Tuesday, November 27, 2012

woot woot!

Can I get a woot woot!
Went through Thanksgiving and our 12th wedding anniversary, and they were wonderful! 
We didn't do anything big for either, in fact they were insanely laid back. For Thanksgiving we got Chinese take-out, stayed in PJ's most the day, until it was time to go to the movie theater to see Wreak it Ralph. We were just a happy family. Not we-are-just-trying-to-get-over-some-really-tough-crap while still straining to be a happy family. Nope. Just happy. That's it. It was fantastic. And it was the same thing with our wedding anniversary. Real laid back. Decorated the house for Christmas with the kids. Watched some TV. Laughed a lot. Just enjoying being married. 
Can God take a hot mess of a marriage and turn it around? Even when it looks hopeless? Oh yeeaah He can! He can turn it around, flip it upside down and inside it out. 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 30:11-12

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
 Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

oh no anything but the "look"

I forgive. I forgave. Only through Gods strength. Its true what they say, its the hardest and simplest thing you will ever do. Yet pain remains. Hmmmm why? What did I forget to do?

It has been dawning on me that I have yet to forgive myself. I hold myself accountable. I guess I never had thought about it before. But it makes sense, I'm the type of person that will do it myself, whatever "it" is, I do not need help. But I need help now. God in all is wonderful awesome wisdom did not make me to handle any part of this life on my own. He is breaking me, piece by piece and damn it hurts. I have been making it so much harder on myself that it needs to be. I have been fighting every inch every day for two years.

I was talking with a friend on the phone the other day and she mentioned her friend who is dealing with major betrayal. She suggested to her friend getting out and meeting new people and opening up might help her. How talking might help her. While she was telling me this, I FELT this woman's heart, even though I barely know her. It was not her sin, yet she has to hand it repeatedly over to God her father. The dirty feeling that won't go away. The anger at herself for not knowing what was happening right under her nose, the inability to shield her children from it. The fear of opening up to women again, for fear of the "look". The look that says "you poor thing." 

I joked with my friend and told her I would prefer anything to getting the "look". And its true. I hate pity. I don't want your help if it means you pity me.

I now see I gotta weird mix of pride and shame going on. I have a sinking feeling pride is skewing my vision, I can't tell the difference between genuine help and pity. Or a friendly face from a gossip.
I can barely look at people if they know any of my secrets. I have actually caught myself trying to cover my own face when my own husband asks how I am. I refuse to put down all of the bogus reasons things were done to me. I know they were bogus, I don't deserve what I'm holding onto yet I wont set them down. I'm still even holding on to the old me, and all the bad things I have done. I know God forgives me, yet I refuse to put down all the snapshots of the awful things I have done.

My heart still holds on to what I cant forgive myself for. 
My head understands this isn't right. 
My God is destroying me lately since He is refusing to let this go on much longer. As much as it hurts I know He has to do it. Now that I understand that my shame and sinful pride are keeping me silent I have no excuse. I clearly FELT that other woman's shame, and yet at the same time I clearly SAW her need to release it. 
I have released others, its time I let God release me too. 
Time to get my head and heart aligned and moving in the same direction!

Hey God, I finally see what I think you have been trying to show me. I do understand I need to open up. Please show me what that looks like.  I am terrified but God please show me how to put down my shame so I can forgive myself, and trade pride for trust and move on. Oh and God please in the mist all this please guard my children. Thank you for loving me so much that you are very patient with my slow learning. Amen.

Psalm 34:5
 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Just got home from lunch with DH and the youth pastor from our church. We went to lunch so I could explain why I could no longer lead with college girls. I'm suppose to be leading middle schoolers and my co-leaders were 18-20. I quickly learned I just cant do that age group. I'm still jacked up. I can't sit for more than a few minutes with a woman that age because all it does is send me right back to two years ago. The endless prattle of pointless crap that they think is the end of the world doesn't help either. Fucking super. I'm more messed up than I originally gave myself credit for. Lovely.

So sitting there trying to explain to this confused guy why I'm so messed up was about as fun as getting teeth pulled. DH stepped in to finish explaining for me. I'm upset with myself because that made me mad. How he could just sit there and so calmly explain how he butchered, mangled and finally killed the old me. "... then I buried her, her dreams, self respect, security, after I went out for a cheese burger." OK so maybe those weren't his exact words, but they were close enough for me. My favorite sentence from today's chat? "She is starting therapy for it next week so I think that will help." I know those words were not meant to hurt me, I know he loves me dearly. But I heard "She is pretty jacked up, she will be seeing someone for it, that way we can stop having uncomfortable situations like this."
I think I need to give myself permission to be mad or sad or something. I'm not completely sure what it is I'm feeling these days. Whatever it is sucks, I know that much. When I forgave others I forced myself to have no feelings on anything. Well forgiving them releases them. And me.... if I let it. I haven't let it yet. I think there is some work to do. And I'm afraid to go back and do the work that needs to be done. Two years sounds like forever to me, shouldn't I be over this crap by now? Makes me want to scream but it would probably seriously disturb the kids, and the cat.

I only told the youth pastor what he needed to know. Total minimum.  I wish that was all there was to deal with. Ha I just made myself giggle! I cant believe I just used the phrase "all there was" like 10 years of a husband with a hidden life wasn't much. I wonder if that poor guy is second guessing himself on having myself and DH around kids at all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

totally get it... wait.. no, nope don't get it

At my old church very few people noticed if we weren't there on a Sunday. Or if I looked upset. I can count on my hand how many people even looked for us or asked when we left for good.  That same small group of people were really the only thing I missed when we did go. Well I do sort of miss blending into the crowd there. People would say hello but never press for more, and I liked that.  Being in a huge unpushy crowd is a lot like being by yourself, just more to look at. Its comfortable, like walking around a large city, lots of people but you can still think.

This new church well... its different. And with me the jury is still out if that's a great thing or a run screaming the other way thing. They notice if one or all of us is missing. They start convos with DH and my kids. With me it would be almost funny if it didnt suck so bad. They try and I shut it down. Its like a reflex I cant even help it. My son busted his face pretty good in his preschool class there last Sunday and today the childrens pastor called to check on him. Pretty normal church people stuff. But then she started chatting like we were old friends and I sat on my end of the phone like a boob.

DH and I are starting to serve in the middle school room and I was so excited about it. I adore kids and really love hanging out and listening to kids my oldest daughters age. Thought it would be a perfect fit for me. I got placed with two very sweet young women to co-lead a group with. One of them reminds me way to much of R. I dont know why. But there it is. 19 years old, sweet but sort of a twit. "Blah blah blah since I'm in college." and "Blah blah blah since I'm in college I know because I'm in college and I know everything about everything ever because I'm so grown and in college blah blah blah this boy giggle and he is so great giggle and blah blah blah." All I hear is R rambling on about DH. 

Sunday morning I let the youth pastor know I rather lead a group with my husband. But no it couldn't be that easy could it? He asks "Sure, but why? Are you OK?"  Errrr yeah? OK no, no I'm not.
So tomorrow we will meet at Chick-fil-a to explain changing groups. And I'm not really sure why. Why do we need to tell him our old stuff? This whole open thing this church is all about is hard. Although I sometimes think I get it I guess I really don't  Nope I don't get it. And I'm nervous. And I'm a mess. I feel awful that I can't work with that girl.

So.... still what the heck should we talk about with the youth pastor tomorrow? Maybe I shouldn't unload anything on him, that might be weird and way too much info for a chicken lunch. Hmmmmmm. Like I said before I really don't know with this church. They say to be open but I guess I'm so bad at that, that I don't know what that is suppose to look like. Who do I be open with? When is the time to share crap like that? And what all do you share once you have decided its time to open your mouth? And why do they want to know, why is that a healing thing? And who is going to stick around after all that uncomfortable crap has been laid out on the table. This is no fun since I don't know any of the answers. Bleh.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

don't give up

I want to be happy again. 
I want to be the happy-over-every-little-thing person again. Even when DH was still a total drunk mess and we were on welfare with no car, I was happy, like really happy and loved life. I sang songs and danced with my kids everyday. We played. Everyday. I loved being a stay at home mom, the house was always neat, because I enjoyed caring for my family and every chore that went along with it. I loved any reason to make a regular day special. And holidays? They were like the jackpot. Even if something was bad enough to make me cry, it never lasted long, something always cheered me up. That woman is gone and I don't know where she went. 

I haven't been able to shake the thought the past few days that shes never coming back. DH says shes there and I have to have hope. He can see the change and he prays against it. I pray, but secretly I think maybe something inside of me broke and it cant be fixed. 

Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

This is the verse I have been repeating to myself, it has been stuck in my head ever since I read it the other night. I was talking to God about it this morning after we got home from soccer games. I was telling him how I don't see anything in me changing. Telling Him the holidays are coming and try as I might I just cant make myself care. I cant make myself care about hardly anything lately, and it worries me. Here God take these worries please.
Then my phone buzzes with a text.

Have you heard of that song called don't give up


I will email it to you. Its full of hope

I could use that right now. Thank you, I will listen tonight when I have a chance to get on computer

I'll send it now. I just heard it again.

The email~

I was going through a funk and this song came up at the right moment recently and it really ministered to me., 

It still actually ministers...A lot to overcome ya know, but in the scripture it says "I will never leave you or forsake you" God is in control. 

If you every need to pray let me know, Ive been known to pray and intercede. 

The friend that sent the text and email is my daughters coach. She has no idea about anything going on with me. She really would have no reason to send me something to encourage, no reason to offer to intercede.  

I just listened to this song for the first time tonight. 
Wow God.... 

There is another line to the scripture from earlier, something that I haven't been repeating to myself with the first half. I will be now. 

Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Something in me did break.
I cant fix it myself.
I will hand my worries to my Father.
I will thank Him for all He has already done.
One day I will experience Gods peace.
He will guard my heart.
I cant give up.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I think my "want to" is broke

My house currently has piles.
There is a giant pile upstairs in the hallway in the window nook. There is a small pile in each of my daughters rooms, one in my bedroom closet and one small one started near my sons closet. The piles are from going through everything and getting rid of what we dont need, fit or use anymore.
I also have frames all over the house on the walls. Half full. Don't want to put a picture in if it isn't just the right one. Redid middle child's room yesterday. I redid the downstairs bathroom two days ago. Redid master walk-in-closet last week, (that one I'm pretty proud of, its like a small dressing room.) Redid the living room last month and the classroom as well.

DH teases me all the time and says every 3 months or so I get antsy and have to rearrange the house, and get rid of things. And its totally true. Half of me wants to settle and make this house a home, and the other half of me is constantly trying to downsize so it will be easier to move. Its draining, but I cant help myself.

Ever since DH and I decided we would try to stay in this area and then extend his orders, the antsy in me is in overdrive. We have just started our fourth year here. In Irish Bastard land that might as well be 100 years.  Other than one six year stint when I was a kid I have never stayed in one place more than a year and a half, usually less than that. DH happily talks about buying a house to settle here maybe forever. FOREVER? Like forever and ever?? I get itchy and can almost hear the click of a lock to a cage.

I want to want to settle, but as I have heard Beth Moore say, "I think my want to is broke."  I can see the pros of staying here. My kids have friends here. My daughter goes to a middle school that is so perfect for her, and she loves it there. They are learning so much at church and would be sad to leave it. I don't want them to inherit the drifter gene that I seem to have. This also seems like a nice area to buy a house. The major cons would be all the bad memories and fears of running into people I don't want to see. Like my brother in law who lives maybe 20 mins away.

It seems every time I open my bible, or listen to a sermon, or read a book, or pray, I'm getting the same message over and over again. Stay where you are planted.  Add to that trying to learn to be more open and real the itch to pack is like a physical force.

I have been praying on and off (truthfully halfheartly) to learn to be more open and start those relationships I think God wants me too. Other than getting a little ballsy two weeks ago and sharing this blog with some Christian women I admire I haven't done much. I figure that was an easy way to let some people into my world, but when I signed in and saw hits for the blog were in the hundreds just for those two weeks, I freaked a bit. Mathematically eight people shouldn't make numbers like that, so sharing felt like a ginormous mistake.

And why all the sudden are perfect strangers and people I don't know that well telling me all their personal problems? Even on the first day of our new homeschool co-op I had mothers I just met unloading on me. I didn't mind they seemed nice enough, but other than listening I wasn't sure what to do. I cant fix it, dang I cant even fix me. Can we just talk about the classes for the kids now? Or how about the weather?

Hey God, you and I both know I was raised by a woman who drifted from spot to spot. My whole life she rarely attached herself to anything or anyone. Now she is in her mid 60s and has just now finally started to settle. God I don't want that same disconnected spirit! I don't want to keep the world at arms length. I want my want to fixed please. I promise God to stay where you have put me. I wish I could promise not to pace back and forth while here, but I can't. Please Father take this restlessness in my soul away. Oh and please let me know what the heck to say the next time someone tells me their life story... since you seem to keep sending them my way. Not trying to point the finger, just an observation that's all. I love you, thanks for being the one thing I could never ever walk away from.

Monday, August 27, 2012

word slapped with church talk

Time to learn to be authentic and transparent.
I really dislike using "christian~ese" words, but it doesn't make the statement any less true.
I am transparent on this blog, but how hard is that really? I write it anonymously, I don't have to sit face to face with anyone to dig deeper.
Wait. If I am deciding to be all truthful, even on this blog I hold back. I have more, but usually I don't even trust talking to myself about it.
I have been feeling convicted about lack of growing in my walk with God.
Well lookie I just cant help but bust out all the church talk this morning. Perhaps I'm over caffeinated.

God has been doing what He loves to do, throwing things in my way to alert me. This time its to start building relationships again. I basically told Him no.  
Why? Because I'm a stubborn brat.  
Why are you a brat Irish?? I DON'T KNOW! Sheesh.
Really you would think I would have learned my lesson by now. God will continue to remind me, to correct me, to parent me. Its not like He has never ~ broken my foot... twice ~ took away my wheels ~ took away a flight home, BTW I'm still scratching my head over that one. Dad has totally showed me over and over again when He is done counting to 3, He will send me to the time out chair. Jonah eating fish anyone?

I have been evaluating everything lately, myself included. And I have noticed a few things. I have noticed how in the past year my husband as become more and more open. With everyone. He is not ashamed of his faith, where he has been or how God has healed him. I have noticed that the more open he becomes the more I shut down. I don't want to tell the world what we have been through. I don't want to risk people looking me and my family over and deciding they don't like what they see. I don't want to get close enough to care for people, that way it won't matter if, and when they don't care for me. I have noticed that the more I close myself off the more difficult it is to teach my children about God. I am not dense enough not to connect the dots.

DH and I have started training to lead in the middle school groups at church. So we miss a month of sermons when we serve. I listen to the sermons we miss on pod casts. One was about how even after you forgive there can be pain left over. The pastor said "Don't let the pain start to define who you are". Wow that blew my mind. That knocked around in my head for like two weeks. I knew the thought wasn't going away so I should do something about it. I mention it to DH as service was wrapping up a few weeks back.

He was super excited that I was ready for help and literally seconds after telling him he was jogging up the isle and chasing the pastor down. He was so excited he also did all the talking. No not embarrassing at all, nah not even a little. What a butthead. But as it turns out that was the first step to listening to what God has been asking me to do. I ended up making an appointment to talk with one of the pastors. Who recommended talking with a councilor, who I will see later next week. He said "unpacking" everything will help free me up to move on in my faith. I'm nervous to go, but I will go anyway. I know its time to get better. I have talked to DH about it and also my small group leader. I have decided after lots of prayer its time to take a step back from small group. My family will continue to go. I have realized that I was trying to play catch up with my husband. He is in a different place in his walk with God right now, I cant keep running to try to catch up, its wearing me out. Its also depressing when you try to compare your walk of faith with anothers walk. I would never force my kids to play catch up with each other. My seven year old can read but I don't demand she read novels like her 12 year old sister. To do so would make her dislike reading, and cause her to stop wanting to learn at all. And I think that's what God is trying to show me with my husband. He is reading novels, and that's great, and even though I'm still reading Fancy Nancy that's OK too.

Last night I decided I will stop telling God no. I am going to make a concentrated effort to focus on God. I will get myself centered in Him and only Him. I will do the work of building relationships again (even though I really really don't want to). I will because that's what He wants me to do. I will because to find and move forward in my ministry, I have to. I will because I refuse to hold my family back when I can see them starting to fly.

I will embrace the christian~ese and take steps to get all authentic and transparent up in huur. (FYI its funner if you say that in your most gangsta voice.) 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Awww c-c-crrrrap!

Well. I am totally homesick today. Which frankly for me is weird. Yeah I mean I miss people and I miss places, but almost never to the point where it really bothers me. Today it bothered me. A lot.

We had a retirement to go to this morning. Well crap... were are my slacks? I no longer own even one pair of dress pants? I have a few nice tops, but nothing to go with them. How the heck does that even happen? I mention the predicament to my oldest who is up getting ready for school. She offers her black slacks she wears for chorus. Ah ha! Thanks honey! I dart to her room, happy we are close to the same size. I find the pants. She had hemmed them with duct tape, which I pulled off since I'm still 2 or 3 inches taller than her. The tape left gooey white smears on bottom of the black pants. OK that's a no go. So time to tear up my closet again. Hmmmmm lets see I have cocktail dresses, not appropriate. What else? Jeans, lots of jeans. Yoga pants, sweats, and some Dickes. I tell hubby I cant go, I have nothing to wear.

Soon after the tears start. I suddenly miss my old friends. I miss my tattoo covered, Dickie wearing, hairy, drinking, smoking, skating, blue collar, swearing, always inappropriate friends. I miss fitting in, not having to act a certain way, look a certain way. I miss feeling at ease, totally myself, super loved, knowing they all have my back and I have theirs. I never had to explain myself, we all for the most part come from the same place, seen many of the same things and lived to tell the tale. I got them, and they got me. No matter what they would still be there at the end of the day. 

Not finding something to wear normally does not start the water works. Not owning dress slacks normally wouldn't send me on a homesick binge. I dont know maybe I'm extra hormonal today, maybe PMSing a little early, who the heck knows. All I know is it really hit me today, hard.

Military life has been easy for me when referring to the moving aspect. It wasn't hard for me to leave home. It wasn't hard for me to meet people once we settle in. I make friends, good friends but moves happen. I will miss them and keep in touch with the ones that have turned into family, and carry on make new friends, no big deal. Well.... I used to anyway.

People person me has vanished. I suppose its a trust issue. I think the past is trying to kick my ass. Everything that I have found out in the past couple of years for sure has got to be part of the trust thing. Trust took a big hit when some friends stopped talking to me when I decided to stay with my husband. Gotta tack on things from farther back in my past that I had never dealt with until last year. All added up I feel like a freak show from a bad Jerry Springer re-run.

I feel like I just dont fit anywhere. I have lost the ability to relax, my guard is up even when I wish I could put it down. Put me in a room full of people and most the time I have a strong fight or flight feeling.

 Now we are at our new church and meeting lots of new people. I love the church, and am totally scared of the people. How messed up is that? In the past two years I have developed a stutter when I'm nervous. Isn't that just the best? Just turned 31 and just started stuttering 2 years ago. Every time someone wants to talk to me I mostly shut down.... I dont want to sound like Forest Gump. And the bonus to make my spanking new stutter even better? I'm super fidgety, mostly to keep myself for just getting up and walking away. Yuppers, just freaking fantastic.

This has not always been a problem, I'm a very social person. Being in new situations and around new people is where I thrived. Even now I am OK once I get to know the person, old perky talkative me is usually right there. But its this whole new shut down me that I'm not sure how to move past.

I have made a few good friends here over the years. In the past few months most have moved away. Two more are preparing to move, one at the end of the month, hence the retirement this morning. And the other at the end of this week, that one will be the hardest. I am myself around her. I will miss her tremendously.
Feels like one of the last places I really fit here is leaving.

At small group tonight we talked about prayer for a few minutes. And I was completely honest when I said I talk to God throughout the day. Because for me talking to God is easier than talking to most people. I am so thankful that God is there 24-7, I never have to worry about trust with him, I fit with him just perfect and I dont even stutter.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

is there a special Benedryl for this?

I found some other blogs, others who are walking where I walk. They are blogs about this same road of relearning everything you ever thought was true about marriage, loving, and living. Sometimes even relearning how to take calm breaths so you dont freak out and hyperventilate.
I have searched in the past, but never really came across anything. I haven't searched in a long time. But I did search tonight. I was hoping to find answers. And halleluiah I found one! Right off the bat even. Its written by a man who survived his wife's affair. God healed their marriage, but even years down the road he struggled. They are happily married now, but he still struggles. And I have my answer, no I'm not a freak. And other than God Himself, only others that have been through infidelity will ever truly understand. I have added a blogroll on this site to link to other blogs, I have added his. /http://wemadeitblog.blogspot.com/

I searched tonight because lately it seems like the past has been chasing me down. I am in love with my husband, we are getting along great, but yet I struggle. I fight it thinking surely enough time has past where I should be "over it" right?? Then why do I sometimes wake in a sweat, same old nightmares? The ones where some lady I dont know is running off with my husband and taking my kids with her? Things send me back. It happened on Easter and has been off and one since then. Someone had mentioned maybe I was mostly worried what that women from my past had thought of me, but it was more about what I thought of me. I see that woman every other week now and she doesn't bother me in the least, I even stop to chat, I'm starting to enjoy her family. When I saw her the first time it stirred all those old things to the surface, it stirred the old me to the surface. The one I try to forget, the one who didn't like herself much. The problem is I dont want to ever go back to how I used to feel almost all of the time. Nothing but a stupid loser, a failure, an ugly frump, someone my husband had to marry because we had a baby.

Some days it feels like everything has been good for so long, this good stretch must almost be over. That my fairy tale ending will be ripped away from me. Lately its a little more than I can handle. I feel a little nuts that its seemingly popping up out of nowhere. Sunday at church felt suffocating, I totally had the flight or fight feeling the whole time. Then to make matters worse some lady I barely know had to sit right next to me as I'm trying not to break down and all this woman is doing is trying to make small talk. Oh hurray now she is leaning into my face asking if I'm OK. Oh lady please go away, I do not do well with people in my personal space as it is, and right now it feels like your sitting on my freaking lap. Cool service is over, excuse me as I basically jump over your busy-body butt and run out the door. I hate feeling trapped like that. Its been happening at home as well.

I am familiar with this feelings, they all started after D-day. I wonder if these little bouts of flare ups are something that's to be expected for the rest of my life?? I notice sometimes its almost like an allergy. Something triggers it. Now I figure I wont be able to spot all the triggers but maybe I will get to where recognize some so I can avoid them. One I know for sure is the D-day anniversary which is coming up. But the coming up to day I'm starting to think is the worse part. Its the part where I see where I was totally oblivious and see where my kids were totally secure and I see what I didn't see then, I see where my husband was. And who he was with.

Its such a sharp distance from where we are now. Some days its so far removed and I could probably openly talk about it without so much as a twang. Then other days its like it happened last week, I can barely breath.

Friday, May 18, 2012

miracle for all?

I went to a church small group last night. We were discussing miracles when one of the leaders asked the question, who do you think miracles are more for, believers or nonbelievers?
Wow that question got me thinking.

The passage we were looking at last night was  Mark 5:21-43 click here to read passage.

Jesus has been asked to go save a mans little girl. She was dying. So off he goes. But it wasn't just Jesus walking along to go to the girl, it says how large crowds pressed in around him. During all this commotion a woman gets near enough to Jesus to touch his clothes in hopes of being healed. A miracle happens and she is healed instantly. Jesus stops the crowds, and asks who touched him (as if he doesn't already know).

Who was this miracle for?
Was it for his faithful disciples? Was it for the followers in the crowd who believed and wanted to learn more? For the people that just tagged along because they were curious? For the nonbelievers that just happened to be milling around as the Jesus parade went by? Or was it solely for the woman who was healed?

That day I figure the disciples were in a full blown, all business, get it done, type of mode. Jesus was needed somewhere and it was life or death. There are giant crowds literally pressing in around them, which I'm sure made it very difficult to get anywhere, much less anywhere quickly. They were probably totally focused on the task at hand.
Ugh, dont these people see that we are trying to get our Lord safely across town? I wish they would take the hint and get out of our way, we do not have time for this, we have somewhere more important to be! If one more sweaty person asks me a question I might just slap them....
But then Jesus stops and takes precious time to heal and talk with a woman.  In the passage the disciples even question him a bit,   
“Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 
translation, "Dude why did you stop?!".
Maybe the disciples were the ones who needed to see a miracle. Life will always rush on, there will always be something that feels like it has to get done first, people that feel like they are in your way getting there. Maybe some devoted disciples saw that Jesus thinks its OK to slow down, that he has his own timeline, our schedules dont always line up with His.

I can imagine the people in the crowd that were so excited to be there with Jesus, so excited they might hear him speak, might learn things to go home to share with their families and friends. They were hoping to see a miracle.
Jesus is headed to heal a dying girl! How exciting, we might see some sweet child saved! Lets go this is going to be great! Wait Jesus stopped.... and he is talking to her?
The woman He healed had been bleeding for 12 years. She would have been a complete outcast, no one would have wanted to be around her, and the passage adds the fact that she is broke.
Maybe these excited new believers needed to see the miracle. Jesus will just as soon heal a homeless unwanted misfit, as a rich mans young daughter.  
"Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

There were the curious who were just there because their friends dragged them there.
Ok so I've heard a lot about this Jesus guy, I guess I will check it out.
What about the nonbelievers who didn't even want to be apart of the crowd that day?
Then BAM a woman is healed! There was no weird magic words, no money being passed around, no giant show. Jesus just saw a suffering woman and completely healed her!
Maybe it was the curious and nonbelievers that were the ones who needed to witness the miracle. There was no slight of hand. He is real. So real that a woman reached out and touched Him and was healed.

Then there of course is the woman herself, the one who was healed.
Can you imagine being the one caused the giant crowd to stop?
Oh no, they will know it was me. Now Jesus is looking for me. I took the healing that was meant for that little girl. He has more important places to be, his healing was wasted on me.... 
Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done.
 Maybe this woman needed to see the miracle. Not just the physical healing of her body. But the healing of her spirit. She is precious in his sight, he loving calls her is own,  “Daughter, your faith has made you well."

I think perhaps He preformed the miracle for all of them.
Seriously who doesn't need to be touched by God?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

still so crippled

Last night for the first time in a long time I fell asleep crying my eyes out.
Let me back up a bit, since I feel like it all just snuck up on me.

Yesterday was Easter. We celebrated at our new church which I love. DH the kids and I went with my cousin who was with us for the holiday. Our next door neighbor, and her son also went with us, she has been going weekly for a few weeks now. And DH invited someone from work to go.

The man he invited used to be stationed with us at our last base years ago. He used to drink and party with him. That really doesn't bother me, I am confident this man and any habits he may still have won't affect my husband or his faith. The mans wife on the other hand isn't on the top of my list of people to hang out with. Ever. She is best friends with one of the women my husband cheated on me with.
Hi God.... I'm afraid seeing these people will affect me, and I'm terrified they will affect my faith, please help.

We arrive at church and DH parks right next to them. I wanted to be OK with what he sprung on me that morning, so I smiled and lead her and her kids to the childrens room. Showed her how to sign them in and where to pick them up. The whole time she was staring at me. I know what she was thinking, she was thinking of all the things her friend had told her. I ignored the stares, smiled and chattered on until we had found all the men and my neighbor in the lobby.
Hey God its me, can you get her to stop looking at me like that? 

We head into the auditorium. We all file into the aisle, I make sure I am towards the front of our line and tug DH behind me, that way I wouldn't have to be near her or make any type of small talk.
Oh no God are they going to keep coming here and sit next to us every week!? I dont know if I could do that, please help...

I decide to focus everything I had on singing with the worship. Then DH tips his coffee over. Oh no, we are NOT about to switch seats around! My cousin who was on one side had to scoot over, so there was an empty sit between us, but other than that no one else had to move, my mini almost-crisis was adverted.
Pay attention to worship and get over yourself woman, I fuss at myself. 

I wanted the past for once not to bother me. With everything in me I wanted it not to bother me, I wanted to not be wondering about the conversation this lady three seats away was bound to have with her friend, my former friend.

But unfortunately the memories were crashing around me, crushing me. God help, please make it stop, we are better now, its not like that now. Help me focus on you Lord.
I wanted to not remember rejoicing with that former girlfriend when she found out she and her husband were expecting another baby. Crying with her when their orders were up and she was moving. She was pregnant and I had just had our third, she wanted the babies to be friends. I gave her a a collage frame with photos of her and me, our husbands, and our kids all piled up together. She called a week after moving, she found out she was having twins! I was so excited for them! I talked to her husband for a minute and he couldn't stop laughing he was so happy, he wished we were neighbors still, with all these kids it would be crazy!
I call right before our move, her husband answers... he sounds like he has been crying.
Is V there I ask.
Its not a good time, he is going to pick her up from hospital, there are no more babies.
Oh no... I'm so sorry, please tell her I promise to call as soon as I get to new duty station.
When I get off phone I cry my eyes out for them.
....but she was the first one to make the call after I move. I talk about it a bit in another post.
I learn about her and my husband. I can do math, that's the month she got pregnant. Those babies could have been MY husbands. And she knows it. It would have been obvious whose babies there were if they were born, my husband is white, her husband is black. Total 50 50 odds.  Tightness in my chest when she admits it, and relief in my heart that she lost them.... I never asked if she miscarried or aborted, I didn't care. I'm not sure I do now...
God! Please, help me! My heart is still so sick and in need of help in so many ways. God I'm mad he brought these people here! I'm mad I remember! I'm mad this women three seats down knows things even I don't. I want to have my heart line up with what I know is right and good. They need you as much as I do, you love them as much as you love anyone. You loved those babies regardless of.... I cant even finish my prayer God.... it makes me sick. I'm so ashamed. Help me.

 Then a song got played that just wreaked me. Carbon Ribs by John Mark McMillan.

At that moment for some reason it felt like my cousin that passed away should be there. I could almost hear him laughing and joking with me about that woman, slapping my knee.  I looked to my right and saw the empty seat between me and his big brother, and realized he should be there, that's his spot, like it was left open for him.

Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number each of our days so that we may grow in wisdom.

The verse from Psalms fills my head, pushing everything else out.
My very direct answer to my prayer to stop focusing on some woman three seats to my left. Remembering someone who should be here but isn't, gave a glaring reminder of how short life is. It did its job of helping me to remember to number my days and be grateful for where I was and who I have in my life. I was less annoyed at DH for inviting this family from our past, I was proud of him wanting to share his faith with people who need it for themselves.

And the song Carbon Ribs continued to play.
And one day when I'm free
I will sit
The cripple at your table

I realize how much farther I have to go in my healing.
Gods reminder for me to number my days and to be grateful really stuck with me the rest of the day.
As the rest of Easter day wound down there were no more thoughts of this woman or being annoyed.  We enjoyed a great sermon. Spent a little time at the beach. Gave lots of hugs when it was time for our cousin to leave. There was a egg hunt and pin the tail on the bunny for the kids at a friends. Relaxing at home, naps and candy. Then before bed we hid eggs for our kids, turned out all the lights, gave them all flashlights and had the best egg hunt ever!

DH and I sat on the couch after our kids were asleep. He was watching t.v. and I was finishing up a book I have been reading called Loving written by Karen Kingsbury. I finish up my book and glance at DH and say "sometimes I just wish we did everything Gods way from the beginning." I didn't mean anything big by it, just sort of wistful, since I just read about a girl who waited for her husband and has loved God and followed Him since she was a small girl.

DH gets angry with me, says what you wish our oldest daughter wasn't born? (She was born 5 months before we were married.)
Of course I'm glad she was born, thats not what I meant! I just wish I had lived for God my whole life and avoided all the messes. She deserved to be born into a whole family.
I ask DH, what you never wish you lived the way God wanted you too sooner?
"I dont bother wasting my time regretting what has already happened."

Now I'm hoping there was some type of miscommunication going on there with that conversation.

But what I heard was he didn't regret anything.  At all.
I ended the conversation and went to our room. Went to bed, and the tears came. I couldn't stop crying. He never came after me, and that made it worse. I fell asleep wishing I had been a girl who had loved God her whole life. That came from a home that had planned her. That feel in love with a man who had wanted no one but her. Whose kids never knew a broken home. That I could bring anyone to church and it wouldn't matter, there would be no crazy story attached to them. That I wasn't so broken that twins lost before birth didn't bother me... not even a little.

I remember the verse God... but I feel like we wasted so many of the days you gave us.
I dont deserve you, and I will someday truly be a cripple at your table.
I know I can't fix the broken places in my heart without you. 
Please help me, Amen

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"...for they dont know what they are doing."

With Easter just a few days away a thought occurred to me while I was falling asleep last night. I was laying there planning fun things to do with my younger two who are homeschooled, no schoolwork for the next two days before spring-break, just fun crafts or recipes. Typical Easter things were formulating in my head, bunny crafts, flower crafts, making little nest snacks with chocolate, coconut and jelly beans.
Of course we had been learning in school the real meaning of Easter, how Christ went to the cross for us and then rose again after three days. My kids know the story, but I wonder how much they really understand it? They are still fairly young, have been fairly sheltered, and the worst sin I imagine they have done is lying.
Hmmmmm..... wait....lying is a biggy.
Wait just a minute...they have stolen too... maybe not a car or robbed a house, but stealing from each other. Stealing is big.
They have coveted... barbies, toy cars, clothes and Lego sets. Coveting is a big ol' ugly one....
Ok so they sin, maybe they understand better than I was giving them credit for.
Maybe I misunderstand, thinking somehow children are immune to ugliness, that Jesus went to the cross only for certain people.

Christ went to the cross, and died a sinners death, yes?
For which sinner? Death for the bigger sins like murder, adultery, cannibalism? Or the more mundane day to day ones? Lying, pride, gluttony? Bible says all sin leads to death. So if it all leads to the same place, with no detours, doesn't that make them all equal? That is not what most people want to believe, they want justice! The murders should die! The people that torture children should die painfully slow deaths! While we are at it throw all the dictators, prostitutes, gays, politicians and people that don't believe the same as us into the fire too!

But no, that's not how it works. All sin leads to death. All of it. We do not get to put them in any special order. Though most people like to pick and choose what they think is the worst.

Gossip. Pride. Vanity. Gluttony. Sarcasm. Judging others.
Those are all socially acceptable, applauded even. And I'm guilty of every last one of those.

But some 2,000 years or so Christ stepped up for us. He who never ever sinned not even a little. He became sin for us. For every ugly thing any person had ever done, or would ever do. He was God in person form, dont you think he had a choice not to go to the cross? He could have zapped the mobs around him all to dust, poof! But He didnt. He went willing, because there was someone he wanted to save, someone was on his mind.

He was thinking of me sitting around gossiping, stuffing my face with chips and judging my neighbors. He was thinking of my ugliness and my death I was headed to, when they were whipping his back. He let men cut his face and head with thorns. He thought about it when he hung on splintery wood, his whole body weight hanging down from spikes in his wrists, he didn't want me hanging there. Instead of thinking about the birds picking at his flesh he thought about me. He thought about you.

Luke 23:34

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

He said that while hanging up on the cross, when he should have been unconscious from the pain. He should have been so humiliated and angry that he changed his mind and came up with plan B, the world gets blown up instead. But instead he hung there trying to breath through the blood dripping down his throat. Finally though, his body could take no more and he died.

But the huge kicker to all of that is, He came back! 
After everything this world had done to Him, he came back! Can you imagine that kind of love?
If people talked about, lied about you, mocked you, would you ever come back after you left them?
If people beat you up in front of a mob, would you come back to give them hope?
What if one of your best friends handed you over to the cops to be put to death? 
Or some guys stripped you butt naked to keep your clothes, then hung out and played games while you died in front of them? Would you come back with love or a baseball bat?
If you had the chance would you want to come back to a place full of those people? I think most people would say screw that, lighting bolts for all zap zap zap! 

Not what Jesus decided to do, He did all that work so he could see them again! He couldn't wait to get back! He wanted them to know, whatever the crime, whatever the ugly, He could beat it all. 

Trust that He can.
Trust that He can for others.
It will change everything.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

dirty bullet

I think perhaps the biggest lesson I learned over the past few years is that everything is a choice.

Your standing next to your husband. You dont see him, but the enemy, YOUR enemy the devil is there. He is always there, waiting, watching looking for the right moment. He sees it, and shoots. He obliviously wants to kill hubby with the sin of adultery, he is the devil after all. He deserved to be shot, he was awful right? But... now listen to what I'm saying, I have walked this trail and seen the traps, let me warn you.  
He shot you both.
He intended to shoot your husband dead on, and is hoping he will die fast due to his sins. But you? He only grazed you trying to get to him right? Your not hurt right?
No he didn't miss. He just wants you to die slower. He doesn't fight fair, those bullets he used are dirty and poisoned. He wants that little wound you have to become infected, beyond the point of help, he wants you to suffer a long and painful death. He has absolutely no mercy for you. He is hoping that by watching you die so slowly, it will eventually kill your kids as well. Maybe it will poison their lives, their future relationships, their children even. Its all just a bonus to him.

Jeez thanks for that Kings Daughter, could you paint an uglier picture please?

John 10:10
The thief comes only so that he can steal and kill and destroy

He isn't like the cartoons make him out to be, the devil isn't just running around trying to make mischief.
The bible talks about the church being the bride and Jesus groom. What better way to hurt a groom than torturing his bride?

Now I understand you had no choice about you or your husband being shot. But you do have choices now. Of course their are the choices about whether to stay or leave. Those aren't the choices I'm talking about, I'm talking about the choice to clean your wound. I figure there are lots of you out there, like me who decided to ignore it. It doesn't hurt that bad. Oh but it will. I ignored my cut for months, and even after I noticed it I decided not to treat it.

I was NOT going to be the victim. It was NOT going to hurt me. I could be fine without hubby, see? Look at me planning dinner dates with girlfriends, giant parties for the kids, out and about getting mani's and pedi's with the ladies.
Choosing not to hurt at all sounds like the strong thing to do. In reality its the fastest way to become hard. You shut that door on feeling unpleasant emotions, you will also be shutting the door on feeling the really great ones to. This personally was my biggest problem with choices. I had to let God show me how to feel again, it was scary not gonna lie.  Taking that lock off my heart was the best thing I could have ever done. Its a freeing feeling knowing I dont have to be fine all the time. 

I hated him. I hated what he did. And I hated the women. Its OK to be mad, its really, really, really OK to be pissed. But please heed my warning, be very careful not to hate. I would scream at my husband and take the lowest digs I could till he cried. Then with venom tell him what a loser he was for crying. Trust me that's a hard one to choose to let go of after you pick it up.

Its not fair! Its true, it isn't fair, not even a little bit. This might be the toughest one, but choosing to focus on the fairness will eat you up in the end.  If you choose on never letting this one go, bitterness will take hold of you. That small graze you got, will become completely infected. The infection acts like a cancer. Its vicious and I have seen it take over lives. Destroying not only the women who chose to hold onto it, but their friendships, family relationships, their childrens attitudes, even their careers.
Think about some of the most unpleasant people you have ever met, I would be willing to bet they let bitterness spread a long time ago. Now they are left permanently infected.

You dont have to be a victim to feel.
You dont have to hate when you are angry.
You dont have torture yourself with all the ways its unfair.
Its your choice. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

a wretch like me...

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be for ever mine.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Everyone knows this song right? Or at very least the chorus. Its one of my favorites, but not because it sounds nice. The story behind it is what I love, and I love sharing it over and over with my kids. Why? Its such a vivid example of how God can change anyone in any situation. Have you ever heard it?

In the 1740's there was a man named John Newton, and he was not what anyone would describe as a good, loving or nice person. To make a very long complicated story short this man was a very cruel slave trader that ran slave ships to and from Africa. "I sinned with a high hand," he wrote, "and I made it my study to tempt and seduce others." In short he loved his job and was good at it, and he loved that others knew it too.

In 1747 his ship was homeward bound and caught in a terrible storm that the crew was sure would kill them all. He converted during the storm, though he admitted later, "I cannot consider myself to have been a believer, in the full sense of the word." He wanted God, but only enough to cover his butt. Afterwards
he continued for a few more years in his profession.

Slowly he started to see things differently. As a slave trader he was trying to "promote the life of God in the soul" to both his crew and his African cargo. Oh I'm real sure his newly captured slaves really wanted to know about his God, yeah right. It took many years but he finally become so completely disgusted with slave trade as a whole, he quit. Now what must that have looked like to everyone in his world? The circles he ran in? Rich, top of his game.... and he quits? He had hit a point where he cared more what God thought over what his peers thought.

In 1764 he was ordained into ministry and took a parish in Olney in Buckinghamshire.
Its there that he wrote Amazing Grace, as a poem.
Newton had wrote those famous words from personal experience.

Now why would I love this seeming sad story so much and make it a much talked about lesson in my house? First off you need to know I don't enjoy sad stories much. So what the heck right? This story does have its devastatingly sad parts (read up on this guy and you can hear all the awful twists and turns besides what I told you) but in the end its happy. Beyond happy, since it ends with redemption!

First off lets look at Mr Newton. He was cocky. But we all in some way aren't we? Prideful of our jobs, or our looks, or even our childrens successes. He was totally happy where he was and what he was doing. Anyone else relate? I can!

But then this Newton hits a terrible storm, and  He cries out to God, "Save me Lord!". Total crisis prayer. I think most of us wait till that point. But part that hits home with me the most was how he later admits to not thinking he was a true believer at that point. I can relate to that too. I had cried out to God a few times before and figured I knew what it meant to follow. Look at Newton, he cried to God in the storm, God answered and saved him. Newton was grateful and talked the talked but yet continued in his slave trading. Did God change him right away? Nope. And thats true with lots of us. Sometimes the best thing is to just let God in. He will change you, but not in our timing. And a lot of time that involves slowing breaking everything your so proud you built up in your life down. Its painful, crazy painful. But how can he build you the way He wants you, until he takes the you, you built away?  This is where trust comes in. I know with me, and my hard head the learning curve was steep. There's a famous quote says it perfect. "You may never know that JESUS is all you need, until JESUS is all you have." He wants you that broken, its only in that place do you truly understand how much you need God.

Luke 5:31
Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.

Newton found that out. God broke him down until he had become completely disgusted with what he had become. But God wasn't going to leave him broken, God loves way too much for that. He built him back up into the man he had designed him to be in the first place.

One day sooner or later life has a way with bringing a storm. The storm can come from your own actions, it can come from from others actions affecting you, it can come in way sickness or death, but it will come. You can cry out to God and trust he will save you, or you can go down with the ship.

God saved my husband. God saved me. He can save you too. Call on him where your at. Test that promise He gives out. He promises not to leave us the way He finds us, He promises a future and a hope. And his plans for a future are always way better than anything we could ever dream up.

Jeremiah 29:11  
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Its been awhile since I have posted. 

It felt like I hit a stand still months back. Like a person who works out. That last 5-10 pounds that no matter what you do, doesn't go away. Or with me its, the word museum. No matter how slowly I say it, or how many people try to correct me it still comes out sounding like "moozam". Annoying but something you just have to learn to deal with, it will never change. I was like that with the last bit of my pain, just learning to live with it since it wasn't going anywhere. And I was OK with it, since I was used to it, and it didn't seem to be getting worse.

One evening after dropping my daughter at a sleep over I decided to go on a drive, just me and God, some time to clear my head. In the car with worship on, at night just driving for however long it takes. It works for me, lets me really focus and just pray and listen for His response.

About an hour in after pouring my heart out and still not knowing what was troubling me I sort of looked around and noticed what road I was one. I was literally around the corner from the last woman my husband cheated on me with. I street I avoid. A street that can still make my mood take a major dive.
I felt like God was leading to drive down it. I didn't fight it, I did as I was told. The song on the radio at the time was Chris Tomlin's "I Will Follow". As I drove down the street the anxiety was leaving, and being replaced with utter calm. By the time I was looking at her house I was driving so slowly I had nearly stopped, I was absentmindedly signing along with the song. I felt so clearly the presence of God at the exact moment I sang the line "Who You love, I'll love". I knew it was my answer. I drove away whole. I had meant what I sang. God heard my prayers and lead me to where I needed to be and showed me what I needed to do. I had forgiven that woman, but I had never loved. And suddenly she wasn't the enemy, she was just a hurt girl trying in all the wrong places to find love. She had hoped with my husband that she had found a friend, a love someone who would be there for her. But sadly just like others before for him and probably after him... she had found a man that would just pursue her to satisfy his desires then toss her aside. She is so broken and is putting up with repeated disrespect, thinking its just something that can,t be changed, something to live with.

I belted out the rest of that song and continued to drive, wanting to continue my talk with God. I was so grateful for the release of the pressure within my soul, so happy I couldn't keep smiling and crying. The rest of that drive I could see all the possibility's for my life opening up in front of me. I do want to follow Him anywhere, I do want to love who He loves, and I do want to serve who He serves. Just like the song says, "In You there's freedom for my soul".

That was months ago. And the crazy free feeling I have hasn't lessened.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 

I have a feeling that maybe DH and I have come full circle (or at least closer to) and its time to start using what has happened to help others. God has promised that He can and will use everything for good. He doesn't want anyone to settle with what you think can never change, something you think you just have to deal with.

Oh and by the way.... I just tried it, and I can say it correctly! Museum.
Well that confirms it, anything can change, I have proof.