Tag Archives: obedience

On Submission, Choice, & Love That Stays

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DSC09435God will not love me more if I obey Him. He will not love me less if I don’t. He loves me, every piece of me, completely, unwaveringly. I cannot change that.

In middle school, I told a friend that God couldn’t go with them where they were going. That was a blatant lie, and telling it is one of my biggest regrets, even after they’ve forgiven me. I believed what I said; I believed it about them and about myself. But it was a lie. He would leave ninety nine to find one that was lost.

I have been afraid of where He wants to take me. Sometimes because I’m nervous, but sometimes because no part of me wants to go there. It might make me a little angry, but more than anything it makes me confused and hesitant; it has made me scared to go to Him fully open. But then He told me:

“If you decide not to follow me where I want to take you, I will follow you where you want to go. It’s you and me. I’m not going to leave you.”

If God responded to our disobedience, to our no’s, by leaving us? It would not be love anymore. Love gives, and love allows choice. “Obey me and I’ll stay, refuse and I’ll leave” is not love– it is manipulation.

Love without choice is manipulation.

It isn’t love at all.

God does not give or remove His love or His presence in our lives based on our submission to Him.

Here’s the thing about submission: if it is forced, it isn’t submission– it’s control. In order for me to submit myself to Him, there has to be the option not to. Submission is a choice, and by giving us that choice, God also submits Himself to us. He wouldn’t ask us to love Him in ways He Himself does not love. Love is sacrifice, is generosity. And He embodies that. He is love.

He never forces me to do anything. He knows what is best for me and He has shown Himself trustworthy, so submission is something I get to do out of deep love for Him and out of that trust– not out of fear or duty. But I could always choose not to submit, because love does not force anyone to do anything; love is given, it doesn’t take. And because I see His love in the fact that He lets me choose, it is easier for me to choose to submit. I want to. He loved me first; I love Him in return. We both give, we both receive. No one has to take.

He has always said that He doesn’t want our sacrifice if He doesn’t have our hearts. Because sacrifice without love is theft; it is one-sided, duty-driven, an attempt at control. Love is given; it cannot be demanded. He doesn’t want what we have to give: He wants us. He wants to be genuinely loved by us, willingly, affectionately.

Because that’s the way He loves us.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”   -Psalm 23:6

I Started an Etsy Shop!

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art drawerThe idea to sell my artwork and some of my other creative projects through Etsy has been in my head for over a year. But I immediately faced discouragement when I first began vocalizing it, so I mostly shoved the thought away.

In November, however, I was given an opportunity that I so wanted to take hold of. It was going to cost more money than I had (or would have any time in the near future), but I had such a desire for it that I was ready to start taking the idea of an Etsy shop seriously and see if I could raise funds that way. I began to research, ask friends who had experience, and work on what I was going to be selling.

But because my situation is unique (living with my family and working on creative pursuits from home, with no income to speak of), I faced a lot of setbacks during the process. Starting a business was intimidating. Okay: it was terrifying. I was determined to push through the fear, but running into roadblock after roadblock was becoming more spirit-crushing with every instance. And when the opportunity that had spurred me to start working on this in the first place fell through… I just kind of left everything alone. I didn’t intend to give up. But I did give up.

When I had been working to build the business and began facing discouragement, the Lord had been so clearly and openly supportive of me. He pointed me to the story of the Eiffel Tower; when it was being built, the art community in Paris was circulating a petition to stop the work, claiming it would be an ugly mark on a beautiful area in the city. The builders continued anyway, and created a piece of artwork so widely loved that it has become an icon. He told me this story, and encouraged me to keep building. I wanted to listen. For a while, I did. But eventually I let the discouragement get to me.

Lately I have been revisiting some of our conversations from that season, and seeing what He said and didn’t say… and what I did and didn’t do. Etsy was something He said was good. And something I have ignored. I don’t want that to be the case anymore.

Last week– I opened my Etsy shop. Tessa Maye Makes Things is alive.

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I know I will face challenges. But I will face them, as they come, instead of letting them cripple me or keep me from something that could be good. I am nervous. But when I put the final piece of information in and saw my shop go live for the first time? I took a deep breath. I felt relieved, and I felt hopeful. I’m not going to ignore that.

If you want to check out my artwork/projects, feel free to visit the shop! I am brainstorming more ideas for it already. But, if nothing else, I want to urge you: that thing that still invades your mind sometimes? That He placed a desire for in you? That maybe He’s even told you He’d support you in?

Keep building.

The Fuel of Temptation: On Shame & Grace

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DSC05087I haven’t had to carry shame like what I’ve carried this week in such a long time. It’s been so loud.

This time last week, I had just told the world about my struggle to fully remove pornography’s influence from my life. Many were kind and life-speaking in response, and I’m so grateful for that; some had a harder time. I love them all, and this is still true: I heard once that if a person makes you feel fear or shame, it’s because that’s what they’re carrying. I think I believe that. And some accidentally passed shame and fear on to me when they said what they did.

When I stumbled and looked at porn three weeks ago, I was broken over it. Then I went to my Father, He held me close, and we started moving forward again. I was doing okay; I was focusing on things that were good and healthy for me and He was doing work in me. But after hurt-filled conversation about the fact I even had to recover from this… I started feeling afraid.

I felt so close to stumbling again, constantly on the edge, even though I had no desire for it. I began standing stagnant where I’d left off; shame was crippling my ability to move on, but more than that– the fear of stumbling was pushing me closer to actually stumbling. When I let fear and shame live in me again, they told me I was weak and dirty. It led me to believe I was likely to continue stumbling, because it was part of who I was; I was too weak and dirty to be different. I was incapable of doing better, they said.

Fear and shame never tell the truth. They were (…are) lying to me. The truth’s words are so much different.

Truth says that God loves to enter weakness; He has even been known to refuse the removal of weakness so that He can show His power through it. Truth says that God has led us to put on our new selves, and that He renews us consistently. Truth says that fear cannot live inside perfect love. Truth says that my judgement day has been moved from the future to the past because Jesus stood in my place and declared me holy and clean. This is the gospel. Anyone who believes shame has any place in me doesn’t know that shame cannot live in God’s house– or that I am that house.

At church this morning, I was in the worship service, and began remembering what worship services used to be like for me. I remembered how scared I used to be that I wasn’t meeting the standards God expected of me or that I was still far from Him whom I loved. And I realized that I used to struggle so much more frequently and intensely when shame and fear were part of my daily baggage. When I believed I was filthy and unworthy even after repentance, I stumbled much more often; I despised myself even more often than I stumbled. Shame was the fuel for my temptation. Just like what I experienced again this week.

When my focus shifted and I began to believe in and abide in God’s love for me, I stumbled remarkably less. I felt more full of life. And when I stopped believing God could be more proud of me and in love with me than He already was, I didn’t have to fear anything anymore. Nothing could touch who I was. God declares no shame for me, so none exists for me; He is God and He establishes what is true.

My mission was no longer removing my sin so He could love me; it was resting in His love so He could remove my sin. I’d had it backwards. I feared my sin, when I could have told my sin to fear what was being done in me.

The focus has to be grace. Anything that gives a “but” to grace doesn’t know what grace fundamentally is. Grace doesn’t follow any rules; it follows love. And love is what God is made of.

I am done with the false, finger-wagging, works-based god that was handed to me. Give me Jesus. Give me the healer and redeemer and lover of humanity, who doesn’t say “get out of that place” but “I will take your place.”

Yes, God wants the best for me; yes, my life should be lived in a manner worthy of the gospel; yes, I need to put in my best effort to overcome my struggles. But what I do is secondary to what He does. What I do cannot and will not save me. Christ and only Christ stops the flesh. It is all grace. All of it. We are not saying effort has no value. We are saying grace is of infinite value. Grace must be the focus. It must. Where you place your focus is what you walk toward.

When my focus is that He loves me and has my best in store, I am no longer afraid; instead, I rest. And He works in me, and when He asks me to do something I do it. But I no longer try to do everything. Because He tells me I don’t have to. I just listen and obey. And because of that, I no longer face anxiety but intimacy.

This week, I am going to my Father. I am going to submit to His work in me, for that is my work. And instead of drowning in the shame and fear others might try to place in my hands, I’m going to swim in the grace He’s given me to carry in it’s place.

“Grace is God’s best idea. Rather than tell us to change, He creates the change.”  -Max Lucado

 

On Letting God Do His Work (Or, That Time I Accidentally Observed Lent)

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“Change comes not from striving in our own strength to be like Jesus, but by developing a habit of being and communing with Him.”   -Scott Sauls

easter bloomsI had no intention of observing Lent this year. It has always just seemed too religious to me; the idea of religion is something I wrestle with, something I consistently need to find balance in. But in February, the day after the Lord asked me to let something go and I (hesitantly, painfully) obeyed, I discovered He had done so on the first day of Lent.

Religion is not bad, and I constantly have to remember that. On the way to church Easter Sunday, I was thinking about the past forty days, and I articulated to myself: “It’s so funny that He used Lent to do all this for me, when it’s such a religious thing.” And I heard inside me a chuckle carrying the words:

“Tessa, you love religion.”

Maybe that was true, I began to realize. I make boundaries for myself all over the place (if it’s necessary or not). Symbolic acts and ceremony matter greatly to me and help me process and remember. In some measure, maybe my soul needs religion.

Religion isn’t bad. The problem comes when I begin telling Jesus He has to operate within the boundaries of it. When I try to fit Him into a mold, to make Him follow the rules, to make sure He never deviates from the established way things are done, I am making religion my god. And that is the opposite of the point.

By religious standards, I failed Lent. For weeks after I gave that thing up, I would check in on it multiple times daily, and I picked it back up before the forty days were over. But God was present for every single thing that I did, and I acted according to His lead. He was proud of me. I felt it.

On days when I cracked under the pressure, He would scoop me into a long hug and tell me it was okay. He wasn’t exasperated or disappointed in me. He told me this was His work, not mine. My work was trusting Him enough to let Him do it.

We feel like we’re being lazy, like we’re not doing enough, when He tells us the only thing necessary is to sit at His feet. Those feelings are from the voice of shame, and it’s lying. Redemption is His work. Our work is believing and saying yes. Shame told me I had to do more, that I needed to make Him more proud.

The lie I believed was that He could be more proud of me than He already was.

He is proud of me even when I stumble, because He knows He is teaching me to walk. He lets me learn at my own pace; leads me through a process. I gave up that thing piece by piece, and each moment was led by Him. When only one piece was given up, that was all He’d asked of me. He wasn’t glaring at what was left, He was pleased with the one thing that was gone. Because I’d said yes to Him despite how it hurt me. He never rushed me; He knew what I could handle.

I blamed myself and my lack of discipline for my pain, when He was waving me over to gratitude for the growth that was happening in me. I made it about my shortcomings, instead of His lavish grace and love. There is so much more freedom in Him than I allow myself to believe. His way is so much kinder than mine.

During Lent, I learned to trust Him. I learned that I can trust Him. I learned that I am fickle and that He’s not mad at me for it– He loves me. He loves me enough to hurt me in order to remove something that is killing me inside. That thing? It was an idol to me. I needed my Father to be my God again. And He knew the best way to make that happen.

Weeks later, when He told me I could pick that thing up again… I didn’t want to.

I didn’t think I was ready. I was afraid of myself. I had turned a vessel into an idol, and it had taken so much for me to cut those ties and to see those altars start crumbling. That thing’s importance in my life was decreasing, and although it was so painful, I knew it was redemptive. I knew my Father would never ask me to do something painful if there wasn’t purpose in it; it was hard and holy work. He was not being cruel, He was protecting me. Now, I was afraid to give myself too much leeway and go back to where I was before, back to the obsession and the distress. I didn’t trust myself. But then He asked me:

“Do you trust me?”

So I said yes and picked it up again.

I asked Him why He let me pick it back up. His only response was a hug that wouldn’t let go. Grace is not about what makes sense; it’s about His love for me.

I wasn’t perfect about it, and I’m still not; to be honest, it’s been a struggle, and I’m still learning what it looks like to have this thing in a new place in my life. But I’m better than I was. Because I ask Him to take over now, and He is doing the work. Lent reminded me that being with Him is the most powerful thing I can do. I didn’t give that thing up for Lent; God entered into me so I could let go of that thing during Lent.

He did Lent for me.

Maybe that’s what religion is for. It gives us tools. It creates spaces and opportunities for us to find it in ourselves to let Him in so He can do His work in us. Maybe religion isn’t us doing the work– it’s a reminder that we can’t and that He can. And will.

“I keep my eyes always on Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”   -Psalm 16:8

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Temptations, Running, & Realizations

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I’ve been learning about temptation lately. It was the topic at Bible study last month and the tools I got there were too impactful to forget; I’ve been using them daily. What stuck out the most? These little notebooks we decorated and entitled “The Anatomy of Temptation.”My notebook (and my kitty, in the corner!)

Grandma Edie (our leader/unofficial grandma/awesome lady) gave us the main points, and together we sort of brainstormed the various pages between, like a flip book. I would love to share it with you; it’s intense and eye-opening to me:

  1. You have an unsatisfied hunger/longing in your heart. Acceptance. Being heard. Someone who cares. To feel loved. Value. Success. Anything, really…
  2. The enemy sends you a temptation to fill that unmet need/want in the wrong way. He preys on your feelings. He loves to send you an ungodly guy [or girl] to confuse you, to make you think, “This is better than what I have.” He wants you to be all about the quick fix.
  3. The enemy whispers that this will give you something you lack. He says, “This will ease the pain…”; he says, “This will solve your problems.”
  4. You have no chance of resisting– without Christ. He knows what it’s like! He is the only one who can fully resist. He’ll help you! He will fulfill your desires in the best way– HIS way, in His perfect timing.

After I got home from Bible study the next day, I decided to create a second section in my notebook. I called it “Fighting Temptation”, and every night I would dedicate a page to record and comment on the temptations I faced during my day. I thought it was a great idea– until I actually started doing it and I had to own up to all the ugliness I faced every single day. It doesn’t give me a chance to even think I’m doing nothing wrong; I see daily that I need Jesus incredibly close to me, or else I’ll get stuck in something. I’m forced to analyze my thoughts and decisions. I see patterns in what tempts me the most. I see the things that are usually the reasons I give in. When I don’t want to write an entry, I know I’ve messed up. It holds me accountable. And you know what? I am so thankful for my little book.

Sometimes after I write the day’s entry, I look back at the first half of the book and review the anatomy of temptation; it reminds me that willingly giving in to temptation means I’m willingly obeying the enemy. That is TERRIFYING! Why would I ever want to do that when I am on the Lord’s side? If I’m His bride, how can I betray Him?

Last night my devotions were in Numbers 5. In verses 11-31 are instructions for Old Testament priests concerning adultery; they stuck out to me. You can read the whole thing if you want, but the gist? If a man suspected that his wife had cheated on him, he would take her to the priest. The priest, with a bowl of holy water and a little dust from the ground of the tabernacle, would lead the woman in an oath; this oath basically said that if she was faithful to her husband, she would be safe– but if she was not, the water would curse her with great stomach pains and barrenness. The priest then wrote the curse down, washed the ink away in the water, and had the woman drink it. Her deeds would soon be evident depending on the effect of the water. As I read these instructions, I heard: “Would you be willing to drink the water right now?”

Ouch.

If Jesus played by these rules, I would be cursed countless times. He is right to call me an unfaithful bride; He knows how easily I’m led astray from His heart. YET– everywhere in the Bible that mentions us as an unfaithful bride, the ending is always along the lines of, “I will love you despite that.” He doesn’t curse me; He purifies me, forgives me, leads me to the right path, STAYS WITH ME. And why would I devalue that in my heart? Why would I ever want to run from that? The next time I am tempted, by anything, I will ask myself: “Would you be willing to drink cursed water after this? Why do you want to leave Him who truly loves you?”

We run. But He runs, too, chasing us. We cannot escape His love.

(Listen to the full song here!)

Obedience: What Jesus Taught Me in May

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Lesson 1: Feelings can be redirected. This one is short and sweet. I had a dream about someone that made the entire day fluttery after I woke up. I didn’t want it to be because of that person, but the blissful feeling was one I didn’t want to lose. So, what did I do? I went to the Bible with my feelings. I used the feelings I had, but directed them to Jesus instead. I took advantage of them while they were there, and it made for a wonderful day about Him, not who I’d dreamed of that night. Dwelling too much on a fluttery feeling? Direct it to Jesus!

Lesson 2: Convictions need to be restated every day. This month, God showed me that I go to daydreams to lift up my spirit when I should be going to Him. He asked me to stop, because He wants to be the one I rely on. This wasn’t the first time: I’ve known for a while that He’s not too pleased when I go to my imagination for happiness, and many times I’ve resolved to end it, but it never lasts more than a few weeks, usually just a few days. However, this time He showed me that this is because I used my own standards to measure my success. Once I felt like I’d done well and exercised self-control, I was more lenient and trusted myself too much. I would tell myself, “I didn’t daydream almost at all yesterday, so I can allow this one little one to slip by.” Boom! Back to where I started in an instant. In order to accomplish something like this, I need to make the same resolution every day. I can’t think it’s over simply because I did pretty well yesterday! I need to live out this conviction like I just made it this morning, so I’ll make it every morning.

Lesson 3: Ask for confirmation, and God will give it to you. Have you ever heard or felt something and thought it was God speaking, but wanted to be sure? This has been happening to me a lot lately, and I was encouraged by my mom to ask God to confirm if it was Him or not. God doesn’t mind this at all; Gideon did it in the Bible, and God answered him (see Judges 6:36-40)! He answered me, too! He has done it in many ways: through something someone else said (they didn’t even know what I was praying about!), through what we talked about at youth group, through what He led me to in the Bible, and through themes that kept coming up everywhere, to name a few! He will answer if you ask!

Lesson 4: Ignorance is NOT bliss; it’s bitterness about whatever you’re trying to forget. Part two of the story begun in Lesson 2! What if you have the ability to keep your resolution, but just don’t want to? Ouch. Now you get to see my ugly side. I didn’t agree with God that what I was doing was wrong. I wanted to stop because He wanted me to and I love Him, but I didn’t have the earnest desire to myself, so I didn’t. I would apologize every night for my disobedience, but with no intention of changing. I claimed I wasn’t relying on my dreams. The pain of disobeying Him grew stronger every day. Ignoring my problem didn’t make it go away, but made it sting worse and made me more angry about it. He showed me through this that Lesson 5: When you get defensive about something, it’s a big deal to you. He showed me how crazy this was making me, and I finally apologized genuinely. Obedience is not about what makes sense to me; it’s about proving my love. The hurt of letting go is momentary, while the hurt of being defiant continues as long as you do. Disobedience hurts naturally! It’s not God’s condemnation, because He has none. It’s simply the result of what you’ve done. End the pain for yourself, and you will be amazed what God brings out of your obedience. The things you can’t see are BIG!

Lesson 6: God shows me love through my friendships. I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my friends because I’m homeschooled and our schedules don’t mesh, but when God does give me an opportunity to get together with someone, it is such a gift. Do you realize how great a gift your friendships are to you? I got to see my best friend for the first time in quite a while this month, and our time together was precious. We talked about both fun and deep things, and later got to go to Bible study together, where we joined more friends to laugh, talk, and pray. That same weekend, a bunch of us from my youth group met at our youth pastor’s house to play games. I hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time, it was so much fun! A good friend I hadn’t seen in over a year even came to visit my youth group! God always gives me some of my greatest joy bursts with my wonderful friends, and I think that’s because not only do I have their love, but His love shines through to me from the fact that I’m with them.

Lesson 7: Singlehood is a time made for absolute devotion to God, not searching. My journal entry from May 27th explains the conclusion of the story from Lessons 2, 4, and 5 perfectly:

God’s been sharing a lot about love and faith lately. I shouldn’t fantasize because 1) I won’t be surprised or I’ll be disappointed with the real thing, and 2) I have my whole adulthood to be married, but only a limited time to be single… If I fantasize and daydream and search, I’m throwing away this time. This time is HOLY!… I can’t search, because I won’t do a good job. Only God can see the right one. It’s like Samuel finding a king to replace Saul– he would have settled for the first guy, but God chose the very last who also turned out to be best! He was even handsome, ruddy, and had pretty eyes! God would even care to bless me with that! So… there’s me lately. Joyfully waiting.

Seeing: What Jesus Taught Me in April

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Lesson 1: You can’t see what’s going on deep in someone’s life when you’re only looking at the surface. One of my dear, dear friends approached me with tears in her eyes and asked me for a hug; this was the beginning of a time of release for both of us. I offered to listen if she needed to talk, and she took me up on it, filling the next ten minutes with her secrets and confessions that almost no one else knew and that I had never expected. I’ve known her for most of my life, but I didn’t know that things like these were happening in her life. It made me wonder where I’d been. I consider us good friends, so how did I not see this? What could I have done to help if I had been paying more attention? I know now that no matter how well I think I know someone, there will be something I can’t see. That doesn’t mean I should try to find everything out or that I can’t trust anybody; I think it just means that I need to pray for the people I encounter. The people we think are well put-together could be falling apart. In middle school, before I was very close to Jesus, my classmates called me Smiley because they thought I was happy all the time; little did they know the battle going on inside me at that time! Pray for everyone you know, because you never know what they are facing right now.

Lesson 2: Obedience is not about what makes sense; it’s about love. I read “Perelandra” by C.S. Lewis this month, a very cool book! I love that Mr. Lewis disguised his philosophy books as fantasy! A line from it really spoke to me and what was going on in my heart at that time, so I’ll let it tell the story:

“In all these other matters what you call obeying Him is but doing what seems good in your own eyes also. Is love content with that? You do them, indeed, because they are His will, but not only because they are His will. Where can you taste the joy of obeying unless He bids you do something for which His bidding is the only reason?”  -Dr. Ransom

Lesson 3: Giving in to temptation is so easy, but NOT worth it. I fell into an old sin that I thought was long gone, and it tore me apart inside. It’s the kind of sin that only hurts me and Jesus, but it hurt us greatly. I knew it would, but it was so easy! I wondered why, but I soon heard Jason Gray on the radio talking about his song “Remind Me Who I Am”; he said that in the times when he falls into sin, he realizes that he needs to be reminded who he is– remade, holy, God’s child. I saw that in myself. Feeling down on myself and not as passionate about loving God as I had been, it was easy for the enemy to get to me. But not anymore! I will attack him right back with my Bible and my faith in it!

Lesson 4: “He who is in me is greater than I will ever be, and I will rise.” I was having a stressful week, and one day in particular I let it all pile up inside so that I just had to cry. I didn’t know what to do. After I finished crying, I turned on the radio and sat down at the dining room table to study for a history quiz. I cried again, but this time, it was because I was being filled with joy. God played “Rise” by Shawn McDonald for me, right when I needed it to describe my feelings and give me hope! God knows what you’re going through. He sees you and understands, and is reaching out to you. Hold on to Him!

Lesson 5: When God calls you, it’s exciting, not scary, because HE is the one who makes it happen. I went to Acquire the Fire (a youth conference) with my beloved Bible study group! My favorite part was sharing it with them and seeing The Afters in concert. I’m not sure how to explain this lesson, but I’ll try! During worship I felt a BIG tug on my heart that told me, “You are meant to do this, too.” I knew that He meant performing music on stage, and that utterly terrified me! Don’t ask me how I understood all these things; I just did. I heard them in my spirit. Now, I absolutely love music! I’ve always known I was meant for it and it was meant for me, but I never considered actually performing it. At the most, I wanted to be a songwriter and recording artist, but I did NOT want to perform. That was the pipe dream I never thought would happen. I get so nervous to do anything in front of people, and singing is the biggie, because I don’t even know if I’m good! God had to work through all these doubts and assure me, “Tessa, I’m not going to ask you to do something too big for us to handle together.” He gives me the peace that, if He’s called me to do it, it will work! Now it’s not scary; it’s good news, because I know this dream can come true! It will be all Him, because I know I can’t do it myself. If you can accomplish your dream on your own, it’s too small. Dream BIG, because our God is big!

Lesson 6: God can’t fill what isn’t empty. I’ll admit: the above was the only thing I felt at Acquire the Fire. Everyone around me was so into it, and I tried to be, but I wasn’t. It just didn’t work that way. This is something I’ve struggled with before, and I always tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. Why didn’t I get filled like everyone else? It took the eyes of a youth leader to see the truth! A mom from my youth group named Judy, knowing I’d gone to Acquire the Fire, asked me how I liked it, and I had to reply honestly and say I was icy and didn’t feel anything (which I think is weird; I kept telling myself that, but as you just read, that wasn’t the case! Hm…). She said right away, “I don’t think you’re icy, you’re just good at getting fed on your own! You probably have your own conference in your bedroom everyday!” I had never thought of this! I’m just used to God’s presence and communicating with Him, so I don’t react the same? I think this calls for some action: if I’m full, then there are plenty of things in me that need to be taken out so there’s more room for Him! Thank you for the encouragement, Judy!