Tender Mercies

Advent, Christmas, contentment, courage, Faith, freedom, grace, hope, mercy, Peace, praise, Prayer, Redemption, Salvation, surrender, Truth, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

Because of the tender mercy of our God…

Luke 1:78

I didn’t realize it at the time, but yesterday on a couple of occasions, I felt God seeing me. I felt Him near. The veil between earth and heaven was translucently thin.

In my car, with a list of places to deliver art and calendars, in between being among hurried and intent on shopping people, a playlist emerged. Songs I hadn’t heard before both caused me to pray and to praise. A deep connectedness to God’s spirit within me, led to warm tears and others to a lifted open hand.

No wonder, I’ve been resting with the words, “Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay.”

My favorite people in the Bible are the vulnerable and uncertain ones. I’m drawn to Job. I’m strengthened by David. I adore Martha and can relate to Jonah. Thomas, the one who needed proof and wasn’t afraid to admit it. I love the ones who wondered.

“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
‭‭John‬ ‭20:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Who believe and cling to times when their belief was solidified, made tangible evidence.

The Lord is near.

Believe. Accept the freedom of a sweeter commitment, the language of the heart, not rational.

Heavenly.

Lord, I believe.

I believe in your tender mercies.

In moments so tender,

So tender, a hand on mine, a strong hug.

Love so true, a touch of your hand in mine.

Every Place Exposed

Advent, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, mercy, Peace, praise, Redemption, Salvation, Stillness, Truth, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

What we allow to be influenced by Jesus, by love, by vulnerable secret places exposed to light, lends itself to our stories being rewritten.

We begin to believe the vastness of God’s grace is for us, not just for others.

We loosen the bitter, cynical ropes that tether us to making sense of past wrongs and in a gradual epiphany type way, we see hope as more than a sweet little word.

We may wonder why it took so long and we may fear falling back into the questioning pattern tattooed on our soul by trauma.

We may wonder over this change causing glimpses of heaven.

Or we might decide to embrace it.

We may just move this Christmas season from believing and accepting Christ Jesus

To fully embracing Him.

We’ll be easy on our fragile human hearts when they try to grow stiff again.

We’ll pivot towards the soft light of love, we will reset our hearts on hope again.

We will say to ourselves, maybe on little post-its or with pen on our wrists.

“healed”

…by his wounds, I am healed.

We’ll continue seeing God. We’ll be amazed where He is.

“having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:18-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What a joyful way, to live enlightened.

Can you feel it?

God is near.

Unwaveringly Believing

Angels, bravery, confidence, contentment, Faith, grandchildren, memoir, Redemption, rest, Salvation, testimony, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability

As a child so much of the Bible scared me.

I thought that was its intent, especially the Book of Revelation. Can you relate?

Angry preachers and their warnings with the intention of frightening me towards God.

My twenties changed to avoidance altogether, no chance I’d dare to believe that punishment for my behaviors might be met with a full measure of mercy. Thirties brought hope, a timid hope that perhaps I could chance trusting, believing in a different way.

Here I am at sixty plus a year.

Going on a decade or so of steadiness in my seeking even if my walk isn’t always steady.

That’s the thing.

Unwaveringly and simply, I keep deciding moment by moment to believe God.

In my quiet and confident way.

In God who created me, saw me through choices and troubles that were not his intent for me.

Still, His intention is that I know now,

He never left me, never will.

Like the wings of angel draped around my shoulders, surrounding me in love.

I’ve been cared for. The foundation of my faith is His provision, protection, wisdom, mercy and grace.

When my days are complete. I want it to be said of me.

She kept believing in Jesus. She wasn’t afraid to live according to His Word.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What did Jesus tell them, tells us through His recorded words?

Remain connected. Be a healthy and thriving branch of my goodness, mercy and love getting the nourishment to grow directly from me. (my paraphrase)

“…apart from me you can do nothing.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Love everyone. Endure. Be found faithful.

Be met by God on your last day on earth this way.

Leave stories of your faith for your children and grandchildren. Live this way, Lisa.

Even when others drift away, make allowances for sin and avoid hard conversations.

Abide in me, stay.

You don’t have be a fighter, just be you, a gentle and steady believer,

A victor of the faith.

“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭ESV

Lord, thank you for the changes you’ve brought in me and keep bringing as I continue and believe.

Quiet About It

bravery, confidence, contentment, curiousity, Faith, family, Forgiveness, grace, memoir, Peace, rest, Salvation, Stillness, testimony, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability, wonder
Touching Life

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭16:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I wonder if anyone on a summer morning would pause there as well. Or just me, my eye drawn to nature, the way an old bent root is exposed through what once was the ground, now eroding to give way for the road.

For our morning walking.

We noticed the pillowy green moss covering the border and we’d never not touch it, the invitation to see new life juxtaposed with trees barren because of age.

We stopped and cupped the evidence of life in the palm of our hands, caressed the smooth earthen wall.

It was a small thing, gloriously small.

Like clouds thickly shifting, my thoughts are of the majesty of God’s hands swooping down to stir them up.

I am convinced of this actually and often.

Majesty

I’m in a group of women called “The Alabaster Girls”.

I joined this group of others I don’t personally know because I wanted to be one, one with other women who would if given the chance, pour out all I’d been saving up in my own vessel or jar and in the face of resistance, express my relationship with Jesus.

“…what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today, the leader suggested members of this group share our testimony. I paused like I’ve paused many times before.

My testimony of deciding to believe in Jesus is really small, sort of private, sort of “not sure it took” because my path forward has been imperfect.

So, I typed it in the comments and I saw my salvation in the truest way.

I thanked the group’s moderator for asking me to tell the story of my salvation, the one I sometimes felt was too small.

The story of my quiet day, quiet choice and quietly steady faith.

Jesus came to me gently and I welcomed Him in, in a quiet way.

I sat alone in my home, a single mother with two children. My Sunday morning thing became watching Charles Stanley, In Touch. I decided to believe what I still believe, Jesus died for me so that I could have life. It wasn’t a whole lot of fanfare and so, many times I’ve questioned the simplicity of it…now, I know that’s the greatest gift and truth, the decision to believe in Jesus can happen anywhere and I should never discount my testimony…deciding to follow Jesus, alone on a Sunday morning with a journal in my lap. God knew me even when I was so lonely and lost and He met me the most gentle way, knowing I was afraid of “being pushed around”. Wow. I’ve never actually written this out until today. God is using you, sweet Nan Trammell Jones.

The seed was planted way back then although not always meticulously tended or consistently fertilized by choices, prayer and worship.

Quietly, quietly and persistently I have grown and in my often “quiet about it” way, the way God made me, He is using my story.

Glorious Things

I am growing and others see Jesus in me in the very way God made me.

Quietly like the persistent beauty of green moss covering the ground, the evidence of goodness, of peace, of quiet confidence in God, the earth and all things knowing Him made more glorious.

Decide to accept Jesus. You will never regret what can never be taken away.

Continue and believe.

Helping Ourselves

Abuse Survivor, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, memoir, Redemption, rest, Truth, Vulnerability, wisdom
Redeemed and Free

A few weeks ago, a dear friend and counselor was honest with me.

I had been chasing my trauma rabbits again. They are fast and very persistent in telling me I should catch up, latch on, hold one I might catch and cling ahold of and carry it around, allow it to rest on my chest, a familiar companion.

The trail had gotten treacherous. The call to explore new healing methods. To abandon the promises of my faith.

Everything and everyone an unknowing trigger in some stance or posture.

Attack.

My friend told me I had begun to make my trauma an altar. I cried without reservation. I welcomed her declaration.

If you’ve read this far, you’re thinking, why doesn’t she stop sharing this stuff?!

Or, you understand.

And maybe say thanks.

If the latter is the case, I want to bring you comfort, a little self-talk, prayers and assertions that are keeping me from kneeling at the ill-intentioned altar of my significant, but, no longer present trauma.

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?

It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:7-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You are safe. God is making sure.

The people who prompt reminders of your horror are not harming you.

This is not that.

Lord, I thank you for seeing the potential in me and my story. It’s why I get to write and paint and love others. Thank you redirecting me, thank you for placing people in my life who catch me when I’m falling, when I’m bending on scarred knees to lie funeral flowers on the grave of my past, the memories of my abuse, the altar of my trauma. Thank you for not allowing fear to cut in.

Because of your great love,

Amen.

Light of Heaven

Abuse Survivor, Angels, confidence, contentment, daughters, Faith, fear, Forgiveness, heaven, memoir, Peace, Redemption, Salvation, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability, wonder
Certain of Heaven

I wonder if we’d talked about Heaven would I have been better at it.

There’s a memory of my pre-pubescent days that lingers, leaves a lot of questions.

Saturday morning, my older brother and I and maybe the baby brother reported for duty.

(Here’s where I note, the memories are my own, my siblings’ are sometimes different, less or more.)

But, we’d arrive at the church and there would be a little preparation, pep talk, bellowing prayer sort of meeting.

No pants for girls were allowed, only skirts or culottes. I was shy, I was uncomfortable in my female skin. I wanted to do right, be loved and accepted.

We were transported to some big parking lot of a store and we paired up or if we were bold, we approached strangers alone.

We gave out the gospel tract that may have had a ruby faded flame depicting Hell on the front or a big bold question mark, prompting us to confront others about their salvation.

I don’t recall being very good at it. I hoped somehow I was good enough.

Last week or the week before, I felt afraid again. Someone mentioned the rapture. Another wrote about being certain those around you are certain of heaven.

I felt my spirit crouching, looking for a safe corner. Fear rose up.

I thought about why.

“The faculty of memory is particularly exquisite. I think there’s a secret to why God provided it.” John Eldredge, “Get Your Life Back”

I am certain of heaven, talk of it doesn’t scare me. It was simply the Saturday school of witnessing to strangers that scared me, a subtle trauma.

I began to think of a better approach. Although we were young people, little soldiers, what if we had begun our conversations with heaven?

I envisioned us all being schooled in a circled gathering. Inquisitive ones, looking towards our teacher. I see myself captivated by the hope of heaven, inspired, uplifted, casting off my despair.

Excited and at peace simultaneously. God smiling.

What if, way back then I had been trained in hope instead of fear?

Some things may have been different. My story not as meandering to be where I am today.

“Your story matters. Your story will not be lost.” John Eldredge

Angels Near

Years ago, I bought a Bible from an estate sale. It bothered me that it had been left so long. I decided I would find the family of this woman, I was confident they’d be thrilled to be discovered.

No luck.

I’ve kept the soft worn leather Bible that belonged to a young woman who was an art teacher and became a school principal.

Treasures in her Bible are her membership card as a National Educator, her PTA card, a litany for children, a lesson plan on color, a newspaper clipping announcing her promotion and a photograph of my mama at my wedding I decided belonged here.

A Red Cross membership card

In 1939, Angela renewed her Red Cross certification. My mama was born that year, January 30th.

I’ve read all the notes Angela wrote about her journey of faith in the pages of her Bible.

“We have to open our hearts to the workings of God.” Angela

Heaven is restoration. It is no longer needing to revisit old stories. We don’t see yet; but, in heaven we will see them as God intended. God, both the author and finisher of us.

“Lest we despair, God has given us a “future and a hope” and to be quite specific, it includes the restoration of every precious day of our lives. Heaven is not a memory wipe.” John Eldredge

If I had a do over from my childhood evangelist days, I pray I’d have the courage to look another in the eye. I pray I’d have the sweetest soul penetrating eyes and that my voice wouldn’t quiver a bit.

I pray I wouldn’t be wearing culottes.

And I’d say “Hey, how are you…wanna talk about heaven?”

Today marks the year eleven since my mama went to heaven. Too soon, I’m nine years away from that age.

I’m certain she is joyous. I’m sure every pain and heartache she experienced no longer remains.

I thought of heaven in a new way yesterday. I pray I continue.

I envisioned the reunion with someone who harmed me, brought havoc and years of pain.

I saw us seeing each other and I heard myself say.

“I’m so very happy you’re here.”

Angela’s Bible

“For the Lord himself will appear with the declaration of victory, the shout of an archangel, and the trumpet blast of God. He will descend from the heavenly realm and command those who are dead in Christ to rise first. Then we who are alive will join them, transported together in clouds to have an encounter with the Lord in the air, and we will be forever joined with the Lord. So encourage one another with these truths.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I am certain of heaven. I believe in the rapture because I believe the pain and redemption of Job, of Paul, of the woman caught in adultery, the short man who stole from others, the flooding of the earth and the obedience of Noah, and the gracious decision of God to make heaven possible by giving His Son as a sacrificial death and glorious resurrection.

So, I believe in the rapture. Believe in Jesus. I am anticipating heaven.

I’m aware of the angels today, Angela and Bette. I see them celebrating my choice to see hope and no longer despair.

Wanna talk about heaven with me?

It would be great joy. I want to know you’ll be there too.

Believing or Not

Advent, Angels, Art, Christmas, contentment, courage, Faith, freedom, grace, heaven, Holy Spirit, hope, mercy, Peace, Redemption, rest, Salvation, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability, wonder, writing
“Nativity’s Child”

I sat with one last piece of watercolor paper in the pad, a pencil sketch of a woman’s face I had started was faintly there, not completely erased.

I added oval shapes of angel faces, a few more realistic and scattered to give an idea of angels all over the page, floating above the baby Jesus with his mother, Mary in the corner.

I’d had a moment earlier when a friend wrote about the “multitude” of angels and I couldn’t stop myself from the thought

Could it be? It seems so unbelievable, there are angels, they are real and as much as I prefer not to borrow a song’s lyrics, “there are angels among us.” (The band, Alabama)

And now I’m inspired again. It’s just that simple, no it is splendid, this new fervor.

“The Multitude”

My beliefs in such things mysterious to me are easy to hold as hope and not as reality.

Someone used the word “resplendent” in a message contrasting their feelings and faith as tender and yet, resplendent.

What a beautiful word, an adjective meaning brilliant, shining, impressive or magnificent.

I again thought of that unbelievable night, the night that Jesus was born.

I am thinking now of its significance.

The significance of seeing and believing in a way that is so much more than a poetically written ancient story of a mysterious man born to a young virgin.

The weight of believing or not. Faith that is not fiction.

“Redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus must be considered fact, a deeply personal unwavering belief, otherwise that very gift of mercy, redemption will never be fully experienced, only vaguely hoped for.” me

So, I cradle the ceramic baby in a basket and I see it more than decoration, I see it truly, fully.

An old man in the Bible, Simeon had been waiting for the prophesied Messiah. He met Jesus with his parents and he worshipped, praised, and acknowledged.

“Lord and Master, I am your loving servant, and now I can die content, for your promise to me has been fulfilled. With my own eyes I have seen your Word, the Savior you sent into the world. Simeon cradled the baby in his arms and praised God and prophesied, saying:

He will be glory for your people Israel, and the Revelation Light for all people everywhere!”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:28-32‬ ‭TPT‬‬

An elderly woman named Anna, both had been waiting their whole lives to see the Jesus their God had promised.

“While Simeon was prophesying over Mary and Joseph and the baby, Anna walked up to them and burst forth with a great chorus of praise to God for the child. And from that day forward she told everyone in Jerusalem who was waiting for their redemption that the anticipated Messiah had come!”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:38‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Resplendent, the aged faces of these two must have been, like the sight on that angel and starry filled night of Jesus’s birth.

Resplendent were the colors, brilliant and vivid on another evening, the rich reds of the Son of God’s blood covered body, the darkest daytime night before the curtain was torn and God illuminated for all the reality of what occurred, a death for our sins, the reality of God’s offer of mercy. A vivid scene that must be believed and remembered.

Many doubted, many still do, honestly admitted needing proof.

“Then, looking into Thomas’ eyes, he said, “Put your finger here in the wounds of my hands. Here—put your hand into my wounded side and see for yourself. Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe!”

Then the words spilled out of his heart—“You are my Lord, and you are my God!” Jesus responded, “Thomas, now that you’ve seen me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen me with their eyes but have believed in me with their hearts, and they will be blessed even more!”
‭‭John‬ ‭20:27-29‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I suppose the choice is up to us, us earthly people. We can choose to believe or not.

A life of faith only faintly evident or one fully committed, resplendent!

Thankful today for the angels, the believers, the doubters like me.

Very surely grateful for redemption, for mercy unmerited, for grace.

Thankful for words and the peace of mind, presence of the Holy Spirit gently nudging my using them.

Continue and believe. He’s not finished with you yet.

Christmas, Come Soon

Children, Christmas, coronavirus, courage, Faith, grace, grandchildren, hope, Peace, Prayer, Stillness, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

The two homes on the cul de sac are inviting Christmas early. One changed overnight from a massive friendly ghost inflatable to a same size “Frosty” snowman waving at me as I walk by. The second, more subtle a view, the front door open to allow my peeking in, a tree lit simply in a corner. One reminding me of great big joy and the other a decided upon peace.

“Charlie Brown”

The tree is up early in my granddaughter’s room. My daughter, a teacher exhausted over what may come next for her students, watched Christmas movies with her baby, sang songs about jingling bells and dressed her in pink peppermint pajamas.

All of it, beauty!

The deciding to celebrate Christmas in November and groaning in our hearts and souls for a star, a sign symbolic of hope.

Jesus was born and everything changed.

And now centuries later, we are still longing for Christmas. We are so very weary, so very.

“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.” O’ Holy Night

“Baby’s Tree”

The air was crisp on our walk this morning. We danced along with music in my pocket, looked towards the sky and we rubbed our hands on the cool ground and moss pillows on the hill.

Christmas, I wondered last night before sleeping, how will it be? Will the animosity over politics, vaccines, mask wearing or not wearing ever end?

Will Christmas be quiet this year, requiring less frantic buying and limited travel, limited dining together?

Will we be home alone?

If so, will we know this is God’s will for this time, His idea?

Will we trust in Jesus? Will we keep believing God sees us?

“Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭77:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Will we open our Bibles, find comfort in the likemindedness of the psalmist? Will we be reassured of His goodness because of the evidence of more goodness than we can possibly recall?

Will we see ourselves in the Gospels as we reacquaint ourselves with the birth to resurrection story of the baby born in a manger, Jesus?

Moss “Pillows”

I pray I am able, pray I avoid the trap of worry, of not knowing the last word in this season’s book and I pray the book becomes one of lessons with resolution not a cliffhanger waiting for the sequel.

Christmas, come early. Come sooner than later. We long for your star. We long for the peace it promised then and promises still.

“I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side
‘Til morning is nighBe near me, Lord Jesus
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me, I pray…” Away in A Manger”

Be near us Jesus, as we continue on the paths you place us.

Christmas, come soon. Find us as we find you again. Find ourselves remembering the meaning of Christmas, you, a Savior born for every single soul.

Future Plans and Surprises

bravery, Children, confidence, contentment, courage, doubt, Faith, grandchildren, heaven, hope, Motherhood, Peace, Prayer, Truth, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom

I’m not sure why God, or maybe it’s life that did it, made my hopes and angst and wishes always be from the perspective of my children.

On earth as in heaven, I suppose I ask God for this. Quite often, I ask God to surprise my children, make them certain it was Him.

There are countless hopes my heart holds for them, some of them things they long for, some are ideas of my own.

I’m a mama of adult children. I can’t hold or control them. I can only pray with open hands and unnamed hopes with their names circled in my journal.

I give God control. He is a buffer of protection. He loves them more than I.

I want to know they are well and that they are loved well.

I want them (and me) to embrace heavenly things as pursuit in a time when earth is so uncertain.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I want them to see me trying, admitting it is hard and yet, waking up to try again.

Even on days and days on end when what’s ahead is unclear.

Put one step forward not backward. One step on days when a greater distance feels difficult or detoured by these crazy days.

Step forward, think forward.

Set your intentions on being intentional in the days ahead of not knowing much at all.

Considering maybe God is breaking our addiction to control this year to show us knowing everything doesn’t keep us safe.

It is only knowing Him that is safe at all.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Linking up with others prompted by the word “ahead”.

Ahead

Remembered By

Art, bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, freedom, hope, Peace, Trust, Truth, voting, Vulnerability, wisdom

Do you make mental lists of things you’d like to be remembered by? Maybe that’s just what a sixty year old person does.

It happened again. Yesterday, my friend asked if my hair color was natural. It took a minute, I realized she was asking if I had happily resigned to go grey.

My hair is grey? Again, how did I miss this? I don’t spend a whole light of time on hair or makeup to be honest.

Makes me wonder if others say to themselves, well, Lisa retired and she just let herself go or

Maybe she relaxed into being herself.

We were outdoors on this beautiful day. I met my friend and her brother to take notes and hear the love story of the couple I’d be creating art for.

Ideas were shared, preferences in size and style. Mentions of things God has me doing through art and likeminded casual conversation about the goodness of God.

My friend’s brother listened as I shared the meaning of my life verse.

“In quietness and confidence is your strength.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There was a pause and he spoke up, “I want to see your Bible.”

I thought of my Bible and smiled.

This morning I’m thinking of the weight of his wish, I’m thinking I may be remembered by the sketches in my Bible.

No better wish.

On this crisp morning, full moon later, Halloween and time change tomorrow, the shift is building, the tension mounting, the crucial critical day of Tuesday, voting.

But, I sit quietly. I open my Joy and Strength devotional to October 31. I read the ancient words from Deuteronomy.

Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee. Deuteronomy 8:2

This portion of a verse in a chapter headed “Remember the Lord your God”.

Words used by Moses as reminders of the forty years of wilderness, the humbling and then the provision of manna.

Remember God.

The chapter ends with a serious warning, timely for our day.

“And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭8:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m not qualified to argue politics. I love people and I love God. Loving God, though, is my priority, my calling, my navigation.

I understand the sound of God’s gentle warning that He gives before He needs to speak more boldly.

I will heed the warning of Moses. I will take care lest I forget the Lord my God by not keeping His commandments and his rules and statutes. (Deuteronomy 8:11)

I will remember the wilderness He pulled me from and I will treasure an unexpected hope of another who reminded me of what matters when he sweetly said, “I want to see your Bible.”

Me too, Tommy,

Me too. I want to always be able to see my Bible. Even when my eyes are squinty and my hair fully silver. I want to hold my Bible in my lap, underline the exhortations, sketch in the margin faces of women like me, women God found. Women who remember.

Continue and believe.

Believe. In quiet confidence is your strength.