Saturday, December 31, 2011



What a year.

I just finished a while ago going through my old prayer journals for the year and my oh my. What a ride of a year. :)

This was the year of three mentors. Of four jobs. Of visiting six churches before I've possibly settled on one.

This was the year of new. New experiences, new church, new ministry.
This was the year of being broken, of hurting. This was also the year of healing. Of Jesus coming through.

I would rather not relive most of this year again, but I am still grateful for it. One of the professors at my school was sharing his life's journey, and he gave us ten points. The first point was that the most difficult is the most meaningful. That sums up my 2011. While it was probably the most difficult year I've had yet, it was also possibly one of the most meaningful. Jesus met me in ways I wouldn't have been able to imagine at the beginning of the year.

Jesus taught me so many things and gave me so many good opportunities in the midst of the painful places. Some of the highlights of this year:

My friend taking me to the waterfalls and my nose bleeding. And bleeding. And bleeding. Embarrassing but hilarious memory.

Hearing Josh Wilson live sing on my birthday with two of my dear friends.

Being mentored by Heather. Jesus used her to help change my heart, helped me begin to heal after the brokenness.

Good talks with my family, "healing rain" coming.

Being prayed for as I went through the line of Tadmor people surrounding me on either side.

Working with Jennifer was for sure a highlight of working at Camp Tadmor this summer.

Tadmor letting me off to go to my church camp and be a counselor for a few days/nights . . . highlight of my year. I LOVE Drift Creek and those kids so much.

Laughing with my friends after we hit a deer on the way to our college retreat.

Working on workcrew at Wildhorse (the all college retreat).

Laughing and laughing with my friends Kayla and Clarissa as we went to Thai food, rode the tram, went to Fred Meyers, and tried to act like we knew what we were doing under the hood of my car. One of my favorite nights.

Going with friend Kayla to a hospital, delivering flowers to some of the patients. Another one of my favorite nights.

Having a date with Briana (sister) and going to Portland and to a fantastic wedding. Many memories.

Laughing, crying, and praying with my two roommates: Bethany and Clarissa. They have been such beautiful blessings to me. Jewels. There are several other wonderful memories I have of them both.

People praying for me, with me. Jesus showing me the power of having others pray for you in the moment.

Going on the high ropes course and just hanging out with my class from Experiential Learning on our retreat. Conquering fear of heights.

Being at Multnomah again for another semester. I love that place so much. I love the people. So many highlights of people just blessing my socks off and loving me. Friends? I love you so much. So many fun memories with many different people.

Some sweet, anonymous friend leaving me a wonderful gift of new clothes and boots!!! Blessed me so much.

The times I could come home this semester and rest, and the homecoming when Briana came back from California, and the family could be together again.

These are only some of my highlights from 2011. There are lots more of them and of wonderfully good memories. If you're reading this, and I didn't mention you, please forgive me because you are dear to me too, even if I didn't mention you by name.

I am still quite single. And I still love Jesus. :) But maybe (hopefully) even more than I did a year ago.

About a week ago, some of my friends pointed me (separately) to the Footprints in the Sand poem. Now I've seen that poem/writing several times and thought it was "nice" but didn't think too much of it. After all, it was pretty popular too, and I didn't want to hang on to something just because it was popular. Well now the poem has kind of lost its publicity, but as I read the parts of it that I was given to read, it took on very new, real meaning as I looked at it with new eyes, reading it as if it was my story. Here is part of it:

The Lord replied, "My [daughter], My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During, your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you."

Jesus was there. Through all of it. Oh dear friend, can you look back at YOUR year? Can You see that in those times you wouldn't mind erasing or at least pushing back to the edge of your memory, that it was in these times that Jesus carried you? He was there. He knew we wouldn't be able to see Him then, but if we look back, maybe we can see Him now, see that He never ever left. Alleluia.

He walked with me through the "No." He held me when I cried, when I felt so alone, so afraid that no one would really love me the way I needed to be loved. Jesus? You never left me. You let me walk through the process of it all. You held my hand through the "Yes" of Tadmor, and You knew how difficult it was for me to work there and the struggle of it, of waking up early, going to bed late, the constant doing. You held me when I cried as I came back to Multnomah, and things had to be different. And You sent people to love me in the processes. You walked me through finding a new church, new ministry. And in the meantime, You taught me that Your thoughts are greater than mine, that Your ways are higher. Better.

You showed me that You are so very much active and interested in me personally, in my life, in my relationships, my future. You taught me that my desire to be "real," sincere, was more of a desire to be worthy, but the truth is, I am unworthy. There is nothing I can do about that. And that's OK because You love me where I'm at, in my unworthiness. You love me here and make me new. I can give up striving and start realizing that I am Yours, that the story is about You and not about me doing.
You remind me that You sing over me songs of deliverance. You helped me see that I need to keep my eyes LOCKED on You, and I picture that when I pray often now. I picture looking into Your eyes and the setting is the sea and the storm, and we're walking on water, and I need to keep my eyes on Your eyes.

You taught me about being honest with You, about telling You when I'm not on track. You also showed me the importance of just being in Your presence and realizing that even when I'm not on track, I still need to be with You, need You to come into my distraction and pain. I can't just stay away from you and run from You in my pain and in my darkness and sin.

I thank Jesus that I am [hopefully] a different danae than I was a year ago. I am being made new. I'm super curious about what 2012 holds. I still have yet to make resolutions, but even if I don't get around to it or even if I don't have them yet, one thing and only really one thing needs to be settled.

I'm all ready . . . as long as Jesus is coming with me and walking with me through this brand new year. I am ready . . . no matter what comes, just as long as Jesus stays and holds my hand through it. Hallelujah. He has promised to never leave and never forsake. He will keep working on me. He will stay. And because of this, I can face a new year with anticipation. This is His story, and my Father writes fantastic stories. :)

So, goodbye two.thousand.eleven. I am glad to see you ending in many ways. You were hard on me, but I am very grateful for you. I won't forget you. Enjoy hanging out with the rest of the closed chapters of my life.

And hello, two.thousand.twelve. I'm ready for the adventure. With Jesus. :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Need

There are so few things that I need here. So few things.

But one thing that I NEED, that I don't just want, don't just need on occasion but with-every-breath-desperation, I need Jesus.


I need the God-Man who stepped on this earth here. I NEED You. I will SCREAM it. I will write it. I will pray it. I will sing it. I need YOU, Jesus. Hallelujah.

It is YOU who carry me, who make me laugh, and let me cry. You give me peace when I'm too stressed to think clearly. You give me HOPE, make me smile. You heal me in the deep parts. What would I be without You? I need YOU, Jesus.

Thank You for being You, for being here . . . just when I need You. I am so glad to be Yours. Everything else can fade into the background because all that really matters is covered. My deepest need taken care of every moment by You, Jesus. Thank You.

But it's not just about me needing. I want You too, Lord! I WANT to be with You. Let me live to extend myself, to really give myself to You. To not just need You (take in) but to really love You (give out).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Christmas break.
home. safe. sleep.

and i am infected
with red bumps and bloodstained world.

and You wear my skin for just awhile.

is human skin scratchy to God?
does it itch and burn the spirit of YHWH
to wear our dirt?

oh Jesus, You did.

and a few thousand years back,
a little girl's stomach swelled,
and You bumped against her rib cage
and felt the rhythm of human heart.

this was Your choice.


that we may know YHWH.

that we may hear His voice

and see what love really is.

that we may be saved from our own skin. flesh. brokenness.

You come.

And again,

You will come,

that we may meet our full salvation.

that we may see Who Love really is.

and hear His voice.

that we may know YHWH.


we are not alone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Weeks of the End

finals week. edging near. creeping, pouncing.


the lion, right next to my ear.

but You, Jesus, You've calmed greater storms than

papers and exams.

teach me to lay my stress down.

my problems are not most significant.

not in the long run.

i am tiny.

the moon reminds me.

but You hold me in Your hands.

and my baby problems.

and You see them as significant to me.

but not so big.

thank You.

we can do this.

You've already won.

thanks, Dad.

i love You.

love from: simply Yours.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jesus? THANK YOU!!!!

Thank You, Jesus.

for loving me.
with pure, rich love.

for loving me enough
to hurt me sometimes
and make me laugh other times.

thank You for hope,
and the way it ribbons
throughout my story.
Your story of me.

thank You for our adventures.
mexico. drama. hospital visits.

thank You for keeping me awake
on those long homework nights.
for sustaining me with strength
time and time and time

thank You for giving me
daily bread.
all i need for the moment.
(sometimes it's just enough
other times, You give more)

thank You for a home.
for nestling me in
in these moments.
with these people. family.

thank You for being SO REAL.
for being REAL in the questions.
REAL in the answers.
You are I AM.

thank You for making me quirky
and loving me in my messes.
my truck load of imperfections.
sometimes, it makes me laugh
how messy i am.
how awkward i am at this thing called
but the way You embrace me as i am
makes me laugh
and love being danae
and love even more than i am Yours.
simply Yours.

thank You for Your blood.
Jesus, i AM unworthy.
and You love me here and
make me grow.
Your blood, Your story of horror
makes me live. sets me free.
i owe You everything.
(here i am --- please use me,
forgive me for being scared.
please make me brave)

thank You for shepherding my heart.
for being my Father.
my Best Friend.
faithful Love.

thank You, Jesus.
for . . . well, . . .
You are a Father of good gifts.
we don't deserve You.
but i exalt You.

You are JEHOVAH.
Creator. King. Lord.

worthy of all praise.

Happy Thanksgiving, Jesus.
i love You.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A New Twist on Gratitude

Lately, I've found myself feeling very sentimental about my time here at Multnomah. I walk the same cement sidewalks again and again, and I can't imagine living another life. After all, I have BIBLE READING for HOMEWORK! How better can life be? I'm surrounded by beautiful people who love Jesus and make me laugh and let me cry. I'm connected with friendships that are DEEP because they're tied in by Jesus. We try to know each other and encourage each other. I love the way that I can go on adventures with friends with the sole purpose of just loving people because we have (or make) the time and have the resources. I love that I have a community that I feel comfortable with. I love this world.

And recently, I feel like I've been living in this awkward place of sentiment, not living in the enjoyment of the world but living in a space of being afraid of letting it go.

I came to Multnomah University last year. I fell in love. The people. The Bible. The Chapels. (the list goes on. even in the little things. dorm life. cafe food. gym access. chance to "be an adult." i'm a dork. smile.) But I've told myself that I don't want to nose dive deep into debt unless this is where I KNOW God wants me. Plus, I really have no rock solid plan for my future, so while I would LOVE to continue at MU (and just might), I feel like I'm living with the possibility that some of these moments could be my last. This could be my last fall semester. (COULD). These months living in the dorms with beautiful daughters of God could be numbered. (COULD). I don't know.

But instead of simply embracing every moment, I'm afraid I'm trying to smuggle every moment. Letting every beautiful memory end on with a twinge of sad.

And it's here I think Jesus wants to teach me something about Gratitude.

You see, I think thankfulness is about letting go.
I said it.

Gratitude fully experiences. It experiences the moments, lifts the moments to God to bless Him for it, and lets the moments go to experience the new ones.

Gratitude keeps us from getting stuck.

Well, in theory it should. I can't say I'm a big pro on that yet, but I think Jesus is trying to show me something valuable here.

There are so few guarantees in this life. Am I surrendering every moment? Am I living like the sprinkles of soft rain on my face and the laughter with friends and the worship in chapel are undeserved gifts from God that I must FULLY EXPERIENCE and then carefully let go to experience the other gifts that He continues to bring my way? I've got some thinking to do. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 31: The Unfinished Finale

Thirty one days.

I have never blogged so much. In. My. Life.

It was quite the journey. :)

I don't know that I'm ending the thirty one days with many intense discoveries, but I have worked through some of the issues I struggled with, and I've spent more time with Jesus than I did the month before.

But the journey doesn't end here. It can't end here because I'm not done praying, and I don't want to be done learning what it means to really pray and pray HARD.

I wanted to end the month with how Jesus used prayer in my day today. On the thirty-first day.

I woke up this morning, went to breakfast, talked out group presentation with some of the people from marriage and family class, and then I headed to the library, weighed down in fatigue and brokenness.

It was the frustrated brokenness. The brokenness that is chaotic and confused and angry and sad. The brokenness that leaves me wondering how I'll make it through the rest of the day because it's suffocating and painful.

I traveled into worship chapel with a heavy heart, and I broke as we sang the words about God wrapping me in His arms and being my everything. Tears.

And I looked for one of my dear friends, Kayla. I needed that 11-99, someone to bring me to Jesus because I was breaking.

Oh Jesus! Thank You so much for Kayla!!!

Oh, I praise God for friends. Kayla, you hugged me and let me cry and share my hurt and brokenness. And I asked if you would pray, and you did. Thank you so much. You don't understand how powerful that was for me.

You spoke God's Word over me, and that was probably one of the most powerful parts. You claimed God's promises in your prayer, that if we seek, we will find. He'll open the door if we knock. That was so powerful for me.

But it was also very powerful just that You knocked on Heaven's door, and He listened to you and saved me.

The craziest thing was, I was still broken, but God's peace came in. It was no longer the confused, angry, hurt, frustrated brokenness. It was the peaceful kind, and I can survive the peaceful kind.

As my day continued, it became much better. It was sunny, and I made it through my presentation in Marriage and Family, and I survived my quiz in one class, and I laughed with coworkers at my job and with friends in general, and I worked out while laughing and talking with one of my roommates, and . . .

Jesus? You come to my rescue.

You come.

You are.

Thank You so much for listening to Kayla. Please help me to remember to be active in praying for others and to pray Your promises. That was SO POWERFUL when she prayed Your promises.

Thank You so much that You don't leave us as we are, but You change us and make us new. You teach us, Jesus. You teach us about Yourself and who we are and how to pray and grow and love.

You don't leave us as orphans. You come. You come into the brokenness and the pain, and sometimes You don't always take it away, but You bring Yourself into it. You bring peace into it.

Thank You for these 31 days. This isn't over, Jesus. Please, I don't want it to be over. I want to be committed to prayer like You, Jesus. That sounds overwhelming, but You know how to teach me step by step.

I love You. Thank You for being God and for being real. For being God in it all. I really am glad to be Simply Yours.

I love You, Jesus.

But I want to love You even more.

In Jesus' name.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 30: Expectations

Sometimes, I have this idea that after I pray, I'm suppose to have everything figured out, everything lined up and smoothed over. I feel like that's not always how it works.

Sometimes prayer is just me giving up. I don't know if it does always make me feel better, but it's letting myself know and kinda letting Jesus know that I know (oh dear, . . . lots of knows) that He is capable of healing and making it all new sometime. In His time. He is capable of taking the junk and making it good. Just not always in my time or in my way, and I need to let that be okay.

Really, what are my expectations when I come to pray?

Dear Father,

I don't have very thrilling words to offer You today. My heart has had a yucky morning . . . a lot of feelings. Anger. Hurt. Frustration. And I've come to You, hoping You'd make it all right and make it all go away on my terms. You didn't. You don't work that way, and sometimes it scares me because I'm afraid You don't give me what I need.

I lose sight of You. I stop trusting. I am Israel.

Forgive me, Jesus. I know this is wrong. I don't always have the strength to change my mind. Please help me. Let. Go.

In Jesus' name.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29: God-With-Man-Walks

Today I'm reposting my blog post from June 1st. It's about one specific prayer time that I had with Jesus. It was kind of one of those break through moments . . . sometimes, we just need to go back to what we KNOW. And we know some very important things as daughters and sons of YHWH.

Gray and Green

The sky was gray and the fields a marvelous green, and it was late, but I still knew it would be good for me to get out and walk for awhile to my road's nearest "T" and back a few times. There were still swatches of white light filtered through the clouds. The rain holding back for then.

And sometimes, the gray and the green are perfect colors for God-with-man walks.

God, I'm so confused and tired of fighting and thinking and this feeling of being so fake and my thoughts not even sounding like me anymore. I don't know about these things, Jesus!

danae, what do you know?What have I taught you?

And I spoke it. The clouds and the green blades my witnesses. For there are things I do know.

God, You are the One who sees me, who looks after me (Hagar).

You provide. On the Mount of the LORD, it will be provided (Abraham).

YHWH, this year, You've showed me that You are strong, that You can handle my emotions.

Father, I know that You are involved in the details of my life. That YOU, Creator, Nation Mover, Powerful God, that YOU are involved in my life, involved enough to speak into my heart situations.

I know that I am wanted. You WANT me, Jesus! I don't know why, but You've showed me that this is really true.

I know that I can trust You. Trust You to change me, to get me where I need to be. I love You.

God, this year, You've taught me about the importance of being honest with others, of living in transparent community. Living life with people.

And the sky opened a little and water sprinkled against my face.
And it was Jesus, and I closed my eyes and felt Him touching me.

I'm learning that it is a beautiful thing to live life open to God. I know that He knows everything about my life, but when I try to live in Him, trying to expose myself and live naked before Him like Eve in Eden, when I try to say how I'm feeling so I'm sharing it and opening myself to Him, then I am more free. I'm open.

And when I'm open . . . He can reach down and touch me. Even if it comes in rain drops against my face.

I'm still confused about some things, but it sure helps to be open. And really, there are very important things that I am NOT confused about. These I hold on to.

Thank You so much, Jesus, for going on that walk with me. You held my hand, Most High, didn't You? You are my Healer, and I love You. Thank You for touching me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 28: Preparing Through Prayer

Awhile back, I began this prayer journey. I tried to spend fifteen minutes with Jesus. These past few weeks, I've done miserably at this, but as I'm looking back, I feel like throughout each moment of prayer success (aka taking those times to pray) Jesus has used it to bring me so much closer to Him. So much closer.

And now, as I have stepped into the present circumstances, into some of the cresting waves and the winds that I'm working out now, I know more fully that Jesus will bring me through it. That I'll be safe. That He will be right there. And I know this because He's prepared me and showed me more who He was through prayer.

I love the way that He drew me to His throne about a month ago because He knew what would be ahead of me and knew I'd need that time with Him, and that I need to start forming habits that will send me living and breathing in His throne room. Such a precious thing.

I prayed again this morning for about fifteen minutes. Though the broken pieces of my situations haven't magically been put together yet, it felt good to be back at His feet again, and I'm planning on spending that time tonight. I need Jesus. And He shows up. <3

Dear Father,
You know. Everything. Thank You so much for calling my heart to prayer. You know how many times I've been so frustrated with it and with myself, but I don't regret any of those minutes spending time with You. Please forgive me for when I've failed. I want my time with You, Jesus, to be so engrained within me that it's a natural part of my day.
Can we change the fifteen minutes to a half an hour? Maybe someday to an hour? Please call me close, Jesus. I love You. Thank You so much for being here with me. You really are so good.

Your danae girl :) Aka Amen. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27: Trust & Prayer

"Prayer is the exercise of trust." - Clarissa Smith

My roommates are WONDERFUL, and I was asking one of them to randomly give me a quote on prayer, and those are the words she gave me. She makes a good point.

Prayer and Trust.

It made me think. If this is true, then it means that when I'm not trusting well, I'm not praying. Is my trust in God reflected in how I pray? Even in when I pray?

This also reminds me about relationship. I trust those in my "inner circle" of friends very much. They've proven that I can be danae, and that they'll love me regardless . . . no matter what that looks like. I trust them, even in my awkwardness and dorkiness and dirt. They still love. If they didn't, I would run away much more quickly.

But yet, I run away from Jesus when my sin slips in and entangles me. I run from Him when I'm distracted. This doesn't always bring me to my knees. I'm pretty sure that means I'm not trusting Him in this.

Do I trust that Jesus will take me as I am? Do I trust Him enough to run to Him when I'm not enough, when I've known better and done *fill-in-the-blank* anyways? Do I trust Him to do with me what needs to be done and to love me the way I need to be loved?

My trust should propel me to my knees. Back to that throne room. Thank You, Clarissa Smith, for pointing that out. I love you. <3

Dear Father,
I've run, huh? I've run from You because I don't feel like I've measured up. Sometimes I run because I don't want to change. But I want to trust You. With all my heart.

I love You.

In Jesus' name.
Amen. <3

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26: Broken

I don't have much to offer Jesus tonight.

But brokenness. A lot of brokenness.

So here's my prayer.


You see. Please come in. Please save me.

David uses good words to talk about the mire.
the muck. the sinking.

Please pull me out.

Your danae girl.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25: Thank You, Jesus

There are so many aspects of prayer.

Part of me doesn't want to mention them though. I don't want to make prayer scientific. I want to make it real. I want to make it all about loving Jesus and meeting Jesus and being real before Him.

But there is one aspect of prayer that is so important, that must never be seen as scientific but as a fresh, beautiful form of speaking to our Maker. This is thankfulness.

Gratitude is one of the most beautiful vessels of healing and praise. It's a two fold beauty. I've experienced its healing, but even so, I don't thank Him enough.

One way that I have tried to remember to say Thank You is to carry with me a piece of paper and just list the things that I'm thankful for, list the ways that I see Jesus loving on me and revealing His goodness to me through people, circumstances in the day. This has helped, but I haven't done it very often. Tomorrow's a new day. I should do it tomorrow. :)

How do you remember to say thanks? Any helpful hints?

Dear Father,

You have given such beautiful gifts, Lord. And some of them aren't beautiful at all, but they are good because You are, because You use them for my good. Please create in me a thankful spirit, one that always turns back to tell You "thank You."

In Jesus' name.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24: Reflecting Relationship

While I must say, it's been great, and I've never blogged so much in my life, I'm pretty excited that there are only 7 days left to this 31 day blogging challenge. :) Whew! :)

But on another note . . .

There were two special speakers that came and shared with the girls tonight at Multnomah, and one of them specifically talked about how in order to be who we are suppose to be with the Lord, we need to just keep being like Him. The point made was that we don't become who we're supposed to become by just doing and doing and doing. We need to BE like Him. The lady went on to express that in order to be like Him, we need to spend time with the Father, be in relationship with Him. She made the point that Jesus did it. He spent HOURS with His Father.

I need this too.

I need the real life relationship with Father God. This comes partly through prayer.

But I think I need to revisit what "relationship" is.

Relationship is living real, raw life with someone. It's letting them into your secrets and pain and confusion. It's speaking out to them when you're confused by them and even angry at them. Relationships are based on honesty and committment. Does my relationship with Jesus have some of these same characteristics? Now granted, a relationship with YHWH, Creator of galaxies, should look different than a relationship with man, but there should still be signs of a relationship.

Does my prayer life reflect relationship?

Or just a mirage of intimacy?

Something for me to ponder.

Oh Father God?

Where are we at? Please let me know and hear You. Let me be honest with You and hear Your honest responses. I am vulnerable right now. You are shielding me. Please let me pray to You in true relationship with You. What does this mean? What does it mean to pray to You like Jesus did?

Thank You so much for listening, Father, for the way that You redeemed today in many ways.

I love You.
In Jesus' name.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23: Let My Sin Bring Me Back to You, YHWH

Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God. --Andrew Murray

I so easily lose sight. Jesus knows.

And then Satan and this world are brutal tyrants.

They take anything good. Twist it. And scar my heart.

And knock me to my knees.

I can thank Jesus for this, because it turns my eyes back into His gaze.

Merciful God,
This world hurts sometimes, but thank You. Thank You because it brings me back to You. I'm safe with You, Abba.

But Jesus? There's more. My sin hurts too. Very much. And this doesn't always bring me to You. Sometimes, (most times) it makes me feel like running far away from You, from the fear that You'll be disappointed or ashamed or harsh, but Jesus, I need You. Even in my sin and my filth. Will You please be strong enough to carry me? I can't come to You perfect or clean or even pretty. I'm a mess most days. I don't want to run away anymore when I'm dirty. I want to run straight to You. I'm so sorry I'm such a mess. Will You still take me?

I very much need You, YHWH.


Your danae girl

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22: Ceasing to Pray

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way." (1 Samuel 12:23)

Please read in context here.

WOAH!!!!! I wish I would have jumped into earlier. Today, I just typed in "Pray" as the keyword, and it gave me a list of treasures. This was one that stuck out to me. I worry that I'm incapable to truly dissect it for fear of being wrong, but I wonder if there are a few things I should be brave enough to try to glean from it?

First of all, it sticks out to me that Samuel says he'd be sinning against YHWH not to pray for the people. I have so many questions.

Would it be sin because Samuel was playing some sort of priest role for the people? Is it connected at all to the priesthood? (He seems to play the part of prophet over priest, but maybe I'm not looking at the full picture?)

Or is this more a statement about the LORD and about His people? About the values of God? That God desires of us to pray for the things/people He values? If this is so, are there people in my life that I have neglected to pray for, and in so doing, I have sinned against my God?

I'm not sure how big of a leap that is, but I wonder if I maybe need to reevaluate who I haven't been praying for and who I am.

I know I have definitely failed people in neglecting to pray for them. In so doing, am I sinning against God? Or are these different concepts? I think I have to be careful about this though, that I don't simply pray out of duty because I need to pray for a certain amount of people a certain amount of time to be in with Jesus. I don't think that's how it works, BUT I do think there's possibly an underlying point that is worth noting. What do you think?


Would YOU direct my prayer list? I don't know that I've ever thought about that, about having You teach me who I should pray for, but would You please direct my heart? Help me to see the deeper issue here, the one that's hidden. What was Samuel really saying? What does this say about You and prayer? Jesus, please speak into the silence.

Thank You so much for the way that You work things out so beautifully. I really am grateful to be Yours, Daddy.

In Jesus' name.
amen. <3

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pray 21: Persistence

"And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." (Luke 18:1)

Imagine. He's a Jewish Man, average height, strong, carpenter hands. His eyes are brown, and while they may seem common, the power of them is insane. He is a hard worker and a gentle Person but full of a power from whose source cannot be easily identified by the complicated thinkers.

And every morning, this Man wakes up before the sun gleams to pray. He is a WARRIOR.

His name is Jesus.

And I'm CAPTIVATED by this verse, and in the context, it's even more incredible. You should read it!

But what Jesus is saying in the parable and through this verse is so powerful. Jesus wants us to pray, to pray "always" and to not get discouraged.

How often do I get discouraged? How many seconds of my day have been spent in even simply shallow moments of just quick discouragement, not to mention the days that are full of it (these are few and far between, but some days are just "those types of days," ya know?).

And the God-Man who wakes up early to pray tells us to pray hard. To pray often. To NOT GIVE UP when we're praying.

This strikes me.

In fact, I think I need to think about this more.

Dear Father,
There's a lot on my mind, Jesus. A lot on my heart. Swirling chaos. You were so faithful to pray. You understood what it was. Help me to understand what prayer is, help me to pray always, to not get discouraged when I'm praying and to not let myself get discouraged because I AM praying. (Is that what You mean?)

I am Yours, Jesus. Please give me the strength to say "Yes" to You in EVERYTHING.

I love You. Teach me to love You more purely, Jesus.

In Your name, amen.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 20: Praying Scriptures

The past few days, I've been an agitated pray-er. To be honest, I need to admit that I've failed with my prayer goals for this week. I think I've been so agitated that I've been so inward focused in my prayers and feel so lost in knowing what prayer should be that I've wanted to give up on those commitments. Plus, I didn't want to just do a dry duty.

Honestly, I've felt kind of defeated and spun up in guilt webs. Today, after chapel, I was able to spend some time in my school's prayer chapel. It was so good, especially because someone was playing and singing songs to Jesus on the piano in there while I sat and just soaked up being in Jesus. His grace is so full. That was healing to be able to sit in Jesus' presence again and be still and be in a new environment. Centered me.

But then later today, I was talking with a friend about my prayer struggles, and he opened his Bible to the Psalms. He shared with me something that's so great! He says that he declares truth from the Psalms when he prays. For example, he turned to Psalms 37 and shared an example.

I will "Fret not."

I will "trust in the LORD, and do good."

I will "Delight [myself in the LORD]."

I will "Commit [my] way to the LORD."

I will "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him."


I LOVE this, love this idea of praying God's Word in such direct ways. I needed that. I needed that suggestion and encouragement, and I want to put it to use. This helps center me and helps me because it leads me to praying for things I know are good and healthy. I don't know if that makes sense, but ya want to try it with me? It just might change the way we pray. :)

Dear Father,
Thank You so much for this wild day, for those You put in my path to encourage me, for the story of You and Peter and the waves and sinking, for Jared sharing with me about Psalms. Thank You, Lord, for the way You help center me and lead me back. Please keep doing it. I love You. I am so grateful to be Simply Yours.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 19: Changing Our Minds

On Sunday as Dad and I were driving to evening church, I asked him what he thought prayer is all about.

He thought for a little bit and than gave me an answer I wasn't expecting.

I'm probably going to butcher his quote, but it went something to the effect of:

"I think prayer is about seeing things the way God sees them."

It's about presenting things to Jesus and letting Him change our view on them or about Him giving us a broken heart for the things that breaks His. Prayer is a process that makes our heart more like the heart of Jesus.


Catch this. Oswald Chambers has a quote that kinda ties into this idea.

Is the Son of God praying in me, or am I dictating to Him? . . . . Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.

Am I letting the Holy Spirit pray through me? What does that even look like? So many questions. There are answers somewhere.

What does it mean for You to change my heart when I pray? Is this what prayer is all about? I have so many questions. Am I simply missing the point? Let me see You, Jesus. Please. Let me just see You.

I love You, King! Thank You so much for being so present today.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18: Confidence

This morning, I read these words.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-17 esv

When I pray, I come to Jesus . . . who understands. And because of Him, because He understands, I can come to the throne of grace, but not sheepishly. With confidence. Not because I deserve to approach that throne but because He understands. This is prayer. When I pray before Jesus, I'm coming in front of His throne. I receive mercy and find grace here, no matter what I've done. It's so funny how I run from Jesus when my sin creeps over my head. That's when I need Him the most. It's funny that even in these moments, when I feel I don't deserve to enter His presence, that He allows me to enter confidently, trusting who He is. He has enough mercy and grace for me.

I need His mercy and grace. I must not fully understand this need however, because if I did, it would draw me to my knees much more. I need to see my need.

Heavenly Father?
Thank You so, so much for letting me approach Your throne in confidence. Thank You that when I come, You give me all that I need to make it. You give me the mercy I so desperately need and the grace that refreshes me. Please help me to recognize my need. Let my need bring me to Your feet. I love You. I really do need You. A lot.

I blew it today in so many ways, Jesus. I focused so fully on myself. I've failed with the whole try-to-remember-to-pray-at-each-hour goal. I haven't spent the time or put in the energy. I need Your mercy. Thank You so much for supplying it in abundance. You are so good to me. You are holy.

In Jesus' name.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 17: Raw Words

Please let me be real and raw. People need to know how broken I am apart from You. Especially in days like these. So here's just a prayer. Words.

In Jesus' name.

Oh YHWH, my Father,

I don't have much good to give You today.
I am so broken and bent up.
Past sneaks into present like the shadow
I thought I shook.
My mind races in mazes, and I try
To figure out the end
To win, To escape.
But my small heart is beating too fast.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
I've tried to pray,
But it's been my words. My thoughts.
Trying to figure things out.
That's not prayer, is it?
Prayer is giving up. Surrendering.
It's letting go of my idea on how to fix
My life.

You are Water. Living Water that flows
Cold and refreshing into the desperate bends,
Breaks, Wounds in my being.
You uncover the shameful cracks,
Knocking gently on the sheets I use to
Try to cover the waste heaps.
Please come in. I'm sorry it's so messy here.
But I really do need You.
Are You sure You want to come?
You don't have to.
I'll disappoint You.
You might hate me.

The way You say my name is different.
Thank You for listening.
Thank You for listening to more than my
Choice, Select Words.
You listen to my very heart.

Thank You for not being afraid of me.
For not being afraid of my sin.
But for being courageous enough to
Lift me up from this weakness
And give me new name.
And new song.
Grace, sweet grace.

Thank You for entering the spaces.
I love You, Most High.

You are worthy of every ounce of my awe,
Worthy of every space in my thoughts
And every motivation for my actions.
You are kind King and gentle Friend.
You are Sovereign Lord.
You know. You see. You know.


Your broken one.
Simply Yours.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 16: Open My Mind to Love You

I was at a women's conference a few years back, and one of the workshops was on prayer. It was so amazing. The woman leading it told us to look up when we pray and picture the ceiling of the building we're in removed, and there just up ahead before us is this huge, glorious throne on which God Himself is seated, and there are angels surrounding the throne. This is the place we enter when we pray. That was such a vivid visual for me, and I still picture it. I have to remind myself that it is real, that I am within the presence of God, and my prayers are reaching His ears.

I think this is what it means to pray continuously, to live our lives and our thoughts in this picture of the throne room. Or maybe a better way to put it is to open our minds and acknowledge Jesus' presence in everything, in every thought? What does it mean to you to "pray without ceasing"?


This upcoming week, I feel like I need to keep my 15 minute prayer goals (praying both in morning and evening). Last night, I think Jesus was speaking to me and telling me that because He has given me this particular part of my personality, I NEED to spend 15 minutes with Him every morning. It shouldn't be an option; I need Jesus in this aspect so desperately.

Oh but friends, I also want to be more aware of Jesus and prayer throughout my day. I want prayer to become an unconscious habit. THUS, I'm going to try something. This will probably involve a lot of failure, but I'll keep my eyes out for the success. :) Every top of the hour, I want to consciously remember to pray, even if just sentence prayers. I'm hoping that this will be a trigger, a reminder to send me back under the Lordship and the presence of Jesus. We'll see! :)

Dear Father,

It is so easy for me to forget You. Why is this? I need You so incredibly? Please, Lord, help me to be more conscious of You, to love You more with my mind. Thank You for listening to my chatter.

Thank You for the way You helped steady my soul in church today, that we could find a quiet place even during the service. I really needed to meet with You. Thank You for taking my worry. You are so good to me. I'm so glad to be Yours. :)

I love You, my Shield and Strength, my Protector, Father, Listener, Speaker, Friend. "More Love to Thee". In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 15: Calling 11-99's.

One thing I've learned is that there is HUGE power in praying for each other with each other. I've especially noticed it in people praying for me.

At the beginning of this school year especially, there were issues I had to work through, and I wasn't sure how I was going to do it. Several times, I asked some of my close friends at college if they could pray for me, right there, right then, out loud. They were so gracious to do that, and I can't even explain how powerful it was and how I felt so much stronger and so much better after they knocked on Heaven's throne room and interceded for me. Seriously. As they were praying I felt better.

As the school year progressed, I stopped doing that as much. The "issue" I'm working through has gotten a little easier. I didn't feel as desperate. There was one time not too long ago though where I needed it again in regard to that issue, and I pulled one of my roommates into the nearest stairwell and just asked for prayer. That was really humbling for me, to ask that she'd pray, to admit that I needed. But it was so powerful, and I felt better afterward.

There is power in calling for backup, for others to pray. For quick reinforcement in the spiritual realm.

I found this on a Police Scanner Codes website.
A highway patrolling job can be quite hazardous. One can never know what danger may be waiting out there in the byways and highways. In case an immediate back-up support is needed, a mere “11-99” radio report is all that is needed. The station will immediately dispatch reinforcement to the location.

Sometimes, I need to call for an 11-99 (and I need to let my solid, godly friends know this). I need backup. I need others to stand by me and pray hard sometimes. This is humbling, but it's POWERFUL. It communicates that we need Jesus, that we believe He can help us, and that we believe what we need help in is worth receiving help for if that makes sense. It is so powerful. I want to get better at asking for "immediate" prayer, even just for what I'm struggling with. I also want to get better at making myself ready and available for friends who are calling silent 11-99's. It's powerful.Jesus listens.

(Kudos to the camp director who tied these two ideas together for me this summer, the idea of backup prayer warriors being on call as backup police forces are for each other.)

Thank You for the way that You listen and for the way there is such power in others praying for us. Please teach me to be real, to be attentive to those who need prayer. Thank You for listening to us, for meeting us where we're at. We really do need You.

I love You, Jesus. Please deepen this love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14: Lightbulb Moment

I'm trying to stay awake. Two a.m. Trying to think sequential thoughts, to pray sequential sentences.

"Danae, listen."

I'm driving. Feeling obligated to pray. So tired. Trying to make myself listen, but I'm listening to my own thoughts, not Jesus.

"Danae, listen. My thoughts won't be your thoughts."

Prayer isn't about me.

Woah!!! That's so true!

What does that mean?

(Yep! I'm thought processing on a blog! :) I guess that makes me a BLOG-PROCESSOR! Tehe! There's a reason people call me "special" . . . wink)

What is prayer about then?

It's about relationship, right?

Oh my goodness. Something's clicking!

I have a really good friend that is so kind to let me bounce things off her. She listens so sympathetically and kindly and then helps me process through things. In times past, I've felt like I've just been talking a lot, and I feel guilty. I don't want our relationship to be one-sided (and it's not, but sometimes it feels kind of like that). I never want my relationships to be one where someone's just giving to me (and as confession for that: a big reason I don't want that is because is because of my own pride). The point, however, is that I don't apply that to my relationship with Jesus. I pray like we're a One-sided relationship. I pray like He's just here to be the listener, and I think I justify it by saying that He's the stronger One. He has the "parental" role in our relationship. Wow, to be honest, I think that a reason I don't want to acknowledge my responsibility to just listen is that in so doing, I'm afraid of my needs not being met. Now THAT is lack of faith. That is sin. This is my confession.

Wow. I need to think about this more because I have a feeling that this is the beginning of unwrapping a LOT of misconceptions.

Plus, I also need to think that through. Is Prayer really about relationship? Is it about Jesus? Is it about making a difference? This is the new search. Please, I'll take all the insight I can get! In the meantime, let's keep praying!!! Keep practicing. Praise Jesus that He is patient. <3

Thank You, Father. For revelation. Please teach me. What is prayer really about?

I love You, Father. Please purify that love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 13: Nothing Insignificant

I finished this story this morning for my Experiential Learning class. The story revolves around something that I experienced this summer and what Jesus tried to show me about praying about everything. :) Hope it makes you grin! :)

Boats, Gravel, Rope, Prayer

My energy level was dropping quickly like the red of a thermometer on a winter evening. Falling. Dropping. Lacking. I had scratches on my arms. My mouth was getting dry. I was muddy. I was worn out and worn down physically, but I was also reaching the brink of an emotional meltdown. It was the most I could do to put one foot in front of the other, to push the boat filled with gravel as I sucked in oxygen. Breath by breath. We had to keep going. There was no other option. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep . . . moving . . .

You see, it was training week at Camp Tadmor, and it’s an annual occurrence of this
Christian summer camp to have a “Team Challenge,” an activity meant to tie staff together before the kids come. Nobody knew what we were getting into when we began this “adventure”.

This year’s team challenge involved hiking up a muddy hill until we got to this log cabin by which were two massive piles of gravel. The goal of the challenge was to pack those piles of gravel back down the hill and spread them around part of the camp’s lake. There were a few handicaps given us, however. We could only use what we found near the cabin to haul the gravel, which happened to be very old boats, a couple of shovels, buckets, and a piece of netting.

Another handicap was that we were given a massive rope which we stretched out, and the whole summer staff had to remain within the confines of this rope. No one could get ahead of the group and go in front of the rope’s beginning, nor could anyone lag behind the end of the rope. We had to stick together.

Also, a piece of incentive: we didn’t get dinner until this challenge was done.

Well, we all started strong, walking together, taking note of the thick mud, the length of the trail, the steepness in parts. Finally, we made it. We were astounded by the piles of gravel but probably even more astounded when we felt just how heavy one bucket of this stuff was. Gravel is EXTREMLY WEIGHTY! The sixty some of us brainstormed, trying to figure out the best way to get this pile of rock down the hill. We postulated and pondered for over an hour. Some of us were antsy, just wanting to get something done. Others wanted to make sure that we did it the most efficient way first, even if it took longer to figure out what that was. There was chaos.

Finally, one of the girls made a stand. “Guys, I think we need to pray.”

To be honest, I was kind of taken off guard. Pray? About something as silly as taking
gravel down a hill? At first, this seemed a little “over spiritual” to me, but as I thought about it, it made sense. We should be praying about everything. Nothing is too insignificant for prayer.

After we prayed, we took our first load down the hill. The task was brutal. We were so tired, so worn by our first load, and we had a lot more to go. The time was ticking away. Soon it was 5pm. 6pm. 7pm. 8pm. We still weren’t done. We were lagging, defeated, exhausted, and as we lay on the ground at the bottom of the hill after one of our loads, just resting, I needed to do something. “Guys? I think we need to pray one more time.” I thanked Jesus. He had answered our first prayer for strength in every other trip we’d made, now would You please give us the strength to finish the rest? And miracle of miracles, as we reached the top of the hill, we noticed that most of the remaining gravel had been removed. We just had one load left. What an unexplainable relief! On the trip down, we were allowed to use a short cut, the main road. We all survived with the realization that we had accomplished the task. Only with Jesus.

I began to learn a valuable lesson that day. We need Jesus for everything, even in
the “natural” parts of life, in the strictly physical realm. That’s why we need to be praying about everything. There is nothing too insignificant for which to knock on the throne room doors. God listens. Even to prayers about using old boats to carry gravel down a nice, muddy hill on a summer evening. Jesus knows, and He cares.

Prayer 13: Evangelism.

Oh Jesus? Please give me a passion for the lost. Give me the courage to walk into their lives . . . with You. Thank You. In Your name. Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 12: Debriefing 15 Minutes of Prayer

It's been almost 2 weeks since I've started this journey of prayer, and because it's so late as I type this and because I'm this far in, I kind of wanted to take some time to debrief and fill you in on how my fifteen minutes of prayer time (in morning and evening) have gone.

One thing that I've loved about setting apart that 15 minutes is that as I continue to do it, it's becoming a habit, and that's so exciting for me!!! Locking myself into a habit is such a freeing feeling. I guess that sounds weird, but it's kind of a control thing. It's saying that this activity that I'm choosing to participate in is my choice, and I've committed to doing it this amount of time so it's becoming natural and part of routine. I'm getting past the mental brick wall of doing this activity. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I encourage you to try to form a new, good habit. It's very exciting! :)

With this debrief, I really do need to be honest and say that I haven't always gotten the strict 15 minutes in daily. For instance, this morning, I had a limited amount of time, so I wanted to make a prayer walk of part of my prayer time so I could get to where I was going and pray during the same time. Yeah, I think that's called cheating. *Smile* Well, the first problem with this is that I had failed to orchestrate my morning around prayer being a priority. I don't want to be legalistic at all about this, but I want to find the balance between holding myself to the commitment and being gracious with myself. ANYWAY, another problem with this theory was that as I was walking and trying to pray (I got pretty distracted actually), I ran into people that I talked with. So, I have had times of failure in this journey, but I guess I've come to the conclusion that because I'm going to try hard not to give up, that victory oversteps the failures in between. I hope that encourages you too in whatever discipline you may be undertaking. Give yourself grace with the small failures. Count the victories. They're so important!!! :) Just not giving up on yourself is its own victory. Press on, friend!

Also, I realize that I don't always engage in very focused prayer. Some of these past few nights I've been so exhausted that I've just kind of sat in Jesus' presence. Sometimes I've just spoken out scattered thoughts, trying to talk things out. I don't feel like I've made a whole lot of progress in praying, but I am so grateful for all the practice in prayer and all the opportunities I'll continue to have, Lord willing, to practice praying! Someone once told me though that you get better at prayer by practicing, and I'm so excited that as Jesus continues to work and as I continue to commit to it, I'll learn how to do this whole thing better ('cause believe you me . . . I have such a long ways to go! haha).

It has been so special though to have times where I know I'm going to spend with Jesus. It's powerful! And He's so good to be right there with me. :)

Dear Father,

Thank You so much for meeting me each time I come to You, for putting up with my pathetic prayers. Please teach me, Jesus. Guide my mouth and my heart and my mind. Teach me oneness with You, so I really know how to pray. I love You. I'm really glad to be Your girl.

In Jesus' Name.

Prayer for Day 12: Fellowship. <3

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 11: Praying To Stand

This morning, I somewhat randomly flipped through the onion skin pages of my NIV Bible, and I landed probably right where I needed to land . . . Luke 22. Jesus knew. WOAH!!!!!! Talk about a packed chapter on prayer! I didn't read it all this morning, but there were a few things that stuck out to me in the section that I read. Because time is getting away from me, I'll just focus on one of those pieces for now.

In Luke 22.32, we see a picture of Jesus staring His disciple, His friend, His passionate Peter right through his eyes into soul. "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." I heard a speaker once on the radio share something to the effect that Jesus knew what was the most powerful thing He could do for Peter, and He did it. Jesus prayed.

Okay, there are two things that stick out to me.

First of all, JESUS prayed.

JESUS. The Son of YHWH. He prayed.

If Jesus had need to pray and/or made use of this power source, how much more need must I have to knock on the throne room doors?

Second of all, Jesus PRAYED.

My natural tendency is to neglect prayer as a source of action. I sometimes see it as a form of passivity, as option B, but Jesus used it as Option A!!!! Jesus PRAYED!!!! This screams volumes about how powerful this is!

Am I captivated and awestruck by the power of prayer?

Am I humbled and filled to know that Jesus prays for His disciples? That He stands in the gap to intercede for us?

"Christ Jesus, who died --- more than that, who was raised to life -- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Romans 8:34b NIV

Jesus prays for me. He prays for you. Oh goodness. I haven't unpacked this to its fullest yet, but I'm left with something to begin to chew on and meditate on. This is beautiful!

Prayer for Day 11: Protection.

Dear Father,

Thank You for letting me call You "Father." Please help me to see prayer with new eyes, YHWH, with Your eyes. Thank You, Jesus, for praying for me!!!! WOW!!!!

I'm tired tonight. I am ashamed at my weakness and laziness to serve You in times like these when I'm tired. This is wrong. Please forgive me, and help me to press through to give You all I have, even when I don't feel like it. Oh You are worthy! You are So Worthy!

I love You, Jesus! Thank You for loving me.

In Jesus' name.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 10: Being Honest

It was sweet summer, and I was tucked away among the tough, strong trees at my church's summer camp, loving life and needing Jesus. It was evening, and we had the daily campfire and Jesus stirred in my heart. In the quiet and the darkness, I stepped forward to the benches up front closest to the campfire, and the speaker's wife sat near me and held me as I cried, not understanding why the tears ran.

"Don't be afraid to be honest with Him, danae. Be honest with Jesus."

I haven't forgotten her words.

Be honest with Jesus, danae. Be honest.

This seems so obvious. Of course we should be honest before the all-knowing God, yet my natural instinct is often to shirk behind the curtains in His throne room. I know He knows me (whether I tell Him all my secrets or not), but how often do I open myself to Him? How often do I undress the deepest, most vulnerable pieces of my broken soul before Him? How often do I put words to my embarrassing situations, the shameful sins, and silly fears and give them to Him in their rawness?

How often do I tell Him when I'm angry, when I'm excited, when I'm hurting, when I don't understand what He's doing but that it hurts intensely? How often do I tell Him what I'm struggling with and let Him in to the areas of my heart where I store the deepest treasures of my dreams and the darkest depths of my fears and failure scars? Do I tell Him when I don't feel like loving Him (but want to!)? (Forgive me, Jesus. It's good for me to say that sometimes, isn't it? After all You know it anyway. Sometimes I don't.) Sometimes, I just need to be honest with myself and in so doing, be honest with Him.

One thing I'm trying to figure out as I desire to learn how to pray more is even what I should be praying about? God tells His people to pour out our hearts before God like water. One lady illustrated this idea so well by sharing a literal visualization of pouring out a pitcher of water. If we pour ourselves out, we are emptying ourselves of us. I want to do that when I pray, friends! I want to empty everything before Jesus, and I think this happens when I'm honest with Jesus, when I'm brave enough to put words to the darkness in me and the fears and the sin. Let's do it. Let's let Jesus conquer our darkness by His marvelous light. It's okay to be honest. :)

The prayer for day 10: Self-Control.

Sovereign Lord,

You are Mighty and Worthy! I am unworthy. Thank You for loving me here in my brokenness. Please, Lord, teach me to be honest and open before You. Help me to verbalize when I don't understand, to be courageous enough to put words to my feelings. You already know. Teach me what this means to be honest with You and yet to continue to show You respect as God. I don't want to forget who You are.

And Lord? Please anchor me in Your self-control. Help me to be a person who knows that the most important things are those which are unseen, and it is worth it for me to wait for these things instead of indulging in the useless trappings of earth while I'm here. Break me, Jesus. You know my heart. I worship myself. I give in to myself. You know. Oh You know. Please make me more like You.

I love You. Let me love with everything.

In Jesus' name.

Oops! Sorry guys . . . I technically put down the wrong prayer for day 10. The Day 10 prayer is actually for patience. Sorry 'bout that! Maybe Jesus knew I need a lot of prayer for self-control! :) Smile. It's true . . . :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9: Idol Worship

I whisper it out the window, ashamed … appalled… “The only thing that prevents me from praying more is me.”

The sparrows line the hydro wires out by the mailbox.

“It’s my own inflated sense of self-importance, the elevation of my work, of my agenda, that keeps me from prayer-communion.”
I turn to face him.

“That’s called idol worship. I don’t pray enough because I’m practicing idol worship.”

- Ann Voskamp from her post found Here.

If you have a second, please take a moment to follow the link to read Ann's full post, to click on some of her links.

Ann's heart for prayer and finding those quiet places is beautiful and encouraging . . . and convicting.

Ann Voskamp points out that believing we don't have enough time to pray is a form of idol worship; it's putting our agenda and ourselves as ultimate and most important. It is neglecting our frailty and our need for only fully Jesus. I am guilty. Please check out her blog! It is so beautiful and worth reading!


This Sunday, I want to set another time goal for this week. Last week, my goal was 15 minutes each morning before my first activity (class/chapel). This morning, I didn't get the full 15 minutes in. I didn't get around fast enough / wake up early enough. I hope that can encourage you in a roundabout way as it reminds you that I need so much grace and that just because I (or we) fail, doesn't mean it's over. :) So, I'll get back on my feet: It's a new week!!!! :)

The goal for this upcoming week is to again pray 15 minutes before my first morning class/chapel and then 15 minutes before I go to bed. :) This is still small, but if I can gain victory in the small, I can press onward to the bigger victories. Journey with me?

The prayer for day 9 is Love. <3

Dear Father,

Oh Father God, I could probably write pages and pages about my need for love and for the ability to actually really love people and to really, sincerely love You.

Please, teach me to love. I have names, Sovereign Lord. I have names of certain people that I struggle to love, and it's not because I don't want to love them. NOT AT ALL. It's quite the opposite. The problem is, I don't know how to love them the way You've asked me to love them. My love isn't enough. It's shallow and selfish. It is destructive, not healing. It's not what they need.

And then, YHWH, there are people I don't feel like putting in the energy to love. I am so wretched. I am dark and dirty. I'm sorry, Jesus. Please forgive me when I don't love them, when I don't love my brothers and sisters in You. Please give me the strength. Please fill me with Your love to give and Your creativity to love well.

And YHWH? How do I love You? Oh I want to be so fully devoted and passionate to love my King honestly, sincerely. When I say "I love You," I want to mean it to the deepest extent that I would do anything to prove it. ANYTHING. Please, great Teacher, teach me what it means to love You. To be FILLED and motivated with Love for You.

I really do love You, Jesus. Please expand and deepen and purify that love. Help me to say: Do whatever it takes.

In Jesus' name.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 8: He Hears Us

I have several stories of prayers Jesus has answered, but there are two particular stories I wanted to share with you! The first is the first prayer I remember God literally answering. The second is a silly answer to prayer that just spun me in circles, awestruck that God would listen to a little girl like me, praying the silly prayer I did. :)There have been a LOT of prayers that I've seen Jesus answering since then (and hopefully I'll get to share more stories later), but these were two that let my child-heart know that Jesus cares and listens . . . even to me.

The first one has to do with my violin. This story is so close to my heart, no matter how child-like it may seem.

When I was little, probably younger than fourth grade, I really, really wanted to learn how to play the violin. I wanted to learn to make it sing.

I remember going outside one day, walking around in the backyard, pouring my heart out to Jesus. I told Him I really wanted to play, that I'd play everyday if I could. Please, God? Please?

I don't know what sent me outside that day. I don't remember praying a lot outside when I was a little girl.

Well, if you move the screen forward a small matter of time, you'll see a picture of me playing in the playroom with my sister, and I hear something.

"Ssh. Briana? What's that?"

And I RACE upstairs at the sound of a violin. I figure my cousin is maybe here (he plays).

And I follow the sound, into my parents' bedroom. And there.

There, my dad is holding up a violin, trying to make some sort of noise come out of the instrument.

My eyes probably lit up like sunbeams when I found out that the violin my dad was holding would be mine to borrow from my cousin, that I would get to begin taking lessons from a lady named Marilyn.

And Jesus cared!! The God of the Impossible stepped into my life to hand me a gift. I still play violin, and I love it. It's a very special reminder that Jesus cares about me, about my dreams. He listens to my prayers.

The second prayer happened in junior high I think. Okay, a pretty funny story. During this time and into high school, I really didn't see the power of prayer. I prayed, but I didn't grasp the depth and power of it. Anyways, during junior high, I went with my choir to a music festival in Washington. Our choir stayed in a hotel room, and I remember being woken up in the night by one of the mom chaperones (not my mom by the way. wink.) snoring. Very. Loudly. And friends, I didn't know how I'd get back to sleep! And I was really concerned about getting sleep. :) Well, I remember praying in that hotel room, just asking Jesus to cause her to Stop Snoring! I was desperate.

And the funny thing was, . . . in just a little bit, the snoring stopped. Funny. Chance? Not at all. This prayer seems so silly, but it is a prayer that I look back on to remember that Jesus does listen to me, even as a young girl or a young woman.

We can pray like He's listening. Because He is.

Day 8 prayer: Self-Control.

Oh Father,

You are Sovereign Lord. Thank You for holding me in Your hands. You direct me and love me. Please keep me in Your path.

Sovereign Lord, would You please root in me a self-control. I can FAIL at this miserably, especially in my interactions with people, with stupid things like food and facebook time. Please forgive me, Lord. Holy Spirit, please put Your fruit in me, Your self-control.

Thank You for this day, Jesus. Please help me to follow You alone.

I love You. Teach me what love really is, God.

In Jesus' name.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 7: Praying to the Sovereign Lord

"And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4.31)

What is this prayer that shakes places and opens us up to be filled with His Spirit?

Previously, the Bible shares with us the prayer the believers prayed. It was a prayer for boldness. There are a few interesting things that stick out to me in this passage, but one is this:

They addressed God as Sovereign Lord.

As "they lifted their voices together to God," they were coming to Him in His Sovereignty and Lordship. They were believing that He could accomplish what they asked of Him.

I'm not sure how connected that part of the prayer is in making this an earth-shaking prayer, but I think there must be great significance in how we address God in prayer and also who we believe God is when we come to Him in prayer.

When I pray, do I trust God that He has things in control?

Do I trust that He is even capable of giving me what I need and directing me?

I don't want to lose sight of the God I'm praying to when I pray. Friends, it is so easy. So easy to lose sight of YHWH, of the KING as we pray. I have this theory that needs to be tested, and it goes like this: Earth shaking prayers are prayed by warriors who know who their God is and because of this, know what to ask Him.

What do you think?

Prayer for Day 7 is Peace

Dear Father,

Thank You for Friday. Thank You, thank You, thank You. We made it. :) Oh Jesus, I have so much to do for this week. But You are Sovereign Lord. You have me in Your hands. Please give me the strength to press through.

Please give me Your peace, Jesus. Please help me to carry it with me so others can experience Your peace through Your presence in me. Sovereign Lord, please come.

I'm so glad I'm Yours.
I love You. I want to really love You, Jesus.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 6: Ongoing, Deadline. Impossible. Praying Concrete.

I have a couple of prayer journals, but one is a journal that I write down prayer requests in and try to keep record of the answers. It is SO EXCITING to read the records of how Jesus has answered. I've noticed though that it's often the more concrete, specific prayers that I see visible answers to. I think there's such value in being specific in our prayers (not being manipulative or demanding but being humble and yet bold).

Along this line of making specific, measurable requests to Jesus, I feel like there are 3 types of prayers (I'm making this up as I go. Wink). There are 1) ongoing prayers, 2) deadline prayers, and then there are the 3) impossible prayers. :)

Ongoing prayers: These are the prayers for which we need daily answers. They may seem a little more abstract, but there can eventually be seen literal answers. An example of this type of prayer would be praying for patience towards people. I will be able to see evidence of Jesus at work as I pray for this, but I will most likely never see the prayer fully answered here on earth.

Deadline prayers:
These are the prayers prayed for something with a time limit, a prayer that could be witnessed to be fully answered. This is like the prayer for the job or the prayer for enough strength for that paper that needs to be turned in five days from now. Those types of prayers. They may be prayers in the moment or for future things.

Impossible prayers: Mmm. These types of prayers fascinate me the most and get me most excited. :) These are the prayers of boldness that many of us don't offer up because we either don't know all we can ask for, and/or we're scared of being wrong in asking for it. These are the prayers that people know can't be answered on a human level. These are the prayers for the salvation of the atheist neighbor, the prayer that God would heal, the prayer that God would bring in enough money to send us to Bible school or the mission trip, the prayer that Jesus would use us to bring someone to Him in the next week. (And those may not even be the boldest of prayers. There may be a higher level of boldness out there. Smile).

Well, my goal by the end of this week: Come up with 2 deadline prayers and 2 impossible prayers. :) I'll try to share at least some of them with you, so you can be witnesses! :)

PS The "ongoing prayer" for day 5 is for "Joy." :)

Dear Jesus,
Please help me to be creative in what I pray for . . . and bold. Please help me to pray in Your will, Jesus.

And may I humbly ask for Your joy? Please fill me, Jesus. Thank You that You give me all I need. Thank You for Your forgiveness toward me today. I needed it.

I love You, Jesus. (still more love, Jesus? please? help me?)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5: Deeper than Communication

As I've begun this journey to try to figure out more about prayer and to grow deeper with Jesus, I feel like I'm a little stuck because I'm not even sure what questions I should be asking about prayer to take me deeper. This is a roadblock because I feel like one of the best ways to seek something out is to ask the right questions. Right answers are clues. Watch towers. They lift you up a little more to see a higher landscape and to point you to your destination.

Yesterday, I tried to ask the basic question. I asked a few people, "What is the purpose of prayer?" I pretty much got one response. People tied prayer with communication with God. As I'm typing this out, I wonder if that is only a very small portion of it.

Communication. As I typed that word the first time, something just clicked.


Woah, woah, woah!


That's IT! Oh, this is looking familiar! I think Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience talked about this concept once.

Prayer is about Communing with God, about a soul-deep, spirit-connecting intimacy with the Almighty.

I love Revelations 3:20.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me."

I wonder if this is maybe what prayer is supposed to be about, about us opening the door to our hearts, letting Jesus in, and having a meal with Him, sharing life with Him, never forgetting that He is God.

Now if this really is the case, how does that change the way we pray?

For me, this type of spirit-deep prayer invites me to just be danae . . . to come my whole, broken self to Jesus and let Him come in and know me fully. It means I can find a safety in prayer, in purposefully being with Jesus, because it's just Him and me, and He knows me and wants to share life with me. Maybe we should be picturing at least one type of prayer as coming to the dinner table to meet with Jesus. To let Him fill us and feed us and let His presence change us. Maybe?

Dear Father,

Is this really Biblical? Because I don't want to just make pretty sounding answers. What is prayer, Jesus? It seems like an answer for that should be much deeper than a one word conclusion, doesn't it? Isn't there more? Please help me to ask the right questions.

Thank You for bringing me through another day. I still have a lot of homework. It's Yours. Thank You for holding me up, for knocking on our hearts.

I love You. (please, "more love to Thee")
In Jesus' name.

PS The prayer for Day 4 was serving. My apologies for the delay for that. I was away from my list when I wrote my blog post.

The prayer for Day 5 is for blessing. I might try to talk about that later. It's such a unique prayer!

Have a wonderful day, Loved-Of-The-Lord!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4: Preparing My Heart

I woke up from about seven hours of sleep, tired and groggy. I showered and got ready for the day, grabbed the timer, and headed into my special stairwell for a fifteen minute meeting with the Creator of the Universe.

Silly danae.

And I struggled with focusing and staying awake. I didn't know what to pray for or how to pray.

But I think I could pull two things from this morning.

#1. I'm pretty sure that even if I am groggy and not fully awake and can't even think very clearly, Jesus is still happy to let me just sit and be still in His presence. He knows I need it, knows sometimes, I just need to be still.

#2. I should be constantly praying throughout the whole day, but when I set a specific amount of time to meet with Jesus, I don't necessarily have to let it be the first thing in the morning. I can give myself some time to wake up. ;) After all, how many times have I scheduled meetings with my friends right after I woke up? God is much more than my Friend; He's my Father, and He knows what a sleepy-headed daughter looks like, but I think it shows that I really want to learn from HIM if I can wake up a little before I meet with Him.

Just silly musings. What do you think?


Thank You so much for letting me just be danae in Your presence. For letting me just sit awhile with You, You loving me where I'm at. Please help me to do better at spending more quality time, at preparing my mind for those special moments that I have set aside for You and only You. Teach me to pray, Jesus. Please?

I love You (help me!).
In Jesus' name,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3: Praying with My Hands

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

- Paul in Philippians 4:6-7

Friends! Jesus helped me make my first prayer goal today of 15 minutes before the first event of my day! (Every little victory counts, beloved. Count them!) I can't say I had any strong revelations today about prayer though, but I won't give up. There's way too much of a treasure store out there somewhere that will reveal the treasure and depth and power and healing of prayer. I'll keep looking. Help me?

One thing that I started doing occasionally this summer though was giving things over to Jesus with my hands and with prayer. As I pray, I start by holding my hands, palms out, right out in front of me, and I pray what's in my heart. I pray them into my hands.

Jesus, I don't know what to do about a home church this semester. Or do I? I really want to find a place like my old church, Jesus. I don't know how I'm going to do it.

And then I lift my arms to Jesus, extending my hands out, palms toward heaven, and my worries leave my hands and are placed in the hands of Jesus.

It's more than a mental picture to me. It's a physical, literal handing over because you see, if I really believe that God is who He says He is and that my temporary struggles are not what are eternally important, I can realize that He is big enough to LITERALLY take my worries. I don't need them. (And He Does Take Them!!!!)

And when I let go, He is the One in charge of orchestrating my life. I can trust Him to take me through it. I can feel it, friends. I can feel the way He takes my burdens. Now, sometimes I have to lift up the same things over and over, but if I trust Him to take care of it, I don't have to worry. Hallelujah.

I encourage you to try it, to use your hands to reach Heaven. It's true. Once we can present our prayers, petitions, thanksgiving to Jesus, His peace swoops in and diffuses with gentle force into our hearts and minds, protecting us. Protecting us from our own worry. Protecting us from losing our focus on Jesus.

How are you using your posture or your hands to pray?

PS The prayer for day 3 is for integrity. <3

Father in Heaven,
Would You please make me a woman of integrity? There are many corners, Jesus, where there are hidden places of compromise, of half-hearted devotion. You hate that, don't You? Thank You for working on me. Please let my heart be full of integrity, not just my actions. I love You, Jesus.

Thanks for being with me today. We made it. :) Through botany exam and work. You're so present, and I'm so glad, Jesus. :)Thank You so much for calling me to Yourself and to be on Your team. I'm so glad I am.

I love You. (but still not enough. help me!)

In Jesus' name,
amen. <3

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Journey of Prayer: Day 2

"I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it."
John Wesley

I love that quote. I love the fact that even though it doesn't feel true, I'm pretty sure it probably is. :) And it's quite relevant to this American crazyness.

It's the beginning of the week, and my first goal on this prayer journey is to set a time goal for this first week. The goal? Spend 15 minutes each day this week before Jesus in prayer. I just spent that time tonight, but for the rest of the week, I want to set a "deadline" per day. I want to have spent that 15 minutes with Jesus before my first class each day or before chapel if that's the first thing of my day. I'm doing this because sometimes, it's really easy for me to push off prayer and not make it a priority for the moment. Plus, if I can align my day with prayer, I think I'd be aligning my day right.

Plus, that 15 minutes will give me time to ask Jesus to teach me how to pray. :) I'm going to need to be praying a lot of that prayer these 31 days. :)

15 minutes isn't much. It's not hours and hours, but it's a start. Come join me?

Do you have a prayer goal for the week? A time commitment?

PS: The prayer for day 2 is for passion.

Dear Father,

You know me. You know how I can sometimes be so passionless for anything other than myself. Ouch. You know how I worship myself. Oh Jesus. Please forgive me. Bring me lower to ask for Your forgiveness.

Help me to open my hands, so You can take and give what You will. Please give passion, Jesus. Passion to love You, to obey You, to serve You, to worship You, to pray.

Reach into my gray, Jesus. Please bring fireworks of color, of passion . . . for You.

I love You. But not enough. Please teach me to love You, Lord.

In Jesus' name.

((Picture courtesy of Reflections of Joy Photography, a photography business run by my very talented and beautiful sister, Briana. Check out her work on her Reflections of Joy Photography facebook page! She's amazing!!!))

Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days of . . . Prayer

There's this new gig happening this month among a huge crowd of Christian blogging women who are committing to writing a blog post daily for the whole month of October on a certain topic of their choice. (You can click here to find links of several women who are accepting the challenge, and some of them have AMAZING ideas!)

Well, if you know me, you may know that I'm a sucker for new resolutions (whether for a new year, new week, new month, . . . you name it!). I also love to blog, so I'm jumping on board. (I just said that, didn't I? Committed.)

My topic of choice? Prayer. After looking at some of the other topics just now, I left feeling like this seemed kind of "common" and uncreative, but the truth is, it's so very important, and I trust that this could be extremely powerful for me, so I'm taking a leap. This may be more of a journey for me than it may be for someone reading this little space o' mine, but I welcome you to follow along, asking that you would be patient and gracious with me. I'm going to need it! Smile.

I don't totally have a plan yet as to what this will look like, though I hope it will involve me sharing different ways I'm learning to pray or different methods I find to help me remember to pray, etc. I'm excited!! I feel like this has so much potential to be a tunnel into growth for me.

Also, at the end of each post, I'll try to share a characteristic that I'll be praying for in that day. I have a praying-through-the-month list inside my closet door that I received at a Women's Conference awhile back. It gives one characteristic per day for which to pray. For Day 1, the prayer is for PURITY.

Well, I humbly thank you for reading along! I'd love to hear your insights into prayer as well. Maybe we can help each other along through this. :) Have a lovely night and a wonderful October!

Dear Father,

Thank You for loving me and giving me a love for words. Would You please speak to me and teach me as I enter this prayer journey, as I type out my words here in order to find and share creative ways to search for You? Please help me to be faithful and consistent. I need Your strength, even in the little things like blogging for 31 days. Please help me.

Jesus, here I am. Thank You that You've promised to keep working on me. Please clean me out, Jesus. Make me PURE -- like You.

In Jesus' name.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thank You for Blood Red

Almost all of my inner circle of friends know that occasionally, I get very blood dripping nose bleeds. Yep. Gross. The crazy, funny thing is that I get them at the most AWKWARD, CREATIVE times! Ha! :) I've gotten them in the airport when it was time to step onto the plane. I've had one in church. I get them in the shower, and in the past, I've woken up to them. I've gotten a gushing one on a date. Now THAT was funny. Definitely created a memory!! :) One I got during a convocation chapel when it was all serious, and I couldn't really get out of my chair. I got one during a New Years party. Yeah. You get the picture.

But even though they can be gross and sometimes very awkward, I'm thankful for them. They're the trigger that reminds me of Jesus. And sometimes, it's a trigger of comic relief. :)

Last week, I was sitting on a dorm room floor of one of my dear friends. I was sharing with her my grey, hard day, and she prayed, and I cried. Oh how good it feels to cry some days. And after she hugged me, and I just sat, tears falling, I wiped my nose, and . . . BLOOD!!!!!!!!! How Did You Guess?! haha :) Oh but it made me laugh. Of course. :) Of course it would come at this time. And my sweet friend was so gracious, and I hopped up and headed to the bathroom, laughing and bleeding and thankful for God's silly sense of humor. :) He is good, and I love the way He reminds me that He's here. He is. I'm so thankful of the way that He lets me cry and then lets me laugh. He is so present with us, sweet friends. And sometimes, He shows up in the funniest ways in the oddest of places, but I want to catch these moments like a little girl with a butterfly net. It's been a while since I've done a thank you post, and thanks in good part to my sister for her inspiration with her blog ( . . . worth checking out!!! Really!!!! You should do it!!), I think it's about time I counted the gifts of Jesus and said thanks.

So Jesus?

Thank You:

for the new friends I've made this year already. There are such beautiful gems going to Multnomah. (And I haven't even met 'em all yet!)

for the new job! YOU PROVIDED!!!

for skype dates with my sister and hearing she's got a plane ticket home for December and flying into an airport NEARBY!!! YES!

for the way that You totally covered all of my fears! Jesus, You've taken care of the "new's": new job, new ministry, new church. It's pretty much locked into place, yes? Hasn't always been easy, but You've answered and walked with me!

for Miss K listening to me and letting me cry (and bleed! haha), for her letting me be weak. Sometimes it just feels good to be weak and broken. To let that be okay, where you're at.

for the way my ecology teacher brought in a TURTLE! to class!!!! That was so fun.

for the way that we two laughed when he brought in that turtle as the little guy moved his little feet semi-frantically. :)

for the way that KT keeps me accountable with complaining. It's good to have a friend that will do that!

for how You give me the love and strength to love by letting go. It can be so hard, Jesus. It's a very different way for me to love but please keep filling me up with You.

for the opportunity to play Ultimate Frisbee with my home church's college group last Sunday.

for the courage and something-to-say to speak up in my World Lit class last week.

for the way Mulled Spices candles smell and how the fall leaves crunch and crinkle.

for big sunflowers. You are love.

for the way You've pointed out LIGHT to me. You are Light. Let me be a reflecting light, Jesus?

for how the elderly people clap when I play music. Kind audience.

for Bible reading homework . . . how I could finish reading 1 Samuel twice last night/this morning. :)

for sweet sisters' notes in my mailbox. for such encouraging words in my Facebook inbox. for the spoken words, the "I'm so proud of you" from Miss K. We all need encouragement.

for being present, Jesus. For being KIND and GENTLE. For meeting me in this very moment and filling me up. For teaching me how to love You (please don't stop!). Thank You for nose bleeds and all the different ways You try to get my attention. You are so wonderful, LORD. You are so Loved.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mysterious River

"Let it be said of me that I knew I wasn’t in control. Let it be said that I threw my hands in the air, took the free-fall and found my joy deep in His mysterious river."

Oh this free-falling. Jesus? Please help me to see this free-falling as adventure. You and me. Together. We got this.

I don't need to be afraid. I don't need to fear new churches, new friends, new people.

Jesus, there's so much new. New job? New ministry. New room. New year.



But we've got this.

You knew.

You knew before You finished shaping my lungs and my toes and my tendons that this free-falling was coming.

You knew.

You know.

You're here.

Now it's time to let go.

Mysterious river. <3 <3