I have the priviledge of growing up in a Christian home. I committed my life to Christ at 4 years old, sitting on my dad’s lap, helping him drive the van home (times were different) from my grandparents after Easter (yes, I remember). I then rededicated my life in 5th grade when I was baptized. My parents would be my biggest influencers for my faith, followed by all the staff and volunteers in my youth group who selflessly poured in to me. Also, my time at Bethel College helped launch me with a solid faith as a young adult. My journey has been marked by joy in the Lord in all circumstances. I was diagnosed at 21 with a degenerative connective tissue disorder which has contirbuted to chronic pain and 14 (so far) surgeries. Through it all God has filled me with joy and a great desire for Heaven. Parenting has been the biggest struggle for joy. My kids are great and I love them but WOW they know my buttons! I daily flee to the Lord for reminders of His promises and forgiveness. In the midst of a particularily difficult time in our home, the Lord gave me a dream of the Prodigal Son. Not from the son’s point of view but from the Father’s. With a broken heart, he allowed his son to run off to certain ruin. However, he did not wallow, lecture or disown his son. Istead, he went about his work and watched and waited for any sign of his beloved child. When he caught a glimpse of him he ran to him with arms wide open and welcomed him back without scolding, lectures or “I told you so’s”. This dream has had a profound affect on my parenting since then.