Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beautiful Are the Feet

I've been somewhat sentimental lately. Reflecting on years past, raising babies in a blur of chaos and tender moments. In this season, I've been thinking about how important story telling is to me. And how important it is to me that even our lives tell a story.

Story is so important to me, that unconsciously, we even named our kids in such a way that their middle names tell a story.  A story that is especially significant at this time of year.

I will tell you this story, through their names:

Imagine a hopeless world.  A world rocked by death and disease, heartache and long suffering. Imagine generations of waiting, expecting, of hopeful dreaming.  Being told that a better way was coming.  A new way, a revolutionary way.  A way that would turn cold hearts into hearts of flesh. That would take death and shatter it to the ground.  A way that would turn the world upside down: the vulnerable become protected, the abandoned become family members, the neglected become cherished.

A champion of light, a herald, an angel is the first to bring news that “it is here,” this new way.  HE is coming.  The new way isn’t a way at all, it’s a person. It’s a baby born to us- sent from God Himself.  

Hark!  The tears will be wiped.  The night will be day.  The waiting, the longing, the hoping has not been in vain!

God has stepped into our mess.  Into our brokenness.  He has stepped into our despair and has made a way where there was no way.  He has taken on the form of man himself to lead us into life. True life.  God is with us, among us, in us.  He did not stay afar, He came near.  In our brokenness. In our sin.  He has come to offer us more than a new way, He has come to offer us Himself.  His presence.  He is the way.

Behold!  Breathe deep!  Let it take root in you.  What was lost is found.  New life is possible.  Trade in your sorrows.  Give up your broken life.  There is a Savior who has come for you.  A lover who has chosen you.  Take hold of true love.  

Renae.  Reborn.
New life starts now.  Your heart anew, awash in love that was never earned.  A love that will never give up on you, that will never forsake you.  Like you're born again, anew.  Now the world is different because you are fully known and fully loved.  And you know Him who is love Himself, come for you.  

This is the gospel.  The gospel story told through the middle names of our 4 children.  May God’s very real peace and very real presence fill you this season as you reflect on the meaning of it all.

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation" Isaiah 52:7

[our kids' full names: Silas Gabriel, Tobin Emmanuel, Fiona Eleni Joy, Naomi Eliana Renae]

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Do you ever feel like your drowning?  Like, actually?  You're kicking with all your might to stay above the surface and you are barely nose above water level?

I don't know what happened.  I thought I was managing 'it all' with the 4 kids.  It was hard, but manageable.  But then the weight of school just slammed down over my shoulders and all of a sudden I just cannot manage.

The driving.  The reminding.  The meetings.  The lunch making.  The costume wearing days.  The field trips.  The homework duotangs (for kindergarten and grade 1?)  Oh yeah, and there is the potty training toddler and nursing baby who needs naps at home every 2 hours.

Somehow I didn't realize just exactly what this transition would look like for all of us.  We had the little commitment pebbles here and there already.  We thought it looked manageable.  On paper, it all works.  Everything is something good, something worthy of time, something that represents our values as individuals and parents.  

But then, the pebbles became a heap, and suddenly look more like a mess.  For the first time perhaps in my life I am starting to truly recognize that there are very real limits that I cannot work around.

Limits to my emotional capacity.  Limits to my energy levels.  Limits to my ability to be all things to all people. Limits to my hours in the day.

People, we are killing ourselves in this culture.  Killing ourselves, trying to do it all.  I found myself, last week, driving from pick up to home, to soccer, to dropping off at a church function etc etc.  When did my schedule start to be the boss of our lives?  When did our activities start to choke out intimacy and connection and breathing?

I feel like I need to pile everything up again and clear the decks.  Just throw it all down and ask myself some very hard and real questions.  Who exactly am I doing this all for?  And who is actually benefiting?

It's hard because we want to teach our children so many things, so quickly.  We want them to 'get all the experiences' and 'all the training,'  and by golly we need them to learn discipline and stick-to-it-iveness.  Heaven forbid they don't turn out to be the best soccer player in the world, the best at music, the best at everything (?) But then, when we're full throttle, eating meals in the car, unpacking, re-packing, driving here and there and exhausting ourselves, it starts to look like a whole lot of needless busyness.

Busyness.  There is that word again.  We have endless 'shoulds' because of so-and-so, and that-thing-I-read, but really?  Busyness isn't cool anymore.  It's just not.  This dream of busy and satisfied is simply a false god for me.  I mean, it just doesn't satisfy.  It's no longer a good excuse for me, or a good response to a question asking how I'm really doing. It means, for me, that I am not thriving and not saying no when the life of my family depends on it.

So here I am.  Flailing.  Doggy paddle style.  Stepping back, stepping down, simplifying, and back pedaling. 

Anyone else feeling like you need to re-evaluate all the things that are filling up your schedule?

Where did september go??


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In a Land of Opposites

I live in a world of contrasts.  Slow down, speed up.  Lean in close and listen, while running at break neck speeds.
This is life with two boys, who are completely opposite from one another.  

The fog started to lift a few weeks ago (and by that, I mean the fog of having another new baby around) and all of a sudden I was given new eyes to see these two boys we are raising.  I am endlessly fascinated by their differences and complexities.

How is it, that God has blessed us with two different sides of the spectrum?

On one side, we have Silas.  Our cerebral 6 year old who is a blur of activity, innovation, curiosity, and imagination.  He is our ideas man.  Our master crafter.  Our socialite and news bearer.  He has one volume: loud.  He is extroverted and academic, so incredibly motivated and driven.  He doesn't slow down.  Of course, therein lies the problem.  He doesn't notice the fact that he just ran over his sister, or that his brother might have an opinion about something.  He is competitive and aggressive and simply cannot seem to fathom that there are other people who might possibly be affected by his tornado of activity.  This child will reach for the stars and he might very well get them. He challenges me with his curious and penetrating questions, and his drive to explore and conquer. He will not miss out on anything.  He is my type-A, eldest son to the extreme.

Then there is Toby.  His soft spoken voice, process oriented ways, and thoughtfulness is completely other than Silas.  He notices the little things, the shiny things, the little people and all that is around him in a completely different way.  The fact that he notices anything in the mess and noise that is his older brother is beyond comprehension to me.  He is tender and there is this beautiful thing that comes alive in him with animals (dang-it, this boy will make me get a pet).  He is caring and nurturing, and thinks things deeply and carefully.  He is an enigma to me in that everything has its place, its process, and its purpose.  Most of the time I don't understand his ways, but I respect them because he is so completely careful about how he executes everything he does.  He causes me to pause, to stop and be still.  (You have to be still to hear his voice because he is so soft spoken).  He is all heart, this boy.  Of course, that comes at a cost if you trip over his invisible and unspoken boundaries.  You will unknowingly set off in him a flare of anger or hurt or disappointment (basically all the feels).  He is sensitive and sometimes fragile. 

How do I be all things 'equal' and 'fair' to such completely different boys?  I feel such different things about them.  I love them so completely but they stir something unique in me all the same.  Now with Toby entering kindergarten it's shocking how different they are.  Silas was practically reading at the start of kindergarten and Toby can actually hardly spell his name.  But yet, I am proud of him all the same for such different reasons.  Is it possible to set very different academic standards for them?  Is it possible to give one permission to achieve and compete, and give the other permission to love and relate?

How does a parent do this?  I recognize in me a natural reaction to want to push Toby to be more academic and push Silas to calm down, but yet there is this sacredness about their unique personalities that God has placed in each of them.

My dream for them is that they would recognize the gift that they are to each other. What a gift for Toby, to have such a challenging older brother.  What a gift for Silas to have such an empathetic brother.  My dream is that they would be able to stop competing for our love (because they have it already), and simply be challenged and inspired by each others gifts. My prayer is that the comparisons and competitions would end and they would be able to encourage and champion each other.  My prayer is that we can steward their gifts without squashing their brothers gifts.  

Anyone else have very different children?  How do you uniquely challenge each of them according to their strengths?

Oh.  Right.  We have two more children afterwards.  What in the world will they add to this already complex dynamic?  Mercy.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


I feel like a child who is suffocating in a winter coat and shoved into a too-tight carseat.

That's about the best description I can figure for what my internal world is feeling right now in the midst of transition.  

This is my sobbing fit:
What do you mean I have to drive my kids to school, every day?  Sign a piece of paper?  Check off homework completion every night?  Make lunches?  Drag my 2 year old and 4 month old back and forth to school what feels like every half hour?

School has arrived.

I'm on day two, DAY TWO folks and I already feel the panic setting in.  "I think I'll just quit.  Throw in the towel.  Homeschooling here we come!  I can't do this."  My kids are feeling it too.  6 year old woke up and declared he is never going to school again.  He will not wear his shoes.  He will not eat his breakfast.  And he desperately said "you mean I have to go EVERY day, FOREVER?"

Pfffft. Yes.

You and me kid.  We will get through this ugly phase together.  Put on your game face and pull up your panties, Shannon.  September has arrived and you will survive!  

You will survive.... gradual entry requiring 8 trips to the school, in one day.
You will survive... an unforseen 50 minute commute instead of 10 minutes.  
You will survive... parents illegally parked in parking lots, blocking you in.
You will survive...complaints about every snack you send.
You will survive...100 newsletters with a bajillion dates for you to remember 

Transition can be ugly.  And that's ok.  It can be downright uncomfortable.  Like stiff new shoes and scratchy new shirts, it can be irritating.  It's like flying with kids: Shifty and panicked stares across the aisle with the other tired parent:  "how much longer is this flight...?"  That will be september.

So how do we ride out the wave of discomfort to get to a new 'normal.'  Here's what I figure:

Sleep more.
Lean in closer.
Forget all but the important things. (No house cleaning, duh).
Believe it will get better.
Make space for emotion.
Be gracious to ourselves, our kids, and the other wide-eyed and panicked parents.
Ride it out.

We can do this, parents.  We can make it.  The next week is going to be like gravy wrestling- awkward and violent- but it's normal (or so I've been told).

I'll leave you with better imagery than that:

I remember when Silas refused to try the waterslide.  He was finally tall enough.  Finally could swim well enough.  And every time we took him swimming we would all gaze at the slide and it felt unconquerable.  He would refuse, every time.  Except when he finally didn't.  We encouraged, we prodded, we all held our breath (figuratively and literally) and at the bottom of the slide he emerged.  He got up, shook himself off, smiled huge, and then his enthusiasm couldn't be contained.  I SHOUTED with joy at his survival and accomplishment and felt such joy in watching him discover that he could in fact do the slide, and then marveled at him doing it over and over again successfully.

So IT WILL be with school.  They will learn.  They will accomplish.  They will come out the other side, shake it off, and do it again. 

Good luck.  Be sane at drop off and pick up.  Love on your teachers.  Pray.  Park legally for heaven's sake, and RIDE this transition out.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Slow and Steady

The skin I feel comfortable in is starting to shed and I'm not sure whether to grab hold of it, or shrug it off my shoulders. 

Hidden behind the 30 year old me is the 12 year old me who hasn't really changed.  She's just buried under pretense, self-imposed expectations, and graceless dreams.  She's worried to be set free because what if the life she dreamed of having doesn't look quite like the life she actually finds herself in now?  

But there is this percolating in my soul.  A longing for more but not the more I longed for before. The old dreams need to die to give life to the new. I still long for places unseen, adventures and accomplishments.  Yet God keeps trying to teach me something different. Over and over the message seems to be the same:

Slow down.  Cease striving.  Be still, and know, that He is God.

Breathe in, breathe out, and there it is again. Weed a few more weeds, water again, push back the chaos and keep working knees to the dirt.  Wipe another cheek, read another book, wash another round of dishes.  Do another push-up, take a few more steps, run a little longer.  Open the Word, meditate on it, be planted firmly by the streams of water again.

It is in the patient endurance of the mundane, it is in the daily disciplines of regular life that the landscape of character and holiness is formed.  That the life I really want, emerges.

But I want it all now.  I want the vistas.  I want the quick and easy, I want the flashy and the important.  I don't want to wait.  And so I walk quickly and talk fast and write lists and do more.  With the hope that the life I want will come about.  Now.

Forget weeding and leggy hostas, give me the picture perfect garden now.  Forget the nose wiping and breaking up fights, give me the beautiful family dinners now.  Forget training and re-training these tired muscles, give me a lean figure now.  And forget fighting off another sinful habit, give me a sin-less soul now.

Breathe in, breathe out, and there it is again.  A different desire in place of the old.

 "Meet me here, in this life I'm in," my soul whispers, "Help me accept the person I am, and believe in Your promises of who You are making me to be.  Bring life into the mundane motions of everyday life, MY everyday life."  

It is no surprise my word this year is surrender.  I feel like I must surrender my big insta-plans and replace them with the slow and chiseling realities of process.  I'm having to re-learn what it means to dream. My youthful, naive dreams of accomplishment, travel and fame are unraveling.  And instead, I dream of true surrender.  Of a spirit of contentment. Of a quiet acceptance of what is, in every season.  Of living with hope of what is to come, alongside a peace of what is now.

I think true visions and dreams start with surrender, and trust:  

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion."  Philippians 1:6

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016 Vancouver Family Summertime Fun in 56 Ideas

Nothing like summertime to do more exploring and adventuring with your family!  Most days I think I've 'seen it all' in Vancouver...but I am still discovering new things.  This year's list of Summertime Activities is filled with a bunch of places we've yet to see.  Hope you get some new ideas.

Gastown Grand Prix

Cliff Falls

Places to go, Things to do:

1. Arts Alive festival in Langley
2. Drag racing at mission raceway.  
3. Gastown Grand Prix  Simply the coolest city event I have ever been to.  Watching bike racers race around you at break neck speeds, with tight curves, around cobblestone gastown.  If you've never been- GO!
4. Picnic and coastal bike ride at Terra Nova Park in Richmond.
5. Skim boarding at Boundary Bay Regional Park or Centennial Beach   what an amazing beach!  The tide goes so far out making for a very shallow pool for the kids!
6. Beach combing at Cates Park, North Vancouver
7. Watch artists paint in stanley park, and bring our own canvases.
8. Cultus Lake Waterslides.  Kids loved it last year, not sure how Fiona will do this year but we've got to try it at least =)
9. Take the boys mountain biking, maybe down Burnaby Mountain
10. Langley BMX track to watch bike racing. 
11. Rock hopping around Whytecliff Park.  A family favourite, the views around horseshoe bay are simply stunning.
12. Terrible karaoke, knick-knack shopping, and interesting food vendor sampling....what is more interesting than taking the kids for a cultural experience at the Richmond Night Market?
13. Fly our kite at the Pacific Rim Kite Flying festival at Vanier Park in Vancouver.
14. Family camp at Camp Barnabas.  Can't wait!
15. Bike around or explore the Reifel bird sanctuary.  Have yet to check it out.
16. Rocky Point Park is always a hit.  Spray park, ocean, playground...doesn't get much better!
17. Take the older kids to the fireworks!
18. Garden City park in Richmond.  Never checked it out....
19. Sushi by the bay, or fish n' chips in White Rock.
20. Bike around the seawall at Stanley Park
21. Go to a Vancouver WhiteCaps game

Hikes to explore with little legs:

1. Jug island hiking trail  5.5 km.  It ends at a beautiful swimming spot....maybe we'll bring swimming wear and a boat to pull the kids behind in?
2.  Hike around Sasamat lake, then go for a swim!  The perfect summer swimming lake.  Warm, no boats, soft sand...perfect for later evening swimming before bed.
3. Mystery lake at Seymour.  Another 'hike and swim' family event.
4. Buntzen lake in Port Moody.  Beach, hiking, swimming, bald eagles...what else do you need?
5. Cliff falls hike.  A perfect length for little legs.  Bridges, creek-bed, waterfalls, awesome.
6. Quarry Rock by deep cove.  Beautiful look out.
7. Burns Bog in Delta.  Bring the bikes!
8. Teapot hill at Cultus lake.  So fun!  The trail is littered with teapots to spot and count as you hike and it has a GREAT and rewarding look-out.

Backyard and Local fun:

1. Krause berry farm raspberry and blueberry picking.  Jam making is a must this summer!
2. Sleep out in a tent in our backyard.
3. Family race day for a good cause: Drime's Run for the Nations
4. Geocaching 
5. Spray park day!
6. Roast marshmallows in our backyard (over a stove, of course)
7. Evening walk to Menchies
8. Lion's Park in Port Coquitlam.  New!  Renovated!  Loved the new playground and the walking trail.  HOW have we never been here before?
9. Make giant bubbles!
10. Sidewalk chalk neighborhood bomb.
11. Have our neighbors over for a BBQ.
12. Sprinkler fun in the backyard.
13. Work on a backyard fort, or tree house.
14. Watch daddy try kite-boarding (that's for you, Jason!)
15. Upright paddle-boarding on a date with hubby.  (Can the baby be in a carrier at the same time?)
16. Teach the boys badminton.
17. I love this need to scour pinterest when lists are made for you: messy twister? glowsticks in the pool? SO many fun ideas.
18. Backyard movie theatre at night, or go to twilight or one of the local outdoor movies
19. Paint our front garden rocks
20. Squirt gun obstacle course race.  The boys will LOVE this. 
21. Lemonade stand and art sale (Silas really wants to do the art sale part).
22. Canoeing at Brae Island in Fort Langley
23. Overnight camping trip with Daddy at Brae Island
24. Frog catching at a local pond
25. Bike jumps in our cul-de-sac
26. Picnic breakfast
27. Ship-to-shore Canada day BIG SHIP festival in Steveston.

For a good list of fun playgrounds, check out this link

We're actually hoping to start a family-friendly outdoors club and drag any willing families along for some kid-friendly hikes and active trips.  We're thinking of hikes, a canoe trip, skim boarding, mountain biking, etc.   Message me if you are interested in joining us as we seek to build community among local families, explore the great wild outdoors, and foster a love of athleticism in our kids.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

When Dreams Die, so Babies Might Live. The Birth of Naomi Eliana Renae.

Today is a reflective day for me as a mother.  When I think back over these last 6 years, I am so thankful for so many things.  As a mom, I get to be witness to the unfolding of lives, of personalities, that have never yet walked this earth.  I get to hear first laughs, see first smiles, and kiss unblemished cheeks.  

It's miraculous.  It's marvelous.  It brings me to my knees.  I feel closer to God when I see my children play, when I really stop and breathe it in.   That we get to be part of bringing forth life, that we get to be part of shaping and molding little wondrous.  

I am undeserving of the joys of motherhood.   

But then there are also sorrows of motherhood. You see, bringing forth life, from my body, is very hard.  Everything about the journey of becoming a mother demands so much of me physically that I often wonder how we've done this 4 times over.   Over 1200 injections, 36 months of pregnancy, more than 72 hours of labor, 2 bouts of postpartum thyroiditis, 1 bout of liver hepatitis, 4 major surgeries and 2 incision complications later...

I wish I could say I was braver for it.  I wish I could say that I was stronger for it.  But most often I have felt scared and weak.  This last time has been beyond challenging.

I wanted so badly to have my babies without major surgery.  And this last time was no exception.  I drank the teas and made the appointments.  I did the physio, the exercises, booked the doula, stayed fit and maintained my posture.  I read the books, I talked to every working professional, did the extra ultrasounds and prayed harder than ever.  "O God, would you do the impossible this time.  Please, would you change my story.  Please can I avoid the pain and difficulty of a C-section recovery this time?"

I accepted the risks. I made the plans.  I hoped for the best.  I dreamt of the impossible. 

And my miracle birth didn't happen.

Now what?  

For many of you, you might not understand the grief I must carry with my births.  But for any of you who have hoped and dreamed for something, that you will never have, you do understand.  

The question is, is God to be trusted?  Is He faithful?  When you pray, step out and have faith, and trust Him completely with an impossible hope, what do you do when things don't go as you envisioned or expected or hoped for?

You see, I will never know and always question if I did all I could do to have my babies naturally.  I will question if I had been just a little bit stronger, if I was just more pain tolerant, if I had pushed the limits more and just 'held on,'  might I have gotten my heart's desire?  It might even always feel difficult sharing around a table with other moms and hearing about their birth stories.  I might always feel a bit left out, weak, and not 'womanly' enough.

But, like a rushing wind, like the rising sun, truth comes roaring in and I see with my spirit what I cannot see with my flesh.  What if, what looks like pain and difficulty, is actually God's grace to me?  What if, what the Bible says is indeed true and God is always good, always faithful, and always sovereign?  What if I believed it for real?

We named little baby Naomi with the middle name Eliana.  And it means "my God has answered." That name was ringing in my head for weeks before she was born, before her birth happened.  Is it any less true if the outcome was different than I hoped?  The thing is, I cannot see completely, what He can see.  

If I trusted God with the outcome, and believed His best for me no matter what, then my response to her birth should ever be "Praise God."  Who knows what the outcome would have been if I tried longer to have her naturally.  She might not be here today.  I might not be.  

The death of my dream might be the reason my babies are alive.  It might be the reason I have children at all.  

And I wonder at what it means to have faith.  It's so easy for little seeds of lies to take root in my heart that say "God isn't for me"  and "God is not good"  and "God has better plans for others than me." 

But the Bible says in Psalms 25:10 "All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful."

As an anchor to the soul, in these times of my life, I must cling to that truth.  That God is always loving.  That He is always faithful.  That His heart towards me is good and He will never let me down.  

And so, with tears welling and a big shovel, I must bury my desire for a 'natural birth.'  I will grieve my story, but I will celebrate it at the same time.  Joy and sorrow meet at the cross where what appears to be a perfect tragedy is actually a tremendous victory.  I will choose faith instead of doubt. That my story is, as it is, for a reason. A good reason, which I may never know.

Naomi's other middle name is Renae which means "reborn."  It too was a name chosen in faith. Perhaps her birth will be a new birth for me as I reflect on this journey of motherhood- its sacrifices, its lessons, and what it has revealed about who God is.  He is unchanging.  He is always good.  He is always for me, even when my dreams die, He is still faithful.

Her name will always be a reminder for me that with the death of dreams, comes life in Christ.  As I surrendor, as I let go of my expectations and embrace what actually IS, only then can I live fully and most alive, in Him.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

the Brave Way

If I asked you today, if you are brave, what would you say?

People call our 4 year old brave, as he bombs down hills and over jumps on his little two wheeler pedal bike.  I like to call our 6 year old brave for attempting front flips at gymnastics.

We often recognize acts of bravery that are loud and extroverted.  Or maybe we just elevate heros as though at the very time they were doing something heroic,they knew they were being heroic (cue the music).  We cheer for the underdogs, we applaud the saints of social justice, the cape-wearers, the political leaders, the bravehearts and Luke Skywalkers....the list goes on.  Fighting the bad guys!  Taking down institutions! (p.s. these things are brave, but are they they only things that are?)

But what if the music doesn't start?
What if there is no audience?
What if bravery looks a lot more like giving up, letting go, or surrendering, instead of fighting?
What if no one applauds?  What if no one even sees?

Is it still brave?

Cause maybe, just maybe, bravery might actually be less popular than we think.  Bravery, to me, looks like the person who forgives, even though the offence is beyond forgiveable.  Bravery looks like loving that person who doesn't deserve love, and certainly is doing nothing to earn it.  Bravery looks like facing the realities of your life instead of running away.  It looks like admitting your weaknesses and asking for help, instead of trying to go another step, alone.

I see you there, fighting to face another day with the set of circumstances that life has presented you with. The story you wish wasn't yours but you are walking out.  The struggle you want to defeat once and for all but you continue to journey through.  The relationship you would abandon but you are choosing to not let go of.

And what I see is bravery.
What I see is true courage.

Bravery is the face of a husband who comes home again, even though he was planning to leave his unsatisfying marriage.  It looks like the woman who stops trying to prove something and go it alone, but asks for help and admits to her post-partum depression.  It looks like the patient in pain, not letting despair take root.  It looks like the victim deciding that she is not going to believe the lie anymore that she is worthless.

The way of the cross requires bravery.

I am facing a particularly difficult decision which will probably be decided by a history I cannot change.  I dream of something different, I long for a reality that I might never get to grasp.  And the grief and loss that I must process is tremendous.  But, it occurred to me, though my emotions raged, that what might look like the 'weak' choice, the one not applauded by the culture around me, might just be the brave choice.

Brave because surrendering to Someone stronger, is not weak.
Brave because giving God the chance to write my story, is not popular.
Brave because dying to myself and what the world thinks of me, is the hardest thing I might ever do.
Brave because letting go of control is not comfortable.

How are you needing to be brave today?  

Maybe it looks more like falling on your face in surrendor, than trying harder.
Maybe it looks more like giving your life up to a God who loves you, and has better plans for your life instead of trying to control every outcome.

You see, because we have a Savior who was brave.  The world didn't call it bravery.  We killed his kind of bravery.  Coming down to us, who are sinful, and dying for us?  Mending our brokenness with the breaking of His own body?  He forgives us, loves us, doesn't abandon us....His way is the brave way:

The hard way, the simple way, the only way, the brave way.

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