Sunday, November 27, 2011

humbled with thankfulness

As I've been working on what I'll say at our ceremony, I'm humbled at how God's hand has moved in our marriage. I know Randy and I are where we are today because of His sovereignty. He has protected us, He has guided us and shaped us. The other night we were talking and I was telling my husband, in my mind there were two defining fights in those early years. The first one the enemy rang the bell to start the "boxing" match and the second one, about two years later, was a fight I had not with my husband but with God.

In Geneses, Jacob wrestles with God all night. He not only wrestles with Him but knows not to let go till God has blessed him. I see that in my wrestling match with God. It was the night He gave me a vision of what my life was going to look like without my husband. Before that though, I had decided, as much as it broke my heart, that I was done with the fighting and that I didn't want Esther to grow up that way. It's amazing how easily the enemy sneaks into our being with his little lies. I believed the lie that she'd be better off without this life and that I'd be better off without my husband, the one I'm head over heels in love with. Yeah, I listened to his lies and believed them because I'd taken my eyes off of Christ. It had been a long two years of not focusing on Christ. Randy spent a good part of that night at his son's house, while I sat up all night arguing with God. I didn't want to let go of the account I had against Randy. I didn't want to let go of the unforgiveness. I didn't want to let go of the blame and the anger but I DID want God to fix it all for me anyway.

It was in the deep of this night that I cried out to God, that I yelled at Him, begged him, cried with lack of understanding at what He was doing. It was in this night that I told God I gave up, I was done. I couldn't see or hear Him working in our marriage anymore. It was in this night that He showed me what my life, our daughter's life would be like without my husband a part of it. It was such a deeply sad vision. It took all the fight out of me. It was in that moment that I finally got a different perspective. It was then that I felt like Jacob and refused to let go till God blessed me and our marriage. It was in that moment that God asked me, "What is your name." I had a choice. I could answer that I was Kirsten, strong willed, angry, proud, in control (yeah right), independent, fearless, closed off, guarded, hardened. OR I could answer that I was Kirsten, broken, weak, out of control, afraid, ready to be refined by the Master.  Little did I realize then that I was and had been being refined by the fire. I chose to answer that I was ready to submit to His work.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

thoughts for today...

Outside my's dark. it seems like it's always dark. 

I am thinking...of all the tasks I have for the vow renewal. I'm really excited that we are finally going to have a wedding but getting so very nervous that it won't be just right. I'm working really hard to let go some of my expectations. I used to do this to myself at holiday and birthday gatherings. I'd work so hard at making sure it was just right that I made everyone around me miserable. I'm really trying to remember what gets done, gets done and let the rest go. 

From the learning rooms...we are doing a fall unit study and I'm planning on working on the Thankful tree from MOPS this weekend. 

From the kitchen...baking, baking, baking. I did a trial run on cookies yesterday for the reception and this weekend I'll begin preparing for the turkey day pies! 

I am creating...a scarf for Esther 

I am going...for a dress fitting tomorrow. A bit nervous about that. I'm worried the apple crisp season will have shrunk the dress. 

I am reading...What Women Fear by Angie Smith, and Reckless Faith (it's about Peter) by Jo Kadleck. I love how I can see so much of myself in who Peter is. I didn't used to know much about him except that he denied Christ. When my husband said to me one day, "You're a lot like Peter", I decided I needed to know if it was a compliment or insult. I know now he was complimenting me. 

I am hoping...for a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. 

I am hearing...the ticking of two clocks. Sometimes it really grates on my nerves because I feel like they are screaming at me that time is wasting away. Some days it hits me harder than others just how much time has passed in my life. I look in the mirror and try to figure out who that older person is. This summer, I tried to climb a tree, which I once could have easily done, and I just didn't know where this out of shape stiff body came from. Where has my flexible, full of energy, youthful body gone? My mind is still so youthful, it's hard to have these conflicting body parts. 

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... 
we could walk on water if only we could keep our eyes on Jesus. 

print by Brian Jekel

Saturday, November 12, 2011

saturday morning thoughts

Today I take off my wedding ring. This will be the first time I've had it off since the day my husband put it on my finger. I'm actually feeling some anxiety in removing it since I kept it on even in the darkest days of our marriage.  In about a month Randy and I will be renewing our vows and having the wedding we never had. I'm really exited about this.  We are having them checked, cleaned and inscribed with what has become our marriage scripture, 1 Samuel 12:16. It was a exciting discovery of this scripture (yep you'll have to look it up or if you look around, you'll find it on this blog....) because it fit so well with what Randy and I have experienced together.  I will be able to relax once it's back in my possession though.  I have my grandmother's wedding set that I can wear because without my rings I know I'm going to feel naked!!

I can't wait till December when my husband will put the ring back on my finger as a renewed commitment to God and to each other.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God's unfailing love

I just need to share that as I'm trying to write this posting, I'm sitting here listening to my husband sing his prayers. It's music to my soul. I love to hear him play and my Aunt has blessed our house with her piano. Now beautiful music fill our home. It's wonderful to listen to him because he just caresses the keys, playing whatever notes flow from his spirit. His words are not the words of someone else, the music he offers up to our Creator are words pouring from the core of his being, his praise, thanksgiving, deepest prayers for his family and friends. It brings a sense of peace to our home as he so freely worships. I often feel I'm the most fortunate women because God saw fit to place this man in my life.

When I look back on the last seven years of my life, I'm amazed at the mountains I've sat upon and the depths of the valleys I've crawled through. I'm humbled that God has been with me in each of those places.

I attended the Women of Faith conference this weekend in Rochester. If you ever get the opportunity to go, I strongly recommend it. As a friend said, I was "sweetly broken".  I get into complacent places in my walk with God, thinking all is well right now, nothing significant to really work on at the moment (like my paralyzing fears aren't significant). As Jesus asked Peter, "Are you still so dull?"  Yepper, I am still that dull. Just when I'm comfortable in my unchallenged life, God smacks me up side the head. Through this weekend, He's revealed some more of the things I'm being asked to look at and work though, and I'm beginning to realize I'm actually happier in the storm. As I look back at the valleys I've been in, I can see growth through each storm.

Now let me digress for just a moment...when I say I'm happier in the storm, I don't mean having a drama filled life. I cherish the peace and quiet of my home and family. I mean those tough places in your life, the times you're sinking into the water, reaching out to Jesus to save you. Those places that grow your faith and trust in Him. Those places where you wonder, "Are you there God, really by my side??" and He shows you that He is indeed right there. I've been there with my marriage, my kids, my faith, my past and my wounds. The storm is typically painful but the other side is always breathtaking.

I had a moment of allowing the enemy a grip on me. As most know, I've had an abortion. I've found forgiveness, healing and the release from the guilt and shame of my abortion. But this weekend I had a moment, frankly a moment that took me by surprise, where I felt all that shame again. The guilt held me glued to my seat. One of the speakers was taking a moment to recognize all the moms in the stadium that had lost babies. She asked us to stand. My heart started pounding, my hands were shaking and I stayed glued to that seat. Surly, if I stood, the spot light would turn and point right at me and I'd be ask to leave as a fraud. I could faintly hear God telling me I had a right to stand but that voice was drowned out by the enemy yelling in my ear that I had no right. I'm so very thankful for my dear friend sitting next to me. I couldn't really hear God's voice but He used her hand to give me a slight shove up. Without me saying one word she sensed my struggle and reached over to encourage me to stand up. In her touch I could feel God's loving embrace. His words of love and forgiveness speaking to my soul that I had a right to stand. I had lost a child. It was an affirmation of His unfailing love in the face of my brokenness. It was a moment that reminded me that God is always with me but the enemy is always prowling.

This weekend has also brought to a head my struggle with my fears and anxiety. I've got mixed feelings about diving deeper into this. I do look forward to the storm, in overcoming this grip on me because I know the other side will be beautiful. However, I know I have to overcome something that has been a part of me my whole life and that is scary to face. I'd write more on it but I'm still processing it and dissecting it in prayer and with my husband.

I know for sure, His love is unfailing and He WILL walk with me through this.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

lesson learned

FREEDOM....I'm shouting that word like Lighting McQueen in Cars when he thinks he's free from Radiator Springs.  

In my analogy he doesn't get too far before he runs out of gas and is still captive to the town so logic should say that that could happen to me, right?  I'm praying that scene was already played out last week. I had my moment of yelling "freedom" as I drove from the mechanic and my car died before getting it back home! So I'm praying that this fix is the "one" that will keep me mobile.

Now I do believe my lesson has been learned to find a balance between being home and being active away from the home. I hope my hubby will help keep me accountable if I begin to fill that time up again. It's been wonderful being home. I've gotten so much done in the house. More than I have the last 6 months together. I'm feeling at peace and finally rested. However it came with a hard lesson for me, when God calls me to clear my schedule, I better not fill it back up with activities for my daughter instead!