Friday, December 21, 2012
"Lord i have seen your goodness and i know the way you are Give me eyes to seek you in the dark And your face shines a glory that i only know in part and there is still a longing, a longing in my heart You revive me, You revive me Lord And all my deserts are rivers of joy You are the treasure I could not afford So I'll spend myself till i'm empty and poor All for you, you revive me Lord" -Christy Nockels, "You revive me" Is it easy to celebrate the goodness of God during difficult times? So many times we feel this is the furthest we are from Jesus, the furthest from His heart. How can this be as Jesus MOURNS? He feels our suffering and felt His own in our place in a human way. He knows what we will go through ahead of time and He feels our pain. Our little family has been hit HARD by the enemy lately, we lost our beloved friend and pet Flex, within days our house flooded and we uncovered mold under our carpet; ruining the carpet and forcing out our process of repair longer. It has been an exhausting month of December for us needless to say! We are thankful we found the mold, we are thankful that we had our puppy for three years, we are all healthy and happy. Sometimes it just seems the enemy just pushes and pushes and pushes until you think you cannot stand another minute in the furnace. The other day we had a sort of "family meeting" and as we sat down talking about dreams and goals and how we are pushing past barriers and dream stealers and my father in law said something that hit me to the heart from Jesus himself. He said, "I'm just really sad about what you guys are about to go through" this being said after all of the flooding and such... This is so like Jesus, He KNOWS what it's going to be like pushing on to our goals and living a life worthy of the calling that we have received. He FEELS our pain before we even know what's coming! "All my deserts are rivers of joy" This is my lesson right now, because I often lack joy when I get hit hard. I so badly want to be a Proverbs 31 woman in every way for my family, I want them to always see me laughing at the days to come! Because NO MATTER WHAT WE FACE WE NEED TO FACE IT WITH JOY! Joy of the Lord because each struggle, each pain, each difficult time will bring us closer to Jesus if we walk through it with JOY! This life is a vapor, it is so short- we need to choose joy because the Lord CAN DO SOMETHING WITH JOY! He wants to use us, He wants us to choose the supernatural joy that does not even fit the situation. Why am I happy about where we are in life? Because Jesus is leading my path and I am confident that it is moving forward and it makes me SO joyful beyond words that He sees me worthy of going through these trials! BRING IT ON! I'm going to be effective with my life, I'm going to be joyful when life chucks full on Bull crap at my face and I am going to show my children that no matter what JESUS IS RISEN and He is WORTH it! He went through much worse and He is worth much worse. Christians often say "don't ask for patience or God will strike you with lightening" I think that is total bull, He just allows you to go through things that will develop your patience! I WANT to develop my patience, I NEED to! I'm being real with you guys. So you have an illness, so you have a disability, so you are a single parent, so you live in a tiny home, so you have barely enough to scrape by, so you are spending Christmas without your family.... SO WHAT. That does not allow you an excuse to whine, it certainly doesn't allow me that either! I have spent way too much time whining instead of PRAISING! Thank you Jesus that you saw my circumstance, you KNEW we could make it together you and I and you allowed me to walk through this difficult time and LEARN. Lord please let me learn through these trials and learn to walk through them better next time. I've really been thinking about this lately. We often say things like "it's so hard right now, I've just got to get through this then..." Then WHAT? Does it get easier? No, it just gets DIFFERENT. People often wait to have kids until the "timing is right" I'm totally all for a few years with your spouse, but waiting until you have the right income, the right saved, the right house, the right car, all the gadgets, that day DOES NOT COME! Just the same with everything else, stop thinking about how much better it will be later and see how GOOD IT IS NOW! Even when it's hard, there is GOOD! God is GOOD! Remember HOW He is good this season, what HAS He given you? What incredible lessons have these difficult trials taught you? If it's nothing I can guarantee you a repeat, because you have GOT to learn! Look around, you're not alone even when your head tells you that you are. It may be hard to see right now, but you are surrounded by love and beauty. Jesus made you! He made you with a purpose! You're still on this earth so there MUST be something for you to do and you MUST be important and loved! Trust me, this is not the pot calling the kettle black, I certainly know this is MY lesson to learn eternally as well. Lord allow me this season to see YOU, to teach YOU to my children, to thank YOU for the gift of your beautiful Son that saved a wretch like me. Thank you Jesus that I am fearfully an wonderfully made with an incredible purpose and Lord do not allow me to rest until I have pushed through trial after trial and reached the gold. Let my children see that I am NOT a quitter, I am gentle, kind, loving, selfless, that I love you above all and that I love and submit to their daddy second above all. Let them see that he is the rock of this family and Lord strengthen him when the world would try to make him weak. Allow our family to flourish financially so that we may bless those walking through money trials. Lord to you be the glory forever and ever and I pray Jesus that our lives would be a testament to thousands and that someday your voice would ring true to thousands through our mouths from the stage you have called us to speak from. Lord you reign forever and today you are Jesus THE SON OF GOD an we praise you, teach us to lay at your feet and be thankful for the trials we walk through each day because we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish it's work so that we may be whole and complete NOT LACKING ANYTHING! (emphasis mine, James 1:2) Merry Christmas to you and yours, know that your trials are blessings, walk through them knowing that God thought of you highly enough to keep you on this earth to walk THROUGH. The only way THROUGH IS THROUGH!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Lately I've been spending time each day reading the updates of an incredible family facing serious tragedy back in Oregon. It has really made me refocus on the Lord each day and seek to find the importance and the gift in today. Are you a glass half empty kind of person? Boy i sure can be. I have been working very hard lately to change this about myself, i tend to analyze the negative before seeing the positive- making sure i see what worst could happen first and prepare for those results so that when i come through I'm not surprised and my whole person is in tact. This is so far outside the character of Jesus! Jesus was focused on RIGHT NOW with the goal of eternity for the children He so desperately loves. Certainly He stood up and stated the negative outcomes of foolish sin and behavior and called out people living these lifestyles, but His goals were to glorify His maker through His actions and bringing love and grace to those on earth. I don't feel as though my life honors Him as it could when i continually focus negatively. Today was just one of those days, you know what i mean! The two younger kids whined ALL DAY. It did NOT matter what it was they were whining and throwing fits and complaining and yelling and by bed time i wanted to THROW something through a window! But really, I am so blessed! My children are healthy and growing great, they are happy and loved, content and learning. They are adored and they know Jesus! What a gift they are to their daddy and I! Sometimes i get so overwhelmed by them i just cannot help it, but i try to remind myself that I am only human as well and my attitude makes all the difference. What we focus on expands, so I am going to focus on the blessings, just as this wonderful mother has done throughout watching her child fade away and go to join Jesus in heaven, because she is blessed, and I surely am as well.
Friday, December 7, 2012
I know this is way off track from my recent blogs, but as the scripture says, Matthew 12:34b For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The abundance of my heart right now is grief. It may sound silly to some of you facing much more serious loss, and I do understand ours was a pet not a person, but to us this pain is real. We have a good perspective on it, but unfortunately that cannot change our hurt. Many of you know that Bryce, my husband, became sick just months after our Lucy was born just after losing his job and insurance. During those three months of being in and out of the hospital Bryce had really began to feel defeated and was having a difficult time adjusting after he was home. He had been telling me for years that he'd wanted a Weimaraner and so I started to explore the option of getting him a puppy- to be his companion and to bring his spirits back up. This little boy was a blessings dropped into our lap, I'm sure of it! He was born to a beautiful mother that was intended to breed when she was older and so her puppies were purebred but unpapered thus making him thousands cheaper than Weims run. We went to see him when they were only a couple of weeks old in early May 2009 to see the little guy. Bryce was immediately attached to him, with ears to big for his body where he actually fell from stepping on them! He was one of the biggest puppies, as Bryce wanted a big dog. Over the next few weeks he would drive the two hours each way just to see him for an hour or so. He was hooked! This little puppy was his joy! He finally came home with us on June 12th at eight weeks old. Since then he has been the most incredible dog we've ever had (we love our Jesse, but he's more subdued). Bryce would take him virtually everywhere, they took drives together, went running, and he'd take him to Grandpa's Feed to get dog food and toys. Bryce bell trained him to ring with his nose when he needed to go outside (which got annoying since he'd ring it ANYTIME he wanted out!) Lucy has no memory of not having him in her life and often tried shutting him in her room to play. One of her first words was calling him "horsey" because he was so big! We went through many ups and downs with him because he became very sick a couple years ago and required immediate surgeries much like Bryce's. He would say that he and the dog were meant for each other, both healing from the same internal stuff. He always protected me and the girls when Bryce was on night shift or out of town, and he never let anyone near them in the yard. He had a very intimidating bark! When we decided to move here to Kansas, some of the pros we thought of were acres for him to run and play. So he rode in the main cab of the care with Jesse and the girls all the way here to Kansas. As soon as he saw that field he FREAKED! It was so beautiful to spend hours watching him run and play and explore 5 acres of land. He was a beautiful dog, shiny and happy, big and long, goofy and always always trying to scheme his way into your lap. He had a way of turning people into dog people and had a huge crush on my mom. For some reason every time she was over at our house he would not leave her alone! He kept following her and rubbing his head on her anywhere she went. I'm pretty sure she fell in love with him too :) Lucy and Brynlee were always dressing him up and riding him like a horse, to which he would just play along every time, he loved them. He loved them so much i know that at some point this will hit them and at least Lucy will understand the permanence and feel the pain of loss. Of course he did stuff to drive me nuts, but no matter what i loved him anyway and could never stay mad very long. We've been here almost three months and in the past couple of weeks he had been losing a lot of weight and drinking absurd amounts of water. The other day he began coughing up blood and just lay in the dirt, so Bryce loaded him up and took him to the Vet. The Vet immediately said it was serious at he was Forty pounds lighter than when we left Oregon. We knew, we just knew all day what this meant and that he wasn't coming home. It was a long day, but after the diagnosis of advanced Cushings and some other things as well- he needed to be put down and spared the pain. So i sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and hugged his neck and told him how much i loved him, and he did what he's always done- whenever i cry he comes up to me and looks right into my eyes as if to say he knows how i feel and he's there for me. Then Bryce asked me to leave and held him as he passed away... I swear if God sends animals during a time when people need unconditional love and humor, than this dog was certainly sent by him. He helped me get Bryce back to himself again, he brought us love and comfort, and plenty of laughter. He was a gift we cannot be thankful enough for. We are desperately feeling his absence already, and so unsure how to move forward from here but we are grateful for the joy he brought us, and for being Bryce's companion. We had so many dreams that included him, he shouldn't have died for ten more years at least. What a difference a day makes.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
I began thinking about this blog soon after writing my last one "Your children become what you speak over them" and really felt the subject important to touch on. I am confident in the things the Lord has appointed me to do and I know that this is one of them- marriage. Speaking on it, writing about it, and living it. Did you know that husbands also can become what we speak to and over them as well? Of course that is a universal statement about any relationship parent or otherwise, but do we put it into action? I have often experimented with this in my marriage, somewhat unintentionally and what I can tell you is that YES it certainly matter what we speak over them. When Bryce worked at the jail for three years I could DEFINITELY see the difference in him and his day when i would wake up and pray the armor of God over him. The days that i didn't were difficult on him. How often do we skip praying over them to only beg and complain whenever they ARE home? I know from my own marriage and also from others that this happens quite often. To us it sounds like a request, like we've done all the chores so why is it such a big deal for him to take out the trash? More often than not this becomes a huge argument wherein you spend an hour fighting about what he does for the family in comparison to what you do which leaves you both exhausted, him feeling like a failure and guess who takes out the trash anyway? YOU. Guess who feels bitter that he didn't listen to you again, YOU. When talking to newly married or soon to be married friends i often try to remind them that the walls in marriage are really built slowly with tiny stones and over time you cannot figure out where they came from but there you are living separate lives. I've been fortunate enough to have recognized this in myself early on and Bryce and I work hard to make sure there are never walls coming up anywhere. But really, that one incident can become a huge fortified wall over time! Why is it so important to you? I can say for me, my love language is acts of service, so to me him not automatically seeing the need and jumping in to take care of it makes me feel like he doesn't see how hard i work or care that the load is a lot to bear at times. When really he's walking in the door thinking about how draining that job was and just wanting to relax, chances are he's not even SEEN the trash! I've realized that on days when I feel like i really need his help I just decide i'm going to change my attitude and encourage him instead of choosing bitterness or begging. Those are the days when our marriage is incredible and he sweeps in excited and happy, takes out the trash while i'm in the other room and just blows me away! What a gift a good attitude can be. Instead of running through why he's frustrated me all day through my mind, i think about what a gift he is, what he sacrifices for me each day and how desperately he must want quality time with his family to recharge. I become determined to make that for him and more often than not I am the one who receives the blessing of that attitude shift even more than him! My heart changes to that of the Lord and i can see from his perspective what a gift my husband is. The point i'm trying to drive home is this: are you grateful for your husband? Do you spend time telling others all the terrible things he does not do or how lazy he is? Have you tried to ONLY speak positively about him? Men receive love by respect, and gossiping about your husband is the absolute slap in the face in disrespect. How can we expect our needs to be met when we have not even tried to be a "help meet" and spoken poorly of him to others? A good wife NEVER reveals her husbands weaknesses to ANYONE. I used to struggle a lot when Bryce and I would argue because i wanted so badly to talk to someone about it, but everyone I knew i was not certain they would encourage me to the feet of Jesus and submission, and so i told no one. For me it was better to deal with my heart with Jesus and my husband alone than to involve someone who might get the wrong idea about him and make a judgement based on my emotional opinion. I would wish for a mentor or woman that loved her husband in this way that i could speak to, but I was not SURE it would not effect their judgement of his and my first call as his wife is to ALWAYS build him up and never to allow someone else to be judge by something said of him. I believe women were created to be a help meet for her husband, to respect him and honor him, to look forward to meet his needs before he realizes he needs them, and to come along beside him in fulfilling his calling in life. We were not created to belittle him, to tell him about how he needs to lose weight or stop eating junk or get up and work- honestly we may feel like he needs to hear those things but THAT is not our job as his wife. We are called to speak life, to encourage, to uphold, to become the proverbs 31 woman. The easiest way for a woman to do that in my mind is first to learn to control her tongue, when she has done that most of the problems solve themselves! Have a heart of submission and love, to do whatever it takes to help him reach his goals, and help him find them if he is without any! We were created as a gift for our husbands, are we being that?