Thank You, and SHUT UP!!! Thanks be to Jesus.

You know that brother that just needs to shut his mouth because he's been in so much trouble during his 40 years of life and now he's trying to speak wisdom into yours and you're just like shut up. Yeah, that one. He's right, listen up.

I love my brother. He is one of my favorites. We are very similar in sense of humor, in many things really, only it didn't take me quite as long to get my act together in life, or maybe we are all a work in progress. Then he met my sister in law.  She is awesome and wise beyond her years. Goodness, he loves her. She is a spectacular person.

My brother suffered with addiction since I can remember and I have begged the Lord to help him. I remember when he broke into a lady's house when I was in elementary and I lied so hard that it wasn't true. I knew it was and it tore me apart. He wrecked that awesome BMW (used, yes, but still awesome) when I was in high school and he was in college and I just couldn't believe it. I remember in my twenties, breaking into his apartment when he would not call me back and he was wrecked by drugs and it hurt me so much to see him that way. I remember the day he got out of jail and we sat at a table in Los Angeles and I was so mad and hurt by him. I remember I wanted to scream. Sometimes I did. He suffered then. I just didn't understand.

I've been walking through some difficulties lately, nothing new, and spoke with him on the phone like I do everyday. He gave me words of wisdom that we have passed back and forth back and forth so many times.

"Allison, You just have to take a step back and tell the Lord thank you. Thank you because we don't deserve anything. Thank you because we've made so many mistakes. Thank you because we are sinners and really don't deserve anything good from this life. And still, He gives it. So much goodness. So much hope and peace and beautiful joy and I can't look at anyone with hostility because I am just a sinner and He is so good and I just have to say, Thank you.  Just pray for them. We just pray for them."

Goodness gracious, my brother is right, and I love him for it. So much goodness in my life. Thank you, Lord. Thank you so much.  Thank you for my brother. Even in the trenches of his hopelessness, you were there. You sit right beside me and him and give us both hope still. Thank you for sobriety and thank you for strength.

I spoke with a women today who takes 3 trips to Mexico a year, an 18 hour drive to the small town where her mother lives. She used to drive with her husband until he was kidnapped and hurt badly. He is American and she decided to go without him. She takes a Mexican bus now because the cartels stay away from the bus and she takes suitcases full of toys and clothes to the impoverished and anxious. She said she has to go. The children seeing her arrive is like seeing Santa Clause and they run as fast as they can to get in line to get a new shirt, new shoes, a new toy, a backpack. She said she just can't not go. I love her for that.

"When I drive up to your house and see your kids, I think, they are so lucky, and thanks be to Jesus." She is right. They are so lucky, and thanks be to Jesus.

We have so much. So much, and what are we doing with it? A tide is rising, my friends. We are called to do much more. Will you simply pray with me? I want to live differently and be better. I know with newness of life come complications. The Lord teaches as we change. It may be painful, but it is always worth it. Pray with me. I want to change.



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