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3/31/2011

counting my blessings (#21-30)

picture found here.
21. Finishing a book.
22. Seeing my words.
23. Driving through neighborhoods and picking out houses I want to buy.
24. Dreaming with my husband.
25. Date nights.
26. Hope.
28. Victoria's Secret PINK Sweatpants.
29. Memories from college.
30. Mexican food.

nothings quite the same now

picture from here.
God is working in my life. He is moving and changing. I had prayed for these changes. I asked Him to do something.

In my asking, I expected the something to be something big. Winning the lottery. An increase in salary. My husband being offered a promotion. Worldly things. All of them. I wanted the problems we face on a daily basis to disappear. I wanted my worries to disappear because then, I reasoned, I could give all of myself to Him and I could surrender everything to Him. I would be able to walk in the life God wanted me to.

I am so grateful that at times the answers to my prayers are "no." It's not a mean answer or one of anger, but it's one of love. As we heard in the message on Sunday, thank goodness for a God who loves enough to discipline us when we need it. Thank goodness for a God who sees our needs in a way we do a not. He is a God who looks past the wordly problems and sees into our hearts.

My struggles are not because of the problems I face on a daily basis. Does those problems increase my struggles? Maybe. But only because I give those problems power. Only because I waste my time thinking up solutions and worry about other problems that might arise. I might pray about these things, but I don't really take them to God. Instead, I decide I can handle everything on my own.

In some way, I have decided that God gave me this personality. He provided me with the ability to problem solve. He created me as a worrier. So why not problem solve? Why not worry?

I'm seeing now that that thought process is not what He wants from me. I think He wants to teach me how to let go and how to not worry. And just maybe I can then in turn teach others how to do the same.

I could be wrong. He might have a completely different plan, and I'm starting to see that that is okay. It's okay if things do not go according to my plan or the plan I think God is leading me down. After almost twenty-six years of life, I can say it's okay. At least for now.

This all could change in an hour or in a day. I know what I am saying is truth. I know that God is in control, but I also understand that trusting Him and relinquishing control are two of the hardest things for me to do.

I had it all figured out. In fact, I had a timeline that I wanted my life to follow. It's a timeline that includes how we will pay our bills, when we will sell our house, fostering/adopting children, and etcetra. I should have thrown out the timeline long ago, but I didn't. I also didn't truly consult God when I created the timeline. I didn't consult my husband, either.

And I'm seeing now just how important it is to include God in everything. And how important it is to not live my life based on a timeline. Because none of the things that I think matter really do.

God has a plan. For my life. And I need to trust in His plan. He knows where He wants me, and it's best that I agree with His desires and follow the path He is laying out before me.

There's been so much talk at church and in our community group about God's direction. I've taken it literally and asked for Him to show me where He wants to be go. No specific answer has been given. But after discussing the book of Jonah and the current sermon series on Tuesday nigth with our community group, God has shown me that it's not a specific place He wants me to go. His version of "east" and my verson of "west" is all a matter of the heart.

So I'm turning around. I'm leaving behind my selfish desires and my plans. I'm going towards Him and His plans. I'm leaning into Him and trusting Him to show me how to go. And I hope this pours out into all aspects of my life because He needs (and wants) to be a part of it all.

Faith is no irresponsible shot in the dark. It is a responsible trust in God, who knows the desires of your hearts, the dreams you are given, and the goals you have set. He will guide your paths right.
Robert Schuller

 

Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.
Joni Erickson Tada

 

No matter how steep the mountain - the Lord is going to climb it with you.
Helen Steiner Rice

 

The Lord will either calm your storm...or allow it to rage while He calms you.
Unknown

(title from "best i ever had" by vertical horizon)

The She Speaks Conference is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God and that your heart is to serve Him and His daughters, as He leads. A Holy Experience is giving a scholarship. Enter. Maybe one of us will be awarded the scholarship.

3/28/2011

through time and space

picture found here.

Most days I sit at the computer desk (or with my MacBook on my lap) and begin to type. The words flow somewhat effortlessly. And I somehow tie all my thoughts together. I often times wonder if the writing is concise enough. But I rarely edit; it has always been my least favorite thing about writing.

But the post I am writing now is different. It is one I have written multiple times. I began it three different ways, in my mind, during the 40 minute drive home from work. I also typed several sentences yesterday evening and then hit delete.

I'm still not sure what to say. I don't know how to describe the events of the past few days. I am also still processing the events to understand what they mean for my life now. I know they will also effect my life in the future, so there is also that to consider.

To be honest, it all started weeks (maybe months) ago. And then something happened this weekend. Or rather a lot of somethings happened. And I don't think things are done happening yet either. God is definitely up to something right now.

I've wrestled with the idea of God caring so much about my life for quite awhile. My faith that He is real has not wavered. But how He fits into my life has.

I wonder what He wants to do with me. I also wonder if He truly listens to what I have to say. I question His purpose and plan for my life, and to take it one step further, I ask if He has a specific purpose for my life. There's a part of me that has felt that I wasn't good enough for Him to rest His hand upon - at least not in the way He has other people.

I longed for a deep relationship with Him. Following moments of silence and of darkness, He responded and reminded me that He was there. And still I wondered. I know my questions were frustrating to some of those around me and specifically to my husband. Because they weren't just questions. They were inner-monologues and then tears and lots of anger.

There were several weeks when he wasn't sure what to do. And I didn't know what he needed to do. Or what I needed to do. But I knew I needed something.

Sometime last week, my husband grew tired of it all. And he made a phone call that I couldn't bring myself to make. It was a phone call I gave him permission to make. It was also a phone call I had all but begged him to make at different points in this whole mess of questioning and wondering. Within twenty-four hours of his phone call, I received a phone call from someone we attend church with. I had never met her before, but there was a connection.

We agreed to meet for coffee and cupcakes on Saturday. The weather was forecast to be beautiful earlier in the week, but by the time Saturday arrived, the temperatures had dipped back into the 50s. The local establishment that I expected to be close to empty was full with a line almost out of the door. And yet somehow we got a table.

I didn't really think much of it. It was luck. Except there is no real such thing as luck. Not when God is involved and not when He is on the move.

What happened that afternoon is both clear in my mind and fuzzy. Our conversation was simple and introductory. We talked about faith and life, and then friends of hers were getting ready to leave when one stopped and told me words from the Lord. It was similar to this moment and then completely different. At that time, I was in a larger gathering and with close friends. I was taken off guard and not sure what to think. This time I was in a smaller setting and with people I was just starting to get to know. And yet the same thing was accomplished. God spoke right to my heart.

Words like "love" and "Holy Spirit." Words like "justice" and "mothering" and "dreams." He told me that God knew the plans He had for me and that they were good. I was told that the promises God had made me were still true.

And I could feel Him. I could feel Him whispering to me, and then the whispers turned into a louder voice. He was speaking to me through someone I didn't know. The issues of my heart were being answered, and I was being reminded of the truth I had lost. That I was loved and that I was good enough and that He wanted a real relationship with me.

I'm still considering it all. I am still asking questions and praying through it. I continue to seek His counsel and to pray that I will go in the directions He leads me. And I also still have no idea where He is sending me.

But I know that He has plans for me. He has plans for all of us. And His plans are good. Infinitely better than anything I could imagine. And these plans will come together for my good and for your good. He loves us too much for them not to.

Is there more? Yes. But I'm not yet ready to share. I'll hold those thoughts close and consider them over a few more cups of coffee.

(title from "i love you forever" by jewel)

3/27/2011

My heart is full right now. Full of hope. Full of courage. Full of joy and faith. I'm working through it and processing much right now. I want to share it all. I want to fill this blog with words.

But. The words won't come. They aren't ready to be written down.

When they are ready, though, I will share.

3/25/2011

you should've said "nice to meet you, i'm your other half"

Dear Husband,

Yesterday you turned 25. We're finally the same age - at least for another two months.
I know your birthday wasn't exactly what we had hoped or planned for. But what in our lives is?
It's been a rough few months, but I know we will make it. How? Because I have you. And you can make me laugh (even though I fight it). And you know how to (eventually) calm me down. You also always remind me that God is working - even though I don't always want to recognize that.
You are the best "dog" father a girl could ask or hope for. You are also talented and romantic. Thank you for always putting our family of four first.
Thank you for being everything I never knew I wanted (or needed). I love you.

Happy (belated) birthday, love. Or as you would say (via Facebook): "you smell like hot dogs."
PS: I'm sorry I didn't let you put Justin "The Dark" Knight on our wedding invitations. When we (eventually) adopt, maybe I will let you put in on the adoption announcements? And, as much as it might kill me, I'll let the baby wear a Batman onsie.
(title from "the best thing that could be happening" by relient k)


the dark before the morning



The above video is one my father-in-law shared with me. I'm amazed and touched by how loving my family - both the family I was born into and the family I married into.

3/22/2011

counting my blessings (#11-20)

picture found here.
11. Painted toenails and fingernails.
12. Date nights with my husband.
13. Frozen yogurt with fruit and cookie dough.
14. Landscaping plans.
15. The potential of change.
16. Cards in the mail.
17. Finishing a short story.
18. The story of Jonah.
19. Hitting the snooze button three times in a row, two days in a row.
20. Having enough.

3/20/2011

fly from the highest tree

picture found here.
Almost every Sunday, we attend the 9am service at church and then drive south for lunch with my husband's family. Sometimes, he and I sit in the parking lot of his parent's church and discuss the sermon we listened to and pray together. Other Sundays, we head inside and sit on the couches while trying not to look too out of place; this is always easier when there are toddlers to tickle.

Today, we stood outside the church we attend and caught up with friends before making the drive south.

Forming and keeping friendships with others is so much harder than I want it to be. There are schedules to contend with, the ever present need for sleep, spouses to make the priority, and work. Sometimes it doesn't seem worthwhile to try, and there are times when I am ready to forget the relationships and simply move on alone. But then something simple like good conversation on a sunny Sunday reminds me how important friendships are.

Nothing specific happened today. There was nothing life changing about any of the conversations, but it felt like something clicked.

In a lot ways, everything is starting to click. None of it is in the way I imagined (or wanted). But it is happening. Slowly and surely.

We've spent months, maybe even a year, saying we felt like we were on the cusp of something. But this morning, as I exited I-35 and merged onto I-240, we decided that we are no longer on the cusp but that we are there. It's time to move forward and to lay everything on the line knowing and trusting that God is in control and that His way will happen and that He will be glorified through all of this.

I don't know what He is up to exactly, but I'm excited to see what happens. I'm content with not knowing the exact plans because I have the faith that He has everything under control. I haven't had that faith in a long time.

It's fitting that this is all happening today - the first official day of Spring. As the flowers bloom and the grass turns from yellow to green, our lives our changing. The roots are taking hold and soon our lives will bloom in the way God wants.

And really? I can't wait to see what all will bloom and grow from the past few seasons. I'm sure it will be infinitely more beautiful than I ever could have envisioned.

(title from "dream" by priscilla ahn)


3/17/2011

making me new

picture found here.
I am in a season of growing and changing. It is a season in which I hear and feel God speaking to me rather than hearing nothing.

After weeks of silence, I longed to hear His voice. I longed to know His vision for my life. I wanted something more to hold onto. I wanted to understand where He was leading me and why things were so difficult.

Now that I hear His voice, I almost miss the silence. Because in the silence, I could remain hidden. In the silence, I could retreat when others got too near.

No longer. Now I hear Him daily. He is reminding me of my shortcomings in love. He is guiding me to the place He wants me to be, but He promises me that it will be hard and that it will hurt.

I drove through the historic area near our house this evening. The sun had just started to dip, and I watched the houses, remembering the times Brandy and I would walk the streets. I passed by houses that had been placed for sale and then sold while we lived in our house. I even drove past a house we considered purchasing two years ago.

It was a foreclosure. There was need of much work. I didn't like the paint on the walls. I decided I wanted a house that was already remodeled. I wanted to do as little work as I could.

God is using that desire now. He is nudging me and reminding me that taking the "easy way out" is very rarely easy. It often leads to even more work later on down the line.

I wonder where my husband and I would be had I not insisted on taking the "easy way out." What if we had not purchased this house? What if we chose a house in need of remodeling and several coats of paint?

The house we are in now has a new kitchen. The electrical wiring was partially updated and so was the plumbing. The hardwood floors were refinished, and the walls were painted a cream color. A new central heating and air system was installed.

But there is no ceiling insulation. The foundation is crumbling and in need of complete repair. The freshly painted walls now have cracks, and the ceiling has nail pops in it. The house that was already remodeled is falling to pieces because the structure is damaged. The things I deemed important now seem so frivolous, and I feel foolish for ignoring what should have been evident.

Maybe this was God's plan all along. Maybe He destined us for this house so that we could learn from it. Or maybe He saw our choices and allowed us to make them, knowing He would use the heartache and the struggle for our benefit.

Going down the path of "what if's" can be dangerous. So can wondering His plan. And so I am treading lightly. I am asking God to show me how to handle the questions and then what to do with the answers.

It's clear to me that I don't like to do the hard work. Not when it comes to my home or my heart. I enjoy a hard day at work and feeling accomplished with my job. I thrive in a setting where I can problem solve and communicate with others and make a difference in someone else's life. I love watching a plan form and then be put into action, and it fills me with joy when the plan is then executed successfully and results in a happy ending. I even revel in failed plans and then coming up with a new plan. Only when it comes to work.

In my own life, I want the happy ending without the hard work. I want to move effortlessly from Point A to Point B and then possibly skip over Point C for the sole purpose of quickly arriving at Point D.

God's way often does not allow me to move effortlessly. He wants the happy ending, yes, but demands the hard work first. He's making that clear to me now, and I know I will not be able to turn my back to His whisperings as I have in the past.

(title from "beautiful things" by gungor)


3/16/2011

sometimes it really seems like a mystery

My co-worker is out sick for the day. I am enjoying having the office to myself, listening to music she is not so fond of (country to be exact) and eating at my desk. I did this on a daily basis for about seven months, and after seven months, I was ready for a friend. I appreciate the friendship that has evolved but also appreciate moments of solitude.

The solitude gives me a chance to think. It allows me the opportunity to breathe in and mull over a variety of subjects.

Today I've been thinking about marriage. I wanted to work on the seventh installment of The Story of Us. But I can't seem to focus on the details right now. Instead, I'm focusing on marriage itself.

I joined several friends for dinner last night. Due to weather and illness and life, we haven't gathered in several weeks.

It was a group of 12. We ordered pizzas, drank water, and played catch up. With such a large group, it's difficult to have just one conversation, so four of us settled into a conversation on marriage and weddings and all that that entails.

I used to dream about my wedding - even when I didn't want to get married. It helped to calm me down and put me to sleep when I was having difficulty bidding the day farewell. I knew I wanted an outdoor ceremony. I knew I wanted the ceremony to be extremely personal.

And ours was all of those things. But by the time I started planning our wedding, I cared less about the wedding than I did the marriage. I did not want to fall into the trap of worrying over every little detail and then not thinking about the lifetime that would come after the ceremony.

I see that as a blessing. I saw it then and I see it now especially. Marriage is extremely difficult. Everyone says that, but until you begin living life with the same person every day, the statement doesn't hold as much weight. At least that's how it was for me.

Our wedding was not large. And while it wasn't as stressful as it could have been, the day itself (and the week leading up to it) did not exactly go as planned. There was a hurricane hitting my parents home on the day of the wedding, and it rained throughout the whole day leading up to our ceremony.

I refused to move the ceremony inside, and as my father led me to my now husband, it stopped raining. The ground was damp, and my dress turned from an off-white to a light brown at the feet. It took our mothers several tries to light the candles we would use to light our unity candle, and after our unity candle was lit, the wind blew it out.

Some could say it was a bad omen. But now, two years, six months, and three days later, I think all of it was a part of God's plan.

He's been speaking to me lately. His voice is soft, and I do have to strain to hear it. But He is telling me that everything is in His control and that He knows what He is doing. Just like He did on September 13, 2008. He was the one who stopped the rain. He was the one who provided just enough cloud cover to allow for perfect lighting when pictures were being taken.

I've always said God blessed our marriage when He stopped the rain that day, but I don't know if I have always believed it.

But I do now.

More rain may come. It might seem like it will continue to rain - pour even. But I know God will stop the rain at just the right time.

(title from "timing is everything" by garrett hedlund)



3/15/2011

counting my blessings (#1-10)

picture found here.
1. Sushi dates with friends.
2. Cuddling with both dogs.
3. Clean sheets.
4. Beautiful sunrises.
5. Singing along to Carrie Underwood in the car.
6. Every single Taylor Swift song.
7. The smallest compliment.
8. Hugging a friend you haven't seen in a week.
9. Having the house to myself.
10. Talking to my mom on the phone.

3/14/2011

shining through the window pane

picture found here
There is very little I know for sure. And there is even less that I can say with certainty. What I do know is that God is in control. I also know that He is so very much bigger and better than what I give Him credit.

We are in a spot we have been in before. It's a spot I spent a year praying would never be again. But here we are.

Is it a big deal? To me, yes. But to God? Not so much. And to the world? Many would scoff and tell me to move on and look at the world around me. They would remind me of those who go hungry and those who fall asleep scared of their world. And I would say I am keenly aware.

In my line of work, I see it daily. I saw it more when I was in the field or attending court, yes, but I still see it each and every day. And it physically hurts to know that I cannot do more right now. But maybe one day...

I think it is so hard to be here again because I long to be doing more. I want my home to be a safe haven. I want to impact lives and care for the orphans. I also long to come alongside those who have lost their way and lead them home.

But for whatever reason I am meant to play more of a behind the scenes roll at this time. It's hard, so very hard, but it is what God wants for now.

He could swoop in and take the struggle away. He could provide in abundance so that all our worries would disappear. But He hasn't. And there is a reason; I'm just not sure what is.

Driving to work today, I spent time talking to Him and listening. This used to be a daily occurrence but the past few weeks have been filled with singing along to the radio or muttering at other drivers.

Today I asked that He help me with patience and also with remaining present. I don't want to just look to the future. I want to be here right now and take comfort in what He is doing now. I was reminded of the story of Joseph, a story that has been on my husband's heart recently, and how he waited in jail for Pharoah to call on him. He was promised much as a young man and then was sold into slavery. But he never lost hope and was later blessed.

I feel God has promised my husband and I much. We both have a specific purpose. Words have been spoken over and to us. Promises have been made. And while nothing concrete has happened, I can not lose faith. I must be like Joseph and wait.

Is it easy? No. But would I learn to trust God if it were? Probably not.

I asked for patience during my drive to work. I also asked for faith in Him and the promises He makes. I remembered that God makes promises in the Bible but very rarely delivers on them right away. He takes His time. So often we hear that God's timing is always best. It's a true statement; it is also a statement I sometimes cast off as cliche. But it is anything but cliche.

I don't know what will happen. That extends to all areas of my life. Right now, nothing is in my control, and everything is out of my control. But for now, I am at peace. For now, I feel as though I can rest in God and know He is fully in control.

When things happen and I get stressed, which happens all too often, my husband asks me the same thing: "Has God ever let anything really bad happen?" I always answer no, but...

I'm dropping drop the but for now. It has no place in my life. God has not let anything really bad happen. And if He does, well, He probably has a reason.

He's doing something in my life. I don't know what it is, and I am trying not to wonder too much. Because whatever He is doing is better than what I could imagine.

(title from "colder weather" by zac brown band)


3/12/2011

i tried but you tried harder

picture found here
Last night, after a dinner of tacos and before falling asleep on the couch at 8:30pm, we talked. And argued. And talked some more.

The plan had been a date night at home. We would have dinner and then watch a movie. My husband even bought popcorn to pop. Instead, we ate dinner and then talked and argued.

I haven't been the easiest person to live with recently. I'm realizing that more and more. I am also starting to get sick of myself, so I can only imagine how sick of me others are. And yet this inner monologue of anger and frustration and neverending questions continues on. 

Some of it came to a head last night. I was trying to explain myself and how I just want something to change. I said that I either wanted to move forward or have everything taken away from me so I could start all over again. And my husband listened and thought and then asked me what would happen if we weren't able to move forward. He wanted to know how I would feel if things were to stay exactly how they were.

The thought terrifies me. I've always been a creature of change. I move on. I go from job to job. I move from apartment to apartment. I even changed colleges after my freshman year. I leave relationships when I want to because it's better than being left. Except now I can't leave. It's not that we have a legal contract with one another. Those are difficult to break but can be broken. But we made promises to each other and before our families. Most importantly, we made a promise to God.

And so, I am here. I am wanting to move on and move forward, but yet, I sit in my same spot on the couch. (Note: I do not want to move from my marriage. I want to move on with my husband.)

I still don't know what to think about the thought of things not changing. I don't know how to respond. And maybe that's the point; maybe I need to just not respond.

My husband mentioned that maybe all of this was a test. In my anger and frustration, I said I didn't care if I passed the test. I said I was ready to fail the test if it meant that it would just be over. 

After my first full night of sleep in a week, I feel differently. I do still want the test to end, but I don't want to fail. I don't want the glory of passing the test and boasting my grade (as long as it is at least a B) for all to see. But I do want the opportunity to live out the life that I feel called to.

There are moments of clarity for me. Moments where I feel God might actually be speaking to me. Moments where it's almost like He is whispering to me and reminding me that He is right here beside me. But those moments are fleeting, and I don't hold onto them. I feel them, but when they disappear, I forget they ever existed.

My dad tells me the same thing each time I tell him good news. He tells me to remember it and to put it away for a rainy day. He reminds me that I should pull it out when things don't seem so good. He's a relatively wise man, and I always agree with his statements. But I never actually follow through. Instead I focus on the current happenings and get caught up in the moment. I see where I am and feel like it's a glass cell. I can see where I want to go and where I have been, but I can't move.

What's worse is I see where I think everyone else is. And I think about how I am not there. And I get filled with anger and my anger blinds me to what the reality is.

So maybe this all is a test. And if it is, I can admit to my current failings. If I were to be graded, I'm sure there would be much red ink on the page and then a teacher's dejected sigh as I was told to try again. I would chew on the end of my pencil and curl my lips and then try again in the exact same way I had done before, and the red ink would again fill the pages.

I recognize this in myself right now. I don't know if it's the relatively quiet house or something else, but I can now see a little bit more clearly. It has nothing to do with me, of course, but the work God is trying to do in my stubborn heart.

I can't promise that I will remain filled with hope. Or that the anger won't return in a day or even an hour. But I do know that I am trying. I am trying to remember that I have blessings like friends and family and a house and two crazy but lovable dogs and a job. 

And it's not that I don't feel blessed. Because I do at times. I think part of it is that my heart so aches for the world around me. There is so much I want to do be doing, but I feel like I can't do all of it. Or any of it. I feel stuck and unable to move.

And maybe for right now I am supposed to feel stuck. Maybe this is God's way of telling me, until I realize it and apply it to my life, that my way doesn't work.

In the midst of the talking and the arguing last night, I exclaimed that I was tired of doing things God's way and that I was ready to just do things my way. Because then that way, I explained, I knew it would work.

But it wouldn't. I'm realizing that now. My way doesn't work.

Last night, my husband suggested writing about it. I responded that no one would want to read it. He told me to write about it for me and then said that some people might relate more I expect. He's into this brutal honesty thing right now. And it's brutal - both for the person receiving the honesty and the person speaking it. But I think he's onto something.

So there it is. My honesty. I don't know what I am doing. Or what my next step is. But I'm doing my best to move towards something more. We'll see what God does with all of this. I'm sure He'll remind me that His way is always best - even when I disagree.

(title from "you run away" by the barenaked ladies)


3/11/2011

i build myself up and fly around in circles

picture found here.
I heard back from my doctor's office late yesterday afternoon. The first thing they told me was that no tumors or masses were seen in my CT Scan. I let out a sigh of relief. I hadn't truly thought about the possibility of tumors or cancer or anything of the sort. I knew it was always a distant possibility, but I didn't entertain it. What a relief to know that I would not have to wonder any longer.

The next thing they said was that my liver was enlarged. They aren't sure what is causing the enlargement. It could be a variety of things from diet to not enough exercise to some sort of disease. I'll be referred to yet another specialist and have yet another co-pay. But at least I know something is off.

I don't want to be sick. I dislike doctors. Needles and I also do not get along; I blame my veins which like to hide and move when being poked and prodded.

But still. I haven't felt well in close to three months. And I want to know why. I want to know what I can do to better myself, and one of my biggest fears was that I would be told that, according to bloodwork and ultrasounds and CT Scans, nothing was wrong.

So I am moving towards physical recovery.

As far as everything else, I'm doing my best to let go. It's a long process and a difficult one. I do not do well when I am not in control. I do not like it when nothing seems to go according to plan. And sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) I lose it. My sense of security and my hold on my emotions. It all disappears.

So now, I am trying to not hold so tightly. I've talked about letting go so much, and so often, I think I have let go. Only to find that something else goes off track which causes me to again want and crave that control. But I am not in control. I have to remember that. As difficult as it is.

My hope for this weekend is to relax and find some sort of balance. My house is clean (other than laundry) compliments of my husband. I have no plans with friends, and I am looking forward to some solitude while my husband attends a bachelor party on Saturday. I am hoping to plant my feet firmly back in God and remind myself that I will keep moving forward even if it feels like I am only moving backward.

(title from "chasing pavements" by adele)

3/08/2011

my breath fast and short and my heart burning deep

picture found here.
I began this blog with the intention of being honest. I wanted to place my thoughts and my worries into a place and watch how God would transform them and ultimately transform my life. I had every intention of writing on a nearly daily basis, and I had the hope that as the days went by it would become easier to find beautiful tales to tell. I also hoped that as the days went by I would find it easier to focus on the important things like faith and family and love.

Instead, I have gone weeks without writing. Instead, I have retreated into myself and decided that maybe honesty is not the answer. I have wondered if spilling secrets is worth the risk and the potential heartbreak. I've prayed for guidance and asked for clarity. I've spent time curled in bed with tears streaming down my face as I wonder what God has in store.

And recently, I've spent a majority of my time (and money) visiting doctors and having a ultrasound. I have a CT Scan scheduled for the morning. All in the hopes of possibly discovering why I've been in pain and fighting nausea nearly every day for the past few weeks.

It hasn't been a pretty sight. And I'm not exactly sure when it will turn back into a pretty sight.

Tonight I planned to cook dinner and enjoy time with just my husband. Instead, I cooked dinner and cried the entire time. My emotions are all over the place, and I am past my breaking point at this time. so much has piled up, and I truly do not know how to trust that God is working and not focus on the circumstances.

Then, one our dogs escaped our backyard again. He has an annoying and embarrassing habit of climbing/jumping over one particular area of the fence. We fixed it twice before this evening, and after he jumped the fence as dinner was being prepared, we took a few large branches and rested them against the fence. It's not a permanent fix, but we're not in a financial place that will allow us to construct a whole new fence.

By themselves, the things we are face seem simple enough. But when combined, it's all I can do to make it through the day some days.

I am blessed enough to have a husband who loves me and comforts me when I am at my worst. I am also blessed enough to have a husband who is willing to work a full-time job along with a part-time job. I am also blessed enough to have a full-time position of my own. I want these things to be enough. And maybe they are; maybe I just can't see them.

It's a constant battle to remain positive. It's a constant battle to keep from exploding in negativity, and recently, I am losing the battle. I'm seeing more and more that I alone am not strong enough, and I am leaning on God to provide me the strength. I have such a hard time trusting Him to provide and believing that His promises will hold true to my life. And while I shouldn't, I find myself jealous of others who He is blessing. I find myself comparing myself to others and wondering when I will finally be at a point in which it feels like He is at work.

There are glimpses. I find myself hearing the promise that He is near and that He is in control. But it's only for a short while that I am able to hold onto that promise and not let the ways of the world strike at me.

We all face our own battles. We all respond differently to the hardships and frustrations of life. And we all have our own breaking points. While I wish my breaking point were not sometimes so easily reached, it is.

My prayer is for His provision. I am not sure what that will mean, but I do know that my husband and I are praying for something tangible to occur. We are in such a place of unknowing, and it's getting so much harder to push through. Especially for me.

And that is my honesty. It's dirty and raw and filled with tears. There is no pretty package or promise of renewal. There's the possibility that things will improve tomorrow and then disintegrate on Thursday. Nothing is certain now. And in these uncertain times, I'm doing my best to hold onto the one things that promises to never fail, and that is faith. My hands and fingers slip at times due to the worlds calling and beckoning, but I am holding on as tightly as I can and praying that God will hold on to me as well.

(title from "hookers and robbers" by charlie hall)

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