Anxiety: God’s Antidote for this Poison that Steals our Lives!

If you aren’t battling anxiety right now I’m sure you know at least 1 other lady who is! Anxiety can really steal our peace, joy, hope and our very life it we allow it to. It’s a battle we must fight with a few key things. There are practical things and spiritual things I have found to be very helpful.

1. According to the Anxiety Depression Association of America anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S. If you read further through the different types of anxiety you will see in many cases women are twice as likely to develop them.

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2. God gave us ways to combat anxiety by taking our requests to Him and thanking Him, worship and thanksgiving are hard to do while worrying at the same time.

Philippians 4:6-8New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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3. Some basic areas to look at if you are suffering from anxiety may be:

a. Relationships- all relationships are stressful at times but bad ones will cause a lot of anxiety
b. Food- do you have anxiety related to food eating too much or too little, eating in front of others etc.
c. TV and Movies- Here you go off to watch that scary show and then wonder why you are more and more anxious… LOl
d. We lose our peace when we are not obeying God it opens the door for anxiety. Ask God to help you in the area’s you are struggling in and he will.
e. Maybe you stress have anxiety or worry about almost everything… that would be more like me… so don’t feel bad. I find only time in God’s word, prayer, thanksgiving and worship set us totally free from this. But the practical things can also cause or add to it… so I don’t ignore them either.
f. Practical Scipture: Matt. 6:25-34

Where do you struggle with anxiety the most in your life? If you need help here is a resource.

Sincerely,

Laurel Live

Women: Secrets to a Life of Fun, Excitement and Adventure Daily!

Young Christian women across America, and the world, how can life be full of fun and adventure daily?

Music: Listen to “Victors Crown” Hillsong Music
Written by: Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe

Secret #1.
Obey God. Live for Him 100% by simply obeying and doing whatever He tells you to do. God doesn’t want us disobeying and then sacrificing later to try and make up for our sin, He wants total surrender and obedience. We’re replaceable! In 1 Samuel 15 God was grieved at King Saul’s disobedience and in the next chapter he was anointing someone else to become King… David. And David was out taking care of sheep when He was called up to be the next King. So, by doing what God wants and being a worshiper and enjoying hanging out with God, He may just give you a sudden extreme promotion for your consistent devotion to Him! But the joy and adventure come in to play as we simply live for God day after day after day!

Secret #2.
Ladies, not long ago I asked God why I often still go my own way and this is what He is showing me: What keeps us (me) from obeying God fully?

a. Fear – What will others think? What if I fail? Allow what God says about you to lead you and not your fears!

b. Not fully understanding God’s Vision, Dreams and Plans for our lives so we have no focus or discipline to accomplish what He has called us to do.

Proverbs 29:18 (CEB) – When there’s no vision, the people get out of control, but whoever obeys instruction is happy.

c. Simply not spending enough time with God, in His Word, prayer, worship and fasting makes it extremely easy to get distracted and off track.

d. Idols – anything we put before God, like what we do with our time, being selfish and self-centered in our way of thinking, acting and doing things.

e. Pain – How often is pain an excuse for why we do or don’t do something we really need to do? This could be any type of pain and God is greater than pain. He won’t ask us to do anything that He won’t enable us to do.

f. Weakness– I was physically weak and insecure for years and wondered how in the world God would use me again. It’s a distraction at times but God see’s us as strong and able even when we don’t feel it yet. God isn’t allowing me to use any weakness as an excuse for not getting the work done He’s called me too! Why? Because He is greater than my weakness, or your weakness… our strength comes from Him alone. He never grows tired or weary. So He get’s this stuff done through us as long as we remain ready and willing. The ability comes directly from Him. Along with the resources and everything else to get the job done.

g. Listening to Satan, other people or your own inner thoughts that don’t line up with God’s Word and plan for your life! I was stuck right here for a long time. If I really don’t work to stay on top of things in my thoughts I become prey to the enemy and He wreaks havoc in my life in about 1 second. He’s a predator. He’s a lion waiting to devour you when you get your mind off of the things that are above and get them on the things of this world and your own desires too much.

h. Responsibility Excuses: I have family, work and other responsibilities… true but if God wants us to get something done, He will show us how to be responsible in all other areas of our lives and get His work done.

i. I’m Tired! – The Joy of the Lord is our strength. God never grows tired or weary so He can certainly give you the stamina to get things done when you do not have the energy, strength or power to get it done. In fact, it’s in those moments you know God truly was helping you to succeed. You look back and think “there’s no way I did that, it was totally God because I had nothing left to give.”

j. Reward Excuse: That sounds something like this “Well, I’ve been working hard so I think I’ll eat that candy bar now, when the Holy Spirit is saying, No don’t eat it now, eat something else, but you feel like you deserve it so you eat it anyways and justify your sin by your own fleshly works.” I’ve done this type of thing too many times to count. If I can obey in what I eat, then it’s easier to obey in almost every other area literally. So right now the Holy Spirit is working on me to eat less refined sugars. This is a good place to start and it means eating a lot more real food. You see God is all up in our business from the moment we give our lives over to Him. And the longer we are with Him the more He expects of us and all these excuses are things God begins to show us will no longer work with Him. Once this week when I had desert and I could’ve gone without it I noticed I didn’t feel as good, my sinuses felt more inflamed… the refined unhealthy sugars were obviously not good for me. So every time I want to eat the wrong thing, I just try to remember if I want to feel well and be happy, and have these daily adventures and fun with God, I will have to be disciplined enough to eat well.

Secret #3
Don’t give up! It’s easy to not see everything falling into place the way we want it to in life and give up. This isn’t the time to give up, to give in or to let our enemies win. This is the moment to live for God and be successful in life through obedience and allowing God’s love, joy and power to permeate every place we enter into!

Laurel Live

Christmas Gold: Do You Know How Much You are Worth to God?

A photo posted by Laurel Live (@laurellive) on


The hyperlinks in the poem below take you to watch videos of Christmas Carols! I hope you enjoy this and know how valuable you are to God. He loves you no matter what is going on in your life… and don’t you forget that… ever!

Christmas Gold!

You are worth more than rubies and gold;
God sent His only Son just as He foretold.
To bring you a life you could never earn.
To bring you joy and Christmas Gold,
To wrap you in His love and warmth to hold.
Hold you ever so close to his heart,
God never wants you to depart!
You are a priceless treasure to Him.
He holds you everyday in the palm of His hand.
You are the reason Jesus was born and died.
You are not alone He see’s every tear you cry.
Christmas Gold is when you know God loves you way down deep.
Christmas Gold is peace and joy knowing God will keep,
Keep you always and forever close to His side,
So this Christmas curl up with God and let Him shape and mold,
Mold you by Jesus’ love into beautiful, shining Christmas Gold!

A photo posted by Laurel Live (@laurellive) on

Priceless: 7 Keys to Understanding Your Personal Value!

Priceless. That’s a value so high you can’t even put a number on it, you really are priceless. So often in life though we walk around not understanding our value. More importantly, it’s how God’s see’s us and values us that really matters. Here are 7 Keys to helping you understand how valuable you really are to God:

1. You are priceless because God created you in His image and you are unique. No one can replace you.

Genesis 1:26-27-Then God said let us make man in our own image, in our likeness and let him rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image.

2. You are priceless because God felt you were valuable enough to send Jesus His only Son to die for you and me. John 3:16

3. God say’s you are priceless and shows it through his love.

Psalm 36:7-9 How priceless is your unfailing love, both high and low men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

4. You are priceless as God’s beautiful creation a woman; not because of what you do in life.

5. You are priceless to God no matter what happens to you, or what you do.

This doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want without consequences, No! But it does mean that your value in God doesn’t change just because someone mistreats you or you mistreat someone else or act crazy some days.

Sin doesn’t change our value, it changes our position.

Sin keeps us from being in the position of reaching God through prayer.

And, shame from sin causes us to feel like we aren’t worth much. This could be from many different things including abuse.

Psalm 34:5 Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

6. You are priceless to God regardless of what you own or how much money you have!

7. You are priceless as a woman no matter what you look like.

Bonus: You are priceless regardless of:
a. How you feel
b. How much education you have
c. What job you have or don’t have
d. Get it! You are priceless and there is no one else like you and never will be.

Do you know how priceless you are to God?

Laurel Live

Happy Inside? How Your Internal Happy Meter Affects Your Daily Life!

True happiness shines from the inside out!

The Happy Meter!

Here are some scriptures on this topic:

1.Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Bible (NLT)

2. Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful but heartache crushes the spirit.

3. Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart but a kind word cheers it up! (NIV)

Here is some science about how what is happening on the inside affects our health:

1. Our moods and emotions can help us prevent diseases such as heart disease!

2. Expressing gratefulness can help foster happiness in you life!

Discussion:

1. Are you happy and at peace overall in your life or do you think there is room to grow in this area? For me I always feel there is room to grow. Happiness is often a decision and life can be so hard for so long it can seem impossible to be truly happy. That is where God comes in, when you ask Him to be your Lord and Best Friend He lightens the burdens in life. He brings us comfort and works things out for our good.

2. Choosing to be happy doesn’t mean it’s good to shove down pain and hope it never see’s the light of day! It’s going to come out one way or another so take any painful heartache to God daily until you feel a release in this area. God will show you creative ways to process any pain on the inside so you can be happy once again, even if it takes some time. Just stick with God He will never let you down… EVER!

3. Our happiness greatly affects those around us. So when we are unhappy not only does it affect our health negatively it affects our friends, family and every other person we come into contact with. I’ll be the first to admit sometimes life is so challenging it can feel as though we are trying to climb a mountain everyday just to survive. But the smallest things in life make me happy so if I am not in a major survival situation I am typically a happy person. I am so grateful to have the strength to take my daughter to the park, clean, cook, practice music, record podcasts, write, sing etc… God gives me the strength to get it all done. But even on the days where I couldn’t do anything but survive… I did my best to live in each moment and find a spark of joy to carry me through. God always sends that spark just when you need it.

Have a great Thanks Giving!

Are you happy on the inside?

Laurel Live

Radiant Life: Are You Glowing and Confident or Hiding Behind Shame from Life’s Experiences?


This blog and podcast is intended for mature audiences 18 years or older.

She walked down the hallway frail and thin. Praying God would help her be clean again. Praying to not have a seizure or be thrown to the floor, praying she could catch her breath and be normal once more. For she had spent months in the chains of control by a man she once thought would protect her. She merely satisfied his addiction for control and gratification. She meant nothing to him as she walk down the hallway bleeding now as well. For inside her was the child of the evil man who had made her life like hell. The baby was lost and she was brought back from the hospital. Only to be left lying in a bed bleeding for days carrying a towel everywhere she went. He wouldn’t help until he had something for her to do. Finally, he got her what was needed so she could go to church with him. It didn’t matter that she was weak and faint. He wanted to give an appearance that everything was OK. It took God and the church leaders for her to finally get away. By early the next year she was almost free. God took her by the hand day by day and showed her exactly what to do. The further she was from the rape, bondage and control the more she shined for God again. No longer feeling ashamed or the need to hide, she was beginning to live the radiant life. A life full of God’s presence, balance, stability and hope. A life full of purpose, health and prosperity. A quiet confidence built up once again as God once again took 1st place in her life as her teacher and best Friend.

Shine, Beauty, Glamour

Glow

Radiant– Psalm 34:4-5 I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

Are you carrying guilt and shame around from something? If so, let’s talk about it today. This is where the enemy comes into our lives and steals our joy, peace, health and opportunities to enjoy life and our ability serve God and others. If you feel a heaviness, guilt or shame you won’t be able to walk in the moments of opportunity and destiny God has for you.

1. Ask God why you don’t feel radiant on the inside and are often carrying guilt or shame? Was it something you did, or someone else did?

2. Spend time worshiping God and seeking Him because those who look to Him are never covered in shame.

3. Ask God to forgive you if you have done something wrong.

4. Ask God to help you see yourself as He see’s you.

5. A radiant woman is a confident woman they go hand in hand.

6. Ask God to help you see yourself as free because Jesus died to carry all the weight and sin of the world. Matt. 11:28-30

7. You will make mistakes and sin in the future. Ask God to forgive you. Try not to spend all of your time thinking about how you or someone else screwed up. God see’s everything. So you can take comfort in the fact that He loves you no matter what. It doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want when we have given our life over to him. When we choose Jesus we choose His way. And His way is to be free and to live life to the fullest!

Do you have an area of your life where shame or guilt or hiding?

Radiant Glow

Free

Laurel Live

Self Image: Forgiving Yourself and Stopping the Record of Wrongs Playing in Your Mind

1. Self Image– How do you see yourself right now? Is it positive or negative? Does it line up with what God says about you? If you have given your life over to Jesus then you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21- Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2. Forgiving Yourself- Do you tally up all the mistakes you think you are making throughout the day and constantly focus on what is wrong with you instead of what you are doing right? If you have sinned confess it, ask God to help you and move on. Your failures are not a present, so they aren’t fun or healthy to focus on all the time.
1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

3. Record of Wrongs- Are you keeping an internal record of wrongs, mistakes, etc… that you can’t seem to stop focusing on? Every moment is fresh and you can do the right thing. If you have to, start moment by moment and know God forgives us when we ask him to. He wants us to acknowledge we were wrong or need his help and then focus on what He says. Not about what we think, what other people think, what the enemy thinks, no what does God think about you? What does he say? He says you are forgiven so stop keeping the record. God is perfect and He’s not keeping a list and waiting to punish you every other second. He does hold us accountable and discipline us but that isn’t a torment it’s what brings us peace and life.

Psalm 103:11-13 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him. 12As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.…

4. Record of wrongs playing in your mind. This takes God’s Words and intervention to break. You do your part by reading and studying His words and He will renew your mind and break this negative cycle of thinking. God loves you. Remember this when the negative thoughts are racing through your mind. Receive His love and begin to love yourself in a healthy way.

5. Worship. Worshiping God is so powerful. It rushes in God’s presence in a tangible way. We praise and worship God, He receives it and changes us at the same time. How awesome is that? This is a weapon against the enemy and a way to shift your thinking off of yourself and on to God.

6. Ask God questions and He will answer. I think the night God helped me realize through a class I was taking and prayer that I wasn’t moving forward in many areas of my life because I felt like I deserved to suffer for my mistakes. That began really after I caused a bad car accident and someone close to me kept bringing it up in big and dramatic ways. I was crushed beyond words and never wanted to drive again. I know where it started and when I got fed up enough and asked God “WHY” he answered. For each of you listening it will be a little different.

7. Move on. As long as you make a mountain out of something it will remain a mountain in your life. God can move any mountain standing in your way from freedom and progress. Be willing to do whatever it takes. I know, it isn’t easy, but God will help you move on quickly when you have done something wrong or made a mistake once you are really free of the record keeping and forgive yourself.

What internal battle do you struggle with on a regular basis?

Laurel Live

Motivation and Encouragement to Pray and Never Give Up in Life!

Motivation is something we all need sometimes to keep us moving. The other week as I was looking for a particular scripture I came across another one I hadn’t seen in awhile. Below Jesus shares a story of a widow who kept going to an unjust judge with a plea to be granted justice against her adversary. I love this because Jesus took the time to encourage us and let us know He will answer us and bring justice to his chosen people!

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The Parable of the Persistent Widow:

Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

1. Keep praying and doing what God has put right in front of you to do.

2. Don’t give up. You may get tired, discouraged, scared etc. but God will help you succeed if you simply do your best everyday and don’t give up.

3. Lot’s of unfair things happen in life. Take it to Jesus until he brings justice in your situation. God often rewards us and gives us what seems to be unfair advantages sometimes because he has seen all of the struggles we’ve gone through in life.

4. Success in our walk with God, college, career’s, businesses and life comes as we are persistent.

5. Motivation comes from the widow in this story because she basically showed us that even people who don’t love God or care about what people think will step up and do the right thing when we press them to… how much more will God intervene and grant us justice?

6. The widow in this story was relentless. She came before the unjust judge day after day after day and she was granted justice.

7. We face challenges daily and throughout our life and careers that don’t seem fair. Yet God has given us a formula that works every time. We should continue to pray, and not give up and he will answer us.

Real Life Example: Our family has recently gone through a number of things that are so unfair it leaves people speechless. We needed to pay a bill, tried to and property management refused to receive it. They also refused to look into the fact it wasn’t in collections either. So what happened. Our family had to split up for about 6 months. My husband and I lived in our car and were homeless all last winter because of a managers attitude. Still, we can’t get proper housing because we have to battle all of this housing stuff we already tried to take care of. Is it fair? No. Am I angry beyond words some days? Yes. But daily we take our request to God to help us get into permanent housing that meets our needs. And you know what, one day very soon we will be settled. I know this because I know and believe God is working and has heard our constant prayer for justice in this situation. So whatever you are going through know God has a way to turn everything around. Just keep praying, do what He says and be thankful and your answer will come sooner than you think!

What are the things you are praying for God to do in your life, education, career or ministry? Have you given up?

I challenge you today to bring your struggle and injustice to God and expect Him to answer!

Life: Does God Really Know What I’m Going Through?

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Complaining is so easy to do now days. Do you ever wonder if God really understands everything you’re going through?

Isaiah 40:27-31-Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord;my cause is disregarded by my God”?
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. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

1. Why do we complain and say God doesn’t see what going on in my life and he’s basically ignoring me? God does know what’s going on and when we allow him to change us on the inside then our outer circumstances and things change.

2. I guess, maybe you haven’t heard, God is the Creator of the whole earth, the everlasting God. So, He knows everything going in your life!

3. He never gets tired. He never grows weary. Wow. God never gets tired. How cool is that?

4. His understanding no one can fathom. Well, this is comforting, right? It doesn’t matter if you fit in or if people around you understand why you are a little different. God understands every thing about you. So relax.

5. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Where are you weak? That’s where God will increase your power!

6. Even young college and career women get tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall… so even young people get tired!

7. But if you put your hope in God you will renew your strength.

8. You will soar on wings like eagles. God will teach you how to go along for the ride instead of getting burn out all the time going about things in your own way.

9. You will run and not grow weary. Run with God by obeying Him more and more. Obedience prevents burnout and keeps balance.

10. You will walk and not be faint. It’s hard to walk when you are feeling faint. I know I have been faint too many times too count. But God says if I put my hope in Him then I will walk and not be faint. So, it’s literally for me. But for you it maybe about walking through a season of your life and not fainting or losing heart when you are doing what God has asked you to.

Where are you needing strength right now in your life?

-Laurel Live

Strength Training: How God turns our weaknesses into Power for His Glory!

God’s idea of strength training is more like us just letting go of our way for His way!
Dreams
Photo By: Leigh Thompson

Strength-the quality or state of being strong; capacity for exertion or endurance.-Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary.

We become much more spiritually, mentally, emotionally and even physically fit by looking at each thought, word and moment of our life through God’s eyes. He’s not stressed or worried about the things we worry about. He’s God and He can fix every weakness in our lives. But sometimes he allows a weakness in one area so that His power would be shown through you.God could just zap us and make us be perfect in every way but how would He really get the credit then… wouldn’t we take the credit if we could do everything perfectly on our own? God has been teaching me that I can have peace, strength and power in Him and on the inside regardless of what’s going on in my body, circumstances, finances etc.

1. Isolate or locate the areas of your life that are weak!

Here’s a few of mine:

a. My body has many physical weaknesses
b. For years my mind too often is believing the negative things rolling around instead believing what God says.
c. In my effort to keep peace and please others I would often do things the way they wanted not what God wanted me to do or say.
d. I spoke too much of the daily physical weaknesses I had and drove everyone nuts. I take it to God and still share but I allow God’s power to be shown instead of a long list of other things.
e. I was overly sensitive about everything, I carried everything going on around me like a heavy weight but it didn’t make me stronger it made me weaker physically, mentally and emotionally. I was carrying my struggles and the opinions of everyone else around me. Again, I wasn’t always listening to what God was saying in an area I was trying to do what other people thought I should be doing.
f. I had an inner dialogue where I was over analyzing my every action, other people’s reactions, how I should respond, what should I do differently, how can I do better, where did I go wrong in that situation… I felt defeated too often because I was focused on my mistakes instead of how I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It’s hard to do right when you feel like everything you do is wrong or not good enough!

2. Ask God what He wants to do about the weaknesses in your life.

He has a tailored plan just for you to get you strong and fit from the inside of your spirit all the way to the outside of your body. God has used my weaknesses, life circumstances, being homeless all winter and many other things to help me focus in on what He needed to do. He needed to make me strong in my mind, spirit and emotions and then my body is also getting stronger.

3. What is God saying about our weaknesses and His strength in His word?

II Corinthians 12:7-10
7Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

God strengthens us through our actual weaknesses as we allow Him to work in our lives. His power is perfected in our weaknesses.

Ex: Too many times I’ve said the wrong thing, in the wrong way, said to much, spoke to soon, didn’t speak up, on and on and on. But God has been teaching me and using my mouth now to encourage other women. He uses my voice to sing beautiful notes and melodies that I am not worthy to sing to Him. But regardless of how weak and imperfect my mouth has been, I know His power is being shown through my weaknesses.

How does God use the weaknesses in your life for His glory?

Laurel Live