Sunday, September 9, 2012

If YOU don't, who will?

Something important has been on my heart the last week or longer.  I've wanted to share my thoughts about it, but every time I've sat down I've become distracted.

I know that is that mean ole Satan up to tricks.

He wants me distracted and he wants you distracted.

When we are distracted, he can attack, divide, and destroy.


It's such a reflection of Christ and His love for us.

Ours has been through the dark waters that left us feeling destroyed, sinking, and unable to get out of the pit of despair.

We've been on the side of wondering how to survive.  NEVER something I ever want to experience again, not even in the slightest form.

Today, we are thriving, growing, and overflowing with unconditional, DEEP love.

Actually, two weeks from today, we will be celebrating 17 years.  It's unreal.

Yet, even though we have an INCREDIBLE marriage that people comment on OFTEN, we still struggle.

It's VERY easy to fall back into the old traps.  The ones that started us down a path of destruction.

For me, I can easily panic when just the slightest hint of those dark days return.  Most often, that happens when we are running in too many directions and not stopping to focus completely on each other and communicating in each other's distinct love languages.

For our marriage, we quickly lose connection when we aren't praying, studying, and putting our own relationships with Christ first.  HE HAS to be above everything else or we fall apart.  In those moments when  we begin slipping apart, Satan walks right in and attacks us in our vulnerable and weak places.  It's easy to let that spiral out of control if we aren't proactive and careful.

How do we combat that?  How do we make sure that we don't backtrack?

The answer is both simple and complex.

It's prayer.

This month I'm following along with Women Living Well and participating in focusing on reviving our marriage.  It doesn't matter how great it might be right now, we HAVE to be PROACTIVE to keep it that way.

Prayer has been the topic this first week.

It's vital.

"If you don't pray for you spouse--who will?"

Who on earth knows you better than your spouse?  Who knows you more intimately?  Who knows your heart, your needs, your flaws, your desires, and your weaknesses?  Who knows most about what is going on in your daily life, including the things that the world doesn't see?

My spouse.

Kevin knows me as well as I know myself and sometimes even more so.  I know more about him and his needs/heart than anyone else.

It's my responsibility to battle for him.

YES, I said responsibility.

I'm failing him and our marriage when I get lazy and distracted and don't consistently and thoroughly pray on his behalf.

Yes, those prayers of bless him, protect him, uplift him, etc... are important.


it's the others that are vital.

The ones where I TRULY go to God on his behalf.  In depth.  Specific.

Others may pray for him (and I'm certain that a few do!), but it is my RESPONSIBILITY to be the most consistent.

God gave him to me as an extension of His love for me.  To grow together.

Marriage makes us one.  Literally.

When I'm short-changing him, I'm short-changing myself.

Then the weaknesses show up.  Cracks.  Distractions.  Temptations.

When we are actively, purposely coming together as one----nothing can defeat.  Days may be hard and we may face incredible obstacles, but we go there together AS ONE.

The challenge for this week:

Take a week and focus on praying specifically for your spouse.  It can LITERALLY revive a marriage that is broken.  It can move one from ordinary to extraordinary.  Even if you don't "feel" a difference, you can be confident that it is at work in your own heart and God is at work on your behalf.

Don't allow Satan a moment to sneak in and create division or enlarge cracks.  Stay connected.  Truly be one as God designed.  It's beautiful when you are!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Pesky mosquitoes.  

A real pain they are.  

Seems like the past couple of days these little critters have left us laughing hysterically.  Laughter in the home is a MUST.  It chases away negativity and hard times.  

We've been having to "guard" ourselves and the babies against bites in recent weeks if we are out because our area is under warnings for West Nile being confirmed.  For that reason, we've not gone on as many walks or trips to the playground.  

Pesky things.  Annoying. 

Yesterday, we were sitting waiting for a LONG line to move and we were VERY pressed for time to get to the next thing on the schedule.  To pass the time, my daughter and I were both on our phones on facebook.  She was laughing about something a friend had posted.  I saw a picture that literally caused tears to roll roll down my face and I had to read it to her, which in turn had us both laughing so hard that people walking by were giving us crazy looks.  

"You know that person you REALLY, REALLY want to slap.  Go ahead.  Just yell "mosquito" first. "

Now, I'm the first to admit that is definitely not the most spiritual statement and I did have to tell her that we probably shouldn't actually ACT on it.  Yet, it was a good laughter break because we both are dealing with people in our lives that are causing us great emotional difficulties.  We ARE trying to let God teach us how to love these people in our lives and we constantly are discussing ways to allow that to happen. But.....

It was funny.  

Different times today,  we've yelled mosquito when something has annoyed us or been stressful.  It's been a great tool to release the stress and "move on" from our negative feelings and frustration.  

Earlier this afternoon, I read another statement about mosquitoes that stopped me in my tracks.  At first it caused another great laugh because we LOVE it.  However, as the afternoon has progressed the statement has gotten deeper in my heart to the point that it has "run all over me with Holy Ghost goosebumps" (you Southerners understand that statement!).  

" I want to be so full of Christ, that when a mosquito bites me it flies away singing "Power in the Blood"."

Oh my goodness, isn't that the truth!

I literally want Him oozing from every pore in my body.  I want Him to be all that people see. I want every thought from my head and heart to come from Him, about Him, and reflect Him.

So much that when I'm stressed or hurt by people that my heart immediately allows the love of Christ to flow through me, soothing the hurt in my heart and offering grace and forgiveness to the offender.  

There are days that I may feel like yelling "mosquito" to diffuse the hurt or stress, but I pray that there are more and more days of them flying away singing "Power in the Blood."

Just please, Lord, don't send an actual mosquito this way to prove your point.  I REALLY hate those things!  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Time...Too Fast

Those of us that are moms (or dads), know there are moments that come along and just leave you shaking your head in wonder.


Yes, there were women in grocery stores that warned me to soak in each day.

Yes, there were mentors in my life that warned me to not wish away any single days.


It happened anyway.

Now, here I sit with a vivid awakening of how quickly time has fleeted.

Yesterday, I had a tiny, thirteen pound one year old daughter.  She was SO very tiny and full of life.  Nothing slowed her down.  Her tiny size was just the little bit of motivation she needed to do everything faster than everyone else.  She set out to prove how very capable she was of anything at a very young age.  Doctors could find no medical reason of why she was so tiny and so healthy.  We knew it was just because she was so busy!

She never stopped.

Yet, tomorrow she is now old enough and big enough to start driver's ed.

It is a milestone of epic proportions to this mom's heart.  She's big enough?  She's old enough?  It's the reality of driving.  It's her first "classroom" experience (outside of church or other homeschool groups).

Oh, I have no doubts in her abilities.  I have no doubt she is going to succeed.  I have no doubts that God has a purpose for her life.

THAT is the issue.

He has a purpose and a HUGE plan for her life.  This mom knows that His plan is most likely going to put her on the other side of the world in the near future.  After all, she has a heart similar to mine and her heart is for missions and orphans.  His plan hasn't been revealed to us yet, but our hearts know that her calling is becoming more and more clear that she won't be just a few houses down the street.

Oh, my heart.

You see, I know that as mothers our role from day one is to let go.  To teach our children how to live as adults without us.  To be productive and on their own.  To find their own wings, passions, and to live as God designed THEM.

I KNOW that.

It's obvious I LOVE being with my kids.  So much, that it became my full time career (being home and home educating).  Without a doubt, I love to see them grow, learn, and become more and more of who God designed them to be.


When I look at her now, my eyes may see the beautiful young woman of God that she is....

But my heart sees this....

Priority Adjustment

Every once in awhile, we all have hard weeks that make us look inward and evaluate priorities.  Weeks that are a struggle or that just seem "off".  

Last week was one such week for me. 

I found myself knocked down with a flare-up that ended up with some very different symptoms than were not typical for me.  I REFUSE to go the doctor almost always when I'm sick.  I think it had actually been almost six years since the last time I gave in.  Those that know me well know that I have a pretty big case of "white coat" syndrome and have a pretty big phobia of doctors/medical offices (mostly from the ordeal we faced with Peyton).  I finally gave in and had Kevin take me to the clinic. Ended up that I had pneumonia and was having some serious heart rate issues while my body was fighting the infection.  

Amazingly, within 24 hours of antibiotics and some breathing treatments, I was WELL on my way to feeling human again.  The great thing about taking them so infrequently is that when you need them your body GREATLY benefits.  

What I wasn't expecting was how much of a struggle it would be to take care of the simple tasks.  I was warned that it would take awhile to feel normal, but I guess I thought I could avoid those warnings!  Whew...not!  

Fortunately, this week started incredibly better.  I'm feeling a little more tired at the end of the day than typical, but I'm almost back to my energizer bunny self.  My husband laughs and says that I get more accomplished when I'm sick than he does on a good day----but it's not a laughing matter to me.  I felt run over and my to-do list was getting longer and more out of control.  Thank goodness my energy is rebounding because our week is overloaded with extra activities and responsibilities.  

Unfortunately, what I noticed this week was that while I was greatly improving physically, spiritually I wasn't.  I was dragging far more than just in a physical sense.  

Some great things had been happening and I should have been feeling contentment and confidence from having kept things on track while I was down.  Kevin kept telling me how proud he was of the fact that we kept school on track, the house was "workable" (though not near my normal standards), I'd had a great time taking care of my babies, etc... Yet, I didn't feel it.  I felt disconnect.  

Then last night I realized WHY.

When I went in to survival mode of trying to keep one foot in front of the other, I let the most important relationship slip.  

I let go of God being my  number one priority.  My one-on-one time with Him had slipped down my list.  

Prayers become one line sentences and requests.  "Help me".  "Sustain me." "Thank you."  Those type things.  

While "those" are important and necessary, they lacked depth.  They lacked truly getting in my heart and connecting.  

I get up earlier than my kids and try to squeeze in some Bible reading and devotional studies before the babies arrive and before we start our school day. 

I needed every last minute of sleep I could get, so I began to skip that time. 

I planned on reading at night, but I collapsed in bed.  

Truly connecting with Kevin and having our necessary in depth, heart-to-heart conversations also became few and far between.  We reverted to the basics and the "necessary" discussions to keep the home afloat.  "Don't forget to...." , "Will you...", and "Did you...." became the bulk of our conversations.  It takes MUCH more than that to sustain and grow a healthy marriage.

No wonder I felt disconnect.  No wonder that even in joyful moments, I didn't feel the same level of praise and thankfulness.  No wonder I went to bed at night feeling a bit empty.

I'd let the most important things slip.  

I'm not who I am and can't be who I'm created to be when I'm not putting my relationship with Christ FIRST.  I can't operate in survival mode.  He is my first love and I must ALWAYS remember that, even when life is difficult and overwhelming.  

If that relationship isn't growing and strong, then my relationship with Kevin quickly can become stagnant and  "normal".  We aren't normal.  We don't want to be normal.  We want to be extraordinary and work hard to make sure our relationship reflects that.  

Thank goodness my heart got the wake-up call that it needed.  Though I needed physical healing and strength, my heart also needed a boost and to be fully connected to the source of life. 

Priorities readjusted.  Hearts reconnected. Operating from the source of life.  Just in time.