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i’ve been adopted

I never would have thought that I could cook. I mean, I guess I always figured when I moved out I’d start to try recipes and find my own way through a kitchen. Well, I guess I got that chance to experiment sooner than I thought I would. In the past month and a half, I have made, for the first time on my own: pan seared Tilapia in a butter and wine sauce, herbed chicken, cheese sauce for broccoli, chicken alfredo, and a whole slew of other food. I didn’t use a recipe and they turned out fine! I even learned how to cut an onion the right way and let me tell you, I don’t hate cutting onions anymore. I’ve been staying with some good friends and helping out with cooking and cleaning and keeping the order. “Mama G.” as I call her, is a great friend and even though she is my mom’s age, I feel connected to her as if she was a friend my own age, but with the added wisdom of someone older than me. Their whole family jokes around that they are going to keep me here forever and never let me go back home. There are seven children in their family and each one has an abbreviation from the top of the siblings to the bottom. It begins with the first letter of their name and their number in order of birth. There is C1, C2, B3, G4, M5, E6, and G7. Just the other day, I was bestowed the honor of becoming A8.
My time here has been spent letting go of things about myself that I have needed to change. Actually, things that I have needed to allow to change. The Lord has been doing amazing and wonderful things in my life. He has increased my measure of self-control and added to that perseverance. I am SO excited! I have asked Him for so long to help me with self-control and it just seemed like He was taking so long to answer. But there is no other way to describe the ability to not fall apart emotionally all of the time other than to say that the Lord did it. And when things seem crappy and the sort of things that I would have wanted to back out of right away, it’s easier for me to stick with it than it used to be. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I am such a flawed person. I struggle with comparing myself and what I have to what others have. I do not always think kind thoughts or act kindly towards others. I am selfish. I don’t give my Creator the kind of devotion that I should. But I know that He is working, even in my discontent, contentious, self-centered heart. 
These verses sum it up:
1 Peter 1:5-9
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 
It is so easy for me to forget to be dilligent in adding these things to my faith. It is easier to be lazy and not strive to be like Him, but it is so much better when I do! The past couple of months of my life the Lord has given me the grace to look upon experiences in my life than have been less than glamorous and not so fun, and to see how He uses those things for His glory. He is so incredibly Powerful. He is Faithful to love. And He is so worthy of praise.

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