Osdalia & Alberto

2 04 2013
Osdalia & Alberto

Osdalia & Alberto

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
-Nehemiah 8:10

I’ve read this scripture and sung it in numerous songs hundreds of, always thinking, well . . . that’s nice. I might have smiled at the sound of it, and then promptly continued reading or singing without giving it much more thought.

Osdalia and Alberto changed that. Until I met them, I didn’t know what those eight, sacred words really meant . . . “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

On March 3, 2013, their small home in Progreso, Texas was burglarized. The thief stole everything except an Xbox system belonging to Osdalia’s 14-year-old son, Jason. To cover his tracks, the thief burned their home to the ground. People gathered in her small community and stood around and watched, no one offering help or support. Most silently thinking, “Better her home than mine.” One church provided a dumpster for clean up, but no one from the church actually helped to clean up.

reconstructing their house in Progreso, Texas

reconstructing their house in Progreso, Texas

reconstructing their house in Progreso, Texas

reconstructing their house in Progreso, Texas

charred remnants from their house

charred remnants from their house

At the time of the fire, Alberto, Osdalia’s second husband and not yet a legal US citizen, was still living and working in Mexico. Upon hearing the news that the meager 480 sq. ft. home (smaller than the size of my classroom) which took him seven years to build was destroyed, he smuggled himself across the Mexican-American border in a trip that took eight hours of walking and running and dropping to the ground and hiding whenever he heard a car. This “trip” cost a hefty fee of $600 paid to the Mexican drug cartel.

On March 16, I met Osdalia, Alberto, and Jason. I was chaperoning a group of 15 students on a mission trip organized by Mission Discovery to Harlingen, Texas, to help this family rebuild their home. Little did I realize how this family would change my life in our five days together.

Alberto is one the hardest working men I’ve ever encountered. I like to think that I have a strong work ethic. I work hard and I don’t settle for second best. Alberto, put me to shame. Our group of 18 worked tirelessly for about five hours each day with him before heading back to the mission camp that was our temporary home. Alberto and Jason would continue to work until sundown, another five hours, and would accomplish almost as much as we had during the day.

When we first arrived at their home, Alberto had half the external framing and siding completed , a job we thought we were to tackle. By the time we left less than a week later, we helped Alberto expand their home to around 640 sq. ft. and finish 100% of the framing, siding, and roof—including shingles. We also painted their house as well as a neighbor’s home, and with some extra funds we raised, a small group of girls and I went shopping and were able to leave Osdalia and Alberto with some basic home goods like pots and pans, towels, bed sheets, kitchen and dining ware, school supplies, and an air mattress. Osdalia had been sleeping at her neighbor’s, but Alberto and Jason were sleeping in their van behind their house in order to protect the lumber and building materials from being stolen.

Of all the items we purchased for them, the 5×7 group photo we had framed, was Osdalia’s first prized possession. She held it tight to her chest, breaking the embrace periodically to look at it, and then embracing it again. This reminder of the people who came to help her family is what she clung to.

shopping for Osdalia and Alberto

shopping for Osdalia and Alberto



group photo

group photo

FRA Mission Trip group

FRA Mission Trip group

In the short spurts of time I got to spend with Osdalia and Alberto, I came to witness “the joy of the Lord is your strength” in human form as I’ve never witnessed before. I listened in as Osdalia shared with some of us about the fire and how it changed her family. Most people I know, including myself, would be vacillating between anger and grief, bitterness and self-pity. I know I would very easily succumb to the whole “why me?” mentality.

Osdalia radiated Joy. Peace. Strength. Hope.

She explained to me: before the fire, she and Alberto had been struggling in their marriage. This was Osdalia’s second marriage, and her two children were from her first marriage—Jason and a 17-year-old daughter Ashley. Jason and Ashley had also been estranged from one another in recent months and the fire separated the two siblings even more. Osdalia had not seen her daughter in about three weeks.

Despite the drama between her children, Osdalia and Alberto had grown closer since the fire, Osdalia shared. Their marriage was stronger than it had ever been. At the start of the week, Alberto still struggled with anger at the man who did this—turns out it was a neighbor just a few houses down from them on their street—but Osdalia had forgiven this man 100 times over. She said, “If this is what it takes to turn my family around, he can burn my house down next week, and the week after, and the week after that. He can burn my house down 100 times if this will help our relationships to get better.”

Listening to Osdalia share this, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she meant it. Every word. Her conviction in this Truth was unmovable. She. Meant. It.

In another conversation the next day, Osdalia continued, “I have forgiven this man. I have to. I forgive him over and over. I can’t be angry. God is here. He brought you to help us—strangers from Tennessee. We have hope. I tell Alberto, we have hope. God will provide. And He has.”

All of this coming from a woman who was wearing the same clothes she had been wearing for the past three days because everything else she owned was consumed by fire.

Every encounter with Osdalia over the next few days was much the same. She never stopped smiling. She always greeted each member in our group with a hug and a kiss and made sure to say good bye in similar fashion. (Hellos and goodbyes took a while.) She always asked how she could serve us. She even offered the shirt off her back and the shoes off her feet on several occasions, even though she didn’t have another shirt or pair of shoes to change into. She surprised us with Burger King for lunch one day and sodas and ice cream another.

All of this coming from a lady who had NOTHING—no material possessions, anyway.

What Osdalia did have was something quite extraordinary that most people do not have. True peace. True joy. True hope. True forgiveness. Even now as I write this, I find there are no words to do justice to just how exceptional and uncommon is Osdalia’s happiness.

the cross

the cross

Our final gift to Osdalia and Alberto was a wood cross made from scrap pieces of the burned frame of their original home. Nailed together and then painted, the cross displayed the legacy verse chosen by the 2013 senior class, “We love because He first loved us” from 1 John 4:19. The two seniors on the trip presented this to them along with two Bibles and explained the scripture. Osdalia embraced it, too. Only when she turned it over and saw the burned wood on the back—knowing then that it came from their former home—did she break down. The dinner table, with 26 of us, became still and silent. Osdalia buried her head in the cross and wept quietly. Alberto held her tight.

Osdalia and the cross

Osdalia and the cross

Time seemed to stop as the significance of this little cross took hold of all of us. What began as a seed of hatred and bitterness from a neighbor eventually lead to the horrendous crime against Osdalia and her family. What a neighbor meant for destruction, God used to bring forth goodness and life. Relationships were restored. Hope, peace, and joy found a welcome home in the hearts of Osdalia and Alberto.

Back to Alberto for a moment. In the few days we were with him, I witnessed his smile grow wider. I saw him let go of anger and embrace peace. I observed this transformation and was privileged to be there when he shared with our group he had dedicated his life to following Christ.

As for Jason and Ashley, they still have a ways to go in redeeming their relationship, but they actually stood close enough to one another—just Alberto between the two of them—for a family photo while they were praying. After this prayer, Ashley commented that was the first time she had prayed with her eyes closed, meaning she prayed and she meant what she had prayed.

praying together

praying together

This family left a deep imprint on my heart and on my attitude. I witnessed eternity being changed with Alberto’s public declaration to follow Christ, and I saw “the joy of the Lord is your strength” move from the printed pages of scripture to living, breathing entities . . . named Osdalia and Alberto.

The joy of the Lord is OUR strength. This is God’s promise to us. We just need to claim it.


2012 Resolutions

5 01 2012

Being the list-maker, goal-setter, and all-around do-er that I am, I LOVE coming up with New Years Resolutions.  I actually began thinking about my list in November.  My focus verse for the year is from James 3:17-18.  I want to be the kind of woman that embodies this type of wisdom, and yet I struggle greatly in so many of these areas.

 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure;
then peace-loving, considerate, submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Spiritual/Relationship Goals

  • Have a dynamic marriage.
    • Stop what I’m doing and greet my husband with a hug as soon as he/I get home from work each day
    • Pray together every night
    • Monthly dates
  • Read through the Bible
  • Fast 1x/week
  • Give at least 16.5% of our pre-tax income to charitable organizations (hopefully more)
  • Volunteer somewhere at least 1x/month

 Exercise/Activity Goals

  • Participate in an average of 1 race/event each month (I actually have 13 on my radar for next year and am looking for more!)
  • Run/walk 2-3x/week (6-9 miles)
    • Get back to a sub-10-minute mile
    • Do a sub-30-minute 5K
  • Bike 1x/week (6-10 miles)
  • Swim 1x/week (.25-.5 miles) 
    • Learn to swim freestyle (Out of everything on my list–this one is the most daunting to me.)
  • P90X Ab Ripper 3x/week
  • 40 perfect pushups by my 40th birthday

Nutrition Goals

  • Eat 2 servings of fruit
  • Eat 1 serving of vegetables (not counting potatoes)
  • Consume less sugar
  • Drink more water

What are your goals for 2012?

Home Full of Scripture

17 06 2011
One of my goals with my home is to have scripture in each room, something applicable to function of the room.  I’m about half-way done after five years of living here.  This is what I have so far.

Living Room:   Hosea 2:19-20, cross-stitch.  I made this in 1999 for our first anniversary.  This is the scripture that my husband and I have inscribed on the insides of our wedding bands.  It is such an incredible reminder not only of our love for each other as husband and wife, but also of how God loves us.  I may move this our master bedroom once the remodeling is finished.

Hosea 2:19-20

Hosea 2:19-20: "I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I wll betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord."

Dining Room:  Proverbs 30:8, hand painted 30” wood lazysusan.  A friend, Devon Dixon, of Simply Artistic Design,  painted this for us.  I gave her the design, and she created this masterpiece.  This is one of my favorite pieces of art in my entire house.

Proverbs 30:8

Proverbs 30:8 "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread."

Kitchen:  Ecclesiastes 9:7, canvas.  I created the picture and used a Groupon I purchased for Canvas on Demand to produce the canvas. 

Ecclesiastes 9:7

Ecclesiastes 9:7 "Go, eat your food and drink your wine with a joyful heart."

Guest Bedroom:  Numbers 6:24-26, acrylic on canvas.  Devon Dixon also created this beauty for us.  As with the lazysusan, I gave her a photo of what I wanted it to look like, and she did the rest.

Numbers 6:24-26

Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."

Library:  Romans 12:9-10 and Proverbs 3:5-6, ink on silk.  We purchased these while on vacation in China.  I may have English translations made at some point.

Romans 12:9-10 & Proverbs 3:5-6

Romans 12:9-10 "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." & Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

However, I may move these two pieces somewhere else as I really like the following versus on wisdom for the library.

  • Proverbs 3:13, 15, 17, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire compares with her.  Her ways are pleasant and her all her paths are peace.”
  • Proverbs 4:7, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
  • Proverbs 9:9, “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”
  • Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Stairwell:  Collage, ink on cardstock.  This was the first art I made specifically for our new home.  My idea for infusing each room of my house with scripture began with this project.  These are some of our favorite scriptures.

scripture collage

scripture collage

  • Jeremiah 6:16, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
  • Isaiah 43:18-20, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
  • 1 Samuel 16:7, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  • Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
  • Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
  • Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
  • Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Psalm 37:4-5, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit you way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.”
  • Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others  up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Caleb’s Bedroom:  Psalm 22:10, cross-stitch.  When I was pregnant with Caleb, this scripture really stuck out to me, and I have “claimed” this verse for him. 

Psalm 22:10

Psalm 22:10 "From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God."

Jason’s Bedroom:  Psalm 103:1, cross-stitch.  This was the verse that really stuck with while I was pregnant with Jason.

Psalm 103:1

Psalm 103:1 "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name."

These are the rooms that are left.  I have ideas for the scripture I want, but I have not decided on how best to display them.

Foyer:  I may move the two pieces in the library to the foyer, but I really like Joshua 24:15 for an entry, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Guest Bathroom:  I really have no idea what scripture I want here.  I will probably go with something simple like 2 Thessalonians 3:13, “Never tire of doing what is right.”

Caleb’s and Jason’s Bathroom:  I think Psalm 51:7 is appropriate for a young boys’ bathroom, “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

Playroom:  I like Proverbs 19:20 for this space, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and in the end you will be counted among the wise.”

Office:  I especially like this Titus passage as both my husband and I are teachers.  Titus 2:7, “In everything set an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech.”

Laundry:  I’m thinking of this one for my least favorite room in the house.  From Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

Master Bedroom:  I want some type of collage with some of my favorite love versus including these. 

  • Song of Songs 6:3, “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine.”
  • Song of Songs: 4:10, “How delightful is your love . . . How much more pleasing is your love than wine.”
  • Song of Songs 8:6, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.”
  • Proverbs 3:3, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
  • Proverbs 31:29, “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
  • Psalms 85:10-12, “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.  Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.  The Lord will indeed give what is good.”

Master Bath:  There are a few I like for this room.

  • Proverbs 31:30, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
  • 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment . . . Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

What are your favorite scriptures?  How do you have them displayed in your home?

This I Believe

10 04 2011

I just finished reading This I Believe:  The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman.  This I Believe is based on NPR’s radio series of the same name that was wildly popular in the 1950s.  Eighty essays by famous and not-until-recently famous Americans each complete the thought that begins the title of the book.


I received several gems of wisdom and conviction that I am not likely to forget.

  • In an essay titled “Always Go to the Funeral” by Deirdre Sullivan, an attorney in Brooklyn, Sullivan writes of the values her father instilled in her by making her attend funerals of people she knew.  Sullivan writes, “In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil.  It’s hardly so epic.  Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.”
  • In an essay titled “When Ordinary People Achieve Ordinary Things” by Jody Williams, the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Williams touches on the same idea.  “I believe words are easy.  I believe the truth is told in the actions we take.”

These essays, among others, caused me to really think about what I believe.  If I were asked to write such an essay, what would mine be about? 


None of the following thoughts are essays in and of themselves.  Some are core beliefs, others are not. 


Regarding my spiritual beliefs:

  • I believe there is only one way to eternal life in paradise, through acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” –John 14:6
  • I believe Satan is real.  I believe his powers are limited.  I believe he is defeated by the name of Jesus Christ.
  • I believe in the power of forgiveness.
  • I believe that only through grace and faith can we truly find “peace that passes all understanding” –Philippians 4:7, even in the darkest of circumstances.
  • I believe in that through prayer, we have the power of the creator of the universe at our disposal.
  • I believe God can redeem any situation—the most miserable marriage, the longest-held grudge, the hardest of hearts.  “Nothing is too hard for you.” –Jeremiah 32:17.
  • I believe in fasting to draw nearer to the heart of God.
  • I believe in the power of community and teamship.  Jesus did not live in isolation; neither should I.  I believe in being transparent and honest and with my team members, and I believe living this way will lead to blessings.
  • I believe life begins at conception.  As such, I believe abortion for any reason and at any time is the murder of an innocent human life.
  • I believe God created sexual intimacy to be an incredible blessing for the covenant of a heterosexual, monogamous marriage.  I believe that remaining sexually pure until after the wedding offers the most amazing blessings  God has given us in this gift.


Concerning parenting:

  • I believe parents should be parents first, not friends—until much later in life.  I believe in setting boundaries for your children and enforcing discipline.
  • I believe I am my sons’ greatest role model in all areas of life.  I believe it is my duty, first and foremost before it is anyone else’s duty, to train my children to make good decisions, to value education, to be financially responsible, to be sexually pure and honor their bodies (among many other things.)  I believe none of these issues is a one-time discussion, but a life-long continual dialogue.
  • I believe that parents should not live vicariously through their children.  Be an adult and get a life of your own.


In terms of education:

  • I believe that parents play a crucial role in their children’s education.  I believe a teacher can only do so much.  I believe testing can only accomplish so much.  I believe new resources and free lunches only go so far.  I believe extraordinary facilities and modern technology cannot replace a parent’s influence on the home front.
  • I believe in memorizing the multiplication tables.  I believe America is in a sad, sad state when high school students need a calculator to multiply 72 x 2.
  • I believe tenure is a bad idea.  (This coming from an educator of 15 years who has taught in both public and private institutions.)


Other random thoughts:

  • I believe in serving others as much as we possibly can.  I believe giving of my time is as important as giving of my financial resources.
  • I believe in the supremacy of the First Amendment.  I believe that all people should be allowed to freely and peacefully express their opinions and beliefs without threat of persecution.
  • I believe that sometimes it is best to agree to disagree.

Psalm 151

17 01 2011

This weekend I was at a ladies retreat with some of my dearest friends.  Our task Saturday morning was to write a psalm that expressed where we were at that moment in time in our relationship with God.  Once I began, the words flowed unceasingly.

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
All that I am, all my inmost being, every fiber within me will praise you always.

You are my God, my Savior, my Lord, my Life, my Creator, my Perfector.
I trust in your will with a pure heart.
I long to live a life of goodness, peace and joy.
My heart’s desire is to be transformed into a woman after your own heart.

Why do I wrestle with my thoughts day and night?
Why do the talons ensnare my heart so fiercely?
Why must I fight with my oppressor every day?

I am tired of fighting.
The struggle has wearied my spirit.
My mind longs for rest.
My heart yearns for peace.

“Forgive me! Help me!”
Some days those are the only prayers my spirit can utter, but you always hear my cry.
You long to hear my pleas for forgiveness and help.

Despite the pit I am in, I see your Light ever-present before me.
I feel your love ever around me –
          in my family and the friends you have placed in my path.
I feel the prayers of your saints who cry out to you on my behalf.
I feel your arms steadying me on the path, holding me when my strength fails me.
I feel your Spirit embracing my soul when my own thoughts betray me and turn against you.
Amidst the brightening light of your love, my cares and sorrows fade.
Your comfort stills my heart and mind.

You call me beautiful when all I see within me is ugliness.
You call me beloved daughter, heir to your kingdom,
          even when I turn my back on you and follow the path of my tormentor.
Yet, you never give up.
You never let go.
You never stop loving me even when I break your heart.
Your infinite grace, unlimited patience, and immeasurable mercy astound me.
I cannot comprehend your extraordinary love for me.

I am blessed beyond anything I deserve.
You have given me precious treasures I can never repay.
You allow me to live in a land of plenty.
You have filled my life with abundance and wealth.
I need for nothing.
I want only to be known as a woman after your own heart.

I will wake in the mornings and give thanks that you have given me another breath,
          another day to live your goodness,
          another opportunity to pursue knowing your heart.
Help me to live out your heart’s desires,
and to make your truth my truth, O Lord my God.
I will rest each night in your unfailing, never-ending love.
I will ever praise you, my Savior and my God, most intimate lover of my soul.

2011 Resolutions: BE-attitudes, not DO-attitudes

1 01 2011

I’m a list maker and goal setter to be sure.  I always get excited with the prospect of coming up with new New Year’s Resolutions every year, and this year is no different.  I’ve actually been pondering my 2011 list since November.   (Read my 2010 Resolutions.)

In 2011, I am going to focus on Biblical mandates rather than the typical eat healthier and exercise more resolutions.  I am focusing on BE-attitudes rather than DO-attitudes.

  1. Ephesians 5:1  Be an imitator of God.
  2. Romans 12:1  Be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
  3. Ezekiel 36:26  Give me a new heart and a new spirit.  Remove from me my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.
  4. Philippians 4:5  Let my gentleness by evident to all.
  5. 1 Peter 3:3-4  My beauty should be that of  my inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
  6. Ephesians 4:2  Be completely humble and gentle.
  7. Philippians 4:11  Learn to be content whatever the circumstances.
  8. Psalms 19:14  The words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart would be pleasing in Your sight.
  9. Ephesians 4:29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of my  mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs.
  10. Ephesians 5:4  There will be no obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  11. Titus 2:12  Say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and live a self-controlled, upright and godly life.
  12. Romans 12:8  Contribute to the needs of others, giving generously.
  13. Proverbs 31:20  I would open my arms to the poor and extend my hands to the needy.
  14. 2 Thessalonians 3:13  Never tire of doing what is right.
  15. 1 Thessalonians 5:13  Live in peace with each other.
  16. Colossians 3:13  Bear with each other.  Forgive as the Lord forgave me.
  17. 1 Thessalonians 5:16  Be joyful always;  pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.
  18. Colossians 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in me richly.
  19. Colossians 3:2  Set my mind on things above.
  20. Psalm 119:37  Turn my eyes away from worthless things.
  21. Philippians 4:7  Let the peace of God which transcends all understanding guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.
  22. Psalms 34:14  Seek peace and pursue it.
  23. Hebrews 12:1  Run with perseverance.
  24. 2 Peter 3:18  Grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  25. Psalm 55:22  Cast my cares on the Lord, and he will sustain me.

 What are your resolutions or goals for 2011?