Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm 27 going on 70

I love books. I always have. When I was younger, my Mom would ground me from reading sometimes- and it was a horribly punishment for me!

Ever since I've had children, my ability to enjoy a book or even think about picking one up has become less frequent. Its sad to me, but its a pleasure I have to forgo sometimes.

Recently though, I have taken a 2 break from my thriving crochet business, and thus opened up the time for enjoying a good book! My gem of a husband bought me 2 this year for Christmas! I completely devoured a 400 page book in 2 days! Thus bringing me to this realization:

I am 27 going on 70

I recently finished Jan Karon's book Called: In The Company of Others. I was first introduced to her fantastic novels 3 years ago during an extremely difficult time of my life. (See Surprised by Joy: The birth story of Baby number 2) Her easy going humor mixed with the sweetness and sometimes grievousness of life helped me see some beauty in life. Needless to say, I was more than ecstatic about receiving her latest addition for Christmas!

After reading the first few chapters, I felt a part of me coming to life again- the writer! I literally stopped and put the book down and said What is it with these books?? Every time I read them it beckons to my heart and makes me learn from the simple things again. I suddenly want to read poetry, write letters to distant relatives, and get out my old records! These books are about Elderly people who have a old-fashioned approach to life. And that's when it hit me:

I am 27 going on 70!!!

The idea of reading some one's journal from a hundred years ago is enough to get my heart racing, my blood pumping, and my feet on the move to get it into my hands!! I love old books, old records, old clothes, History, all of those things! I've often been told I have an old soul, and I now I completely agree.

Thank you, Jan Karon for drawing out my love for old things and writing about them so beautifully! Your book felt like an old friend that I want to revisit over and over again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living out of Abundance

Recently, my church hosted a conference with Eric Johnson (son of Bill Johnson, Bethel Church in Redding, CA). He spoke several times on living from a place of abundance- and it has completely wrecked me (in a good way). So, I thought I'd share some of it with you, and see if you get wrecked by it too!

Fruit vs. Report
Every day we are bombarded with tons of bad reports and some good ones too. For some reason, it is often easier to believe the bad stuff over the good? Why is this? Why do we question good news? For example- you may here that your Great Aunt has been diagnosed with cancer, and has only a week to live. That same day, you may hear of a friend who has been completely healed of cancer and is 100% healthy. My gut reaction to the Great Aunt- is sympathy and empathy. My reaction to the friend is often- Wow! Really? I'll say it again-

Why are we so quick to believe bad news? Why do we question good news?

In Numbers: The Israelites had been wandering around in a desert for years, and they finally come to the land that God promised to them. They send a bunch of guys to go and check out the land and bring back a report. The guys literally bring back the fruit from the land and tell everyone of its abundance, but then they bring the report- There are giants, and they are stronger than we are! Numbers 13 says, "they gave a bad report". I absolutely LOVE Caleb and Joshua's response. They chose to focus on fruit. They said,

"The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, the He will bring us into this land and give it to us.....Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them."

When we choose to focus on the report and what we see, we miss an opportunity to see what He sees. There are so many things that we encounter every day, and we have a choice- do we walk in fear or faith? The Associate Pastor at my church likes to ask? What is your "F" word? Fear or Faith?

So how do we choose faith?

As soon as I had children, I became really good friends with fear. I felt like "if I don't worry about this, then no one will- and something bad will happen!". YUCK! Fear felt way more comfortable than faith. Faith felt more like neglect and carelessness. Not true.

I think that the Jesus used the mustard seed not to show us how much he can do with how little, but to show us that faith is a process and it will grow.

Living in a Place of Abundance
So the question rose up within me, do I really believe that God will take care of my family? I realized that I really don't. I believed that God can give me wisdom on how to take care of my family, but not that I can entrust Him with the care of my family. wow.
I also realized that about 90% of my prayer life consists of just asking him for things. Last I checked, that's not much of a relationship. I want a relationship. I have challenged myself to limit how much I ask God for things- its my way of boosting my level of faith and trust in Him.

And it is working.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Finding Redemption: The Birth of Baby Number 2!

When Isabel was just past one, I found out I was pregnant again. Once again, it was unexpected, but we were excited! Our sweet baby was due to arrive just two months before Isabel turned 2. My pregnancy this time was very different. I was very nauseous, and felt completely different from how I felt when I was pregnant with Isabel. Things still progressed, and by the time I was just two weeks shy of finding out what we were going to have, we discovered that our sweet baby was no longer living. My heart entered into the deepest sorrow that it had known yet. I grieved for months, and still do over our sweet baby. It took a while for me to heal, and I really didn't gain full closure until I held my next baby in my arms.

While I was eagerly waiting to "try" again, I started researching my option. I had done the doctor route, and after having a not so great experience with an insensitive nurse in my OBGYN's office, I decided there must be more! A close friend of mine had decided to use a midwife with her second child, and I was a bit skeptical. I had been given a bad taste in my mouth toward midwives only because my Mother's generation were told it was a scary way to go- and it may have been! BUT, times have changed. The first thing that drew me to using a midwife was the cost. We do not have medical insurance that covers pregnancy, so to have a baby for a fraction of the cost was extremely appealing.

And then I found it. I found Gentle Beginning's Birth Center. I started reading their philosophy an approach and now I was really interested. The real kicker was reading the testimonial form. I absolutely cried my eyes out. It touched me so much that there could be such a special and intimate relationship with the person that is helping you bring your child into the world. Things like listening to your needs, supporting you during labor, even- EVEN praying for you! I was thoroughly convinced. After praying about it, my husband and I chose to pursue Sarah Jones as our midwife- and wow did we ever hear right from the Lord!

Let me just go off on a bit of a tangent here regarding midwifes. They are the best and dearest of people. My midwife came over for dinner on several occasions, prayed for me, knew my daughters name AND her bear's name, and knew my struggles and desires. She spent an hour with me each visit, and I can not imagine having another child without her by my side. It was the breath of fresh air that I needed inside and out.

After taking several months to physically heal, we were pregnant yet again. I dealt with a lot of fear during this pregnancy. Every moment was precious. The week after it was confirmed that we were having a boy (once again, I just knew!), I went to Redding, CA for a conference. A prophetic word was given that someone had been through an Abraham and Isaac situation and that the Lord wanted to heal the fear that was related to letting go. WOW was I ever ministered to! It was totally me, and the Lord really delivered me from fear! It was a major turning point for me that I needed before heading into labor. It during this time, I decided to name the baby we lost, Isaac.

False labor started a month before I was due. Unfortunately it was due to me being dehydrated, and I dilated to a four! I remained a four until I gave birth a month and half later- wild I know! I walked, and I walked, and I walked, and I did the EPO, and just about everything I knew under the sun. I kept having false labor, and I was so over due! Expected due date was December 14th, and 9 days later, he still had not arrived. We decided to do a sonogram, and baby was so big that they had to do calculations on their own because the sonogram didn't know how to handle a baby that size! They gave me an estimate of somewhere between 9.5 and 10.5 pounds. We decided to consult a Doctor.

Now, to be quite honest, I cried my eyes out over this decision. I knew he would probably through the "c-section" thought my way- and I just did not want to go there. Truth be told, he did mention it, but he never pushed me at all. In fact, he gave me the choice to try and labor at the birthing center in my own and know the risks that were involved if the baby got stuck. After praying about it, we felt it would be best to stay and labor at the hospital, but I did not want pitocin. So, they broke my water at 8pm that night- WHY we did not wait until the morning- I HAVE NO IDEA! lol.

For the first time, I was able to feel what normal contractions were like. It was wonderful! I was excited, and I was progressing, and wow was I ever blessed. The Nurse at the hospital that labored with me wanted to be a Nurse Midwife some day, so she had very natural ideas regarding labor. She didn't strap me down. I did have to have an IV, but no fetal monitoring at all times. I walked up and down the hallways until it got too uncomfortable. I labored in the shower, and even in the bath tub! She was such a blessing. By 6am, I was fully dilated, but Timothy still had not dropped into position. He was changing positions and would not come down the birth canal. It was then that they had to put me on pitocin.

I was exhausted- and knew I could handle pitocin contractions so I opted for the epidural again. Thankfully this time everything went in well and I finally got some rest- expecting to see my baby very soon. Not so much.

The Doctor put me on a high dose of pitocin hoping that that would push the baby out slowly, but instead it just made things really intense for me and the baby. All I could do was wait. Several hours later, he still was not coming out. They were beginning to talk "c-section" again. I asked them if I could at least try and push, and they said ok lets see what you can do. So, at 11am, I finally pushed- and he crowned immediately! NO one expected this. Especially the Doctor!

I had to wait another half hour for him to arrive so that I could deliver the baby! After 3 more good and solid pushes, Timothy arrived at 12:12pm. He immediately put him on my chest- which I was not expecting. He looked almost identical to Isabel. I was so relieved and proud, and I felt like the fog had lifted off of me once again. It was a rebirth of my soul. We named him Timothy Justice. Timothy after his Father's middle name, and Justice because it was the name that we both felt fit for him. Timothy means honoring God. Justice- we've heard defined as: Restoring relationships.

*Photo was Taken by F. Robert Openshaw, who is my Uncle. Timothy was about 6 months old*

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Young and in love: a birth story

Before you begin reading this, I just want to say that this story is NOT for first time Mother's to read. If you have

One of the gifts that I was given in life was determination. I am the youngest of four kids, so I got the amazing privilege of seeing them all date- by age 12, I was determined to NOT experience the heartache that I saw them go through. (don't worry, we'll get to the birth here soon)

I began to pray for my husband. The list of "wants" changed over the years, but one desire stayed the same: I wanted to date only one guy, and I wanted him to be a virgin. I began to really resent the fact that God honored my request, when I was 18 years old and STILL had not been asked out on a date. Looking back on it now, I am so very grateful that God honored that prayer. I met my husband when I was 20 years old, he also had never dated anyone. Neither of us had experienced a "relationship" and got to discover everything wonderful about each other without having any baggage to carry around. It is a gift.

BUT, it was also a whirlwind! We started dating in March, then we were engaged 6 months later , then married 6 months later in March (the anniversary of our first date), and then 6 months after that, we were pregnant with our first child. I had absolutely no clue about any of it. EVERYTHING was new, so I relied on my convictions, and plowed ahead.

I was terrified of having a baby, but I always knew I wanted to be a Mom. I was absolutely thrilled when I discovered I was pregnant. It was scary and intimidated, and I had no idea how it would change our lives, or if we could even afford a baby, BUT I was truly happy. I had had dreams before I was married, that my first child was going to be a girl, so right away I knew I was going to have a girl, and I was right!

We had planned on moving to Kansas City, MO to be a part of a church called IHOP (International House of Prayer), but nothing was coming together to make that move, so by the grace of God we decided to stay. I am so very very grateful that we did. I had no idea where to begin when it came to looking for a doctor (I had not discovered the beauty of midwives then). I didn't have any girl friends to rely on for advice, so my husband literally got out the phone book and called the first set of Doctors that seemed best to him- and we ended up using him for the rest of my delivery. In all fairness, I really did like him as a Doctor, he was the Old fashion type and very kind, but I still didn't feel like I was "understanding" the process very well.

I really had an amazing pregnancy, I didn't get sick, I ate to my hearts content, and really enjoyed the experience. During the end of my pregnancy though, I started having weird episodes of blacking out and getting dizzy. They never did discover why it happened, and my Doctor just looked at me strangely every time I asked him about it.

Isabel was due to arrive on June 11th. On June 10th, I began to break out in an intensely itchy rash. It first started as a tiny little patch on one of my hands, and then it spread to covering both of my hands, feet, and all of my stretch marks. I went to the emergency room twice because I was in so much discomfort that I was having mental breakdowns (literally). The only way to relieve any of it was to take an ice cold shower. It was crazy, and again they never figured out why I had it.

On June 13th, I went to the hospital due to my maddening condition. After using the restroom while waiting in the waiting room, I felt a small gush. I found out immediately that if the ER hears anything having to do with a "GUSH" they will automatically rush you to Labor and Delivery and drop you off so that you are not a bother to them. It was wild- and so not what I expected. They hooked me up and asked me an enormous amount of questions, and gave me an ambien. I had my first night of good sleep in weeks. When I woke up in the morning, they kicked me out- I was obviously not in labor, and I must have just lost control of my bladder. I was really bummed- but still determined to not be induced into labor.

On June 14th, I had another mental breakdown and fell asleep crying my eyes out. I woke up at 5am and turned over in the bed, and another big gush came out. This time I knew it was not a lack of control. I was determined to stay at the hospital this time around, so I wrapped up my underwear in a plastic bag, and we were off to the hospital again. They were quite frustrated with me and argued over whether I had experienced a "gush" or not, and then I revealed "the bag"! After testing it, the nurse told me that it was "grossly positive". wow.

At that point, I was experiencing very mild contractions, but my Doctor and I decided that we should induce labor so that I could keep my sanity. I labored for 5 hours in a rocking chair, and it was so intense for me. Everything I had read said that I would get a break in between contractions, it never happened. After 5 hours, I had made it to a 5 (I had started out as a 2). Knowing that the hardest labor was to come- and knowing how completely exhausted I was from all I had already experienced, I elected for the epidural.

This was a turning point for me. I realized immediately that I hated having an epidural. The anesthesiologist put the epidural in wrong, so that it went into a blood vessel thus only numbing half of my body. I was in intense pain and began to feel extremely uncomfortable, so they gave me an extra shot of it- my heart rate went through the roof and I watched it on the monitor. I began to black out, and I thought this was the end. No joke. Immediately, I was given oxygen, but by this time I was so panicked that I started hyperventilating.

I had never experienced a panic attack in my life. It took all of my energy to focus on breathing normal. Anesthesiologist number 2 came in and gave me a proper epidural, and now I was numb all the way up to my chest. I immediately asked them to back off of the epidural. I did not like being that numb.

I prayed a lot.

During my entire labor, I listened to Jason Upton's cd: "Open up the Earth". There's a song on there called : Breathe. This song kept me going. Ryan was by my side the entire time, but he looked just as scared and worried as I felt.

By 8pm, I had dilated fully, and it was time to push. The nurse I had a for a pushing coach, was pregnant with twins and was counting her contractions in between my pushes- wild! She had me push in the strangest positions, and when my Doctor came in an hour and half later, he was not happy. He coached me the rest of the way, and after pushing with him, he decided to use forceps, and an episiotomy. Two and half hours later, Isabel came rushing out, and I'll never forget that feeling.

The Jason Upton was singing in the background "There's a new child coming".

My first thought was: She's so big! A close friend of mine had a 7 pound baby just the week before, and here comes Isabel almost 9 pounds! She is gorgeous and feisty, and has the exact personality of me. We named her Isabel Jean. Isabel after my Great- Grandmother from Scotland, and Jean, which is my middle name, my Grandmother's middle name, and my Great- Aunt's first name. It means- Consecrated to God, God is Gracious.

*The photo shown above was taken by my Uncle who is an incredible photographer of Children. This photo has become quite famous, with over 20,000 views. Isabel was about 2 at the time.*

Stay tuned for baby number two's birth story: Discovering Midwives!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Lawn Mower and An Ant Hill

Yeah, so recently I've been struggling.

Really struggling.

Not the "I don't want to get out of bed" or "I just want to cry all the time" sort of struggling. Mostly the "Who am I really?" and "Do I have what it takes?" sort of struggle.

There has only been one other time in my life that I have wrestled with myself this much, and that was 5 years ago. I was in a situation where I was being accused wrongfully- and I knew it.

BUT, it made me begin to doubt myself. I thought about that situation every day. I was constantly having to pray through things and "let it go". I had never doubted myself so deeply, until recently.

Again, I've experienced another one of those situations that I was misunderstood. I hate being misunderstood. If I could right one wrong for my life, it would be that I would never be misunderstood again.

So, I was outside with my kids once again pondering this whole situation in my head, and I got fed up! So, I decided to pour my energy into mowing my lawn instead of fretting over what I "did" and "didn't" do right. Right as I was at the very end of finishing up, I felt all these little pin pricks on my skin- yep. I had walked right over an ant hill without knowing it. I completely panicked and started stripping my clothes off as fast as I could! I literally had ants crawling up my pants. yeah...meanwhile my daughter, Isabel is laughing at me and yelling out that she can see my "underpants".

I broke out in hives, and if it weren't for my Mom talking with me over the phone, I think I would have passed out, because I panicked. Once my husband came home and gave me some water, I calmed down and the hives went away almost immediately.

I realized that I feel like emotions got attacked by a bunch of ants- it was sudden and out of no where, and I panicked. And it still hurts. But, I know as soon as I begin to let go of my panick, and trust that God is with me, I know the pain will eventually subside. I know He's there to help, as soon as I'm ready to trust Him.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

God is my midwife

"How did we ever get the idea that God would supply us on demand with quick fixes, that God is merely a rescuer, and not a midwife?" -Sue Monk Kidd

After writing about my woes with waiting, my loving Aunt sent me a book by Sue Monk Kidd titled: When the Heart Waits. After reading the first few pages, I knew this was not a book for the faint of heart. I could already feel the words looking around in the dark for a light switch. Not ready to go there, I surrendered it to my night stand where it glared at me every night before I went to bed. Timing is key, and I knew it wasn't the right time until last night.

After undergoing a weekend of literal transformation, there was quite an unveiling of my thinking. My church has this requirement for all of our leaders to attend what they call an "Encounter Weekend". Since I attended something similar to this 8 years ago, I've been sort of "grandfathered" in. Feeling the conviction of being the worship leader, I felt it was necessary for me to go ahead and attend. How's that for honesty?

I really didn't have high expectations. I knew I had dealt with a lot of these things eight years ago, so what else could there be? It's amazing how much unforgiveness, judgments, vows, and ungodly beliefs creep back in without you even knowing. The first night, I was hit with the realization that I let fear have the reins quite a bit. Not only that, but my way of dealing with fear is escape. y-u-c-k. Both of those were revelations, but the real kicker was my large amount of unbelief. That's right, I'm a Christian and I struggle with unbelief.

I had no idea that I viewed God as this Being that was waiting for me to have all my ducks in a row, and even then there was STILL something I needed to do before He could bless me. y-u-c-k. I realized just how powerless my prayers have been. If I think that I'm not good enough to receive anything, then what am I going to do? NOT RECEIVE ANYTHING. Thus feeding my unbelief.

"He loves me because He loves me because that is who He is." -Graham Cooke

So after having all of this revelation, I found myself sinking back into the "I'm not good enough and will never get the desires of my heart" syndrome. double y-u-c-k. And there it was sitting on my nightstand begging for me to read it. I knew it was time, but wow did it ever hurt. I read until my heart couldn't take the digging any longer- 38 pages worth.

I have been a "fix me" sort of person my whole life. Come do it quick so I can move on.

"How did we ever get the idea that God would supply us on demand with quick fixes, that God is merely a rescuer, and not a midwife?" -Sue Monk Kidd

Sue parallels seasons of unrest as a retreat into birthing something new. Birthing is a process. Life is a process. CHRISTIANITY is a process. If you've ever had a midwife, you know. She doesn't just "check on you" during your appointment and then leave you alone in between. She doesn't just show up to catch your baby either, she's accessible. She's available. She's there during the entire birthing process doing whatever she can to make sure this is a successful, beautiful birth. How much more attentive is God?

So, I'm learning to rest in this season of waiting. I'm not entirely sure how to do that. It is a daily struggle, but I believe on the other side of this inconvenience, I'll emerge something new.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LOL- Laugh Out Loud

Do you ever take a moment to look at yourself, and just laugh?

During the first baby shower that I had, there was a moment that they asked anyone to share any advice for parenting, etc. The one thing that stood out to me the most was to learn to laugh during crazy situations. This Wise Woman shared how her kids would often get in to mischief, and instead of reacting, she would take a picture of it first and THEN deal with the situation. Why? So that she could laugh about it later.

When Ryan and I first got married, there were many times that we would be "rushing" out the door to his place or that mostly due to my lack of motivation. I am not a morning person. Ryan had to be at the bus station by 6:30am. Yes, there were many days that I took him in my PJ's, driving one handing while desperately gulping down some coffee. One of these hurried mornings, He had put on a shirt hurriedly and moments later, it ripped. So, he rushed back upstairs to find another one while I was quickly pulling myself together. He came rushing down stairs, and pulled the orange juice out of the frig, uncapped it, and gave it a shake. yeah....no cap. Orange juice is lovingly making its way all over my walls, down my cupboards, and puddling my nicely washed kitchen floor. Ryan was ready to blow a gasket, and all I could do was laugh.

Yesterday, we were supposed to have a showing of our house. So, I rushed my kids on over to my Mom's house, and I rushed back home and worked as fast and as hard as I could. My phone had died the moment I got home. I searched briefly for my charger, but didn't want to waste time so I just started cleaning like a mad woman. Moments before I was about to finish, I found my charger and plugged my phone in only to discover that the showing had been canceled. yep, canceled. I sat on the couch feeling completely spent and defeated. Why God? Why all this excitement and hard work in feeling that maybe just maybe the next owners of our house could be coming today? Why all this just for it to be canceled? He answered with: Well, at least you're ready now. And I laughed because He was right.

Today I had another opportunity to laugh. Yep, they're coming daily now. I packed my kids up to go to a staff meeting: something I never do. They both were loud and Isabel was asking for food, and Timothy was not wanting to eat food. Both were getting into everything, and I was juggling changing diapers and giving comments, and I felt generally overwhelmed and slightly chaotic. But, everyone was very gracious so I continued to stay. But, then it was time to go. Isabel protested, and before I knew it, milk was everywhere on me and on her. It took two other people helping me get my kids to the car. When the doors were shut and the air conditioner was blowing, I sat there and laughed.

It feels a whole lot better than crying.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

There is Always Enough

A few years ago, I had a dream about Heidi Baker. Heidi and her husband, Roland Baker have a massive ministry to literally thousands of orphans in Mozambique. If you are unfamiliar with Heidi and Roland Baker, I highly recommend you visit their website: http://www.irismin.org/p/background.php

Back to the dream, I had this dream that Heidi Baker was speaking at our church. In the dream, she was sharing that there wasn't enough money to feed the amount of orphans that they had. She wasn't sharing it out of a heart of desperation, she was just giving us an update. And then she went on to share that when she and her orphans experience a time of lack and when it doesn't seem that there is going to be enough, they consider it a Holy Fast unto the Lord. That there is joy in the midst of poverty because He is good.

The dream moves on, and people just start running to the front and giving anything that they have: watches, purses, money, clothes, etc. They put it all down this drain in the middle of the floor (I know it sounds odd). It begins to clog and overflow, so Heidi instructs them to get it all out. So they bring in this giant machine to suck it out of the ground. She tells everyone to watch because the Lord was going to show them that He is their provider. As they start to suck these things out of the ground, it instantly turns into Maize and it comes bursting out of the ground like a geyser and there was more than enough.

This dream has stuck with me over the years. When I come to a place of feeling like our finances our impossible, I always think of this dream. There are plenty of time that I feel like I want to beg and beg and beg God and simply wallow in my time of apparent lack. I want to pity myself, and then reprimand myself for not "doing" enough. The truth is, there is always room for improvement, but sulking about it won't get me anywhere. It reminds me of what the Israelite army did in facing Goliath- they just talked about him. The more they talked, the more they were afraid. And then, in walked David. He was sickened by what was being said about God and Goliath's portrayal of him. So he chose to face him dead on- and the army of people STILL wouldn't back him up. Why? Because all they believed him and could only see the reality of the situation-that he was greater than them. ALL of them let him face Goliath by himself. I sometimes get far too comfortable with just talking about my problems and letting them seem much bigger than me. Its really easy to listen to them tell me who they think God is. Yet, I know in my heart: there is always enough, and God is much bigger.

Jason Upton makes a good point in this song that he wrote:

There's a power in poverty that breaks principalities
And brings the authority's down to their knees
There's a brewing frustration and ageless temptation
To fight for control by some manipulation
But the God of the kingdoms and the God of the Nations
The God of creation sends His revelation
Through the homeless and penniless Jesus the son
The poor will inherit the Kingdom to come
Where will we turn when our world falls apart
And all of the treasures we've stored in our barns
Can't buy the Kingdom of God?
Who will we praise when we've praised all our lives
Men who build Kingdoms and men who build fame
Heaven does not know their name
What will we fear when all that remains
Is God on His throne, with a child in his arms,
And love in his eyes
And the sound of his heart cries

Where my soul feels lack, and my heart feels deprived; my spirit is rising up to face those giants.

There is always enough.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do I really trust Him?

I haven't always been patient throughout my life. As I said in the beginning, I am an "all or nothing" person. Having that quality, doesn't always afford much patience. I'm always looking ahead, and I like to know what's coming. Waiting is painful especially when you don't know the outcome. It seems that this year has been about waiting.



I've learned more on how to trust the Lord and not step into worry or anxiety like never before, but I still don't think I've fully gotten it. Before I met Ryan, it seemed like I would never get married. I was only 19, but inside I felt like I had been waiting decades. I don't like waiting. Did I mention that?

Here I am though, I've been waiting for 4 years to buy a house that I would truly love. A few months ago, we felt like the Lord spoke to us and said it was time to sell our house. Of course, I was thrilled, and Ryan was on board (even better). SO, we put our house up for sale.

And we're waiting.

We've felt like the Lord has said to pack our bags, and so we're packing our house up.

And we're waiting.

Today, we found a house that we are both absolutely in love with. Not a house that will just "work", or we can make "work", or needs tons of "work", no the perfect house to suit our needs and desires.

And the waiting becomes accelerated.

I've found myself wanting to frantically start praying, and cleaning, and packing, and moving, and...and...I can't do that. Do I really trust him? He said. He said. It's tricky business, trusting with absolutely no tinge of anxiety or fear. It's impossible to completely trust someone if you still have fear lurking in the corner. It's plain and simple: you are not really trusting.

Years ago, when I was little, my parents heard about this gorgeous place in New Mexico, where you could rent a cabin in the mountains. By this time, I was about 5, and my oldest brother was about 13, so my parents were looking for something more adventurous than just camping. We fell in love- ALL of us! We went fishing, and horseback riding (in the mountains!), shopped in a town just a little over a mile long, and enjoyed the beauty of the mountains. We were sold. They became our mountains. Almost immediately, my parents began to search for a Cabin to call our "home away from home".

It wasn't until I was about 22 years old, that they finally fulfilled that dream. The part of this story that I love is that the Cabin that they now own, they actually viewed years ago. If they had bought the Cabin then, they would have had to do an enormous amount of work to get it to where it is today. They're cabin is over 100 years old, and unfortunately it sat for years. Animals had completely infested it, and the logs were wearing out. A couple ended up buying it (because my parents didn't) and they put an enormous amount of work into it. They got rid of most of the critters, and redid all the chinking (hard work). The next couple added several upgrades to the actual look of the home, and almost completely left all the furnishings for it! yeah, wow.

"I am going to prepare a place for you". -John 14:2

I've always thought of that scripture only referring to our place in heaven. And yet, Jesus instructed us to pray for "His Kingdom to come, and His Will to be done on EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. I'm believing that He has, and is preparing a place for us. I'm learning to trust, and yes learning to wait because I know that He wants the best for us.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kindred Spirits

It's not always easy to "connect" with people in life. I've found it even harder to connect with married people that "fit" into who we are as a couple. Most of the time, one of us connects while the other half is bored out of their minds or just plain annoyed. Friendship is such a valued thing. Life is meant to be shared between multiples of people. Let's face it, we were created for relationship.

Most of the time, I've had to go searching for these gems of people to relate to. It's usually tons of work, and definitely rewarding to do so. BUT, there is on occasion, where I feel that I have been divinely connected with someone. Those moments are even more precious to me. It feels like a direct gift from heaven to suddenly have a connection and not have to wade through several conversations of awkward silence before finally reaching a place of openness.

L.M. Montgomery labels it as finding a "kindred spirit". Someone in whom you instantly connect with, like finding a long lost relative. It seems that I go threw these periods of time where I can't seem to connect with someone, and a part of me feels like its slowly wilting inside. I never realize it until I suddenly make that connection again. I can feel the life come rushing back inside of me, and I feel like I can embrace things again with confidence.

I am slowly coming alive.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Character Development

Ok, so I love to read. I especially LOVE to read old classic novels. One of things that I always look for in a book is good character development. I read a book one time that had so many characters and they all seemed alike! I had to have a "cheat sheet" just to keep them separated some how- not good character development. SO, to start off: I thought I'd do a bit of character development- just so you don't need to cheat sheet to remember me.

I grew up in the same house almost my entire life. Yep, and I'm still a major home body. I've never lived in an apartment, and I've only dated and kissed one guy, and I'm married to him. We've had a full marriage in our five years, and have two hilarious kids to show for it- oh and we still want more (kids, that is)! I have been involved with a church every since I was twelve and I love it. I'm a singer/songwriter and there is nothing more lovely than to hear my husband play the guitar. I'm a simple person really. I don't need much to keep me happy- wine, brie cheese, laughter mixed with a good book and a little thunderstorm outside, and I'm good. Ok, so that maybe a bit over the top, but you get the idea: simple.

I'm also tall, don't dye my hair, don't wear make-up unless I'm going out with my Man, or off to church. I tend to be outspoken and often have to retract what I say because it was just way too blunt. I come from a long line of opinionated people where honesty comes easily. I'm also a giver, I like to "find" things that people need. I really enjoy a good sale and a good "hunt" to find what I'm looking for and I almost NEVER pay full price for it.

I like to be challenged and to challenge others. I'm an all or nothing person. I like to think that I view things differently, but mostly I'd like to find people who also don't mind looking on the other side of things. Maybe we'll all learn something; be challenged; have fun; drink wine; enjoy life; develop character.

Have you forgotten me yet?