Nature Wheeled: Talus Recovery (Week Three)

It has been three weeks since my initial Talus fracture injury, and one week since surgery.

In an attempt to “stay ahead of the pain” I was faithful about taking my strong pain meds, to the point of setting an alarm to wake up in the middle of the morning (meaning I wasn’t sleeping very well either). After my body adjusted more and I relied on lowed level pain meds and ice therapy to dull pain I began to feel better.

During those first few days I had my sweet mother in law to take care of me. I was also able to be patient with myself, prescribing more tv binge watching: Downtown Abbey. By the time my MIL left we had watched 3 seasons!

My tune changed after a post op check in on the state of my stitches. Huge praise, the incision was healthy and infection free. In not so pleasant news, I’d not been wearing my boot due to discomfort so my foot struggled to lie flat. The brisk nurse forced me to get it flat to get it back in the boot correctly before we left. I bit back tears during this process.

While in town we stopped by the grocery store. The rest of the tears flooded out as my fears came back about painful physical therapy and the need to return to the stronger pain meds and forever feel sick. I blubbered by my MIL stayed sweet and asked if there was anything special she could get me from the store. I asked her for my comfort snack, gummy bears!

Waiting in the parking lot, and continuing to cry, I decided to log into my pokemon go account. Well I was surprised when a special like week only available pikachu with Ash hat was hanging out. I didn’t even need to move before it popped up! I was thankful for the silly blessing to help redirect my thoughts towards God’s companionship and positivity versus the unknown scary future.

Then, my MIL returned with several gummy bear packages (they were on sale) she said she figured it was enough to get me through the next few months!

This past week has been about “nesting” really settling into life on the couch. We purchased this pretty cart from Michaels to help me have more things near me (and to keep them organized).

Before MIL left we were able to arrange an outing. Camp Reset‘s movement challenge for the week included a nature photo scavenger hunt. I was dying to show MIL our favorite walk/park downtown.

Since the park was already downtown, I talked hubby into stopping by my very favorite giant pizza slice location. MIL was in shock at how big the slices are! I was thankful to actually eat sitting up, at a table!

Then we trekked to the river walk. I was thankful that hubby approved this one as more “wheel chair” friendly.

We took the “must have” picture at the love sign.

I tested out my arm muscles determined to wheel myself some, and quickly tired out, how do people wheel chair through entire 5ks?!

During this time period a new perspective has been revealed to me regarding those who need mobility devices like wheel chairs. I hadn’t expected to be able to get on the overlook platform and was elated to discover it actually had a wheel chair ramp. (I’d never noticed it before). I locked the wheel chair, and braced myself on the ledge, standing on one leg. I lost myself in the moment: hearing the music from an event, watching the flow of the river, and feeling the breeze on my skin.

After the appointment with the nurse I’d resigned myself to not have a nature trip outing, due to her insistence on elevating higher, more, in order to finally get the swelling of my foot back down. But, I was thankful that hubby had advocated for this knowing how much I’d emotionally need it.

We couldn’t scout down on the actually island, but we rolled the trail at little longer. I snapped a few more pictures, but didn’t stress myself out over finding everything on the scavenger list. I knew the importance was focusing on being present and that the list was to help us to “focus” on the things around us.

Afterward I was able to talk hubby into stopping at an ice cream place I’ve been oogling for like a year! It was nice to finish off my MIL’s time here with a memorable outing.

This isn’t a journey I would have chosen, but I’m determined to learn everything I can from it!

Learned Life Lessons as an Adult Ballerina

So, when you start running, even just barely a mile you can call yourself a runner. I’m guessing the same is true for ballet?

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Due to layers and layers of snow that have fallen in Virginia the past two weeks, dance class was cancelled -again- (but it is rescheduled for tomorrow!). Figured I’d share how dance class is affecting my life and teaching me “outside the barre” lessons:

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#1 Just Shut Up and Do It!

I blame my personality but I am a big dreamer. I think I enjoy the process of thinking about things more than I do about doing them. Seriously, I’m a great idea generator and I absolutely suck at the follow through. This tendency often leaves me watching the do-ers and being jealous of what they accomplish. 

A couple of weeks ago due to another teacher being sick my beginner class was combined with the Ballet V class. PHAHHAHA! The cool thing was that we got to use the fake barres, when normally we just balance with chairs. (I totally took advantage of this and posed afterwards for pictures…but only had my camera phone on me). Participating in this class was super intimidating! The moves were easy for them. I became easily overwhelmed because there were so many of us, and often and opposite directions, so I did always have any one I could focus on to model the moves on. I felt VERY discouraged after that class.

Then, I realized how many times I want what others have. I want the flatter stomach, I want their dance skills, I want their -whatever- forgetting all of the work that THEY were willing to do to get said -whatever-. It became apparent that I could either wish for better dance skills, or I could make it happen. Thus I began to practice short ballet routines daily. (And determined to do more, and wish/whine/complain less).

 

 

#2 When You Fall Off, Get Back on the Horse

I was feeling pretty confident walking into the following week’s class, I had been practicing on a regular basis, and I could feel myself getting stronger. (seriously, I was now coordinated enough to balance better when putting pants on/off one leg, it is epic!).

This class featured more complicated routines, that I simply couldn’t keep up with. I wanted to get frustrated, but I plugged through. Then we did some center work, doing a series of degages switching from left to right side. I was flabbergasted, I couldn’t move my body to do this at all. I stood there, slowly trying, not sure how to keep myself balanced but still move. Still I grin and bore it, mentally telling myself how good it was that I was discovering what I was bad at, so I could attack them an improve!

This attitude continued to some new leaps we were introduced to. I did okay on the right side, but the left, my brain just died and derped. I ended up landing on my foot wrong, heard a giant pop, and fought intense pain as I attempted to hobble to a chair. By can do plucky attitude had just about enough at this point. I tried not to cry as everyone asked how I was, not just due to the pain, but because I felt frustrated with my body.I sat for a bit, then finished off a couple more leaps gingerly. Surprising myself by holding back my tears. No way was I about to bawl in front of everyone!

Doesn’t mean I didn’t cry on the drive home, and in front of hubby. This was the most discouraged I’d ever felt about ballet. I wondered if I should try anymore, worried about my weak ankles, worried about hurting myself again. Honestly, there was a bit of a pity party. I wanted someone to be reasonable with me, look me square in the face, and bluntly say, “Honey, ballet is not for you, why don’t you try something else” Or to find a class to take with slower moving grandmothers.

Eventually, I worked through it. And resolved again. It was a testament to how much stronger my legs have already become after 5 classes that my ankle was no longer sore after 3 days. When I last hurt it rolling it while running, it had an ache that lasted for months after. Try, try, try again!

 

 

#3 Life is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Okay, okay, I know this one, at least in theory. I’m often consumed with wanting things to happen now. I especially want to know more about how the rest of my life works out. I think I like to do things “now” if possible, knowing that my energy levels are often fleeting so that if I don’t attempt -thing- now I will likely never do it at all.

I’ve been watching some youtube clips of ballerinas for inspiration, the way their bodies movie, is beyond beautiful. I feel like I am daily getting stronger, but there is STILL such a long road ahead of me. With things like ballet, and others in life, I think we slowly accrue the skills over time. Its like an artist slowly chiseling away the stone. He slowly chips away at the outside, until the beautiful statue appears beneath.

I can’t get frustrated and impatient at the slower results, or else I’ll give up and never get to see the statue liberated. Likewise, growing as a Christian involves a LIFETIME of moment my moment disciplines lived out. It really is okay that I’m not perfect yet…God cares much more about me leaning on Him while He chisels away, rather than the underlying statue.

Honestly, I’m falling more in love with dance than I ever expected to do. I began this thing because some girly part of me just wanted to dance around gracefully in a tutu. As an adult, I relish how much stronger I’m becoming through each workout. Regardless of continuing classes, I hope that ballet is something that I’m at least able to keep as a workout routine for the rest of my life.

Everyone knows that Erin is a clutz. I fall downstairs, I trip over “thick air.” I fall over so much sometimes hubby doesn’t even notice, its that normal. For the first time in my life I’m doing something, moving my body artistically, in a way that can be considering beautiful and graceful. When I’m painting with my feet in my humble living room, it makes me feel like maybe I could be capable of so much more than I expected before.

Soared into 2015

The past couple of years I’ve struggled with resolutions, but something that does help guide my year is picking a word to meditate on. This year I thought I’d pick light, because I could study what God’s word says about light, take fun light photography, and focus on being an individual of warmth. But the word “Soar” chose me.

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When I arrived in Upstate NY my in laws presented me with a gift. A Willow Tree figurine called “Soar.” It was a sweet congrats regarding the plan to start part time with a counseling agency in town. Honestly, I was feeling a little shy about the partnership, feeling insecure over my lack of skills and that inability to project a strong confidence in interviews. Seeing that gift and their excitement really just melted my insecurities away, and I knew what word I needed to focus on.

(Side note, the job situation is pending case load, so more updates once its all official).

The verse to meditate on will be Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

It is about continuing on the trend of being Anchored in Christ (my word/theme from last year) and being renewed in His strength each day.

It adds neat imagery with the idea of helping others. I picture my role as a counselor (a helper) to help when the bird is stuck in the trap of the sticky oil of bad life decisions, or the world being awful. I get to come alongside and help them learn better thought patterns that frees them and helps them soar in their own lives.

Also, I decided to do a paper agenda for schedule appointments with clients. I’ve missed having a paper agenda. It took me forever, but then I found this simple gorgeous one from Mintgreen at Walmart. (Seriously, I scoured the place and then hubby drove me to another Walmart to get the one that I wanted). It is simple, but boldly colored on the inside. I’ve already taken the liberty of adding some fun feathered stickers to it.

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So excited to see what God has in store for me, us this year :0).

Told God He Could Take It

DaisyI’m not sure where the programming came from. Blame Disney and my favorite princesses’ day dreams of adventure, blame feminism in my public education and type A personality, blame my Christian university that told me I could dream big, because my God is bigger.

Unexpectedly, after my annual beach week vacation, I resigned from my job. The decision itself was a tumultuous few days of prayer, tears, and acceptance. Post decision, I told myself I’d give myself time, to think, pray, and seek God’s will.

I searched craigslist, indeed, and other job posting sites. I daydreamed about what I was interested in, and pictured my passions coming together.

Throughout my graduate education I’ve felt called to counsel missionaries. During my second intensive I heard about the need for those brave soldiers at the front lines. This passion/desire never diminished. It was paused when there were no locations near me. I even met with a few professionals in the field, who praised my interest, verified the need, and stressed the importance of living overseas long term to be able to relate to them. Basically, doors shut in my face. This dream was on pause while I sought for an internship.

Finally, with God’s help and providence I graduated with all of the hours that I needed (plus one!).

Though I doubt people who are disciplined in prayer brag about it, it is definitely one of my weakest disciplines. Which, it should be easier given my proclivity for talking, but its different when you’re talking to the creator of the universe and you can’t always sense His presence.

But, there have been a few moments when I have monumental prayer moments. Usually over fairly large decisions in my life. I had another recently.

I was running on the treadmill, wrestling with these feelings. I know this is a godly calling on my life. It fits. I love languages and travel. I don’t want to tell them to stay on the field. I want to hold their hands, hold their tears and hurts as they confess how hard their life is. I want to tell them that it is okay, that God loves them, and normalize their feelings. I want to be there with them. Like it breaks my heart to think of them in pain alone, when life is hard enough being a Christian not on the mission field. I crave being used by God.

While running, I wondered if this is a dream I’ve ever truly surrendered. I realized that I’ve put it on pause and the flame of passion has returned, but that I’ve never completely given it to God. So, in spunky words in my head, I told God He could have it. I told Him that I was done wrestling with the tears and anxieties. I told Him, that if it wasn’t truly “about me” that He would do whatever He wanted, whenever He wanted. I told Him that I was going to read His word to know what He wanted, but that He was also big enough to get through my tiny brain, so that I wouldn’t miss the bus. I gave it all to Him, and I was filled with incredible peace.

Of course that peace fades, I have to keep surrendering. We are living sacrifices that crawl off of the altar. This past weekend I confessed to my Husband that I felt like I’ve been benched. That everyone else is playing, there are spots open, there are needs, and I’m sitting on the bench, watching, waiting, looking for the coach to call me in.

So, I surrender again. I remember that moment. I remember that God is Great. I remember that He’s bigger than everything. I remember that it’s all about Him, and it’s not about me. I remember that He hears our prayers, and I keep going.

Not About Me Daisy

Shared How I Struggle to “Let It Go”

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This post is in response to this article, questioning the interpretation of Frozen’s popular “Let it Go.” Firstly, let me agree that Christians should be analyzing EVERYTHING we see, hear, watch, etc in our environment as insidious messages can quickly infect our minds. However, his conclusion is that the lyrics (below), “If there ever was a song that summed up the Disney doctrine of “being true to yourself” and “following your feelings” no matter the consequences, it’s ‘Let it Go.'”

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don’t care what they’re going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It’s funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I’m free!

 

I think like anything we interpret, you have to analyze it within the context. For those of you who haven’t seen this movie this song fits into a major revelation for the eldest daughter, Elsa.

She’s born with a special gift to create snow/winter weather/ice. She has an accident when she is young, and her parents teach her that she must hide, stuff her feelings. This daughter takes this message to heart and literally hides herself from the rest of the world, too afraid of what might happen. This character grows up, and appears to have a clinical diagnosis of a SEVERE anxiety disorder (her life and relationships were clearly negatively affected — unable to even comfort her sister after the death of their parents). Actually, I think that you could argue that this character’s fear/anxiety/insecurities caused a deeper level of selfishness. She was all her baby sister had, and instead of clinging together, she was afraid of her powers so she hid. She thought about herself instead of focusing on others.

Due to this anxiety, Elsa learns to hold on to her reality by controlling everything. She covers her hands with gloves at all times,  and avoids people or anything that would emotionally trigger her. This character believes that the answer to her problems is to be in control.

As someone who has her own share of anxieties/insecurities I really identified with this Disney princess…who for the first time ever…wasn’t presented to the world as PERFECT. The world…especially the Christian communities…still struggle with telling our members that we need to wear a mask…”conceal don’t feel.”

When Elsa has another mistake (while stuffing, not while embracing herself) she ends up running away. She has a moment of transformation where she realizes the previous way she’s been living wasn’t healthy…in her moment of freedom she dips towards the other extreme…but she also learns balances herself.

As a Christian, we need to understand the importance of letting go. Letting go of our insecurities/fears, the messages of this world, and letting go at the silly thought that we can control anything. We need to be surrendered, the way that Elsa surrendered and accepted her gift.

There are so many AMAZING messages in this movie, I would hate to throw it away due to over-analyzing a single portion.

-The romantic cliche of love is challenged.

-The song “Fixer Upper” has amazing truths about real love” You can’t change anyone,  we’re all in need of fixing, yet we can help inspire each other to change.

-Young women should be cautious about giving their hearts away, not everyone has kind or good intentions.

-Familial love is the most important of all.

-True love can help melt a frozen heart.

Those are some of the best messages I’ve observed in ANY Disney movie, and I plan to embrace them. Let alone this movie is filled with GORGEOUS designs, and music that is INCREDIBLE.

Frozen reminds me to “Let it Go” of the rubbish in my life that hinders me as a Christian.

Been Overwhelmed By God’s Blessings (Car Wreck Recovery Week #4)

I’m sure that we will be overwhelmed by God’s grace many times in our life, but this past week definitely had us in humbled tears.

Let alone that our communication as been very good, given the fact that in order to have someone help you asking them nicely goes a long way. God decided to share many other blessings with us this past week!

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Tuesday, husband got a call from the insurance office. Apparently, my sunglasses had flown off my face and landed instead somewhere near the other lady’s car! Therefore,  the EMT’s had given them to her. So she’d stop by the local office to get them returned back to me. I was very skeptical about what kind of condition they would be in, given the condition of the car. However, I hoped they would look fine, otherwise what would be the point of returning mangled glasses?

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It was sweet to hear about her going out of her way to get my property back to me, given she may not even have a car anymore. Also, since they specifically said she brought them in, I hope it means she’s doing better. In these things they do not tell you, and the claim has still not closed/resolved.

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Husband picked them up and brought them to me. Honestly, I’m pretty sure they would be in worse condition if I just dropped them on the floor. I have no idea how they are not more damaged! Upon inspection there were very few scratches, and only on the sides where it wouldn’t affect my vision.

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Upon their return I felt very humbled! I felt embarrassed knowing how much I’ve been whining/missing them. Each time we were outside or at the pool I’d say “I really miss my prescription sunglasses.” They were the first pair of sunglasses I’d ever owned and they helped to me actually enjoy Venice the second time.  It feel materialistic to get excited over these, but to me it is a symbol of how God protected me. It is another way I can brag about how He spared my life, and really went “above and beyond” with allowing a few of the things I treasure to remain in tact as well. Also, these will make our OBX trip at the end of September much more pleasant!

That was not the only way that God chose to bless us. On Wednesday, husband was called into the office. I always fear the worst, so I wondered if he was in trouble or something for working from home so many days during my recovery. Instead, when he picks me up from work he explains that he was told “We love you” by his dept’s Administrative Assistant and handed two envelopes. One contained cash, another contained two larger checks. I held my breath and looked at the amounts and just about began to cry. They’d added a note which contained was from Acts about the unity of the believers and selling their possessions to give to whomever was in need.

The gifted amounts between them and from another friend and his church pretty much cover most of our medical bills! It is incredible to see God taking care of us, because expensive medical bills are scary! The Body of Christ is amazing, and I’m so appreciative to them.

I began walking more that week, returning to my Couch 2 5k training.

I missed my car and reflected on how God brought the car to me in the first place. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight…but now I can tell that God ordained me to have this great first car on purpose.

Towards the end of the week we had a Pinterest Party with my Sunday School class. It was such a fun girly bonding time. It was also entertaining as my husband and the leader of the class were downstairs gaming while said party happened. They wanted to eat the snacks and well the problems of owning one car and still avoiding driving on the highways.

Then, we ended the week with an photography adventure visiting an old still functioning cemetery in the area!

Overall, I’m doing very well. My back doesn’t hurt very much at all…it is just my right pelvic bone where it connects to the back of my leg is sore, I’m guessing from a bruise? Not really sure. But the pain has drastically reduced over the past few weeks.

Eulogized My Car

At the very end of things, I tend to reflect on the very beginnings. This is overall a pretty silly post, but still shares how God orchestrates things when we are completely unaware.

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Ever since the accident I’ve missed my car terribly. Driving around, now, I keep pointing out the make and model when I see it, much to my husband’s annoyance. Seriously though, there is a reason that my car is used as a police and taxi car, and still a very popular style despite its classic sedan shape and less than amazing gas mileage.

It is ironic how much I miss my car. Only my mother knew the force with which I disliked this car, upon hearing about it for the first time. Its not even written about in my journal, that is how inconsequential I felt like all of it was at the time.

The summer after my sophomore/junior year of college I’d returned home to work at the day care again. The director had seen me manage to get the 2 year old class to sit and say their song/prayer before breakfast and decided to offer me the full time 2 year old teacher slot for the summer term. Originally, I’d planned to car pool with my mom who worked something like 7-2, when I’d be working 9-5. Driving her in at 7am was too much for me, so I decided it was time to search for a car.

I began searching the internet. I hoped to get a good car that would last several years. Ideally, I wanted the fuel efficient and tough Honda Civic, or a Hyundai or something like that. I remember feeling really frustrated because my parents wouldn’t take me anywhere to go physically look at cars.

In my journal I wrote about how I felt like I was trying to force the process and I needed to pray more. It was really neat watching my husband’s car transaction. He test drove the Buick, and the car dealer was a Christian who prayed over the car with us. I thought that was such a cool way to have an impactful ministry! I envied God’s sense of direction in that situation.

My mom did some asking around, and learned that an older woman was selling her car. When she told me this I literally rolled my eyes. I didn’t want an “old person car.”  I didn’t want to see this car at all, but she drove me to check it out anyways. What I found was this 1997  Mercury Grand Marquis with only 81,926 miles on it, that was being sold for $2,500. To most people they would have realized the instant deal, I just noticed that it’s color, Cerulean, was one of my wedding colors, and I was won. It made it sweeter that my dad chipped in over half for the vehicle.

The 4th of July holiday reminded me that I purchased the car the first week of July, 5 years ago. I remember the hassle of trying to figure out how to get to the DMV to get my registration/tags/title dealt with when I worked 40 hours a week.

The more I drove this car the more I grew to love it. It was even bigger than my husband’s old person’s car, with a roomy interior and  trunk. I often teased people that my trunk could store 12 dead bodies in it. This was ridiculously helpful for hauling all of my junk back and forth to college. Plus, during the summers with Xtreme Impact, we would need to do pick up from Sam’s Club. The directors would ask everyone in particular to bring their trucks. It was discovered, though, that my car could hold as much as (if not more than) a tiny truck. Thus, my car was dubbed an honorary truck.

Also, due to my car’s size I made many of our camp pizza runs. Yes, my car could hold 60 pizzas between the back seat and trunk, 30 on/in each! I was so proud of my old granny car!

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Because we drove my husband’s car around more, mine was still in pretty awesome condition up until a few weeks ago. It had just passed 100,000 miles when we visited his parents in November. We thought it had at least a few years on it, and joked that his Buick would be the first to croak.

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Looking at the pictures of the wreck, I’m astounded how God worked things out to protect me so long ago. The reason that car could protect me so well from that t-bone was due to its old classic car style. If I’d gotten a smaller car, I’m not sure how well it would have withstood; I definitely wouldn’t of have so much room up front to not feel squished.

The only remnants that I have now are two tiny pieces of the window that were randomly discovered within the LCD screen of my DSLR camera. Luckily, I have this keepsake, and it didn’t scratch up the screen! I feel like I need to do something creative with them. Maybe turn them into jewelry? Like earrings or something? Let me know if you have any cool ideas!

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When you don’t feel like God is working in your life, He is. He is often planning important little details that you won’t realize until many years down the road. Our lives are not linear journeys, but rather random hopscotch paths. As long as we are seeking after Him, He will guide us and direct us where we need to go.

In the meantime we are still sharing my husband’s Buick. I was told that since I broke my car (“This is why we can’t have nice things ;0)) that it’s husband’s turn to have a new vehicle. He’s hoping for a truck, and I’m not going to lie, my somewhat country girl self finds that pretty attractive. I was just entertained  to recently discover that the Buick actually has side impact airbags within the front seats. Score!

Cheers to the best first car that a girl could ever have. :0)

Been a Counselor

This week was the first week of my internship! It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Monday night I couldn’t sleep. I kept feeling like I should have prepared more in some way. I didn’t feel like I had any information in my head. I tossed and turned, before finally turning on my cell phone and scrolling through Pinterest. There was a pin from a student who was on the Thailand 2009 trip, she posted a quote “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” In 2009 on that trip her and another leader wrote a song with a similar theme “God doesn’t called the equipped, He equips the called” and I began to sing the lyrics.

Finally, I could sleep. The next morning my outfit and bags were packed, so I overestimated the amount of time I would need, and still ended up getting there ridiculously early. I settled into the office and played Christian worship music on my phone to continue to calm my nerves. Reading over files, I felt ready for this, knowing that God is going to help me through this process. However, the nerves came back as soon as I heard the “ding” on the door announce the entrance of a client.

I simply took a deep breath and launched into the sessions.

In counseling we must face the depravity of man, and it has been heart breaking. Counseling brings one face to face with sin and its destructive path. People either become victims based on sin in the lives of others, or get caught in destructive habits and victimize others.

Again, I’m also very lucky to be working at a Christian private practice, that particularly draws clients because they want to incorporate Christ into their healing process. It is easy in those instances for one to realize that they need to improve their relationship with Christ.

Please be praying for those I’ll be working with, that God will work in and through me.