2 Corinthians 12:9-10

New International Version (NIV)

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Last night I made fish sticks for dinner, it was quick and I was in a hurry trying to get everything done before bedtime. My little one advised me that she didn't like fish sticks. She said she would just eat her tater tots and her veggies. I told her that these were the good kind and she would like these. The only meat that she is eats is fish sticks, she used to like hotdogs too, but the past year she gave those up (yes both are strange choices).

I told her it was just fish sticks, she asked what was in them, I told her fish. She again said she didn't want any. This time I asked her why, and that is when she declared "I don't think God wants us to eat animals." She said it with conviction and who was I to tell her otherwise. This was something on her heart and she was not backing down.

My husband and I smiled at each other, a proud moment when our seven year old made a bold choice of her own accord. So I guess she is now a vegetarian, which I always considered her one with the exception that she occasionally would eat a hot dog or a fish stick. This is great because I mostly cook vegetarian meals. She still is a picky eater, but now with her declaration, I told her she would have to eat more veggies and other stuff.

How long with this last? Only time will tell. But I will be oh so proud if it lasts forever.

I love to see such conviction in our youth. It shows that they are paying attention. And I am one proud mama with a little girl whose big faith, has opened my eyes to see.

Matthew 21:16(NKJV)

16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,
‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise’?”[a]

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Like Ships In The Night

"Like ships in the night, you keep passing me by, we're just wasting time, trying to prove who's right, and if it all goes crashing into the sea, if it's just you and me, trying to find a light, like ships in the night"-  Mat Kearny -Ships In the Night

This is a very hard subject to to write about.  This is probably one of the most difficult post I've written, because it is so personal, because it exposes my private life and shows my vulnerability. But I can only hope that through sharing my experience, maybe it can be a beacon of hope for other couples who find themselves in this situation.  With the permission of my wonderful husband, I can now share with you one of the most trying times in my life.

Three years ago, I thought my marriage was over.  It's the part of marriage that nobody talks about.  When you get married you think its all sunshine and roses.  Then things fall apart and you think your only way is out and not through.

We had a lot of bumpy times in our marriage, but nothing like this.  It started a few years before I got to the point of completely wanting to get out.  My husband's dad had passed away that summer and we had a toddler and a 6 year old, we were struggling financially and spiritually.  That's when things started on a path going down.

Looking back I was so selfish, at the time I thought my husband was and was blaming it all on him.  But the truth was I was just as much to blame, if not more.  There were no specific instances that made us come to this, because I made every situation a part of this.  I was miserable, I think we both were. We couldn't stand the site of each other. It seemed all we could do was roll our eyes at each other and leave the room.  I dreaded the moment he walked in the door. I couldn't stand his presence and I wanted out. We fought over everything and nothing at all.

We were both "Christians" and were both heavily involved in our church.  I thought we had a Christ centered marriage, but through the ins and outs of daily life we somehow got off track. We lost our Center, we lost our focus.  What would people think?  We were supposed to be an example, we were supposed to have it all together. Would people choose him over me?  I would lose friends, I would lose family over this.  I would ruin my children's lives.

For years, I prayed every night that God would fix my marriage and for years nothing happened, in fact things got worse.  So I convinced myself that maybe we just weren't meant to be together.  I started making plans, and these plans didn't include my husband.  I told myself I just didn't love him anymore, and wondered if I every really did.  I dreamed of a better life, and told myself that God had someone else for me in mind.

The devil can convince you of anything if you don't guard your heart.  The moment I decided to take matters in my own hands,  I had done just that.

I didn't realize that by giving up on my marriage, I was also giving up on my God.  I was allowing myself to be deceived, I was going in the wrong direction. I only stuck around for my kids, the thought of tearing their world upside down haunted me, but I didn't see any other way.

Then I had what I can only describe as a nervous breakdown.  I guess it was the stress of my dad's illness, my job amongst other things, and now my failing marriage that sent me on a mental downward spiral.  I didn't know how to function and it literally took all I had to make it through the day.  I had panic attacks and overwhelming anxiety.   I just couldn't snap out of it.  I prayed constantly, I begged, I pleaded for God to help me.

One day in the middle of an argument, probably about nothing, there was something.  I think it was the first time that we actually looked at each other in a long time.  I think my husband saw in my eyes that I was falling apart and it was the first time in a long time that he backed down.

This moment gave me a spark of hope and with it I decided that I was not leaving this marriage without a fight.  Before I think I was just pretending  that I was trying to make it work,  I wasn't really investing anything into it.  But at that moment, I decided to give it my all, that way if it still failed, I knew that I fought my hardest.

Over the next two years I fought, I stuck it out, I gave as much as I could give.  And so did my husband.  We were kinder to each other, did little things to help each other out.  We began to appreciate each other again. We started dating (each other of course).  But most of all, I fell more deeply in love with him then I had ever been throughout our entire relationship. At last, God had answered my prayers.

I got and still do get excited when he gets home.   We love talking to each other about different things.  We spend more time together.  We call each other for no reason as all.  Like the Mat Kearny song says "and I gonna find my way, back to your side", and we did.  Because now we keep Christ as our center and we do it together.

Today, I love my husband more than ever, and every day I love him more and more.  He is my best friend, he knows me better than anyone and I strive to be a better wife, just as he strives to be a better husband.  Yes, we still argue, a lot, but it is different now. We are in this together, we fought our way back together and with God as our center we will make it through.

This was one of the lowest moments in my life and the hardest to see, because I never realized that by walking by faith, that God was actually walking right beside me.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8(NKJV)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Faith of a Child

Anyone who knows my now 12 year old son, knows that he isn't the most optimistic person. In fact he usually is pretty negative about most things and complains a lot. Typical soon to be teenager. But he said something to me the other day that not only changed my mind on how he thinks about things, it also strengthen my faith.

A few weeks ago, my son was riding with me to lunch when we were rear ended at a stop sign. It was an extremely minor accident. We were at a stop and the other driver was watching the traffic and thought I had already pull onto the main road when he proceeded forward. There was minimal damage, just a plastic bumper moved out of place (my husband bumped it back with no problem), and maybe a scratch. There was no hard jolt and no injuries. Once I was sure that my son and I were alright, I spoke to the other driver  and agreed that filing an accident report would be too time consuming. I got all of his information just in case and we left. He and his wife were extremely nice and he seemed a bit embarrassed by the whole thing, taking full responsiblity.

As we proceeded to our destination my son said to me, "Mom, maybe that happened because God saw something worse up ahead and needed us to wait".  I was taken back with his statement, he doesn't usually see the bright side of things.  This was a moment, a moment when I realized that he was paying attention, a moment that I realized just how strong the faith of a child can be.

Jesus said that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we need to become like little children.  We need to have their faith.  We need to have that total dependence on God and His will.  We need to know that God is with us and will protect us always.

This moment made me proud, it made me feel that with all that I do wrong, that I  am actually doing something right.

Not only did God use my son to help strengthen my walk in faith, He used my son that through his eyes I could see.

Matthew 18:2-6(NKJV)

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.