Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lesson 16: Thank You God for this day

When my brother and I were little we would start every prayer we prayed like this..."Thank You God for this day, and thank You for our lives." I don't really know where we learned that introduction but it has been part of our prayers ever since.

He prayed after our band practice at church a few weeks ago and started his prayer that way. It made me think back on how we used to say that as children. Ashamed to say it...but I normally speed through that part and then get to the "real" part of my prayer. You know, the stuff that really needs to be prayed about...

Yesterday, however, was a little different. I was standing in our children's room at church, after spending the afternoon celebrating Julia's 1st birthday, and found myself saying those words over and over again. I was overwhelmed at how blessed we are to have such a great family and wonderful friends that love us and our daughter. I also couldn't believe we were celebrating her first birthday! I have to learn to say those words and mean them everyday...not just the days that I enjoy.

At the end of a long day at work...on the days where circumstances keep me from spending time with Tim and Julia like I would like to...or the days when someone I trust turns out to be a disappointment...all of those days too. That's the hard part. I easily said "Thank You God for this day", yesterday. The true test is saying them and meaning them on all other 364 days! :)

I love my party! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lesson 15: It's All In The Details

What a WONDERFUL day!!! I took off of work today and spent the day with Julia. I can't believe I have a 1 year old. It has been the best day. I love celebrating birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, etc. ....but I had no clue celebrating a birthday could be this much fun! I couldn't go to sleep last night because I was so excited :) I can't imagine what the night before her party is going to be like...ha!

We started our day with the "Happy Birthday" song and strawberry muffins...while watching "Super Readers"...her new favorite. After her nap we went and ate lunch with Tim, then to play with Asher. Back home for another nap and then to eat at Cracker Barrell with Te-Ta, G-Pa, Bubba, and CeCe. I know she didn't know what was going on, but she definitely LOVED all of the attention! She got some presents after supper and then off to bed.

Julia will not remember this day...but I sure will. Happy Birthday my sweet girl.

Birthday hugs :) 

Julia, CeCe, and Bubba

Our birthday girl!

Julia, G-Pa, and Te-Ta, and some crazy monkey :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lesson 14: Like a Child

Last night at our church we had a Worship Night. Three bands played...lots of people was great. And not only because there were 3 bands or lots of people. We truly had a night centered around worshipping God.

As I was standing on stage singing with our band, I looked out across the audience and saw people with their hands raised all over the audience. It was encouraging to see people participating in worship that way. I looked over to my right and saw a little girl with both of her hands up, her eyes closed, and singing her heart out! She knew every word to the song by memory. She had heard that one before. The words were,

"At the cross I bow my knee. Where Your blood was shed for me. There's no greater love than this. You have overcome the grave. Your glory fills the highest place. What can separate me now?"

It was evident she meant every word she was singing. I had a hard time not getting a bit emotional when I saw this because as adults we have such a hard time expressing how we feel about God. We get caught up in what we look like when we raise our hands or how we sound when we sing out loud. She didn't care. I am pretty sure she wasn't thinking, "I wonder if anyone is looking at me right now"...."I hope I am not too loud"...she was just simply singing to God.

Out of everything that happened over the course of the 2 hours we were at church that image of her stuck in my head. Then I got a text from my mom with this picture of Julia from the Worship Service.

We are God's CHILDREN...maybe we should try worshipping Him like they do...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lesson 13: More Than The Sands of the Sea

2nd day back to work...oh summer where did you go??!! :) Needless to say, everything was very busy today. Lots of meetings and standing in the middle of my classroom wondering where to put everything and where to start...

In the middle of this hectic day, my mind was filled with thoughts of Julia. "It's 9:00. She is getting ready to take a nap"....."Waking up from a nap...she is probably eating a snack now"....."I hope she did ok when Tim left her this morning..." and on and on and on.

It truly is impossible to go through a day away from Julia, busy as it may be, and not be consumed with thoughts of her. I am constantly thinking of her...I even caught myself looking at pictures of her on my phone today during our faculty meeting! This whole scenario makes me think of this wonderful passage...

"How precious are your thoughts concerning me O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand." Psalm 139:17-18

He thinks of me more than I could possibly think of my sweet girl. What a thought...more than the sands of the sea.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lesson 12: The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us

I was thinking today about this time last you know I do so often...and I remembered that I started a blog while we were in the hospital, the first time Julia tried to make her grand appearance :) I looked back at the blog and my last entry was exactly one year ago today! August 14th, 2010. 

For those of you who don't know, I went into early labor at 32 1/2 weeks. We were rushed to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL. We stayed there for 16 days and ended up coming home...with the bun still in the oven :) It is so neat to read this and think about where my family was exactly one year ago. Julia wasn't even here yet...I was a little scared and in a season of questioning God's intentions and reasoning for what He was allowing in our lives. I think this is a wonderful reason to write things down, or journal about our lives....because just to be honest I am in another season of questioning...about something totally different of course...but to look back and see where He has brought us from is very encouraging. It just reaffirms my faith in Him. 

So here is August year ago :) 

No more meds! I stopped taking all medications Monday. I guess I was thinking that I would have Julia 10 minutes later...haha! I am quickly learning that this is totally going to happen on her time clock! Tim and I wonder if this is a good sign of things to come :)

While waiting I can't help but be overcome with thankfulness that God showed us mercy in this situation. He didn't have to do the things He has done. We were so worried that she was going to come early and here we are looking at 37 weeks on Friday! What a blessing!

I have learned a very valuable lesson in all of this. It is ok for us to go through a period of questioning God...even if it seems harsh or out of line. I have been reading about Naomi and Ruth. Naomi was so devastated after her husband and sons died that when she returned home she didn't even want to keep her name. She wanted a name that meant what she was feeling at that time. Her exact words were,

"Don't call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full and came back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?" Ruth 1: 20-21.

If we were all honest with ourselves we would say we have all been at a place in our lives where we felt exactly like she did. Another great example from another familiar person...David asked in Psalm 22, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me." Or in our words today, "God, why are You not relieving this pain or answering my prayers?" That is DEFINITELY a familiar place for all of us...if we are honest with ourselves! There are so many examples in the Bible of people going through seasons of questioning. Jesus asked God for "this cup to be taken from me" right before He was going to be crucified.

So I guess my question today is, why aren't we honest with God more? Why do we feel like we have to hide what we are going through from Him? He wants us to talk to Him about those things too.

I have found out through this experience that we will have seasons of questioning...but there are also seasons of refreshing. The blessings we ask for are not always packaged like we think they should be. He has our best interest in mind.

Lord help me learn to know that it is ok for me to ask You questions. It doesn't mean that I don't love You or that You will be mad at me. You already know anyway! Thank You for being a God that allows us to come to You honestly. Thank You for the seasons of refreshing...and the seasons of questions.

"The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lesson 11: Come Just Like I Am

There are times during my day when I think I am going to complete a task and I get interrupted by a cute, little, brown-eyed girl grunting at me...and loudly might I add :) She does this at the most opportune when I am trying to finish the last load of laundry or put up just a few more dishes. In my mind I need to get those things completed on my time frame...but that isn't always what Julia has in mind. If it doesn't happen on her schedule, it doesn't happen!

I have to stop in those moments and ask myself if my menial tasks are really that important. What is important is that I answer that little grunt I keep hearing over and over again. What I love about Julia coming to me at any time like that is, she has no problem with trying to get my attention. She will crawl over to me no matter what I have going on. She knows I will answer her. She knows that I will always come to her if she cries.

Shouldn't I be like that with my Father? He wants me to come to Him with anytime. He is never too busy to hear my grunts and groans...or my complaints. Yet when I need to talk to Him the most, I try to get my words to sound wise and proper and say "Lord" about 75 times...or better than that...I get sidetracked and stop talking to Him altogether. What a lesson to learn! I make something so hard that my (almost) one year old does better than me...come just like I am.
Pretty Brown Eyes


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lesson 10: Leaving a Legacy

Julia and Tim play a game every time they get in the car where he will say "JuJu" and she says "DaDa." They repeat this about 750 times or until we get to where we are going :) She absolutely loves it! She has started doing the game with me as well...only problem is when I say "JuJu," she still says "DaDa." Oh well, she will catch on soon enough!
Catching on is exactly what she is doing lately. Copying what we say...what sounds something makes...facial expressions...knowing to clap when she did a good job...or waving her arms in the air when she is excited. It seems like all of this just happened overnight! It is so fun to watch, but when I stop and think about what she is doing, it is also a little scary.

She is learning all of this from us! What we are teaching her is actually sarcastic comments please :) I can't help but worry a little that she is going to pick up the wrong things from me. I know that no parent is perfect...and no child for that matter...but I just wish sometimes she would only repeat the good she sees in me. I am learning that the example I show her now, truly is going to stick with her and influence her for a lifetime.

I saw a good example of a "good example" last night. Tim, Julia, and I went to eat supper together. As we were sitting at our table, an older man and a little boy, probably no older than 5, walked in together. I wasn't eavesdropping, but it wasn't too terribly hard to hear the conversation between the little boy and the man, who turned out to be his grandpa. They talked about the restaurant, their favorite sauces, and other majorly important topics.

I couldn't help but be drawn back to memories of my grandpa...or Papa as we called him. We used to have dinners like that. He used to give me quarters every time I left his house. He always told me to never give up...and if I did, just to never tell anyone. He was a wonderful grandfather. He absolutely, without question, loved his family. When he passed away, we were cleaning out his office and found paper after paper after paper where he had written down all of our names over and over again. Who knows why? Maybe we were just on his mind that day...maybe he just liked seeing the names of all of the people who were closest to him. The important thing was that we were important to him. He left characteristics of himself scattered all throughout our family. He left a legacy that was undeniably marked by a love for Jesus and a love for his family.

I want that for Julia. I want her to be able to say, when I am gone, that I loved Jesus....that He was what mattered most to me. I pray that the things she is starting to learn now will one day be the lessons she passes on to her children.

Great lyrics from Nichole Nordeman...enjoy.

"I want to leave a legacy.
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
Child of mercy and grace
who blessed Your name, unapologetically.
And leave that kind of legacy."

Julia's Dedication, October 3, 2010


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lesson 9: Give neither counsel or salt until you are asked for it.

With a baby, new parents can look forward to lots of diapers, sleepless nights, bottles, visits to Target (just needed to throw that one in there), poop, and ADVICE!!! I had no clue that lots of people around me were baby experts until I had Julia. They had all been under cover until she came along...

So what was it about those people that made them think I needed their advice? Now don't get me wrong...I would be a fool if I didn't listen to the wisdom that some people have given me over the past year...I mean there were times it was a matter of life and death for my baby had I not heeded the advice given by others. With that said, I am not talking about the advice that is good or even necessary. I am talking about this kind...

"If she is not sleeping through the night, then give her a thimble full of Jack Daniels. That should do the trick."
"Well, when my kids were young, I did (insert something ridiculous here) and it worked every time."
"You SHOULD have tried (whatever you can think of here). You are just inexperienced. It will get better."
"Try having more than one child under the age of one. THAT'S when it gets hard."

Or how about when someone is holding your baby and is talking in a sweet baby voice and the baby is cooing and laughing and all of a sudden the person keeps the sweet baby voice but says something like,

"That's a sweet baby. Tell your mommy to try to keep her house a little cleaner and maybe you could have more room to play in here."


That's the kind of advice I have trouble with. I mean, do these people (mostly women, who have already raised their kids, but forgotten what it is like to be a young mom) really think this is helpful??

I know in Proverbs it talks endlessly about advice and wisdom..."Wise people take advice"..."Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail, take good counsel and watch them succeed." The key words are GOOD ADVICE. Listen to the good advice. All of that listed above has really been said to me...people honestly thought that would do me good to hear those "pearls of wisdom."

In this indirect, but oh so direct, lesson from Julia today, I want to remember how I feel as a young, new mom...that having and raising a child does require help from others who have done all of this before...but at the same time a good mommy knows her child better than any other person, no matter how old they are or how many kids they have had. A mom knows her child the best...(a very wise person told me that last week).

Good quote..."He that gives good advice builds with one hand, but he that gives good advice and example builds with both."

I have to learn to listen only to the good, Godly wisdom, from people that are living what they are saying. Hard one to learn...all those other voices can be so loud some days.

Don't wanna hear it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lesson 8: Friends For Life

I believe there are three types of friends...

1. The Best Friend-with whom you share all of your personal details about life
2. The Life-Long Friend-who always picks up right where you left off
3. The Mentor Friend-who is a great example and someone in which you can confide

I have friends in all three of these categories. They all are equally special to me...and equally different. I could go all the way back to my 1st grade year and tell stories of how these friends were placed in my life for very specific reasons. To look back and think about all of them is to see how God has used those friendships to help mold me into who I am today. I am grateful for all of them.

These thoughts were sparked on today as I watched Julia play with her best friend, Asher. When we walked in both of the kids began smiling and squealing and throwing their hands in the air. It wouldn't matter if they saw each other 50 different times in a day, they would still greet each other the same way with the same enthusiasm. Wouldn't it be funny if we greeted our friends with that much excitement every time??  :)

It all made me realize how blessed I am for the friends I have had, and am surrounded with now...accepting of me no matter what I bring to the table. I am also grateful for Julia's sweet little friends and their families.

Julia and Asher...her future husband :)

Julia and Grady

Julia and Jessi Cat

Julia and KK

Julia and Merritt

Julia and Sam

Lesson 7: Still Thankful

I am the type that always has to say "this time last year I was..." or "this time next week I will be...". I generally find myself comparing times past to times present, or wondering how things will be in the future. Those times of contemplating never really do me any good since I struggle with being a "glass half empty" kind of person some of the time.

So in this case today it was "this time next week...I will be starting back to work." 

Sad to say I spent a lot of my day thinking about going back to work and how I would sorely miss my sweet time with Julia. All throughout the day my mind would drift away and I found myself asking the same nagging questions. You know those questions that pop in your mind when something like work creeps back into your life again..."will she be ok without me?"..."how will this transition affect her?"..."will I be ok???"!

And then I felt a little tug on my leg. And I looked down and saw six shiny, white teeth behind that little grin, and two arms reaching up my way. It didn't take long to get over being upset. She helps me do that a lot.

We have a little song that Tim and I sing to her everyday that totally puts today into perspective...

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away."

What can I say? I have a gray sky every once in a while. But in the midst of being sad, or worried about leaving her, there is so much to be thankful for. I want to learn to focus on what is important. God, in His mercy, has given me too many blessings. It is up to me to decide that my glass is full.

Lots to be thankful for.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lesson 6: She Will Survive

I decided this morning that I would brave the crowd and go out for a little tax free shopping. Julia and Tim stayed home and I enjoyed a day out alone. After I got home and showed Tim all of the great deals I got (and how much money I saved...yeah right), he began to tell me about his day with JuJu. Needless to say, there were some pretty funny stories :)

Apparently she learned how to open the DVD player while I was gone.

Tim was on the couch watching TV and looked down and she had a DVD in her hand, waving it in the air. He took the DVD away, popped her on the hand, moved her away from the DVD player, and sat back down on the couch. Just about the time he sat down, she was right back where she started with a DVD in her hand, waving it in the air. So as you have probably already guessed, Tim took the DVD away...again, popped her harder on the hand, moved her away from the DVD player, and sat back down on the couch. To save from having to go through all of those grueling steps again...the whole thing happened for the 3rd time. The only step that changed was the popping part...he spanked her harder the 3rd time, which led to a dramatic display of crying and grabbing onto his leg. I am not really sure where she got all of that drama from? So strange...

Now I know person #1 would tell me that a child should only be spanked one time and that should do the trick...and person #2 would say children shouldn't be spanked at all. So I would say to person must have never had to deal with any children during your life...and to person #2...well...keep reading :)

Proverbs 23:13-15 reads, and I quote, from The Message,
" Don't be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won't kill them (emphasis mine).
A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death.
My child if you become wise, I'll be one happy parent."

Wow! So here is my take on this teaching from Proverbs...found in the parentheses...
"Don't be afraid to correct your young ones (even if you have to do it 50 million times in a day),
A spanking won't kill them (even if they do act like you just knocked their leg off).
A good spanking (with a belt, hand, or switch),
Might save them from something worse than death (which means I AM doing the right thing).
My child if you become wise (Julia Anne, if you get anything at all out of my "hit and miss" parenting),
I'll be one happy parent (it will be a miracle)!"

Oh, and just so you know the happy ending...she survived.

Holding my deal of the least she is not touching the DVD player.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lesson 5: Loving With No Limits

I got up this morning, made some coffee, and sat down to give Julia her bottle. I was flipping through the channels and stopped in on The Today Show. Kathie Lee and Hoda were on...I know what some of you are thinking...but when you don't have cable, Kathie Lee and Hoda are a pleasant change from my daily dosage of Dora.

I anyway, Kathie Lee was updating the viewing audience on a controversy that took place on the show yesterday, which was a segment on issues women have with their mother-in-law. The segment caused a lot of women to write in and say that their daughter-in-law can be a problem too and The Today Show needed to address that issue as well! So today she and Hoda began the discussion of how the mother-in-law problem was also a daughter-in-law problem and their discussion took a turn to talking about hard relationships in life.

I know this is really had to be watching to understand that this was slightly interesting.

Kathie Lee said that being married was the hardest relationship and Hoda said that she thought raising kids was harder. This is where the conversation truly caught my interest. They began sharing their side of the argument and then Kathie Lee made this comment:

"Children are easy to love unconditionally. It is harder to love your husband that way."

And naturally my thought process turned toward Julia and Tim. And these questions popped in my mind...

"Do I love Tim unconditionally?"
"Do I have restrictions or boundaries around the way I show him how I feel?"
"Is it easier to love my daughter than my husband?"....WHOA!! All of that from Kathie Lee and Hoda??! I know...forgive me :)

To unconditionally love someone means that you have affections for them with no limits or conditions...a complete love.
It really is easy to love my child that way. The bond that started from the first time that little peanut showed up on the ultra-sound cannot be duplicated or created in any other kind of relationship and I think that's what makes marriage harder...loving a child just comes naturally. I can get so frustrated with Julia and in an instant I can be over whatever made me so angry with her. Not so easy with the hubby. It takes work for me to show love to him like that.
I may not always show unconditional love to my man...but I know deep down I sure do want to. Something tells me that this is not a case where "It's the thought that counts..." will give me any credit! Don't get me wrong...there is no question if I love my husband. I just don't always do the best job of showing him how much I love him.

So today's lesson is still a work in progress thanks to my relationship with Julia...and the wisdom and insight from Kathie Lee Gifford.

Still love him like this.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lesson 4: It Does Matter

Nothing I could do today made it any better for little JuJu. She is really sick and I felt really helpless. She didn't want juice, or water, Puffs, or any other kind of food for that matter...didn't want to be inside or outside. Didn't want the TV on...didn't want the TV off...didn't want to be in my lap...didn't want to be in the floor...didn't want to play with her toys...didn't want her toys put get the drift.

Ever had one of those days?

I haven't wanted her to start talking yet, because that meant she was growing up, but today I would have given anything to be able to hear her tell me what she needed.

These words from Steven Curtis Chapman (one of my favorites) came to mind...

"You’re picking up toys on the living room floor
for the 15th time today
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost
Cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips
and head out the door
And while I may not know you I bet I know
You wonder sometimes does it matter at all

Well let me remind you it all matters just as long as you
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do"

So I could change some of the lyrics to say "wiping a snotty nose for the 15th time today"...or something like that...but the real thought to ponder today is...

 "Why did I do all that I did today?"

I can honestly say at the end of this long day,  I didn't do so great at learning this lesson...I didn't bring a whole lot of anything to God today, except for frustration and a little self-pity...

So the next time that I have a sick baby, or have to stay up a little later than usual, or clean up the same set of blocks, or pick up 200 double-ply tissues out of my living room floor again...I need to remember that I can bring glory to God, even in those things. It is all about how I handle it.

And to Him...those "little" things really do matter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lesson 3: She Has 'em Marked!

Today was one of those days that I will remember for a long time. Nothing really special happened today. It was just one of those days.

 Around lunch today Julia and I headed out to see my dad. He has been sick lately. I knew it would do him some good for us to stop by. He tried hard to feel good enough to visit and play with Julia but it was evident that he was trying...and that is unusual. See, he and my mom very rarely have to try to get excited about Julia, or JuJu as we call her, coming to their house. It just comes naturally...imagine that.

I enjoy seeing my parents as grandparents. I really never thought they would love someone like they do my brother, myself, and Tim...but oh my do they ever.

I looked around their house today and in every room, on every table, or stand, in every visible place, there are pictures of Julia. There are even finger prints left on the mirrors from where she has touched the glass. And if you know my mom at all, then you know that every single Thursday night her house is cleaned from top to that was definitely done on purpose!

I knew as I was leaving today that I needed to make sure every bowl and bottle, toy and book were put away before I left, because if my mom got home from work and saw that stuff out she would have been sad to see all of that and not see Julia. So I cleaned up, hugged dad, and we headed home.

While thinking of all of this today, I came across a verse in Proverbs (17:6) and the first part of it gave me a laugh. It read:

"Old people are distinguished by their grandchildren..."

I didn't laugh because it said "old people" but because the word distinguished means "marked." And boy does she ever have 'em marked!!

Te-Ta, JuJu, and G-Pa

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lesson 2: Oh how things change!

Our house stays clean...most of the is a little difficult to keep everything in its place with an 11 month old. Needless to say, there isn't much Julia can get into that is dirty or could potentially be bad for her. And if you have ever been in our house then you know that there isn't a whole lot of places she can go without us being able to see her.

So, you will now understand that I was in complete shock when I couldn't find her the other day...walked up stairs (like she could even get up there), went in the kitchen, looked in our laundry room, and then I heard it...the strangest splashing sound...water?...inside?

I had forgotten to put the lid to the toilet down and she found out that this big, white bowl was really cool. Toilet water was everywhere...all over her (and we were getting ready to leave), all over her toys that she was playing with, and all over my bathroom floor. That was the first "episode," as my great-grandmother used to say.

That same day she discovered that it was really fun to pull everything out of the big, black thing Mommy opened and closed everyday. Yes...the garbage can. And yes. She pulled in over and was pulling everything out of it. I guess the real question is, "where was I when all of this was going on?" all happened so fast!!!

The two grossest things in our house, the toilet and the garbage can, are now the two things we cannot keep her away from! Why in the world with all of the toys, books, games, puzzles, etc. does she want to play in those two things??!

 After all of the clean up I couldn't help but laugh. I mean two or three years ago I would have been so grossed out by up toilet water and old garbage. Funny how the gross and ususual has changed into my normal life. I like it though :)


Monday, August 1, 2011

Lesson 1: Complete Trust

A couple of days ago my hubby, Tim, was sitting on the couch with our little girl, Julia. She was throwing herself forward, completely unaware that there was any danger in what she was doing. She completely trusted him to catch her.
He started laughing and said, "She sure does trust me to be throwing herself forward so hard!"
I replied, "She has no reason not to trust you."

And the thought hit me...
"That is how I should be with my Father. I have no reason not to trust Him."

This all reminded me of a book I am reading by Micca Campbell, "An Untroubled Heart." In one of the chapters in the book she states,
"We were created to be like little children, dependent on the care of our Heavenly Father."
I want to learn, like Julia, to throw myself, my cares, burdens, concerns, etc. on my Father~completely trusting Him to catch me.
I have no reason not to.

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burdens, the God who is our salvation.
Psalm 68:19