I took a step of faith on Saturday by moving my Christmas poinsettia from the kitchen table to the coffee table. Why was this a step of faith? The coffee table is completely within the reach of my toddler, and I had faith that she would not destroy my beautiful poinsettia. That faith may have been a bit misplaced.

We made it to Tuesday. My daughter had enjoyed looking at the beautiful flower at eye level, and even smelling it. She knows she’s allowed to smell the houseplants (even the ones that don’t have any kind of smell), but she also knows she isn’t allowed to touch. On Tuesday, I watched as she smelled, and then the temptation overcame her. She reached out a hand and plucked a stem from that perfect poinsettia making it a bit lopsided. 

But here’s the thing I love about my daughter. When she hears us say no and realizes she’s done something wrong, she doesn’t run and hide; she runs straight to us, leaping into our arms. She knows what she did was wrong, but she also knows where to find love and forgiveness. I love that because it reminds me of what God wants me to do when I sin.

Just like my daughter, I have a rebellious heart and a sin nature. I fail every single day. My temptation is to hide, like Adam and Eve did in the garden. But God, my Father, wants me to do what my daughter does and run to Him. He is there with open arms, ready to show compassion.

Psalm 103:13

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

My daughter knew that it made me sad that she broke my flower, but I hugged her and forgave her anyway. Because that’s what God does for me. Then I took the broken stem, trimmed the end, and put it in a vase of water. Because that’s what God does for me. He takes my brokenness and my failures, and through the forgiveness of Jesus He makes something beautiful out of my life anyway.

I John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But you know what’s even better? Sometimes my daughter doesn’t even get to the point of committing the disobedient act. Sometimes it’s enough for her to hear us say no, and she comes running to our arms. What if I did that more often? What if when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper “no,” I ran straight to the arms of my Father? After all, when conviction comes, He’s just trying to protect me from harm. He loves me more than I could ever fathom.

Romans 2:4

…despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

I’ve been drawn to simple for quite some time. I err on the side of minimalist. But somehow it feels like Christmas needs to be more.

More activity.

More commitment.

More decor.

More stuff.

As November was drawing to a close and I realized the Christmas season was upon us, I had a slight moment of panic.

“I haven’t even started on my Christmas cards.”

“When am I going to have time to make special homemade gifts?”

“How am I even supposed to decorate with a toddler underfoot?”

These questions were taking the joy out of Christmas before the season had even begun. And they were putting the focus on the wrong person: me. When Christmas becomes about my to-do list, I miss out on the real focus. We say we know that the focus is Jesus, but are we really doing anything to make Him central in this season? If we take time to think back to the first Christmas, we realize that there was nothing but simplicity.

A stable.

A manger.

Swaddling clothes.

These were the ordinary and somewhat crude things that surrounded the birth of our Savior. He was born into the most simple setting and proceeded to live a rather simple life for his first thirty years. So why do we feel the need to celebrate His birth with excess?

I’m not suggesting we throw out all the festivities surrounding Christmas. I sent Christmas cards, I made ornaments with my toddler, and my husband and I used a toddler-free evening to decorate the house. Before it’s all said and done, I’ll make homemade cinnamon candy and gifts will be wrapped (and then unwrapped). But the reality is, I’ve chosen a bit less this year.

Less activity.

Less commitment.

Less decor.

Less stuff.

This has freed my heart to have space to “prepare Him room.” It’s allowed me time for reflection. And it’s given me the capacity to enjoy the traditions and celebrations I’ve chosen to keep.

In reality, the little traditions we cherish in the days leading up to Christmas are just a reflection of the anticipation of the birth of Christ and also of the return of Christ for his bride in the not-so-distant future.

I’ll still be giving Christmas gifts. But the gifts are just a reminder of the gift God gave to us in His Son. The most loving, sacrificial gift ever given.

If you have a full schedule this Christmas season, and that’s life-giving to you, I’m not saying you should clear your schedule. If you enjoy your seventy-two traditions and your ten thousand Christmas decorations, and that is a reflection to you of the excitement of the coming of our Savior, please keep it up! Celebrate with all the exuberance that is within you!

But if you’re like me, and maybe you have a lower capacity for the hustle and bustle and you’re easily overwhelmed by all the extras of the Christmas season, I’m here to tell you to give yourself permission to do less this year. Clear your schedule. Clear the clutter. Do only those things that fill you with joy and anticipation for the true reason we celebrate.

I love taking afternoon stroller walks. When we lived in Utah, there was a nice sidewalk around our block that I walked on. I thought that would be one of the things I missed the most about Utah because Tennessee is full of hills, and there aren’t very many neighborhood sidewalks. God knew how much I loved those walks, so He has allowed us to live in a home that’s within walking distance from a lovely paved walking track. There are still some hills involved, but I am so thankful to have a place to enjoy some fresh air and movement.

The track where I take my walks is right next to a tennis court. Aside from the fact that it’s absolutely incredible that we live within walking distance of a tennis court, there’s something quite interesting about this particular tennis court. This tennis court is the one where I use to play tennis every afternoon in the springtime. It seems like that must have been just last week, but the reality is that it was a decade ago. So much has changed since then, and not in the ways that I imagined it would. I assumed I would be living somewhere on the other side of the world by now, not within walking distance from that tennis court. I certainly never would have imagined myself walking laps around that track with a toddler in a stroller. Life certainly has come full circle in a way that I never envisioned.

My teenage self never would have believed this was the future God had in store for her. But God has a way of changing our plans. As a teenager, I wanted an adventure. I never would have imagined that I could be content living less than two miles from the house I grew up in. Even when God changes our plans, we can trust that His plans are far better than ours. He knows our hearts, and He wants us to have absolutely full and abundant lives.

If I could reach back in time and talk to my teenage self on one of those spring afternoons on the tennis courts, these are the things I would want to tell her:

  1. Your salvation does not depend on anything you do; God has already done it all.

No prayer that you pray and no good thing that you do can save you. Only Jesus can save you. Just trust Him.

  1. You can’t change the world.

Only God can change the world, but if you allow Him, He can still use you. It might not be in the way you imagined, but He knows what He’s doing.

  1. Change isn’t a bad thing. 

You’ll never grow until you leave your comfort zone. I know leaving your comfort zone isn’t comfortable (it’s called a comfort zone for a reason), but that’s where you’ll become the person God made you to be.

  1. God has a good plan for your life.

God has some amazing things in store for your life. And no matter how that plan may differ from your own plans, you can trust that His plan is better.

  1. God will always be there for you.

Through all the changes, God will be the same. You can go to Him any moment of any day, and He will be there to give you a sense of stability no matter what you’re facing.

The truth is, I can’t tell my younger self these things. But maybe you needed to hear them. And maybe my adult self needed to hear them too.

Once upon a time on a random Tuesday, my husband had a day off work. We spent the whole day out together, and had made plans to have sushi for dinner that night. While we were out and about, we stopped by the pet store to pick up some food for our hamster. I don’t think I’ve ever set foot in a pet store without looking at the hamsters, so before leaving, we took a little look.

A little look turned into a long look, and my husband fell in love with a tiny white dwarf hamster. He said, “Let’s get her!” Being the responsible adult in this situation, I said, “No.” I had a million reasons why we shouldn’t get another hamster. So we left the store without her.

Throughout our day, we couldn’t quite get that little white hamster off our minds. My “reasons” seemed more and more like excuses.

“I don’t need another cage to clean.”

“One hamster is enough.”

“She’ll probably still be alive when we have our first baby. How will we have time for her then?”

It slowly became apparent that we would have to go back to get the little white hamster. But I continued to worry all day that I would regret our impulsive decision to add another pet to our family.

When we had our sushi for dinner that night, we realized we had a perfect name for that little white hamster: Sushi. As you know, once you give an animal a name, you have to keep it. (This was the case with my brother’s fifteen-year-old gecko named Steve.) After dinner, we went back to the pet store and brought Sushi home. The picture at the top of this post is from the night she came to live with us.

Over two years have passed since that random Tuesday. Last Saturday, Sushi unexpectedly passed away. I never would have imagined that I would write a blog post about her, but this is the thing that I can’t get off my mind that I have to share with you: as much as I worried that I would regret impulsively buying a hamster, I have never regretted bringing Sushi home to live with us. Not one single moment.

One hamster is never enough. Cage cleaning isn’t that huge of a commitment. And it turned out that our baby loved watching that little white hamster run around in her cage. When we adopted Sushi, I had no idea that God would lead us to move from Utah to Tennessee. But I didn’t regret making her a part of our family even when we were carting her in and out of hotels and running the air conditioning in the car for her while we ate meals outside. And now we always eat sushi on the anniversary of the day we adopted our little white hamster. Those traditions are the little, seemingly insignificant things that can make a marriage stronger. All because of a little white hamster.

There are some things you should pray about and take time to make a decision; we prayed about our move for five months before making the decision. But some things in life aren’t that big of a commitment. Sometimes it’s okay to be a little impulsive and enjoy this amazing life God has given us. I’m learning to celebrate life every day and not wait for “one day.”

I have a bottle of perfume that I used on our wedding day that I like to wear on special occasions to bring back the memory of our wedding. A couple months ago, my husband asked me to wear it to church on a random Sunday. So I did.

I’ve been wanting a journaling Bible for months. I thought my husband might get me one for Christmas. Instead he gave me one on a random Saturday a couple weeks ago just because.

Wear the perfume. Give the gift. Buy the hamster on a random Tuesday. God has given us so much beauty in this world to enjoy. So why are we so hesitant to enjoy it? When I get to the end of my life, I won’t remember how responsible I was saying “no” to everything. I’ll remember the times I said “yes.” I’ll remember a little white hamster named Sushi. And I won’t have any regrets.

I love for life to be in nice, tidy boxes. I like for things to be orderly, predictable and routine oriented. However, my life is currently in literal boxes as we will be leaving our home in Utah in just a few hours, and ironically, there is nothing predictable or routine oriented about that. But sometimes the best things in life don’t fit in neat little boxes. In fact, several things won’t be going in boxes as we make our last minute preparations.

People don’t fit in nice tidy boxes, for moves or otherwise. Our sweet little baby will be traveling safely in her car seat, obviously not in a box. Babies also don’t fit into orderly, predictable boxes in life; I’ve learned that much in the nine months I’ve had with my little one. However, babies are one of God’s greatest gifts. Marriage certainly doesn’t fit in a tidy box either; it’s work, and it’s unpredictable, but it can be one of the sweetest things in life.

Some precious memory items won’t be traveling in boxes either, like the bamboo we bought on the due date of our first baby, Gwenivere, who went to heaven before we could meet her. That season of our life certainly didn’t fit into a tidy box, but we grew because of it.

My Bible won’t be going in a box; it will likely be within arms reach of wherever I’m at because I’m learning that I can’t live without God’s Word consistently pouring into my life. God doesn’t fit in our little human boxes either. He’s unpredictable, and sometimes we don’t understand what He’s doing. But that’s okay because His ways are better than ours.

Isaiah 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

There are so many things I don’t understand about what God is doing in my life right now, but I don’t want to put Him in one of my boxes of routine and predictability; I want Him to have free reign in my life to do His will. He always knows best.

I love lists. My daily to-do list helps me stay focused on my priorities. I have several lists on the notes app on my phone: books to read, blog posts to write, gift ideas, and several other lists of things. In addition to these written lists, I carry countless lists in my head as well. There is one type of list that seems to create itself in my head even if I’m not thinking about it: a “pros and cons” list.

Whenever I’m making a big decision or have an impending life change, I find myself thinking of the pros and cons, the positives and negatives. I’m sure this is a completely natural part of the decision making process of many people. In fact, many people probably write out a list of pros and cons before making a big decision! However, I seem to carry around this list in my head. Although there can be wisdom in these considerations, last night God convicted me of my obsession with pros and cons.

As I talked to friends at church last night about our upcoming move to Tennessee, I realized I kept saying things like, “That’s a positive about moving,” or, “That’s a negative about moving.” Throughout the whole decision making process, I’ve thought of everything in terms of positives and negatives. But when I got home last night, I was thinking about that mentality, and God brought some verses to mind from my Bible reading earlier that day:

Acts 20:22-24

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Paul went to Jerusalem not knowing what was going to happen to him there. He did know that God was going to do a great work, and he realized there would likely be suffering. But none of that mattered to him. He wasn’t thinking of his life in terms of pros and cons; he was simply determined to follow God’s will.

It may take some effort because I’ve come to be in such a habit of my mental pros and cons list, but I want to stop thinking of life in terms of pros and cons and start thinking simply in terms of what God’s will is. I know it’s God’s will for us to serve Him in Tennessee in this next season of our life. I don’t know exactly what is going to happen there. But I know God is going to do a work. Maybe there will be suffering; this sin-cursed world is full of it. But none of that matters. The only thing that matters is following God’s leading. What about you? Do you keep a mental pros and cons list? Or are you simply following God’s leading, trusting Him for the outcome? Serving Him will always be worth it.

I hate change. I remember telling my friends at my high school in Tennessee that I had decided to go to college in California; the general consensus was that that was a lot of change for someone who had eaten the exact same thing for lunch every day for the last five years. But I was excited for the adventure; I knew it was temporary. And I embraced it.

At said college in California, I met the man who would be my husband. I have a very distinct memory from a few months before we started dating, shortly after I had developed the biggest crush of my life on “cute Steve”. We were standing outside the dining hall and he was telling me about how God was leading him to serve in the ministry in Utah. He mentioned that Utah was a great place to have a family. I involuntarily thought, “Yes, please! Take me to Utah and have a family with me!” In that moment I learned that my future husband was not a mind reader, otherwise he probably would have never asked out that creepy college girl. However, from that moment, that was the dream. And God was so good to me in allowing that dream to come true.

Moving to Utah was a big change. But I was completely determined to make it our home because I knew for sure this was where God had led us, and obviously that meant we would spend the rest of our lives here. In my wholehearted belief of the permanency of our residency in Utah, I sold my rain boots that I obviously wouldn’t need anymore and bought not one, but two pairs of snow boots. That would last me a couple decades worth of Utah winters, right? Little did I know, God would only give us three and a half winters in Utah.

Last October, we received a letter from a pastor in Tennessee asking us to come work with the teen ministry and the bus ministry at his church. He said God had put us on his heart quite some time ago. I was dumbfounded. I actually opened the letter at home by myself because I didn’t know what it was, and when my husband came home, he was certain that the look on my face meant someone had died. I couldn’t believe he was actually excited about the possibility of leaving our home in Utah! But God had a lot of work to do on my heart in the area of surrender.

We spent several months praying together about how the Lord was leading us. God gave Steven peace about moving long before He gave me peace, but I realize that’s because my flesh and my aversion to change were getting in the way. Eventually, God convicted me that my calling had not changed: I was still called to submit to and follow my husband. So I started working on submission to God in the form of submitting to my husband. Slowly but surely, God started to change my heart about moving. I still have my moments when my flesh gets in the way and I just don’t want to go, but I’m learning to walk more closely to the Lord and live a life of surrender.

I think my problem is that I long for something permanent, but I’m learning more and more that my true permanent home is not on this earth; it’s in heaven.

Hebrews 13:14

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

So until I get to heaven, I am choosing to be willing to dwell wherever God leads us, not getting too attached to one place. We will be leaving Utah and going to Tennessee at the beginning of July. I’ll definitely need to buy new rain boots, but I’ll keep at least one pair of snow boots; who knows where God will lead us next! Perhaps we’ll stay in Tennessee the rest of our lives, maybe God will lead us to a snowy place, or maybe He’ll lead us to somewhere in the desert where it doesn’t rain or snow. No matter what, I’m trying not to tie myself too firmly to this earth. Soon I’ll get to be in heaven, and I won’t need rain boots or snow boots (but as a shoe person, I secretly hope we get to wear some kind of shoes in heaven).

It has been such a privilege to watch my baby girl quickly grow up; my husband recently mentioned how amazing it is that just a few months ago she couldn’t even hold her head up, but now she’s pulling herself up on everything she can get ahold of (watch out, hamsters!) But my little one isn’t the only one growing; I’ve been doing some growing myself.

Although I physically stopped growing at the age of fourteen, I started my journey of spiritual growth six and a half years ago when I accepted Christ as my Savior. In those early days, I felt like I was growing so quickly, just like my little girl has grown in the first few months of her life (she’s already twice as big as she was when she was born!) However, eventually her growth will slow down; it would be terrifying if we continued to double in size every few months. In the same way, my spiritual growth has slowed down over the years. However, there is a big difference between our physical growth and our spiritual growth: one day, my little girl will stop growing physically, but I am determined to never stop growing spiritually! In fact, God tells us in His Word that it is His desire for us to grow.

2 Peter 3:18

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

To have healthy spiritual growth, we must feed ourselves spiritually through God’s Word. Just like my baby wouldn’t grow if she didn’t eat, we can’t expect to grow spiritually without the food of God’s Word. As we grow, we will also grow in our understanding of God’s Word.

1 Peter 2:2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

When we begin our walk with the Lord, we feed ourselves with the simple truths of the Scriptures, just like my little girl lived on the simple food of milk for the first six months of her life. But eventually, she was ready for something more. Now she’s eating all kinds of solid, more challenging foods in addition to the milk!

1 Corinthians 3:2

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

As we grow, we will be able to understand the deeper truths of the Scriptures, and, in turn, we will grow even more.

The Bible says in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” If we want to be filled, if we want to grow, we may need to change what we are hungry for. What does your spiritual “diet” consist of? Are you feeding yourself with God’s Word? I have begun to have more and more of a hunger for God’s Word, and I can promise you that it always satisfies.

Don’t settle for a stagnant Christian life; if you feel like you’re stuck, go to the only spiritual food source that will satisfy, and fill yourself with God’s Word. If you do, spiritual growth is sure to follow.

This year, I have been praying through Scripture. I have found that it centers my prayers in the things I know to be God’s will. A couple of nights ago, as I was rocking my eight-month-old to sleep, the Lord brought the verses about the fruit of the Spirit to my mind.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

It took longer than usual to get my baby to sleep that night, and I had lots of time to meditate on the verses and pray through each individual “fruit.” It turned out to be an especially wakeful night for my little girl (getting her first two teeth in two weeks’ time has not been fun!), and praying through these verses was really what got me through the night.


God, would You help me show my sweet girl Your love tonight?


Lord, please give me joy, even through my exhaustion.


God, I need Your peace in the midst of the ordinary life You have called me to right now.


Father, it’s taking longer than I thought it would to get this little girl to bed tonight; please give me patience.


God, help my sweet girl to sense Your gentle kindness in my touch tonight.


Lord, help me to be good to this little baby and care for her, even when my selfish heart just wants to go to bed.


God, help me to be faithful in my service to my family, especially my little one right now.


Father, give me a humble heart to serve my baby girl.


Lord, give me self-control over my unruly emotions; I know I could easily become frustrated in this moment.

The more I prayed through these verses and meditated on them, the more I began to realize that all of these characteristics work together to form the character that God desires to be evident in the lives of believers.

The next day during my little girl’s nap, I was reading Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. Interestingly, she mentioned the fruit of the Spirit, and expanded upon some of the thoughts I had had over the course of the night. The following is an excerpt from her book:

Rather than thinking of each attribute as a different kind of fruit–an apple, an orange, a pear, etc.–I remember that a single piece of fruit, like an apple, can have different attributes. Though it could accurately be described as crispy, sweet, smooth, red, round, and firm, it is still one piece of fruit. Similarly, the word fruit, in this verse, refers to one fruit with many attributes.

The Bible says “the fruit of the Spirit is,” not “the fruits of the Spirit are.” The attributes mentioned as the fruit of the Spirit are inseparable from one another, and they work seamlessly together to make us into the Christians God desires for us to be.

Sally Clarkson continued her discussion on the fruit of the Spirit by saying,

As you and I grow in Christ and dwell in fellowship and agreement with the Spirit of Jesus inside us, all of these attributes grow bigger and stronger, even as an apple grows from a blossom into a fully ripe apple that is ready to be picked. As God’s Spirit works in our lives, we will be progressively reflective of all He is.

Although the fruit of the Spirit carried me through that sleepless night, I know there are many times that these attributes are not evident in my life. However, as I seek to know God more, I know that I will continue to be more like Him. None of us will be perfect until we get to heaven, but our lives should show a pattern of spiritual growth.

When I was a teenager assisting in a children’s church class, one particularly exuberant teacher challenged the children to be “fruity for Jesus” as she taught a lesson on the fruit of the Spirit. Although it sounds silly, that saying always stuck with me. Let’s all determine to be “fruity for Jesus” as we seek to become more like Christ as we walk with Him.

My newest obsession is beeswax tea light candles. With help from a couple of rustic wooden candle holders, they have made a cheerful addition to our table and my nightstand. One thing I look forward to each evening is burning my candle while sitting in my comfy chair reading a book for a few minutes. That short time to relax my body and feed my mind does wonders to refresh me for the (likely sleepless) night that lies before me. Recently I started taking an hour of this kind of relaxation time on Saturday afternoons while my husband plays with the baby. I’m a mom who doesn’t enjoy naps (I know, judge me all you want), so this is my way of refreshing myself.

Last Saturday when I finished my hour long latte and book session, I turned to blow my candle out and noticed that it had burned down almost completely evenly. I thought how good it had been for my mind to sit still pondering words on a page long enough for my candle to burn down like that. And it made me think of a passage in the Bible:

Psalm 39:3-4

My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.

While I was musing the fire burned… What does that word “muse” even mean? Muse, when used as a verb, means “to be absorbed in thought.” In this passage, David took time to be absorbed in thought because his mind was troubled over the wickedness before him. It was after taking this time that he was able to speak and put things in perspective.

There’s a lot of talk about mental health today; most of that talk is about emotional health. I think that’s great and extremely important. However, there’s more to the mind than the emotions. Ancient philosophers said that there were three parts of the mind. The part dealing with the emotions is the “affective” part. The “conative” part of the mind is the part that drives our actions. However, in this post I want to focus on the “cognitive” part of the mind. This refers to our intellect. I truly believe that intellectual health is an important part of the health of our minds.

Unfortunately, many people stop exercising their intellect at the end of formal schooling. If your job doesn’t involve much critical thinking or learning, and you’re not taking the time to exercise your intellect on your own, your intellectual health may be in worse shape than you think. When you don’t exercise your intellect, your brain is weaker and is actually more susceptible to things like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. When you take the time to strengthen your intellect, you make your brain more resistant to these diseases. Also, as the Bible passage mentioned above shows us, you have more clarity to process the world around you in a godly way.

I particularly enjoy reading as as way to strengthen my mind. Good nonfiction that challenges me to grow as well as fiction that exercises my imagination are both an important part of exercising my mind. I try to read a good balance of fiction and nonfiction. I also enjoy writing to develop my critical thinking skills (which is why I’m writing right now, even though it would be easier to turn off my mind and scroll social media while my baby naps). Meditating on God’s Word and praying are not only important to our spiritual health, but they also help exercise our mind by teaching us to focus in a culture with increasingly shorter attention spans.

Maybe you enjoy exercising your intellect in another way like solving puzzles, playing games that involve critical thinking skills, being creative through artwork, learning a new language, researching a subject that interests you, or engaging in deep conversation. Pick something that appeals to you, and take time on a regular basis to take care of your intellectual health!

God created us with a body, a mind, and a spirit. Nobody would argue that bodily exercise isn’t important, and believers understand just how important spiritual health is. Don’t neglect the health of your mind either. Take some time today to do something for your intellectual health. Let a candle burn low while you’re absorbed in thought. When you’re finished, you will find that your mind is refreshed and you can see the world as God sees it more clearly.