Lately I’ve found it hard to post much of anything personal other than family pictures on Facebook. Life is moving at a breakneck speed, it seems, and my emotions are all across the board. I would overwhelm a lot of people if I just splatted my heart across Facebook, and honestly I’d probably walk away more hurt by people’s reactions than if I had just kept quiet. Thus, this blog. 🙂 I’m thankful for the Lord’s sweet peace in my heart sustaining me, my husband’s friendship and leadership, and for the many many blessings poured out daily. I know I really have it “easy” in many regards, but that honestly just makes the emotions I feel sometimes seem like they are over the top and “unchristian” to share with others. *gasp* They may judge me! I know this feeling of being overwhelmed and emotional will pass with time as I’m
patiently attempting to be careful to express and process the different emotions properly. (Well, at least I’m trying!! It will at least lessen them, of that I’m confident.) I’m thankful it’s nowhere near the feelings of depression I have had in the past. I used to bury all my undesirable emotions under a thin layer of “Everything Is Fine”, until it would just explode to the surface and surprise those I love the most with their intensity and ugliness. With much love and grace from my husband that habit has been greatly reduced, and I’m usually quite outspoken with him about the way I feel now. A practice we have that helps with the habit of “stashing trash” is what we call Dirt Slinging sessions. This is when one of us will say “Ok, I know you’re feeling upset or bothered about something. I don’t care if what you feel about me is correct or not, just start spilling it out. I’ve got my armor on, I’m ready. Starting throwing it at me.” And when it’s all said and done, the yucky stuff is all out, repented of, forgiven, and we can move on with life as a solid unified team. Sometimes those sessions are very difficult to get through. The person being “slung at” has to be super careful to not take anything said to heart-we know the enemy would just love to use the dirt he’s been giving us to hide to wound each other and build up offense. Not allowing bitterness or a record of wrongs to build up is a huge deal in marriage or ANY relationship, and we can tell when we’ve been starting to gather a pile and haven’t dealt properly with it. While we are doing fine in our marriage right now, it’s been very difficult to find time to wind down and “breathe” together lately. That makes being open and raw with each other much harder. It’s WORK some days. Hard work that’s totally worth it, but that doesn’t make it a ton easier! 😉
I think what has brought a lot of this stuff to the surface of my mind is that Hubby and I have been learning this week about the power of being vulnerable from a small group study. It’s really…. hitting me. Convicting me of being quick to give advice instead of hugs-convicting me of acting raw and open when I’m really just sharing a tad bit of my heart and hiding the rest. Convicting me of saying “I’m fine” when I’m really a big knot of struggle. I’m SO grateful for a few choice people in my life that I can be truly open with. No matter how crazy or depressed or upset I am, they approach me with love and grace, “hear me out”-then give me a gentle kick in the rear, a big hug, or advice- depending on the situation. This is so vital on so many levels! I want to be able to be that for other people as well, and not be quick to think I have the solution or answer to their struggle. But to be willing to enter into their heart struggle and feel it with them. To love them as Jesus would-to enter into it with them but simultaneously care too much to leave them there. To bring them Jesus love and peace, and guide them to His ways of LIFE and JOY!
It’s a challenge to be vulnerable. It’s also a challenge to be someone others feel safe to be vulnerable to.
Lately, the useful part of my days have been filled with homeschooling, trying to keep up with housework (and usually failing, in all honesty), and eating and sleeping constantly to keep baby bean happy.
Blogging went out the window.
In fact, I kinda sorta forgot I had this blog.
Whoops. Sorry guys.
My heart is in a funny place right now. Part of me is super excited about the future, waiting to see how God is going to work things together, and hopeful that His promises will come to be in amazing technicolor beauty. The other part of me is a little….well, bland. Weary. Uninterested in growth. Apathetic. Pathetic, in all honesty. Just give me a comfy chair by a cozy fire and some mind numbing activities, and it would seem “happy”. But it’s not happy. The truth is, that ravenous apathetic part of me isn’t going to be satisfied with just ruining part of my life. It doesn’t play fair. I can’t let it take over-and by that I mean I have to give it all over to my Father. Constantly. Daily. Hourly, lately. I’ve got to press on, to press in-and REST in His love and care. It sounds impossible. But I know that I know that I know, that all things are possible in HIM. So God, take me and change my heart. I want to be soft in your hands, to be made into your image, your instrument. I know you will change my heart. Thanks Abba.
Jesus, Sweet Jesus, You are my guiding Friend.
You save me.
You love me.
I worship You.
I thank You for what You are doing in our family’s life.
I thank You for what You are doing in our home.
I thank You that You are in charge, not me.
I thank You that You are helping me learn to rest in You.
You are Holy.
You are Mighty.
You are God.
I’m so excited! This weekend is going to be a mash up of two different seminar/conference events. One is a marriage seminar, and we get to leave the children with my parents during the day Saturday. Then on Sunday we will leave 2 kiddos with JE’s parents and drive out of state for a conference focusing on resting in the Presence of God. We are very excited, I’m really looking forward to a little vacation time, as well as an opportunity to seek God without the distractions of everyday life popping up. We have been given a leading to serve hurting women. (I speak a little bit about it here.) While we’ve been working hard to get the house ready, we are realizing more and more thoroughly how unprepared spiritually, emotionally, and mentally we feel for this sort of thing.
We are pretty naive, which is probably a good thing, honestly. It means we can love with less hang ups. We are not street smart-we don’t know the lingo, the pitfalls, the struggles. We’ve (praise God!) never been a part of the drug world, so how can we love and support someone who is going through the throes of withdrawal, or trying to resist a relapse? I’ve never been a single mom-my husband is an AMAZING husband and daddy to our children. We were each other’s first boyfriend/girlfriend, and saved our first kiss for at the wedding altar… how can I minister to those who gave themselves away prematurely, or had their innocence ripped away from them?? I feel very blessed and very unqualified to reach out to these women. But God has made it clear this is what we are supposed to do! So, how?
All these questions can be answered very simply, by LOVE. Just pour God’s love out on them. There are obviously other things I can do to gain experience and wisdom-training and volunteering at local women’s ministries is one avenue for this. But the most important thing, the most needful thing, is to love them. And how does one give love away, except if one has love in the first place?! I’ve been crying out to the Lord to prepare me for this, to lead us in the way He would have us go. We know we can get burnt doing this kind of ministry very, very easily. We have no interest in doing anything apart from Holy Spirit’s guidance and leading. So the big thing this weekend that I’m really pressing in and asking the Lord for-is an outpouring of His love and wisdom.
This morning I made it a priority to get up early and have first things first. This, for a couple of reasons, has always been difficult for me, and so I’ve never really had it established as a habit. I’m sincerely hoping to change this, as it is about impossible to have quiet time reading and meditating on the Word, writing, and prayer at any other time of the day. Besides, there is something beautiful about enjoying time with Abba as the sun rises. 🙂 My heart longs for quiet time with Him. Mommies and Daddies, don’t forget that you need to seek out your Abba Daddy. He’s always ready to speak with you, and He won’t even complain if you wake up at 3AM and run to Him with a concern. He’s the bestest Daddy ever.
While painting our Guest Room/Prayer Room, I was contemplating how wonderful painting is and why it is such a fun thing to do.
You take a nasty looking room:
And renew it, give it new life:
I was struck at how much joy Jesus must get from renewing our hearts! His Bride is being restored and made ready!
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Have you ever wished you had the willpower for something worthwhile? Maybe the strength to refuse those sweets and exercise more so you can lose those last 10 pounds? Perhaps the backbone to stand up for yourself in a bad relationship and turn your life around? How about the desire to read the Bible, pray more, and become a more loving person?
I am weak. I want to desire the Lord more and more. But that strength to pursue Him is just not there. I keep falling short of being madly crazy in love with Him, getting too distracted by the struggles of life to rest in Him.
It is a good thing that having a relationship with God isn’t hinged on my strength, because if that was the case I’d obviously be a lost cause. Praise the Lord it is through His strength that He draws me to Himself! He pursues me with hot passion, I am His beloved bride, his precious one. He desires to completely overcome me and pour His heart into me. He is able.
And I am undone. My heart is overcome.
Are you hungry for love? Surrender your heart to Jesus. He will love you. After all, He promised He would, and He is always the Man of His Word.