Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Clarification

I wanted to write a clarification for my post "Emotional Stability" from the other day. I wanted to make sure that everyone knew I wasn't saying that because we aren't strong and that we should lean on Christ give us an excuse to be emotional and sinful in our attitudes. When we are overwhelmed we are telling God He isn't running our lives right basically. Though if we are overwhelmed yet trusting and crying out to Him asking Him for help, that is fine. Many of the people in the Bible did that. The Christian life isn't always roses and sunshine, it really just stinks sometimes, but it stinks with peace. lol Knowing that we have a sovereign God is an amazing feeling.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Emotionally Unstable


One of my hopes for my blog is that I can show everyone else that me, my marriage, and my family are not perfect. We are happy, we are grateful, we are very blessed, but we are sinners. Some of you who know me, already know I am not a strong person emotionally. I tend to be emotional. I let things offend me that shouldn't. I get frustrated about simple things. I get overwhelmed very easy, etc. Well, yesterday was no exception. John and I had an argument and made up. It was a good talk that brought up things that needed to be discussed and solved. We need to strive to make up quicker though and he pointed out that we only have each other for a little while and he doesn't want to get to heaven and have God say to Him, "I gave you this marriage and what did you do with it? You wasted 25% of it fighting, the other 50% you wasted not talking to each other because of the fights and then the last 25% you wasted just doing your own thing." What he said convicted me. I don't want that. I want our marriage and our lives to glorify and honor God. To bring Him glory and to be a witness to others. Anywho, so I was already an emotional wreck even though things were back to normal between us.

We had to go up north for my dad to fix John's car for us (by the way, they are still working on it. Thanks dad and John for being so awesome and for trying to hard to work on it! You guys rock!! and I know you will get it.). I started thinking of all the things I had to get done in a short amount of time and the house was a mess...as usual. I HATE leaving the house like that and then coming home to a messy house. But it was inevitable that I would have to leave it. And as we were packing, things kept getting messier. I lost it. Well lost it in my way which is going into a room by myself and crying. As I was crying in the bathroom I wished I wasn't so emotion. I wished I could be a wife and mother that just took things in stride and was just able to handle it all. And when things didn't go just right, that I was able to say oh well, smile and be just wonderful for John. But I'm not and I probably never will be just like that until heaven, though I am striving to get better. Then it hit me, my emotional unstableness is a blessing. It shows me just how humble I am, how I CAN'T do anything without God. as 1 Corinthians 12:9-10 states. We are made weak that HE may be strong. So, I am thankful that I fail only because it shows me how truly awesome my God is. He is truly great and He is my strength. How amazing. At that moment I had a few more tears but I felt as though He were holding me. But I was even more blessed. I came out and looked like I had clearly been crying. John asked what was the matter and after a few times of asking I told him I was overwhelmed and stressed and wanted to go but I didn't want to go either. lol He sat me down with a t-chart and put all the pros and cons of staying versus going. Then he helped me see that everything I had to get done, I could get done in like 30 minutes tops when I got back. He took the time to stop packing and stop rushing out to try to leave to sit me down and help me out. It was a huge blessing. I am sure it is very frustrating for him sometimes, but he is so amazing for me. After this, he then gave me a big hug and a high five which then produced more tears as he jammed my finger really badly, but that is another story. lol

I am very blessed. Not only did God remind me that I am not emotionally strong, and that is okay. He is. He's got it covered. :) And then He blessed me with an amazing husband that helps me out.

Harried Moms


I wrote before about how I have difficulty making friends. So, I decided to follow my own advice and try to reach out to someone. I invited a friend of mine that I have met down here by watching her little one who is around Levi's age to go to the mall with me. Her little one was getting over a cold and was tired. So, in regular toddler fashion, everything made him cry and throw a fit. The mom handled it in the way she thought was best. Oh and I forgot to mention, she is pregnant and due this summer, so she is tired as well. She finally had to put him in the stroller and let him cry it out, not wanting to give in to his fits. We eventually decided it was best we ended our mall trip and head home. She apologized but I told her that she has to do what she thinks is best as a parent and not to worry about it. I totally got it. :) As we were leaving, with her child thrashing in the stroller and screaming, she got lots of looks...you know the kind, the annoyed "why-aren't-you-making-your-child-shutup" looks. Or the looks that say "you are such a bad mother for letting your child cry like that." There was one lady imparticular who looked at the little one with a digusted look then looked at the mom, then look at the little one again. She literally looked them up and down. The poor already flustered but handling it wonderfull mom said, "I am just going to choose to laugh. I feel like crying, but I am going to laugh because it was funny."  I was glad she didn't let that lady and the others affect her, but it affected me. I was saddened and convicted. How many times do we judge parents with children who are misbehaving? We don't know what's going on. We don't know the child and we dont' know the parent. And whether or not the parent is making wise choices is not up to us. We would also and do make bad parenting choices frequently, but by God's grace and strength and ONLY by His grace and strength do we ever make good and wise parenting decisions.

Next time we are tempted to judge a harried mom with a just as flustered child or maybe two, let's remember that we probably have been there and know the frustration and overwhelming feelings that mom is feeling. And the fact that it is only by God's amazing grace that we are able to handle those situations. Whether we think that harried mom should handle it differently or not, that's not up to us. We should pray for that parent and child. Pray that God would give them strength, wisdom, peace, and ultimately help them to cry out to Him.

Let's strive to do this next time we see a child throwing a temper because the wise markters placed all the candy in the long checkout lane within hand reach of the little stinkers or the one-year-old wants to throw one more penny in the fountain. Let us extend grace because we were given grace. :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mundane Monday

Hi Guys! How is everyone? Today is Monday. It can be a Mundane Monday, but it doesn't have to be. :) One way that we can be joyful is to thank God for all the amazing blessings that he has well blessed us with. What are some of yours today? I would love to read them. Please comment with what some things are that you are grateful for today on this Monday

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Friends

I am mostly melancholy, but I have enough phlegmatic in me that makes making friends difficult. Making friends with a sanguine is easy (have no clue what the heck I'm talking about? Check out the amazing book called Personality Plus Plus  http://www.amazon.com/Personality-Plus-Understand-Understanding-Yourself/dp/080075445X ). When we moved, actually when we got married my friendships became harder to maintain and I had to figure out how to be a wife and a friend, and very soon after, a mother as well. It was/is a lot to figure out. And lately, I have just plain missed my friends. I miss having "I Love Lucy" movie nights, having gobs of people over for movies and games, having bonfires with friends, having heart to hear talks with friends, talking to each other about what God is doing in each other's lives. I miss the godly encouragement from intimate friendships. It is harder now. I have to make a point of emailing these friends or shooting a text to see how they are doing, but it isn't the same as face time. I'm not going to lie, I start to feel sorry for myself sometimes too. I wish I had some friends down here. It is a truly selfish attitude. Instead of longing for friends, I should go out and make friends. It is more difficult and definitely doesn't come easy to me. I enjoy having people over and making them something to eat while John does the social thing. I enjoy the company immensely, but am not the greatest hostess, so I love having John by my side to take up that part.

I need to try harder to go out and build relationships with people. There may be others out there who are lonely like me as well. Do any of you struggle with this or have at one time? What are some things you have done to fix it? Please feel free to comment below. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Are You Called to be a Missionary?

My dream, the thing that I literally would cry myself to sleep about, the thing that I plead with God to make a way--that dream was to be a missionary. An overseas missionary. And I had this opportunity when I was 16. I went to Africa and it changed my life. I pray I helped and blessed those over in Africa, but I am not sure. I do know that it literally rocked my world. I felt so inadequate. So useless and helpless. So overwhelmed. I would once again cry myself to sleep longing to go back. I wanted to be a missionary my whole life. I wanted to move there. I wanted to adopt all the kids I saw with over-flowing diapers. I wanted to bring into my home all the girls with breaking hearts looking for love in all the wrong places. I wanted to show the young men trying to find a sense of value, trying to feel like a man where they could find that value. I wanted to help the families with 20 people living in once home about the size of our apartment or smaller who only wanted one blanket and a Bible. I wanted to give them so much more. And I still do. It still shakes me today. I still cry over it and my heart aches to go back. But, that time is not now. God's timing is perfect and I pray that He will use me once again to be a blessing in Africa.

But then the thought hits me that why can't I be a missionary here? What changed about my attitude over there? What made me fearless to pray with dying people? To pray with hurting teenagers? To help them see God's love? What made the difference to have joy in playing with 100 kids who didn't speak our language at all for hours on end? What made that difference? And, why can't I have that attitude here? Why don't I ask those who are hurting around me if I can not only pray for them, but pray with them? If I can ask the grocery store clerk who seems upset, grouchy, and struggling if there is anything I can do for her? To pray for? To find practical ways to help the homeless on our streets? To reach out to the girls I babysit? To tell them about Jesus? Why is my heart and attitude so different in Africa than in America?

Did you know that we have a lot of missionaries from other counteries now coming here? What are we doing in our own homes and neighborhoods to be missionaries? You may or may not be called to go over seas, but we are all called to share the love of Christ. We can and are called to be missionaries no matter where we are.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Brutally Honest (warning, I would put a married or mature audience only disclaimer)

So, I am writing a humbling, brutally honest marriage post. Our marriage is not anywhere near perfect. We tell each other half jokingly that we fight every other day with a once a month big fight where we stop speaking for a few days. Now, this is sad, but it's the truth. No marriage is perfect; if you think your's is, you may need to listen to a few CDs on marriage or read a few books and then talk to each other, it definitely brings up stuff. lol As sad and sinful as the fights are, they are sanctifying as well. I wanted to write a post about this for a few reasons, one to write about how God is sanctifying me and showing me my selfish, prideful heart. Another reason is so that others who may struggle can be encouraged and realize that it isn't the end. I though in the beginning that because we fight so much that we really weren't meant for each other; that my friends is a lie that the devil tries to get us to believe. And lastly, I hope that through telling you about our mistakes, our failures, and then how we fixed the issue, you may learn as well and maybe can be proactive rather than reactive. :) So, here is a look into our sinful but wonderfully sanctifying lives.

I was thrilled for our anniversary. It's been two years! Two wonderful, hard, loverly, sanctifying (I am saying that a lot aren't I? Noticing a theme? lol), difficult, passionate, loving, amazing years. I had been planning what we were going to do for months. I knew we didn't have much money, so I was trying to come up with things that weren't expensive. Then I decided to make a bunch of homemade decorations. I cut out TONS of hearts of all sizes and colors. I hung most from the ceiling in our bedroom and then with the smaller ones, I wrote things down that I am thankful for, appreciate, or just plain love about John and I had them sprinkled on the dinner table. I then bought a few balloons (my plan was to buy a bunch, but again money was tight...so I bought a tiny bag and busted one....so I was left with two.......lol). I placed a small piece of paper in each one saying a few more things about John. I taped those to the ceiling too. They were to be popped later that evening...they still haven't been. More on that later.

I then wrote him some love letters and mailed them out to his work one each day for a few days (I was planning on a really awesome one including a sign to arrive today on Monday which is our actual anniversary but he took the day off.....lol).I set out a box that we keep and we call the "memory box." It is a box of everything we want to remember. Letters, little do dads from different events we have gone to, roses, ring boxes, ticket stubs, etc. I had set out a bunch of massage oils and such too and was planning on giving each other massages.  Warning: this is where it gets to be for married folks only lol. I even planned on doing a strip tease dance. I was soooo nervous!!!! I didn't really follow through on this one too well. But I will! I had the works set out. Confectionery hearts in the shape of a heart on the dresser, candles EVERYWHERE in the bedroom...even a feather boa! lol

Well, we were lame. We were both sooo tired that day and the only thing we did was go through the memory box, which was in fact fun. We both loved that, but that was it. I had dinner and movie with popcorn and pop planned, and lots of stuff. But, we both planned on resuming the activities the following day.....and we had a pretty good day Sunday too, until I decided to take a nap. My nap kept getting interrupted and I was grouchy. John came in to wake me up, and he had gotten all sexy for me and everything.I snapped pretty harshly at him and hurt him. Not only did I turn him down sexually (I didn't realize it at the time) but I also snapped at him and was disrespectful to him. Needless to say, we had a rough day. He left to run some errands and be alone and I apologized when he got home, but he was still hurting. He went to take a nap. We wasted the whole day because of pride. This afternoon, John came to me and we talked it out. There were lots of tears, anger, pride, frustration, and then thanks to God's grace, humility. It was hard. I basically broke down took a deep breathe and prayed that God would just help me to sincerly apologize and stop trying to prove that John was in the wrong. It was hard, but it was worth it. I was being very sinful and I am thankful that God showed this to me.

Our anniversary weekend was "ruined" but at the same time, it wasn't. I have learned a lot from this and now have a prayer in my heart that when John is hurting, that first I realize that he is hurt and second to go fix it and sincerely do so.
Now I know this blog post is getting really long and I apologize. For those of you who are still with me on this, one good thing to do when you are arguing, is show up to the argument naked. No lie. I have done this...only once or twice, but I have done it. And guess what, it got a chuckle and a laugh and we got to have makeup sex. I just need to stop being prideful and start doing things like this more often.

Ladies and gentlemen, remember that this marriage is only of this world. It is temporary. I was reminded of this many times yesterday in many ways, but kept ignoring it. Please don't ignore it. If you are mad at your spouse for whatever reason, even though it's tough, please just suck it up, strip down to your birthday suit, and go apologize. The end result will be well worth it, I promise. :)