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Open your heart

I write a lot about movies. Books and movies impact me significantly. Peyton has wanted to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, so last night we watched it. It's about a little boy whose dad is killed in the 9-11 attacks, and he embarks on a journey to find some connection to his dad. It's beautiful and tragic and inspiring and heartbreaking. I'm pretty sure I haven't cried that hard since my own dad died. And I thought about all the quests I undertake: a closer relationship with God, a better understanding of life, self-improvement in all forms. I believe that I try so hard so that I can be better for everyone around me: a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, employee and more.

Usually what I find is that the answers I so desperately seek all ready reside within me, waiting for my mind to quiet down so that in the stillness, they might whisper their wisdom into my heart. My dear friend, who also overthinks her way through life, found a sign exemplifying this sentiment. It read simply:


I keep that quote taped to my kitchen cupboard to remind myself of all the time I spend searching, when God has given me all the tools I need. My job is to let go of thinking that I can do everything--anything, really--on my own, and give over my will to Him. A few weeks ago, a guest pastor at our church said during his sermon that we should pray to follow God and ask Him to take care of all the rest. So I've been trying to do that. He has shown me in HUGE ways that He will do exactly that, if I just move out of the way.

When Chloe was awarded a full scholarship, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I did nothing but cry and thank God for days. One of my best friends asked, "What were you praying for?" I did pray, but I couldn't ask for something as materialistic as a scholarship, so I simply prayed for God's will to be done. To receive such a resounding answer just blew me away. Things like that don't happen to us. We struggle and get by and scrimp and save, but for our child to get to go to college for free?

Now, Chloe has worked very hard, gotten good grades, excelled in every area of her life, and is an excellent candidate for a scholarship like this. She will appreciate and not squander this gift. She will make Chatham University proud of what a great choice they made when they chose her. That said, I fully believe that she got this scholarship not only because of her amazing abilities, but also because it is God's will for her.

During this Holy Week, I have been overwhelmed many times with emotion at all of His blessings, but especially the greatest gift God gave us: His son. I have spent many hours praying that I might be a good follower. I have prayed that He will teach me to use whatever gifts He has placed in me for His good. But mostly, I have just prayed to get out of His way.


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