He Loves Me Like Christ

11 Dec

I lay in bed til early morning watching shadows on our bedroom wall. No sleep came. After my last post, I’ve slowly felt myself “thawing out.” Maybe I’m not quite as numb as before. Maybe writing is my release.

Parts of this early “un-numbing” process have been fun. Laughter has been neglected around this busy house lately. How often do I go throughout the day offering the boys half-hearted smiles? When’s the last time I (you) really laughed? I’ve intentionally looked for joy.

I’ve also allowed myself to cry. Ugly, curl up in the corner of the closet cry. It’s been a long time. My emotions, laughter and tears, have been bottled up. Afraid to release. Afraid to enjoy life. Afraid to admit pain. The floodgates have opened!

It’s weird. All of it. I feel a little psycho writing this. But it’s a journey. And like all other journeys we’ve been on, I’m finding Christ’s presence sweet and His love consistent.

I’m also writing to share a little love with my hubby. Over the past few months he has lived with an emotional mess. I can’t count the number of times I’ve clammed up and chosen silence. Or the number of times he’s held me while I fell asleep. Just this week he’s put things aside to be near me; to be close when I needed it.

My natural inclination has always been to run. That’s why there’s numbness now. But Jeremy has always ran after me. He’s turned the car around and drove back home. He’s called me back on the phone. He’s never given up on me; on our marriage.

No, life hasn’t been easy. No, our marriage hasn’t been a bed of roses. But Jeremy has loved me faithfully. He’s loved me like Christ. I’ve seen the Gospel in him. He’s lived Ephesians 5:25 for our kids-“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

This quote from Ann Voskamp has spoken volumes-“The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation.”

For Jeremy’s consistent love…for the Father’s perfect love…I am so thankful. They are gifts from above.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

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photo (9)

What Grace Does When Life Makes You Numb

4 Dec

Numb. That’s the word that sums up me in 2014. Sometimes fear can make you choose numbness rather than pain.

I felt myself go numb when we got the referral for Esther. Yes, there was joy beyond words. But there was also fear…what if her birthmom changed her mind. So I chose cautious love until things felt safe.

The numbness grew deeper when the little pink line showed up on that white stick. Jeremy held me-reminded me this was good news. Can we really handle this?

My Aunt died in July. I could barely grieve through the numbness. I questioned why I barely cried. It just hurt too much so I closed more of myself off. I let other parts go numb.

Jeremy’s job changed later in the year. It wasn’t a big change but one nonetheless and watching him wonder and wait, I grew numb.

Things went bad with the renters in our house out of town. There have been bills and court. I sat in that courtroom numb. I balanced the checkbook numb. It was all too much.

Finally, I felt myself go numb as we sold our house here in Durham. The future is bright. This is best for our family. But packing boxes and selling things…numb some more.

All of this hit me out of nowhere the other day. Sure 2014 has held bright spots. For goodness sake, there’s a beautiful little girl sleeping peacefully across the hall. We’ve laughed and made amazing memories this year. The boys are healthy and happy.

But a part of me lies dormant. It’s asleep to true joy. It’s frozen; protecting itself from pain.

I want to throw my hands in the air, worship freely, and breathe deeply of the grace that is always there. I want to really live this abundant life that Christ came to give. I want to live fully alive, fully in love, fully His.

He chips away at my numbness. Not with rules but with Love. I tell Him about my fears and He understands. I lay out all my questions and He listens. He woos me with love. And I feel myself coming alive again. A little at a time. A little every day.

Life doesn’t have to be mundane. It can be miraculous. That’s Who we serve. That’s Who loves us.

I choose to wake up to the beauty that is Christ. I choose to bask in the beauty of His love and grace. In years like 2014 and whatever may be ahead.

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)

FullSizeRender She’s tangible grace to me every day.

IMG_0170 Cutting down our Christmas tree.

IMG_0201 Let the moving of ornaments begin.=)

Is today somehow holy?

17 Nov

On a particularly long day I wrote this in my journal…

This…this fixing meals and correcting anger and cleaning rooms…it’s holy work. I don’t want it to be.

It seems holy work should be visible work. I want others to recognize what I do. I need them to declare it’s holy.

But Jesus’ years on earth turned that upside down. His holy work-the most holy-was laying down His crown, serving the broken, loving sinners, sacrificing His life. That’s holy work. That’s what He did for me.

Can’t I be content here? Tired maybe but content? Can’t I look into those little faces and believe that this, even this, in this place we call home, this is holy work?

God, help me to see what You see and long only for Your well done.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

photo 1 (6) Ready for a cold morning of soccer

photo 2 (6) This unruly blonde head of hair greets me every morning

photo 3 (3) Here’s to homeschool (and crazy boys)

When the Moon becomes the Sun

6 Nov

We rode the bridge over the lake. It was dark. I expected to see nothing. Strained my eyes in the darkness.

But there was a reflection. The trees outlined the sides of the water in dark shadows. I could follow their pattern. The moon was doing the sun’s work.

And I realized afresh that He’s always there. Like shadows at night. Proclaiming His glory. Reminding me He’s in control. In the sunlight type days. In the midnight type ones.

Because God forsook His Son on the cross, He will never forsake me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

photo (1) (And this is how packing goes in our house…my boxes are being re-purposed!)

The Unnecessary…

3 Nov

I’m sitting down to type this after eating Halloween candy for lunch. Bless. Since my last post about pulling away, I’ve had several people stop and ask me for clarification. To each one I had no answer. I just knew God was calling me to step away. To give a little more space during this busy time.

I expected God to put His finger on the usual: Facebook, Blogging, Certain foods. That’s how it worked before Esther came. But this time the decision to pull away came before the clarification. So I waited. Kept eating candy. Kept checking Facebook. Kept thinking about this blog. And kept reading the “One Thousand Gifts devotional” which I referenced last week.

Here’s what I recently read:

Devotion 9-“What if instead of discounting the current moment, the uncontrollable, the simply given-what if I counted it- and on the God who controls it all? What if all our running around is only our trying to run away from God-the great I AM, present in the present moment?”

Devotion 10-“Calm. Haste makes waste. Life is not an emergency. Life is brief and it is fleeting, but it is not an emergency.”

And verses like these:

Psalm 131:2-“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.”

I Corinthians 7:29,31-“What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short…For this world in its present form is passing away.”

Not to mention I’ve been plodding through Karen Ehman’s “Let It Go: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith” for months now.

I’m a realist who understands there are tons of things to get done every day and tons more that get pushed on til tomorrow. I’m the one who didn’t have time to fix lunch for myself today and instead ate candy after candy after candy.

But I’m equally confident that God is telling me to pull away from the unnecessary right now. (That word itself is so vague and changes from person to person. I’m sure my list would look way different than yours.)

Bottom line-I want my soul to be quiet, resting in Him during the next couple months. I want the boys to see Mom worship while working to get things packed. I want to experience Him in more intimate ways.

So I’m making lists and crossing things off. Not things I’ve done but things I’m just not gonna do. Things I will be brave enough to say no to when “people pleasing me” would rather say yes. And pray for wisdom to know what those things are.

Let’s run hard after Him by stilling ourselves in His love. By resting in the peace the cross offers. He really will prove to be enough.

And these are some of my “NECESSARIES”:

photo 3 She always smiles like this after finishing her bottle.

photo 4 Yes homemade yeast rolls!

photo 2 (1) Bedtime reading with Daddy

photo 1 (1) Roaming the woods with their friend.

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