Letting Go of Pride, Taking on Humility

Letting Go of Pride, Taking on HumilityI find myself at times to be a very prideful person. I may not talk like I am, or act like I am, but I am prideful.

Pride is “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”.

I must say I have a very hard time discouraging those prideful thoughts. Those thoughts that pretty much all same the same thing: I am better than you. But don’t we all struggle with pride in little ways?

James 4:10

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

God call us to be the opposite of prideful: humble. God calls us to be humble. We all struggle with it, some more than others (like me). Pride is a fundamental part of our sinful human nature. But humility is something we all must summit to, if we’re to take those first steps to being saved.

That humbleness to admit that God created and controls the word. That humbleness to submit to the one and only God. That humbleness to confess that we’re sinful and we need help, help that we can’t give ourselves. All of it takes strength. Strength that we don’t have.

Philippians 4:13

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

God, He freely gives His strength. It is always there for us. But we can be too prideful to take it. We trust only ourselves. We don’t want to rely on someone else. We want to earn our own salvation. We don’t want to feel like we owe something to anyone.

But we already owe God everything. The earth we’re standing on, is His. Our very lives belong to Him! Everything we have, everything we were, everything we are, and everything we will ever be is in His hands. By His grace we’re alive! It is all belongs to Him.

All we have to do is give Him our hearts. He gives us the strength, and we make the choice.

Though it is hard for us to let go of pride, we must realize that nothing we do is done by our own strength. It is all through Him. Nothing we do is done through our own strength. We just have to learn to trust and rely on Him. It will be such a relief once we do, but we must take that first step. And we might have to keep taking that step, because it is so easy for us to forget and try to bring everything under our control. We want to be in control, but we need to let it go. Because holding on to pride will get us nowhere.

God is our strength. We can rest and have peace in Him, if we only are humble to give ourselves fully to Him. He is our rock, our foundation. On no one else can we find the strength we so desperately need.

We need help, help only God can give. Let’s find our strength in Him and let go of our pride.

-G. Paige

 

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Abortion

Abortion

Hey ya’ll! I’m starting a new series of posts on current issues in today’s world. Please feel free to let me know what you think!

Abortion has become a big issue for the United States of America since the late twentieth century. At least, for Christians it is an issue. For most other people, the killing of the fetus in the womb is a part of life. In this essay I hope to convey my stand point on this serious topic. I also hope to give a good reason why I take the view point I do. We must oppose this practice and stand up for what is morally right.

So what is my view on abortion? Well, I hope it would be pretty clear that as a Christian I would believe to be wrong. Abortion is murder. The fetus is alive from conception and is a human being. In the Bible there are references to human beings in the womb called children. God certainly must have believed that they were human, not fetuses. The Bible acknowledges that it’s life is worth just as much as an adult’s.

Exodus 21:22-25

Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve. But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

It is murder to kill an innocent human being. One of the Ten Commandments says the we shouldn’t murder. Now we all are born into a world of sin. We’re all sinful and would be condemned to eternal life in Hell if not for Christ. Murder is murder whether it is an adult or an infant.

We as a nation are striving for peace, but there is a war within our very borders. Undeniably it is a war for life itself. Human beings are dying before they even get a chance to see life out of the womb. Life is precious, but we’re constantly destroying it. These children have a right, a right to live.
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More than half the population in the U.S. believes abortion is wrong. But because of a few dissenters, now abortion is legal. We need to stand up against this legal right to murder. We need to support and finance the organizations that are opposing abortion. Let’s vote for and support legislation that protects the unborn. I’d rather face judgement by man man than judgement by God.

Abortion is wrong. That’s what I believe and I hope that is what you believe too. It is clearly murder of a human being and I’m sure we all know what God says about murder. Abortion is legal now, but I know that if we stand together we can change that. Isn’t that what the African Americans did to get full civil rights? Let’s oppose this. It is our obligation to God to do so.

-G. Paige

Just A Fact

tag-wordpress

Hello everyone! Today I’m posting tag that I got tagged in. Thank you Mary Kate for the tag! I love tags! I hope that you enjoy this post and learn a little bit more about me.

A Fact About Me: 

If you saw me in real life, I’d be the person on the sidelines of a group. I’m very quiet and shy (Though, I’m definitely not as shy as I used to be.). I’m not as comfortable in a group than by myself or with a close friend.

But even though I am quiet, I have struggled with self-control. I have a hot temper which pops up very easily. It almost always happens because of problems with my siblings. That is not an excuse, but that is how it usually happens. Unless it is schoolwork. Ugh…I can get so frustrated with my schoolwork.

This is something I still struggle with. Sometimes I think I have gotten better with it, while other times I think it has gotten worse. Either way, I know that only with God can I overcome my faults. I can’t save myself. That is impossible. I need to keep trying to get control of my anger, and I think I don’t always try hard enough. Of course, I can’t just try. I need to trust and pray to God for guidance.

If you struggle with something, remember to not rely on yourself. You can’t overcome it on your own. Pray to God for help and just keep trusting in Him.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

Guidelines:

  • Take the banner and paste it to your post.
  • Tell a single, meaningful fact about who you are.
  • Explain this fact as open, and explanatory as you can.
  • Tag at least one other blogger, and give a reason why you think they should do this.
  • Add a Bible verse to close out this tag.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Have fun!

Tagged:

You seems to do a few tags now and then. So this might be a great opportunity to know more about you.

I don’t know if you want to do this, but I’d love to learn more about the author of The Blades of Acktar.

Morgan, I think you would do great with this kind of tag.

You’ve been a great friend. I would love to see what you would say for this!

Your posts are so fun! I think it would be awesome to see you do this.

I love chatting with you on Goodreads and I love the tags you do.

You just started a blog and so I’d love to be the first person to tag you in something.

-G. Paige

Where is God in the Midst of our Struggles?

imageLet’s face it. Life isn’t easy. Each and every one of us go through a lot in our lives. Whether it is school, children, work, or whatever, it’s all a part of life. This world use to be perfect and sinless. That was how it was before Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world. Life must’ve been easy then. But let’s not dwell on the past. What’s done is done and we can’t do anything about it.

Anyways, now this is a world full of sin. It’s a fallen world. Now we face hard work, danger, pain, suffering, and death. All of these things are pretty common in this world we live in. But sometimes these things bear down on us so much that we lose sight of God. We lose sight of the big picture and can only see the struggle that we’re facing. I get it. It’s like quicksand. As soon as we step in it, we start sinking and the more we struggle the quicker we sink. We all have those moments when we are so down deep in that quicksand that we begin to have doubts. Where is God? Does He even care? Why did He let this happen? We think that maybe we’ll never get out of this sand and that we will just keep sinking. And we will. Without God we’ll always be sinking.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

But with God anything is possible.

So where is God when we’re struggling?  Here right there with you. He is always there with you. How? Because God is omnipresent which means he is everywhere at every time: past, present, and future all at the same time! But more importantly, as Christians, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that amazing?!

He cares more about you than you will ever know. He love is everlasting. God cares so much about you that He created you. He certainly didn’t have to create any of us. But He did, because He wanted to. He didn’t need to. God went farther than just creating us though. He gave a beautiful world to live in with anything and everything we could ever need. Sin degraded the beauty of the world, but Jesus has bought redemption for us and soon the world will be perfect again when Jesus comes for the second time.

Why? You still might be asking. Well, we can’t ever truly know why. We don’t know how God thinks or what He thinks. But struggles do help us grow in our faith.

Romans 5:3-5

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Clearly, this shows that through struggle we develop endurance and this turn into growth in our faith. Remember that the next time you’re are going through something tough: there is always a reason for it. And always remember that God is with you.

-G. Paige
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We Are Set Free

MEXICOChange. I almost shiver at hearing that word sometimes. There are good changes and there are bad changes. But, for the most part, we don’t like any type of change. Change may bring sadness or difficulties or happiness or something new different. And we don’t always like something new.

The Jews didn’t like change. They loved their traditions and laws and sacrifices. So when Jesus, the Son of God, came down to earth and told them to change, they hated him. He offered them something new and different, and most of the people rejected him. They crucified him. Jesus gave them freedom from the law and forgiveness of sins without sacrifices. He offered them new life. Eternal life. But for this they had him beaten and hanged on a cross.

Matthew 24:9

Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.
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This is why Christians are persecuted more so than most. We’re different. Our “religion” isn’t a religion. It doesn’t tell you to work harder and be good so that you can earn your way to Heaven. All religions ask something of you. They give you laws to follow in hopes that you might earn your way to Heaven or Paradise or something like that. But you can never do that. None of us can. We’re too sinful and fallen. We can’t do anything on our own.

The Jews were in the same predicament as everyone else who followed a religion, except for the important fact that they followed the one and only true God. If you look throughout the Old Testament you’ll see that they couldn’t live up to God’s standards. Again and again they fell short.

Jesus changed things. We can now have a one on one relationship with God. We don’t have to be good enough for Him; we just have to believe in Him. There is no more need for sacrifices. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness and He will never fail to forgive us of all our transgressions. We were in slavery under the law, but now we are set free.

This is why someone will always be persecuting us (at least until Jesus returns). Our sinful human nature wants to work for salvation. It gives us a feeling of self, of identity (though our identity can be found in Christ). We like to believe that we did something on our own. Like God isn’t actually in control of our lives. But that’s not true. For everything we’ve done or ever will do has been because of God. All the glory belongs to Him.

Let’s rejoice over the freedoms we have today in Christ.

We are set free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:3

The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

This doesn’t mean to live however an ungodly lifestyle you want.  Because of this precious gift God has given us we should want to live by the example Jesus set before us. We shouldn’t ever waste such freedom that way.

Jesus changed the world. Now it’s our chance to live out that change to the fullest.

-G. Paige

What does Love mean to Us?

ahr3Love. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of a kiss between a man and woman? Do you think of a parent loving up on his or her child? Maybe you think of the way Hollywood displays love in the films they produce. Or maybe you think one person caring for another. Either way, in today’s world, love is shown to be many different things and not all of them are right.

Most of you have heard the saying that “God is love”. It is absolutely true. But if we don’t know what love is, how can we even begin to know what God is?

1 John‬ ‭4:7-8‬

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

We are taught that one of the greatest commandments given is to love your neighbor as yourself. That means that it is necessary to really understand what love is, so we can do what God asks of us too.

Let’s first look at what the Bible says about love.

1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

It seems a pretty straightforward answer, does it not? But it is not so easy to carry out. To love one another we must be patient and kind. We must not be jealous or boastful or proud or rude. We must not demand our own way. We must not be irritable. You see the point.

We cannot live up to these standards, not without God’s help. But God definitely lives up to this and more. He is perfect, sovereign, and holy. Holy means to be set apart. God is set apart from us. The best part is that love will last forever!

Though God is love, sometimes we doubt that this is true. Why? Because we see the destruction and death that God allows in this world He created. How could a loving God allow this? He has every right, the only right, to allow it and much worse because we are the ones who sinned against Him in the beginning. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin this place became a sinful world. The death and destruction are the consequences of our actions. God gave us the consequences that we deserved. But God was so loving that He didn’t leave us in the pit we had dug for ourselves. He sent his only Son to live with us and die for us. To save us from ourselves.

Have you ever heard that a parent spanks his or her kid out of love? That it is as hard for the parent to spank or punish the kid as it is for the kid to receive that punishment? It is kind of the same thing when God allows us to get consequences for our sins.

What I’m trying to get at is that sometimes loving a person doesn’t mean giving them what they want. Sometimes it means giving them what they need. And a lot of the time that is not what they want.

So as we start this new year, let’s grow and learn in our love for one another. Knowing that when we follow God, we’ll be giving what people need, even if it is not what they want.

I hope that this year is filled with blessings and joy for every single one of you.

Happy New Year!

-G. Paige 

Thanksgiving…and Joy

ahr2I know, Thanksgiving has come and passed, but I’m not talking about the holiday. I’m talking about the act of giving thanks, of being thankful. That is something that we can discuss all the time.

I have recently started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She talks about living a fuller life in Christ. I have really liked what she has had to say about it. An important role in that is thanksgiving.

The Greek word for “giving thanks” is eucharisteo. In that word, there are the parts of two other Greek words: charis and chara. Charis means grace, while chara means joy. Isn’t that neat?

But aren’t you here to talk about thanksgiving? Yes, I am and I believe that grace and joy play a part in that. Being thankful is hard. I fail at it, a lot. We all get so lost in our own troubles and worries and temptations that sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture.

I’m not saying that any of our struggles are unimportant, because they are important. God lets us haves struggles so that we grow stronger in our faith and closer to Him. Whatever you’re going through, He will be with you. And we know from the Bible that He will not let us be tempted more than we can bear.

1 Corinthians 10:13

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

But in all of this, we can become quite ungrateful and not thankful. I know I do it‭ all the time.

So how do we become thankful? I think it would help if we took time to focus on Christ throughout each day, everyday. For Ann Voskamp, she started to write a list of one thousand things she was thankful for.

If we start to pay attention to the things around us that we can be thankful for, naming specific things, it would bring us to not take things for granted. I believe that we would get a small glimpse of how much we can be thankful for. There are big things like God, living another day, family, etc. Then there are the minuscule things like melted butter on hot bread, rain pattering against the roof.

When we become thankful, we become joyful.

Joy is dependent on thanksgiving. The more thankful you are, the more joyful you will be.

This is something very important that I learned from One Thousand Gifts. It is so true. How can we be joyful when we are ungrateful? We may be happy, but that isn’t joy. And it definitely doesn’t last like joy does. Happiness comes and goes and can’t be trusted. It comes from material things. But joy, on the other hand, is something that can last forever. It comes from God. Once we have it, it can’t be taken away.

As Christians, we already have that joy that comes from God. But it sometimes gets diminished in going of life. Sometimes we need more of it.

Jesus lived a life of thanksgiving. Even near death, he gave thanks. He even gave thanks for his death.

2 Corinthians 4:15

All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

Because of God’s grace, we can live a life of thanksgiving too. We can learn to see things to be thankful for in any situation. It just takes a lot of practice.

But in the end, I’m sure that it will bring us so much joy.

-G. Paige

God and the New Testament (Part 2)

ahrHere is the second and last part about God, His love, and His relationship with us. If you missed the last part, you can check it out here. This part will focus more on God in the New Testament and in this present time.

God is three in one. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For the most part, we only see the Father in the Old Testament (but all of them are there). In the New Testament we see all three, though Jesus is the most prominent. They each add something as a whole. The Father is the one who created the world, Jesus is the one who saves the world (at least, those who accept him), and the Holy Spirit who comes into our hearts and fills us. The Holy Spirit is like our conscience, always urging us to do what’s right and letting us feel guilty when we fall short. The Holy Spirit is the one who gave the twelve apostles the ability to speak in tongues and allow people (even in today’s time) to preform miracles.

In the New Testament the Father shows His love by sending His only Son into the world, fully God and fully man. He was born of a virgin in the little town of Bethlehem. Throughout his life on earth Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies about him in the Old Testament. He had twelve disciples, one of whom betrayed him. He preformed many many miracles, including raising someone from the dead, and he taught those who would listen (usually in parables). He never sinned.

After he was betrayed, Jesus was tortured then crucified and died. God let it happen, even though His son asked for the suffering to be taken away from Him. It was the only way to save us.

Luke 22:42

Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.

God is so holy and sovereign that He can’t even look at sin. We can’t even begin to comprehend God’s majesty. That is why Jesus said this at his crucifixion.

Mark 15:34

Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

God turned away from His own son because Jesus had taken on the sins of the whole world (past, present, and future) so that God couldn’t stand to look at him. But Jesus rose again on the third day after his death and once appearing to many people he arose to Heaven to sit on the throne at the right hand of God forever.

Just think for a moment. God gave up His only Son. Of course, I’m not a parent, but I am sure some of you who read this are. Would you give up your child to save the world? He wouldn’t even save the whole world, only those who accepted him as their lord and savior. I can’t even begin to imagine that. But God did it for us. Now that is just plain amazing. It shows us His love, but also His hate of sin. His own Son was the only sufficient sacrifice that could wipe away our sin.

Before Jesus went to heaven, he gave us a “mission”.

Matthew 28:19

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

This command is for all Christians. Considering what God did, Jesus did, to save us, we should be glad to do this. The rest of the New Testament gives us great examples of this task being carried out.

I’m not perfect, no one is. This point of this discussion is to know that God doesn’t change. He is the same forever. He has always loved us and He will always hate sin. So lets remember that. Okay?

-G. Paige

God and the Old Testament (Part 1)

ahr-largeSo I want to do a post on God, His love, and His relationship with us. I decided that I’d split it into two parts. One focusing on God in the Old Testament and one on God in the New Testament and, of course, today’s time, because there is a bit of a difference between the two.

In the beginning God created the world. He created everything, and I mean everything. There is not one thing the isn’t made by God. That means He created us. You know why? To glorify Him. We were made to share fellowship with Him and glorify Him through that.

But when Adam and Eve sinned, we fell from that perfection and could do nothing to save ourselves. We couldn’t glorify Him like we should’ve been able to. Then Adam and Eve’s descendants (except Noah and his family) turned to wickedness and it broke God’s heart.

Genesis 6:6

So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

He then brought His righteous anger down and brought about a flood. All people except Noah his family were destroyed.

Through many years after that, God spoke to men who became the ancestors of His chosen people: the Israelites. Some of those men were Abram, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. He loved them dearly and when they followed Him faithfully, He blessed them. But those whose sinned greatly…think of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now I’m not saying that in the Old Testament God was a God of anger and in the New Testament He was a God of love. I know some people believe that, but it is really not true. God doesn’t change, He stays the same.

Malachi 3:6

I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.

God can be angry and punish us because He is, first of all, God. God has the ultimate authority over us and everything. We all deserve hell, but because He a loving and merciful God He hasn’t sent us there. A second reason is that He is good. He can’t do anything wrong. No matter how wrong God’s decisions seems to us, it is right. I know, that is hard to believe at times and we’ll never fully understand it until we’re in Heaven.

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Exodus 20:6
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But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

In the book Exodus, God gave the Israelites “official” commandments to follow. But time and time and time again the Israelites turned away to idols and other idolatrous things. You see, the commandments only more showed how the Israelites couldn’t obey all of them and be perfect. It showed them that they needed a savior, because they couldn’t do it on their own. Do you see where this is heading?

The Old Testament is mainly the history of the Israelites and how they followed God and then turned away, then turned back to God and then turned away…you know what I mean. Though God was merciful and loving so He didn’t totally wipe them out like He could have, He punished and/or reprimanded them. He is a God of justice.

Throughout what seems the hopelessness of the Old Testament: how the Israelites always fall short of God’s commands, we actually see hope too of a coming savior who will set them (us) free from the law. The Old Testament prophecies of hope and redemption.

Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.

Isn’t that wonderful? There was hope. Next time I will post on that hope which is now a reality.

-G. Paige

To Christian Teens: Why We Need To Obey Our Parents

aheartredeemedimageWe, as teens with parents, have been told time and time again to obey our parents. But do we really know why? Why should we obey our parents? This is what I want to go into a bit today.

Colossians 3:20

Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.

Since we were created to glorify God, we should want to please Him, the creator of the universe. If we live in Jesus, he gives us the ability to please and obey Him. If pleasing Him includes obeying our parents then I think we should do just that. That’s good enough of a reason, right? We should want to obey God with every fiber of our being. So why don’t we?

1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:34‬

Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

I believe it is the consequence of living in a fallen world. Sin is such a big temptation for us. It’s part of our nature to sin. So we disobey our parents either with disrespect, back talk, lies, and the list goes on. There are many reasons why: maybe we want control and we’re tired parents telling us what to do (we are teenagers, we can make our own decisions, right) or maybe we just are in a really bad mood and don’t want to listen to anyone (I do that quite a bit) or maybe we want to disobey, just to cross the line. Either way, we are teenagers so that means we should be able to see that obeying our parents is the right thing to do.

Ephesians‬ ‭6:1-3‬

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

It’s still very hard though, isn’t it? But if we lean and trust in Jesus Christ. We can do anything.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

When it feels impossible, just remember that: God is with you all the way, so what can be impossible? Anyways, your parents are probably trying to follow God too and do right by you. They are trying to teach you to do what is right so you won’t make any mistakes that you later regret. They have so much more experience than you. They have your best interests at heart. But most importantly, they love you. God gave you to them. So whatever punishment you think is unfair or whatever thing they told you to do that you don’t think you should, know that it is for your own benefit. And most likely, in later years (or now) you’ll be so grateful to have had such amazing God-loving parents. What could we have done without them? They’re a small reflection of what our Father in Heaven is like.

Proverbs 13:24

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Our parents are just doing what they’re called to do. We don’t have to love it, but we can respect and honor their decisions. We’ll really appreciate it later.

So I’m just going to shout out to my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such spectacular parents to me! I love you guys and I want you to know that it really really really means a lot how much that you’ve done and your doing for me.

-G. Paige
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