Blue Swallowtail Blessings

I can’t make this stuff up!

Usually while I’m having my cup of morning coffee, I am thinking about what I’d like to write about for the day. Because I’ve been contemplating starting this blog up again for a very long time, I have a lot of draft versions of blogs I’ve begun but not finished. So this morning without really thinking a great deal, I remembered a piece I wrote long ago entitled, “Metamorphosis”. I thought briefly about reprinting it, because this is how I”m currently feeling, but as soon as the thought entered my mind I decided not to. I’m trying not to go back in time to reprint blogs of days gone by. Besides this, I think of that blog as something to be posted during the Spring, because that’s when nature is re-birthing itself.

I finished my coffee, then pulled out my prayer journal. I sat for a moment, then wrote a few thoughts and ended with a five item gratitude list. One of the items I listed was this blog and how I am really enjoying writing on a regular basis. I’m thankful to God that I am able to express myself in this way and even happier when my words touch another person’s heart. Then I decided today would be the day I post my gratitude and invite others to do the same.

As usual, the drive to work brought more contemplation and my regular internal dialogue with heaven. I was expressing my gratitude for Charlie’s mother, for my mother, for my relationship with Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, who is Mother to us all. I didn’t really verbalize it but that “Metamorphosis” blog was still in the back of my heart. Again, I think this is what I am feeling lately, so it makes sense for it to be there in my heart.

I pulled into the parking lot at work where I saw two of my favorite people, so I hopped out and chatted a bit. Afterward I walked around the corner towards the door. From out of nowhere appeared a beautiful little Blue Swallowtail butterfly*! She did circles around and around me and I squealed like a child with sheer joy! First of all, butterflies have always been special to me, but blues ones? They are my sign from the Blessed Mother! Hoping to get a photo, I dropped my bags just as she was flying off. I called to her (What? Did you expect me NOT to tell her to wait?) She actually landed and let me take this video! Look how CLOSE she let me get!

Then she posed for this photo! She wants you all to know how much you are loved, even when you aren’t feeling like it.

img_7220-1I walked through the door to my office knowing my first instinct was right. Someone out there needs to read about the journey to the cocoon. I could hardly wait to get home to deliver it!

*UPDATE: I just found out this isn’t a Swallowtail. It’s actually called a Red-Spotted Purple.  I don’t care. I still love it!


Metamorphosis

I am no fan of the caterpillar.

Funny, as children we joyfully grab them from the pavement, talk to them, pet them, let them crawl on us and even try to keep them in jars. Forty years later the mere site of one gives me the heebie jeebies. Gross!

Last week after watching hundreds of these slinky silken beings travel across my deck and front porch-each of them in search of a safe haven in which to transform- I had an epiphany.

Maybe as children we intrinsically recognize the caterpillar as part of our own selves. I can remember feeling a certain empathy for these creatures, which is probably why I used to pick them up and carry them across the parking lot, assuring them a safe journey to the woods. I didn’t want to see a single one meet an untimely and squishy death.

Today I ponder the fact that we are all a part of the caterpillar and vice versa. In a sense we are all trying to make our way across the asphalt jungle of life, trying to get to a place where we can finally feel free enough to release our inner beauty. I look back on my own life and recognize there have been a lot of little kid hands lifting me up and carrying me when I didn’t feel I could make it across the lot on my own.

Over the weekend I saw a caterpillar making his way up my front door. I didn’t stop long enough to see where he was trying to go, nor did I really care. I was busy with my list of tasks for the day. A little later on, after I’d been in and out a few more times, I noticed something interesting. He’d spun his cocoon and gone into his chrysalis right on my doorbell button! What a fitting symbol for me at this time in my life.

The butterfly has been a personal sign of mine for many years (I’m sure I am not alone in this). Throughout my life I’ve had many experiences of cocooning, hiding myself away from the rest of the world, spun into my own little nest, trying to transform and emerge anew. Maybe this is why I recoil when I see a caterpillar. Eek, bluck, and gross. Sometimes it’s not easy remembering the journey to the cocoon, even when we have already transformed into butterflies.

That caterpillar deliberately placed himself on my doorbell so I would see him every day and be reminded that I am Blessed beyond comprehension. In just a short while, he will emerge a transformed being to fly off and begin anew. In much the same manner, I will be opening the door to a new and wonderful life as well.

The doorbell? Well of course you do know that “every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings”? (Couldn’t resist that one, sorry. Cough.)

The butterfly is a universal symbol for the transformation of life. It is a symbol of great joy and great change. But most importantly, butterflies remind us that the power of metamorphosis is always within our reach.

May you find a caterpillar at your front door very soon!


My Dearest Lord:

What an incredible day this has been! From the depths of who I am, I thank you. I am still in total awe about the very unexpected beautiful butterfly who absolutely made my entire day!

Today I lift my prayers to you for anyone out there who needs to feel Your presence and love. I know there are those who are still tightly wrapped within their cocoons, perhaps feeling lost, hurt, afraid or lonely. Let them know that they are in my heart and that I wish to share my faith and love with them.  You are the great Universal healer. Please grant them courage to break free and emerge anew. 

Thank you for enabling me to see the beauty in this life and for allowing me the grace to finally accept the things I cannot change and to blossom where I can…and to remember… I always can.

I love you.


“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

Furball Blessings

Don’t you wish all the decisions that would yield great Blessings were easy to make? They are.

15003314_10157686177770573_2994387748716870882_o

A little over a year ago, Charlie and I welcomed this little dog-being into our home. We call him, “Sammy-the most interesting dog in the world.” (aka: #Sammythepeoplesdog)

One day I was popping around Facebook and I ran into a photo posted on a lifelong friend’s page. She was saying that she had just gone to the pet store and played with this precious, little guy and that, “Someone seriously needs to go get this little guy; he’s adorable.” She went on to say that she would have taken him in herself but he is so small, he’d be “hawk-bait” where she lives in the country.

I took one look at him and immediately clicked through the link she’d provided. We were not in the market for a new dog. Not one word had been spoken between hubs and I regarding wanting to add anything or anyone new to our recently rennovated home. I wasn’t sitting there gushing over how adorable this dog was; I just knew he was already mine. Before five minutes had passed, I’d filled out the application, texted with the Director of the Rescue place and committed to picking up the dog-site unseen. Then this conversation happened:

Me: “Cha Cha?

Charlie: “Yes, baby.”

Me: “We’re adopting another dog.”

Charlie: “No, we are not. We don’t want or need another dog. Maybe later, when Chinah has passed, but not right now. Nooooooo.”

Me: “Look at this photo.”

He looks.

Charlie: “When do we pick him up?”

sammy5

sammy6

Two days later, 5.6 lb. Sammy was inspecting our home. Thankfully, we passed and we’ve been living, loving and laughing together ever since. He’s the brightest, funniest, most playful dog we’ve ever had. His presence in our life is an enormous daily Blessing.

sammy2

Don’t you wish all the decisions that would yield great Blessings were as easy to make? They are. It’s a matter of tuning into your heart and fearlessly following it’s direction.

Every mistake I have ever made occurred when I decided to steer away from what my heart told me to do. (Take a minute and think this through regarding your own life. I’ll wait… It’s truth, isn’t it?)

We’ve all got people in our lives who believe they know what’s best for us and those who are gifted in making sure to tell us where they think we are steering in the wrong direction. Let’s face it, there are people out there who appear to make it a mission to criticize and point out flaws.  And what do we do in response to these people? Sometimes we go against our better judgment just to please them OR just so we don’t have to hear about it from them. (Can I get an “Amen” here?) I can’t count the number of people out there who are living a life that someone else has dictated for them. When asked why they don’t or won’t pursue what they really want, the response is always the same. “I can’t because so-and-so won’t let me.” (Feel free to insert “…will be mad if I do”, “…says I’m not cut out for that”, “…wants me to stay this way”; the excuse list is endless, and I say this with love because I’ve been there, too. ♥)

So how does one begin the practice of tuning out the white noise of well-meaning friends and relatives in order to start listening to the contents of the heart? If you know anything about me you can predict what I’m about to say is the first step. (I can hear you, ya know. “God, this woman is a broken record. Doesn’t she ever say anything else!”)

The first step is in fact, prayer. I can already hear some of you saying, “But I pray and pray and pray and nothing different ever happens”. I challenge you on this one. There is never a time when earnest prayer doesn’t yield results. Part of the first step is committing to the realization that your prayers are in fact, being heard. You must stop expecting the answers to appear at the front door. It doesn’t work that way. (More on this later.)

The second step is action. You must give up the notion that you don’t have to be an active part in your life. In order to manifest anything new in one’s life, you must be willing to take a new and different step. It doesn’t have to be huge; just any little positive step that’s different and that moves you towards the direction of your heart.

Here’s mine. From the time I was a little girl, I have always expressed myself in writing. In later years, the one and only dream I have ever had for myself is to become a best selling author, but not just any best selling author. I want what I write to impact people on a soul level. I want to be a vessel of God’s love and I want my reach to be far and wide. I want to tell my own story, because it’s a doozy.

This morning I looked outside my front door and darned if there STILL wasn’t a throng of contract-yielding publishers all fighting to get to me first. (Whaaaat? Maybe tomorrow.)

You are reading one of many of the baby steps I am putting into action in order to get closer to manifesting my dream. I can’t expect to write a book if I am currently not writing a thing now can I? The other REALLY IMPORTANT step I started taking in earnest five months ago is my health. I haven’t been happy about my body in years, so I have stopped being mad at my image in the mirror and am now actively working on my diet and exercise. When I see progress, I feel happier. When I feel happier, I work harder. When I work harder, God always meets me half way.

The third step is to keep it quiet for now. You can’t tune into you heart if you are seeking accolades, approval or “go ahead’s” from others. (I know I’m not keeping quiet about what I’m doing, but I’m not the one seeking to learn to listen to my heart, now am I? ♥)

Let’s recap:

  1. Present your intentions before God by way of honest prayer.
  2. Commit to the understanding that your prayers are heard even if you don’t see or feel proof of it. (A lot of times in my own life, the greatest Blessings are those I don’t readily see or even know about.)
  3. Take some baby action steps.
  4. Keep your big mouth shut. Instead, feel how your heart feels when you are tip toeing towards your intentions. It might feel a little scary at first, but it still feels good, right? That’s your heart talking. Try to memorize what it feels like.
  5. Say thank you in advance for your Blessings.

Rest assured, I will be expanding on all of this soon. For right now, I’ve given you a very achievable mission. Should you decide to accept, your rewards are quite possibly infinite.

Love,

Bobbe


My Dearest Lord,

Today I want to take the time to thank you for all of the furball babies that have crossed my path.  There is so much to be learned by these creatures who offer us unconditional love and companionship. Thank you especially for our dog, Sammy, who makes us giggle on a daily basis. 

Jesus, for all of your children who feel trapped by life’s circumstances or who feel scared to break free of living under someone else’s expectations, I offer my prayers for your Blessings and courage. I know that we all have the capacity to become what our hearts desire and the first place for any of us is to start with You. 

Please join my prayers with the prayers of my friends, family, coworkers and readers. Thank you in advance for all of our Blessings, especially the ones we don’t readily see. Help us to trust with our whole hearts that when we place You in the lead of our lives, our rewards are often beyond our wildest dreams.

Let us all be proud to stand and call you, Father.

I love you.

Amen


 

1 John 5:14: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bittersweet Blessings.

I count myself as pretty Blessed among my friends and family because although my parents are in their upper 80’s, they are both still here and both in reasonably good health. There are times when they might need assistance doing certain things and when the occasion arises, I like to try to help. Having had a rocky relationship with them “back in the day” and even sometimes in the present; I still want to do what I can for them while they are here.

Sometimes I am asked why I do it and my response is simple, “They aren’t going to be here much longer. I want to know I did my best to love them well while they are here.”

Yesterday my Dad needed some help getting to the new location of the Driver’s License Bureau. It happens to be in my neighborhood, so I offered to drive him. Then we received word that one of my parent’s old dear friends had passed and that the celebration of his life would be held yesterday at the country club where our family practically lived my entire life. I knew Dad wouldn’t feel comfortable going by himself, so I offered to drop by and take him to both places.

Bear in mind I really am a creature of habit and practically a social recluse. Charlie and I have carved out a peaceful routine that works for us. We laugh at ourselves frequently for excitedly making plans to go somewhere new or to some social event and then at the very last second we look at each other, shrug our shoulders and say, “Naaaaaaah. I don’t reaaaaaaally wanna go, do you?” Nope. And then we stay home. (99.5% of the time, this is the exact scenario.)

The prospect of having to make small talk makes me recoil with intimidation, so I was sort of dreading going to the Country Club. Add to this the fact that I knew I would be seeing people who hadn’t seen me in almost forty years. I have been over weight off and on for a lot of years and whenever I think about seeing people from my past I become very insecure. (Translation: I used to have a very high level of confidence regarding my appearance! In fact, one might argue correctly that long ago my entire sense of self was wrapped up in the package of my outward appearance.)

All morning long I wrestled with the same feelings of dread that a person goes through when he/she is about to take and important test. Then I arrived to pick up my Dad at 3:00 PM.

This is a memory I won’t forget. After I had been there for a few minutes talking with my Mom, my Dad appeared all dressed to go. The man is 87 years old, yet when he stepped into the room, he was styled from head to toe looking as modern as any other person on the planet right down to his socks! He and my Mom giggled telling me that she had recently bought the pants he was wearing and hadn’t realized she was picking up, “the skinny leg” variety. It looked so good on Dad it made my heart smile. (My Dad has fought getting old his entire life. At almost 88 next month, it persists.) I was struck by how adorable he looked. It made me feel so good. He was dressed up to go out with ME, regardless of the occasion. (Sniffle. So sweet. I wish I had taken a photo, but that memory will stay with me forever more.)

Our trip to the License Bureau went off without a hitch and soon enough we were walking across the parking lot of the country club. This was a walk both of us had taken separately and collectively hundreds of thousands of times. This time, however, my Dad reached for my hand and we walked up the stairs together to pay respects to a dear friend and his family. It was a bittersweet feeling. This was a place that was a second home to us from birth until my early thirties. My Dad spent nearly every day there playing golf. (He reminded me on the trip over there that he and his buddies used to play on New Year”s Eve no matter what the weather.) I spent my youth in the pool and at the snack bar and then when my daughter was born, we were there together daily during the summers. This is the place we celebrated every special occasion; birthdays, weddings, Anniversary’s, Funerals, out of town guests, and of course, the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup!

We were both unprepared for the wash of feelings that hit us at the door. The first thing I noticed was a giant portrait of my Dad’s old good friend, Pee Wee Reese. Dad and I walked over to it and then noticed they had created an entire area dedicated to him. It was fun looking at the art and then peering out the window to see the pool area that had meant so much to me. Then we walked through the archway into the bar to pay our respects the family. The son of my Dad’s friend is a person I ran in the same circles with in high school and his wife graduated with me. It was so good to see them both and to hug them and just spend a few moments together. Looking around, it didn’t take long for Dad and I to come to the unspoken realization that he wouldn’t be seeing many of his old friends. They have all passed on or are in too ill health to socialize.

Trying to take the focus off of that fact, I took his hand and suggested we sneak around the club to see what it was like now. And so we did. What we found were a few changes named for other passed on men who were his best golfing buddies. We stopped in the bar and searched the wall for the plaque with his name on it for when he was the 1980 Club Champion. When I found it, I couldn’t help but reflect that in 1980 I was a Sophomore; probably the same year I started actively socializing in high school.

How did we get here, so far along in life? Gosh, it’s gone by so fast.

We took a few more steps out to the veranda to watch the golfers coming in. I knew Dad was probably remembering all of the times he’d played that course. The screaming elephant in both of our hearts was knowing he would not be playing that course again and that this is a place now predicated by the words, “used to”. I don’t have adequate words to paint what was in our hearts at that moment. I just have gratitude that we experienced it together.

On the way out we ran into two more of my high school friends and I got to hug their necks and say hello. Then I hugged my friend, who’d just lost his father and I told him from my heart, that I love him and although the occasion absolutely sucked, I was so happy to see he and his wife. I meant that. His Dad was important to me and by proxy, that made me always think of him as “brother”. I told him that too. It came out easily.

The drive home was filled with small talk and memories of days gone by. As he was getting out of the car, my Dad took my hand, and with tears in his eyes and told me how much it meant to him that I had suggested we go and that I took the time to come pick him up and Chauffeur him to and from. He said he was glad we were present there, “together”. I was too.

Having worked together for over thirty years, my Dad and I haven’t always seen eye to eye. There was even a time when we didn’t speak to or see one another for three years. Though it was emotionally hard, I count this day as a Supreme Blessing. I cried all the way home thanking God that love honestly does transcend all.

img_7172-1

PS- That photo up there was taken when I was just twenty years old. Dad and I were in San Diego attending a business meeting.


My Dear Lord,

Things pass so quickly here on this earth. While we are busy going about the tasks of our daily lives, please help us to remember to look up and to savor where we are in life. Far too often things happen in a flash and then we are left looking back lamenting and wishing we’d stopped before it was too late. Help us to cultivate the relationships we may be taking for granted and to communicate our feelings to those who may not realize how important they are to us. 

Thank you for allowing me precious time with my parents. Help us all to make the time to go the extra mile for our precious loved ones, even when to do so, requires supreme effort and extra energy. The are always unexpected Blessings there.

Thank you for the life you have given me. Thank you for the dear friends I’ve made along the way. Thank you for helping me speak the words that have long been hidden in my heart.

May we all be better vessels of your love and light today and always.

Amen


“Let all that you do be done in love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14

Blessing You & You & You & …

To bless means to wish, unconditionally, total, unrestricted good for others and events from the deepest wellspring in the innermost chamber of your heart: it means to hallow, to hold in reverence, to behold with utter awe that which is always a gift from the Creator. He who is hallowed by your blessing is set aside, consecrated, holy, whole.

image
Blessing:
God’s favor and protection
– may God continue to give us his blessing
A prayer asking for such favor and protection
– a priest gave a blessing as the ship was launched
Grace said before or after a meal
A beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being
– great intelligence can be a curse as well as a blessing
– it’s a blessing we’re alive
A person’s sanction or support


If anyone were to overhear what goes on in my brain on a daily basis, she might think I either sound like a broken record or someone who has lost her senses. The mere thought of this makes me giggle because; Oh, the things I hear and do and say in my brain!

I suspect that as a child, someone I revered must have told me to be conscious of other people at all times. I can remember being in church watching all of the people file through the aisles on the way to communion. It was a game for me to try to Bless each and every person that walked by without missing a single soul. The times I was able to keep up and master this, I left with a huge sense of joy at my accomplishment and an even bigger sense of wonder about what goodness might be waiting for that person in the future.

These days Charlie laughs at me when sometimes in the middle of watching a television show or attending a lecture where someone has shared a poignant real-life story, I’ll raise my hands towards them in silence. My heart is always saying, “God Bless you on your journey, thank you for sharing”. Having now lived with me as long as he has, he doesn’t ask me what I’m doing. He knows. I’ve even taught him to Bless our vegetable and herb plants to thank them before we cut them for use in a meal.

I wonder what the world might be like if we spent most of our days conscious of the fact that we’re all on a journey, trying our best to get through the challenges life presents to us? I wonder what might happen if we were actually spending our time Blessing one another, over spending our time being oblivious to one another? I see people every single day driving in the car–one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the smartphone, scrolling or talking. What if we put those phones down and instead spent our time in the car, communing with God, just praying for the strangers we pass on the road?

Years ago someone anonymously sent the following article to my email box and I saved it because it speaks volumes. It speaks to what goes on in my head and heart every moment of every day. We ask one another for prayers, but how many Blessings are we bestowing?


The Gentle Art of Blessing
By: Pierre Pradervand

As you walk, bless the city in which you live, its government and teachers, its nurses and street sweepers, its children and bankers, its priests and prostitutes. The minute anyone expresses the least aggression or unkindness to you, respond with a blessing: bless them totally, sincerely, joyfully, for such blessings are a shield which protects them from the ignorance of their misdeed, and deflects the arrow that was aimed at you.

To bless means to wish, unconditionally, total, unrestricted good for others and events from the deepest wellspring in the innermost chamber of your heart: it means to hallow, to hold in reverence, to behold with utter awe that which is always a gift from the Creator. He who is hallowed by your blessing is set aside, consecrated, holy, whole. To bless is yet to invoke divine care upon, to think or speak gratefully for, to confer happiness upon – although we ourselves are never the bestow-er, but simply the joyful witnesses of Life’s abundance.

To bless all without discrimination of any sort is the ultimate form of giving, because those you bless will never know from whence came the sudden ray of sun that burst through the clouds of their skies, and you will rarely be a witness to the sunlight in their lives.

When something goes completely askew in your day, some unexpected event knocks down your plans and you too also, burst into blessing: for life is teaching you a lesson, and the very event you believe to be unwanted, you yourself called forth, so as to learn the lesson you might balk against were you not to bless it. Trials are blessings in disguise, and hosts of angels follow in their path.

To bless is to acknowledge the omnipresent, universal beauty hidden to material eyes; it is to activate that law of attraction which, from the furthest reaches of the universe, will bring into your life exactly what you need to experience and enjoy.

When you pass a prison, mentally bless its inmates in their innocence and freedom, their gentleness, pure essence and unconditional forgiveness; for one can only be prisoner of one’s self-image, and a free man can walk unshackled in the courtyard of a jail, just as citizens of countries where freedom reigns can be prisoners when fear lurks in their thoughts.

When you pass a hospital, bless its patients in their present wholeness, for even in their suffering, this wholeness awaits in them to be discovered. When your eyes behold a man in tears, or seemingly broken by life, bless him in his vitality and joy: for the material senses present but the inverted image of the ultimate splendor and perfection which only the inner eye beholds.

It is impossible to bless and to judge at the same time. So hold constantly as a deep, hallowed, intoned thought that desire to bless, for truly then shall you become a peacemaker, and one day you shall, everywhere, behold the very face of God.


From The Angels:

divine-guidance Divine Guidance: Trust and follow your intuition. It is God and the angels speaking to you.

You are being Divinely guided right now. The gut feelings you have, the knowingness, the visions, or the inner voice are all trying to tell you something, and it is very important that you trust and follow this guidance.

If you drew more than one card, pay close attention to the cards that are on either side of the “Divine Guidance” card-they contain important instructions for you. These nearby cards feature facets of the message that the angels seek to impress upon you.

answered-prayer Answered Prayer: Fear not, beloved one! Your prayers have been heard and answered.

All of your prayers are always answered. Sometimes you may not feel this way, because the answer comes in unexpected ways. Perhaps you receive an intuitive feeling or a new opportunity appears-or a book falls off the shelf. The angels answer our prayers very often by giving us ideas or information in these everyday ways.

By drawing this card, the angels request that you be extra observant. Notice everything that you hear, say, think, and feel. Be especially alert to help that comes to you, and be sure to accept that help. You do deserve this assistance, and many times God enlists people to act as Earth angels who bring you answers to your prayers.

image Archangel Michael:“I am with you, giving you the courage to make life changes that will help you work on your Divine life purpose.”

Additional Message: “I have come to you because you asked God for safety and protection, and because you asked about your life purpose. Since you are a light-worker, I am overseeing the fruition of your Divine life purpose. You have been a light-worker for a long time, and you have felt different from others, isolated at times. Be assured that you have never been alone, and that you never will be alone.”

“When you feel pushed to make a change at work or at home, that may be my influence, encouraging you to make your life’s purpose a high priority. I can rearrange your schedule and support you in other ways to make your path smooth and harmonious. Simply ask me, and it is done. I will also help you feel safe and comfortable during your life’s changes.”


image

Today’s Prayers:

May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit
Bless all who enter there.
May your Moccasins
Make happy tracks
in many snows,
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.
~Cherokee Blessing

Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
~Pueblo Blessing
The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach; but we shut our eyes, and, like people in the dark, we fall foul upon the very thing we search for, without finding it. ~Seneca Blessing

 


Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
— 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV)