Dear Ones,
Hope you had a good weekend. This is being sent to you early today as we are leaving this morning for Battle Lake for the funeral of my aunt Rhoda. We were there not long ago for her grandson’s funeral; he was young and she was 97, but now they are in glory! 
We were blessed by the Thanksgiving service last night and testimonies shared by many…. also the variety of pies afterwards!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   How many of us can say we feel chosen and wanted and loved? I never asked my parents if I was planned but they already had a son three years old and another that was one and a half when I was born. I could have been a surprise!  And yet I arrived on God’s time table and I was told they were thrilled to have a daughter. But whether our parents planned for us or not, each of us were chosen by the Lord and valued. I love to think of the words of Zeph. 3:17b (ESV), “He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”
  I am reading Ann Voskamp’s book,“Waymaker,” and she encourages us to let our hearts be joined to the Lord and to let Him love us. She also shares her story of her own marriage and making a commitment to love her husband for the rest of life, much like the Lord wanting our hearts to also be joined with him like in marital oneness. It is a safe and secure place for He won’t let go of us as he said in John 6:38 b(Message), “And once that person is with me, I will hold on and won’t let go.”
   We learn quickly to live in forgiveness, for we are imperfect beings who sin and fall. But hopefully we grow in being more self-less and discover that only the Lord can totally satisfy our heart’s longings, not any human. Ann shares that self-forgetfulness is the essence of happiness and we feel more connected to Him when we have a diminished sense of self. She charts the way to love which is to lay down our plans, agendas, and will and lift up the will of another.
   Just like in a dance, our part is to move with the Lord and follow His leading. We desire to know His heart even as He fully knows ours. This is not an intellectual knowing but a relational heart knowing. When we are fully known, no matter what happens in our lives, we feel secure in Him. Let us press on to know the Lord in deeper ways and let ourselves be known by Him.
Challenge for today: Spend some time expressing your love for the Lord, and if you are married also expressing your love for your mate.
May you have a blessed day and prayers and love, Judy