Saturday, July 26, 2014

God Works in Mysterious Ways

It is strange to me that in life, we are constantly thinking we have all the answers, that we know what's best, and that, somehow, it's the universe that has conspired against us. I have learned over the past year that we know very little when it comes to what we really need or want, and that in reality, what we really need is to stop and wait on the Lord.

For the past fourteen years, I have watched my husband, Sean, as he has left the house, so jealous that he gets to have a career where he is appreciated and paid for his opinions and ideas. Don't get me wrong, I love my children and I love being a mom, but I have always been the ambitious kind of person. As a stay-at-home mom, rather than a corporate ladder, there's the painting ladder and rather than business suits, there's yoga pants and children in birthday suits. I admit that more than once, I wished that I was the one going to work and he was the one staying home.

Well, God works in mysterious ways, because two months ago, that is exactly what happened. Sean had been struggling to find a good job for nearly a year when a good friend told us of a position in a company he knew that was looking for a full-time woman writer. We talked it through, prayed fervently, and decided to apply and if God wanted me to work, he would give us the job. The day before my interview, Sean received an offer for an engineering position an hour and a half away from our home with good pay but horrible benefits. The next day, I had my interview and was offered the job and with benefits included, it came out better than the engineering position.

Again we prayed and knew it was an answer from God. Our sons are now in Jr. High and I have been struggling to teach them at the level required in both Math and Science. Sean has been a high school science and math teacher for eight years and has the exact knowledge our children need for their growth and development. He is needed at home and I am needed to work. So, our roles are now reversed. It has been an interesting and humbling experience to say the least.

Here is what I have learned:

-Sean is a remarkable husband. I come home tired and worn out and have little energy or desire to want to do anything. When Sean came home from work all those years, he helped with dinner, helped with baths, helped with clean-up and helped with laundry. I rarely saw him sit down. I don't know how he did it. I have more respect for him now than I ever have. Because I am now in his shoes.

-Sean is an amazing father. When I come home, not only has he got the kids to clean the house, but he has taught them, taken them to the library, exercised with them, and read to them. He also has dinner ready. He gets more done in a day than I ever did. He is teaching our children the value of hard work, determination, and the importance of a father doing all things in the upkeep of a home.

-Being in the corporate world is not all it's cracked up to be. I miss being a mother. Now that I've tasted what I thought I wanted, I no longer want it. Isn't that how it always is. We think the grass is greener on the other side until we get to the other side and realize the grass is painted. It's not even grass at all and it doesn't feed us or fill our soul. Don't get me wrong, I like my job but I hate being away from my family. I feel like I'm missing out on precious moments of their life that I will never get back again. Time is short, make the very best of the time that you have.

-God is loving. God has provided us with a way to take care of our family in a way they need it and that doesn't always mean the traditional way of doing things. Our children needed what Sean has to give them and our family needed the ability to provide for our needs so God made it possible for both things to happen. I never thought in a million years that my English degree would provide a salary for us comparable to an engineering salary. That was God's hand, all the way.

-No matter what we do, it is important that we see the good in every situation so that we can be grateful for it. Although working may not be ideal for me, it is ideal for our situation at this moment, and it is making it possible for our children to learn at a level they haven't been able to before. It has also given Sean time to write. He has written nearly two books in the two months I have been working. Who knows where those will take us. All he needed was time and God, in His love and goodness, has given that to us.

I know that God's ways are not our ways and that if we just trust in Him, He will direct our path. If we choose to see the good, we will find it and we will truly feel God's love manifest itself in our life.
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Our Imperfect View of Perfection

The picture of perfection.....


Smack-dab center in the middle of my living room is a four-year-old picture of my children. The picture is obviously old and outdated, but I keep the picture on the wall to remind me to let go of my need to be perfect. I remember the day of the photo shoot very well. My small children were tired because the only appointment the studio had was in the middle of the day, and right in the middle of my youngest daughter's nap time. I booked the time anyway because I wanted the pictures taken and, because of my "getter done" personality, I wanted them taken now. 

The photographer took individual and family photos and saved the group photo of the children for the very last. When the time came for the last photo, the children's patience were spent and so were mine. No matter what we did, we could not get everyone to cooperate and picture after picture was taken with no perfect photo as a result. Finally, with my children crying, me up in arms and my husband looking at me in desperation, I stopped myself. I realized what I was doing to my family. I was demanding perfection that my children did not have within themselves at the time to give me. They were tired, hungry, and miserable. The photographer kept trying to work with my crying miserable children to get them to smile and I stopped her. I told her that I am sure we would find the perfect picture in the photos that had already been taken.

As we looked through the pictures of the children, there was no picture of them sitting prim and proper in a perfect portrait like I wanted, but I did find the perfect picture that perfectly portrayed my children. In it, my youngest daughter was laughing hysterically while looking sideways, while my oldest son looked down at her with a big smile of love and admiration. My second oldest son was looking forward with the cheesiest smile on his face, just like he always does, while my oldest daughter was looking forward biting her lip nervously, which is a habit she has because she too worries when things are not going perfectly. My middle daughter was smiling her most beautiful smile staring off to the side, living in her own little world of laughter, where she likes to live the most. The picture captured each one of their personalities perfectly. Although people who come to my house and see the picture do not see picture perfect children, it is a picture of perfect children to me.

We are perfect in our imperfections....

According to the Mirriam online dictionary, perfection means: "having all the required or desired elements, qualities or characteristics, as good as it is possible to be."

I think about that definition and have finally come to the realization that I will never fit that definition in this life. My body alone has a whole slew of imperfections and we won't even talk about my bad habits, improper thoughts, poor choices or countless mistakes. There is no way I will ever be as good as it is possible to be and it is time I learn to be ok with that and stop searching for and expecting perfection in myself and everyone around me. I think we all need to recognize that trying to attain that definition is impossible in this life and only attainable through the Atonement and with the help of the Savior.

Linda Reeves said, "We may sometimes feel that we need to be part of a "perfect LDS family" in order to be accepted by the Lord. We often feel "less-than" or like misfits in the kingdom if we feel we do not fit that picture. Dear sisters, when all is said and done, what will matter to our Father in Heaven will be how well we have kept our covenants and how much we have tried to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

God expects us to be imperfect. As a matter of fact, He knew that's the way it would be which is why He sent the Savior in the first place. So why do we beat ourselves up every time we make a mistake, every time we are less than perfect in our calling, or any time we show that we are anything less than the perfect Mormon family. 

The promises we make.....

If the thing that matters most to our Heavenly Father is how well we have kept our covenants and how much we have tried to follow the Savior, then from here on out. let's make those things our focus. Just for fun, let's talk about the things we do and do not promise when we covenant with the Lord.

We do not promise....

  • To keep our house spotless, floors mopped, laundry folded, dishes done, toilet cleaned, sinks shiny, and beds made all the days of our lives.
  • To keep our children entertained, our spouse happy, ourselves happy, our neighbors happy, our extended family cared for every minute of every day.
  •  To have our children to school on time, our grocery shopping done in under an hour, our family's dinner on the table at six sharp, and our children in bed at eight come rain or shine.
  • To have cookies in our cookie jar, treats for the sisters we visit, handouts for our lesson, glitter for our child's birthday party invitations (or a birthday party at all for that matter), or homemade bread for all our neighbors.
  • To wear make-up every day, to volunteer for every service project, to know how to scrapbook, to have perfect children, to be the perfect mother.
Heavenly Father will never, ever require us to do these things. These list of things are things we have all required of ourselves. I know there are many, many more that I could add to this list, but I am sure you all get the point I am trying to make with it.

We do promise....

  • To take upon ourselves the name of the Savior, to become more like Him. Becoming more like the Savior does not require a clean house, it requires a pure heart.
  • To always remember the Savior. Sometimes, remembering the Savior means getting rid of all the things in your life that are making you busy so that you can sit at the Savior's feet and learn from Him. Remember Mary and Martha?
  •  To love one another. Sometimes kindness is thrown out the window when we are in a hurry to get things done and when we always feel rushed. Kindness should always take priority over a schedule to be kept.
  • To serve one another. Service does not require things at all. The only thing required is your time and your heart. The greatest gift you can leave with someone you serve is the gift of the Spirit.
  • To be like the Savior and follow Him. The Savior was not concerned with worldly things. He did not care what other people thought of Him. He was here to do the work of His Father. To many, He was anything but the perfect King they were expecting. But to His Father in Heaven who knew Him and His heart, He was a Beloved Son and the perfect Savior and Redeemer of the world.

If anyone is interested in this amazing portrait of the Savior, you can find the artist, Brent Borup at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BrentBorup/.


So it is with us. Our Heavenly Father knows us individually and personally. He knows our hearts and our destiny. He knows who we are and who we can be and to Him we are remarkable. He loves us. He loves us because we are perfectly who we are because we are perfectly His.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Trouble With Darkness and the Joy of Light

We are in the middle of one of the greatest trials I think we have ever faced as a married couple. Remember when I said that we felt inspired to be full time writers? Well, here it is, we were inspired.... and it hasn't been working out for us. We have been trying and trying yet nothing seems to be working out. So, two months ago, Sean decided it was time for him to look for a "real" job, and guess what? That's not working out either. Nearly 200 applications later, he still hasn't found a job that will provide for our needs. So, for two months we have lived with no income.

I have to say that at first, I was angry. I was angry at Heavenly Father because we overwhelmingly felt the Spirit when we made the decision to leave Paradigm at the end of his teaching contract. We have faithfully paid our tithing, served in our callings, held family home evening, had family scripture study and family prayer. We have done everything right, yet things have never gone so wrong. I could not understand it, and I began to doubt whether or not it was the Spirit that we felt. I then began to doubt my ability to receive further revelation. I began to question the validity of promises given in the scriptures and then, the validity of God himself. I found myself in a very dark place. I am sure everyone reading this has had some moment in their life when they have experienced similar feelings. We all go through it. It's how we grow our faith, and it's how we are tested. But then I think about everything that happened to the Savior and Joseph Smith and every other prophet who did everything right and they still suffered unspeakable sorrow much greater than my own.  And they rarely complained rarely questioned and continued spreading their light to others. It made me think about our trials and whether we live them in darkness or light. I am ashamed to say, that more often than I would like to admit, I have been choosing to live out this trial in darkness.

The trouble with living out storms in darkness, though, is that when water and darkness get together, the only thing that comes from it is black mold, mildew, decaying and rotting wood, and things that lead to illness and death. Darkness is a very bad place to be in the time of a storm. The only companion you have is despair. Your heart is closed to the light and loneliness becomes very real, and very dangerous. For example, when I reached the very lowest I have ever been, I felt that if there were a train near-by, I would feel better if I just sat on the tracks and waited for a train to come. That is how dangerous living out a storm in darkness can be. I would never do it of course, but I am just describing how I am sure many of us feel when we choose to live our storms in darkness. It will destroy a person's faith which is why Satan would prefer it if this is where we chose to dwell.

Living out a storm in light, however, is a completely different experience. Water and sunshine bring life, not only do they bring life, but they sustain life. They beautify the earth and supply both food and water for man. Sunshine and rain bring rainbows and flowers, allowing us to find joy in our suffering. Living out a storm in the light allows us to feel the sun on our face, giving us the hope of a brighter tomorrow. By living out a storm in the light, we can dance in the rain because we can feel the joy that comes from living in the light. We can gain energy from the life-giving Son and we can find peace because even though we may not be able to see through the storm with our eyes, we are open and can still feel with our heart. Living out a storm in light will grow your faith, just like it grows a seed, until your faith becomes a perfect knowledge. It will be delightful.

So, today, and from now on, I have decided to live out my storms in the light. I feel so full of the light of Christ, that I even wrote a poem about it this morning. And here is what I am asking of you. I am going to share this poem, and if you enjoy it, and want to read more of my poetry, and would be willing to buy an e-book of it, for say, $2.99, let me know in the comments. Covenant has already said they won't publish books of poetry, but that doesn't mean that I can't. Maybe things aren't working out because I haven't been sharing the right thing. :)


Light That We May See


From the beginning both light and dark were important to God’s plan.
For in them God sends lessons to teach the hearts of man.

Darkness exists and it is real. But if we choose to make it our own
The road ahead we cannot see and we fail to make it home.

God saw goodness in the light. God’s light is real and true.
And if we choose it as our guide, we’ll safely make it through.

We cannot dwell in the path of darkness, for our only companion’s despair.
While choosing to walk in the pathway of light: love, peace, hope and our Savior are there.

Though the earth is filled with darkness, God left light for those who seek.
A hidden trail of mercy, for the humble and the meek.

When it rains, He gives us rainbows that we need not fret or mourn.
That we may focus on the blessings that have come due to the storm.

In the darkest night, he shines stars above that we may look up and look to him.
In prayer we’ll find sweet solace when our light begins to dim.

In a darkened room, we light a candle, giving us light that we may see.
Much like the whisperings of God’s Spirit, a light we carry internally.

On a stormy sea, we find a lighthouse, a symbol of strength and safety to all.
Inspiring us to keep pressing onward, when the storm threatens to make us fall.

For storms will come in both darkness and light, but the outcome will not be the same.
Water and darkness bring mold and decay, while each life needs both sunshine and rain.

And every storm that we walk in the sunlight will give us something we needed to know.
For our faith, just like a seed that is planted, must have the storms to grow.

So choose to walk out of the darkness and into God’s glorious light.
That you may shine like a lighthouse for the travelers who are lost in the night.



--Tiffany Fletcher

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The time has come to ask yourself.... What do I believe?

Before this summer, if someone were to ask me if I have ever not believed in God, my answer would have been no, not even for an instant. If someone were to tell me that it is possible to be tried so much that even the most faithful can be left questioning, my answer would have been, "not me." And yet, without going into any specifics, I can say, that this past couple of months, I reached that point. I felt the same way Joseph Smith must have felt when he cried out, "Oh God, where art thou?" while he suffered in the Liberty Jail. I suppose even the Savior had His moment when He said, "Father, if it be thy will, remove this cup from me."

What I have learned from my experience is that none of us are free from suffering, and none of us are exempt from being tried to our very breaking point and beyond. What I also learned is that if you want to grow your faith, you first much reach the end of it in order to move forward. Sure, it may take faith the size of a grain of mustard to move a mountain, but sometimes, it takes the faith of a mountain to take one step into the unknown, to face an impossible and seemingly hopeless task you have been asked to face. I have also learned that we do not face these things alone. We can either choose hate and anger and allow Satan to walk the path with us, or we can choose love and forgiveness and allow the Savior to stand by our side. It is up to us to choose for ourselves.

A good portion of this trial, I have been going back and forth from one companion to the other. One minute I chose to walk with the Adversary, the next I chose the Savior. I found that my days were easier and my heart was less troubled when I chose the Savior as my companion. When my days began with prayer and scripture study, family prayer, and family scripture study, I was more able to keep the Savior as my companion and His spirit lifted me to a place of peace and hope in better things to come. That is the amazing thing about the Savior, His companionship brings hope, while Satan's companionship can only offer despair. Rather than my heart feeling as if it were broken, I felt it healing and mending and becoming whole once again. It is really a remarkable experience to feel the healing balm of the Savior as He heals your broken heart.

During this trial, I also gained a valuable insight that I would like to share before I end my post. When you feel as if you are surrounded by darkness, and you feel as if God is silent, think back on a  time in your life when you really felt God's Spirit surround you. Close your eyes and go to that place mentally. As you do this, His spirit will bring to your remembrance the overwhelming feelings of love and peace that God shared with you in that moment in time. Keep that moment close to your heart, make it a holy place for you to stand when you feel you have no where else to go. Doing this will remind you that God is with you. He was with you then and He is with you now. Stand in holy places and keep them close to your heart so when the enemy conspires against you and seeks to tear away every other holy place around you, he will never take the place inside your heart. In this way, you will always be able to stand with the Lord. Go to that place often and remember just how much God loves you. Sometimes, when you feel forsaken, remembering that moment in time will be one of the only ways to bring your focus back where it belongs.

What do I believe? I KNOW God lives. I KNOW God loves us. I KNOW Christ is our Savior and He will help us home. Follow Him, Believe in Him, and let Him heal you. When you get to the edge of your faith, keep walking. :) 

Friday, June 21, 2013

An Eleven Day Journey Took Forty Years

Today I would like to add to my previous post by sharing something that struck me hard in our last stake conference. One of the counselors in our stake presidency was talking about the children of Israel and how the journey from Egypt to the promised land was only about an eleven day journey, yet it took the children of Israel forty years to get there.

I found this startling. I wonder if the children of Israel had any idea that the promised land was so closely within their grasp. I think that if they did, they would have stopped complaining, accepted what the Lord had given them, and moved forward with faith. The Lord provided so many miracles for them, yet time and time again, they complained that it was not enough, or that the Lord did not provide for them exactly what they wanted when they wanted it, in the way they wanted it. Take their food for instance. The Lord provided manna from heaven for them to eat. They did not have to work for it, he fed them freely every day, except for Sundays, for forty years. The children of Israel, however, complained. They did not like the taste of it, they lusted for meat instead of manna, and they were upset that it did not fall on Sunday. Every time God gave them a commandment, or asked them to do something, they fought him on it or complained. If they had just let go and let God lead them, they would have made it to the promised land in the eleven days and they would have saved themselves a lot of trials. They turned an eleven day trip into a forty year journey because of how they chose to react.

I think that more often than we realize, we are much like the children of Israel. I know that Sean and I have been much like them. We have been wanting to be full-time writers for 13 years now. All it took was us making tithing a priority and putting God first. We turned a short trip into a 13 year journey because of our inability to follow a simple commandment. You see, God is willing to grant us the promised land if we just do what he asks. 

I have also learned that not only is God willing to grant us the promised land, but he continually provides for us until we get there despite our disobedience. He just wants us to acknowledge him and all the miracles he is already providing on our behalf. Take the children of Israel for example. Not only did God feed them daily for forty years, but He clothed them by not allow their clothing to wear out, nor did he allow their feet to swell as they walked. He provided water from a rock and healed them if they but looked upon a staff. He was continually providing miracles for them but they were so self-centered that rather than thanking him for those blessings, they constantly murmured that they were not enough.

So here is today's advice:
  • Count your blessings so you will realize what you have.
  • Be grateful for what you have. God has given you more than you know.
  • Evaluate your life and see if you are making an 11 day journey last 40 years.
  • Try to learn the lessons God's trying to teach you so you don't have to keep wandering in the wilderness. The promised land is closer than you know.
I love reading the scriptures and applying them to my life so that I don't have to keep repeating their mistakes. That's what they were given to us for. We don't have to make the same mistakes as the children of Israel because we can read about them, see their mistakes and make better choices than they did. I am so glad for an inspired counselor who helped me understand this simple story of the children of Israel because for me, it has changed the way I look at things. It's amazing how one simple thought can make all the difference. I hope it makes a difference for you, too. :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Simple Testimony

It has been a month since I have last posted and I hope never again to go that long before I share my thoughts with all of you. School is out now, which means my husband, Sean is once again home for the summer. This isn't like every other summer, though. For us, it is a summer of new beginnings, which has also lead to my lack of writing.

My husband and I are both writers. This year marks our 13 year anniversary, and for those 13 years, we have had the desire to be full-time writers. We have looked into so many different ways of making this happen, but we never could find a way to support five children on such a questionable income.

Let me also explain that we have never really had a perfect testimony of tithing either. We paid tithing, but we always paid on our net income and we never made it a priority to pay it first. Often times, we would use what was allotted for tithing as our grocery money with the justification that we would just make it up with the next check. We always made it up, but never put it first.

Last December, Sean and I were both studying and pondering and separately received revelation that we needed to start making tithing a priority. I read something somewhere that said if you wanted the net blessings you should pay on your net income, but if you wanted the most blessings, you should pay on the gross. In December, we made the decision to write a check that would make up the difference between our net income and our gross income and paid it on the last day of the month. We had confidence that God would bless us for our sacrifice.

We also made the decision to put tithing first. It is the first check we write and we do not even question whether or not we should hold on to it "just in case" there won't be enough for everything else. As we continued to pay our tithing, our trust in the Lord increased and again, Sean and I both received revelation separately that he should not renew his contract as a teacher and that we should start looking for writing jobs to fulfill our desire to be full time writers.

Sean was blessed right away with a part-time job writing science and math curriculum while he was still teaching high school. Since February, he has been working both jobs in order to prepare for the transition. I, however, could not find anything. I have a BA in English, I am a published author, yet I could not find a writing job that didn't pay more than pennies a word. I began to get discouraged but kept doing all I could to trust in the Lord.

I continued to write for FamilyShare and I noticed some of my articles were very popular. I then noticed heavier traffic to my blog and I began posting more often. I began to feel the Spirit inspire me with thoughts and ideas as I thought about what to write. Writing those articles and writing on my blog is where I find joy and a greater dose of the Spirit. My only concern was that while I enjoy writing on my blog very much, it was not going to provide for my family and I had to stop and look for real work. That's why I stopped posting.

At the beginning of June, school ended. I could still find nothing by way of work, and to make matters worse, the company Sean had been working for part-time started giving him projects quoting a payment that was so low that there was no way we could ever provide for our family. Even though we had felt the Lord inspire us to move in the direction of full time writers, we had no idea how we were going to provide for our family. I began to be angry and frustrated; angry with my husband for quitting his job, even though I told him I felt the same as he did, and angry at God because we had been paying our tithing faithfully for six months without seeing the promised blessings that come from it. I felt He had abandoned and forsaken us. I began to doubt myself, wondering if what I felt was revelation was just me and not really the Spirit at all.

One of Sean's final checks came from the school and it came time to pay our tithing. It wasn't even a thought in my mind. I may have been frustrated with God, but I was not going to undo everything we had worked towards by doubting now. I paid it, believing that some day, those promised blessings would come. I have always held on to hope. It is what got me through as a child.

Three days after I paid the tithing, those blessings did come and they have changed not only the way I look at tithing, but the way I look at Heavenly Father as well. The company that Sean was writing for came back and raised the price of the projects 2 1/2 times what they were originally going to pay him. Not only will he be able to make more money than he was as a teacher, but he will be able to do it in just a few days a week and he will be able to spend the rest of the week writing the books that he wants to write.

Because we made tithing a priority, I won't have to write for money at all. I can write for me, and for you, and continue to write the things of my heart.

What I learned from this is that God has a plan for all of us. We may not understand what it is, but if we listen to the promptings of the Spirit, and keep the commandments and covenants we make with our Father in Heaven, He will not let us down. He is bound to keep His promises when we do what He asks.

So my testimony is simple and it also serves as my advice to you:


  • Listen to the promptings of the Spirit and follow Him.
  • Do not doubt yourself! This is Satan's way of getting you to stop doing what you ought to be doing.  
  • Keep the Commandments! Do what Heavenly Father asks and you will be blessed.
  • Trust Heavenly Father. He has a plan for you, and His plan is much better than yours.
I know God lives, I know He loves me, I know He watches over me and blesses me. The remarkable thing is that He doesn't just do this for me, He does this for you too! So let Him!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The War in Heaven and the Two Plans

I always try to make it a priority to keep God's Spirit in our home, and I generally start by doing all I can to keep His Spirit in my own heart. For the past week or so, however, I have been struggling with this. It would seem that every time I think I am doing great, and I can feel God's Spirit, a negative thought will pop into my head and I will focus on it so much, that there will no longer be room for Heavenly Father's Spirit to stay with me, and I will be left with anger, frustration, and doubt.

I was thinking about it this morning, wondering why it is that I have to work really hard and make a conscience effort to feel Heavenly Father's Spirit, but with absolutely no effort at all, Satan's spirit can show up out of the blue, forcing his way into my thoughts and my heart, lingering for hours and ruining my entire day. I realized that it all comes down to the war in Heaven and the two plans that were presented.

You see, before we came here, when we all lived in Heaven, God presented a plan that involved us coming to Earth, gaining a body, and learning how to make good choices using our gift of agency, but some of us would choose wrong, and not all of us would return. Lucifer also had a plan. His plan was to force everyone to make good choices, therefore guaranteeing we would all make it back to God, but Lucifer wanted the glory for it. Well, we all know what happened. Christ volunteered to carry out God's plan and to give the glory to God. There was a war in Heaven, and Lucifer was cast down to Earth along with one third of the hosts of Heaven and became Satan. He is now here to torment man, and he is doing it daily, using the plan he wanted.

Satan's plan is a plan of force. He forces himself into our homes through media and music lyrics, he forces his way into our thoughts with negativity and complaining, and he forces his way into our hearts with judgments on one another, with self doubt, and with unbelief. He doesn't have to be asked, he will just show up, and with a little entertaining on our part, he will become a full-fledged member of our day to day life. 

Christ, however, is carrying-out God's plan. Therefore, He will never force His way in. He will never enter where He is not invited, He will never come where He is not welcome. His is a plan of agency, and we must choose to let Him in if we want Him to be a part of our daily life. It requires work, and effort, and most of all, it requires us to make a conscience choice to allow Him into our thoughts, our hearts, and our homes. 

In the Old Testament, Joshua said, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15). We must make the choice to serve the Lord, because if we do not make the choice to serve the Lord, then we will be subject to Satan's plan which is a plan of force. Whether we choose it or not, he will force his way into our lives and the lives of our children, and he will never let go. So today, I am taking a stand. I understand now that each day, I must make a choice. I must choose to use my agency and serve the Lord, because if I do not, Satan will try to take my agency from me. Today and everyday I stand with Joshua and I boldly declare, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."