Friday, March 30, 2007


It's been a while since I really felt like typing anything. Even now, it's not necessarily that I feel like typing, but am continuing to sort a lot of things out. I've really been out of the loop in a lot of senses the past while, both in real life and this electronic world as well. This week held a tiny bit of returning to some sense of 'normalcy'. It very well might be that we're simply changing what 'normalcy' is, but whatever it might be called, a tiny bit of it has been felt this week.

The other night I was blessed to be able to attend a Wednesday night prayer service. It's an awesome circle of people who meet...a circle which is always open to as many people who want to be in it. There is a love and God's presence felt that I simply cannot do justice in through my words. To be able to drink in God's presence as richly as I did the other night, was a precious gift that I have missed SO very much. It's definitely experiences and things like that which allow you to gain a renewed sense of strength and vision, and that give you the endurance to continue down the winding road of this journey. We sang the song below on Wednesday...


To the weary you have promised rest
To the earnest you promise righteousness
To the broken comes the time to be restored
Upon the pure in heart
Comes the presence of the Lord

When we pass through the waters
We will not be swept away
And as we pass through the fire
We will not be set ablaze
By that which all shall pass away
God of comfort
God of freedom God of hope
God of comfort
You are

To the troubled you have promised peace
To the shackled you promise true release
To the faithful come the prophecies fulfilled
Upon the selfless
Rests the blessing of Your will

When we pass through the waters
We will not be swept away
And as we pass through the fire
We will not be set ablaze
By that which all shall pass away
God of comfort
God of freedom God of hope
God of comfort
You are

You are
You are...

© 2001 Northview Music

As we sang, it felt like God's arms were coming around me and saying that it's okay that I feel tired, broken, weak and so much more. His presence engulfed me and in that moment, I knew that no matter what, I will come out standing strong. He'll give me all I need to endure and persevere.

Acceptance is so huge. The longing to be accepted by those around you, simply for where you're at and not for where you can't possibly be right now. The responsibility which lies on our shoulders, to not long for what we don't have or where we aren't, but to accept and be content with exactly where He's placed us and with all that is on our plates at this time.

To simply live a life which is pleasing to Him...I learned an important lesson the other night. I don't always see myself in a good light. I don't always see myself as being a very strong light for Him. I don't see myself as enduring this time gracefully, being strong in any sense of the word or being anything that would set any semblance of a good example or testimony for anyone around me. The other night I learned, that God often shows us who we truly are through the eyes of those around us. I really think some days, that this is why He has made us to live in the communities that we live in.

That's pretty humbling to me today...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness Week

I've been thinking a lot about living life randomly and with a strong component of love and kindness, regardless of what might be going on. I've also been thinking a lot about how I can properly model this to my kids and help them to have it be a strong installation in their lives from an early age.

Being that Random Acts of Kindess week was a little over a month ago, I thought I would post this video for some food for thought.

Really, my thought is that everyday poses endless opportunities, so I'm working towards having that component there daily.

Monday, March 26, 2007

All You Need...

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance."
~Author Unknown

Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.
Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together,threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn,holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that tookfrom me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster thestrength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been heldup to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you."

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

God determines who walks into your's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go."

...When there is nothing left but God that is when you find out that God is all you need.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Where the Hell is Matt

A friend sent this video to me a while ago. I like the sights it shows and especially like the reminds me of the way my summer ended...beautiful and unforgettable!

Anyhow, I pull this up when I need to rest and drink in some sights and music.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Cry Out To Jesus
Words by Mac Powell / Music by Third Day

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who struggles with being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

This is another favorite which I've started listening to this week. It speaks volumes every time I play it, because it talks about how life is and what the answer is. It doesn't say that things will always be okay or you'll never have problems. What it does say, is that despite that, He's always there with you and you simply need to cry, whisper or just think the words...He'll hear them...He already knows what's being thought.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Journey...

I've found myself listening to more music than ever the past while. Listening in quiet reflection as I take in the words. Praying through some of the songs, especially in times where the words don't come easy. I'm beginning this week off, being able to sing in one on one worship. That's been virtually non-existent in my life the past few months, yet so very essential to how I'm wired.

As I continue this journey of figuring things out and wondering how things took some of the turns they did, I do have to look at the point of getting back to what I know works. Not only getting back to it, but making a pact between God and I, that I won't continue to lose sight of it. I've still got a distance to go in getting there, and really, things might always be a work towards other things.

As for our family, we are still fighting off illness. It seems we barely get all better and another falls ill. I am still on antibiotics, but thankfully all those nasty side effects of medicine have subsided...I'm remembering to use my head when taking my meds, which has helped a lot in making sure the side effects stay away. Am I completely better? I don't even want to wager a guess on that one. I'm going to leave it up to the doctors, because it's really out of my control in many ways. We're surviving and I know I'm feeling His presence in a very strong way this week, even more so than others...that's a small light in life right now. As I've told people, I'm trying hard to not yearn for where I could be, but simply be content with where I am. It's not easy to be content where you are, when that seems to be a low place, but I am realizing that for God to truly work through a situation, that total surrender is essential, so I am working hard towards that for Him.

This song is on my iPod and has been playing's my new favorite. If you would like to listen to it, you can hear it here's powerful and every time I listen to it, I feel His love wash over me and and that helps me to attend to the things I need to.


by Nichole Nordeman

One day, eyes that are blind will see you clearly
One day all who deny will finally believe
One day hearts made of stone will break in pieces
One day chains, once unbroken, will fall down at Your feet
So we wait
For that one day
Come quickly, we want to see Your…

Every knee falls down before Thee
Every tongue offers You praise, with every hand raised
Singing Glory
To You and unto You only
We’ll sing Glory to Your name.

One day, voices that lie will all be silenced
One day all that’s divided will be whole again
One day death will retreat, and wave its white flag
One day love will defeat the strongest enemy
So we wait
For that one day
Come quickly, we want to see Your…

Every knee falls down before Thee
Every tongue offers You praise, with every hand raised
Singing Glory
To You and unto You only
We’ll sing Glory to Your name.

We know not the day or the hour,
or the moments in between
But we know the end of the story…
when we’ll see Your…

Every knee falls down before Thee
Every tongue offers You praise, with every hand raised
Singing Glory
To You and unto You only
We’ll sing Glory to Your name.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Teach Me

I would have to say that the past week has had the "Teach Me" theme stamped on it. Teach me to accept the season I'm live with more grace and humility than ever love deeper than I've ever live this life like I've never lived not take so much for granted, but see it as the precious cargo it is...and so very more lessons which came out of this week.

I went away this weekend, as my friend put it...'to drink deeply from the well of my family'. And that's exactly what I did...I drank as deeply from their well as I could, so I could take as much of them as possible home in my heart. Leading up to leaving, I worked hard to drain my tank of some really dangerous toxins. I can't say that my tank was completely emptied, but some of it was and it allowed me to refuel in a huge way.

I know that this blog has probably been confusing for some who have come on, especially for the fact of me not saying all that's going on. I guess the easiest thing to say, is that I've been in a low...lots of things have caused it and it's been a struggle. But I came to an important place this week. There are seasons for everything and some last a lot longer than others. I'm working towards simply being content where I am and not wishing to be somewhere I'm not. I've been reading a lot about how God works through our weaknesses if we allow Him and that we do a lot of injustice, by not admitting our weaknesses or simply accepting the spot we are at and allowing Him to work through it.

So that's what I'm working towards right now. Simply being content and attempting to see the positive, no matter what the day holds. I wrote this at some point throughout the writing has been focused between God and I. But, being that it's the theme for the week gone past, I thought I would share it.

Teach me to surrender
And not hold back in pride.
Help me to realize
The true benefits of you by my side.

I pray that you'll break me
As many times are required
To truly fall at your feet
And say I'm completely Yours.

To no longer want or need control,
But only truly need You.
To live each moment as the last,
No regrets or inhibitions.

Help me begin to live my life,
Like I've never lived before.
With a deep peace and love,
And complete trust in You.

No longer looking for answers,
Every place except at Your feet.
Bring me back to You I pray,
Bring me back to Your presence.

Help me feel You so strong,
That I know not fully accepting would be disaster.
Help me to say,
“At Your feet I will be, as long as You breath the breath of life into me.”

Take me and mold me as You see fit,
Break and recreate where it's needed.
As often as necessary,
No questions asked.

For Your Glory and not my fallen human nature,
I am Yours,
And through me let you be seen.
Not perfection, simply You and not me.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time."

~ Oswald Chambers~

Friday, March 09, 2007


Have you ever felt like you're simply being pulled in a million different directions?

You see, right now that's where I am on many different levels. My family is continuing to battle know we've gotten really used to having me sick, but lately I've been sicker than usual and right now it seems we're guaranteed to have at least one, if not more of us sick all at once. This has went on for a month's getting really exhausting. There are days where I am angry and frustrated, yet trying hard to find what I'm supposed to find in this.

I know some would say, you don't need to find something in everything. But my thought is that when something lasts as long as it's lasted, there's something to be found, taken and learned from. Whether that be to slow down and rest or to simply start surrendering and quit relying so much on your own power...I don't know, but I'm feebly attempting to do what I can...whether it's enough or not is yet to be seen.

I guess the other thing is that I've been feeling a pull ministry-wise for so long, yet I've balked it for a variety of reasons. If I'm being completely honest, I'd have to say that my pride and some fear have played a part and also what those around me have been thinking about it. Yet as much as I want to jump into something, I then think about whether or not, while I'm sick, am I clearly discerning anything...especially the voice of God. Right now I think I'd have to say no. And for that reason I will continue to wait and attend to the most important ministry I family.

They are my most important ministry. I think sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life or in the despairing times, I tend to forget that sometimes. So this weekend, as our plans have been placed on hold yet again, due to illness and all that, I will attend to my family in the best way I can. I may not be who I normally am or do all I normally do, but I'll simply be there for them how I can and I know that'll be enough, because they simply want me and I simply want them.

You know, I'm up right now because I can't sleep, but yet I'm so tired! So that's why I was typing, but now I think it's time to stop and go to Him and cry out yet again. And this week, it's literally been 'crying out', but I don't think that's a bad thing either, 'cause at times it feels like the frustration, pain and anger are pouring least they're pouring out and allowing me to heal spiritually, if nothing else.

"There is a time for everything. There's a time for everything that is done on earth. There is a time to be born. And there's a time to die. There is a time to plant. And there's a time to pull up what is planted. There is a time to kill. And there's a time to heal. There is a time to tear down. And there's a time to build up. There is a time to cry. And there's a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad. And there's a time to dance. There is a time to scatter stones. And there's a time to gather them. There is a time to hug. And there's a time not to hug. There is a time to search. And there's a time to stop searching. There is a time to keep. And there's a time to throw away. There is a time to tear. And there's a time to mend. There is a time to be silent. And there's a time to speak. There is a time to love. And there's a time to hate. There is a time for war. And there's a time for peace."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Rock of Clinging...

"So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. "

~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

It's not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God."

~ Philippians 1:3-11

This is pretty much all I can muster up for blogging this week. I'll be back to comment to those of you who have left comments, but that'll have to be later in the week. This passage is hopefully where I will find myself reading and reflecting today. Despite all which is going on, I am living with thankfulness for all whom He's brought into my life. Trying hard to place my focus on the positive, in order to place a shadow on the negative. Isn't easy and isn't always accomplished, but that's where I am and it'll have to be good enough for now.

The extent of my writing are the words below...they might not make much sense, but right now I honestly don't make a lot of sense. Oh well, we live with what we have!

As the dawn begins to rise
I slowly open up my eyes.
What will today hold?
What will I need?

God, please let me be real!
No games, no walls or masks.
To live my life without attempts for super heroics.
Help me know that I show you through both the bad and the good.

No matter what comes,
Joy or saddness, peace or chaos,
Health or illness, life or death.
Instead of me,
I pray you'll somehow shine through.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Masks and Bungee Jumping

"And now, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start all over again. I'm taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I'll court her. I'll give her bouquets of roses. I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She'll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.

"At that time"—this is God's Message still— "you'll address me, 'Dear husband!' Never again will you address me, 'My slave-master!' I'll wash your mouth out with soap, get rid of all the dirty false-god names, not so much as a whisper of those names again. At the same time I'll make a peace treaty between you and wild animals and birds and reptiles, And get rid of all weapons of war. Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies! And then I'll marry you for good—forever! I'll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I'll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You'll know me, God, for who I really am.

"On the very same day, I'll answer"—this is God's Message— "I'll answer the sky, sky will answer earth, Earth will answer grain and wine and olive oil, and they'll all answer Jezreel. I'll plant her in the good earth. I'll have mercy on No-Mercy.I'll say to Nobody, 'You're my dear Somebody,' and he'll say 'You're my God!'"

Then God ordered me, "Start all over: Love your wife again, your wife who's in bed with her latest boyfriend, your cheating wife. Love her the way I, God, love the Israelite people, even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy."

I did it. I paid good money to get her back. It cost me the price of a slave. Then I told her, "From now on you're living with me. No more whoring, no more sleeping around. You're living with me and I'm living with you."

The people of Israel are going to live a long time stripped of security and protection,without religion and comfort, godless and prayerless. But in time they'll come back, these Israelites, come back looking for their God and their David-King. They'll come back chastened to reverence before God and his good gifts, ready for the End of the story of his love.

(Hosea 2:14-23; 3:1-5)

Okay, so I'm blogging twice in one one morning. Big Mister and Little Miss have a day off of school, so Little Mister and I are taking one as least the morning...we're all going to do some work this afternoon!

But anyhow, I read this scripture passage on Friday. It brought me to many places...a place where I just wept, truly let everything drain out of me through my tears. It brought me to a place of realizing how hard I am on myself so many days. I realized a little bit, the danger I play by being so hard on myself. I think this often causes me to not truly realize the extent of potential God does have in my life.

I sat on Friday and was truly honest with myself...about fears, disappointments, short-comings, pain, frustrations. I came to a place of realizing that I can't live my life with walls up and expect that I'll get anything substantial out of it...relationships, friendships, my walk with Christ, my potential in all my roles...they will never reach their full potential and people will never truly see ME, until I break the walls down.

Even as I sit and type, I'm crying, because at some point in my life I bought into Satan's lie that I needed to live a perfect life and that I couldn't just simply be me. You know, I might not be perfect, but I'm beautiful in His eyes, from the inside out.

My friend's sermon yesterday was all about masks and taking them OFF! Beginning to live real and not try to hide behind the masks of life appearing to be perfect, fear, anger, etc. I've been living with multiple masks on, partly because I felt I was doing everyone a favor if I spared them what was truly going on. I didn't want to heap anyone's plate with my problems and have them be over-burdened...but I didn't allow them to make that decision...I made it for them! In the process of making that decision, I essentially put a huge wall between a lot of people and me, by not allowing them all the way in.

I'm working towards the demolition on those walls. Do I think it will come today or overnight? Was Rome built in a day? No...just like it takes time for walls to be erected, it will take time to demolish them. It will take restraint, strength and courage to not fall back into 'old' ways and build those walls back up again. It will take that same restraint, strength and courage to truly be honest and allow my true identity to be seen.

But despite the hardships, I know that I am going to experience a freedom like I've never experienced before. I'm experiencing a small bit of it today, even as I reflect and begin to change course. Does it mean that things will always be peachy? That problems, pain, grief, anger, etc. will never arise? No, but what it does mean, is that I will hopefully begin to handle them very differently! I will allow people into my world. truly into it, to see what's going on and will realize that it's perfectly okay to be there. I will slowly learn to be content with where I am, and not where I think I should be. I will slowly learn to be content with who I am, and not whom I think I should be.

Do I walk a very winding path of life sometimes? A friend once likened it to 'bungee-jumping'. Yeah I do tend to walk that sort of life, but the hugest blessing is the fact of the people who are there to support and guide me when my cord breaks. They love me for me, even when I can't love myself. They see me for who I truly am, especially when I can't see it myself. They often know me much better than I know myself. But for me, that's the truest blessings of this life!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Because of You...

(Paul Oakley)








There was a funeral on Saturday at our church for a very remarkable woman of God. This was the closing song and it's been in my head ever since. I woke up, both yesterday and this morning, with this song singing through my head...drums, guitar and all!

It's been a very humbling and hugely amazing weekend. It was the first time I've actually been out a good portion of the time and not come home completely exhausted. For the first time since the end of November, beginning of December, I can cautiously say that I feel like I might be on the mend. I know I have a long way to go, but it feels like we might have actually found the key to moving forward a little at a time.

I've done a lot of soul searching this weekend. I've really sat and thought about what is truly important in my life. Thought about what really brings purpose and meaning to who I am. What I truly need to do to be strong and seeming to continually be free-falling in a bad way.

It's been a very overwhelming weekend, but at the same time, very rewarding and powerful. Life's precious...I'm finally back to wanting to truly live it out again!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Claims and Places

(Reuben Morgan)





We sang this song on Sunday at church. It came into my head and I began to sing it a little while ago. It's a song of huge strength for me, because it speaks of how powerful His love is for us.

I was emailing with a friend this morning and I wrote these words... "A small light was that despite how everything has been, yesterday was actually a pretty good day. I was going through my serving seminar results and was also going through some scripture from the Bible study assignment our group was going to do. I came to a place of knowing deep inside that I will come through everything strong and I simply can't focus on the negatives any longer. I can't beat myself up because of the short-comings I might be portraying, but simply draw more from Him...knowing that eventually those short-comings might not be there, or at least nearly as bad as they are currently."

I guess I've also been trying to take personal inventory and this was a question I asked..."The last while as I've struggled, have I portrayed a bad walk or huge lack of faith?"

I think for me, the biggest fear I have is that I will portray God in a bad light, through how I deal with the trials in my life. I know deep within me, as a result of things which have happened in the past and just because of how I think, that I do have a strong faith. But my worry is, that if I have to continue to justify this in my mind, then am I being blasphemous to God on a daily basis? Am I falling short in my love and devotion to Him?

I am actually going to be claiming this song as a daily prayer for me. I want to make that conscious go to Him, to be in the river, washed clean to start the day and living each day in His loving arms. I know I'm saved because of His love and therefore, I know that I will be will you.

I guess you could say that this post is simply the beginning of me being able to wrap my head around what God's speaking right now. It's the beginning of me digging deep within myself and pulling myself closer to Him. It's the beginning of trying to stomp the excess noise and lies of the enemy, which come into my mind daily. I guess you could say I'm accepting me for me and claiming myself for Who I truly belong to. Remember Day: 25: Transformed by Trouble from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren that I was talking about yesterday? This portion talks about life, problems and God's role in those. There will be more reflection to come on this was the medicine I needed to take in this week. I am going to end with this passage from that chapter...

"God has a purpose behind every problem.

He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact, he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.

Jesus warned us that we would have problems in the world. No one is immune to pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through life problem-free. Life is a series of problems. Every time you solve one, another is waiting to take its place. Not all of them are big, but all are significant in God's growth process for you...

God uses problems to draw you closer to himself...Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days - when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you're out of options, when the pain is great - and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers. When we're in pain, we don't have the energy for superficial prayers.

Joni Eareckson Tada notes, "When life is rosy, we may slide by with knowing about Jesus, with imitating him and quoting him and speaking of him. But only in suffering will we know Jesus." We learn things about God in suffering that we can't learn any other way."
(The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren)