Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Troy!  May 25, 1996, we stood in front of our family and friends and made a commitment to a lifetime together. 

Love, 17 years ago, meant you treated me like a lady.
Love, 17 years ago, meant you listened to what I had to say.
Love, 17 years ago, meant you held my hand, and took me to dinner.
Love, 17 years ago, meant the excitement of buying a house together.

Love grows, and love changes.  As we grow together love deepens and takes on a whole new meaning.

Love, today, means the fulfillment of the vows we made that day...for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.
Love means making the tough decisions together with prayerful consideration.
Love means often giving up our time to pour into preparing two children for a great big world.
Love means saying I'm sorry, a lot.
Love means needing to say I'm sorry more than what we do.
Love means compromise.
Love is the admiration of watching you grow in your Christ-lead role of father and husband.
And above all, love means standing together, praying together, and letting God be the leader of our lives.

We may fight, and we may disagree, but one thing is for certain.  I know that no matter what circumstances we may face, we will face them together.  That is true love.

I am so thankful God brought me someone in my life who's not just like me.  God sent me an dreamer with no fear of going for it.  A dedicated man who always does what he says he will do.  That's such a great balance for the too practical, won't start something unless I'm sure I can do it perfectly right person.

That good looking man with the great smile that stole my heart has also become an amazing father...and becoming more so every day.  He loved to rock babies at 3 a.m., and now he is making sure our children learn the important lessons they will need to thrive in this great big world...and he's leading by example.

Lord, thank you for squarely planting the right man in my path to be my husband.  Thank you for providing abundantly during our marriage.  Help us to continue to grow in your path for our lives and to always seek your will above ours.

l1 Corinthians 13:4-7
New International Version (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Post Mother's Day Message

Proverbs 31: 10-30  The Wife of Noble Character

A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;  she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;  out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;  her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 Her children arise and call her blessed;  her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Can I admit something?  I've always let Proverbs 31 intimidate me.  Its the example of what a mother and wife should be to her family.  I've never thought I quite lived up to all that she represents.

I thank God for steering me back here again just in time for the celebration of Mother's Day.

I'm a working mom with an endless to do list and a house that never stays clean.  But for the first Mother's Day ever, I celebrated being a Proverbs 31 mother guilt free with the best example I could have of one, my own mom.  I can see her exemplified in every one of the verses here.  Reading through them again I was finally able see myself there too.
A Proverbs 31 Woman
  • Her husband puts his trust in her and her decision making ability
  • She seeks to do good for her husband and family
  • She rises early plans her day, and does not remain idle
  • She provides food for her family
  • She provides clothing for her family
  • She instructs her children with wisdom
  • She works diligently and tackles projects with the benefit of her family in mind
  • She assists the needy
  • Her family is proud of her

That's Me!  I haven't changed, and I haven't miraculously become the perfect wife and mother.  I have finally realized that its about the effort we put forth and not the perfection we achieve.

All you other great moms and wives out there, let go of the guilt of not being a perfect wife and mother and celebrate the role we have been given. I bet the woman in Proverbs 31 probably served bologna sandwiches occasionally and slept in on Saturday too.

Happy Mother's Day!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Control Freak

My 10-year-old son, just like his mom, loves to fix things.  It's a great skill to have.  He's perfected the art of identifying there is a problem, taking an item apart...then not being quite sure how to put it back together.  We have two weed eaters in the garage he worked on last week that are still torn up, and the parts of both are sitting together. Not only do we get to figure out how to fix each one, we first must determine which parts belong to which unit.  What a mess!

My desire to fix things and solve problems extends beyond sinks and weed eaters.  It goes into the everyday decisions of my life.  I have this need to be a problem solver, and I often go about the job of handling my own crises, then handing God a pile of tools and parts to help me sort out the mess when I FINALLY admit I can't do it by myself.  What conviction he has placed upon me about this!

A lesson from Deuteronomy 8 was a reminder in a week I have been struggling very hard with this.  Its the story of the Israelites and how they complain about being in the wilderness after being freed from captivity. 

 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

I've wrestled with God for many years about my control attitude...trying to run my own life, and expecting God to work within my boundaries.  I am awed at the abundance he gave even in that frame of mind.  My heart grew weary of the struggle, and in a sincere prayer several months ago, I made a firm commitment to "whatever, God."  Whatever you want for me...that is what I will do.  I gave up my control.  I handed him my tools, my parts and said "fix it."   There as been a tremendous peace that has come as a result of that prayer. 

Letting go of a stronghold has not been easy.  At the first sign of trouble, that desire to go back to the old way is so tempting.  That peace of knowing I've been following the path and not leading the way has come with some of the hardest emotional struggles I have had to face.  Bumps in the road have made the fix it girl inside me want to jump up and grab my toolbox.  I've begged and complained and asked the typical three-year-old question, "why"?  And on other days, "why not?"  It's a daily battle.

Some of the greatest rewards come from the hardest lessons learned. 

God gives us talents and ability to do great things, and he provides success to our efforts.  Let us not forget it is his hands that provide for our success, and not ours.  Through this, he is glorified and not ourselves. 

Lord, thank you for taking this fix-it girl by the hand and leading me along the path you intend for me.  Please remind me to surrender to you first and ask for direction before I take off running with a solution.  Thank you for the abundance you provide even in the midst of the wilderness.