Stranger in the Earth

thoughts on the way to zion

Mud Area Before and… after, but still in process

A few days ago I started looking around my rather chaotic house and began attacking the more problematic areas with some plans in hopes that I may have a highly functional and orderly home. I become useless when there’s clutter, and after getting rid of so many things that we no longer had a use for, I realized something- I don’t have any place to put things. Our old house had a lot of built-in storage, so I never gave it much thought. Now, however, it’s all about creative storage plans.

The first eye-sore was the “mud area”. I’d call it a room, but the room in which it resides is so many things that it’s more like a zone than anything else. This is what it looked like before.

ImageThat’s just plain embarrassing.

So I worked on a few things. I had to have somewhere to hang a couple of coats, purses, shoes and little items that tend to get lost if they’re not in something, but that need to be easily accessible on our way out the door. So I went to work, and this is what I came up with for the time being. It is by no means finished, but it’s working a LOT better than it was before.

Image

Much better, yeah?

I had to shop the house a bit to not break the bank with a bigger project than I was anticipating, so I found a shelf that was originally only used for decoration. I also had a couple of hooks that I never ended up installing in our old house, so my problem of outside gear getting dumped on a bench was getting solved.

Thankfully, I was able to score a 50% off deal at JoAnn Fabrics on some small baskets (because baskets are always priced as if they’re made of gold bars for some reason) that fit perfectly on my shelf to house my camera, map, extra little toys for church, sunglasses, and a couple of other little things. THEN, after scouring the cheap-o dollar section of Target, I found the two green buckets for $3 each that I could put wet kid boots/shoes in when the Littles come in from the great outdoors.

For now the plan is to get a good long mat to put under the whole deal to reduce the amount of melted snow that gets tracked through the house. In addition, I may have to add an “outgoing mail” box of some sort, and then see what I can do about the wall color. For now, though, it’s gradually becoming more easy to keep things looking nice.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is project #1. There’s more to come, but it’s all about slow and steady right now.

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Yankee Adventures

I believe I have a condition that I have dubbed “Absentee Blogitis”. If you’re reading this, it’s likely on accident. And if you follow me and for some crazy reason you actually subscribe to this blog, you likely never truly believe I’m a real live person. I post a new this or that about twice a year (on a really diligent year), and it’s nothing short of a miracle when I get something posted that I’m happy enough with to actually click the “Publish Post” button. I have loads of half-started posts just laying around on my dashboard, but I’m pretty sure that’s where they’ll stay.

Anyway, we just moved to Upstate New York- I know, right? Insane. It’s a blast. I love the countryside, I love the people, I love the wings. So far, no negatives except that my husband got struck down by scarlet fever when we rolled into town. Okay, maybe it was the just the flu, but it felt like it was scarlet fever.

So I was all unpacking the house by myself because I didn’t want to invite anyone into our germ kingdom and spread around sickness, and with an invalid husband moaning on the couch and two kids, it meant I would unpack half a box, tell one of them to stop playing with the bleach bottle, cutlery set, or other hazardous items, while trying to outrun the other one before they escaped out the back door. Childproofing doesn’t just come with any house, so clearly I had my hands full. 

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for the last couple of weeks already. Time flies when you’re out of breath, but now that my Main Squeeze is feeling healthy again, and the house is moderately safe for the Littles, I started to realize that I have some serious tasks ahead of me. With all of the insanity of getting here on the front end of a virus, and getting to know our new incredible church community (which, for the record, has to be one of the most genuine, loving and welcoming group of people I have ever encountered), it’s dawned on me that I have to make some serious efforts toward organizing my life. 

And not just that I need a routine and all of that. That’s important, but I mean literal organizing. No joke, I unpacked boxes that were packed by an individual who shall remain nameless, where half the stuff should have wound up in the trash can back in Kansas City. I hate trash. I hate trash almost as much as I hate the fact that I am terrible at getting stains out of laundry. 

As a type A person, having half-unpacked boxes sitting around with no pictures on the walls and stacks of dozens upon dozens of books all over the living room with no bookcases to put them in is enough to send me to my dark place.

So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to go on one of my kicks. Now, if you’ve followed me or know me at all, this is something that I do at least once a year. I find something I really care about learning or doing, and then attempt to document it here. It usually starts because I get all fired up to learn a new skill- like with gardening. Or because I’m on a creative rampage- like with cake making. Actually, the cake thing is more than a kick. I really did turn it into what could have been a very successful enterprise….and I still might. 

Anyway, I’m going to post some pictures, write some blurbs, and throw a new category on here (because that’s how I roll). And you can see the progress of how things unfold to make Carrie’s World a more organized and fluid world. 

Stay tuned…

When You’re the Grownup

I was that little girl who wanted to take care of all of the animals in the neighborhood. Except for the cats. I could take or leave them, unless they were my cat (who was cleverly named “Kitty”). But I was a regular little St. Francis when it came to animals. I once made such a fuss over a dead baby mouse buried in the backyard that the foreman who was overseeing a crew installing powerlines underground through our yard specifically pulled me aside and showed me exactly where he would be digging, and promised to stay far away from the tiny little cross I had made to mark its final resting place.

My cat brought a number of animals home, proudly pawing at the sliding door on our deck, he would tote any number of critters who would be mostly in their last hours. For years an airbrushed painting of me, done by my absurdly talented uncle, hung on a wall in my parents’ house. It was a portrait of me as a 6 year old, holding a baby bird I found one day taken from a photo of a real moment in my childhood.

I remember the day clearly. I was looking for my cat while trying to occupy myself with outdoorsy things to do, and stumbled upon a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. The mother was nowhere in sight, and I immediately felt as though I had the next-of-kin responsibility for the well being of this baby thing that I put my finger down by its feet, and it hopped right on. Only later in life did I realize that wild birds don’t do that. But Disney made me believe that it was normal, so I didn’t think anything of it.

I walked straight into my house with said bird perched safely on my finger, and found my dad to show him. I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t more excited to have the bird in the house, but after he swiftly directed me outdoors, he took my picture. (I was wearing a California Raisins sweatshirt and a side ponytail like a good little 80’s child). Years later, my uncle made a large airbrushed copy of the picture, and it was perfect. It basically summarized who I was as a child.

What happened to the bird? I was persuaded to bring the baby back to where I found it, and lo and behold, the mom took it back and wasn’t bothered by the “human scent” grownups tell you will cause the parent to abandon the baby. Maybe that’s true. It probably is. But then you become a parent and realize that there are lots of handy parenty things you can say to your children that let you off the hook.  Not that they are untrue or even manipulative. As a kid, however, you’re thinking, “Wow, Mom! That’s so WISE! You know so much about animal behavior! Someday I want to be as versed in zoology as you are!”

Mom is thinking, “Oh, please, don’t talk me into taking that nasty little creature into our house with those beautiful green eyes of yours! It’s going to die anyway, and I don’t want today to be the day I have to see those green eyes fill with tears as we have our first talk about finality and DEATH!”

There were lots of those types of animal rescue moments when I was a kid. Once my cat brought an entire burrow of bunnies home, one by one, for almost a week. At the end of it, we had nursed 6 bunnies back to health. Only one died, but she was in really rough shape. All thanks to the “Kitty”. Tonight, however, I had flashbacks. After the dog had been out for longer than usual, a barely alive 3 day old bunny lay completely still on our back stoop. I had forgotten that we found baby bunnies in their warm little home a few days ago, and that I have a dog bread for small game. Fail.

All of this happened during a meeting we were having, so as the meeting concluded I had to go and survey the damage. A friend of ours had her two kids with her, and her daughter Elizabeth examined the casualty on my stoop as I was searching for the flashlight to see how many of the babies our dog had killed. “It’s STILL BREATHING!” came the triumphant cry. Then she said the very same words I remember saying to my mom, “Can I take it home?! Can I take it home?! PLEASE! It might get better!!!!” Thankfully, Sarah, her mother, was honest and said that though it would die, she had no objections to her taking it home to “die in a warm place.”

As they left with their newly adopted bunny, I carefully investigated the area around the burrow. Two bunnies were dead, but one was completely perfect. Not a scratch. Just stranded in the yard. My courageous (albeit nauseated) husband, disposed of the dead, and I put the little live bunny back in its burrow. It was like being a kid again, but not. I didn’t want my daughter to stumble upon the carnage as she happily frolicked about the yard (yes, she definitely frolicks- that’s not an exaggeration). But the little Carrie inside me felt every bit as much compassion for the perfectly alive bunny as I had when I was a little girl.

And when you’re the grownup, you get to see all sides. I only saw one side when I was a kid. It was the side that felt like a fairy tail. Tonight, I watched little Elizabeth plead with her mother to take the injured bunny home, and I saw both sides. I could fully relate to Elizabeth’s yearning to nurse the little creature back to health, and I could fully empathize with Sarah having to break the sad news of the bunny’s demise while not stifling her daughter’s heart, which was welling up with devotion towards the poor critter in her hands. Of course, then I saw the side of cleaning up the mess, which was something I never had to do as a kid. (Ahem… thanks, Dad).

So tonight I’m going to bed, praying that a mommy bunny will come back to take care of the last healthy baby in the burrow, that the bunny Elizabeth is tending gets better, and that they move to a safer yard! Are there more important prayer requests out there? Yes. But just because I’m a grownup now doesn’t mean that Little Carrie no longer exists, and it’s moments like these that I have to admit I like the way the Lord made me care about helpless creatures. So here’s to being a grownup with a little kid’s heart.

To the Dear Pregnant Ones

Being a mom is one of the more revealing occupations on the planet. Sink or swim every single day. Being a PREGNANT mom is even more revealing. It’s hard to explain to someone who has yet to experience it, but a few months ago when I was pregnant with the newest little I was asked by a male friend about whether or not strangers ever try to come and touch my belly. Heh heh heh…

It probably sent me into a longer rant than he was expecting, but seriously- people do not know what to do with a pregnant woman.  While people tend to be nice and helpful with doors, shopping carts, and chores, once they find out when you’re due, it’s all downhill from there. It’s as though there’s no grey area. Either they feel REALLY uncomfortable looking you in the eye, they say something really stupid directed at your appearance, or they feel the need to touch you. Why touching?! Why can’t there just be eye-contact and no comments about physical appearances without touching?! That’s rhetorical.

It got me thinking about the things people do and say. Young unattached people crack me up the most because they’re the ones who have the most intense blunders. My personal favorite being when they try to act completely natural, but all the while they have no capacity to relate to a pregnant woman with any semblance of normalcy, so they nervously giggle out offensive comments intended jokingly, but it comes out so insulting that you can’t help but laugh out of pure shock that they did in fact just say that.

“W’oh! Are you sure you’re not having TWINS?!” or “Dude, you’re HUGE!” are two comments I’ve been at the receiving end of on more than two occasions each. Don’t worry, I’m an incredibly stalwart individual when it comes to self-esteem. And thankfully, all of my preoccupation with my appearance issues were long settled before ever becoming a mom.

Now, thankfully I have only had my belly touched by a stranger once in 3 pregnancies, and have only been a very distant observer to the horrifying stories some women have about people rubbing their bellies “for good luck,” or worse ones that I don’t have the heart to tell you about because remembering that they actually happened to people I know sends me into a tizzy of total embarrassment on their behalf.

Reactions to such moments are inevitable, and during pregnancy you have the Achilles’ heel of hormones, removing the usual filter of grace you may normally possess. So not only do you get a barrage of weird comments about how you look, but you also have to use an incredible amount of restraint not to be a loose cannon. On top of which no one wants to know anything about you when you’re pregnant except for how you “feel”.

Um… If I thought about how I was feeling as many times as I was asked that question, I’d probably have been even more grumpy. There are times when I had to shut my yapper before saying things like, “What do you THINK?! I’m the size of a HOUSE! My joints have mutinied, my head perpetually feels like it’s in a VICE, none of my clothes fit but it’s too late in the game to buy even bigger ones, and everyone who said ‘once you get past the first trimester you feel grrrrreat’ is a vicious LIAR!”

That’s what I never said. I’d bite my tongue, say something about how excited I am to meet my baby, and then redirect the conversation. And you know what? It worked every time. The point is, all of the attention gets overwhelming and you feel like you just crash landed on earth from a distant planet and people are talking to you like they do in those Sci-Fi flicks from the 60’s-

“Greetings! We are a peeeacccceful planet.  Frrrrrriiiiieeeeennnnnddddsssss???????” they say, or at least it sounds that way when they talk to you sometimes, all the while eye-balling you as if any minute you’re going to explode. Side note: the phrase “you look like you’re going to pop” is gross. And birth is gross, but seriously? Pop?? Ew.

But in all of the awkwardness of words many people think are acceptable to string together in a sentence directed at you (especially the super young and blissfully unaware tacky types), you have to know something true- you are stunning. You’re not only gorgeous, but you’re one powerhouse of a human. You are being entrusted by God with a beautiful gift of a little tiny person whom He is forging inside of you, and that person will have your eyes. That little person will have their own uniqueness, but it will feel so familiar that you won’t remember what life was like without them when you finally see them face-to-face. That little person will consider you their universe (until they turn 13, at which point you get initiated into a WHOLE DIFFERENT UNIVERSE… but that’s another post for another day).

So maybe this is just a pregger pep talk, but  if nothing else, remember that the good and the bad of pregnancy is not going to last forever. The days are long, but the season is short (though it barely ever feels short in any way). And you know what? The one in your womb is blessed to have you as their Mama.

So pregnant friends, I salute you.

Pots, Pans, and Prayer

We’re one of those families who live in their house. And by live, I mean live. Stacks of graded tests loiter on my kitchen table, dishes cluster in the sink… sometimes they’re clean, sometimes their dirty, but usually it’s somewhere in between. Carpet stains get married and have young here, and toys roam freely about the living room. Our 1981 dishwasher has been merely ornamental for about a year and a half now after an incident involving smoke. People usually gasp when they finally put it together that I wash dishes by HAND. Don’t worry- I do too. It’s the job I consider to be the greatest “love offering” to the Lord and my family. Let’s stop talking about it.

I clean all the time, but the “end” of a to-do list means that I accomplished a couple of things, not that there isn’t more that needs to get done. We have kids, a really cool hippy roommate, and the best dog on the planet… but she sheds this time of year. My Main Squeeze has towers of books all over our little kingdom, which he genuine reads, but because he reads about 6 books all at the same time, the towers don’t actually get any smaller.

I’m also one of those absurdly artsy DIY ladies who, thanks to the guidance of Pinterest and a few crunchy comrades, makes weird stuff like homemade headboards, water kefir and dairy-free muffins. So it’s not unusual for me to get the question, “What in the world-??” from any number of visitors who breeze through our revolving front door when they see my latest projects. I have to admit that I’m not sure where eating healthy ends and doing it for the picky-eaters’ reactions begins. But either way, my jeans size is shrinking, so no complaints. And unless they’re caked with mud or poo, we don’t tell anyone to take their shoes off when they come into our house because, frankly, with this many people, it’s the only sentence we’d be saying if we cared.

Chia seeds, anyone?

The point is, we’re not perfect. Unfortunately, I’m a recovering perfectionist. Yeah, you just take it one day at a time. Some days you’re living in the moment, blissfully unaware of the many demands of life, and some you’re a subservient to your internal brass knuckles-toting mob boss. But in between the questions of my two-year old, the cries of my infant, the organic-y hullabaloo meals I keep making, the almost-finished sermon notes I keep attempting to write, the smattering of meetings that sweep through our home, and then the regular occurrences of “NO! how do we run out of coffee so fast?!”… in between all of those things there are sweet windows.

These windows are reserved for phrases like, “Jesus, I love You” and “thank You, God, for all of this”… and also the occasional, “Please, Lord, let that spot only be water!”

I mean, you could go throughout your day without ever turning Godward and probably survive, but I turn into a raging machine of turmoil when there isn’t a break in the action for loving phrases to the Most High. Just ask my husband. I  get this look on my face (or so I’m told), where everyone in the house knows Mom hasn’t come up for air in a while. When I haven’t paused to remember the fact that I belong to the Lord, I do laundry with a freakish zeal and a wild eye whilst simultaneously muttering my plans for making dinner, intermingled with complaints about wishing the notion of vacation wasn’t fictitious.

The bottom line is that the only way all of this is worth it is if my heart is fixed on Christ. If not, I’m just busy.

Good Old Fashioned Kick in the Pants

I’ve been thinking lately… a lot. Time has slowed down considerably now that the summer has hit. Not for anyone I know. Just me. That’s why it’s slow. Sometimes I revel in it, and sometimes I want to see if a .44 may have any affect on the sun so that I could go spend an afternoon at a park without suffering from heat stroke. Like I said, I’ve been thinking a LOT.

I wish I could say I’ve been praying a lot too, but that’s a muscle I’ve been neglecting more often than I want to admit. Have you ever noticed that you can convince yourself that you’re praying when all you’re doing is complaining? Well, I have because I have. It’s not that my intentions are complaints when I begin, but then whether it’s pregnancy hormones, circumstances, or just plain depravity, my prayers so easily sound like that of a bowstring wrapped in foil, scraping across an unsuspecting violin. The point is, it’s not pretty.

Now, I get legitimate frustration from things outside of our control. BELIEVE ME. If you had an hour to sit down and hear the story of the past few months of our lives, you’d see why I understand. And it’s not as if the Lord is surprised or overwhelmed by our complaints. However, for some reason I have allowed too many excuses slip in, only resulting in a void of thanksgiving, peace, and faith. What has too often replaced these is grumpy reminders to God of those things of which He is already perfectly aware.  Paul said the famous phrase-turned-cheesy-song “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say  REJOICE.” (Phil. 4:4)

Always doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for a “yeah, but” list. He’s using an imperative. And all of this comes just before he tells the Philippian church to be anxious for nothing, but to pray with thanksgiving. This is my goal for today.

BAM!

I was kind of biting my nails last night whilst watching the famous Gary Lezak (Kansas City’s “Weather Leader”) sport his goofy shirt and tie combo, but more for the sake of the hail he was projecting than his apparel, though it’s still kind of a toss-up. I was envisioning coming out of my back door this morning to a mutilated garden. Though I took precaution with a garden cover over my entire bed, I know enough about wind to know that my only guarantee of total protection of my delicate plants would be an over-sized lead casing to cover my entire garden. I didn’t have one. So on went the garden cover, accompanied by many prayers.

The only problem with my plan was that poor little plants can get crushed under any kind of cover. To my utter relief this morning, I not only peeled back the cover to find a perfectly intact garden, but an exploding one as well. This is the benefit of thunderstorms. With all of the dangers, thunderstorms provide a far greater amount of nitrogen than a gentle spring rain. (If you didn’t know, gardens LOVE nitrogen… except for peppers, but that’s a different blog post for another time).  Oddly enough, I did not learn that from a garden book, but from a commentary on Zechariah 10:1.

“Ask the LORD for rain n the time of spring rain. From the LORD who makes the storm clouds;  He will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation of the field.”

The first time I read that I was a little bit confused because I associated storms with destruction, and thought “why do storm clouds look like a positive thing in this verse?!” It was then that I discovered the bit about the nitrogen.

This is what I got from the garden this morning! Tons of sage and a nice fat bunch of large parsley. Thankfully the hail we had earlier today did very little damage to the veggies.

And because I can never get sick of Peonies, here are cuttings from a few hours ago. Last year they were white, so I’m enjoying the change!

Rhubarb Lesson of the Day

Last week I learned that there were more things about rhubarb I have never been made aware of it. A few years ago my mother-in-law purchased a “Ruby Red” rhubarb plant. It’s done swimmingly every time it’s been transplanted, but this year was the first year I can actually harvest this lovely plant for food. Only one perplexing problem arose- it was anything but “ruby red”. I’d describe it as sort of red until it gets mature, and then morphs into green stalks with little red tips toward the root.

The problem? I’m not sure, but I suspect the interesting weather patterns we have been experiencing. In fact, after we had a freakish spike in temperatures in the 90’s earlier this spring, I had to chop out the seed heads that were forming (which is something that shouldn’t form early in the year!) Well, the more I read up on rhubarb the more I am confident that I can harvest the stalks without having to worry. So… I’m going to try it. Green rhubarb pie, here I come!

Lately….

Well, here’s my annual post! Okay, to be fair, I have a lot on my plate, and blogging often hangs out on the bottom rung of the priority chain right under “sleep” and “eat” (not necessarily in that order). Due to lack of funds both in my wallet and in the wallet of potential customers, my cake making “business”, if you can even call it that, has hit a  sustained lull. I blame NFL owners for this since they seem to have all of America’s money anyway. This being the case, I have taken up a number of interesting ventures.

Never in my life have I gardened, but I am now. Tomatoes, basil, onions, peas, beans, peppers, chamomile, sage, rhubarb, lettuce, carrots… the list goes on and on. Whilst humming cheerful tunes from My Fair Lady, I managed to obtain lumber from the nearby Lowes, and built myself a grid for my square foot garden. Running my fingers through fresh vermiculite and composted chicken manure is surprisingly satisfactory, and though my neighbors snickered at my determination in some pretty back-breaking work, I am OWNING my beds. I’ve absorbed books upon books on the subject of growing things, and have yet to be bored by all of the wealth of information found therein.

On top of this I decided to be a teaching assistant for the International House of Prayer University’s Book of Daniel Course. I have to admit, I’m my parents’ daughter. My teaching gene kicks on, and all of the grading and managing of a classroom makes me itch to know the subject matter more and more. Some would think it’s among the more boring responsibilities available, but I happen to love it. It’s not that I’m particularly good at administration or that I like administrating life in general- it’s that I’m a nerd and love to learn and be challenged. Plus Daniel is one power-packed book and has been a favorite for 7 years.

More than anything else, though, hunger for the Scriptures has swooped in and grabbed me by my throat. I have been spending more and more hours in the prayer room when time allows, and in that time I have been struck by how necessary our daily bread in the Word really is. I have recently become acutely aware of the loss I suffer when distractions create excuses, and excuses create a void where Biblical study and meditation once resided.  It’s never worth it to lose ground in reading the Word and getting to know the God who wrote it. But I have resolved to feast daily and let the Lord renew my mind, taking back the ground that was lost in my own memory of the Scriptures. The Lord is worthy of my time, and my time is the most valuable possession I can give to Him, so I’m hittin’ the Good Book pretty hard these days.

Back Home

Today I got to visit one of my favorite places in the world- the prayer room.  To be perfectly honest, it’s a place I have not spent enough time in for the past year. My daughter is a year and a half, and I’m STILL trying to find a groove. It’s amazing how long it’s taken me to get to a point where I am able to work around naps, snacks, and meals, but it occurred to me yesterday that if I can’t get this down with only one kid, my hopes of getting it down with more kids is pretty slim. To that I add that I’m now 7 weeks pregnant with our second baby.

For several weeks I have been asking the Lord for grace to go deeper in the Scriptures, as well as to help me carry this baby with ease. The last pregnancy was extremely hard, and though I’ll spare you the details of my daily challenges during that time, I admittedly dreaded another pregnancy if it meant I was going to have the same experience. Thankfully, it couldn’t be more different this time around. Morning sickness comes and goes, but only occasionally strikes hard, and I’m at least armed with the knowledge of how to avoid the triggers that send me into it.

That being said, the one thing I’ve needed more than anything else has been rest, but last night my husband and I stayed up late with a friend, and then continued talking long into the night. I wanted so desperately to feel well in the morning so that I could go to the prayer room, but based on experience I wasn’t so positive about the way it would pan out. To my total surprise, however, I felt so energetic after only six hours  of sleep (which is NOT enough when you’re in your first trimester!), and within 15 minutes I was ready to head out the door. Even as I type this, I feel so well and energetic. It’s odd when you expect the bottom to drop out at any moment, but I’m thankful for this day.

My husband took our little toddler so that I could pray, and the first hour of being in the prayer room was one of the most refreshing hours I can ever remember experiencing anywhere. It was like coming home.  I just cried on the front row, feeling each instrument resonating through my hands and chest as each note was played. The meditation was focused around the Word made Flesh, and I couldn’t imagine leaving the room for any reason. If I had my druthers, I would have spent ten hours in that place. It didn’t matter what part of the Bible I was reading. First it was John 1, then it was Jude, then it was Psalm 1, then Mark 14, and then it was a couple of chapters in Jeremiah. All I wanted to do was absorb the moment in prayer and letting the Word of God wash over my mind.

Taking communion was like a feast for my heart. Letting the Holy Spirit search me and convict me of recent slip ups and sin, and confession and repentance felt like warm bath, cleansing away all the grit I had let accumulate. All I could do was say “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!”

The moral of the story? If you’re a part of IHOP-KC, take nothing for granted. We are so privileged to be here. To have a place that’s open all day long and all night long for the purpose of ministering before the Lord in prayer and worship is such a gift. I get to go back tomorrow morning… and I’m psyched out of my mind about it.

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