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A Trip to the ER

magnifyingglass

“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”  Psalm 34:3  (NKJV)

When life includes mental illness (MI) how can having one more complication be good? Those are times God uses other people to magnify His love for us.

We headed off to the ER. Thankfully, it was for me and not our son, Chris. I’d rather endure my physical pain than relive any emotional pain of Chris suffering.

It all started a week ago with me vomiting on Wednesday night. So I only ate several tiny crackers on Thursday. Which I vomited Thursday night. The pain in my abdomen didn’t feel like a typical intestinal bug. So Friday I drove myself to the doctor, ignoring the searing pain of each bump and turn.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics and anti-cramping medicine. “If you don’t feel any better by tomorrow, go to the ER,” he instructed me. “They’ll run tests to determine the cause. It could be anything…food poising, diverticulitis, a gall bladder attack…”

Friday I followed the doctor’s instructions to drink colorless fluids, take my meds, and eat a bland diet.

Saturday morning I tried eating some applesauce. My loss of appetite prevented me from finishing off the snack-size container. Could only manage about a tablespoon.

By 10:00 AM Saturday morning, my condition hadn’t improved. Howie and I decided to head to the ER.

We provided necessary information. They did some tests. We waited for results and provided more information. Eight hours later they admitted me and had a diagnosis. My enlarged gall bladder, complete with a gall stone, caused all the pain and discomfort.

The decision was made to remove it. IV antibiotics had to be administered to reduce the size.

My first night in the hospital proved to be exactly what others joke about. The constant interruptions. Time to wake up and take meds. An hour later, time to check vitals. Next hour, time to see if the IV is okay. I was well-taken care of and weary.

Sunday morning Howie came to visit. Soon after, Chris arrived. What a blessing to have him come! The sweet time we spent together in the hospital almost made my pain worth it. Chris was so caring and compassionate.

“Are you okay, Mom? How are you feeling? I’ve been in hospitals and I know it’s hard to get a good night sleep.”

“Yeah, Chris. You can say that again. Nurses coming and going…the IV machine beeping and then sounding an alarm when the tubing had too many bubbles… …announcements on the intercom…and even a lullaby song played over the intercom announcing the birth of a baby born in the hospital.”

Howie and Chis left after a short visit. Later Sunday afternoon Howie called.

“When Chris and I were leaving the hospital, Chris asked the doctor if he could do anything to stop the announcements from being made on the intercom outside my room.”

What a considerate gesture! Chris made an effort to guarantee me better sleep. Even though the doctor had no power over the  intercom, Chris’s thoughtfulness made my day.

Sunday night Howie came for another visit carrying a beautiful yellow vase full of flowers. He showered me with small gifts. Things I didn’t even know I’d need: warm footies for my feet, Chapstick, the recharger for my cell phone…

That second night in the hospital I still endured pain and interrupted sleep. But my heart was full of the love shown by Chris and Howie. God used my enflamed gall bladder to magnify His love in my life.

During trials, I’ve learned to be on the lookout for God’s love messages sent through others. He surely sends them because He’s surely there. And surely cares.

Yesterday when I arrived home from the hospital another of God’s love messages greeted me. This time sent through the loving hands of former colleagues. On their first day back to school, those dear friends and Christian educators took the time to sign a get-well card for me. Their card was like a bouquet of blessings filled with promises of prayers.

Thank You, Father, for magnifying Your love for me through family and friends. Help me make it a priority to magnify Your love. To open Your Word and closely examine how You show Your love. How beautiful You are the closer I am to You!

Magnify the Lord as you listen to Great Is Thy Faithfulness By Cece Winans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60o3UP4Kjwg

Not Now

Vicki.not.good.time

When is a good time for a crisis? Most likely you quickly shouted, “NEVER!”

Mental illness (MI) interrupted my life when my son lost touch with reality. Chris was a junior in high school. I was the Director of Instruction at a Christian school. A school I helped start with just one other administrator, Sam.

The school began as a ministry of our mega church. With a congregation of 10,000 members, the school’s enrolment exploded in a few short years. The first year we had 380 students. In the second year, there were 570 students. By the fifth year, the enrolment swelled to 1,000! The headmaster and I were a little busy.

So when I needed to stay home with Chris, Sam was left to oversee it all. During the time of my absence, I visited our pastor.

“How’s it going, Vicki,” he compassionately asked.

“Chris is in the hospital. I’m concerned about Sam.”

“Why?”

“Because he needs my help with the school.”

Then my pastor made a statement that shocked me.

“God doesn’t need you, Vicki.”

His words made me wince.

That wasn’t very nice. He knows I’m going through this crisis. How could he say such a thing? Isn’t he supposed to say comforting words?

I quickly learned my pastor spoke God’s Truth in love. Those words helped me realize I’d been relying on myself instead of God. Eventually, that statement freed me from worry. Whenever I struggled to handle an insurmountable problem, that truth readjusted my focus. His words echoed in my mind, reminding me God’s in control.

God doesn’t need you, Vicki. He’s quite capable of solving this problem. He’s accomplishing His perfect plan in your life.

Paul understood his inclination to rely on himself. He acknowledged that his heavenly Father used life’s pressures to help him trust in God alone. He reassured the church in Corinth, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).”

As we raise our children with serious MI, we can feel as though it’s a task “far beyond our ability to endure.”

Do you feel like Paul? Are you under such great pressure that you despair of life itself? Listen to Paul’s encouragement. His voice of experience reminds you, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:21).”

Whatever we face today, we can stand firm in Christ.

Chris Tomlin reminds us God is more than enough in his song, “Enough

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW-toYBiF8o

Traumatic Stress

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Moms have a way of holding it together until a crisis is over. Then what happens? Read about what happened to me.

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After Chris recovered from his first psychotic episode, he returned to school. First, he went for only a few hours. Then, he attended for most of the day. Finally, he managed staying the entire day.

Although things were back to normal, I felt unusually tired, cried easily, and overreacted to situations. My fragile emotions caught me by surprise when I least expected it. Like the time Rob called to ask for ride home from school.

“Mom, could you come and pick me up? Band rehearsal is over.”

“Sure, I’ll be there in a ten minutes.”

When I arrived at the high school, there was no sign of Rob. As I waited in the car, I observed a mob of teenagers at the end of the large parking lot. Just then, I noticed the principal and vice principal walking towards them. Soon after, the huge crowd dispersed. The administrator returned to the school building.

Something must be going down. Maybe a fight.

The arrival of two police cars interrupted my predictions.

Looks like I’m right. Those kids were up to no good. Where’s Rob? He needed a ride home. He said band practice had finished.

A horrible thought crossed my mind.

Was Rob a target of some sort of violence? Did those kids see him waiting for me and beat him up? With the way our lives have been going, I wouldn’t be surprised. Oh, Lord, please let that not be what happened.

I tried to comfort myself.

Calm down, Vicki, Maybe he’s just watching the whole thing.

Such a thought was no comfort.

If he’s doing that, I’ll kill him!

I drove to a pay phone to call home (since this was before smart phones and texting). To my shock, Rob answered the phone.

“Rob, didn’t you call and ask me to pick you up from school?”

“Oh, yeah. Dave’s parents offered to drive me home. Sorry.”

What a typical teen! He acted in the moment. Rob was home safe and sound while I was mentally living my own worst-case scenario.

My emotions swirled inside. Now that I knew Rob was safe, I felt relieved.

Now I can fall apart. Have a good cry

My thoughts were interrupted by the car in my rearview mirror. I hadn’t yet driven off the school grounds and one of the police cars was behind me. So I focused on my speed. Driving fifteen miles an hour isn’t easy!

Making a right onto the road, I noticed the speed limit sign. Deep concentration was in order. No time to fall apart or let my mind wander.

Keep it at 25 miles an hour, Vicki. Did the cop turn right? Yes. Better make sure I signal to turn left at the next light. Don’t forget to turn on your turn signal. Check your speed. Don’t start to cry. Hold it together.

After I turned left onto the next road, I noticed the police offer did the same. There were two lanes going in my direction, so I slowed down. Making it easy for the cop to pass me. He didn’t. He stuck behind me past three more traffic lights. Even when I turned right, he followed my route.

He must be following me. Why’s he following me? I really don’t need this. I don’t know if I can hold it together much longer—

My thoughts were interrupted again. His lights signaled me to pull over.

Perfect, just perfect!! I’ve never been pulled over before. I don’t even know how this works. I guess I need to get out my license, registration. Do I need my insurance? Better get that too, just in case.

By the time I collected all the documents, he still hadn’t approached my car.

What’s he doing? What’s going on? He followed me all the way from the high school. Did he think I was somehow involved in the fight? Is he waiting for more back-up? Oh, how embarrassing! What did I do wrong? I’ll tell him the truth: my son was missing and I thought he was being beat up. The officer would believe me because he saw me drive away from the school.

After what seemed like an eternity, he still didn’t walk towards me.

Maybe I’m supposed to get out and go to him.

Finally, the officer appeared at my window.

“Hi ma’am. How are you doing?” he asked in a very pointed manner.

“Fine officer,” I lied.

“The date on your registration sticker has expired. You should have gotten a new one four months ago. This is just a reminder. You need to get that taken care of as soon as possible.”

With all that had been going on in our lives, it’s no wonder why we hadn’t attended to that detail. Even though the officer didn’t ask me any questions, I felt the need to spill my emotional story.

“I thought my son was missing.”

“Do you know where he is?”

“Yes. He’s home.”

“I’ve met your son.”

His comment thrust my mind back into worst-case-scenario mode.

Why would our local officer know Rob? What did he do?

I continued with my calm façade and casually asked, “Oh? How do you know my son?”

“I was there that night.”

THAT night.’ He met Chris the night Chris assaulted Howie and me? That’s the night the police took him to the hospital in handcuffs. The night Chris was admitted into the psychiatric unit of our hospital.

The emotions of ‘that night’ hit me like a tidal wave. Transporting me back to Chris’s behavior. Scenes I had suppressed in my mind flashed like lightning bolts in my head. Chris’s distorted thinking. His accusations that we assaulted him. I feared the police believed Chris’s words. Before I could speak, the officer expressed compassion.

“How’s your son doing?”

“He’s doing fine. Much better. It’s a shame you saw him like that because that’s not at all like he is.”

“We knew that he was dealing with mental issues. Actually he was pretty funny that night.”

‘Pretty funny’ wouldn’t be how I’d describe Chris that night.

“Thank you, officer,” I said politely as a way of saying I’m done with this conversation.

As I drove home, scenes of that afternoon replayed in my head: the mob of kids, being pulled over, the officer knowing ‘my son’, the officer being there ‘that night.’ I realized when the officer asked me how I was doing he knew what our family had experienced. He cared.

God used a man who upholds the law to show me compassion. It took me a while to realize that. The traumatic stress of my life blocked the verbal hug God sent my way.

Kind of like Joshua. The looming stress of the upcoming battle of Jericho prevented him from recognizing his Lord.

“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’”  Joshua 5:13

 “‘Neither,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’”  Joshua 5:14

Ask God to help you recognize His love for you and to hear the message He has for you today.

May this song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord”, be our prayer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wutmEjdbedE

Intuition

intuition

Did your motherly instinct ever contradict actions recommended by professionals? There are times to trust your gut. Our children with serious mental illness (MI) need protection. We’re their first line of defense.

Moses’ parents did what was necessary to protect their baby. “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”  Hebrews 11:23

Years ago, I did what was necessary to protect Chris. There came I time when I had to stand up against professionals. Maybe the details of my story will sound familiar.

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The day came for Chris to begin treatment in a partial-care facility. As I drove him there, I worried if the professionals would be caring. I tried to reassure myself everything would be okay.

How can I leave Chris with complete strangers? He just experienced being locked in a psychiatric unit in the hospital. The psychiatrist said he’s ready for the next step. But, I know Chris is still emotionally fragile. God will be with him there.

As we approached the facility, there was a sign directing us to a temporary trailer. The sign on the door read: “Partial-Care Temporary Treatment Facility: Due to fire, our main facility is being repaired.”

I dropped Chris off and went home. Household chores couldn’t keep my mind of Chris.

What’s he doing now? Is his day structured? Is he responding to the other patients? Is he interacting with them?

The day dragged on. Finally, it was time to pick him up. I studied Chris’s face as he approached the car. He walked slowly. Head down. No smile.

“How did it go, Chris?”

“I couldn’t stand it. I felt closed in. It reminded me of the hospital. I felt like a caged animal.”

“How was the social worker?”

“She spoke mean to me. She hates her job.”

Chris’s remarks about the social worker concerned me. Chris’s MI caused him to have a negative attitude. But, God provided discernment. My heavenly Father used my intuition to tell me Chris’s assessment was accurate.

The next day, I accompanied Chris into the facility to meet the social worker. We had a brief conversation. The most enlightening portion went like this:

“Have you worked here long?”

“Only a few years. Chris will soon have a new social worker here. I’ll be leaving soon. I’m pregnant. I’m looking for a different profession. I hate this job.”

Her comments confirmed my suspicions. Chris was right. Suddenly it was even harder to leave him. Knowing he’d be spending the day with someone who hates her job (and Chris?).

When I picked Chris up, he offered some news.

“I met with a psychiatrist.”

“How long was your meeting?”

“Only a few minutes.”

Chris seemed very agitated.

“I don’t want to go back to that place.”

Once again, God provided discernment. My intuition told me his reaction was based on a bad situation, rather than on his condition. His medication had started to help him return to the old Chris. I decided to let Chris stay home the next day (to take a break from the program).

The next day, I called the guidance counselor of Chris’s school. I wanted to inquire about homebound instruction. Little did I know, I was about to get lectured by that professional.

“I’m calling to discuss the details of Chris’s homebound instruction.”

“Mrs. Chandler, where’s Chris?”

“He’s home with me. I kept him home because the partial-care facility seemed like a detrimental place for him. The social worker admitted to me she hates her job.”

“It’s against the school district policy for Chris to be absent. You need to call our social worker.”

When I called the social worker, she yelled at me. She chastised me for making the decision to keep Chris home. In an angry tone she said, “Mrs. Chandler, you’re too over-involved.”

Too over-involved! With my own son?! Does she actually believe I’m simply allowing Chris to play hooky? Surely, she knows about Chris’s diagnosis. Lord, help me respond correctly.

“First of all, I’m the one in crisis and you’re the professional. I’d appreciate it if you’d speak to me with more compassion. Secondly, there’s NO WAY I could ever be over-involved with my son. He’s MY son. I’ll do what I feel is best for him. The social worker at the partial-care facility hates her job and was agitating Chris.”

Her reply: “Well, the psychiatrist at that facility determined that Chris is ready to go back to school.”

In shock I said, “That was based on a brief conversation with Chris, without reading Chris’s hospital records, or without speaking to me!”

“There are procedures to be followed, Mrs. Chandler. You can’t simply keep Chris home.”

“Well in lieu of anyone taking the lead, I’d be happy to take responsibility to arrange a meeting.”

The school social worker backed off and said, “The social worker at the partial-care facility is supposed to arrange a meeting. I’ll make sure it happens as soon as possible.”

I hung up the phone. Emotionally spent. But, grateful God helped me stand up to the professional who—shall we say—lacked bedside manners.

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Sometimes God uses caring professionals to guide us through the mental health system. Other times, He alone provides the discernment and wisdom for us to know what’s best for our child. Either way, God equips us to do what He calls us to do.

Listen to “Lord, Reign in Me” as a reminder He’s alive and directing you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSdthxieYp4

Was there a time when your woman’s intuition directed you to stand strong against professionals on behalf of your child?

 

 

Need Support

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Do you feel like you’re ready to collapse? Like you need to be supported by flying buttresses to remain standing.

Life that includes a loved one with serious mental illness (MI) can knock you off your feet. You regain your balance and resume your walk through mundane tasks. Then, BAM! Some bazaar behavior or unexpected comment hits you. Once again, the wind is knocked out of you. Time of prayer restores the pep to your step.

Along comes another whack. This time, it’s a diagnosis (or MISdiagnosis) or a blunt recommendation made by a specialist (who seems to have no clue what you’re going through). Blindsiding you. Like you’ve been demolished by a Mack Truck. Making you an emotional wreck. As if your feelings got churned up a meat grinder.

Weary from it all, it gets harder and harder to stand on your own two feet. Does that describe your life?

How can we go on when life hits us from all directions? When we’re too worn out to even stand.

Last week, President Obama spoke about getting knocked down. On April 18, 2013 he gave a message at the interfaith memorial service in Boston. He said, “Like Bill Iffrig, 78 years old — the runner in the orange tank top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast — we may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going. We will finish the race.”

Pick yourself up. Just keep going. Sounds easy enough. Not so!

Moms who have a child with MI may need support. We need human buttresses—people to come along side us. Loved ones who will keep us from crumbling under the pressure.

Years ago, I worked as a Bible instructor at a Christian camp for handicapped children. One adolescent camper, Bruce, was huge in stature. His large physique was exceeded only by his big smile. The joy of the Lord lit up his face.

His mental retardation didn’t prevent him from memorizing hymns—every verse and chorus. His beautiful voice drew you into his world…a world where intellectual abilities are irrelevant. A world where rejoicing reigns supreme. Anyone who joined Bruce in his world of praise experienced his heavenly serenity.

Yes, Bruce could sing. But, he couldn’t roller skate. He needed support to stay erect on skates. The first year, it took six strong camp counselors to hold him up. He crept along like a floating tree powered by human training wheels. Skating ever so slowly. Inch by inch.

The next year, he needed only five supporters. The third year, it took only four. Eventually, he was down to only one helper. Then, it came. That moment of victory. The helper let go. Bruce stood on his own!

That’s a picture of what God will do for you. He’ll send human buttresses. His people to support you. As many as you need. For as long as you need them. Until you can stand on your own.

Or, He alone will miraculously help you move forward. He promises you, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:10, 13

Sometimes, it’s in the power of Christ alone that we can stand. Let those words minister to you as you listen to “In Christ Alone.”

 

Good Friday?

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Why do we reflect on Christ’s crucifixion? How can we relate to such torture? How can we understand such love?

God transformed a traumatic memory to give me insight. Read how:

The psychiatrist advised, “You have to get Chris into the hospital as soon as possible. He’s becoming very dangerous.”

How am I supposed to get him to the hospital without him first harming me? I hid all sharp objects, but Chris has his black belt in karate.

A few nights later, our family returned home from the movies. Robert and Howie went upstairs. Chris approached me in the kitchen with an audiocassette tape in his hand. Breaking it in front of me he said, “This is what I will do to you.”

Suddenly, he struck my jaw with a karate chop.

Chris turned and walked towards the steps, punching a hole in the wall. I followed him.

Chris walked into our bedroom and began to speak calmly to Howie, as if nothing happened. Unprovoked, he suddenly attacked Howie with a running side kick (a powerful karate foot kick). When he turned toward me, Howie grabbed him.

Quickly, I helped Howie hold Chris down on the floor. Chris’s nose started bleeding. Blood poured from his nose onto our carpet.

With Howie was on one side of Chris and me on the other, I couldn’t see what was happening to Howie. But, I could hear Howie making grunting sounds as if he was getting hurt. Chris thrashed his feet about in an attempt to break loose. kicking me over and over. He cursed at us and growled like a caged animal.

I screamed, “Robert, call 911! Tell them to send an ambulance.”

An army of police officers arrived at our house. I never thought I’d be relieved to have my son handcuffed. But, I was. I knew we would all be safe and Chris would have the best chance of getting better. The police took Chris away in an ambulance. Although Howie and I were exhausted, we jumped in the car and headed to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital just as the police were escorting Chris into the emergency entrance. We caught up to him. The dark, empty look in his eyes was replaced by a pathetic look. I saw the helpless, pleading look of a son who needed his mother.

“I’m sorry, Mom.”

“It’s OK, Chris. We know you didn’t mean it. You’re just sick. That’s all.”

In the waiting room, Howie and I noticed our injuries. The inside of Howie’s lip was raw and bloody from being hit repeatedly by Chris’s head. There was a large cut on his face just under his eye. I had no cuts. Only bruises. All over my arms and legs.

During the six hours we waited, doctors and nurses tried to get Chris to admit himself. But he refused. He would have to be admitted against his will.

After a while, Chris fell asleep. He was taken to a room in the adolescent psychiatric ward of the hospital.

As we left the hospital, we were given a packet of information. It contained all the rules and regulations of the psychiatric ward. A lot to read after experiencing such an ordeal.

We returned home at 6:00 AM.

Later that day, Howie and I compared notes.
“What were you thinking when we held Chris down, Howie?”
“I felt tremendous sorrow for him. I didn’t want him to get hurt.”
“That’s exactly how I felt.”

Howie and I were careful not to hurt Chris as we held him down. Neither of us minded the blows we received. Even though Chris cursed us, we loved him unconditionally.

That’s how it was with Jesus. His accusers cursed, beat, and whipped Him. Yet, He took the pain upon Himself…For our transgressions. The Lord replaced that dreadful experience with a beautiful reminder of Christ’s love.

As a little girl, I wondered, “What’s so good about Good Friday?” Our experience with our son years ago gave me insight into Christ’s crucifixion. Jesus willingly died because of His unconditional love for us. He preferred to take our punishment so we could have eternal life in heaven.

Do you have a painful memory that haunts you? Christ, who overcame death, can surely transform those troubling thoughts.

Kristyn Getty’s “The Power of the Cross” reminds us of His unconditional love.

Photo Shop

Bird Paradise digital 007 fixed Bird Paradise
Wouldn’t it be nice to photo shop your life? Tweak imperfections in relationships the way photographers tweak photographs?

Just for fun, imagine the possibilities.
Let’s delete shadows of painful memories. Click! Regrets of parenting mistakes gone.

Now, blur specific painful scenes. Click! Stories your child told of being bullied or ignored can no longer be seen in your mind’s eye.

Next, air brush ugliness away and smooth out edges. Click! Tension in the family dissolves.

Don’t forget to crop out unwanted emotions. Click! Anxiety and worry are gone from you and your child who has mental illness (MI).

Let’s try reducing the noise that clutters up a marriage. Click! Resentment is replaced with clear communication.

Finally, use the red eye tool to remove the tear-stained, sleep-deprived inflammation. Click! A false façade hides deep sorrow.

Sadly, it seems impossible to remove painful memories, erase regrets, smooth away tension, restore a marriage, sleep peacefully, and stop the tears.

We walk from peaceful days into the darkness. Why?

I discovered a wonderful symbolism of God’s ways when I tinkered with tools in Photo Shop.

My newest pastime is altering photographs. I’ve recently learned how to change the background of pictures.

I captured a nice picture of a macaw. The context of the cage pulled my attention away from the bird’s pretty colors. I wondered if I could improve the picture.

When I switched to a black background, the glorious colors exploded like fireworks in the night. I gasped in awe at the result. Once distractions were removed, the exquisite rainbow of colors became strikingly vibrant.

Has MI plunged you into darkness? The Designer of the universe knows how to focus your attention on Him. The darker the trial, the brighter His presence. Suddenly all that’s seen is His vibrant love.

The complicated context of our lives masks God’s presence. When our lives are uneventful, we rarely notice Him. So, God switches the background.

Walking in darkness conjures up images of someone stumbling. It stirs up ugly emotions: fright, uncertainty, loneliness…But, God ways aren’t like our ways. He knows when we walk in darkness, we look harder for Him.

In our darkest of times, God’s presence captivates our attention. His love comes alive. His comfort reaches out to us. His peace calms our heart.

Words in the Bible, once a multitude of verses, become God’s personal message to us. The Bible, previously our Daily Bread, becomes a true feast for the heart. Our lifeline. We witness His faithfulness and learn to depend on His promises.

My camera has a switch for automatic. But, I prefer using the manual switch. I like to be in control.

Have you got your life on manual? How’s it working for you? Try switching to automatic. Let God capture your heart. He’s perfecting His masterpiece. Your family portrait is framed in His perfect plans. Wait for them to be fully developed. What He’s begun, He’ll complete.

For now, we see only in part. Like this small glimpse of a snapshot.
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God sees the big picture.
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Ask God to give you His heavenly perspective.

Reflect on God’s Hand in your life as you listen to Chris Tomlin sing ‘Take My Life’