Between Him and I…

Sweet Jesus, it has been no secret to you that over the past few years, Andrew has been suffering. It is no secret to you that our nights have been restless and our mornings filled with anxiety. It is no secret to you that he is hurting, feeling alone and defeated and it is no secret to you that at times this is all too much to handle. It is also no secret to you, that this conversation between You and I would one day happen. So here it goes… Just as the psalmist David once wrote…

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer O LORD my God.

Give light to me eyes or I will sleep in death;

my enemy will say “I have overcome him,”

and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I will trust in your unfailing love;

my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me. Psalm 13

I too have those every same questions. How long will you turn away from my husband? How long will he continue to suffer and have sorrow and anxiety within? How long until he can fell your love and be reassured of his place as your son? How long until enemy no longer triumphs over him? Lord, come quickly, this is a trying time and if there is something we, as one, are not seeing,  hearing or learning, please Lord, light a bush on fire and help us out. As his wife, it is hard to see him suffer.

I will take this anxiety, if it means relief for him, give it to me, just give him relief. Give him a restful night, calm his fears, strip him from the nightmares and wake him with peace. I will do w hat ever you ask. I will sell all we own and give it to the poor and follow you, just as you asked your disciples to do. I will step out of the boat in faith, I will leave comfort and stability behind, I will do whatever you ask. Just ask, just make it clear and bring your peace.

Lord, if I may be so bold, I am done watching him suffer. I have had it, I know your healing power and I am starting to doubt. Your word is made of promises, we have cast the anxiety upon you, we have laid it at your feet, we have prayed continuously, we have sought you in your word and nothing. The anxiety is still there, the restless nights come every day and the toll it is taking on my man is too much. Ease the burden, even if you have to give it to me, just ease the load he carries daily. Your word says that you will make our burdens light, and yet, my man is heavy laden.

Regardless, you are Lord, you are God, you are the Alpha and Omega, and I will praise you in this storm. I will trust that it will not last forever, although 3 years is starting to feel like forever. You have been good to me, you have been faithful, but please just be good to him. Be faithful to him. He loves you, he is faithful to you, just come and come now.

Advertisements

Don’t think it was ever easy…

It is no secret that Andrew and I have had our “moments”. We will just call them “moments” for now. You know the kind of “moments” I am talking about. The kind that make you fall to your knees, tears streaming down your face, doubt staring you straight in the eyes, the kind of moments that will literally shake you to your core. We have had those moments.

The moments we can look back on over the last 5 years of our marriage are life changing, faith defining, earth shaking moments. Some are filled with joy, others with anxiety. Some are filled with laughter filled nights, and others were spent listening to the beeping of hospital monitors. Some are filled with the greatest blessings anyone could ask for and then there are the moments that are so challenging one would question how we made it.

Those moments, all of them, are all moments that Jesus hand picked for us. He chose those moments for our first 5 years of marriage long before we took our first breath or even before our parents witnessed that little magic plus sign on their home pregnancy test.

So my question is this… when exactly did we ever think life, married life or life as parents would be comfortable, easy or always “wonderful”…. You know the kind of wonderful that leave it to Beaver experienced. Where exactly in the Bible does it say those who choose to follow Jesus will never know suffering, anxiety or pain?

Right now in our culture people will be in a TV show that will test the very strength of their minds and bodies, people will take it further and sign up for a TV show that will eventually put their integrity in question. They will put their kids in front of the camera and attempt to raise them with a sense of normality, and the moment they speak of Jesus and stand firm in their faith, it all comes crashing down and the cameras turn off and no one is around. The evidence of the “rumors” are still published, the hearts of their loved ones are still hurt and none of it was as easy as they thought.

I know of a woman who on a daily basis says these words about “my people”…. “religious people make me sick, their very view of life disgusts me”

When and how did we get the idea that following Jesus was the easier choice? When did we “those kind of people” think it was okay to have them call our Jesus disgusting? When were we ever encouraged to be Jesus with skin on because it was the “popular thing” to do…

His word makes it clear… “They will hate you because of me”… Those seven simple words say so much.

“They will spit on you because of me”

“They will mock you because of me”

“They will tear your lives apart with so called “reality TV” because you choose to talk about me”

“You will disgust them because of me”

“They will withhold promotions from you because of me”

“They will try to spend your money on experimental medical testing because they have no other answers and refuse to look at me”

“They will beat you and hang you on a cross, because of ME”

So I ask you this, are you up for whatever He has set out for you? Even if it is  uncomfortable, smothered with anxiety, painful, unfair, hard work, filled with long nights and even if it means you only wear water proof mascara for the rest of your life? Are you up for it?

I want to raise my son to be up for it. I want him to look in the face of pain, anxiety and fear and know that Jesus has already overcome the world. I want our family name to be one that brings a smile to the face of our savior and I want my son to be “hated” because of Him -yes you heard me right. I want my son to know Jesus so passionately no one will be able to see when he beings and his love for Jesus ends. I want him to know it is hard work to passionately love Jesus. But I also want him to know the blessings that come with it are worth it all and are enough.

But really, will the moments of blessing be enough? The moments of a peaceful nights sleep, a blessing in the midst of suffering. The moments of laughter, a blessing in the midst of over whelming heart ache. The moments of excitement as we dream of taking a trip to Vegas, a blessing in the midst of anxiety filled mornings.

Jesus – you are enough. I love you. I work for you, I sleep so I can wake well rested and honor you with my actions. I eat so I can be healthy and serve the people you have placed in my life. Even if those people spit on me, mock me, beat me and hang me on a cross, Jesus, I will do it for you. I love you.

Oh and PS – Satan, you have no place in my home, there is not a room that does not hold scripture on the walls, do not even think you are welcome in my life, my home, my mind or in any part of my husband’s mind, life and heart and do not get me started on my son…  Back the heck up – YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.

College might not matter all that much…

Tonight was Good Friday church. And true to its name, it was good, really good. In the middle of a powerful and one of my most beloved songs, “The Old Rugged Cross” something came to me. I was overwhelmed with what was consuming my attention, in the middle of my most beloved worship song, I started to list all of the things I wanted to give Isaac.

You know, a happy home, loving parents, yadda yadda yadda… The list continued…

1.       I want to give Isaac a yard to play in.

2.       I want to give Isaac swim lessons.

3.       I want to give Isaac a good education.

4.       I want to give Isaac the ability to go to college.

5.       I want to give Isaac….

It was then I feel to my knees. I want to give Isaac Jesus. I want him to know the old rugged cross that has changed my life. The sweat stained brow that held the crown of thorns. I want to give Isaac a deeply rooted truth, one submerged in scripture.  I want to give Isaac the feeling that consumes me when a praise song comes over the radio, you know, the turn it up and sing until your voice is sore, kind of feeling. I want to give him Jesus.

That’s it. Nothing else, just Jesus. The college education became less important, the yard within the fense that outlines my dream home does not matter. The swim lessons I stress about are no big deal, the items I feel like I “have” to give him really don’t matter, they will not make a lasting impact on his life, so they don’t really matter however, his life will be saved by giving him Jesus. A picture came to my mind, one of me on my knees at the foot of the cross, laying my baby at the base, where the dirt and wood met. Me physically handing my baby over to him. I guess to give him Jesus, so I can give Jesus to him…

Jesus, my sweet Jesus, he is yours. I am yours, we are yours. What we have is yours, all we have has been given to us by your hands, the very hands that were nailed to the cross. I love you and praise you with every breath. Amen.

Today is a good day…

Today is a good day, not because it is Thursday, which marks the second half of the week. Nor because it is actually spring like weather outside, cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. Today is a good day, because this morning, bright and early I met with Jesus. We had a great conversation.

Today we happened to talk about the very last time he ate with his 12 friends around a rather large table. So see, today is Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, and it is today  that commemorates the Last Supper Jesus shared with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and from what we talked about in our time together this morning, it was a busy day.

On this day four events took place: Jesus washed the Disciples’ Feet, the Last Supper was prepared, enjoyed and cleaned up (some one had to do those dishes), then there is the agony of  my Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His betrayal by a friend, a trusted companion, one of those very men at the table, Judas. Yep it was a busy day.

But the thing that strikes me the most, at 10:28 am today is the fact that even Jesus had a busy day. Think about it. He got on his knees, served his friends and humbled himself by washing their feet. So basically, He took some time out of the day to give a little pedi to all the men who he loved. Just think about how long it takes you to get a little pedi – this was not an assembly line process of dip, drip, and dry… this was a long event. He spent time with each one of those 12 men, washing their feet carefully and thoroughly, drying them with a soft towel and paying close attention to each one of his beloved 12.

Then, they shared a meal together. They talked, they ate, they spent time together, this was not just a quick drive thru McDonalds meal on your lunch break. I am sure this meal lasted a few hours. It was then at this table, he knew that one of the men he loved dearly would betray him. Think about that reality, the pain that must of stuck his heart like a knife that tries to cut thru cold butter. It must have been a pain like none other. Than, towards the end of the day, things get a little too much for him. We see him on his knees before his father saying “take this cup from me”… How many of us have ended our day like that…

I don’t want to work where I work anymore, I cannot do just one more day, it’s too much for me, take this cup from me.

I don’t think I can take just one more day of the stress life brings, take this cup from me.

I don’t think I can clean up any more toys, do any more laundry or clean any more toilets, take this cup from me.

I don’t think I can forgive him again for breaking my heart, take this cup from me.

I don’t want to cry any more tears over my precious one that went to be with you too early, I want to feel the warmth of their face upon my skin,  take this cup from me.

I don’t think I want to make my marriage work, I just cannot do it anymore, take this cup from me.

I don’t think I can forgive myself just one more time, take this cup from me.

You see, today is a good day, because today is the day that Jesus, my savior shared with me the truth about just how much he really understands me, his beloved. And that is something worth all my praise.

Today is a good day my friend, He too has had busy days that end with tears and pleading to the Father. Today is a good day, for He is good.

Jesus – I love you – enough said.

 

Just what I need…

Life has some how gotten a little out of focus lately. You know, focused on me, rather than Him. You know, focused on the stress of everyday life rather than the blessings of a new day. You know, more focused on the budget than the Bible… I kind of feel like I have been walking around without my glasses on or my contacts in… I have just enough vision to make it down the hall to the bathroom, but not enough to make sure I have not actually arrived in the closet… I have just been out of focus. Not feeling well, all around, emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally…

Then… just when I needed it… He speaks… okay He always speaks to me, but like most of us I am sure, sometimes I don’t listen… well, tonight I heard Him loud and clear. I know that the quiet house, the only noise is the dishwasher running, the peaceful dim light, comfortable couch and the warmth of the puppy, “helped” me hear Him. But really, tonight, I wanted to… I waited until I heard Him. Just sitting, listening to the water move around in the dishwasher, just waiting for Him to speak. And He did and it was powerful… Here’s what He said…

The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Yep, it just came out of no where, I had to look it up to find the scripture address. You see, He is with me at work, He is with me as I drop Isaac of at daycare, He is with me as I clean the house, put the laundry away and do the dishes, hey He is even with me as I “window” shop at the mall… He is mighty to save, He will not let me fall into the depths just for fun. He is on my side, He takes delight in me. ME, perfectly unperfect me. He is interested in my thoughts, my heart’s desires, my worries, my stresses, my bad days, my good days, my fasination with the dollar store, He is interested in all of me. He will quiet me with His love. He will surround me as I sit and listen to the water move around in the dishwasher. He will give me peace as I lay next to Andrew and remember what it was like 3 years ago. He will run His fingers over my eyebrows as I drift off to sleep. Just image, falling alseep on the lap of the One and Only. You know, the One who created the Heaven’s and the Earth. That is the One who rejoices over me with singing. He is so in love with me, so consumed by me, so proud of me, so interested in me, that He rejoices with song… I don’t think I have ever broke out in song to express my love for my husband… trust me, it would not be a loving, romantic gesture… but Him, He’s different. His voice is perfect I’m sure, I’ve heard it… Have you?

In Him… I will find rest…

So, in the midst of not feeling well, I started to pray about a few things, and my sweet and tender Abba said to me “Stop focusing on you, and focus on them…” Interesting how when we are so focused on our lives, things can seem different – either better or worse than they really are… so my reality has shifted…

Jesus has blessed me with a good day, I am feeling good today and have had little pain and no vomitting… I have also been on my knees for these sweet families – will you join me?

Maggie Oatsvall – I love this family – no we have never met, but their passion for aboption is something I love about them…  

Stellan and Jennifer – Again – a family I love tenderly – I love her faith, I love her deocrating style, I just love her – Jesus please let us meet one day –

Apparently, I am not the only one who has been under the weather – Jesus bring healing… We love you!

Jesus Please…

It’s been almost 3 weeks now, I have not felt well… We have done several blood tests, 2 CT scans, 3 ultrasounds, 1 trip to the ER in the middle of the night and more urine tests than one woman can stand… still nothing. Just pain, stomach pain, back pain and lots of throw up…

Jesus, please come. I am tired. My body is tired. My family is tired, and this mama wants to pick up her baby and play in the park with him and his rocks. I have work I need to get done at work, I have laundry I need to do and cleaning that I would like to do. More than anything, I do not want to do this anymore. Take this cup from me. I love you and trust you. Amen…