10.14.2016

Recipe: Chocolate Trifle

Our last recipe is a sure winner! The one that we enjoyed at our last meeting actually had homemade chocolate cake (from Emily Washington!) instead of a box mix so feel free to modify this recipe. Enjoy! (Original recipe from Taste of Home.)



Ingredients
  • 1 package chocolate fudge cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (6 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 6 Heath candy bars (1.4 ounces each), crushed

Directions
  • 1 Bake cake according to package directions. Cool.Prepare pudding according to package directions; set aside. 
  • 2 Crumble cake; reserve 1/2 cup. Place half of the remainingcake crumbs in the bottom of a 4-1/2- or 5-qt. trifle dish or decorative glass bowl. 
  • 3 Layer with half of the coffee, half of the pudding, halfof the whipped topping and half of the crushed candy bars. Repeat the layers of cake, coffee, pudding and whipped topping. 
  • 4 Combine remaining crushed candy bars with reserved cake crumbs;sprinkle over top. Refrigerate 4-5 hours before serving.
  • Yield: 8-10 servings. 



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10.11.2016

Recipe: Triple Berry White Chocolate Mousse Trifle

The second recipe from our corporate meeting. This one was our gluten free option!


Triple Berry White Chocolate Mousse Trifle

Ingredients:
 - 18 oz BAKER'S White Chocolate
 - 4 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
 - 4-8 oz Blackberries
 - 4-8oz Rasberries
 - 4-8oz Blueberries

Directions:
Microwave chocolate and 3/4 cup cream, stirring after each minute until melted. Cool until room temperature (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Beat remaining cream until soft peaks form. Add half of the whipped cream to the chocolate and stir with a whisk until well blended. Stir in remaining whipped cream.

Layer trifle bowl beginning with white chocolate mousse and then adding a layer of berries. Alternate layers and end with berries at the top.
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9.27.2016

Recipe: Key Lime Trifle

We had several requests for the recipes for the trifles we had at our last meeting! Here is the first of three - a yummy Key Lime Trifle from My Life as a Mrs.  Be on the look out for the other two recipes to come!

Key Lime Trifle

ingredients:

2 8oz (227 g) blocks of cream cheese - softened
1 cup (240 ml) key lime juice
2 14 oz (396 g) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cups (100 g) graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick (56.7 g) butter- melted
1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
2 cups (473 ml) heavy whipping cream
1/3-2/3 (40-80 g) cup powdered sugar

directions:


Key Lime Filling: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together until smooth & creamy. Turn speed down to low and add the key lime juice and mix until combined. Place mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for a few hours (preferably overnight).
Graham Cracker Crumble: Mix together graham cracker crumbs, butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes (until lightly golden). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Crumble with a fork and set aside.
Whipped Cream: Beat whipping cream with a mixer until stiff peaks form, add powdered sugar (use more or less depending on how sweet your prefer it to be). Set aside.
To Assemble: Neatly spread 1/3 of the Key Lime Filling into a Trifle/Parfait Dish (be sure to spread to the outside edges of the dish). Spoon 1/2 of the Graham Cracker Crumble evenly on top, followed by 1/3 of the whipped cream. Repeat one more time (reserving 2 TBS of Crumble). Last, add one more layer each of the key lime filling followed by the whipped cream (If you want to get all fancy, you can pipe the last layer of whipped cream). Top with a sprinkle of the reserved Graham Cracker Crumble. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

9.22.2016

James: Patience and Prayer

Hooray! Our last corporate meeting was recorded! If you missed it or want to listen again click the the link below to hear teaching from Debbie Ruhl followed by a testimony from Liz Gable. Pop in your headphones while you complete your weekend chores or bake a meal for your family and be encouraged by the many nuggets of gold you'll find in these words. Happy Friday!  

James: Patience and Prayer

"Be patient, therefore, sistersuntil the coming of the Lord." James 5:7

8.23.2016

Judges: The Flawed and the Flawless

We are excited to study the book of Judges together this fall!  Sign ups have begun online and will also be in the lobby after church.  We are offering two different times: 

Mondays - 7:30 - 9pm at Kathryn Noon's home
Fridays - 9:30 to 11am at church (child care provided)


Sign up here today!

8.02.2016

Summer Meeting

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. James 5:7

Our last corporate meeting of the year is just around the corner!  Sunday, August 21st, at 7:00pm we will be joining together to wrap up our Implanted study. We look forward to worshipping together and hearing from Debbie Ruhl on patience and prayer from the book of James.  Hope to see you there!  

4.22.2016

Friendship: A Testimony

At the end of our last Sweet Mercies meeting, Barbara Reynolds, shared this testimony of God's grace on her life through an unlikely friendship that blossomed into life long best friends. May you see God glorified and his perfect sovereign plan magnified as you read this beautiful story!

In September 1988, while stationed in San Diego, my husband Jim received orders to the Norfolk Naval Base. These orders were not in my plans at all. My plans had us being stationed back in the D.C. area, which had been my home and where all my friends were. Our 5 years in San Diego had been and still remain the worst years of my life. I was not a Christian, I was a horrible mother, I was a horrible wife and I had been in a horrible car accident that had done nothing to alter my choice of lifestyle. I couldn’t wait to put it all behind me. I was so sure of this plan to get my life back on track that my little girl Katie and I had already moved back to Northern Virginia without official orders and without Jim and I had already gotten a job and put her in school. It was a perfect plan in my mind.  Obviously the Navy and the Lord had different plans for our little family and, as is so often the case with these two forces, my thoughts on what was best for us, for me did not happen. Not only were we not being stationed in Northern Virginia, but I was unexpectedly pregnant.
In February of 89 Katie and I moved to Stewart Drive in the Kempsville area of Virginia Beach. Jim would be joining us in the spring.  The house that we bought was a dream house on a cul-de-sac. Katie started school, and I tried to pretend that San Diego had never happened and that we were a nice and normal family with a baby on the way.
The Lord…the Lord and his plans. There was this family across the street. There seemed to be millions of them, all adorable as they could be and all with huge dark eyes and dark hair. They were the Bendinelli family. They have moved to this area over a year before from Cleveland, to plant this very church that so many of us now call our church home. There were 6 of them at that time…David, Sheila, Kerri, Jordan, Ryan and Brittany. Natalie would come 3 years later.  My Katie was beside herself having a family with so many kids right across the street.  Soon I found out they were homeschooled and I thought, NO way was my daughter hanging out with a bunch of weirdos. I had barely even heard of such a thing as homeschooling, and there were so many of them, and they always had company, and there were always kids galore in their home & playing in the cul-de-sac…It was different from anything we had ever experienced. They welcomed my little girl with opened arms and she was forever in love with them all.
I was not in love at all…I worried about my precious daughter and their influences on her. Which was incredibly ironic given the kind of mother I had been. What I did not realize in my arrogance was that they really could have and should have been worried about our influences.  It will help set the stage to know that Katie’s favorite movie when she was only 6, was “Dirty Dancing” and the Bendinelli kids barely watched TV much less Scooby Doo which was one of our favorite cartoons. There is an infamous story about words Katie tried to teach to those wide eyed, innocent Bendinelli kids, words that I had told her she was not allowed to say, and then how Sheila came and talked to me about the incident. It was priceless…and my first experience with a loving peacemaker.
The Lord was orchestrating this relationship wasn’t He? I could go on for a very long time about the ways He showed His love to me through this family, using Sheila as His instrument. There are simply too many ways to count how He used her and her family to draw me to Himself. There were the invitations to Park Days in the summer. There were the nearly constant invitations (no matter how often I said no) to meet lots of other people who also seemed to be so happy, so full of joy. There were the meals that showed up at our door after our precious miracle Jake was born that June. So much happiness and kindness swirling around was nerve-wracking to me.  I was being drawn into a life I was completely unfamiliar with and it was happening because Sheila was relentless in her pursuit of me. Regardless of my weirdness, she pursued me, she invited me, and she never seemed to be affected by my coarseness, my complete lack of any knowledge of God, by anything I threw her way. She was then and is now the epitome of James 3:17-18.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
We are connected for life, Sheila and I, because of the complicated tapestry that the Lord used to bring me and my family into His kingdom. Sheila was obedient to reach out to a neighbor even though we must have seemed like the unlikeliest of relationships for her and her family.
Kerri was my daughter’s maid of honor on her wedding day almost 9 years ago and Katie was in Kerri’s wedding last year. David performed Katie’s wedding ceremony right behind me on this patio on the land that he helped to locate as a perfect place for this church. He baptized me and both of my children.  Katie and her youngest flew to Denver in January to meet Kerri’s first child Mila. Jake and Katie will always call the Bendinelli children their family. My dear friend Sheila showed up on my doorstep last May as a surprise…just happened to be passing through from Denver, via Ohio to NC! It was a marvelous 24 hours, and all the years we have spent apart made no difference whatsoever…we talked and talked about God’s goodness to us and to our children even in the midst of trials and struggles. We talked about hard things, all that we have learned, but all the time encouraging each other about the trust we have in our Savior. And we laughed and laughed…

Our 27 years of friendship has been marked by her joy, her gentleness, her unending patience, her gratefulness to the Lord for His saving work in her and David’s lives and now in the lives of all 5 of their children. She loves to see people happy and enjoying life and experiencing what God intends for us all. She taught me to be a better mother, a better wife and to love people like Jesus loves…despite their unloveliness. She loves me, she loves Jim, she loves my children, and nothing we have ever done or said has affected that love. Is that not exactly how the Lord loves us?

I have always wanted to be more like Sheila because of the very ways she mirrors Jesus and the very ways she always has pointed me to God. She is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, a person who is full of joy, a peacemaker, and a woman who seeks to rely on God’s perfect wisdom. What amazing attributes for any of us to want to grow in.
I sent this testimony to Heather Hughes this week and she wrote me back with her thoughts about the Bendinelli’s impact on our family.   She said,  “…Sheila and the rest of the Bendinellis shared with you — their beautiful lives. They lived a certain way. They were patient. They made peace. They were slow to take offense. They were long-suffering. And peace followed them!  Because of their faithfulness to live like their Father, two families, who, under normal circumstances, would never have been friends, were brought near and linked together in love.”  
So…This was just a glimpse of my life being Sheila Bendinelli’s friend.  Who would have ever thought there would have been this unbreakable bond between us? I suspect there are people in this room right now that remember Sheila’s weird neighbor all those years ago, we sure were mighty rough around the edges.  If you ever run into Brittany ask her about the time Jake stole a motorized car from a neighbor and drove it to her house to pick her up for a joy ride. He was 3 years old!

My friend Sheila, in constant humility, opened up her whole life and all its miracles and imperfections to me so that I would know that this God of hers loves the broken and the guilty. She opened up what a life that is dependent on God looks like. She loved me unconditionally and she shared with me all that the Lord had shared with her. I will be dancing “on the streets that are golden” because the Lord used my friend Sheila and her obedience to her Savior and her desire to be like Him.

4.19.2016

Book Clubs



This summer we are offering five book clubs! We'd love for you to join one! Read the following information about each and then click the link to sign up.  (If you signed up at our meeting there is no need to sign up here but you will receive an email to remind you of dates and location as your book club approaches.)

Book: The Red Sea Rules by Robert J Morgan
Leader: Bethany Wright
Date & Times: Monday/July 11th, 18th, 25th and August 1st @ 7:30
Location: 2372 Old Greenbrier Road, Chesapeake
Book can be ordered from Christianbook.com $6.99

Book: Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Fullby Gloria Furman
Leader: Maggie Davis
Date & Times: Monday/June 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th @ 7pm
Location: 525 Rebel Road, Chesapeake
Book can be ordered from Amazon prime $9.36

Book: For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
Leader: Sharay Hunt
Date & Times: Monday/July 11th, 18th, 25th and August 1st @7:30pm
Location: 1756 Mount Pleasant Road, Chesapeake
Book can be ordered from Amazon prime $11.49

Book: Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken
Leader: Rebekah Judd
Date & Times: Monday/ June 13th, 20th and 27th @ 7:00pm
Location: 910 Greenway Court Apt. 1, Norfolk
Book can be ordered from Amazon Prime $13.13

Book: Treasures of Encouragement: Women Helping Women in the Church by Sharron Betters
Leader: Marie Hughes
Date & Times: Thursdays/June 9th, 30th, July 21st and August 11th @ 7:00pm
Location: 1306 Plantation Lakes Circle, Chesapeake
Book can be order from Amazon Prime $14.99

SIGN UP HERE






4.04.2016

Spring Corporate Meeting

     
We are so excited to be together for our second corporate meeting of the year! It's Sunday, April 17th at 7:00pm in the lobby, for women 16 and up.  

You gals know the drill!  Yummy snacks, giveaways, beautiful worship, learning from the Word of God, hearing personal testimonies of God’s grace – TOGETHER. We are looking forward to hearing from our very own Heather Hughes on growing in peace in relationships as we continue to learn from the book of James. 

We will also be announcing our Summer Book Clubs!! Sign ups will begin that night and then continue online. 

So please come, as Hebrews 10:25 says, "..not neglecting to meet together... but encouraging one another..."

Come hear the very Word of God and meet new friends and hug the necks of the old ones!

2.12.2016

Intro to James: Deborah Ruhl

I have to admit that I struggled a bit over the past couple of months as I thought about studying the book of James.  One of my goals in reading the Bible is to see Jesus (or aspects of His character and work) in ways that I haven’t seen before.  This is one reason why I LOVE the Old Testament: I love seeing the how God foreshadows the Good News that He would one day send His own Son to redeem the people that He loved.  I also love the gospels, because there we get to read about Jesus in flesh and blood; we get to hear Him speak about Himself, his Father, and His plan for salvation.  I also love to read the epistles of Paul and Peter because they remind us who Jesus was and what He did….but the epistle of James just seems like a list of “to-do’s”—and if there’s one I DON’T need, it’s more TO DO!!!!  Where is Jesus in the book of James?!?!?  And the whole history of Martin Luther wanting to through out the book of James from the Bible….now that is disconcerting!!!

So I waited, and prayed, and prayed some more, asking the Lord to change my heart and make me excited about the book of James.  “I know this is your Word, Lord!  Open my ears, mind, and heart to hear!”  And I am happy—more than that—humbly amazed to report that the Lord did just that a couple of weeks ago and it was after I completed the table in the first lesson.

Here is my table:

 Chapter                 Theme                       Key Words

        1              joy in suffering                trials, persevere
       
        2              impartiality                      no distinction
                        Faith in action                 faith with works
       
        3              Humble speech              tongue = FIRE

        4              No worldliness                grace to humble

        5              Patience & Prayer          Steadfast, faith



As I looked at my table, it hit me: who was/is the ultimate example of joy in suffering, impartiality, faith in action, humble speech, not an ounce of worldliness, and patient in prayer!?!

I thought I was looking for Jesus in the book of James, but I failed to see “the forest for the trees!”  That instead of being a list of my “to-do’s,” James is a list of Jesus “to-did’s." Jesus suffered joyfully FOR US, for all of us—impartially--even us Gentiles—for the least of us!  He is the ultimate man of faith in action; he was willing to die for us because He believed that His Father was and is trustworthy!  He humbled himself…even though He was (and is!) God!  He displayed perfect patience and was continually communing with His Father in prayer.  It was like a lightbulb went off in my foggy brain….THIS IS JESUS!  He is this WORD incarnate…and implanted!  We receive JESUS, not a list of do’s and don’ts!

This makes so much sense when we remember, as Alex reminded us on Sunday, that the Bible is about God, not us!!!  I thought I was looking for Jesus in the book of James, but all I was seeing was myself….but it’s not about me…it’s about WHO the Holy Spirit is making me to be like! 

It also reminds me of Alex’s point that God approaches his people with an invitation for a relationship, but he starts his invitation with a question (even though he knows the answer full well): to Adam and Eve he said, “where are you?”  Do you remember in Joshua, chapter 24, Joshua basically asked the people the same question that Jesus asked Peter: Do you love the Lord?  James asks this same question as well: “Do you love the Lord?  This is how you live it.”  James is doing nothing more than what Jesus Himself told us to do:  “Follow me.” And again what Jesus said in John 14:15- “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” 

I cannot entirely explain how this immediately softened my heart; instead of making me just feel like the worst Christian in the world (which, granted, I probably am), I SAW JESUS.  And as Eric is fond of saying, when we see Jesus, we are changed!!! 

“Yes!  Lord, I want to be like you!!!  Make me like you!!”

2.09.2016

Pep Talk

This year we are offering three different Pep Talks based on the topic of vocation. We hope you will benefit from these important opportunities for connection. Grab a friend and sign up today!


Vocation: In the Work Place 
Monday, February 15, 7pm
Facilitated by Melanie Wasko

Vocation: In the Home 
Sunday, February 28, 7pm 
Facilitated by Jenny Smith and Maggie Davis

Vocation: Your Gifts in the Church  (CANCELED!)
Facilitated by Kathleen Smith

For location info and sign ups click here!

1.28.2016

Perseverance: A Testimony

Our last SweetMercies meeting ended with this testimony of God's faithfulness through trial from our dear sister, Annie Johns.  Grab a box of tissues and read about our great God who is more than enough through every trial and who promises to keep us to the end. 



James 1 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Romans 5 says, “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.”
Perseverance is refusing to give up in the face of trial. We know that God’s word tells us that we can do nothing apart from him. He gives us the grace to persevere in times of trial.  I have had the honor and privilege of walking through trial with my son, my sister, and my husband, all who have emulated persevering grace. They have been my heroes. They have shown me what perseverance lived out in this life looks like.
The first is my son Ryan, who many of you knew.  He was born with a devastating disease called Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.  It is a disease that slowly tears away at the muscle, weakening the body to the point of not being able to walk, of having to depend on a wheel chair to get around and others to help you.  Ryan had his first chair at age 9.  He progressively got weaker and he had to get an electric wheelchair by the time he was 12.  When he was 13, he had pneumonia and was in the hospital for 6 months. We would have lost him to the pneumonia had he not been put on a ventilator, which prolonged his life.  He was so happy to finally get out of the hospital. He missed half of his 8th grade year but went on into high school.  He had an aid that could suction him at school and he didn’t need to be on the vent during the day, only at night. There were several things in high school he missed like playing sports, driving a car, going on dates.  He could go nowhere by himself. Someone always had to be near to him incase he needed to be suctioned.  He graduated with honors and then took a few classes at a community college while all of his friends left home for college.  
It was heart breaking for me to watch him everyday not really having much to do.  We had been praying that Ryan could be in a place where there were more people his age but our town was very small.  In God’s mercy and sovereignty we heard about this wonderful church in Virginia so we moved across country to our new home in Chesapeake and started attending Southside church, which is now Redeemer Church.  It was here where Ryan made many friends and it was here where he really grew in his faith. He had some wonderful relationships with young men who laid down their lives to serve Ryan. They learned how to work the lift on the van. They learned how to suction Ryan so that Ryan was able to go out with his friends. His body was getting weaker and he had to be on the ventilator continually, but he learned how to talk between breaths from the vent.  Soon, he was to weak to talk so we learned to read his lips.  We had nurses on and off.  I was mostly the nurse at night so I had many conversations with Ryan, with lots of tears and lots of prayer and lots of reading the word. Ryan knew he would never marry, never have kids, and never have a job.  He would not be able to hunt or fish with his dad like his brothers did or go camping, or golfing, or swimming.  Sometimes this harsh reality would get the best of him, but he would always come back to the cross, to the hope he had in Jesus and the hope he had that eternity was worth it all. 
One of his favorite scriptures was 2 Corinthians 4:16, “So we do not loose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary trial is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are not seen. For the things seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  
Ryan’s eternal perspective had a huge impact on my life.  By God’s grace, he persevered through the trial to the other side of it. On May 25, 2006, Ryan went to be with the Lord after 5 months of great suffering and a lifetime of trial. It was five days after his sister’s wedding, where he saw his grandma, aunts and uncles, and cousins for the last time.  They had gone back to Michigan from the wedding only to return a week later for Ryan’s funeral.  Ryan was looking so forward to going home to meeting his savior face to face. He persevered, he ran the race, and he crossed the finish line into Eternal Glory.  
That left me with my first taste of grief.  It was bitter and it was sweet, heart wrenching and healing at the same time. How many nights and days did I cry out to God and how many times did God comfort me in my grief and sorrow. And how he used our church family to love and comfort and provide for us.
Two years latter we found out my Sister’s cancer had come back.  So I would go to Michigan as much as I could to be with her and care for her.  Her cancer lasted 7 years and she was on chemo until she died.
She was a beacon of hope and eternal optimism.  She persevered through treatments that made her so sick and so weak that many times we thought she would not make it.  She seemed to always bounce back, all the time caring for herself and her husband who is a quadriplegic.  When she was too weak, I would go up and take care of both of them.
A year after we found out about Mary’s cancer, we learned that my husband Chad had Glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer. The doctors gave him 2 months to live without treatment and 12 to 18 months if he did have treatment.  He had already seen his mother, three aunts, a brother and his father all die of cancer.  Though he didn’t really want to, we decided to go ahead with treatment.  We were so grateful that we did!  He lived 16 more months.
God took care of us amazingly, providing for all of our needs.  Our son Kris, his wife, and 4 boys, who were living in Atlanta, wanted to come and live with us so they could help me with Chad.  God provided a big house for us all to live in from a family from church who wanted to take the year to travel the country with their children.  My son Matt had just joined the Navy and he was able to get shore station in Virginia Beach for two years so he could be with his dad.  
My daughter Katie and her husband just moved back from Texas and had twin boys. They were living with us on the night Chad had the seizure that was the onset to us finding out about his cancer. They were to move just down the street from us the very next day so I was not alone at two o’clock in the morning when Chad needed help.  Our dearest friends, Joe and Jenny Smith, came over right away too.  Joe went with Chad in the ambulance and was with him the rest of the night.  The next day, Jenny took Katie and me to the hospital while Sean stayed home with the babies.  Our pastors and church family came to the hospital to support us and pray with us.  For many Sundays after, they would pray for Chad when we could come to church.  We were surrounded by dear, precious friends who walked with us through this devastating trial.
There is way too much to tell in this short time.  Chad persevered, living life as best he could, knowing he would be going home.  I tried to do the same. Some of the best times of my life with the Lord were during my hardest trials.  Chad passed away October 31, 2010 with our family and many of our church family around him playing and singing music, and reading scripture. It was truly a glorious home going.
            It has been 5 years since Chad has gone home and it has been the hardest time of my life - more tears, more heart break, more sorrow, more grief, and still more more more of God’s grace walking me through. 2015 was by far the hardest year I have had.  I needed to finally live in the townhouse I had bought 3 years before. It was time for me to trust God and live by myself.  It has been very hard but it has made me seek God in a new way again.  As always, he is faithfully providing for me and loving me and walking with me in this new season of life.  
Recently I have been listening to Jen Wilkin and she has a saying – “the heart can only love what the mind knows.”  I can say that the books I read, the movies I choose to watch and the music I listen to have a pronounced effect on how well I am doing with grief.  When I am in the word and praying and talking with God and getting to know him more it helps to keep my mind on eternal things. It helps to draw my gaze upward. It is then that my heart is full of love for him and I can be at peace with my circumstance.  When my mind is not on the Lord, when I resist him, when I turn and go my own way, my heart is restless, my life askew.  I want to always choose the first, but sadly I have many times chosen the latter.  This is why I am so grateful for a God who is ever near to the broken hearted, who gently takes my hand and leads me back to Him who is faithful, so patient, loving, and kind, to my God who is more than enough. 
If you are someone who is listening to this and is in the thick of your trial, I am living proof a God who is much bigger than your trials.  Let him be your lifeline as you cry out to him.  His mercies truly are new every morning just as Lamentations 3:22-23 says – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.”