Wednesday, December 30, 2009
That almost sums up our past two months! Stephen and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time with family and each other. This truly has been a unique season for us to spend every single day over the past 3 months together. :) And no, I haven't gotten sick of it yet. Stephen is my best friend, lover, and the most balanced leader I have ever known. In short...he's my hero!
Along with the good times, I've also experienced some moments of anxiety, worry, loneliness, anger giving it all to God, and then taking it all back again. God has taught me SO many lessons in this short period of time that I will never forget. There's nothing like going through a storm (big or small) and finding that God as been right in the middle of it all along. I love how the Lord desires that kind of intimacy with me! It is incredibly humbling to see how undeserving I am to take part in the many blessings AND trials that He seems fitting to bring my way. Like David, I've watched myself come full circle time and time again. I'm thankful that I can be honest and vulnerable with God, that he can rebuke and teach me, that I can learn, and in turn draw nearer to Him. ::Sigh:: He's so awesome.
Well, this is the moment Stephen and I have been waiting for! The Navy has kept us on our toes over the past month. We were not sure if Stephen was going to be attending ODS (Officer Development School in Rhode Island) in January or May. It's been nerve wrecking not knowing one way or the other. Thankfully, we just heard back from the recruiter and Stephen will be leaving this Saturday to fly to SD for commissioning and will get back on a plane that evening to go to Rhode Island! He also received orders for Norfolk, VA when he finishes the second part of his training in South Carolina. We were SO excited about this as we'll only be a few hours away from family. After Stephen has lived away from them for about 10 years...it's nice to be close again. Many things have been falling into place at the last min before training and it could only have been at God-speed. I'm so proud of Stephen for all of his hard work as I can now call him....LieutenantJG Griffin! I will miss him terrriiibllly while he's training for several weeks but I know God will see us both through.
I should probably end here... As always, thank you for your prayers and we hope they continue!! We're excited about this journey and where the next step takes us.
Pictures to come! :)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
We had a great trip to Georgia this week! It was so awesome to meet some great missionary and chaplain candidates along with their wives. The three days we spent at NAMB was incredible. They literally spoiled us and went out of their way to make us feel at “home”. We had a two hour flight to ATL and then loaded a shuttle with about 30-40 other candidates. We got to the hotel where we were all going to be staying and it was beautiful! NAMB provided for our air fare, hotel, transportation, and all of our meals. God definitely used them to make us feel loved and encouraged. :) The NAMB facilities were beautiful and the people were so friendly. Some of my favorite things about this trip were: getting to meet other chaplain’s wives and hearing their stories, learning all I could from the retired chaplains, getting to spend time with Stephen and experience this with him, and seeing how well our interview went and the peace God gave us through it. It was sad to leave the new friends that we got to know. I pray, if the Lord wills, we’ll be able to see some of them again down the road. It got even better, though. On our flight home, God had us sit next to a 1st Sergeant in the Army! He was on his way back home from being in Afghanistan. Stephen was able to share with him our story and have a great conversation with him. He gave us his contact information if we ever need anything in the future. Seeing him greet his weeping wife at the airport was SO heart wrenching! It was such a special moment.
The executive committee at NAMB is reviewing our application for endorsement today. We were told that no news from NAMB is good news. :) So hopefully, we’ll be hearing from our Navy recruiter soon that everything went through o.k. Our endorsement is the last thing that we have been waiting for in order for our application to the Navy to be complete. If all goes well, Stephen will be going before the Navy Care-board on November 17th and Officer Candidate School in January. This is all tentative, of course. ;-)
Prayer Requests! Stephen and I need prayer to continually give over our worries and concerns to God through this uncertain season of our lives. And to remember that we desperately need YOUR prayer support! THANK YOU!! This verse has been on my heart and mind lately, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind in stayed on You because he trusts in You.”
Here are some pictures of our trip to NAMB:
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Me on my first scooter ride :) Such a fun time! My beginnings of becoming a "biker"
Stephen and I standing near the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse in Daytona Beach
Stephen and I with our cute little nieces and nephew: Sarah, J.R., Jasmine, and little Julie ;-)Me with J.R. He was making me laugh SO hard! Gotta love little boys
Jasmine, little Julie, and Sarah
After spending the night at my sisters, we drove up to Virginia and got to have lunch with my sister-in-law and her family before the last leg of our journey up to Maryland. It was awesome! Our dog Mac Mac, did very well and we made it to Stephen's parents house in good time. I wish I would have gotten a picture of our room after we unloaded our car! There were piles knee high covering the entire floor with our "stuff". I have no idea how we got all of that into our car! It took us several days to get settled in but we finally did. :)
The question I feel we are getting asked the most is, "What do you guys do everyday?!" Ha! Well, let me tell you, it's been very different for us to not have something on the schedule everyday and every night. Since the day we got married, Stephen and I have been on the go 24/7 with work, school, ministry, and events...never was there a dull moment. Our lives have been changed dramatically and now we are just enjoying this free time with each other! As we move closer and closer to going into the military, I know there will be plenty of times when I will be far away from Stephen...so I'm soaking up all I can now. He's such an amazing, fun, and lovable man! We've been able to take care of "loose ends", do some eeeearly Christmas shopping (it's just us and the senior citizens at the mall during the day), got to go to my very first football game to see the Redskins vs the Eagles, a Pearl Party with my mom-in-law, a Candle Party with my sis-in-law, a Golf Tournament/Memorial for a family friend, Nick, who was killed while fighting in Iraq, visited Arlington Cemetery and Nick's grave, visited Natural History Museum, and I've been able to cook for my in-laws throughout the week (which I love to do!). Here are a few pictures that I've taken while we've been here:
Stephen has been wearing a "Freedom Isn't Free" wrist band in memory of his friend, Nick, for the past few years. He wanted to visit Nick's grave and leave the band on his tomb. It was so moving to watch and so heart wrenching to see new graves being dug for those who are still giving their lives for our country.
Redskins vs Eagles football game!
Just a little bit of Fall over here in Maryland!
I know it's time to end this post, but before I do I wanted to ask for prayer. Stephen and I leave for Duluth, GA this Monday for a three day conference/interview with the North American Missions Board. If they decided to endorse us then Stephen's next interview will be with the Navy on November 17th. We're very excited about this trip and pray that God's will be done.
"Lord, thank You for Your provision for us and Your protection. I pray that You would forgive me for my heart that is prone to wonder far from You and the shelter of Your wings. Thank You for Your continual mercy and grace. We would be lost without You. Please remove any fear, anxiety, or worry from us and grant us peace that passes all understanding. We love You and are SO grateful for the intimacy we are able to share with You through Your Son, Jesus! Amen"
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
As Stephen drove, we came across 8 hours of almost non-stop heavy duty rain. We've become very acclimated to the blissfulness of San Diego weather...so needless to say...we received a big wake up call! With motorcycle and trailer in tow, Stephen had his eyes intensely fixed on the road through thick traffic and tough weather. There were many times I thought we were going to hydroplane or our trailer was going to flip over. I had to close my eyes, step on my imaginary break petals ;) and just pray for safety and protection! We saw God's graciousness to us as we passed many car accidents that could have been us.
With great thankfulness I can say that we've made it safely to our hotel in Pensacola, Fl! Thank you again for your prayers!
Good night all~
Thursday, October 8, 2009
We arrived in El Paso, TX early Tuesday morning and enjoyed a fabulous visit with Stephen's extended family. I brought a stomach flu bug with me from San Diego and it decided to raise its ugly head on our second day in El Paso. Other than being bed-ridden while visiting family, we both had a great time! This morning we started our 11 hour drive to Houston, TX and have finally reached our hotel. Our puppy, Mac Mac or Maximus :) is already nestled into his doggy bed fast asleep. Stephen has driven the ENTIRE way so far. We have a trailer hitched to our car with his motorcycle balanced on it. That may be one reason he has decided to take the reigns so far. ;)
Tomorrow we begin another drive to somewhere around Pensacola, FL. It's been so much fun taking this long road trip with my hubby! I love how we both enjoy just "being" together whether it's singing songs, talking, planning, praying, studying, or being silent. I'm so blessed to be married to him! However, we both are anxious to get to our destination in NSB, FL where we will stay for a week before traveling up north.
I'm going to log off now, but I just wanted to post an update with where we are at right now. Thank you for your prayers as we have been blessed with safety this far! I hope you all have a good nights rest and I'll post more as soon as I'm able to.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Along with moving, our days and evenings have been full of meeting with friends and family for final farewells. Our friends put together a small good bye party for us on Sunday. Everyone signed a book with memories or thoughts they had for Stephen and I! We both wanted to cry when we got to read through them. I feel SO blessed to have genuine, life-long friends. I know the big "Good Bye" is coming up soon...but I'd like to save all those tears until the veeeerrryy last min. I'll probably cry my eyes out for the first 500 miles of our journey!
Tomorrow is our last night with the young adult ministry where Stephen has been serving as one of the pastors for several years. He is going to preach his last message and we will have our final farewell with all of the amazing people whose lives we've been able to be apart of. This is going to be extremely tough! We both have come to love these people like they are part of our own family. An authentic, genuine, and real Christian community has been shared and cultivated in this ministry and we are going to miss this immensely! With sadness, we also have great joy for the future of this group...we know God's going to continue to bless it.
Well, I'm going to get back to routing our map across the country, boxing up our house, and trying to decided what clothes go in suitcases, boxes, or bags! :)
I read this passage this morning and it was very encouraging to me. Just a reminder that all of this "daily grind" kind of work is for a purpose! We have a mission and it's already begun:
"So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives. Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy; you be holy." 1 Peter 1:13-16 Message
"Father, please help us to keep our hearts and minds focus on you. I'm tempted to become fearful and scared of all the unknowns that are up ahead. We desperately need you! Thank you for your grace and for being our "very present help" I love you!-Julie"
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
2. The care, guardianship, and control exercised by a deity; divine direction
3. Providence God.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Destination: Washington D.C., Richmond V.A., & Myrtle Beach SC
I only will post a few pictures because there are 2,000 (I’m not kidding) to go through. In the Griffin family, they refer to people who take a million pictures of anything and everything as a, “Camera Nazi.” :) Stephen’s mom graciously takes all of our memory sticks at the end of every vacation and burns DVDs for everyone. This year she collected 9 cameras and that’s how we ended up with 2,000 photos! It’s awesome…I love it.
We had a wonderful time visiting with Stephen’s family! Spending a full 2 weeks there was such a special treat. Traditionally, we got play many games of family poker, tromped through a lusciously green forest where Stephen picked up poison ivy (Ouch!), toured the Pentagon with Stephen’s sister (amazing), were treated to one too many beautiful dinners at National Harbor, became “beach potatoes” for a whole week in SC, played in the warm ocean, read books, got burnt for the first time! :), enjoyed the Jacuzzi, played in the pools, spent many nights talking into the wee morning hours, spent time with our adorable nieces and nephews, got stung by a jelly fish (Stephen’s sting was worse than mine…poor guy!), and one of my favorite moments was the family sharing time with all of us in one room. I love getting to hear how I can pray for everyone individually and also hear what God’s been doing in their lives specifically. It was SO relaxing and we could not have had a better time!
The photo above is a view of our resort from the pier. It was Beautiful! I must say that it had been YEARS since I last actually got into the ocean up until this trip. There wasn't any seaweed, it was warm, and the waves weren't too big...just right! :)
Friday, August 7, 2009
It doesn't end there! Monday morning at work, a co-worker of mine sends out a "Verse of the Day" to all in our department. You will not believe what verse she sent. Yes! Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". She had no idea what my personal connection to this verse was, but I believe that God was reminding once again to...Rest, Julie, humble yourself and cast your burdens on me. My eyes got watery and my heart melted as I thought about the God of the entire universe taking interest in me! Seeing my needs and offering his strong and loving arms to carry my load.
Folks, I'm not kidding, there is one more story. :) Yesterday, while reading a book I started recently called, Deeper-Living in the Reality of God's Love, I came across a story that the author was sharing. She said that she had been wrapped up in the daily grind of Christian life...like a hampster running on his wheel and his eyes pointed straight ahead. She was saying that God gripped her heart one morning (much like my experience) and she was convicted that she was "Talking like everything depended on God but living like everything depended on her!" Ouch. That was convicting. I could totally relate. I think it's probably one of the hardest things in the world for women to just "be still". The author said that as she was laying in bed the verse came to her mind, "Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." God knew exactly what she needed to hear to stop performing and start living in and rely on God's love for her. She said, "Perfection is the lie, performance is the lifestyle, and fear, depression, anxiety are the out come." Once again, I was met with the whisper in my ear to REST.
I talked to my counselor about this and she said that one of the ways women represent God's image is through rest and beauty. We bring a calm and peace to tense situations and we always look to beautify what we come in contact with.
I'm leaving for vacation today but thought I would share this before I go. We'll be visiting Stephen's family in D.C. and South Carolina. This is a much needed time of REST for us and I pray that we would also be a source of encouragement to our family we go to visit.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
This brings me to the message by SM Lockridge, I listened to it again this morning and was so encouraged because Lockridge reminded me of who my God really is! You can read it (below) or listen to it...I reccomend listening at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX_7j32zgNw
THAT'S MY KING
The Bible says my King is a seven-way king
He's the King of the Jews; that's a racial king
He's the King of Israel; that's a national King
He's the King of Righteousness
He's the King of the Ages
He's the King of Heaven
He's the King of Glory
He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords.
That's my King. Well....I wonder, do you know Him?
David said, "The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.
My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply.
No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings.
He's enduringly strong...He's entirely sincere
He's eternally steadfast....He's immortally graceful
He's imperially powerful....He's impartially merciful
Do you know Him?
He's the greatest phenomenon that ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He's God's Son....He's a sinner's Saviour....
He's the centerpiece of civilization....He stands in the solitude of Himself...
He's august....He's unique....He's unparalleled....He's unprecedented....
He's the loftiest idea in literature
He's the highest personality in philosophy
He's the supreme problem in higher criticism
He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology
He's the cardinal necessity for spiritual religion
He's the miracle of the age
He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him
He's the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour
I wonder if you know Him today?
He supplies strength for the weak
He's available for the tempted and the tried
He sympathizes and He saves
He strengthens and sustains
He guards and He guides
He heals the sick....He cleanses lepers....
He forgives sinners....He discharges debtors....
He delivers captives....He defends the feeble....
He blesses the young....He serves the unfortunate....
He regards the aged....He rewards the diligent....and He beautifies the meek.......
I wonder if you know Him?
Well, my King....is the King....He's the key to knowledge....
He's the wellspring to wisdom....He's the doorway of deliverance....
He's the pathway of peace....He's the roadway of righteousness ....
He's the highway of holiness....He's the gateway of glory.......
Do you know Him?
Well....His office is manifold....His promise is sure....
His light is matchless....His goodness is limitless....
His mercy is everlasting....His love never changes....
His word is enough....His grace is sufficient....
His reign is righteous....and His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you,
but He's indescribable....He's incomprehensible....He's invincible....He's irresistible.
Well, you can't get Him out of your mind....You can't get Him off of your hand....
You can't out live Him, and you can't live without Him....
The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him....
Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him....
The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree....Herod couldn't kill Him....
Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him.
Yea!!!, that's my King, that's my King.
Father..."Thine is the Kingdom....and the Power....and the Glory....Forever"....and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever. How long is that? And ever...and ever...and when you get through with all the forevers, then.... AMEN!....AMEN!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
(1) By God’s appointment
(2) In His keeping
(3) Under His training
(4) For His time.” -A.Murray
“God’s Word influences my perspective. My perspective influences how I respond. My response influences the outcome of the situation 100% of the time." -Dr. Nichols
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
This old hymn just came to mind as I began to blog. It actually is bringing back memories of our home being filled with the music as my sister, Serena, used to play it out on the piano. There is so much truth in that stanza and it applies directly to where I'm at right now. "He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure Gives unto each day what He deems best," that's an awesome reminder. God has been teaching me through the book, Loving God with All Your Mind, that He already foreknew everything that was going to happen to me today and that NOTHING is a mistake or accident. I used to scoff at the verse in Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Much like the hymn above, I had heard this verse a thousand times and it had no true meaning for me personally. Well, one day recently something popped up that I did not plan for and did not see coming. I was hurt, frustrated, and angry and finally got a chance to plop open my book and lo and behold...Rom 8:28 was the topic of the next chapter I was going to read. The author began to say that we can actually use this verse to pray over different circumstances that come up throughout our days. Circumstance that my bring disappointment like I received, or a job loss, relational conflict, feelings of loneliness or whatever that unpleasant thing in our lives may be. I learned that I can take this verse and pray, "God, your Word says that all things work together for good -even this difficult situation________(fill in the blank)-, to those that love you -which I do!-, and to those who are called according to your purpose -which I am!-" This encouraged me and reminded me that everything that happens to me throughout each day has a divine purpose. The choice is then left up to me to deal with it all in my own strength or like the song says...to trust in my Father's wise bestowment where there is no cause for worry or fear. There are many uncertainties coming up in our near future, but I feel like God is prepping my heart and teaching me valuable lessons now. I wonder how much different I would be if I lived like every person I "run into", every conversation I have, and every step I take was not an accident but rather God-designed. God, continue to work in my life on this issue...humble my heart and remove my self-centeredness and pride-I need you!
Thanks for letting me share! I've been pretty excited about that. ALSO...I wanted to share some July 4th pictures. Above is a picture of Stephen and I at our church's God and Country Celebration. It had been 3 years since I got to see my man in his dress blues. He was so handsome and I was proud to just be near him! It's been about 5 years since he's been out of the Marine Corps and it was an excitement for him to know that the uniform still fit. :) Hee hee. He's so adorable...I love that man with all of my heart. Ok back to July 4th weekend...I was pleasantly surprised to know that I had Friday, July 3rd off work! It had been a pretty intense week at work as it is the end of our fiscal year and just a busy time. I was exhausted and drained Thursday after work and when I got home, Stephen told me to go in the room to see what he had planned for the evening. So I walked down the hall and peeked into our bedroom and saw an empty suitcase on the bed! Woo Hoo! I LOVE getting away overnight. We stayed at a hotel near the harbor and it was so refreshing.
The next day we had our Bible Study and then on the 4th we had a BBQ with friends. The God and Country celebration makes me cry every time. Our church brings forward all active duty military men and women, the veterans, and the spouses of those whose loved ones are currently deployed, and honors them with a standing ovation while the song "You Raise Me Up" is sung to them. Tears! I always think about the sacrifice that they made and are making. They are my hero's! Stephen and I are excited about the idea of serving these men and women together. We are beginning the application process with the Navy and Mission Board and just ask prayer that God will continue to direct our steps into HIS will.
Here's a few more photos of Stephen and I at our BBQ, Me with Paisley, and Stephen and our friend David at the God and Country Celebration:
I can not believe how quickly this year is flying by! Stephen and I are really looking forward to a great summer vacation visiting his family in D.C. and S.C. We leave in August for 2 whole weeks! I'm so excited. :) Fall semester will begin again for me when we return. Stephen is ecstatic that he no longer has to register for any more classes. I have no idea what that feels like, maybe in 7 years I too will know that joy. :) The title of this blog was Day by Day though, right? One step at a time, Julie, one step at a time.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
That same day, I read the newspaper after I got home from work and noticed an article about a "Slaying in Riverside County" which is about an hour north of where we live. There was a Marine named Jan, who was from Brooklyn, NY, and was stationed in Camp Pendleton, CA. He was only 24 years old and his beautiful wife was only 26. There were four men (only 18-22 years old) who worked under Jan's command. They didn't like Jan so one night they decided to stop by his house, torture Jan, rape his wife, destroy their home, and then shoot them each three times in the head! What sick, evil, maddness! My stomach churned and I felt so heavy as I read this. Jan's mother said, "I was prepared to hear news that my son had died at war serving his country, but nothing could prepare me to hear that he was killed in the privacy of his own home." How sad! "Oh God! Why?" My heart was again stirred with anger. I told this story to my husband and he too was burdened for them. He reminded me that God is always the first one we choose to blame. He was right...even so, I went to sleep wrestling in my mind.
The next day, Friday, was the day of Victor's Memorial service. I knew that I needed to talk to God, so on my break at work I began to journal. I thought that I would put some excerpts of my thoughts from my journal into this post. Please know this was just my conversation with God and I wrote as the thoughts were coming (very "unedited" and through many tears):
"God I'm so angry at You and have been too prideful to admit it. I know that I need to write this down because I keep trying to justify my thoughts. I know that You are a sovereign God and could change any heart...You could have protected that innocent military man and his wife...You could have changed the hearts of those military guys (boys!) from committing that awful crime and ruining their lives at such a young age. Oh God! How come You weren't there for them? Why did you have to take Victor Rose early? Why did you have to let him die and break Denise and Pierre's heart? I am so so angry, confused, frustrated, and hurt...and my thoughts are violently arrogant! On one hand, I know "You are God in Heaven and I am here on earth" so I should "let my words be few" as the song says. But Oh God! This is bursts from soul and I am in agony for them. I wish there wasn't ever any evil or sorrow in the world. .....Father, I am so sorry for getting angry at You...You ARE always the first Person we blame when bad things happen. I think of Mary and Martha when they were in tears over their brother Lazarus when he died. They too, were angry that you didn't come to get there in time to save him. However, that was also the time, Jesus, that You wept. I need to stop and read John 11 right now. Wow! This is so comforting! Your Word says, "When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus...so....he stayed." This death was going to bring You glory and THAT is our whole purpose for being on earth...THAT is what we're created for. Whether our finest hour of bringing you glory is completed after 13 months of life or 99 years, when we have fulfilled our mission on this temporal earth...Father, You call us to our eternal home! What a fabulous thought! I also noticed that you said that "You loved them...so...you stayed." You didn't rush to their side right away to heal Lazarus and comfort Mary and Martha...You waited until he had been dead for 4 days and then did what was best for them even though they were angry and couldn't understand. Help me to trust and learn to depend on You and Your plan...to know and remember that You have a purpose for the things that I can not understand. I love you."
God, totally took my heart full circle and brought me back to his Word to find truth. A few hours after I journaled this, I left work early to attend the Memorial Service for Victor. It was a beautiful time of mourning and watching the brothers and sisters in Christ come together to encourage this family. May God continue to comfort the Rosa family and bless their work in taking care of their 13 month "loan" as they called him.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
We all read this passage together from Psalms 1:1-3, you may have read it before: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." Then Stephen asked another series of very good questions, "Do you really believe what this scripture just said?" "Do we really believe that whatever we do will prosper?" If so, "then why aren't we doing it?" "Why aren't we taking scripture memory and meditation this seriously?" That was really thought provoking for me, and I was convicted that for a very long time this really has not been a priority in my life. So needless to stay, I'm excited about the topics to come! Stephen has been a big encouragement to stay consistent with memorizing scripture and it's been neat to hold each other accountable as we take these steps together. :)