Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Faith enough

I am reminded over and over that my thoughts are not the thoughts of God. My ways are not His ways. It doesn't make much sense by human standards to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43-48) It doesn't make much sense to give my life away and think that in doing so I will truly find life. (Luke 9:24) God's ways don't often make much sense to my mind. But more and more I am finding my heart being changed, renewed and made different. And I am finding that sometimes my initial response is really the thing that God wants. I am finding my "natural" tendencies are being shifted more and more to things that seem unnatural. When I am hurt I am finding that sometimes I want to respond with forgiveness and love. When I find a hopeless situation sometimes I want to respond with faith and believe that with God all things are possible. But it isn't me. I know this because it wasn't always so. And I am finding the more I lay down my will and submit the more and more God's ways are starting to make sense to me.

I had a revelation moment last night. There was something I wanted and desperately prayed for many many years ago. I longed for this thing and yet it didn't happen. It didn't make much sense in the moment. But last night I had a glimpse into what my life may have looked like had that prayer been answered how I wanted. And it was not a pretty picture. And I found myself thanking God for not giving me what I wanted. For seeing beyond my initial hearts desire and looking deeper into the real longings of my heart. I am so utterly grateful that I didn't get to choose. I would have messed it up for sure.

I am grateful for the hurt I experienced then because in the end it is better for me. In the moment that hurt did not feel good. The pain I experienced was real and hard. But I see now that it was what needed to happen. And now I can thank God that His ways are higher.

One of my deepest desires is to be a momma to many children. I know I am utterly blessed beyond measure to be able to mother the littles that I have been gifted. I know this. And I am working hard to treasure the moments I have with them. I am so thankful for them. And there are days when I am overwhelmed with them.  But I love that I get to be their momma. I feel truly privileged to be able to shepherd them into adulthood. And I long to do that for more babies. I long to have more littles calling me momma. Yesterday at Co-op I had the blessing to hold a little guy who was 10 months old while his momma was visiting his older siblings for a few minutes. Do you know what happens to a momma's heart when you long for a baby and one is placed in your arms? It is an intense feeling. A crazy tug at your heart. And my heart was longing.

And sometimes my longing heart can cause me to hurt And hurt can lead to doubt. And doubt can cause me to question the wisdom of God. I am thankful that my God is patient with my questions and loving towards my doubting heart. And He is faithful to give me practical glimpses into what my like would be like if I would have chosen my own way. And again I am reminded that His ways are better. So yesterday, while I had a glimpse of what life would be like if I would have gotten all I wanted, I also had a thought- "I bet in the end I will say that I am thankful for this hurt." And maybe someday I will hold another little who will call me momma and I will be able to say this may not have been what I would have chosen but it is much more than I ever could have hoped for.

There is a song by the band Jars of Clay it is called "Faith Enough".  I love this song. I could recite all the lyrics because just about anyone of them speaks to me but here is a snippet of what I love.

The land unfit enough for planting
Barren enough to conceive
Poor enough to gain the treasure
Enough a cynic to believe
Enough a cynic to believe

Confused enough to know direction
The sun eclipsed enough to shine
Be still enough to finally tremble
And see enough to know I'm blind
And see enough to know I'm blind

                    Should the world rely on faith tonight

I am choosing today to rely on faith. Faith not in what my plans are or in what I think is best. But faith that my God truly does know what is best and have my best interest at heart. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

True Story

So here are some real life quotes heard around our house the past few days.

As we are just about to pull into our homeschool CO-OP.
Child: Mom, Why are we always late for school? All the other families are not. 
Me: That is because this is where I fail at life.

As we are eating dinner.
Child: We had this for dinner last night. 
Me: Yes I know. 

As I am bent over child trying to tie her shoes for her.
Child: You are squishing your boobs together. Followed by crazy laughter.
No reply. What do you say to a child with no filter?
Just Keeping it real people.

As daddy is giving good night kisses.
Child: Everyone has their own smell. 
(This one is stinking cute.)

Me: Don't step in the baby powder. 
So in an effort to rid of some annoying ants I have covered several areas along the wall with baby powder. It seems to be working but really how long can one keep baby powder all over their floor? I am thinking it needs to go soon but then will the ants come back right away? Hmmmm... we shall see.

Thanks for listening to my random ramblings.

And here are the quotation culprits.

On a completely separate note. I took these pictures one night after a long evening of playing together because I thought they looked so stinking cute I wanted to remember them like this forever.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Where is your house built?

A 20 year old girl said yes. She married the man of her dreams. A few weeks before the wedding she couldn't believe this was her life, a fairy tale come true. 

A few weeks later - the wedding, the honey-moon, the move to a new place, figuring out how to live on her own. Trying to work, be a wife, grocery shop, budget, cook, clean and run a home.  Figuring out how to share space and time and everything with someone else. Figuring out that you don't always like that someone else. Finding out that this fairy tale is not exactly a happy ending. Wondering if there is hope. Wondering what happened to all those happy feelings and dreams she held just a short time ago. 

A young woman, now a wife. Feeling stuck in a life she wasn't sure she still wanted. Still feeling love for this man but feeling stuck in a cycle of hurt and fighting and pain and not sure how to make it better.   Crying out in desperation to her Savior. She lays it all bare and says she doesn't want to do it anymore. She doesn't like this life. His call is to surrender. For a moment she hesitates. She knows what surrender will mean. At least she thinks she does. But she says she will. 

She lays it down and commits again to this marriage. Not knowing what the future would hold. But knowing her Savior was worth following. When she begins to give up her pain and feelings about the marriage the Savior begins to show her how much she has to learn. How she has wronged him. How much she has hurt him. How she is not always as right as she imagines she is. Slowly her ideas about him begin to soften. And she sees how much he really does love her. How much he is trying to make her happy. She begins to forgive him and to seek his forgiveness. 

Slowly she learns what it means to be a wife that is after the heart of God. She learns to respect her man and to lift him up. She learns to bring him before the Lord and to beg the Lord to shape and mold him. But along the way she realizes that more than shaping and molding him the savior is shaping and molding her. And as her heart is changed their marriage is also being changed. 

And suddenly there is hope again. Life is peaceful. Joy fills the home. Hearts are being molded and drawn towards each other. The man is surrendered to the Lord. The Lord is the head of the home and the wife is surrendered to the man and the Lord. And now the fairy-tale is a distant memory but I would not be trade the joy of the moment for any fairy-tale. 

This is my story. 

I cannot be more grateful that my Savior called me to surrender when I was at the end of my hope. I thought that being willing to stay would be mean a life doomed to that crazy cycle. But instead when I was ready to let God lead me wherever He wanted I found infinite joy. And the love of my life. I love you Todd more now than 8 years ago when that young girl said yes. We have surely had the wind and rain beat upon our house and the storms of life threaten to knock us over but our house built upon the rock of Jesus Christ remains.  Praise Him!

Matthew 7:24 (NIV) "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Postponement in the Desert

A few months ago I sat at my computer desk and opened an email from our agency. I read through the email and it basically said, "Bad news, bad news, bad news, you should probably be double applying, don't put all your eggs in this basket." So I read the email. I cried, I prayed and then I told God, "That's it I'm done. I quit this. I can't do it anymore." As I was praying there happened to be an advertisement for a video game on the right hand screen of my computer. And in big bold letters flashed, "CHOOSE YOUR GOD."

That same evening with my heart hard and hurting we made our way to church. Want to guess what the message was? It was about choosing who your God was going to be. If Jesus is really going to be your Lord and master then He should be able to tell you where to go, what to do. Even when you don't want to do it. So I sat there knowing this was exactly what my heart needed to hear. And I surrendered. I gave Him my hurting heart and my will. And I told Him I would do this if He wanted me to. I didn't know how or have the strength to walk this way one more minute but He is my Lord and my God and I choose Him.

Right now I am reading the book "Hinds feet on high places." The book is about a woman named 'Much-Afraid'. In the book the Shepherd promises Much-Afraid to take her to the High Places. More than anything in the world Much-Afraid wants to go there. She longs for it. And one day the Shepherd actually takes her to begin her journey towards the High places. One day when the path takes a turn into the desert and far away from the High Places Much-Afraid calls to her Shepherd and asks Him why. She cannot imagine why this is the path and feels like it must be a mistake. This cannot be the way he is leading. This way is going directly away from her hearts desire and she does not want to go. Taken from the book- "Then he answered her very quietly, 'Much-Afraid, do you love me enough to accept the postponement and the apparent contradiction of the promise, and to go down there with me into the desert.' "

When I read these words it is like my God is speaking them directly to my soul. I don't understand why this is taking longer than I ever imagined. I sometimes feel like a fool for going this way. Why walk through this desert? There has to be a quicker way to have a child right. I mean pregnancy is shorter. I don't get it. And I wish I had a easier and quicker way. But for whatever reason He has lead us through this desert. He has lead us to this path. And I am trying to be faithful. I struggle. And many days I feel the weed of impatience in my heart. But I know He is good and so my heart says what Much-Afraid replied to her savior.

"I will go with you, for you know I do love you, and you have the right to choose for me anything that you please."- Much-Afraid