Sunday, June 10, 2012

I promise to love you graciously...

Dustin and I went to a wedding last night. I love weddings, especially when the couple getting married are Christ-followers. Makes for a beautiful, God-honoring ceremony.
It's no secret to those close to us that Dustin and I have hit our share of trials in life this year. Deaths in family. His career. Our finances. Transitions all around found us at rock bottom a few months ago. I love that we worship a God who finds us when we are at rock bottom. The lifter of our heads....
Life stressors can, when you let them, affect your marriage. I'm sure this is not news to anyone, especially if you're married. I confess I've given way to this: allowing my circumstances and the world affect me, mainly in  my thought life, in a bad way. And a negative thought life has led to a bad attitude toward my husband. Fortunately, I married a man who has, for the most part, been quite patient with me. There are people in our life these days who God is using to bring us (me) back to His word. God is truly teaching me and nailing down two important truths in my life: forgiveness & thought life. Everything I've been reading/ listening to these days has been bringing me back to these two things. Over & over again.
Which brings us to the wedding. The vows the couple exchanged were beautiful, and one line in particular God used to convict my ever-softening heart.

I promise to love you graciously, not according to your performance, just as God has loved me.

Hm. I sort of did a "double-take" in my seat.... Do I do that?
That is how God loves us. But... is that how I love others in return??
That sure wasn't how I loved my husband through the trials we've faced this past year. Daily, I'm angry with him over something he has done/ or hasn't done. Daily, I withhold affection (love) from him because I'm angry. Daily, I speak coldly or harshly to him. Why? Because he hasn't met some expectation I've built in my head that he's "supposed" to meet (performance). Is that how God loves me though? I'm constantly missing the mark. As a daughter of God, I fail in my walk... daily. But He never withholds His affections from me. He never continuously reminds me of my failures. He is a gracious & merciful God- ever withholding what I truly deserve and bestowing on me what I could never earn on my own.
What a beautiful reminder He gave me last night... and that in and of itself is evidence of His love toward me. He loves me too much to allow me to remain where I've been. He desires to see me walk victoriously over my sin... and He alone has granted me the ability to do so.
I desire so much for our marriage to truly be a model of Christ & His bride. I pray daily for him to continue to soften my heart, to cultivate in me a forgiving spirit, and the ability to love- everyone, not just my husband- graciously... not according to performance... just as my God has loved me.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

See, I read this book...

And it totally rocked my world.
The book is "7". The author is Jen Hatmaker. I believe we are long lost sisters.
She's truly a girl after my own heart.

My husband brought this book back for me from Austin. He went to The Verge Missional Community Conference, where Jen was one of the (many) speakers. She gave away this book, he brought it home to me, I ate it up. The end.
Seriously though, check out Amazon's description of the book:
American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.

So here I am, myself with a couple other daring friends of mine who are willing to see where God takes them on this path... We are 7 days into our 7 experiment. 
One month. 7 foods.
June's menu for me is reduced to
-Sweet Potatoes
I understand "fruit" is a bit of a stretch. When I started, fruit was actually "avocados" and after a couple days I realized I didn't like plain avocados quite as much as I thought I did.

One week down...
And what have I learned so far?? Well, I've learned a lesson God is nailing down for me in many areas of my life. Lack of self-discipline. I confess: I have caved on a couple occasions. It's a confession I did not want to have to make when this got started. I think that getting this out there now in the blog-sphere will help me with accountability. I'm praying to become more disciplined- not just with this experiment, but as a wife, mother & child of God.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello, my name is...


The most important thing you can know about me is that I love Jesus. Not nearly enough.
I'm learning to love him more, and along with that comes trusting him with this vapor of a life.
In January of '07 I married the love of my life (& now father to my babies), Dustin. Together, we have three beautiful daughters (ages 2, 4, and 6) & the most handsome little one year old man ever. I'm biased. Yes, our life is crazy. 
I am a stay-at-home mommy to our little ones, and am so thankful for this calling. I ever seek to grow in this area, and am realizing I have much to learn. 
I've always loved to write. Which is why I blog.
Not that I think I have anything exceptionally noteworthy to say, or think we are some picture perfect family you all should model... but I just want a place to be candid. The Lord is showing me so much in these years of my wife/ motherhood & I want to chronicle it all. I'm realizing life goes by so fast... on here I feel as if I can freeze frame some moments. So that's what I'm doing. If you read & can take some thing away, I'll be blessed. 
Feel free to join me on this journey... of growing, changing, & learning what it means to truly live, love, & serve like our Savior, Jesus. 

An excellent wife who can find?

    She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,

    and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:10-31

It's time...

Time for a change.
At least that seems to be the theme of our life these days. Since I've been debating for sometime on revamping the blog, I decided to change it altogether. And here's my first post.

It's time for a change... more on that to come.