Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Allure of Something Better

We're all familiar with the saying, "The grass is greener on the other side of the fence."  In my life, in my heart, the allure of something better is Satan's playground.

It has taken almost 20 years, but I've finally realized that this desire for "greener grass" was what ended my first real dating relationship.  We didn't have problems.  I just wanted something else.  Something "better."  And I'm not saying that wanting something else is always a bad thing.  This boy and I weren't married.  We'd made no covenant to each other before God.  And, looking back on the relationship, I can also say that we were probably not a good match.  So, in that situation, it is a good thing that I wanted something "better."

But things are not great in my life right now.  I'm definitely not starry-eyed over the state of my relationship with my husband.  My brain is primed for Satan to come in and play around.  "If only I'd made a different choice when..."  "If only today I could..."  And the list of "if onlys" can get quite long.  The allure of something better is getting quite strong. 

I just need to start wishing for the right field of grass.

Dear Father, I continue to fail in so many ways.  I should have realized sooner that Satan was playing around with my pain.  I should have leaned on you more from day one.  But Father, I'm asking now that you please drive Satan away, and that you please show me that you are carrying me through this time, with all its trouble and hurt and pain.  I don't want to hurt or disappoint you, or my loved ones.  I want to be able to walk through this muck with my head held high, blessed to have relied fully on you.  Forgive me for the impure things I've been thinking and feeling, and for not completely honoring you in my heart and mind.  Please help me to focus on the hope of heaven, and of being in your arms one day, cradled and comforted and completely fulfilled.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reasons to be Thankful

In case no one has noticed, my life isn't great right now.  In fact, I could describe most days as thoroughly crappy.  Even when my life isn't simmering in muck, this time of year typically brings sorrow and dismay for me. 

So, in an effort to wade through the crappiness instead of drowning in it, I have made a commitment to count my blessings.  For the next sixty-one days over at Dear Life, I plan to count my blessings.  And maybe by January 1, my outlook on life won't be nearly as dim.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seeing Life in Black and White

During a conversation with some friends last week, I said something that, I later realized, could qualify as legalistic.  I don't like legalism.  It is stringent and stiff and backs you into a corner.  And I don't like being backed into a corner.  However, retrospect on this conversation is revealing to me that maybe I'm a legalist at heart.  I see the world in black and white.  I think I always have.  Growing up, when told to do something, I obeyed because it was the right thing to do.  On the odd occasion that I did break a rule, I was overwhelmed with guilt because I had done the wrong thing. 

Living life with this black-or-white philosophy can be quite challenging.  There are all these shades of gray, you see.  Two of my children frequently wade through these shades of gray.  And I've realized through the heartbreak of my husband's recent break from faith that he sees life in gray, rarely in black and white.

So what am I to do with all the gray matter that the world holds?  I'm sure there are many philosophical roads that this question could lead me down.  But it dawned on me today that I probably need to stop asking that question, and just start trusting that God knows what to do with the shades of gray.  And with my legalistic, black and white heart.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Search for Significance

It seems to me that Americans are searching for significance.  Perhaps it is the generation in which we live, but the more I look around, the more I see people wanting to be known for something.  To gain notoriety from something they do.
Sadly, I am no exception.

Some events of the past month have started me wondering about the mark I'm leaving on this world.  Am I significant?  Am I making a difference in my life?

There's all the laundry that I wash and fold. The lunches that I pack daily. And the other meals I prepare or, at the very least, pay for. The shopping I do so that my family has food to eat. The cleaning--albeit little--that I do. The hair that I brush, the beds that I make, the bottoms that I wipe, the toys that I trip over and eventually put away.

The people that I work with and for. The phone calls that I answer and place. The words that I utter. The way in which I speak the words that I utter. The efficiency with which I do my work. The passion with which I prepare my work. The attitude with which I arrive at work. And leave work.

The amount that I pray, or don't pray. The amount that I study, or don't study. How little or much credit I give to God. How often I glorify His name. And tell others about His Son, my Savior.

All these things seem so very small and insignificant.  And so I tend to feel very small and insignificant.

But what I'm learning, and have to keep remembering, is that just because these things compose my daily life, they do not define who I am.  I have to focus on the fact that I am a child of God, a fellow heir with Christ.  And if that isn't significance enough, then why on earth am I even getting out of bed each morning? 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts from a Tenth Anniversary

The world changed ten years ago.

My brain consumed a barrage of media reflections on Sunday.  Viewing footage and photos and interview after interview of people who escaped or lost loved ones that day.  It felt to me as though it just happened yesterday.  This horrible thing that one just can't wrap their mind around. 

It was a turning point in thousands of lives.

For me, personally, I watched the footage ten years ago wondering how people could unleash such hatred on fellow human beings.  While I'm sure others sat watching, wondering how a merciful God could let this horrible thing happen.

And so I wonder... For how many people was that day a turning point in their faith?  And was my husband among them?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Full, yet empty

Do you ever have times where you just feel emotionally numb?  I'm numb right now.  The last time I felt this way, I was spiralling into a deep depression that took weeks to come out of.  I'm determined not to go there again, and so I've been looking around for things to keep me afloat.  And boy did one smack me across the face last night. 

I guess I've known this about myself for some time, but, like I said, it hit me hard last night.  Check it out... Psalm 42:1-2, "As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.  I thirst for God, the living God.  When can I go and stand before him?" (NLT)  Smack.  And, ouch.  Have I ever longed for God to the extent that I desire food?  Or Dr. Pepper?  Or napping?  If I'm going to be honest, the answer is no.  I confess, my cravings for Dr. Pepper are WAY stronger than my cravings for God.  And I'm so ashamed of that fact.  I once read that "shallow efforts produce shallow results."  I'm learning that it is the mark of a mature Christian to put in strong, enduring, and passionate effort to come near to God.  And I confess... I'm immature.

So, this is my ongoing struggle.  To be filled up with God, so that I'm no longer empty.  And until I get there, I'll just keep trying to fill the hole with naps, ice cream and Dr. Pepper.  Or new clothes.  Or affirmation from others.  Or whatever I think will fill the hole at any particular moment.

Back to the numbness. 

I ended up reading all of Psalm 42.  Again... OUCH.  Verse four says "My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be."  Yes, a very familiar feeling.  Part of verse six says "Now I am deeply discouraged..."  Also a familiar tune.  Verse seven says "I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me."  Again, I know the feeling.  Listen up to this stuff though...  Verses five and eleven, "Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!"  And verse eight, "But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life." 

Each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me.  Even though I apparently love Dr. Pepper more than Him.  Even though I get caught up in a pity-party of the sad details of my life.  Even though some of my behavior denies that I even know Him.  He continues to love me.  He pours it out on me.  He wants to fill me up.

How blessed I am, even though it feels like Satan is peck-peck-pecking me to a breaking point.  I'm blessed to have a God who loves me.  Who cherishes me.  Who never tires and always listens to my complaints.  Oh, how very blessed I am.

Father, forgive me for losing sight of your love and blessings.  Forgive me for listening intently to the whispers of Satan and getting lost in the muck, when I should be holding tight to your goodness and hope.  I know that You'll provide, that You'll save, that You'll love, no matter how lost or low I think I am.  Please help me to remember that.  And Lord, please protect me from further attacks by Satan.  Run him off.  Keep him away.  I'm trying to cling to you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where We Belong

I read a statement the other day that I found powerful and compelling and, well... sticky.  You know--it stuck with me. 

"Where you come to believe you belong is where you will stay." ~Lysa TerKeurst

Twenty years ago I was dating my high-school sweetheart, daydreaming and planning our wedding and our life together.  He eventually proposed to me, and I said yes.  I had come to believe that he was where I belonged.  So, when feelings of discontent and hopes of something different fluttered into my mind, I dismissed them, because I was where I belonged, after all.  It took a lot of prodding and poking from the Spirit, but I eventually came to listen to those feelings.  I moved on.  My heart longed for more.

I don't think this is too dis-similar from our lives as Christians. 

We listen to the lies of Satan, believing that we're bound by our sin, and deserving of nothing better.  Or we just stay content with what this world has to offer, and slowly forget that we were made for so much more. 

Let God rekindle that longing in your heart.  Listen to it.  Let the Spirit nurture it.  For it is a longing for heaven.  An urge to find more.  A desire to be whole.  Heaven is the only place we truly belong.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Kinda Thought

I kinda thought that life would seem grayer, considering the things I've encountered the past few weeks.

I kinda thought that the doubt bubbles that are seemingly floating over the heads of loved ones would block the light.

I kinda thought the world was different.

I kinda thought wrong.

Praise be to God, He has blessed me with peace, with focus, with a new sense of purpose in my life.  Am I tempted to think that I have no room for error because I need to be a witness for my Lord?  Yup.  Am I then quickly reminded that I am only made perfect in Christ?  YES, and praise God for it!

Life isn't different, because God isn't different.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I put my hope and trust in what He's told me in His Word.  My faith isn't just something I've chosen to believe in, it is who I am.  It is behind many of my life choices.  It is what drives me.  It is what anchors me to Him, when times are good or not-so-good.

And so, I find that God has called me to be a missionary in my own home--in my life.  But isn't that what He calls us all to?  It's really a shame that He had to use this scenario for my eyes to be fully opened to this calling.

So I'm choosing to turn the reins over to Him.  I want Him to fill me up.  I want to make my life an offering of praise.  I want to be a bold witness to His power for healing and hope.  I want Him to change me from the inside out, for the single purpose that He might be glorified and made known to this world. 

Dear Father, you are an amazing God.  I marvel daily at your creation, and the perfect ways you work in our lives.  Forgive me for forgetting how small I am and how great you are.  Forgive me when I believe that have control over my life, for you are the only one in control.  Lord, please work your wonders in my heart and life.  I don't want these to be empty words!  I truly want you to fill me, to change me.  I want to be a mirror that reflects you to this world.  I want to be sold out to you.  Please continue to fan these embers in my heart, and grow them into a fire for you that Satan has no hope of quenching.  And Father, when things get scary, remind me that I've asked for you to come in and rearrange my spiritual furniture.  Remind me that I must yield to your will.  Thank you for rescuing me.  I praise you for who you are.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Life Goes On

I've written a lot about change.  But the real theme on those "change" posts is trust.  Trust in God.  Fully giving Him my heart, and devoting every facet of my life to Him, even though I'm afraid of change.

Last week, and today, in fact, I find that my world has changed.  No new jobs.  No additions to the family.  But my world is different, nonetheless.  And I feel like all those compositions on change--the thoughts, the prayers, the intentions--are proof that God was priming my heart for this.  And even though I don't like the circumstances in which I now find myself, I am so very grateful that my God loves me enough to have given me the spiritual airbag.

Life will go on.  MY life will go on.  And I choose to trust God to carry me through this.  I trust that He'll give me the right words to say at the right times.  And I trust Him to work powerfully through me to soften my man's heart.  Because my God is mighty to save.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well, this is it

This is what God’s been calling me to. This is the fiery path He wants me to walk.

I sat there listening last night, in what can only be described as stunned silence. My jaw wasn’t hanging open, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t shocked.

My husband told me that he doesn’t believe in God. He said that for the better part of the past eighteen months, he has felt this way. Later in the conversation, he hinted that he’s not sure he’s ever believed.

He believes that Christ lived. He loves the teachings of Jesus, because they are so practical and relevant to everyday life. It’s just that one big statement, as he called it, that he can’t quite swallow. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (When I asked why this one statement tripped him up, hubby said, “Because if you don’t believe in God, then…”)

He believes it is wrong that the church will let itself be divided over petty issues (some that aren’t even addressed in scripture) when Christ’s final prayer on earth was for unity among His believers. I feel like he has come to despise the church and the things we proclaim to stand for, because we just can’t (or won’t) get along.

He said he thinks that the Old Testament is just religious fable, and that the Jews made up the idea of God to explain the things they couldn’t understand.

I just don’t get it. I know that we’re all different, but I really don’t understand this. I’ve never doubted God. Never. Growing up on the farm, I remember gazing at the stars at night and marveling at how vast the universe must be. And as I studied biology in high school and college, and learned about the complexities of our bodies, I marveled all the more at how amazing a creator our God is. And as I go through life as a parent, I learn more and more about the nature and heart of God. I see God in almost every facet of my life. So, to hear someone say that they don’t believe in Him… I cannot fathom it. I just do not understand how a person can look at the things that I look at, and not see God. And I’m not saying this from a position of criticism or condemnation. I truly just don’t understand. And so, I don’t know how to deal with this.

Since I’ve known him, I’ve known that he had some doubts, some big questions that he really wanted answers to. I hoped that he would listen to God’s whispers. But it seems shouts of the world have won out. He’s been meeting with a friend once a week to discuss these issues, but he chose the wrong person. That guy, even though he’s a good man, is WAY out in left field, and not a good choice for “help me work through these doubts.” So, I’m not surprised that those meetings did no good.

He confessed these beliefs to me because, as he stated it, he no longer wanted to be dishonest with me. I’m his best friend, and he didn’t want to keep these secrets from me, even if it meant hurting me. Well, I’m hurt. I’m angry. Confused. And torn up on the inside.

And here is the most terrifying thing (at this point): How will my children have any chance at salvation, when the world is so loud with its support of Satan, when their father is an unbeliever, and only their mother is proclaiming the existence of God? When they come to us asking about baptism and salvation, what is he going to say to them? I live and proclaim what I believe to be true. This is the way. CHRIST is THE WAY. And will dad’s atheist presence completely undo that? I’m afraid so.

Confession: I don’t want to be a failure. In this life or the next. As long as I remember, I’ve wanted my life here to glorify God. I want my children to grow up with that same desire. My greatest wish is for their lives to be in His service. If I fail at this, where will I find myself on judgment day? I know that I won’t be a perfect parent, that God will forgive me for mistakes along the way, but to fail in leading them salvation?

I am realizing that I am wholly unequipped to handle this situation.

Ah, but there’s the crux of the issue. Well, MY issue. God isn’t calling me to handle anything. I don’t suppose He ever has. He is calling me to trust in Him. To give the situation to Him. To walk this fiery path and magnify Him and His wonderfulness throughout it, so that my husband can come to believe.

There is little else I can do.

Friday, June 10, 2011


They say life can change in an instant.  We see evidence of that fact every day.  Car wrecks.  Earthquakes.  Tornadoes.  Births.  Deaths.  Etc.

I've been thinking a lot about change lately.  Like, a lot.  Fer-reals.

What is it that makes me dig in my heels at the slightest whiff of change?  Is it written in my DNA?  Is it my desire to control things, and change threatens that control?  Is it my lack of trust in God?

I have a very good friend who is on the threshhold of a career change.  He's worked a job for almost ten years that he has come to dread.  I am so proud of him.  He examined his situation and found a way to change it.  CHANGE IT.  He is embracing change.  Now, this friend isn't some crazy dare-devil who's just throwing caution to the wind and crossing his fingers that this will work out alright.  No.  He has prayed about it.  He's crunched numbers.  He's considered all the pros and cons.  But by changing jobs, he's headed into a certain level of unknownness.  That's scary territory for me.

Change frightens me.  I guess I just don't like my little boat rocked.  During my first pregnancy, I was so terrified of the change that was coming, my friends and co-workers were seriously concerned for my mental well-being.  This dread that I have of change apparently oozes out of my pores.

So, while I have no answers as to why I dig in my heels and resist change so stubbornly, I do believe this:  God wants us to change.

Ugh, I said it.  He wants us to change.  He wants ME to change.  And yet, I dig in my heels.  I sit back and look at my friend on the verge of this life change, which will be so good for him and his family.  But that's just it--I sit back and watch.  I don't seek out change.  I don't invite God to come in to my life and change things up a bit.  Because change is scary.

So, here's what I think it all boils down to... I think I'm scared of change because I'm content in my life.  My friend was very unhappy in his job.  I work with someone who has been actively applying for other jobs because she's miserable in her current position.  But me?  I love my job.  I love my family.  My spouse.  My friends.  God has blessed me SO richly.  Why would I seek to change all that?

I've been rambling on for over a month about change and how frightened I am.  Well, there is one thing I want to change.  I want to change my level of trust in God.  I want to let Him rule in my life.  I want to surrender to His will, and not be ruled by fear of the unknown.

And ya know... He'll probably send some change my way just to see how much I really mean that.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Living with Guilt

I hurt someone very dear to me.  It wasn't intentional.  It wasn't malicious.  It wasn't premeditated.

It was clumsy, and possibly ill-conceived.  It probably shouldn't have been said at all.  The dear one and I haven't spoken since.

So, I'm living with guilt and sadness over hurting this dear friend.  And while I'm so very sorry for the hurt I've caused, for the things I said, I cannot help but wonder why guilt holds such power over me in my life.

I do or don't do things based on the level of guilt I know I will feel for doing or not doing said things.  Or, if I don't do what I know I should do, then I really get rough on myself, emotionally speaking, and that only perpetuates the cycle of guilt.  I believe that God has given us a conscience to serve as our guide when we don't necessarily know what is right or wrong.

I thought I was right.  Now I think I was wrong.  And I'm living with guilt over it all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I wish...

I wish I could say that I've been content and peaceful these past weeks, waiting and waiting but hearing nothing.

I wish I could say that my blood pressure didn't spike everytime my phone rang.

I wish I could say that I didn't ride an emotional roller coaster when considering this thing that I saw coming down the pike.

I wish I could say I relied on God.  Trusting His promises to bless me.  To not forsake me.  To give me peace.

But I relied on myself.  I relied on my friends and family.  I didn't really rely on God.

I've just been waiting.  In fact, I'd become content to believe that the thing that I saw coming was actually all conjured up in my imagination.  I settled back in with contentment and joy with my current place in life. 

And now, now that there is another glimmer that this thing is indeed coming, I'm wondering...
Has this all been on hold because God was waiting for me to rely more fully on Him?  Has He actually been waiting for me to be ready?  Ready for Him to lead me into a new place?  Lead me out of complacency?  Waiting for me to just accept the invitation to dance with Him?

I can't help but wonder.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Well, Here I Am Again

It's the middle of the night.  And I'm awake.  Again. 

My brain just won't stop.  I sense something coming down the road.  And the road is short.  Very short.  And I'm afraid.  Very afraid.

I don't like change.  It ruffles my feathers and makes me uncomfortable and unsure.  And I like to be comfortable.  I like to be sure.  I guess I'll just have to get my assurance from the One who commands it.  Ha.  Sounds simple. 

I confess, I'm not ready for this thing that is coming down the short road.  In fact, I'm digging in my heels, hoping to slow things down and make the road seem longer. 

I've been part of a small Bible study group for the past few weeks.  The study has really focused in on one particular issue, seemingly having nothing to do with trusting God and life change and all the stuff I'm talking about here.  Last night's study, though, was a bit painful.  Because the main point was challenging us to make a courageous choice.  To be a courageous woman.  And with all my might I cry out "BUT I'M SO AFRAID!"

Father, I am so afraid.  I'm on my knees, not asking you to take this thing away, but asking you to take away my fear.  I want to be a courageous woman.  Courageous for you.  For my family.  For me.  But the "what IFs" terrify me.  Please, Lord, wrap me up in your marvelous arms, and whisper that it's all gonna be okay.  And then, help me to believe you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's a Dangerous Thing

I didn't mean to do it.  Well, I suppose I did.  But I hadn't considered all the repercussions.

I said a prayer.

I didn't follow it up with a lot of sub-prayers, either.  It wasn't a prayer that I decided to pray daily for a certain period of time.  While it was heartfelt, I am certain that I wasn't fully prepared for the changes that would occur in me. 

Do you think that God guides us on the paths of life?  Or does He sit back and wait for us to find His road?  I think God has been waiting on me--working on me--for a long time.  I think He's been waiting for me to say that prayer for a very long time.

I feel Him stirring up notions in my brain, things I've not considered or been passionate about for a long time, if I ever was.  He's churning the waters of my heart, showing me that He is the only thing I can successfully anchor myself to.  And He's already spurned enough change that I'm getting scared.  Scared at what will come next.

I like my life.  It is comfortable (for the most part).  I feel myself wanting to get into a little debate with God.  "I can serve You just as well here."  "What exactly are You trying to prepare me for?!"  "Hold on, hold on!  I'm not sure this is what I signed up for!"  The problem is, I've invited Him in. I asked Him to do more in me.  To be more in me.  I asked Him to help me become wholly His.

It is a dangerous thing to offer up a meaningful prayer.  He might actually think you meant it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Why is it, do you think, that we hide things?

Why do I hide my obnoxious laugh from the whole of society?  Why do I try to hide my character flaws from those closest to me?  Why don't I just lay all those things out for all to see?

Fear of judgment, I suppose.

So I hide my warts.  My weaknesses.  My sinfulness.  I try to hide my sinfulness from the One who created me.  From the One who knows my inmost thoughts, whether good or ill.  From the One whose job it is to ultimately judge me.  But why am I afraid of His judgment?  I'm covered by Christ.  Praise God, I'm saved by the blood of Christ.  I'm a child of God! 

The chorus of a song by Martin Nystrom says, "Here is my heart, Lord, I lay it open.  Search every corner, cleanse every part.  Here is my heart, Lord, yielded and broken.  Merciful Lord, come and restore.  Here is my heart."

I want to want this.  This attitude.  Emptying myself of me, and wanting the Lord to come in and make me whole.  Wholly His.

Father God, forgive me for always failing you.  For being so set on my own way.  For ignoring your tugs at my heart.  For keeping blinders on to my sins and to my state of utter brokenness.  Lord, I want to want you more.  I want a passion for you and your will in my heart and life.  Please help me to take off these things that are just weighing me down, and hand them over to you.  Please help me to trust that you are the only shelter my heart needs.  Help me come to you for comfort instead of burying my hurts deep within.  And forgive me for not asking these things years ago.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


[v] - to put the ball into play.
[v] - to render assistance; be of service; help.
[v] - to act as a servant.
[v] - to answer the purpose.
Not all of those short definitions provoke thoughts in my mind.  The last does, however.  "To answer the purpose."  An example is listed with this at  "That will serve to explain my actions."  That will serve to explain my actions.  To answer the purpose.
Does my life answer the purpose to which I was called?  For which I was created?  Here's a passage that my church is currently focusing on, specifically verse 45.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45 NIV)
Christ calls me to be a servant.  He modeled it.   And I think He'd want me to model to those in my small circle. 

Why is it that I find it difficult to act as a servant to my family?  My husband, my children.  Shouldn't these be the first I serve?  Or at the very least, have the HEART to serve?  And if I have a heart to serve, then why don't I?  Why do I do laundry begrudgingly, when I could view it as an act of service to my family?  Why don't I view any household chore as an act of service to them? 
Then I start thinking about the larger circle... The people I encounter in my job, or at the market, or gas station.  How do I grow my heart for service?  Christ said, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35 NLT)
I'm not sure I've been proving much other than I love myself.  But I hope to do better in the coming days.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Still Drifting

I'm still drifting.  Or at least I feel like I am.  I'd like to think that I'm anchored while the world around me is being tossed about.  That's probably a bit arrogant, though.

I don't know where to turn for solid advice.  God is there to listen to my pleas, but I'm not hearing much advice from Him.  One friend (who is a terrific, wonderful gal) has listened, and tried to help me understand my husband's doubts.  And while I do want to understand, I still feel like I'm treading water.  Or spinning my wheels.  Another friend encourages me to seek marital counseling.  I'm not opposed to that, but it isn't cheap, we're on a very tight budget, and I'm sure my husband wouldn't be thrilled about it.  Plus, at the moment, I don't feel like my marriage is in peril.  I feel like my husband is being swallowed by these doubts!  Who can help me with this?  I need some serious advice.  And it would be great if the advice was helpful and productive, too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Change of Direction

What do you do when your partner changes direction mid-stream?

To me, divorce is not an option, though that's what the world strongly preaches.  "Your relationship has run it's course.  Time to move on."  No thanks.  My marriage is more than something to just toss by the wayside.

Still, I struggle with how to work this thing.  You know?  This isn't a case of "I just didn't know who I was marrying."  He has truly changed.  Satan is alive and at work--his whispers growing louder and louder in my husband's ears.  His faith struggles have grown so that they're consuming him.  Not only do I feel completely inequipped to help him work through these doubts, I'm also fearful for what this spells for our future.  My future.  And my kids' futures.  I don't know if I can handle being the woman married to the unbeliever.  I don't have a gentle and quiet spirit.  I'm weak.  And frankly, I don't want to deal with all the questions from fellow church-goers week in and week out.... "Where's _____________?"  While I whole-heartedly believe that the church is the place to be transparent, I fear the judgment that will undoubtedly follow telling folks "Oh he doesn't believe anymore."

I'm hurting.  Confused.  At a loss for words.

Currently drifting with the tide...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Weeds... an additional thought

While out shopping yesterday in my local craft store, I saw a cutsie sign, for a garden I guess.  It said, "Here's your last chance... BLOOM!"  And thoughts came to mind about my post on weeds, and bloom where you're planted, etc., ....and what if the situation in which I find myself IS my last chance to bloom?  I sometimes hear the world telling me to think of myself more often.  That I DESERVE fill-in-the-blank.  And in times of stress, it is so hard to silence that loud voice. 

So, what if it is my last chance to bloom where I'm planted?  How does that perspective change how I do my job, treat my kids and husband, and (gasp!) dare I say.... love my enemies?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Weeds

I read a quote yesterday that really struck me.

"A weed is a flower planted in the wrong place."  ~George Washington Carver

That little sentence started a thought process of how our perpectives on things affect how we go throughout life.  Perhaps Dr. Carver was trying to convey that if we didn't place a certain plant in our flowerbed, then we view it as an unwanted weed.  But I think he's trying to say that all plants are valuable.  And, in the right setting, weeds could actually be productive and quite lovely.

So I started thinking about how this might apply to humans.  I'm sure we've all heard the saying "Bloom where you're planted."  I've liked that saying for several years.  It reminds me that even though I may not like the situation in which I find myself, just about the only thing I have the power to change is my attitude.  A quick Google search of the phrase led me to a scripture in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24.  The first part of verse seventeen says "And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there." (MSG) 

Dr. Carver's quote helps me see a flip side of "bloom where you're planted."  Maybe someone in my life is acting like a weed because of the situation in which he or she finds him/herself.  And while I don't necessarily enjoy the presence of these "weeds," thinking that they might be having trouble "blooming where they're planted" helps me to be a bit more empathetic toward them.  More understanding of their "weedy" attitudes.  Less motivated to pluck them out of my garden. :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

When to speak up?

I'm currently struggling with something.

I see that porn addiction among Christians is frighteningly high.  Perhaps some are of the mindset that porn isn't all that destructive.  But I know and love people whose lives have been adversely affected, and in some cases, shattered, because of an addition to porn.  I've seen statistics that upwards of 50% of Christians struggle with an addiction to--not alcohol, not meth--pornography.

I feel like I should speak up to the leaders in my church, and suggest that we should be more active in helping people who might be struggling with this, rather than continuing to let them suffer in silence.  But is it appropriate since I don't have this addiction myself?  I just see that people are hurting.  That lives are being ruled by something other than Christ.  That Satan is sitting back and enjoying the tally count.

When do you speak up?  How do you know the difference between the Spirit guiding you, and the light bulb of "opinion" going off in your head?