Old Adages: Listen to Your Elders

listening-ernest-hemingway-quote

I am currently on a break from school. I chose to take this break to simply breathe and catch up on life. I will be back in a few short weeks. As much as I may not want to go back, I know the sooner I do, the closer I am to graduating.

I haven’t completed as many tasks as I’d like during my time off, but I am okay with that. For, this break has been special.

This break, I learned a valuable lesson. Or, more like, accepted a well-known adage. This break, I have spent much of my time listening to those older than me, and it has been wonderful.

Some of these people have been a few years older than me, while others have been several decades older.

I have spent more time listening to these people and their stories than attending to a to-do list or looming deadline. I guess I always knew the relational person in me would ultimately prevail.

Nevertheless, even though I have been a relationship-driven person for quite some time now, it was not until a few weeks ago that I began to understand why people say, “Listen to your elders.”

I didn’t get it until I got it, you know?

It is important to listen to those older than you because they offer a multitude of experiences and perspectives. For, I have been amazed at what some people have gone through and accomplished in their lives.

In my intent listening, I have constantly been reminded just how small I am and how little I actually know. I have had some difficult, humbling discussions with people these last few weeks. Discussions that remind me everyone is hurting silently.

And even though I feel small, I also look forward to my future. I look forward to what my life holds. I look forward to hearing more stories. I look forward to one day being that older person for someone. Or, maybe I already have been for someone in some way, I don’t know.

What I do know is my dirty house is not as important as being there for others in their time of need. A dirty home is not as important as a listening ear.

My call to you is this: As cliché as it sounds, listen to your elders. Because let’s be honest, that’s the only takeaway and reason for writing this.

To let you know, sometimes, old adages are oddly spot on.

So, listen to those older than you. Hear what they have to say and acknowledge what they’ve been through. Hopefully, in the process, like me, you’ll be humbled. And, you’ll have an innate desire to listen to even more people.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Advertisements

This Time Around: I Don’t Want it to End

tori-amos-what-you-do-not-like-quote

I don’t want this week to end.

I wouldn’t say this week has been great. It’s definitely had its highs and lows.

However, I don’t want this week to end because I don’t want to go back to school. Usually, I am mostly okay with going to back to school after a little break.

But, not this time around.

This time around, I long to not have to go back to school at all.

This time around, I desperately wish the last course I finished was my final one toward my degree.

I originally took this break due to life and health circumstances. About halfway through my break, I thought, “I’ll be ready to go back in four weeks. This break has been nice. I’ll be ready.”

As life goes, though, the closer I get to going back to class, the more stressed I am. The more things keep coming up that make me question whether I should take another break instead of a class.

In fact, the very reasons why I took my break in the first place have not gone away. Instead, they persist and flare even more.

For a few weeks, I thought they were manageable. Yet, I find myself just as stressed as I was when I decided to take the break in the first place…and I am not even in class yet!

Just imagine how much more stressful I’ll be when I do return to class and life keeps kicking me.

Truth be told, guys, I don’t have anything grand to write this week. I truly don’t. I simply find myself afraid of my future and the course that lies ahead of me. And that’s coming from someone who generally likes school!

I know, in the grand schemes of things, I will be just fine. I truly do.  But, because I am human, fear creeps in, even in the most familiar places.

This post is your reminder that life isn’t always easy. That some parts of life are never really going to be okay. They are simply something you have to live with.

Here’s to hoping, by this time next week, I’ve got my preliminary nerves about my course out of the way and I am able to tackle it head-on. But, if I don’t, that’s okay, too. Because, believe me, whether or not I am ready or want it, life will continue to hit me.

And that’s the truth.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

 

Things I’ve Considered: Even More School

2 Thessalonians 1-11

This is a post I never thought I’d write. I’ve considered getting a master’s degree.

I am four classes away from getting my bachelor’s degree and I’ve seriously thought about getting a master’s.

That’s crazy to me.

For the longest time, I was convinced I would be that person who would never go back to school once I got a bachelor’s degree. But, you know what happens when people make sweeping declarations—they are bound to do the exact opposite.

So, this is where you find me.

Now, I am sure you all are wondering what I would get the degree in. I would get a degree in counseling. This desire to go into counseling is not new. I’ve actually deeply considered it for months now.

It hasn’t been just a small thought or whisper of an idea.

I’ve actually reached out to multiple people in the field to see if they think I would be a good fit for it. To my surprise, they have said yes, and even offered to help me!

That’s exciting to me, friends. Extremely exciting.

Part of the reason why I’ve considered going into counseling is I see how much good it has done for me. In fact, I think it has done more good for me than I allow myself to believe. So much so that some people have been genuinely surprised to know why I am seeking counseling.

All I can say to that is glory to God. It is He who is working in me.

I will say some may think it may not be wise for someone who is seeking their own counselor to be a counselor themselves. To that, I kindly disagree. For, as I’ve shared in my post professing my untold story, my counselor once told me, “Even counselors need counseling.”

Counselors are not perfect people. I think if anything it is through their own often tragic or difficult experiences that behavioral health professionals realize their potential to be in the field themselves. And that brings me to my next point.

Another reason why I’ve considered going into counseling is I desperately want to help people heal. I want to help others experience the joy of even a small dose of healing. After all, that is why I also want to share my testimony in some capacity. I want to show people they are not alone by sharing my story.

Granted, I wouldn’t be able to share my own hurts and pains in a counseling session, but I would play a pivotal role in helping others know they are not alone through proven clinical studies, methods, and whatnot.

I guess, for me, my testimony would be my personal, yet public method of proclaiming others are not alone. And acting as a counselor would be my professional way of doing so.

I’ve also considered going into counseling because I’ve been told by multiple people that I listen well. And this is where my communication degree would go hand-in-hand. My bachelor’s degree in communication is all about dissecting how humans communicate in various groups, organizations, styles, and methods.

It is all about discovering why humans are wired the way they are by analyzing verbal and nonverbal tendencies, which is increasingly more important in an era where face-to-face communication is second fiddle to technology.

Lastly, I’ve considered going into counseling simply because it is a deep desire God has placed on my heart. To tell you the truth, it came out of the blue for me. Because, as I said earlier, I was convinced I wouldn’t get a master’s degree. But, here I am fervently considering it and proclaiming it.

And that has been God’s plan all along.  He planted the desire. I did not seek it, I can assure you that.

Wow. Talk about a declaration. To some, it may seem minuscule. But, to me, it is massive. Honestly, I don’t know when, if, or how this will come to fruition. I’ve got a few things to figure out and deal with before anything concrete occurs, of this I am sure.

However, I choose to embrace this God-given desire. I choose to see where He leads me. And that makes my heart so full.

My call to you is this: As I’ve said before, listen to that nagging feeling in your heart, your gut, or the back of your head. God will guide you. Just listen—even if it seems like the craziest or most absurd idea. Obey God’s call.

God wouldn’t have planted the desire in you if He wasn’t intending to bring it to full fruition. May this post and my journey to this point and from here on out be a loud testament to that.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

I’ve Been Wrong Before: A Few Examples

mistake-albert-einstein-quote

I am writing this blog post so I can procrastinate on my homework. I am not typically one to do that. But, I desperately have to in this case. I have the draft for a nearly 12-page paper due this week. As of the moment that I am writing this post, I only have my title page complete.

This assignment is one of those that I know will be extremely difficult just because I broke my regular routine while preparing for it. Usually, when I write research papers, I read through all of my sources and take notes over them. However, I did not have time to do that before needing to use the sources for another assignment.

So, I feel awkward. I feel unprepared. I feel anxious.

I hate having my routine broken. It reminds me, yet again, I don’t have control. My routine for writing research papers has proven to be tried and true. At least I think so.

I find myself in a Catch-22.

I do not want to take the plunge to see if breaking my routine a few weeks ago will actually work to my benefit now. I don’t want to find out I could’ve been doing things wrong all along. Might I add, I wasn’t the one who came up with the new routine. Someone else did.

Yet, at the same time, I would love to know if there is a more efficient way of completing assignments. I would love to know if I truly can absorb material without feeling the need to take meticulous notes over it. I am nearly finished with my bachelor’s degree, so why not find out now, right?

Nevertheless, welcome to being human. We are wired to want to be right. We must be right. We are right.

However, maybe it’s important to take time to remind ourselves all the ways we’ve been wrong. Perhaps, that is the motivation I need to not procrastinate. Perhaps, I need to remind myself I am not perfect. I have been wrong before and it’s okay to be wrong again. Let’s see a few prime examples, shall we?

I am generally wrong about people. If I haven’t already said it once before, I am notorious for making bad first impressions of people. Almost always, I don’t like someone the first time I meet them. It doesn’t matter who the person is.  Lo and behold, though, only a few months later, I genuinely appreciate the person.

On the flip side, there are also select people whom I liked when I first met them. But, after time, distance, and reflection, I no longer do. Those people I simply choose to be civil with out of necessity.  Although it may sound harsh, I am okay with admitting this because I know I have been on that side of the spectrum for others. I am not the most likable person and I am okay with that. I firmly believe some people just aren’t meant to get along.

I am generally wrong about statements. I am notorious for reading in between the lines. I am quick to jump to conclusions. I am quick to assume someone is out to get me. Or, that people have an ulterior motive when getting to know me. I am quick to put words in people’s mouths.

This one is not easy to admit. It has been extremely challenging to work through. I would love to say I have a right to be that way because of my past, but truthfully, I don’t. I am only hurting myself and other people in the process more than anything. I am only protecting my ego.

May this be another reminder to learn to accept the love people give me. May this be another reminder that people are honest. That there isn’t always something more.

I am generally wrong about the time. Some may call this poor time management. On the other hand, I call it unrealistic expectations. Almost on a daily basis, I wake up or walk into work with a list of things I plan on doing. Without fail, I usually don’t complete them all.

Granted, some days, I procrastinate or feel sluggish more than others. However, for the most part, I simply just don’t give myself a break.  I don’t allow myself a truthful outlook. As a result, I set myself up for a stressful, fairly unproductive day. I don’t plan for the unexpected. I plan for smooth sailing, not a rocky, winding road.

This is another one I am not okay with admitting. It is so bad that I think if one of my coworkers were to read this, they’d have a completely altered image of me! It is as if I believe everyone else expects those unrealistic expectations of me.

Truth be told, no one else does. Only me. In fact, all my coworkers and I can ask of me is my best effort. That may mean I am not as productive some days, like a couple days ago. So be it. Perhaps, I’ll learn one day that I don’t always have to wake up with a list of things to do. Sometimes, I just have to simply wake up and try.

I think that is enough self-reflection for one blog post. My call to you is this: Don’t fear being wrong. Invite discomfort. Invite uncertainty. Invite possibility.

No, I am not saying completely let go of who you are and your true nature. But, I am saying, accept the journey of the rocky, winding road. Life isn’t meant for smooth sailing.

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

My Education: Tackling the Capstone

forgotten-education-albert-einstein-quote

I am experiencing a funny feeling.

Currently, I am enrolled in the capstone course for my major. This is the first class I haven’t had to do endless gobs of reading. Instead, it’s just reflection. I am writing four or five reflection pieces along with one huge research paper.

That’s weird to me. It seems too simple to me. The simplicity makes me want to believe it will be easier than my other courses. Yet, on the other hand, I am somewhat freaking out. I mean, I have heard about these types of courses.

Plus, at my school, they constantly engrain it in you to keep everything you’ve done in the major for this specific course. Yeah, that’s a little daunting. At this rate, I’d rather have gobs of reading and a paper than this easier flow.

I honestly don’t know why I am sharing this. Maybe it’s because that is what is at the forefront of my mind. Or maybe it is because I know God will teach me something in this process.

This week is another prime example of having plenty of other topics I could write about. But, what is at the forefront of my mind prevails instead. I guess that’s why I keep a list of ideas. So, unlike days like to today, when I don’t have an idea nagging in my head, I can look to the list for inspiration.

That’s one thing I have realized about this blog platform. Often times, I think I know what I am going to write about. But, then something happens. A nagging feeling occurs.

It’s an interesting part of the creative process. Sometimes, there’s this feeling deep within that is so apparent that it practically creates a headache. It protrudes into your life loudly proclaiming, “It’s time. The time is now. Let’s deal with this. Let’s face this.”

In my time as a writer, I know when it is time to face an issue when I experience the described feeling above. This feeling can be so strong that nothing else has one’s focus until it’s hashed out. So, yes, right now, I have this nagging feeling.

I have this nagging feeling about my current course. I think part of me is fearful of this new structure and format. I am a sucker for routine. So, when I have gone through the same process for 10 courses, and then it suddenly changes, I am a bit taken aback by it.

Then, there’s the other part of me that is utterly fearful that I will draw a blank on everything I’ve learned. I’ve thought, “What if I’ve just gone through the motions these past 10 courses, and I don’t remember a single thing?” Honestly, in my eyes, these capstone courses are a true testament to that possibility.

I don’t like that sinking feeling when you realize what feat lies ahead.  What lies ahead could be just as difficult as I am convincing myself it will be. Or, it will be nothing like I’ve thought.

Funnily enough, at the beginning of each course, we have to introduce ourselves. Part of introducing ourselves means listing our expectations of the course. It’s always interesting to look back and see what happened to those expectations.

Granted, this is only the first week of the course. As I am sure I’ve mentioned before, I am that student who has a freak-out session the first week of each course, then is completely fine after. In fact, I excel greatly.

But, excelling greatly doesn’t always mean one has learned, right? That brings me to my next thought. As I get closer to finishing this degree, I am reminded most people either hardly ever use what they studied, or they practically completely forget it.

In my intentional pursuit to find a basic, yet beneficial degree path, I may have found myself forgetting what I’ve learned, and I haven’t even graduated yet!

I mean, I am studying communication. I purposely chose this degree because I knew it would help me no matter my career choice. Everyone communicates. Even if they don’t do it well, they are communicating. Bad communication is still communication.

And there you have it…my nagging feeling is gone.

Like I said, the creative process is interesting. The nagging feeling only lasts for so long and then after writing one thought, it is gone. Just like that. It’s almost like the body’s way of saying, “You’ve done it. You’ve figured it.”

But, the hardest part of it all is this nagging feeling can end abruptly. It can end right in the middle of a thought. Yet, it still somewhat makes sense. But, just because it ends, doesn’t mean it won’t return again. Because that’s the viscous part of nagging. It persists when you least expect it.

But, for now, I leave the nagging be.

Perhaps, I wrote this post to tell myself, “You are going to be okay, Renata. No matter what happens, God is in control. No matter what grade you get, what material you remember, or how you actually use your degree, God is in control.”

Maybe that’s been the nagging feeling in my mind this whole time. Nothing too difficult to grasp or grand. Instead, a small, always necessary reminder that God is faithful and true in every season and every way—even if we beg to differ. For, His plans always work for our good, dear friends. What a wonderful God we serve.

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

A Recent Cooking Fail: Dinner Gone Bad

cooking-snow-skiing-guy-fieri-quote

I have a confession, guys. A couple weeks ago, my husband and I experienced our first cooking fail in our marriage. And let me tell you, it was bad.

When I say fail, I mean, the dinner turned out so badly that we had to get food elsewhere at a drive-thru just so we could have something. When I say fail, I mean, I have to go through the cringing chore of throwing away food. And it’s usually not a little bit of food either since we cook with leftovers in mind.

Seriously, let me tell you, guys. I hate wasting food. I can’t help but think of all the people who can barely afford food and I am throwing it away. My years of serving on hunger committees and knowing what it’s like to be hungry as an orphan in Russia get to me deeply. Usually, I am more upset about wasting food than I about the meal being bad or inedible. I even find myself trying to get through it just so I don’t waste it!

Sorry for that rant. Like I said, I don’t like wasting food.

Now, you won’t believe what we messed up either—mac and cheese. Yeah, I know. How can you mess up mac and cheese? I can assure you, it’s possible.

Granted, I will say, the recipe we followed wasn’t too clear, nor was it a basic mac and cheese. It was a fancy white sauce mac and cheese. The recipe turned out badly because we cooked the sauce too long. From my findings afterward, I realized it’s pretty easy to overcook white sauce since it’s dairy based.

If you were to ask who actually messed up, my husband would take the blame. He was in charge of making the white sauce, while I got the pasta and other ingredients ready. I am not saying he messed it up just to throw him under the bus either. He himself said it was his fault.

Yet, I can’t help but take some of the fault and blame, too, since I walked him through the process. I knew the recipe better than he did since I was the one who found it.

It’s funny how walking into our marriage, I was convinced he would be the far better cook. I was also convinced we’d have to order a pizza every week because I made a meal so poorly. Nevertheless, over two years later, and we’ve only had one terrible failed meal.

Don’t get me wrong, we have had other meals not turn out great, but they were edible. You know what meals I am talking about. Those meals you messed up just enough that it’s tough to get through at times, but it had its moments of greatness.  Or, those meals you know exactly how you messed up and how to improve for next time.

For instance, I once made a meal just for myself that didn’t turn out well. I made a mushroom spinach spaghetti nut squash one time. It was all right, but not fantastic. More than anything, that meal taught me I am not a big fan of spaghetti nut squash! I find it difficult to make something practically tasteless taste good. Perhaps, it would have turned out better if I put meat in it. Who knows!

Honestly, though, looking back on the last two years, most of my meals always turn out decently well.

Still, I can’t help but laugh at this fail. Of all the meals I thought I’d fail, mac and cheese did not make the list. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the failure. For, making the meal got me out of my comfort zone. I never made a white sauce before, so I had to give it a shot somehow.

I haven’t decided if I will try to make it again sometime or not. For right now, I don’t think so—at least not anytime soon. If I do, it may not be that exact recipe. Still, I would really like to perfect white sauce. I think having a white sauce recipe could be quite helpful and handy.

I’ve discovered I am at a point in my cooking/baking life that I am willing to take more risks. My risk-taking involves trying a recipe I wouldn’t see myself making. I can’t tell you how many cooking videos I watch. It doesn’t help that I don’t have enough time to cook and bake everything I want to!

Although, I am still going to follow a recipe, no matter how much experience I have. I know some people who consider a recipe a loose guideline. I think it is a step-by-step guide to strictly follow. To each their own.

I’ve learned I’d rather try a meal and not like it than regret it. There’s something so incredibly special about making a meal and knowing instantly, “Yes, this is a favorite. This is a go-to for me!”

For me, those dishes or treats include a pineapple pound cake, my version of Chipotle, and a Tikka Masala curry. I know the list is small, but it is a starting point, nonetheless.

And let me tell you, nothing beats getting super excited about making a dish and it hits the spot. Granted, I know that also means risking getting super excited about making a dish and it flops—like our mac and cheese.

But, to me, no matter the turnout, it’s worth it. You can either look back and laugh at the awfulness or be joyful another meal is worth repeating. Regardless, it’s better than never knowing.

My call to you this: If you think a meal could go badly, make it. Take the risk. Even if you only make a single serving, try it. You have to start somewhere. Who knows, maybe you’ll be like me and fall in love with cooking and baking. Although I do prefer baking.

What are some of your cooking or baking fails? Have you tried to recreate the dish or treat since or was it a one and done kind of experience? What are some of your tried and true go-to meals? I’d love to hear!

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

My Education: Finding Joy in the Process

John Wooden-joy-journey-quote

I don’t know about you, guys, but I seriously cannot believe it is already mid-October. How is that even possible? It seems like every passing year goes by quicker than the last.

It feels like all I have done in the past 10 months is school and work. On an even crazier note, I will have less than a year of courses left, Lord willing, after this week.

I AM SO EXCITED.

These past 10 months have caused me to understand a great lesson about schooling and education. That is, even when we have the choice to study a major in school, we can be excited about it yet still not enjoy the process.

Let me explain.

As I’ve shared before, I love studying communication. I love learning how I can be a better communicator. I love learning more about people and relationships in general. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I picked the major.

But, there can be times when I read a chapter or two and absolutely dislike what I am reading. Or, I can find myself engulfed by the content.

It is a common tension of education and, honestly, life in general. How does one balance enjoyment and dislike of a task? I think we can try our best, but I don’t think it is a constant.

I don’t think that is bad either We need the ebb and flow. We need the highs and the lows. They are part of human nature. They are part of being sinful human beings.

It is natural to put gratitude second. It is natural to want more rather be content with what we have. That ebb and flow can take away our gratitude or it can ignite it.

Plus, that ebb and flow can be the exact reminder that we need to realize every job has its ups and down. Every job has its difficulties. Schooling via a proper degree or an apprentice can prepare us for said difficulties. They may not explain them to their fullest capacities. But, those difficulties, with the right heart attitude, should not take away one’s passion.

For, even in the high and lows of my education, I have not lost the passion for what I am studying. I may have wanted to step away from it for a little bit. But, I did not lose my intrigue or wonder for communication.

I think the same principle can be attached to our everyday lives. In fact, I am trying to apply it in my own life as I go through a new season in my job. I am trying to remind myself why I have a passion for what I do, instead of focusing on the stressors.

Believe me, it is hard for me some, if not most, days right now. But, I know the passion is there. Otherwise, I would’ve left already.

So, you find me with nearly less than a year left to my education. I am a little tired and worn, but I am certain I am on the right path for God’s plans in my life.

I look forward to the day, Lord willing, that I declare I have officially completed my undergraduate degree. Until then, I ask that you’d pray for me in my final stretch of a long journey.

And my call to you is this: Give yourself grace. The process of receiving a degree or achieving any goal may not be glamorous all the time, but you are on that path for a reason. Remind yourself of the end goal.

Find ways to celebrate small milestones along the way. For example, I pop little confetti poppers each time I finish a course. And in time, you will find a balance between joy and trial in the process, even if your light of gratitude is a little dim for a short while.

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).