really wants to converse about what's critical when we're just trying to deep-breathe our way to the next moment without internally combusting?   Critical is by its very nature a very perilous path to traverse, but I'm learning it doesn't have to always be traumatic.

A word about critical conversations: They are hard and uncomfortable and they fill my heart with trepidation and fear. Until I have them. And then I find they can bring a great measure of what I call the beginning of peace. There's always that moment when we can run and lick our wounds and perpetuate the wounding by inflicting more wounds because instead of dealing with the mess by wading into it, we often leave the mess and later add to it.

We hinder healing by expecting others to come to us. The sad fact is that we are a part of a dysfunctional world and seeking confrontation in order to solve problems is not where most people go first. Most people talk to others about an issue and all the people involved in the issue--I call this gossip--and then never actually resolve the issue because they refuse to talk to the ones who are the issue--I call this avoidance. And all of it is unhealthy.

The Apostle Paul avoided talking about the issues in one church to another church. He wrote that church a letter and directly dealt with the issues. He didn't spread rumors or slander or judge. He spoke truth in love, didn't avoid the really hard stuff, and encouraged followers of Jesus to solve their problems in like manner.

I'm pretty sure Paul was a master of critical conversations.

Words can hurt. They have the power to create or to annihilate, to build up or to tear down, to offer grace or judgement, to speak truths or to promote lies. Words are no small thing. And the careless words we might speak or write or text or tweet or post can bring low, can blind side, a soul who had no idea that was coming. Who. had. no. idea. Who doesn't deserve the harshness those words convey. Period.

I've been here before.
I'll probably be here again.

It's not fun. But it is a good reminder. Of so many truths. Of so many graces.

What flows out of our mouths is often a refection of our hearts. So when we find ourselves in this predicament, the measure of our character is what we do with that predicament. The measure of our integrity is how we choose to behave and what we choose to say in that predicament. If we claim to be a Christ follower, then our actions, our words, our choices should resemble those of Christ...even when we've been wronged. Even when we've been hurt. Even when our flesh wants a pound of someone else's. Especially then.

I won't say my critical conversation was easy because it wasn't. My palms were sweaty, my stomach was roiling with nervousness, my heart hurt and I just kept telling myself that there's more to the story. There's more that I don't know. And I knew, I just knew, that if I faced my fears and had the conversation I would be able to sleep that night. I would be able to take a deep, gasping, purifying breath and exhale all this unease

And so that's what I did.
And sure I had to own my part.
And sure there was more to the story that I didn't know, that she didn't know.
But in the end, it was a conversation that ended far better than it began.
And I slept like a baby.

Grace always Rises,

P.S. Sweet sister-friends, I'm linked up today with Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory and Holley Gerth Coffee for your Heart. Join me over there for some encouragement!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Power of our Stories

A new year. A new group of students. A new batch of stories.

It never fails to amaze me when they start to share some of their stories. These kids have tragic stories and triumphant stories and lots of stories in between.

I'm sure a lot of us have what I like to call a 'normal' story. There's a bit of hardship, there's a tad of rebellion, there's no major upheaval, we learn from our mistakes, grow into wiser versions of ourselves, and carry on.

But there's a lot of stories that don't go like this. They go dark and twisty and lonely. And those stories get me every time.

I always thought I wanted a grand, life altering, 180 story. Because mine is so ordinarily ordinary. I wanted a powerful conversion story, like Paul, so when I testified about God's transforming grace it would be a big story (like God's grace has a measuring stick or something--I know--silly) and move people down to their souls. And in my small thinking, I thought that these big stories would inspire more souls, would catapult more people straight to Jesus.

I always thought I wanted a story that had a lot of ups and downs and hardships because those inspirational people who conquer mountains wield power with their words and their lives seem so much more substantial than my chaotic schoolteacher-wife-mom-of-three life.

But after teaching for a lot of years, I've realized I don't need the hard story. And in fact, it's okay to have a different story. The hard story is hard for a reason. It's filled with tragedy and loneliness and struggle and consequences. And that story isn't the one I have. Instead, I have a lot of young people who are walking out that hard story as they walk lonely down the hallways. And I've figured my job is to walk that lonely hallway with them to be sure that grace and love has a role a story that might be devoid of good gifts.

So there's girls like me: Girls who've gone to church since we could talk and who've loved Jesus and asked for salvation over and over just to make sure. Girls who followed rules because we were afraid not to. Girls who stayed out of trouble because we watched others get into trouble and decided trouble's price tag was too steep. Girls who labor over saying the right thing or the wrong thing, who struggle over motives and image and perception because we don't want to convey the contrary or we're afraid to convey the contrary. Girls who didn't party like the other kids because we didn't see the point and having fun was actually about laughing purely. Girls who were called 'goody two shoes' and were left out of a lot because we wouldn't have done it anyway.  But we have stories too. Ordinary, normal, simple stories.

But there's a steadfast beauty in those stories. Sure, they might not move people to faith or elicit great emotion or change the whole world. They might not inspire others to greatness. But there's a quiet, enduring power in the story of faithfulness, of obedience. And the quiet stories wield their own kind of greatness, their own kind of beauty, their own kind of power. And in the kaleidoscope of all our stories, the tapestry needs the quiet, steadfast ones, too.

Our words, our stories have all sorts of power. Hold all sorts of meaning. And God can perform all kinds of miracles out of our stories. I love that. That regardless of how our story came to be, they all hold the same measure of grace and mercy, because God's love cannot be measured and His grace is not doled out in proportion to the circumstance. It's just poured out in endless and abundant waves. We have access to all His love and all His grace all the time in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.  

In God's eyes, all stories are grace stories. All stories are love stories. And all stories hold equal weight in the hand of God because we are held in the hand of God. And since God is the author of our stories, He must love all of them because He loves all of us. Or maybe it's because He loves us so much that He loves our stories.

Over these years I've been working with young people and listening to their stories and walking with some of them through their stories I've come to realize that our stories hold the power of redemption, of love, of grace, of healing, of grace, of transformation, of humanity. No story is too small in the hand of God. No story is too ordinary. No story is too quiet.

It's not how deep in the mire our story takes us or how broken our story makes us that determines the worth of our story. It's not the magnitude of tragedy or the mountaintop of redemption that dictates the power of our story.

It's Who our story take us to. It's Who brings us from the depths and Who heals our brokenness and Who offers us grace and Who redeems us with love that determines the worth of our stories.

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things made to praise Him (Rom 11:36).
Our stories, who we are and who we become, come from Him because we belong to Him.
Our stories are written through Him and because of Him.
And our stories bring us back to Him.
So that we can praise Him.

Grace Always Rises,

Dear Friends, 
I'm linked up today with some lovely ladies: Holley Gerth at Coffee for your Heartand Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory. Drop by and be encouraged.