Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Fun- One Day at a Time

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Psalm 68:19 KJV



Daily! 
Loads us! 
With benefits!  
Don't you just love that?

God inserts blessings daily into our lives.

As a parent of a daughter with down syndrome, I get tired and over-focused on the "responsibilities" and "challenges" unique to the land of special needs.  I mean, after all, they are called NEEDS. :)  

But if I take a moment to refocus our lives to just 1 day.  

If I follow God's example, maybe I can daily create some fun (benefits) in our lives.


Don't get overwhelmed reading my "list". I'm throwing out ideas we enjoy. 1 thing a day makes for a lifetime of memories. The key word is FUN.



I plan our fun around things I love to do- so I'm having fun doing them with her.

Commemorating our trip to Colorado


I love making digital picture books. (I just don't have the time for scrapping)  I'm helping Bethany learn as we compile and create our pictures from Colorado.  She's making her own photo journal and learning a valuable skill at the same time!

I love reading the Bible and I want Bethany to love it too! We open our "lazy" summer, days with a Bible story and memory verse games.

I love reading and I want Bethany to continue reading throughout the summer without feeling like it's a chore.  Can you say Summer Library Reading Program? Our local library offers prizes for each book read.  I offer Bethany $1.00 a book if she can give me an oral book report after she's read it. ;)


We're having fun cooking our evening meal together. She's learning to grill meat and to make salads. This skill is going to pay big dividends as I get older! ;)

Plan something for them/ You get a break 

Basketball camp with Amy



We found a one week basketball camp for inexperienced basketball players. The cost? $10.00! Wow!  She had so much fun. She was the only one who had a disability but she fit right in.

 
I schedule 2 or 3 play dates at our house with friends every week. Win/win for both of us. 



She loves dancing and we found a summer dance camp that is 1 hour a week for 8 weeks! Perfect time for me to read something on my Kindle while she's learning new Jazz steps.


Planning Family Time

Deanna Rose Farm- Learning about a 1 Room School House


My hubby's day off is Friday.  We plan local field trips and learn about where we're going before we get there. So far we've gone to Dianna Rose Farm, KU Natural History Museum, Spencer Art Center, and Prarie Park Nature Center.  We also love to go swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, summer outdoor movies, or bowling.

Planning Volunteer and Service Time 
Bethany is happiest when holding a baby!
 

One thing I'm concerned about is the focus on providing "fun" for our kids with special needs!  I love fun but I want to make sure Bethany knows life isn't all about her and her "entertainment". 

We're slowly adding volunteer and work experiences to her plate.  Yes- it takes effort and planning but I want her to grow up thinking of others and making the world a better place.


Bethany loves babies, children, did I say babies?  She is actually working 2 mornings a week as a "Mommy's helper".  The Mom is still there but Bethany is getting invaluable experience and a bit of spending money by playing and safe guarding two little ones as Mom gets her chores done.


Bethany's volunteering at a VBS, serving snacks and helping with crafts.


God Daily Loads His children with benefits- are we up to the challenge? 

Know yourself and your family!  What's fun for you?  Think about productive, fun ways to spend your summer before it slips away. It's almost July but you should still have about 45 days to make 45 FUN memories!

Now- go out there and shake things up! :)


Dear Father,
Help us love this life you've given us! Let us rejoice in each day and be refreshed in the good things you give us to do! Help us make memories and love our children as they grow and learn! In all the chaos in our lives, help us load up on Your benefits and blessings!  
In Jesus Name- Amen.

Cindy Barclay





Monday, June 29, 2015

It's Monday- You've Got This

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NLT)



It’s Monday.

Autism is going to wake up and look for someone to slap in the face today.

Cerebral palsy is going to wreck havoc physically, mentally, and emotionally in someone’s life today.

Chromosomal disorders will continue to frustrate and challenge someone today.

Seizures are going to show up suddenly and violently disrupting someone’s day.

Yep, it’s Monday.

“He is who in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

A hurricane named “Special Needs” will howl and rage across the land again today.

The hurricane will rip the roofs off of hearts, tear down marriages, and pull up daily lives by their roots. In some areas it will simply be an F1 storm with minimal or light damage. But others will experience the full fury, wrath and devastation of an F4 storm.

Seizures, meltdowns, tantrums, bills, doctors, therapies, IEPs, medications, and explanations.

Another day when someone will block the last handicap parking spot.
Another bill and you have no idea where the money will come from to pay it.
Another baffling letter from an insurance company that you add to the file.
Another teacher will request a meeting.
Another doctor will close the door and purse his lips.

“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

It’s Monday all day.

An entire bevy of giants and trolls named Fear, Anxiety, Despair, Discouragement, Worry, Exhaustion, Weariness, and Stress are all looking for victims today.

Another mom will scream in her empty car with the windows rolled up.
Another dad will invent an excuse to be home late.
Another parent will wonder how much more she can take.
And yet another parent will struggle to get out of bed.


Take a deep breath.
Clinch your fists.
Crack your knuckles.
Squint your eyes.
Smack your lips.

“He who in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Yea, you got this.

“Bring it on.”

“Cause He who is in me, is greater than anything that is in my world.”


“I got this.”


Pray: "Thank you God that I do not have to face my world alone today. Thank you that you are bigger and greater than anything I will face today."

~ Jeff Davidson

Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Are You Serious?" Awards - Volume LVI: The Compassionate Cowboy Edition

Sometimes the world just gets too heavy.  It can seem like all we read and hear is bad news or stories about inappropriate treatment of those we love.

Other times, people get it right and shine like jewels.  This week's winner is one of those.

If you are fan of Facebook, you may have already seen this story going viral from the grateful post of an adoptive mother.  Charity Stewart Robinson had been at a rodeo with her family when something unusual happened.  Her three-year-old son, who had been diagnosed with a number of developmental issues, connected in a special way with a stranger sitting a few seats away by the name of Jason Taylor.  Pleasantly shocking was the fact that Robinson's little boy, Lincoln, used to be tremendously fearful of people, and also struggles with a language disorder.  All of that seemed to melt away when little Lincoln walked up to Taylor and began chattering about the bulls.  Unfazed, this kind stranger in a cowboy hat interacted with the preschooler in a manner that literally brought his mother to tears.

It should have been clear from that moment that Jesus was present.  It turns out that Jason Taylor is a pastor at Barnone Cowboy Church.  In his television interview with "Miss Charity," Pastor Taylor states, "I ain't nothin' special...  It's the scripture lived out." 


Are You SERIOUS?!

Perhaps this story is so profound to so many because it magnifies the simplicity of what each parent raising a challenged child craves -- LOVE -- plain and simple love.  That love accepts and includes every children, no matter what.  Pastor Taylor also demonstrates plainly that this simple inclusive love only happens through the One who IS Love.  Lived out, that looks like reaching out to a complete stranger and inviting them in to your church, where others may turn them away.  It means welcoming a child into your lap when others may be irritated or expecting parents to get control.  It means being Jesus with skin on.

It may seem like a tall order to some, but that's what we need.  This pastor demonstrated that it is, in fact, incredibly easy.

View the complete interview here:
 


Friday, June 26, 2015

Working out Our Own Joy (All Joy and Peace in Believing, Pt 2)


And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 ESV)


Last month, I wrote about my pursuit of joy as a believer, and how Romans 15:13 has become a foundational verse for me in understanding joy: It’s an unshakable confidence, despite the fickleness of life, in a settled hope that looks to Christ and our eternal standing in him. The more firm our hope the greater our joy, and so we need to labor after hope, even as the Spirit enables us to both hope and experience joy.  That’s helpful theory, but what does that look like practically?

Recently, I’ve been working through Philippians with a couple friends from church.  In my quest for joy and contentment, I’ve been continuously drawn to verses from this epistle over the years. It’s been good to begin to comprehend the big picture of Paul’s message to the Philippian church. Joy is certainly a central theme of his letter. Paul is rejoicing over the progress and partnership of this beloved body of fellow believers and encourages them to have a mindset so established in truth that they rejoice in the Lord always. And this is exactly what Paul models for them. Even as he faces imprisonment and the possibility of death, he remains confident of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness, and of the sure outcome.

Paul’s opening prayer lays out key ingredients for the life “filled with the fruit of righteousness,” which includes joy.* It is marked by love coupled with knowledge and discernment. Joy is best worked out in love and fellowship with fellow believers. It’s rooted in unshakable confidence in hope in Christ, but there must be a practical pursuit of knowledge that fuels joy.  It’s the gift and fruit of the Spirit, but we train our minds towards joy through the discipline of discernment.

Love
Once a year, our family makes the trek the Joni and Friends Family Retreat on the banks of Lake Michigan. As each family enters the welcome center, a host of volunteers cheers our arrival. Then, we are paired with short-term missionaries, who have raised funds and traveled long and far to serve our families and loved ones with special needs for the week.  We went the first time for the prospect of a week’s vacation and respite from caregiving. We return for what we know will be the best representation of the Body of Christ we will experience all year.

A place like Family Retreat is a unique picture of how Christians can function in love.  Barriers of ethnicity, culture, social status, and ability are left behind. Intimacy and vulnerability happen fast. It’s an opportunity to receive love, but also to be free to love in a way that we may be reluctant to risk outside of this environment. As a result, it’s the most gracious and joy-filled gathering of believers I have ever experienced.  Our joy, rooted in our solid joy in Christ, is intensified in sacrificial love and fellowship.

Knowledge
Just as love is foundational to joy, so are our knowledge of God and the convictions of our heart. Martyn Lloyd-Jones puts it this way:

 [T]here is only one thing that can give true joy and that is a contemplation of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He satisfies my mind; He satisfies my emotions; He satisfies my every desire.  He and His great salvation include the whole personality and nothing less, and in Him I am complete.  Joy, in other words, is the response and the reaction of the soul to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Life in Christ, p 30)

We walk in joy practically by internalizing our understanding of the works, promises, and character of God by continuously feeding our minds the satisfying Word of God. A group of friends and I were remarking recently that this looks different for different people.  What’s essential is prioritizing a steady diet so that truth becomes the prevailing influence over one’s reasoning, emotions, and longings. At this year’s family retreat, our camp pastor described joy as a journey that begins with an intense longing, that the Christian understands it to be a journey to Christ, and that longing is only met in him, the “Hope of all hopes.”

Discernment
Christ as our Hope shapes our understanding of the big picture of our lives.  Paul reminds us that our ultimate goal is the glory and praise of God. True joy requires the wisdom to choose well in light of this knowledge. Again, Martyn Lloyd-Jones says:

The difficulty in life is to know on what we ought to concentrate. The whole art of life…is the art of knowing what to leave out, what to ignore, what to put on one side. How prone we are to dissipate our energies…by forgetting what is vital…. (The Life of Joy and Peace, p 54)

As the parent of a child with a disability, I am tempted to become consumed with his very real needs. I need godly wisdom to know how to be diligent in caregiving and advocating, yet keep them in the perspective of God’s sovereignty over my child’s future, and the greater need for us both to know and grow in Christ. We need discernment to choose the excellent over the urgent or tempting, and to focus our mental and physical energies to live a life of purity, blamelessness, and righteousness.

Paul’s prayer is a reminder that the fruit of righteousness in our lives come from God, even as we strive towards godly love, knowledge, and wisdom.  Ultimately, we will be filled with the fruit of righteousness and with joy when we are face to face with Jesus, for finally in his presence, we are promised fullness of joy.

*Galatians 5:22

Lloyd-Jones, David Martyn. Life in Christ: Studies in 1 John. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1993. Print.

Lloyd-Jones, David Martyn. The Life of Joy and Peace: An Exposition of Philippians. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1999. Print.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Even Tough Dads Need God's Strength


“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”  Ephesians 3: 14-part of 17, NIV, emphasis added.



Last year when my husband was waking up from anesthesia, he cracked me up.

The nurse? Not so much.

“Where’s my strength? I need my strength back!! Need…..to…..work….out…” my hubby, Mike, mumbled, while trying to get down from the high bed when he was still half out of it.

“There will be none of that working out for you today,” the nurse quipped.

My husband is a tough guy—mentally and physically. He’s a cop in a large city, works out daily and, unlike me, can easily lift up and do what I call “the perp walk” with our son, who has autism, when he is thrashing around on the ground having a meltdown.

Most importantly, he has a close relationship with the Lord. That said, he, like the rest of us on the planet, wears down and needs the Lord to renew his strength.

The apostle Paul wrote Ephesians while imprisoned for two years in Rome. Being in a Roman prison Paul could use all the strength he could get.  But he tells us in Ephesians 3 that he kneels before our Father and prays for God to strengthen us (his readers, originally the church of Ephesus and probably the surrounding churches as well, and on down through the generations too us today).

Amazingly, verse 16 says that from God’s glorious riches God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit in our inner being.  Wow.  Just wow.  So why do I try so often to do things in my own strength when God offers me His? It’s like when Mike tried to get down from the hospital bed (on his own) when his body wasn’t ready.  It just ain’t gonna work!

 Prayer:  Lord thank you so much that your word tells us that you strengthen us in our inner being through the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for the times we try to handle everything on our own instead of coming to you for help.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back



Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
 
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 
Isaiah 40:28-29 NIV

Our family enjoys playing board games. In fact, board games have been an important part of my daughter's mastery of math concepts. One of her favorite games is a competitive one which involves the game pieces doing a lot of moving back and forth. If you're lucky, you eventually end up in the right spot and win the game. Inevitably, one of us will be very close to the win, only to find ourselves drawing a card or getting bumped by another player's card that sends us back to the beginning again.

I felt a lot like that this past weekend. My daughter came home from an overnight stay with grandparents, and they were telling me how she had done. She hadn't gotten homesick at all, had slept well, and had done better in every respect than any other time she's ever gone to stay with them by herself. I was so excited to hear the news, and then . . .

. . . I had to interrupt that phone call with the news that she was having a meltdown over not being able to find something. I heaved a big sigh and went to see what was going on. While I was excited about the victory of her stay with her grandparents, I was disappointed that the minute she walked through the door she had a meltdown over something inconsequential.

One step forward, two steps back.

The meltdown didn't last as long as they have in the past, and we were able to go ahead and have a good evening as a family. But then she had trouble winding down that night and didn't sleep well, which left her tired and not feeling well the next day.

One step forward, two steps back.

And that's the day we started this year's Vacation Bible School, which is exciting and fun but gets us way out of our routine.

One step forward, two steps back.

But she did really well, even participating on the praise team, and she hasn't covered her ears in the worship rally once. At least not yet.

One step forward, two steps back.

As frustrating as these steps backward are, I can see that we don't go back as far now as we did when she was younger, and we move forward to regain lost ground and make progress more easily. I also realize how much of life is like this:

  • You almost get one medical bill paid off . . . only to have someone need care and see the bill go up again.
  • You finally get a car paid off . . . only to need a full set of tires on it the very next month.
  • You work your way up to walking thirty minutes every day . . . only to have a child get sick while a spouse works out of town, causing you to miss several days in a row.
  • You swear off sugary treats . . . only to get an invitation to a special event you really want to attend where sugary snacks will be a highlight.
One step forward, two steps back.

It's just the way life is, and I'm thankful that God is faithful to provide the strength I need to continue on during the difficult times and the joy to cheer every victory along the way.

Pray: Father, thank you for being patient with me as I haltingly run this race you have set out for me. Thank you for giving me the patience to run alongside my child as she does the same. Thank you for the strength to face each day and to continue on, even when I'm discouraged and weary. Amen.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Learning to Swim


"The waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea. . .You came near when I called you, and you said, 'Do not fear.'" Lamentations: 3:54-57 (NIV)

"Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me." Psalm 69: 1-2 (NIV) 

“'Lord, if it’s you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.' 'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?' Matthew 14:28-31 (NIV) 

/////


It’s summer and we splurged this year on season passes to the local water park. Now that all four of my kids can finally swim, it’s nice to go there and cool off from the brutal Texas heat. I don’t get in the water much, but I love watching my kids splash around and have fun. 

As a girl, I was a late swimmer, almost ten before I felt comfortable in the deep end of a pool. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. 

When I was a very young girl, I took swimming lessons. I remember learning to put my face in the water and blow bubbles. I was fine as long as the water was shallow enough for me to stand. 

But one day the swimming instructors took me to the deep end and let go of me. I sank.

Of course they pulled me up right away, but the damage was done. I was traumatized. For years after, I refused to even go near the deep end of any pool. 

It wasn’t until the summer before 4th grade when I finally figured it out. And it was because of my Daddy. 

My father isn’t a certified lifeguard or a swimming expert. But when he would tread water in the deep end with his arms open, beckoning me to jump off the diving board and promising he would catch me, I believed him. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Daddy would not let me go under, and he certainly wouldn’t let me drown. So I jumped. 

And he caught me. 

Every single time. 


Before long, I got more and more comfortable in the water and was able to relax enough to actually swim on my own. 

But I never would have gotten there without being able to trust my father. 

Those swim instructors who let go of me ruined my trust. But my Daddy restored it. 

It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn in my spiritual life as well. 

There are plenty of things in life that are downright scary. Storms rain down on us and seem to flood our worlds with trouble. It can give us the sense that we're drowning. I can’t even count how many times I’ve felt like I was in an emotional struggle just to keep my head above water. 

Maybe that’s why the psalmists referred to the feeling so often. It’s a common human experience. 

Remember this, though: we have a spiritual Father who is infinitely able to keep us afloat. 

His arms are always open and ready to catch us. He promises to keep our heads above water, to lift us up and give us breath. 

If we refuse to trust Him, though, we miss out. If we stubbornly cling to the safety of the diving board, well, we won’t ever experience the joy of full immersion. 

God’s love is an infinite ocean. He wants us swimming in it, surrounded by it. He wants his Living Water to seep into the very marrow of our bones as we soak Him up.

For our part, we have to trust Him enough to be willing to take the plunge. 


I’ve always been a bit of a control freak, so it’s only natural that as a special needs mom, I like to be in charge. What I’ve found through my son’s struggles, however, is just how little control I really have. 

It was super scary at first. I get antsy and anxious when life doesn't go exactly according to my plan. For most of my life, I've preferred the predictability and perceived safety of the diving board. 

But slowly, little by little, I have learned to let go of fear and trust my heavenly Father. 

He is not going away. He is never going to put down His arms. He is ever and eternally ready to catch me and hold my head above the waves. 

He wants you in the water, too, you know. Even though it seems scary there, it's the safest place to be, there in His embrace. 

Will you trust Him? Can you let go of the need for control and trust Him to do what He does best? 

Because it’s only through that learning to trust Him completely that we ever learn to swim in the wild ocean of His love.

/////

Father, God, how you smile as you beckon us to come to you! Your embrace is the safest place to be. It is our stronghold, a tower and refuge of strength. You are the Living Water, the very source of life for us. But God, we are fearful creatures. We cling to our false idols of self-preservation and self-trust. Help us to let go. Remind us of your goodness. You always keep your promises. You always save us. And your arms are indeed everlasting. Lord, we believe; help us overcome our unbelief!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Navigating the Minefield of,"Don't!"



I try to be sensitive to the differences and needs of others.  Truly I do!  Yet it is seemingly so easy to say or do the wrong thing.  As I read various articles pretty much daily about how best to be in ministry with my community, it feels as though I am constantly told, “Don’t.”  Is it just me?

  • Five Things You Should Never Say
  • Four Things People Need to Stop Doing
  • Ten Assumptions that are Plain Wrong


I get the point.  These article create awareness and help break bad habits that are sometimes hurtful to others.  I would like to think after exposure to the barrage of directions I could get it right.  Truthfully, it just makes me anxious that I will cause offense because of their negative perspectives.  It had not. Sure enough, the very thing I try not to do, I do.

I was helping out at the registration area for a recent conference and was asked to take on the task of escorting people from the housing area, to the dining area, to the conference center and back again.  Simple enough.  I made my way through the lobby inviting folks to come and see where we would be meeting the next day.  No offense intended, none possible surely.

A man called to me as I went by, “Where is everyone going?”
I called back, “I’m taking folks on a tour of the campus. Would you like to come and see it?”
There was a pause.  I turned to look, checking if he had heard me.
That’s when I noticed I was addressing a person with a visual impairment.  And I’d just invited him to “come and see.”

Every “don’t” list I’d ever read overwhelmed me with instant embarrassment.

He just laughed, “I’d love to see it!”

His graciousness stopped me from becoming a blundering fool of tangled backtracking words. No offense was intended. He knew that. Thankfully none was taken. I know I’m not alone in the anxiety of “don’t.” A colleague this past week called me feeling “mortified” by something she had said, worried it had caused offense. Again, none was intended and none was taken!

When we experience a world other than our own, there is a steep learning curve. We need to let others guide us positively rather than treading on the eggshells of “don’t.”  I once carefully guided a person with visual impairment through a complex series of stairs, connecting rooms and elevators, always trying explain what I thought she needed to know: changes in flooring, impediments, and elevation.  Her request at the end of the journey? It had nothing to do with safety. “Tell me about the room we are in. I like the way it sounds.”

“We are in a very traditional chapel with massive stone walls held up by high, beautifully carved arches.  There are stained glass windows all along the sides and the light pouring in from the windows at the west has painted the room in a kaleidoscope of colors. The swaying tree branches outside create movement in a tapestry of light dancing on the walls.  The altar in the front is a heavy mahogany piece with an embroidered white altar cloth that reads, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ There are Communion elements there ready for us.”

“I see it now.  Thank you.”

In helping her see the room, I saw it myself for the first time and truly appreciated where I was. After the service, our journey back to where we started had an entirely different dialogue.

I think at times the long lists of “don’ts” keep people from connecting in meaningful ways. Twice in the Gospel of John Jesus’ disciples invite others to “Come and see.”  Nathanael is skeptical of what he can learn from Jesus based on where Jesus is from:

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
 (John 1:45-46 NRS)

After a long talk next to a well in the hot afternoon sun a Samaritan woman abandoned her water jug and ran to invite the very people who ostracized her, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" (John 4:29 NRS)

Both Nathanael and the woman at the well had to get past a list of “don’ts” to talk with Jesus.  Nathaneal assumed there was nothing he could learn from someone from a tiny, backwoods town. The woman at the well similarly fought cultural biases about interactions between men and women, Jews and Samaritans.

Just as these two people of the Bible discovered, we lose out when we give too much power to the word “don’t.”  It is so much more enlightening to accept the invitation to step into the world of another and be blessed by the opportunity to “come and see.”

Living God, Help us encounter each other with open hearts and learn from others who are far better guides than we can ever be. Amen



Photo: "Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well" Jacob van Oost (II) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons