Long Time Coming (week 2 of 52)

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Recap:

So, this past Monday I began an exciting new journey!!  I am officially *drum roll, please*…a music teacher!!  A very excited one at that!

This has been a LONG time coming; just had to wait for the right time and opportune moment, and it did, indeed, arrive.  It was about 5 years ago that my own music lessons subsided.  I took piano lessons for at least 6 years, guitar lessons for 8 years, and voice lessons for the last 3-5 years (still taking voice!)…I can’t remember!  Either way, music is a very big part of my life and who I am.  In and of itself, music is magic; that is the only appropriate word to associate with the wonders of music!  There is so much to learn and refresh my mind about going into teaching.  I haven’t been in lessons as a student for a while now, so you could say I’m a bit rusty in the theory/terminology department…

In case you haven’t caught on, I am a musician (haha!).  Guitar and piano are my main instruments, as well as my voice, and I play ukulele, and am learning dulcimer and mandolin!  One day I would love to learn the harp as well as more percussion instruments.  Though I’ve not had music lessons myself recently, I keep up with playing by performing locally and through my church, collaborating with siblings and friends, and have been recording as well which is SO fun!

The last 3-4 weeks I’ve been preparing for this new adventure, new chapter, new journey, and I’m just so excited!!  I expect to learn more than my students and I’m very grateful for the Lord opening this door!

To view some of my music, click here: http://www.soundcloud.com/jennifer-barger-7

Any who!

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With all that said, there have been many days where I wake up and wonder “What am I doing in/with my life?  What am I doing with my time?  Where is my heart?  What are my true passions?  WHY isn’t everything blatantly obvious and clear as day so I don’t question my existence all the time?!?!?!“…as dramatic as that sounds, it’s true.  I question myself and life quite often, especially in times of feeling like I have no direction or goal to go towards.  Let me tell you, having multiple interests or abilities is not easy.  Especially if you’re like me: very organized, detail oriented, pretty perfectionist person with many interests who doesn’t want to fail at even one, doesn’t know where to start, and wants to know and do every little thing to complete excellence all at the same time!  There are so many things I love to do, but often wish I just had one interest or hobby to focus on and be really good at; I suppose the balance of having multiple interests is something to work towards this year.

It is inevitable not to fail, and mistakes will be made, time will be spent and seemingly wasted sometimes, and then you find yourself in those depths of despair moments asking “what is life?”, hahabut that’s okay.

IT IS OKAY!

Reality Check: You do not need to be perfect; that’s unrealistic anyway.  You do not need to know 110% how to do every single thing!  You just need to go.  Start.  Do what you know you love now, be open to opportunities and experiences that might sound odd or different at first.  Take a chance on a dream and see what happens.  You never know until you start, and that is one of the BIGGEST lessons life has been teaching me through the years!  Where God has me, today, right now, is exactly where He wants me and even needs me, and it is okay if the high standards and expectations I’ve set for myself haven’t been reached yet.  It is okay if my life is going at a different pace than others.  It is okay if there are big, or small, set backs throughout my journey.  It is okay…

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To be honest for a moment, I sort of lost my main train of thought with this post!!  It came to me, but then it got all jumbled in my head…so hopefully the above makes sense!  There are many topics I am eager to incorporate in these posts, and each week will be different; either a recap of the week, an intro to a coming week, a mind dumb, a bible study, specific topic of interest, a prayer, etc…just hoping to be inspired again to share through writing; it is one of my favorite things and has been very missed!!

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Here’s to week 3…I’m excited for this week as I take the next 5 days to retreat to the mountains away from most technology and the busyness of life!  Father, I ask for you to use this time away from every day stresses and schedules to open my heart and my mind to know you more, to trust you more, and to let go much much MUCH more of the worries of this world.  You are good, Lord, and you are using all these trivial things in life for our good.  Thank you for your faithfulness!  Thank you for your love for us and for your truth which, if we humble ourselves, will set us free.  Bless those who have stopped by today to read this post.  May you be a present and living and breathing source of joy, peace, healing, and love in their lives this week.  I love you, Lord, and pray in Jesus’ name, amen!

Jenny~

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2 0 1 9, Week 1 of 52…Here we go!

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Hello and Happy New Year 2 0 1 9!!!

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve dedicated time to this platform.  I often get in the habit of spreading myself too thin due to having many interests and wanting to achieve perfection in all of them, so to speak.  But with that comes burn out, exhaustion, mediocrity, and often discouragement when you realize you’re not super-human and cannot possibly accomplish so many different things to such a high standard or expectation as you had thought or hoped you could!

With that said, this past year of  2 0 1 8  has been one of great introspection and learning, healing and change, and growth.  All good things, but also all tiring, difficult, slow-moving, and things that test your patience and endurance!  I am very thankful for this past year though and all I’ve learned, realized, done, and gone through.

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So, what will  2 0 1 9  bring?  That I do not know.  What are some of my goals or resolutions?  Well, allow me to share a few…

  • Focusing on Jesus, first and foremost
  • Sticking with consistency of habits I’ve already put in place
  • Picking up some new habits and getting rid of some old ones
  • Trying new things and being more open to change
  • Choosing the hopeful, positive and uplifting rather than defaulting into doubtful, negative or downcast mindset or attitude
  • And a few other odds and ends…it’s going to be a good year of maintaining getting on track! 🙂

With this blog, and many other things, I desire to dedicate some time to posting and sharing thoughts and what not.  Being away from this little “safe space” has been sad and I’ve really missed it!!  With that said (if anyone out there reads this), I am not promising weekly posts, most likely NOT multiple times a week either, but simply when I have a moment to jot down and unload my thinking cap, which will be every week to bi-weekly or so.  No rhyme or reason; just my thoughts, ideas, memories and discoveries.

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Here’s to  2 0 1 9  and all the possibilities, memories, lessons, and things it will hold; I am hopeful, excited, anxious, and thrilled to embark on this coming year, and SO thankful that the Lord has granted me another day, week, month, year of life!  It is yours, Father.  Use this year, Lord, to grow, strengthen, teach, humble, and sanctify.  Please use me to do your will and bring honor to Your great Name!  Thank you for your blessings and for the gift of life.  Father, guide us, direct us, and assist us in our journeys to seek, listen, hear, and know you more.  I love you!!

Amen…

Jenny~

A Hot Minute…

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“There are so many things to reflect on in life. This past year to date was a very interesting time for me…”

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Hello blog!! It’s been a hot minute.  The consistency of writing and sharing virtually has not been a reality in my life the last year or more, if you haven’t noticed.  But here I am, July 9th, 2018; here to share with you as I sit and reflect on recent experiences in life…

A year ago, July 2017, was a very very, what’s the word…surreal time.  Have you ever felt like you are just an empty body watching life pass by with no way to interact; like you’ve lost all ability to connect to your life, to God, to people?  Well that’s a glimpse of my state of mind a year ago.  The year before last I went through something really emotionally and mentally painful and draining and it took a full year (plus some) to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.  I didn’t not handle well what I went through, but let me assure you that it was nothing life threatening or crazy, but simply and sadly a common pain many people have felt; it was just my first time feeling it and it hurt so badly…hmmm…

That was almost two years ago now!  Time flies guys; I don’t like how fast time passes away.  Anyway.  Last year (summer 2017) I went through a different situation, but again a very emotionally and mentally stressful and exhausting one!  Not handling the year before well, I never fully dealt with things and really clung to the pain I had gone through and therefore was just completely zeroed out!  The second time around though, I have had a better grip and perspective on the “healing process”.  Though it’s been a hard year to say the least, I have been able to focus more on the positive, on the growth and learning opportunities, and on the many reasons why God is so amazing and we shouldn’t EVER be afraid of what life throws at us; preaching to myself here because still that’s a difficult thing at times and easy to forget in the midst of a trial.

I was resistant against changing, against growth and believing in myself that I’m not
“worthless” and that I haven’t ruined my every chance at living a marvelous life.  But truly by the grace of God, the last two years have molded me and changed me and made me a young woman who finally is learning to grasp the concept that my past, my failures, my mistakes, and my pain don’t define me.  Jesus’ blood is spilled over each individual wrongdoing and impurity in my life…still learning how to fully grasp that because it’s mind blowing!

Also, I’ve realized that life is kinda about these tough experiences and how we deal with them…you go through experiences and learn, and God often uses those experiences not only to reveal Himself and help you grow, but to help other people in your life as well; so we can relate and share with people who may be going through something similar.  It’s all in how we handle what life, what God, throws at us.  We can either hold grudges, dwell over the past, ignore things, etc, or we can take a deep breath, confront and deal with the issue, and learn very valuable things that will further help us in life and help others!

The biggest thing I’ve learned out of the many things that have been revealed to me recently is that I can trust myself, I am so very capable because of Christ, I never need to be ashamed of who I am, and the things I’m afraid of are not going to kill me.  ALSO!  I have a very amazing, big, powerful, merciful, forgiving, caring, loving, mighty, gracious, faithful, reliable, honest, true, real and awesome God, and for that I am truly truly grateful.

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I write these things half holding my breath because summertime has brought some heavy loads the last few years!  My prayer is that whatever I’ve shared, even though not in complete detail, is able to help someone, to bring hope and comfort and assurance that you are not alone. ❤  No matter what…

Also, though some things above may sound dramatic or extreme, I promise nothing too crazy or horrible has happened in my life.  There are people who have suffered much more greatly!  But again, perspective is everything, and even though situations or circumstances may not be exact, the feelings and experiences mentally and emotionally or even physically and spiritually, are valid and relatable.  That’s one of the amazing gifts God has shared with us; the ability to empathize, understand, relate to, and encourage each other as we all go through life dealing with and experiencing things.

Thank you, Lord, for your mercy, grace, and faithfulness.  I have a looong way to go from here, but I am forever grateful for your great love for me!  How you see me as worthy, as righteous, I will never understand; but thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, perfect and blameless and completely without sin, who came to give up his perfect life to take on my filth, shame, pain, sin-filled life, bore it and every other persons debts on the cross, to give each of us the opportunity to be made right before God, the reason you see us blameless and pure because you see your Son and what he bore for our sake.  Thank you for the gift of Salvation; for the Holy Spirit who dwells within those who call upon the name of Jesus!  Open our eyes and speak to our hearts, especially those who do not know you; reveal yourself to those who don’t know you.  May they realize you are the missing piece to their puzzle and the reason they are alive!  Amen.

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Thank you for reading.  Until next time…

Sincerely,

Jenny~

International Women’s Day

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So, here’s the “scoop”…women are amazing!  We were each created with such an amazing role to fill in this world.  Each one of us has a purpose and the ability to achieve that purpose.  But we wouldn’t be here without some extraordinary men.

For example: if Christopher Columbus didn’t cross the ocean to find a new land, well, none of these “feminist”, “girls run the world” women of today’s modern age would have the freedom to so strongly voice their opinions on how much we “don’t need men”.  Also, the women of today wouldn’t be alive without men because they are half of the reason we were each born into this world (you know what I mean)!  Men and women alike have such important and specific roles to fill in life.  YES the world has put women in a box throughout history saying we can and cannot do such and such; there are stereo types, and horrible or unnecessary things that happen in this world to the all different women, but we must remember too that this world is fallen and messed up and twisted.

If we truly desire to be a people, a nation, of equality, then we must learn how to work together, how to encourage each other in our passions, and how to live out the individual role and purpose that has been set before us as men and women.  At the end of the day, once you strip everything away, we are quite equal and have one goal; to honor God.

God has created us, male and female He created us (Genesis 5:1-2), to honor Him and do His will.  Men have their “job/place” and so do women, but that does not mean we as women should be in bondage to men, that we should have lesser opportunities, or that we can do nothing!  On the contrary, because of Christ we are capable of anything by His strength!  I don’t want to be empowered by women because women fail; humans fail!  They are not dependable.  But I do want to be empowered by Jesus Christ, so that I may come alone side other women, and encourage them and show them the greatest man and greatest love of all; Jesus.

There’s my two cents on the day…happy international women’s day!  I am proud to be a woman, and so grateful for the amazing strong women in my life past, presently, and to come, and I am so thankful for the love of Christ for each of us women and the very individual and important role each of us have to advance His kingdom in ways a man cannot; but also I thank you, Lord, for the strong men who have paved the road before us, and the women who supported and helped them, so we now have the freedom to speak, to dream, to pursue a career and our passion in life and to have a voice which can be heard.

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“But, ladies, you must answer too, what would we do with out ’em?…”

(song from Kiss Me Kate ‘I Hate Men’)

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This post is dedicated to the amazing women I am blessed to call my mother and sisters.  I love you all and thank you for being amazing examples, influences, and encouragement in my life. ❤

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~ “…When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.  Male and female he created them..” Genesis 5:1-2

~ “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:25

~ “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

~ “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your words; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14

~ “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7

 

Jennifer~

Thankful #13: New Beginnings

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November 13th, 2017…

I am so thankful for new beginnings!  Though they feel few and far between, difficult to really achieve, they are very achievable.  You can always move forward no matter what you’ve done in the past, and I am so thankful for that truth.  For new chapters of life…

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Not going to lie, new beginnings is a topic I often doubt.  How can you move forward knowing what you’ve done in the past and just “start over” forgetting everything you’ve ever said or done?  How can you move forward and begin again when you don’t know what the future holds or what you want to do or be or believe in this world?  How can you write a new chapter when many old ones feel unfinished?  All questions I’ve asked and wondered and thought about…

We will never have all the answers and that is something we must accept.  There is no use in sitting around wondering “why this and why that”.  That, my friends, only keep us stuck in the same place over and over and over again.  It is not fun to be stuck, to be stagnant, idle, or anything of the sort.  Focusing on what we simply will not know is pointless and one of the best ways to seemingly waste time.

Your past never leaves you, but it also doesn’t define you.  It’s helped make you who you are today.  Even with that, I realize some people want to completely forget their past and want no one to know of it.  That can be understandable especially if there was a lot of pain or negative influence or what not.  I encourage you though that your past and how you’ve conquered it, or how you will, is an amazing testimony to the people around you, people going through the same things and feeling hopeless just as you did or maybe do now.  Don’t lose hope!!

If you’ve come to a place like I have recently where you are beginning to let go of so much that has held you back from truly blossoming and become who you were created to be, I congratulate you!  I am so excited to be on this journey with you!  It’s terrifying to let go of everything you know and find comfort in and to move forward, towards a new beginning redefining who you are.  I trust in Christ alone to help me with this new chapter of letting go, forgiving and forgetting, confiding in other, believing in myself, and living moment by moment instead of dwelling on the past or being scared of the future.

That’s all I am capable of thinking about today. ❤

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Lord, I thank you for this day.  Thank you for new beginnings and new chapters of life.  Please, Father, be with me every step of the way.  May my steps forward honor you more and more with each passing day.  I love you and I need you, God, more than anything else.  Guide me to forgive, apologize, let go, and find my confidence and, sweet Savior, to put my trust in you alone!  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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Jenny~

Thankful #12: Moving Forward

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November 12th, 2017…

I am so thankful for the ability we all have to move forward.  Taking life into your own hands, believing in yourself, but trusting in God full force…moving forward is so very achievable and I am truly thankful for this.

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Today was the step I’ve been waiting to take but truly feared, until now.  This year has taught me a lot, no matter how much I felt like I was stagnant and going nowhere fast.

Today was a huge step for me in moving forward and conquering certain doubts and fears in my life.  A step which I didn’t use to believe was possible to achieve.

Today was a big step in an exciting journey; the journey of my faith and where my identity lies; in proclaiming Christ’s love, and confirming what I have lived.

Today I was baptized, and it was a thrilling experience!  It wasn’t just being dunked in water; there was no great revelation or profound feelings or drama; nothing crazy, but it was incredible.  Just me, God, and my testimony being shared with other people.  Truly, there are few words for how incredible it was…open is the best word to choose; I feel so open and ready for life. ❤

Trying to process it all.  Being able to accept where I am and start to move forward, not holding myself back, is so huge for me and so difficult to explain, but that’s not the point.  I’m not trying to explain, but trying,rather, to share with those who doubt and have fear that it is truly possible to put one foot in front of the other, no matter how daunting, and move forward, grow, learn, experience, mature, let go and be just as amazing as you were created to be!

God is so faithful and amazing, and He hasn’t failed me, not one bit.  Where I have failed endlessly He has been there, never disappointed or ashamed, but loving me and giving me more chances then I’ll ever deserve, and for that truly I am grateful.

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I love you, Father, and thank you for this step taken to move forward and proclaim your truth and love. There is so much to learn and ways to grow, but my faith lies in you alone, no matter what is ahead. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness, promises, and healing.  For opening me up to the realization that through you I am capable; it is not my power, but Christ’s that equips me to go forward and live this life without fear or doubt in who I am.  Yes, there will be fears, and many doubts, but not in my Savior, in my identity being a daughter of the Creator, or in my faith which can move mountains; it’s already moving mountains and I am so sincerely grateful to you, God.  Thank you for the gospel, and for salvation, peace, love and joy found in Jesus Christ alone.  It is in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”                                Philippians 4:13

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”…” Revelation 21:5

Jenny~

Thankful #11: Freedom!!

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November 11th, 2017…

I am so thankful for freedom!  Not only the freedom of this great country, America, which is taken for granted much too often by the world, but the freedom found in the bible!  I am so thankful for the freedom we can find within ourselves, in all the things that may seem little to someone else, but are so big to us!  We don’t have to stay in bondage to things.  No matter the uncertainty, no matter if someone may get hurt, no matter what, there is always a chance and a choice to find freedom and that is something to be thankful for.

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Firstly, I would like to say thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed their “normal” lives for the freedom of their country.  Because of there services, we can do our day-to-day tasks at home while they are overseas fighting, we can be with our families while they are apart from theirs, and we can enjoy all of life’s little things while they are making it possible for us to continue to do so.  Thank you to every person I know who has given his or her life in this regard, and please know that your choice to do this, your sacrifice, whatever motivated you at first, it is one to be honored, no matter how deep you get into it, no matter what happens…no matter what, you are greatly appreciated and your experience, stories and life as a whole is an amazing testimony!  Through what you’ve given up, may we learn true sacrifice of our comforts and never take things for granted.  Prayers to our serving men and women and their precious families; Godspeed and many blessings.

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Finding freedom from certain situations or circumstances is something that seems impossible.  So much time can be “wasted” by believing you will never be free from mental, emotional, or physical struggles.  It is valid to be in a place where you feel the whole world is against you, or looking down at you, and you feel so inadequate to reach the “standards” and “expectations” all around you.

Something I’ve discovered very recently is this: the things we assume or believe other people expect of us or think of us are often, in fact, what we think, expect, and believe of ourselves.  How we handle, respond and react when we feel confined by life in general often reveals the truth of how we see ourselves or view certain situations.  If you are unsettled about a decision, a person or an issue and you’re trying to hide it away and figure out a solution all alone then someone happens to confront you about it whether they know what you’re dealing with or not, usually you get defensive and deny it, or you break down and cry, or you hide even more!  What I’ve discovered about myself anyway is that when I am stressed, scared, fearful, uncertain or just completely exhausted, I am very obvious with what I’m feeling or thinking when I’m trying so hard not to be!  I’m trying so hard to have it all under control and let the world think nothing is ever wrong.  And when someone asks me about it I will deny it even more because it’s become a habit, to say “I’m okay” and keep going, hiding away every care or concern, but wanting to share and find that freedom within myself.

No matter how scary it is, no matter how you’ve messed up, no matter how confusing a situation has become, no matter if someone may get hurt or dislike you, no matter if you feel utterly overwhelmed, no matter what…there is always freedom from whatever is keeping you captive.  Always!  You cannot lose faith or hope in that.  As a young woman, a people pleasure, a perfectionist, an analytical mind, and a middle child (lol), I often feel that my issues or struggles or problems are not necessary to confront, not valid to deal with for my well being, and not important enough for anyone else to care, so why mention them?  Why ask questions?  Why seek counsel?  Why find freedom?  “Why why why” if my issues are so little compared to SO many other things?!

Bottom line is that it’s not okay to stay stuck like this.  Whether it’s a relationship, a bad habit, an unhealthy belief system or thought process, or maybe you just need time to be alone and find some peace with God, whatever negativity is present and keeping you hidden, quiet, afraid, isolated; it’s not okay to hide and it is very important and completely valid to seek freedom and help from those things, no matter how scared you are!  Whatever scares you only makes you stronger, right?  Whatever fears you have are SO small compared to the freedom that can be revealed by the truth!  And guess what?  We have an amazing God who is waiting to take every fear from us, every burden, every hurt, every pain, every care, every concern; every single thing.  He is waiting with open arms to help us find rest in Him, and the freedom we yearn for in our daily lives.  In Christ who has conquered death and the grave, there is freedom.

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Dear God, thank you for freedom!  Freedom is real and it is in You, Father, that there is true, complete, freedom!  I thank you for the freedom found in this great country.  Thank you for giving and trusting us with America.  We have fallen and been so unworthy of your blessings and provision and protection, but Lord, I ask for your hand to be over this great nation!  Lead us to acknowledge, know and respect who you are!!  Creator God!!  Open up our eyes and be with those who do not know you as Savior.  May seeds be planted within this nation as well as all of the world.  Thank you for the many men and women who have given up their lives for this country.  Past, present, and future, they are amazing individuals and I ask you Lord, in Jesus name, to guide them and guard them, to equip and prepare them, to provide for them and bless them, Father, to achieve the tasks set before them.  May your blessings overflow upon these men and women and their families.  I come to you, sweet Savior, and ask for your continued assistance in my freedom; freedom from within.  Freedom from old habits, from lies, from any trespasses I’ve done or that have been done against me, from unhealthy relationships, from toxic belief systems, and from any negative areas or people in my life.  So many things are easier said than done at first, but in you, o God, we are capable!  And we CAN overcome this bondage and fear and confinement.  Thank you for the truth in your word that states “…where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom…” (2 Corinthians 3:17).  May we acknowledge your Spirit, God, when we are convicted of our wrong doings, when we are encouraged by your word, when we desire to praise and worship you, may we walk in obedience and in that may we find freedom in you alone.  Thank you.  I love you, Father, and pray in Jesus name, amen!

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~*~Happy Veteran’s Day~*~

Jenny~

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