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  Sometimes our lives feel like quicksand. What we thought was solid ground turns out not to be so solid, and it unexpectedly grabs us and pulls us down. No matter how much we struggle to escape, we continue to sink. We want to get out more than anything, but we're stuck. We are trapped in circumstances beyond our control, and there seems to be no obvious solution. Where are you stuck today? In a job you hate? With a spouse you can't change? In a financial crisis you caused but can't solve? Maybe there's no external situation trapping you - maybe you're stuck in your own thoughts. Maybe you're trapped in a cycle of self-hatred and depression. Worry and anxiety. Condemnation and doubt. Maybe your life is a combination of internal and external traps. I've certainly been there. It feels hopeless, doesn't it? Like you'll be there forever, and there's no way out. Every second drags by, and you look around at everyone moving freely while your own feet are in chains. You'd do anything for a change, but you've tried everything that didn't work. You literally have no control, and there's nothing you can do but wait. You are at God's mercy, and you pray He will...


  When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mother. Sure, I played around with being a marine biologist (who knew you had to be good at science?!), and I would teach school to my dolls and stuffed animals. I dreamed of being an ice skater when the winter Olympics were on, and I toyed with the idea of being a journalist. I considered different careers, but in my heart, I knew my greatest desire was to be a mom. And now I am.   I'm the mom of two incredible human beings, and God has given me the desire of my heart. But man, is it ever hard. Before I gave birth, I knew exactly what kind of mom I would be. I'd be patient all the time, my house would always be tidy, and I'd be a phenomenal cook. But according to these standards, I'm actually a colossal failure. I lose my patience daily, my house looks like a tornado blew through, and my cooking would make Rachael Ray grimace. I am not the mom I thought I'd be, and I'm willing to bet you're not, either.  I heard from a friend recently who said, "I always wanted kids and never...


  I know it isn't what you planned. The life you're living right now - the schedule you keep, the unexpected twists and turns, the dissatisfaction you feel - it isn't exactly what you pictured, is it? The child born with special needs. The child you're praying for but still haven't conceived. The job you lost without explanation. The husband who left and gave another his name. The bills you can't pay and the house you can't keep. The family that's imploding. The diagnosis that took your breath. It's not what you planned for, it's not what you prepared for, and it's certainly not what you prayed for. How do you move forward at all, much less with peace and joy, when the life you thought you'd have looks nothing like the one you live? How do you trust that God is good when everything feels so very bad? How do you set your mind on things above when the things nearby demand your time and attention? There is a way, but the way is never easy. It's never natural. It's never obvious. The way is through surrender. Deep down in our cores, we all know we aren't in control. We know we aren't the masters of our universe, and we know things will happen...


This blog post is inspired by the new book: Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman which releases today, November 15th! You can purchase a copy at http://listenloverepeatbook.com.   I won't deny that I'm naturally selfish. When life is in constant motion and I'm just trying to make it through my days, I become all about me. My focus is on what makes me happy, what is most convenient for me, and what is easiest for my schedule. My gaze is fixed inward, and my actions reflect my heart. But my heart needs realignment. You see, as a Christ-follower, I no longer have the luxury of being all about myself. I can no longer be satisfied with being selfish, and I can no longer be consumed with what is convenient for me. This world is not my home, and this world is not about me. My focus must shift to the Savior of my soul, and my actions must show His love to His people. With the call to love others is the call to listen to their hearts, love them where they are, and repeat. In her new book, Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World, Karen Ehman teaches what love in action looks like in our very...