Saturday, May 22, 2010

17 years. To the day.

I am spending my Anniversary reading.
A book I was given for free. About Marriage.
The title is Love and War. I was sold on the title alone. That would seem to be a pretty acurate description of my marriage. Love and yet, such War.

I am only 50 pages in and already I can tell this might change my life a little. Maybe a lot.

The main theme so far  is;
It can be done.
And it is so worth it.
pg. 7

Honestly I have had a hard time believing that lately.
If I, a relatively patient, kind hearted, giving person can't make my marriage work how can anyone else.

I remember the sun filtering through the windows: a beam of light falling across the table between us. But it felt like a wall of glass. I was on my side, he was way over there. It was only a foot or so, but he felt miles away to me.
pg. 9

I was utterly lonely - and to be lonely in your marriage is the loneliest feeling on earth.
pg. 10

Sadly yes, these are my feelings too. It's hard to admit. I like putting on a front and a painting a picture of having it all together. I can't stand for people to feel sorry for me. But years of not dealing with issues, which is exactly how I deal with issues, has left me feeling more alone and lost than ever.

I wondered if he even saw me. Something was broken. I needed comfort and relief and I turned to the Drive-thru to find it. Packing on the weight sent a message to him that was clear and strong. I am leaving you. You are not worth being beautiful for.

Okay ouch. Just ouch.

Marriage is hard, sometimes painfully hard. Your first Great battle is not to lose heart.
pg. 21

I am not much of a fighter. But I am beginning to see that walking with the Lord requires much battleing. And honestly I don't want to. But that's not reality. Just like any great accomplishment it requires a certain amount of fight to reap the rewards.

But here is where this book starts to really grab me.

I'll wager that 90% of the confusion, misunderstanding, struggle, and disappointment in marriage is due to the fact that we don't understand what God is up to.
pg. 31

Marriage is a rushing stream God uses to shape us into more loving people.
pg 43

He (God) lures us into marriage (with a complete opposite) and then uses it to transform us.
pg 48

I am seeing that this whole time I thought my job was to change and help and save him (my husband) but maybe it's been the complete opposite. This whole struggle we've been having is to change, help, and save myself.

Could God actually have given me this specific husband who has had some major issues and struggles so that I might be transformed. Learn to battle instead of hide. Learn to believe in myself instead of always doubting.

I feel like a light bulb is starting to go off. A light that the world would not recognize. If most knew the real issues in our marriage I am almost sure they would all say to leave him. But I just know God has to have a much better ending than that in store.

I hope to spend the rest of this weekend reading this book and hopefully will have much more to  say about it learn.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The gift of song

I won a CD from Life at 7000 feet!
Thank you Meredith, this ones for you.

My girls and I were in the car listening to music (as usual) the other day when a certain song came on.

As we were singing and listening to the lyrics I was thinking to myself (as usual) how I wanted to write the chorus down and paint them on a canvas or something and that it would make a beautiful gift for my daughters.

All of a sudden my oldest daughter says "I love this part, I so want to write this down and hang it in my room or something!"

I looked at her and just started crying (as usual) and told her I had just been thinking that same thing.

We shared a nice little moment over a song that held so much meaning in those few lyrics.

But you know what's even more amazing?

The CD I won this week, had that song on it!
When we listened to it today and heard that song we both just looked at eachother and were so excited.

Here's the part I / we wanted to write down

Be strong in the Lord
and never give up hope
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got His hand on you
so don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
and thank God for each day
His love will find a way

The words I would say
           by Sidewalk Prophets

I also have to tell you about one other song on the CD that just touched me so deeply today. I had never heard it before and when I did, I lost it. (as usual)

Sometimes, well most of the time, I can't really grasp just how much it is that Jesus loves me. Like, really loves me.
This song makes you think about that.
Not only His love for me, but who it is He is loving. I am flawed, a failure, scared and just so not worth it.  But He doesn't see any of that.

Here's the part of the song that made my heart ache and long to grasp His love for me.

I am the thorn in Your crown
     but You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
     but You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
    but You love me anyway
I am Judas' kiss
    but You love me anyway

You love me anyway
       by Sidewalk Prophets

If your struggling at all with grasping His love for you. Find this song. Listen to it and let Him speak to you. Let Him love you like no other.

Thanks again Mer!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A sweet sixteen like no other

My oldest daughter has a best friend that changed our lives.

It's just what she does.

When they first met at the age of 10, we had just moved here. 
My daughter had no friends here, we had just left all our extended family and friends, and she was trying out for the local swim team all by herself.

She really needed a friend.

She made 2 besties that year but this one stuck like no other.

Not only is this my daughter's best friend, but their whole family has become like family to us. Their Mom and I are the best of friends and this is the baby  
 I begged them to let me watch I babysit for during the week.

They are an amazing family that includes 2 adopted girls, currently a foster baby, and a Mom who teaches special education pre-school.

My daughter's best friend was turning 16 this last month and like most teenage girls wanted to do something extra special to celebrate.

Something special for others.

She decided that she didn't want any presents or parties or big trips planned for herself.
So, she asked her Mom if she could take 16 foster kids from our area and give them a day to remember.

I remember the phone call exactly.
My friend calling me, asking me for prayers to be able to pull this off.
It's not easy getting permission to take foster children places, and would they be able to find 16, and where would they take them, and is this all her daughter really wants.......

So, we prayed.
A few weeks later they received a phone call. Someone had tickets to the Circus coming to town, the same week as the birthday.
A plan was made and 2 weeks later 16 foster kids ages 4 to 11 were available.

Matching shirts were printed, goodie bags were bought and put together, a meeting before hand was thrown together to be able to meet all the kids.

At the end of that first meeting, a little girl came up to her and asked
"Why do you want to take me somewhere on your Birthday?"

She replied "It makes me happy to see you happy!"

I wish I could post a picture of the birthday girl and the kids at the circus. Her face is beaming with happiness.
The whole day at the circus adults kept coming up to her and her Mom and asking what was going on with this group, and after telling them about this 16 year old girl and her one birthday wish, most were left speechless! Some even cried.

She makes me think about my own happiness and about my own wishes.....

And her simple statement of
"It makes me happy to see you happy."

I couldn't agree more.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Anniversary 10

This month is my 17 year wedding anniversary. I thought I should do something in honor of that.

10 things about the our wedding day.

1. we didn't have a family church at the time of our wedding so I just picked a church near our home town that was beautiful on the outside and the sanctuary was big and beautiful too. When I told my future Mother in law about the church she started laughing and crying and said that was the church they had gotten married at 20 years earlier.

2. The Pastor of the church had gotten sick and was going to be out for a few months and in his place was a lady pastor. My future husband thought that was weird to be married by a lady.
Is that weird?

3. The morning of our wedding I had my hair done at a salon. I hated it. When I got to the church I had to re-curl it and fix the clip.

4. I wore bright pink lipstick. I still have that tube of lipstick, I only wore it that day and I can't seem to throw it away.

5. The dress shop forgot to put the hoop-like slip I was borrowing in with my dress and I panicked for about 30 minutes until I put the dress on and found out I liked the way it fit better without it.

6. My best friend was my Maid of Honor and my sister was my other Bridesmaid. They wore bright pink dresses, pink shoes, and pink gloves.
I really wanted to wear a pink dress myself but no one would let me. I did however wear something else pink that no one saw!

7. My future little sister in law sang before the wedding. She sang, Saved the best for last by Vanessa Williams. This song still makes me cry.

8. After our "kiss" I turned to go back down the aisle even though the wedding wasn't over and had to turn back around, the whole church laughed.

9. After the ceremony the Limo driver was threatening to leave because we were taking too long with pictures, we ran out of food at the reception, My husbands great Aunt fell and broke her wrist and the ambulance had to come and take her away, someone had grabbed my 5 year old nieces 'Blankie' to use for the fallen Auntie and there was a brief panic when we found out it went to the hospital with her, Our car's sunroof was open and birdseed was dumped in the car, a few of my husband's friends got overly drunk on champagne and started causing a scene, we couldn't find the expensive cake knife and server I had bought so we had to use this ugly brown rusty knife to cut our cake.

10. I still remember looking across the room after only being at the reception for about 2 hours and locking eyes with my new husband and it being like we could read eachothers minds. We were both ready to get out of there and be alone. And we did.

Things may not have been perfect and looking back there are so many things I would have planned and done differently, but it is still one of the happiest days I have ever had. Those details that don't go perfect don't really matter, it's your wedding day! That fact alone is enough to make it the best day ever.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day (part two)

I woke up this morning with a big smile.

I love Mothers day.

Because of 3 sweet girls.

I couldn't have chosen them any better if I'd have been given that chance. God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave me them.

They challenge me.
Bless me.
strengthen me.
encourage me.
remind me.
forgive me.

And right at this moment, they bake cinnamon rolls for me.

God took a day that held so much pain and turned it into a day with so much promise of His perfection.

I love how He does that!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mothers Day (part one)

Holidays are weird for me. Even small ones like Mothers day, well maybe especially Mothers day.
I know I am a grown woman and a mother myself, but some feelings from childhood stay with you no matter how old you get.

I didn't have a normal Mom experience growing up.

I was raised by my Dad with only brief, skattered visits on and off with my Mom most of my childhood.
She was a great mom to me when I was a baby, gave me lots of love and cuddles and breastfed me for a long time.
But the trials of life were hard for her. Sometime between me being 2 and 4, alcohol became her life. At around 4 she lost custody of me to my Dad and instead of that being the wakeup call she needed, it only drove her deeper into the arms of Satan.
Those next few years were painful I'm sure, for both her and I.
I really don't have any memory of that time.

She would eventually stop drinking and I became part of her life again, but it was never really a Mother and daughter relationship.
She was someone I desperately loved and yet always felt so sorry for.
She was never really there for me as a teenager offering sound advice or a guiding hand, yet she was there.

The thing that makes me so sad today is that she can not forgive herself. It's all over her. She has tried to live a peaceful life and to be there a little more for her granddaughters than she was for me, but I feel it everytine I'm with her.
Her regrets and her shame and her loss. Our loss.

I have shared Jesus with her tons over the years and she has gone from not wanting to hear anything I had to say to listening with her whole heart and wanting to believe what it is that I'm saying.
I know only Jesus can comfort her broken heart and heal it. My prayer for her is always the same, that she would come to Him and be able to look into His eyes and hear Him say "You are forgiven" and that she would believe it.

Happy Mothers day to the first Mom God gave me. I was knitted together in your womb. Your womb. May you never forget that. I know that Satan messed up our past but I hold tight to the promise of a better future for us, God is not done with this relationship yet. May you never forget that.