I Surrender All


I Surrender All


Written by: Judson W. Van DeVenter

Music by: Winfield S. Weeden

Published: 1896

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
In his presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at his feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now.


All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that thou art mine.


All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to thee,
Fill me with thy love and power,
Let thy blessing fall on me.


All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to his name!




Judson W. Van DeVenter was an American art teacher at a public school in Sharon, Pennsylvania. He struggled with the decision of leaving his vocation as an accomplished teacher, composer and musician and going into ministry full time. He wrote these words when he finally decided to surrender his life fully to God’s plan and become an evangelist. He wrote over 60 hymns during his lifetime, with this one being his most popular. Sometimes God leads us from a good life to an even better life. While DeVenter surely touched many lives as an educator, through his travels and his music, he was able to touch lives across time and space. His words have touched the hearts and souls of those whom he was never able to physically meet.

What is God calling you to today?


Sometimes He calls us to a small, simple life

that still makes a large ripple.


Other times He takes us out of our time zone

and out of our comfort zone.


The important thing is to surrender all

and follow wherever He may lead.



Enjoy even more great hymns and the stories behind them with Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories


Great is Thy Faithfulness

James 1:17

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Thomas Chisholm – 1925

Great Is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Though changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great Is Thy faithfulness,
Great Is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.


Pardon for Sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


lamentations 3:22-24

For more on the story behind this hymn and its author:

Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are: Serving God When You Feel Unequipped


Enjoy even more great hymns and the stories behind them with Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories

Wandering Through the Wilderness

wandering through the wilderness



Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, a list of blessings for those people who when measured by the world’s standards would not be deemed worthy of such reward. These are the characteristics that society typically looks down upon, but Jesus doesn’t see the world as man sees it. Jesus says blessed are the humble, the hurting, the harnassed, the hungry, the healers, the holy, the harmonious, the harassed.


Matthew 5:5



It is the third one that I want to focus on today, meekness. When I think of someone who is meek, I think of someone who is quiet and timid, someone who is scared to stand up or stand out. Sometimes, I myself may even fit this picture, but this is not what it actually means to be meek.

Meek ≠ Weak


The actual definition for meek is “Humbly Patient”.


Now that is a little more difficult for me, and to be quite honest, this is the characteristic God is trying so desperately to teach me right now. This definition of meek requires three main qualities:








This first one I am okay with; I have never really liked being the center of attention anyway. However, I have felt God speaking to my heart to grow even more in this area recently.

Less of  Me, More of  You


The second one is also something God has been cultivating in me this past year through multiple circumstances that have forced me to lean more on Him. But that third one, PATIENCE, that is the hard one for me. Anyone else? I have faith, as long as I see results quickly. It’s when I have to wait that I start to waver and doubt.


Maybe this isn’t the plan God has for me?


Maybe I got it wrong?


It’s not so much that I doubt God, but that I doubt my ability to hear Him. This year, I stepped away from my full-time teaching job at a school I had been at for the past 11 years to follow an unknown path God was leading me on. The problem is I am a bit of a control freak. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it is what minimizes my anxiety. But this year, I have been walking in blind faith, without a map, without a final destination. One day I may feel really great about the path I am on and the next I feel lost, without a purpose. That has been the hardest part, waking up each day not fully knowing my purpose, and secretly worrying that maybe I don’t have one.

While on a recent hike through the woods, I came across this sign. I am a little directionally challenged, which is an odd attribute for someone who loves to hike, so I pay close attention to signs (both on the trail and in life). On first glance, it seems like a sign directing one to follow the W8 path, but on further examination, it looks a lot like the path God has been taking me on this year. If you sound it out, that W8 becomes WAIT.



What I am coming to realize is that sometimes God takes you on a direct path, but more often, He lets you wander through the wilderness before you reach your Promised Land. And what do you learn while wandering through the wilderness, following a cloud by day and fire by night, trusting daily manna will be provided?








Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.

~Matthew 5:5


Supplementing Your Diet Safely and Effectively

Supplementing Your Diet Safely and Effectively



In this day and age, where everyone is constantly on the move, it has become increasingly difficult to find the time to incorporate all of the nutrients our bodies need into our daily diets. While a trip through the drive-through on the way to soccer practice may be quick and easy, it doesn’t really give your body what it needs to perform at its best.


Proper nutrition should be maintained with a  well-balanced diet in conjunction with dietary supplements. 


Supplements are not meant to be an alternative to eating well; they are intended to be– just as the name implies–a supplement, or addition, to an otherwise healthy diet. While we all get too busy at times to eat a well-balanced diet at every single meal, you should not be using dietary supplements as the solitary source for your vitamin and mineral intake.

The best way to ensure that you have healthy meal options throughout the week is to plan out your meals ahead of time. Take the weekends to write out what you need for each meal for the week and get your grocery trip out of the way.  Go ahead and cook something that you can store to eat on your more busy days. Crockpot meals are also great for days when you don’t have a lot of extra time. Make sure to pick up some baked fish or chicken and steamed vegetables that you can just throw in the microwave when you are strapped for time.

Another great way to get quick nutrition is through choosing nutrient-dense foods . These foods pack a lot of nutrients without all the empty calories.


Some great options include:

  • Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients, filled with Vitamin C, Vitamin, Vitamin K, and numerous antioxidant.
  • Salmon is packed with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Blueberries are one of the best fruits to add to your diet. They are packed with vitamins and antioxidants to improve memory and overall brain health, enhance mood, and decrease blood pressure.
  • Eggs are not only a great source of protein, but also an easy source of vitamins. For those days when you don’t have time to cook, prepare some hard-boiled eggs in advance.
  • Nuts are an easy snack for on the go that are packed with protein to give you energy and curb your cravings, along with a good source of healthy fats.


Consult your doctor prior to starting new supplements.


Before your doctor prescribes any new medication, he always asks what medications and supplements you are already taking to avoid any negative interactions. The same safety measures should be taken when you start taking a new over-the-counter medication or supplement. Many can have serious side effects when taken in conjunction with other medications or in individuals suffering from specific chronic disorders.


Some supplements that should be avoided while taking a specific prescription drug may include:

  • Statins: If you take this category of medication, you should not combine it with vitamin E or St. John’s Wort because they may decrease its effectiveness. Pomegranate extract should also be avoided, as it may cause dangerously high levels of the drug to build up in your blood.
  • Antihypertensives: Those who are taking ACE inhibitors to control their blood pressure should avoid taking an iron supplement within two hours of taking their medications because it may interfere with the absorption rate. Capsaicin should also be avoided because it may increase negative side effects of your blood pressure medication, such as increased coughing.
  • Diuretics: If you are taking a thiazide medication to control your blood pressure, avoid gingko biloba and willow bark. Both of these may lead to increased blood pressure. Conversely, taking medications to decrease bloating alongside a diuretic (horsetail, senna, licorice, cascara, uva ursi) may lead to severe dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.
  • Oral Diabetic Medications: If you taking oral medications to control your diabetes, you need to avoid gingko biloba, because it may increase your blood sugar level. Vanadium, ginseng, gymnema, chromium, and bitter melon may decrease your blood sugar to an unhealthy level.
  • Thyroid Medications: Calcium and Iron supplements may decrease the efficacy of the medication, altering your thyroid levels.
  • Blood Thinners: Gingko biloba and Vitamin E can increase your risk of bleeding if you are taking a blood thinner. Both Ginseng and St. John’s Wort may decrease the effectiveness of the medication.


These are just a few supplements that are contraindicated. It is still advisable to always consult with your doctor prior to beginning a new supplement. Supplements are not held to the same strict guidelines as prescription drugs and should only be taken with the full knowledge and approval of your physician.





Lessons Learned From a 15-Year-Old: Remaining Positive During Times of Adversity

Remaining Positive During Times of Adversity



As a teacher and a mother of two, I spend most of my days teaching someone something, but it took an everyday act of one young man—this unsung hero—to teach me something that I will never forget.


My story begins on a regular day of rushing two teenage kids to one extra-curricular activity after another.  As I squealed into the parking lot to drop off my son at his first basketball practice, scarfing down my quarter pounder with cheese, I quietly grumbled about all the things I needed to finish before I could go to bed.  Running late, as usual, I began to get frustrated by the kid walking in front of my car, taking his sweet time putting on his coat.  I continued to complain as I was parking the car, and finally, it was my son who had to say, “Mom, he only has one arm!”  I just froze, completely ashamed that I had been so caught up in my own insignificant problems that I was utterly unaware of this young man and the real obstacles he had to overcome.  On the way into practice, the young man came up to my son and I and introduced himself as Darius. He had one of the biggest and most genuine smiles I have ever seen.  It was then, that I put my mile-long to-do list out of my mind, and I sat down and watched them practice.  I watched Darius running up and down that court, playing just as hard as anyone else out there, and all with a huge smile on his face.  How did I possibly have the right to complain when this young man was nothing but positive.  He was an inspiration, and the truly amazing thing was that he didn’t even know it.


I continued to be amazed by Darius as the season went on.  After each game, he was so positive and encouraging.  He took the time to lift up each of his teammates and motivate them.  This boy who had every reason in the world to make excuses or just give up, never did.


As I watched Darius, I began to think about how I handle my own problems.  I have always been an overly sensitive person. Sometimes I feel too much—it is both my blessing and my curse.  I feel both beauty and sorrow at a depth that most people cannot begin to understand.  I frequently take on the positive energy of those around me, but I am just as quick to take on their negativity.  Watching this young man taught me that there is always joy and pain in every circumstance.  You are the gatekeeper of your emotions, and only you can choose which one to focus on.  We are what we think.  If you think positive, positive things will happen.


The circumstances don’t change,

just the lens we are viewing them with.


After that first day, anytime I started to think negatively, I would just picture Darius with that great big old grin on his face.  If he could focus on the positive aspects of life instead of his hurdles, then I should be able to too.


There is a good dog and a bad dog fighting within each of us. The one that is going to win is the one we feed the most.


Darius could have given up on his dream, but he didn’t.  He came to every practice, every game and gave it his all.  Was he the next Michael Jordan, probably not, but he was a hero to me.  He blocked, he defended, and he took every shot without hesitation, because as it turns out, in basketball—just like in life— you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.


I learned a lot that season, and not just about basketball.  It took a fifteen-year-old boy to teach me how to live life to the fullest. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.”


What Darius’ body lacked, he made up with heart.   He taught me to embrace each moment and never give up on my dreams.  It is okay if you fall down sometimes, as long as you keep getting back up. Darius wasn’t a good basketball player for a kid with one arm; he was a good basketball player.

You see, he didn’t know he was disabled, so he wasn’t.


The day that I met Darius was the day that I learned that only you can defeat yourself.



Treating Depression and Anxiety Naturally

treating depression and anxiety naturally

Roughly 20.9 million Americans, 9.5% of the population, suffer from a mood disorder.  The most prevalent mood disorder is major depressive disorder, and it typically occurs in conjunction with anxiety disorder.  There are multiple prescription drugs on the market to treat depression and anxiety, some of which work wonders for some people.  However, maybe you are part of the population that does not feel comfortable taking prescription drugs or maybe you just have not been lucky enough to find that miracle drug that has more positive effects than adverse ones.  I have suffered from depression and anxiety for a large portion of my life and have tried enough prescriptions to start my own pharmacy, with little to no success.  After experimenting with multiple anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, I have come to realize that I personally have more success with natural remedies, including both lifestyle changes and dietary supplements.  I have been able to manage my disorder for many years now, just by learning what things help me.  I believe that medication may be the best treatment for some people, I am just not one of them.  If you are going through this same struggle, I would like to share with you some basic things that have made a large impact in my life and allowed me to live with this debilitating disorder without it destroying my life.


Depression is very cyclical; you may feel good for a long period of time and then out of nowhere it feels as if you have run into a brick wall.  The things that used to bring you joy, just don’t anymore.  You may feel overly agitated or sad for no apparent reason.  While you wish you could just choose to snap out of it, it is not that simple.  Not only do you feel unhappy, but you feel like you are letting your friends and family down because you cannot be that carefree person that you were only a week before.

What I have found that stabilizes my mood the most is regular exercise.  Just 30 minutes a day of physical activity that increases your heart rate will do more for your mood than any medication out on the market.  Cardio exercise, such as running or aerobics, increases endorphins in your body, naturally elevating your mood and decreasing stress and anxiety.  The times you do not feel like doing anything are the times you need to the most.  If you force yourself to just go for a walk around the neighborhood or do some basic household task, like doing the dishes or laundry, it will increase your motivation to do more.  When I am having a particularly rough day, I will go to the park or the zoo and walk until I start to feel better.  There is something about being in nature that is very soothing.  It has never failed me yet. Although, some bad days take significantly more time to walk off than others.

It is also helpful to find an activity that you enjoy doing. This will help you to continue on after your motivation dwindles.  I love dancing and it always helps me feel better, so I incorporate that into my exercise routine with Zumba and Barre classes.  Not only does the exercise invigorate me, but I find the music very therapeutic.  Swimming is another great exercise; it is great for the body and mind.  Being in the water is very serene.  It does not matter what you do, as long as you remain physically active.



Relaxation Techniques

There is a wide range of relaxation techniques out there that can help alleviate stress and anxiety.  You may have to try different things to see what works best for you.  Yoga is believed to not only reduce stress but to actually alter brain chemistry. Guided imagery, meditation, breathing exercises, essential oils and massage are also some good options.  There are many apps that you can put on your smartphone or tablet that are intended to help elicit relaxation and calm.  I have a couple on my iPhone that I really enjoy, because I can use them anywhere, from the breakroom at work to my very own home.  It is simple, yet very effective.  One of my favorites is Silva Relaxation, which has several different relaxation exercises that incorporate guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises.  I also have an app with a variety of ambient sounds and binaural beats which I listen to when trying to relax at night, or when I just need some calm mid-day.  The different frequency of binaural beats are believed to affect brainwaves, eliciting a specific effect based on the frequency, such as relaxation or assistance falling asleep.


Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements

The nutrients that you put into your body, or the lack thereof, not only affect your physical well-being, but your mental health as well.  Your brain is an intricate network that necessitates a suitable environment to function properly.  I am sure you are quite aware what a difference a small chemical imbalance can make.  In order to produce the proper amount of hormones and neurotransmitters, your body must be supplied with the correct nutrients to build upon.  One of these essential nutrients is the Vitamin B Complex.  Low levels of B-12, B-6, folate and other B vitamins may be linked to depression. B-6 is a precursor to the mood-altering neurotransmitter, serotonin.  The amino acid. Tryptophan is also necessary for the production of serotonin and can be found in turkey and milk. It can also be found in the dietary supplement 5-HTP. Tryptophan also has a sedative effect, hence the turkey coma on Thanksgiving.  I have found that drinking a warm glass of milk with a teaspoon of sugar right before bed really helps me relax; it is apparently more than just an old wives’ tale.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which can be found in fish, flaxseed, and walnuts or taken as a supplement, is also believed to help decrease depression and anxiety.

There are many herbal teas that help reduce stress and anxiety.  Chamomile tea is known for its soothing benefits.  There are also numerous types of herbal tea that are marketed as a stress reliever that combines a variety of different herbs and remedies for a synergistic effect, such as valerian and melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that is found naturally in the body and helps regulate the sleep cycle.  In can be taken in conjunction with other supplements or by itself to decrease anxiety and improve restfulness.

Essential oils can also be used to help reduce anxiety or combat the effects of fatigue that depression can cause.  Lavender and chamomile are known for their relaxing benefits.  Peppermint and orange can be invigorating and help with depression.  Essential oils can be used in many different ways, such as diffusers, in a warm bath, massage oils or lotions.  You can spray lavender on your bedding to help you relax in the evening.  Your memory is strongly connected to your sense of smell, so if you use a relaxing scent every time you meditate, then that smell will elicit the calm you felt while meditating later on.

These are just some of the things that have worked well for me.  It is important to remain close with friends and family, even when you do not feel like being around others.  Find hobbies and activities that will lead to positive interactions, and force yourself to do it even when you don’t want to.  Every journey begins with a single step.  Keep moving. Take one day at a time. Face each obstacle as it comes.


Check Out These Therapeutic Items From Amazon:


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Welcome Home: A Story of the Modern Day Prodigal

Welcome Home! The Story of A Modern Day Prodigal



As I sit down and begin to write my story, it occurs to me: aren’t we all just prodigal sons and daughters? Like leaves from that dreadful tree in the Garden of Eden, we fall, one by one. Isn’t that our destiny—the destiny that Adam and Eve have left us with? Some of us are just lucky enough to have found our way back home.

This isn’t an easy story for me to tell. I’d like to be able to say that my story was one of flawless beauty. But that is the great thing about a story, there is always another chapter to be written. And I’m still working on that happy ending.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I don’t have a hard luck story to tell you. I wasn’t raised in the ghetto. I didn’t come from an abusive family that didn’t care about me. I may have come from a humble beginning, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I grew up going to church every Sunday. I had the luxury of attending a small Christian school. We didn’t have a lot, but it was worth the sacrifice for my parents to give my sister and I that firm foundation of faith.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 KJV

That’s the way I raised. That’s the way I have tried to raise my own children. One day you realize that it is truly the simple things in life that are the best things. But this isn’t a story about that day. It’s the story that led me to that day.

I went to the same little school until it closed at the end of my seventh-grade year. I wasn’t one of the popular kids, but I was happy, I was comfortable. When our school closed its doors, many of us went to another nearby private school. This small change in my universe created a big change. It was a new day, a chance to reinvent myself. And that is exactly what I did. I was never really one of the popular kids. I never really wanted to be, until I was. Then I not only wanted it, but I craved it, and I went about getting it any way I knew how. I became like any other junkie on the street corner; love and acceptance became my drug of choice. And like any drug worth its weight, it turned me away from my family, from my true friends. It turned me away from my faith. It turned me away from who I was created to be. Because I didn’t know how to love myself, I accepted a cheap substitute for love. I had become someone I no longer recognized. Like any recovering addict’s story will reflect, everyone could see the effects but me, until I finally hit rock bottom that is. And I did hit, and I hit hard. You always hear that you will meet God at the end of yourself, and that is exactly where we were reintroduced.

Most addictions are actually a secondary problem that is only brought to life as a way to cope with another underlying issue—depression, anxiety, lack of self-esteem. In order to stop using your drug, you have to understand why you began using in the first place. And anyone who has successfully gone through rehabilitation will tell you, you also need to remove yourself from old temptations. That often means finding a new environment and new friends that support you. So, that is exactly what I did. I got away from “friends” that were enabling me and went to a new school for a fresh start, the fresh start I was looking for all along.

That was the beginning of my pathway to freedom, but the real journey didn’t begin until later that summer. God often uses ordinary people to carry out extraordinary plans. That summer, I received a phone call from a girl I had met at a church camp just a few years prior. To some, Jenny may have been just a small-town girl, helping out her daddy on the tobacco farm, but to me, that summer, she was my compass, helping me find my way back home. She invited me to come back to that same church camp. I learned a lot that summer about life, about who I am, about who God has called me to be, about having the confidence and courage to live out that plan each and every day.

In a world of people who are asking you to sacrifice your whole life—who you are, what you believe in—in order to earn their love and approval, here is One who loved me so much that He freely sacrificed his life so that I wouldn’t have to. Some days, I still need reminders of exactly who I am and whose I am. All gardens have to be continually pruned and watered in order to keep growing. But these days, I look to the Living Water to quench my thirst, not to the constant storm swirling around me. I want to be filled, not engulfed.

You never really know how God is going to use you in this life—it may just be as a shepherd, bringing home his lost sheep. Jenny was my shepherd that summer, leading me back to the arms of the Good Shepherd.  And Jesus opens his arms wide, on that old rugged cross–for me and for you–and He gently whispers,

“Welcome Home!”


New Year Fitness Challenge

Anyone else feel the need to get in shape a little bit before they head back to the gym!?! I have been pulling out all my old workout DVDs and YouTube videos this week. It had been so long that I am really not sure which was dustier, the videos or me. Nonetheless, I unrolled that yoga mat and started where I was.

Quite honestly, I am an outdoorsy girl, so I kind of start hibernating when it gets cold and dark outside. And while sweets are not usually my weakness, I have been overindulging with the cookies this year. I like my cookies to be fudgy, so really, they are nothing more than heated cookie dough! Then, I found a new addiction, peppermint bark Oreos. If you haven’t tried these, don’t! I ate multiple packages all by myself. I even stooped to hiding them from my kids. But the reason I am exercising again isn’t just because at my age I really need to to stay healthy or because my clothes seem to be shrinking, it’s because exercise is my therapy for anxiety and depression. This time of year is particularly difficult for me. While I can’t do anything about the cold, dark days of winter, I can engage in other forms of self-care to help alleviate depression.

If this sounds familiar, please join me for the next four weeks as we enhance our moods and decrease our waistlines with a New Year Fitness Challenge!

We will take the weekends off, because let’s be honest here, I am not going to do it anyway, and I am not trying to set anyone up for failure, including myself. I know the Bible only calls for one day of rest, but I’m getting older, and at this point in my life, I need 2.

New Year Fitness Challenge

How-to Videos for Performing Exercises Properly


For a Greater Challenge:

  • Add the Pilates Hundred to each day.

  • Perform 2-3 Sets of Each Exercise.

  • Engage In 30+ of Cardio Each Day.


Our goal is to strengthen our core and tone those problem areas. All of these exercises can be performed in less than 10-15 minutes, anywhere, and without any equipment.

I would encourage you to perform some kind of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-5 days out of the week.


You can choose anything that will increase your heart rate: walking, running, dancing, swimming, fitness classes… I suggest you do something that you enjoy so that you will continue doing it. The ultimate goal is not to just lose a few pounds and go back to your regular routine, but to make healthy lifestyle changes that will last. I personally enjoy hiking, yoga/pilates, and water exercise classes so that is what I choose to do (when I get motivated to do it that is). You also need to choose something that easily fits into your daily schedule. When I was teaching every day, I used to walk in a nearby park on my lunch break. I have seen people walk up and down the stairs on their break. Whatever works for you.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing information on nutrition, supplements, exercise, meditation and healthy recipes to improve Mental, Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Health. Be sure to subscribe to Spirit Body Mind Renewal so you don’t miss anything!

Let’s Make Some Lasting Changes This Year So We No Longer Need To Make New Year’s Resolutions!!!

Get Fit! Get Healthy! Get Going!


If you want to start improving your diet but don’t know where to start, check out these cookbooks from Amazon.


This Way: Following the Path God Lays Before You


This Way: Following the Path God Lays Before You

It occurs to me that hiking is a lot like living a life that follows the Lord. Oftentimes when hiking, you follow a path, not being able to see where it leads. You have faith that if you follow along this narrow strip of land it will lead to a beautiful destination. But the path only unfolds a little at a time. Frequently, you can barely visualize past the next curve. You just keep walking, one foot in front of the other, trusting in the path laid before you. You don’t veer off the path in search of a shortcut that may cause you to lose your way. You have faith and you follow blindly.

path through the woods


Today on my hike in the woods, I came across these words etched on a small pathway.



This Way


Don’t Bonk


Bonk…seems like such a silly word. My only real experience with this word is as a mother’s warning. “Don’t bonk your head!” It’s often heard when a child is jumping around or going down a path that they shouldn’t be–one that is headed toward a collision–both situations leading to unnecessary pain and confusion. If only they had stayed on the path set before them; if only they had heeded the warning. Don’t Bonk! At 38 years of age, I sometimes still need to hear this. This is the part I have the hardest time with. I have faith, but I have such a difficult time remaining patient, waiting on God’s timing. I am used to a fast-paced society that demands things to happen NOW! I need the reminder to not get impatient and jump ahead of God, to not let my plans and my desires collide with those of God. So for those of you like me who need a reminder today, God gently guides you:

This Way


Don’t Bonk


Jeremiah 29:11


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