Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"that is brand new information"

dear sweet baby Hope,

my beautiful first ever niece. you are currently twisting and turning inside of your mama's tummy. its 1 am as i write this to you, and my guess is you are keeping your mama up. little does she know how much you will be keeping her up over the next many, many years. your name means so very much to me. because with your arrival you bring so much hope. i can still remember exactly where your mama was sitting when she told me she wanted to have a baby with your daddy. and it was a long road to get to where we are tonight. oh little Hope, you have been prayed for, you have been dreamed of, you have been loved deeply before you were formed. what a wonderful example of how much God loves us! because He loved us before we were even formed. and we can see such a clear example of that in you! so many of us loved and prayed for you before you were growing in your mother's belly. but we wanted you, we knew you- even when we didn't know you. but we loved you.
your parents are very special people. you will be a joy to your mother, and the sunshine for your dad. and what's more, they will love you, and care for you, and teach you about the One who created you.
soon you will be here. soon we will see your beautiful face, and we will hear your small cries. soon you will grasp your mother's finger, and look into your father's eyes. soon we will get to love you on the outside, and we have so wonderfully loved you on the inside.
i am so thankful for you little Hope. because i know what i learned when i became a mother, and it was forever changing in me. when i held your big cousin campbell for the first time, i was just overwhelmed with love. not for him- i mean i loved him- but i was overwhelmed with love for the Lord. i knew how much i loved my son, which is just as much as your mother and father are about to love you, and as i held him i realized, God loves me more than this. even MORE than this- in fact so much, that He sacrificed His son, for all of my sins, so that i could love Him forever in heaven. that i could be a child of God, that i would be loved and could have a deep relationship with my Father in heaven. and my dear sweet baby Hope, your parents are about to experience that on a level they cannot even imagine.
you are about to change so many lives, oh Hope, how the Lord has used your little life for so many years even before you were in existence. you are blessing beyond belief. a little piece of God's goodness.
as much as i cannot wait to meet you, and see your little fingers and little toes and watch you nurse on your mama's breast, i cannot wait to see you laying across your mother's chest, and watch the joy of the Lord come over her. i cannot wait to see you cradled in your father's arms and see him connect with His Father even more.
oh sweet baby Hope. we are ready to meet your beautiful face. we are not ready to love you, because we already love you.

unintentionally quiet.

dork alert. get ready. i'm listening to newsboy's greatest hits right now. and yes, i'm dancing just a bit. i'm supposed to be cleaning my room... sure its almost 1 am. but its really a mess. and i don't sleep a ton these days. i'm even debating doing my Wednesday workout right now, just because i have an accountability buddy for working (love you jill!) and i think i would be more prone to do it right now, than i will in the 4-5 hours of sleep that will pass from now to then.

so instead of cleaning off my messy bed, i plopped down on the floor. my computer is on the floor, which i am not sure why because everything else that i own seems to be on my bed. seriously. there is a tiny carved out space for me.
"come on monica, you don't even have a bed, you sleep in a ball on the floor".
ahh. my youth and the newsboys. trust and obey, there is no other way. so true. complete truth.

yesterday i was wonderfully blessed by another care package(a little journal, bookmark, darling notecards, and the experiencing God devotional and candy). and i just know realized i forgot to text my dear friend to tell her thank you. and its 4 am her time... so i guess i could in a few hours. it is amazing to me how many people are truly clinging to me. its amazing. to feel a body of believers just surround you with love. this is just one of the many ways God will be glorified by what is happening. people- coming together in His name to offer love and support and kindness.
it rocks. thank you Vera, for your gift of love, i so appreciate it.

i just want to serve Him. bottom line.
and i am learning more and more how i can do that:
~ my ministry of motherhood. being a mom. loving my precious 4 babies. connecting with them, showing and teaching them who God is by my words but more importantly by my actions.
~ my actions. then my words. i can say anything i mean, really. ok, not anything. i can barely pronounce carousing. not sure why. but my actions need to be a representation of who He is. and how much He loves us, and how He is worthy of my praise. i'm not always a perfect representation.... in fact, i fall short more than i feel like i reach even an inch off the ground- but i have gumption! and i have Him! and the desire- i want to draw near to Him.
~ how i love.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:36-39

so. i guess if you are praying for me- you could pray for those 3 things. and if you want to know more to pray for, you can email me directly.
and, if i can pray for you. i'd kinda like to. big time.

oh, and why the nostalgia for newsboys tonight? on Sunday at church during communion "In Christ Alone" was played, just the music. and i remembered how i loved the newsboy's rendition. and then it was really placed on my heart tonight. and i've listened to it several times. then i moved on to the greatest hits. then i decided to stop cleaning my bed, clean my eye makeup brushes and then plop on the ground. i got sorta distracted. and it's almost 1 am.
"i hold my breath and i wait for you to breathe"
i really do love music. which is why you'll find me worshiping in heaven.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh

Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death

This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

in Christ alone. He's got me.
He's got me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

quick.

thankfulness. i am really enjoying listing off the random little reflections i have of what i am thankful for. partly because it lets me look back and see just what a dork i am.

201) a beautiful baby shower my sweet sister and soon to be here Hope.

202) seeing cousins, aunts, and grandmas that i haven't seen in many (10?) years.

203) always being the life of the party.... bazinga!

204) driving paul's little calberiet and once again having it stop running.... and having it start rolling backwards into traffic... and just praying, "come on Jesus!" without bitterness.

205) the 4 separate attempts of gunning the engine and hoping for inches of movement towards a parking spot.

206) feeling slightly embarrassed as i thought, everyone is watching me trying to push this little car into a parking lot. then thinking, well, if everyone is watching i probably should smile pretty big.

207) laughing with the girl in the car parked next to me, and nodding at each other with big smiles and thumbs up as i got the car to inch little by little.

208) i am thankful for the gentleness He is growing in me.

209) starting James in church today. me thinks i will find it applicable.

210) plans to spend my morning and afternoon with my youngest brother.

211) music that makes me think i can dance: i cannot dance. nope.

212) 1 Peter 4.

213) the peace the Lord gives to me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

more truth.

if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12:18

i must take this verse and place it in my heart. i know what the Lord wants of me, how He wants me to behave and how my actions will or won't bring Him glory.
and i want to live a life that brings Glory to He who loves me and protects me and cares for me.

last night sam was very frustrated with me, and yes, my voice was not always kind to him. and i definitely know that i wasn't being at peace with him. and i need too.
and so, since i try and keep this blog a reflection of this crazy journey the Lord has me on, i'd like to share what i sent to the father of my children this morning:

to sam:
i feel deeply convicted by what you said. i need to be more kind towards you. you are the father of my children and i know that you love them deeply. and i know like it says in 1 Peter 4 that we need to be clear minded and self controlled so that we can pray. and i have been praying and seeking Him this morning.
and as i cling to verse 8, "above all else, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins" and that is what i need to do with you.
i am so sorry that the fear and pain that i have been experiencing has been triumphant over that- that lets the devil win, and the truth is- i want the Lord's will for my life-
i do want to parent and live at peace with you. please forgive me for not seeing that.
enjoy your weekend with the beautiful babies we made through His love.

i haven't heard back from him, and that's fine.
i need to obedient to the Word of God. and i am either all obedient in how i am towards everyone, or i am disobedient.
and i want to serve and love my Lord.

truth.

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience so that those speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
1 Peter 3: 8-18

never has been more imperative that i be STILL and TRUST in the Lord. He has given me a fast moving tongue (and honestly fast moving fingers as well) and i must use my tongue, my words, my fingers for HIS glory. i must not let my heart dwell on anger or anxiety.
and sometimes i do feel like a bear being poked with a stick.
"hey bear, its me Mike".
let it go Mary. HE wants everything,
He can have everything. He has me. He loves me. the number of hairs on my head are counted, even as they fall and land on my sweatshirt. the sparrows are fed. every moment on earth is accounted for by Him.
He is the creator of the universe.
take my heart Lord. it is Yours. You know that it is. i see Your Truth. i find peace and rest in your WORDS.
every step has brought me here. everything.
rocking out to a little music, layered up in my bed with a fan blowing on my face, with a baby shower to attend in a few hours, surrounded by loving friends, prayers that are being so felt that my heart feels lifted as a helium balloon in the sky, with my Bible at my side, His Words etched on my heart, with moments that i feel weak and times where i know it is so He will be the strength.
i am so not perfect. thankfully that is not a prerequisite for His love.
i'm become broken so He can build me back.
clay, a potter.
a willing woman who wants to be better. so much better for Him. He is my trust. He is my hope. He is my Savior. He can do anything. He will do anything. My shield, My strength.
I rest in His loving kindness, His forgiveness.
And I ask Lord, to quiet my heart. to let the words out of my mouth always be pleasing to You. Lord show me Your truth, and let my life be used to bring you glory.
in all situations- i will never ask why, i will simply open my arms and let You use me for Your Glory.
"i put one foot, in front of the other one."
i will walk towards the Lord, and the Hope i have in Eternity.



sometimes.

sometimes the only thing i need to be thinking or sharing is the simple truth of God's Word.

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly-realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 1:15-22

Friday, February 24, 2012

throw your stones. i am thankful.

i couldn't be more broken. unless perhaps i was a piece of china dropped from a high spot onto granite floor. then i am sure i would broken into so many pieces. but. i am broken.
headphones on my ears, a pounding headache in my brain. desperate for things i cannot control.

thankfulness. i will remain thankful. i will be thankful. and i will not believe the lies.

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there is nothing my God cannot do.

178) a very long hug from my brother Eric, and his kindness to my beautiful children.

179) reading an entire Flat Stanely book with Campbell and Mason, having Campbell's eagerness to hear the story, and Mason's head on my shoulder.

180) the promise of a hug from my brother Paul, as he drives across country as fast as he can to be here with me.

181) meeting the lovely lady that has stolen my brother's heart.

182) knowing that in just a few days a beautiful new life will be in this world.

183) looking down at my phone and seeing constant encouragement.

184) feeling the Lord wrap His arms around me, with His Words, His truth, and the people He places in my arms.

185) a stolen black hooded sweatshirt from my sister.

186) a "borrowed" striped scarf from my sister.

187) 5 tickets to FUN. and the thought of crowd surfing.

188) Andy. my college friend from the days when life was different. not necessarily better, but different. i love this boy.

189) finding a scent that makes me smile. i never wear perfume. i also never wear nail polish.

190) accepting that my 30's will be the start of my real walk with the Lord.

191) being 30.

192) Lisa Weiss. a woman who lost a love we won't all experience, and who in her pain, the Lord gives her kindness towards me.

193) Paige Denim. these jeans work for me.

194) coloring with my Henry and knowing my soon to be 3 year old knows all his letters.

195) trusting the Lord with my children.

196) thankfully trusting.

197) cookie-dough ice cream.

198) savoring.

199) "im the hulk, i'm the hulk, i'm the hulk" and all the other things that make me laugh.

200) being a fast moving red blur.

may the past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.

blog silence for several hours from me can mean 1 or 2 things, i'm either so ridiculously happy that i haven't found time to sit and type, or i'm feeling weighed down by pain and the darkness and can't really put safely into words how i am feeling. sadly, its the latter. or its been the latter.
and then i remember- who the Lord is. how mighty He is. how Great He is. how much bigger than me He is.
the Lord will fight for me, you need only be still. Exodus 14:14

The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in him, and i am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7

Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay" and again, "The Lord will judge his people" It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.
Hebrews 10: 28-32

truth. that is what i have. God's Word. and it is so important that i remember the truth from the lies.
and i still have a lot to be thankful for. even when i get sucked into the darkness- the Lord is still there. waiting for me. waiting. not shaking His head at me, but just standing with open arms, ready to bring me back into Him, where my safety and security is in HIM.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
James 1:19-20
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will LIFT YOU UP.
James 4: 7-10

if you are still praying for me, i'd really appreciate prayer in those 2 verses, because man alive, i need to quick to listen, i REALLY need to be slow to speak. and i MUST be slow to become angry. because what does it say- that doesn't bring about the righteous life that God desires for me. And more than that- its not who i want to be.
newsflash- i'm a sinner. and i think my by nature i lean towards getting riled up with injustice. and i struggle. daily. the pain is there like a wound. Yes- the Lord has healed me, saved me, rescued me- HE has. but imagine a gun shot. straight to the heart. the Lord saved me, however, there is still recovery, and it seems that things still cause that wound to hurt while it heals.
stupid human sin nature.
but- i can pray for that second verse as well- i can draw near to HIM and He will draw near to me- it says it, right there. that's a truth.
and i need the truths.

a story came to my memory yesterday as i was visiting with my dear friend Jill. oh, i love Jill.
and i remembered, talking with sam about a year ago, in his parents house, i had found him chatting in a words with friends game with a female customer who was a regular at his store. and i was really frustrated that he had the need to just chat it up with another woman i didn't know. and he got frustrated with me, because he thought he "could have friends". and i remember, a year or more ago, sitting in that bathroom at this parents house with him, and i started to cry. and i said, "you are going to cheat on me. you just are. this isn't going to last. we have an expiration date".
that is GOD's GRACE.
because, He started laying down peace even then.
and you know what. at that point he had cheated, and he kept cheating.
and the Lord saved me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Utter randomness of a stranded girl.

Life cracks me up. I don't remember ever pushing a broke down car before. It was more fun than I thought it would be. The Lord is forever faithful to me. As my little brother's car continued to stall and stall as I was driving, He protects me. No one slammed into me. No one even honked. Honking makes me sad.
I perched in a Starbucks, sipping coffee, and thoroughly enjoying the humor in the situation. I am always brought back to my Lord. And I love it. I am not helpless. I am taken care of.
And I am so happy I slipped earbuds in my purse. The Starbucks worker might not be, as I'm having a private rock out session right now. Some nights. So good. And my baby brother wants to go with his 30 year old sister. Poor kid, he will be thoroughly embarrassed as I try to dive for the stage. Oh well, i'm only young once, right? And somehow I feel 16 half the time. The earbuds and dancing around probably doesn't help.
This morning SUCKED. But you know what? The Lord is faithful and good.
I'm going to let you all in on 2 secrets:
1) I am not PERFECT in the way I talk to Sam. I'm sorry. He cheated on me. He broke my heart. Forgiveness is an on going process. And pain is real. Super real. And frustrating. And so you know what- I am not perfect. But that doesn't mean I don't love the Lord or always want to seek Him. It just means I am a sinner who desperately needs her Savior. And wine. And coffee. And probably 610 other things- but my Savior- His grace is sufficient. He gives me love. He has my heart.
2nd secret- I realize the microscope I am under. Every move I make is watched. And my mind wants to work on overdrive. But I'm not going to let it. I rest in HIS truth. And it comforts me. Nothing can separate me from the love of my Savior.

So. This is all of me. I am an imperfect girl in every way. But I am FAITHFUL. He has always been the Lord of my life and I will keep my gaze happily directed on Him.
And I will cling to the word of God.
And Yorks. And earbuds. And laughter from 4 children.
And the smiles sent my way.
God's love is there. God's love is here. HE is faithful.
My maker loves me.
And the sun is shinning today. The wind has been fierce, and it shows me His strong presence. And the sun is His faithfulness.
And The Son is my hope, and joy, an salvation.
"it gets better, it gets better"
I love music in my ears.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

happy thoughts for a happy heart.

that's one of the labels i use for some of my posts. it comes from how i feel after watching Madame Blueberry from veggie tales. i love veggie tales.
"a thankful heart is a happy heart".
and you know what- i think that i might have the happiest heart in the world. because i am just so thankful for all that the Lord has done for me.
"you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed by Your Name"

He does take away. He took the old life i had, and gave me all His love. i know from the outside looking in, it must just look odd. i mean, my entire life over the last 10 years was just picked up and dumped upside down. but you know what really happened- all the sin and darkness and pain and sorrow and hurt and sadness that is what got dumped out. the Lord picked my life up, and held on to me, and shook everything else off of me.
He took. and He gave. and my heart pretty much shouts as loud as it can, Blessed is HIS Name.
and how am i really not so sad and devastated? well, honestly, sin overtakes every area of your life, and the sin that was in my marriage pretty much consumed and destroyed any good. and i am thankful to the Lord for the pain that was happening for so long, because when the Lord shook it off of me, i was left with my Savior. and the path He put me on. and i'm not lost. i mean, sure, i don't always know where north is(apparently its always the top of a map) but i know that with my eyes focused on the Lord i can follow His path for me.
a thankful heart IS a happy heart.

157) there's a little girl sitting next to me pretending to be a dog.

158) and 10 minutes before we were playing beauty shop. i love how quick her mind can jump from one thing to the next.

159) some night. new music from my second favorite band.

160) for constant encouragement.

161) for the boys at my coffee shop. i can say boys. they are either soooooo young, or i am really old. yesterday, alex looked at me and said i looked frustrated (cause i'm usually perky and laughing) and derek just looked at my frustrated face and said, "perseverance". i tip these young boys well. i am thankful for pleasant faces that now my struggles, and actually care about the old woman sitting at the bar.

162) hugs from my sister Jess. be able to greet her with a latte and a smile. the grace that God gives.

163) headphones that don't stick in my ears.

164) for reassurance on my fronts that the headphones don't make me look like a major dork.

165) confidence in knowing i am a total dork. and that's okay.

166) dancing with all of my kids today. watching little Henry's dance moves. sadly too similar to mine. poor kid.

167) texts from my little brother Paul. he's coming home soon. it makes me happy. very happy.

168) a message from Serena that made me laugh so loud Campbell came to see what was wrong.

169) for knowing the Lord has been in His arms, even when i am confused.

170) my mother who makes me dinner every night.

171) resting in knowing that His Grace is enough.

172) remembering to draw on the truth of the Lord when in difficult situations. and seeing a change of behavior in myself- drawing closer to Him, being better for Him.

173) for mengage toi red wine, mushrooms, and jack cheese.

174) the huge hugs from an eager 18 month old baby.

175) new music in my headphones. i know i was already thankful for new music. but i'm really thankful.

176) campbell, mason, henry, and wilder. the 4 most amazing things i have ever done. my ministry.

177) the freedom from darkness to be a better mom. not perfect. if i were perfect i wouldn't need Jesus.

i am a very thankful woman. i have a very happy heart.
if you would, pray for my baby sister. she has to have a tooth pulled tomorrow. no drugs. i can't even think about it without my body going fairly numb. she is brave for that baby of hers. already sacrificing her own comfort for her daughter.
she's a mom already, and she doesn't even realize it.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

new headphones and louder music.

serena says i'm going to need hearing aids in 10 years. and vera says many people are losing their hearing. and i seriously doubt my ability to follow sign language for long. i mean, henry knows more sign language than i do.
so i bought headphones today, and i almost bought jeans. yes, at the same place. american eagle. a place of good smells, loud music, and an air conditioning system that wasn't working. it was hot. and the sales girl was slightly more interested in helping the young guy find shirts than help me locate a pair of pants that would fit my shapely frame. oh well.
we finished up the Prodigal God at church today. the Prodigal son. its been good. very good. i've heard now all the people who preach at church, preach. it was God's perfect timing when i arrived at this church.
i nice lady named Dottie has me sit with her and her husband. i sing way to loud. i'm afraid the youngsters in front of me are going to turn around and give me a look. so far no one has, and i guess i will just have to deal with it if they do. and by deal, i mean, give them a big smile and keep on singing loud.
i mean, i'm not auditioning for american idol. maybe american duos... Gus?
2 things happened at church.
the pastor talked about Joni Erickson Tada. i've heard her story before. a diving accident left her paralyzed at the age of 17. bruce (the pastor) was saying that here she was 17, lying in bed that first night, unable to move and her best friend in the world came and lay down next to her, and just sung hymns to her. joni later reflected on this, saying that her Heavenly Father had lifted her up in His arms through another's human flesh.
i get that. i so get that. He uses who is He is going to use to bring us radically close to Him. and i'm just going to say thank you. everyone knows how i feel about my serena. but there are others, my family who continues to sacrifice time and energy for me, and my friends, loyal friends who haven't left me, friends that i spend hours with talking too, friends. so i am thankful for the outpouring of love that i have received, and if i haven't been prompt to respond, know that i am doing very well. and that i am thankful.
thing 2 at church. guess who's going to start studying James? could i be more excited? nope. super psyched. SUPER. i mean- i am going through a trial! this is happening right now. and as bruce talked about it, explaining that he knew there were people who were struggling right now with horrible trials, i just thought, hmmm.... i bet there are people worse of than me. i mean, i am feeling God's grace. i am experiencing His love and grace.
i am thankful.
i'm going to share the lyrics to a song that is played consistently at church. i sing it very loud, and i don' t care who hears. i remember 2 weeks ago, this song was played, my eyes were closed, i was singing, and my sweet boy campbell was reading the lyrics to me.
seriously.
Your Grace is Enough.

Great is Your faithfulness oh God
You wrestle with the sinner's heart
You lead us by still waters in to mercy
And nothing can keep us apart

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me

Great is Your love and justice God of Jacob
You use the weak to lead the strong
You lead us in the song of Your salvation
And all Your people sing along

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me

Your grace is enough
Heaven reaching down to us
Your grace is enough for me
God I see your grace is enough
I'm covered in your love
Your grace is enough for me
For me

my Gus, my Jonathan.

my dear Serena,

i have started a blog post about you a couple of times. and nothing was really being worded correctly. and so then i thought- hey, why not just write you a letter? i mean, its not like you and i communicate contstanly or anything. i mean, sure, a lot of our communication is done through goofy emoticons throughout the day. you know, hearts, dancing cat girls, koalas and sunflowers.
i've blogged about you before. because that's pretty much how much you rock my life.
but lately, you have pretty much gone above and beyond the call of being a best friend. and i am so thankful to the Lord for you. how could i have gotten through this last month and a week of my life without you? how???
you know how much i love a birthday. and i'm really bummed that i stole all the attention of your birthday this year. i hate being a selfish friend with you. and here it was, your birthday, and what were you doing? well, first of all, coming to my aid as i was sick and had been left alone with 4 children. you have such a servants heart- even if you don't believe it. and then, when i told you my suspicions, you didn't leave my side. you didn't leave my side. that was tremendous. because i was a mess, and you knew i was a mess. and in any phenomenal friendship, when one friend is hurting the other just steps in and takes care of it. and you did. you took care of my children like a sister would, you listened to me talk over and over again. you made sure i ate. and even when i was a panic, you were a soft reminder, "it might not be as bad as you think it is".
soothing, soft words.
i think how funny it is that i met you at starbucks. i mean, shouldn't that place bare horrible memories for me? but how can it? through starbucks the Lord brought me you.
my favorite thing about where our friendship is now, is how we can seriously communicate without speaking. and not in the goofy way they make fun of in bridesmaids- we seriously can communicate without speaking. of course, usually when we don't speak and just look at each other it instantly brings about laughter.
oh my goodness, have i laughed harder with anyone else? i should really print out the endless pages of google chats we have shared. but i don't think i can afford the printer ink for that.
you let me bounce all of my idiotic ideas off of you. all of them.
you are my sounding board.
you hear me tell the same stories over and over again. and then over and over again.
you check in on me.
you love me. and in that David and Jonathan way. that total trust and lay down your life kind of love. i know it, cause i feel it for you.
and the hardest thing about being in washington is missing you. hugging those sweet girls good-bye at starbucks. missing them.
we can always modify plan y. we can.
and make cinnamon rolls in heaven.
our friendship had grown so much this last year. a lot of loss, a lot of pain, a lot of challenges as being a mother and being a wife. and we had each other, to encourage each other, and talk things out.
and we do like to bake together. and talk about food. in fact, it would be pretty fair to assume that 20% of our talking was just about what we wanted to eat.
outside of my 4 beautiful children, you are the best thing to come out of 10 years of pain and lies. and i'd go through another 10 years if it meant i would have you as my best friend.
you are my Jonathan in how deep i know you care.
you are my Gus in how much utter goofy fun we have together. i mean... seriously... those late night google chats. seriously. i'm just nodding. that's all i can do.
you are also my Gus in that you do all the driving. even we when we are staking out people.
you drove me home. to my family. i ran to you, my friend, when the Lord took my life and flipped it upside down. but He didn't flip you. you were there. constant, consistent, loyal and faithful. and even with some mama bear/baby cubs furry.
you stayed up all night with me, and basically didn't leave my side until that train came to take you away.
there is no way i can tell you adequately how much i love you. i trust you with my deepest thoughts and my deepest dreams. you know my heart.
i am so thankful for you. so thankful. even though you may not think it true, i see more of who i want to be when i look at you. i am encouraged by you and your heart.
not everyone gets a friend like this. a friend who sticks this close. iron sharpening iron.
and even 2 states away, it hasn't changed us. you still make me laugh harder than anyone. you still send me emoticons, you still listen to me talk and cry.
the first week in washington i barely remember, but i do see you in the memories, there. always there.
it takes a certain woman to calmly drive a broken woman and her 4 loud children 12 + hours in a van... straight through.
i am looking forward to this next stage of our friendship. i am thankful that i have you. and i hope that i can be half as good of a friend to you, as you are to me. lately its been all about me, and i kinda hate that. less attention for the dorky red head please.
and you want to know something cool? if the Lord allows it, and i get remarried- you get to be in my wedding! even if its just a small little affair. how super cool is that? i mean really?
i know you aren't a lover of attention- at all- and so you will probably be a little red in the face over this, but please.
how can i not tell everyone in the world how i am so very lucky? i mean, look how much the Lord loves me? 6 1/2 years ago He brought you into my life so that at this time- right now- i would have a loyal, loving, terrific friend you would be at my side. He just loves me so much. God's Sovereign plan.
this blog post really doesn't do how awesome i think you are justice. but it will no doubt bring many gals out of the background with the strong desire to be your friend- because you are that amazing-
just remember- you already have a best friend.
me. Shawn. the one who always has something ridiculous to say out of my mouth and can quote most tv shows. and the David to your Jonathan. i'm not sure why i picked you as Jonathan, and me as David.
let me know if you want to switch.
i love you, my dear friend. thank you for how much you sacrificed this last month, and how you showed me Christ's love through the way you served me and my children.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

gracias.

well, its about that time of night when my gratitude becomes overly obnoxious.

132) blue embroidery floss that looks pretty on a ivory fabric.

133) painless tattoos.... aka... the little doodles i draw over my hands.

134) having dinner and wine with my dad. he always makes me laugh.

135) face-timing with 4 little ones.

136) technology in general. it makes me happy.

137) driving around in my brother's volkswagen cabriolet. way,way,way to much fun. and it didn't help me feel any less 16.

138) speaking of feeling 16- when you reconnect with a girlfriend you haven't seen since you were 16, that pretty much settles you back in your youth. i love you Kate! your beautiful face brought me unspeakable amounts of joy today. whiskey sours soon!

139) finding myself in the Lord.

140) finding myself outside of the darkness. i might be cool..ish.

141) looking on my bed and seeing many things made by my best friend.

142) the youthful face i apparently possess. its always nice to be asked how high school is going.

143) loyal friends-Vera, Serena, and many more, who text you when they want you to know they love you.

144) sweet Lisa and her beautiful heart.

145) blue fingernail polish.

146) glasses. we need them to see. we need them to drink. they are quite useful. if anyone knows were i left mine, i'd be quite happy to get them back.

147) SALVATION. i get to spend eternity being happier than i can ever imagine, worshiping my Lord.

148) getting lost in downtown Tacoma, and not caring. letting the patience that the Lord is teaching me start to really sink in.

149) getting free coffee refills. even after i spill coffee on a "lead barista".

150) i'm thankful for the reassuring text i received tonight. an answer to pray, i don't mean to worry, but i am thankful that things are okay.

151) songs that build.

152) my brother Paul. he's coming home. i'm starting to get oddly excited.

153) i'm really thankful for my hair. i know that sounds stupid. but its a color that not a lot of people have, and i'm really thankful that the Lord gave me something different.

154) i'm just happy. i am so happy. the pain and confusion has past. i don't like hearing more truths, but the happiness doesn't go away. its there. consistent.

155) my Bible reading plan. i just love what i am learning in the Word. i just love reading the Word. and i'm thankful for the tree that is on the front of my Bible.

156) air-drumming and a bedroom door that locks :)

i would hate to shatter any illusions.

so here it is. i'm not perfect. i am pretty much as far from perfect as a person could get. and i would never want this little bit of blog space to be an false representation of that. of me.
in the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. but someone will say, "you have faith; I have deeds" show me your faith without deeds and i will show you my faith by what i do. james 2: 17-18
i have been excused of not truly loving a fellow person as a brother/sister in Christ, and "i don't know your heart, all i have is your words and i believe our mouth says what's in the heart"
so. what is in my heart?
this is know for sure. my desire is to serve the Lord. it is almost a desperate desire. i am so thankful for way He has rescued me from the darkness that i just want to give Him everything that i have. my life has been forever changed. i look back through pictures from the past couple of years and i can just see a radiant change in my face. i am smiling like i am on some kind of drug. its light. i have so much light in my life now.
i am seeking the Lord every day. i am spending time in His Word. i am putting His Word close to my heart. and i am talking about Him. praying to Him. well, i journal a lot. my hearts desire is for my life to show Him the glory He deserves.
that is my heart for the Lord.
but. i am not perfect. so terribly not perfect. guess i need a Savior, right?
my greatest failings right now?
~ my stress level seems to have no buffer zone. depositing my kids into sam's moms arms this weekend caused a lot of stress and anxiety for me. cause it represented the first time that the separation was meaning me being separated from my kids. not that i couldn't have stayed with donna and jess. cause i can. but i can't. i'm just not ready for that. i'm not going to apologize for this. i don't believe it is a permanent condition of my heart. but come on, my life for the last 10 years has just radically changed. i have changed.
that being said, i really hate how my stress level is jumping all over the place. because it means i am not using any of the fruits of the spirit. and i don't like that. patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness. i need those things to be what come out of me. that is what i want.
~ my language. i'm not liking how with the same tongue that wants to sing of God's goodness in my life is still struggling with dropping the f-word in conversation. of course, i'm not just using the f-word like i'm a character in a trashy comedy. my blood can start to boil, and it seems to just sort of spill out of me. and it doesn't need to. it really doesn't need to. i can have joy and love be what comes out of me, while still telling my story.
~ my struggling feelings with sam.
ok, so he's the one telling me that i am not loving him like a Christian brother. i am not typing this here in my blog as a means for people to pick up their pitch forks and start jabbing at him.
this is what happened: i went out to dinner with a good friend, i had one too many beers (yes, serena's attempts to fatten me up with baking has worked, but when you drink one beer in 5 minutes flat without food on your stomach.... well, you don't feel bad.) and was told an unsettling story. basically, about a year into our marriage, sam had invited one (that i know of) girl back to our apartment late in the evening for beers and to listen to music. something happened. she's saying one thing, he is saying another thing. he is mad at me for not believing him. he is mad that i am getting the way of his recovery from his problems.
and i told him- i texted him- that i hated him.
in the moment, no, not my smartest text. because i do not want to be a woman who hates. i want to fill my life with loving the Lord.
well, sam was all over this. he clung to this text and basically gave me the my mouth speaks what is in my heart, and kind of made me feel like i am being a phony in my declaration of my love for the Lord.
you know what. it SUCKS that i am still having to hear about crap that sam has done. it SUCKS that he can't sit down and be COMPLETELY honest. because all i want is all of the truth. and i have to realize, i am never going to get that.
do i hate him? well, he thinks i do. and he will know read this blog and be even angrier at me.
but you know what, i need to be honest here in my space. and i need to be able to talk about my struggles. yes, i hate that i have to keep find out stuff. i hate what he did. i do not want to be with him.
and am i struggling with my anger towards him? well, when i learn new things it really does set me back. this is the honest truth: i do not desire to have hate growing in my heart towards him. the truth- i've been through quite an ordeal, my entire life did just flip upside down. i had basically been a frog slowly boiling in water, and thankfully the Lord got me out before i died. but, it feels like every time i am shown more of the lies its like i dip my foot back in that boiling water- and it makes me angry, it hurts, and instead of breaking down into a sobbing mess (which i do still do) i get very angry.
i do NOT want to be angry. i don't.
sam wants to know why i can demonstrate grace for Cedar but not for him.
well, that's a good question.
i'm not going to be able to talk to Cedar anymore. and i would ask that those who are faithful in prayer would pray for her. she feels like she is in the middle of a bad situation. when she tells me that " i'm having a really hard time right now. being in between you two is making my nerves go crazy, i'm being told different things by both of you. and i want to believe both of you".
well. what i gather from this, is that sam is still talking to her. and i don't know what he is saying to her, i'd be happy to tell you what i say to her. i tell her i forgive her, that i pray for her, that she is dear to my heart, that i am here for her. and i try and listen to her and how she is doing with all of this, because it has not been easy for her.
seriously, my heart breaks for her. it really does. and why? because while i have my Savior, i know the truth, i am protected in my Father's arms and i am experiencing His love as He dishes it out in wonderfully creative ways, i don't know where she is at.
but i don't want to cause her pain, i don't want to hurt her. so i trust that the Lord is in control, and i will continue to pray. sam is mad that i am talking to her. he's mad that i won't give him grace.
well. he's still not been completely honest with me.
this is NOT a bad mouth sam post. it isn't.
i am struggling. i am actively working on my forgiveness. i everyday need my Savior to bring me closer to Him.
and you know what. i am NOT perfect. but i am striving to be more like Jesus. i want to love the way He wants me to love. i want to bring Him glory.
so i know that i need to work more towards what He wants me to do.
and so, when i am being told that out of my mouth comes the motives of my heart- i would answer with this: i am trying. this isn't easy for me. i am trying. my heart has been seriously controlled and manipulated and hurt, and as i am being changed and molded by my Father into the woman He wants me to be, i would ask that everyone remember it isn't instantaneous. and i will not sit on the high horse of this blog and pretend that i am something i am not.
i am trying.
and this:
therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (i am hoping in the glory of God) Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured our his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:1-5
would you note how it says produces. not produced. meaning that i am not supposed to be instantly perfect- but produces- i am working on it. i am trying.
so. i will be actively seeking the Lord so i am not easily stressed, but instead easily calmed by His truth and love. i will be actively seeking the Lord so that i am not so prone to speak ugly words, but let my voice be something that brings Glory to Him. and i will be actively seeking the Lord so that i am not cultivating hate in my heart towards sam. i think the best thing that i can do in that regard is know this: i will only know the truth that comes from the Lord. He will be honest with me. He loves me.
there is a sky that i fell through.
and i am okay, well better than okay.
but not perfect.

Friday, February 17, 2012

the darkness and happiness.

i'm not 30. it just can't be possible. i'm air drumming for crying out loud. i throw in my earbuds and dance around my bedroom. i just can't be 30. not when i feel 16 half the time, not when half the people who see me think i am 23. i just can't be 30. really? how? how is that possible?
i'm just so spry.

but i'm thankful. i'm thankful, i start a new decade of my life focused on the Lord. i'm thankful for the 4 beautiful children that i love.

115) the silly things my children say throughout the day, i can barely remember half of them, and even when i am most frustrated, i think that if i were just to rest in what they say, i would find all my happiness.

116) for fixed and returned computers. missing computers are lame.

117) for the ability to air drum in the privacy of my bedroom.

118) music that still isn't loud enough in my ears, but it makes me happy.

119) for sweet Cedar. her heart makes me happy, i wish i could wrap my arms around her and love on her. i know the pain she feels, and it sucks. and she is sweet and repentant. and so very close to my heart.

120) my friend Courtney for taking me out for beers (3) that's right, i drank 3 beers. how cool am i am?

121) fish tacos. be still my heart. i love fish tacos.

122) my earbuds. and the music that loudly plays in them.

123) i'm thankful my best friend had a wonderful day with her family. i don't know yet if it were wonderful, but i love her to pieces.

124) everyday we get closer to sweet Hope arriving in this world. and that makes me happy.

125) as i hand my children over to visitation with Sam and his family, i realize how much harder this would be if i were still breastfeeding, and i am thankful for God's perfect timing.

126) for the Format. or the band that was the Format, and is now FUN. either way, i love their music. all of it. and it blares in my ears.

127) i'm thankful for the creative brain that the Lord has given me.

128) for being up high on a seesaw, choosing to see the good. all the good. but thankful for the balance that the Lord provides. He loves me.

129) for punching in a dream. i'm punching in a dream, heck, i'm punching in mid air.

130) for hope. i have so much hope. hope in a friendship with Cedar, hopefulness in more truth, hopefulness in the Lord. hope in what He will do with me. not can do- WILL DO!

131) gaining confidence. in Him. in what He will do.

Try

I don't know why, but this song is my go to first song lately. I couldn't understand all the words, which just goes to show how super cool I must have sounded singing it.
and then i found the lyrics. and i think i know now why this is my go to song.
you can listen to it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cRqaqtPDPY


Try
Straylight Run

Well, I am just guessing.
I'm doing my best to make some sense out of senselessness.
I'm talking to my wife,
I'm drinking too much wine.
I'm working on words, music, and melodies.
This is the best, this the worst.
I am the last, I am the first.
I'm placing blame and taking credit in a world I can't control.

I try to find a way just to say what I'm chasing,
Define what I'm making,
Believe what I'm saying.
To fill this space and feel like I belong.

I try to find a way just to say what I'm chasing,
Define what I'm making,
Believe what I'm saying.
To fill this space and feel like I belong.

I feel I have to find some meaning.
I don't think I see any.
I don't know what it is I see at all.
Well, no one's got it right, yeah,
They're just telling lies
Combined with their own special kind of truth.
This is the best, this is the worst.
I am the last, I am the first.
I'm placing blame and taking credit in a world I can't control.

I try to find a way just to say what I'm chasing,
Define what I'm making,
Believe what I'm saying.
To fill this space and feel like I belong.

I try to find a way just to say what I'm chasing,
Define what I'm making,
Believe what I'm saying.
To fill this space and feel like I belong.

When truth is just opinion,
When facts entwine with fiction.
Well, I just keep wondering:
What is there to believe in?

I try to find a way just to say what I'm chasing,
Define what I'm making,
Believe what I'm saying.
To fill this space and feel like I belong.

I try to find a way just to say what I'm chasing,
(When truth is just opinion)
Define what I'm making,
Believe what I'm saying.
(When facts entwine with fiction)
To fill this space and feel like I belong.
(Well, I just keep wondering:
What is there to believe in?)

I try to find a way just to say what I'm chasing,
Define what I'm making,
Believe what I'm saying.
To fill this space and feel like I belong.

back and forth

i'm underlining in my Bible. i've been going back and forth between orange and pink. both new pens, both from serena. the orange and pink aren't turning out well for writing verses on my hands, and sadly, the delicate handwriting that serena had done on my hand before i left to fly home was rubbed away much quicker than i expected. apparent airport flying nerves.
her handwriting is much better than mine.
but this post isn't about handwriting. and its not about pink and orange lines in my Bible. i had an idea once to read a Bible every year, and make notes and then eventually give a Bible to each of my children. recently i had an idea to start get a new Bible, and to devote an entire year to a different color of underlining. maybe i'll end up putting both of my hands together there.

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of saints.
Philemon 1:6-7

i underlined this passage yesterday, and right next to it i wrote "this is what i want".
and now i clarify for myself- i don't want this- i want to be this. maybe its a lofty goal. but i am a fan of lofty goals.
i want to share my faith. for so many years i sat in my house, trying very hard to balance a life that didn't exactly share my faith with anyone but other believers. in fact, i felt concerned that i didn't want my walk to make anyone "uncomfortable". you know, not wanting to mention the Lord or that i loved Him, because i was worried people would feel like i was preaching at them.
its embarrassing to admit how reserved i kept my walk with the Lord. reserved. try hidden. even here, on this blog, that has taken just a "teeny" bit of a directional change.
i don't want to ever be like that again. my old self is over. over! i'm not worried or afraid anymore of what people think about my walk with the Lord. i am not ashamed for a stranger on the street to know that i think Jesus is freaking amazing, or that He loves me despite my constant shortcomings and sins.
WHO Jesus is, and what HE has done for us on the CROSS is NOT something to be ashamed of.
i mean, maybe the fact that when standing out in the dark and i am asked to find the direction north and the moon is out and wide and i still can't find north, now maybe that is something i should be embarrassed about.
i am directionally challenged. however when north is pointed out, i can find south. ish.
i am directionally challenged with the LORD no longer. my eyes are upward. focused on Him. focused on eternity. on a forever with Him. and even though there are nights where i have a little to much to drink and i cry and cry, i still know where He is. He's got me.

i am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14


who is good at waiting? i mean really? especially in this instant gratification world that we are living in. i've noticed slight changes in myself already though. i don't feel rushed. cars can go slow in front of me. its more time to sing super loud. people can be slow in the grocery line, its more time for me to stand a pray. i can wait in an airport parking lot for sam's mother to come while the kids fuss and whine and.... okay, that was admittedly harder to focus and pray during- but i did. and kept offering the kids snacks. and listened to Psalm 121 or as the kids call it "the up and down song". although mr. campbell finally asked for the "moving on song". turns out if i play the same song over and over again they do like it.

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of saints.
Philemon 1:6-7

so. i will be active in sharing my faith. because if there is one thing that i know right now it is all the good things that we have in Christ. starting with the best, forever with Him. and then everything else. how i can be weak and He will be strong, how He will carry my burdens, how He will LOVE me, how He provides ALL i need. how He is my constant friend.
and i'm sorry- but if i can't give great joy and encouragement than i am not doing what He is asking me to do! i am an encourager. it is my gift.
and i want to refresh hearts. but not because of me- i don't want my actions or words or anything to be what refreshes, but i want it to be HIM. i want what Christ is doing in my life to just ooze out of me and spread.
because i am not doing any of this on my own. it is HIM. it is HIM. it is HIM and His new mercies everyday, His compassions.
the greatest thing about my current situation, is that i know who needs to be given my great joy and encouragement right now. and they are all downstairs eating breakfast with their nana.
talk about drilling it in hard. loving joy, loving encouragement, and finding my way to be the Godly mother they need- the Christ centered mother to 4 children that i have been entrusted with.
and so. i must be focused. on Him. my eyes- yes my directionally challenged eyes at times. upward.
if my heart was a compass, you'd be north.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

oh the long days of my heart

it has been a long day. and self-admittedly, i should probably close my computer and not let my fingers slip over the black keys of my computer.
but my heart is heavy. and i don't know why.
i have no desire for a heavy heart. but a happy heart. a happy heart. bombs away.
seriously.
i've been chatting with a friend. well, we are friends now. both facing inevitable loss. and i am thankful to the Lord, that we can be friends. and as i sit here, in the dark, smelling amazing things, contemplating my life, wondering what the Lord will do, and wishing i hadn't thought it would be wise to drink my dad's beer after i had had more than enough wine. oh well. its been a long day.
everything makes it long.
and then the Lord shows me: perspective.
how much more He can do. how much more He does.
what He is capable of, and how much He loves all of us. He does. He loves us.
and He will catch us if we fall.
He will.
His will. His plan. His all knowing love and power. Nothing has happened that His hand wasn't in. and that is the truth. it is. as i sit here, sobbing. and not for myself. i am happy. i am.
but i know, there are others, who aren't.
thank You Lord, for who You are.
You've got me.
and i know that.
i know it deep down in the pit of everything. as everything spins around me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the shortcomings of a woman serving the Lord

it has been quite a day. and the day isn't even over yet. so many times today have i tried hard to not have "feelings". i want to keep my eyes focused on the Lord. and not question what has happened.
let me explain a little more. which is hard when Straylight Run's Try is blaring loudly in my ears and i'm trying very hard to not start dancing on my bar stool at my new favorite coffee place. that serves beer. and yes, the guy behind the register thought i was 23. i think i'm going to be just fine. however i think of phoebee handing her id to sean penn's character on friends, "oh, i don't even want to show you this now".
i'm old.
i'm a 30 year old mother of 4 sitting at a bar dancing to music playing in my ear while everyone else moves around me to their own beat. no one knows me.
i'm not quite sure why Try has been my go to song. it was my favorite song to hear sam play on the guitar, but i am not listening to it because i am thinking of him, because i don't really ever think of him. i'm listening to it because something about it reaches out to me. i'm just not sure what.
i thought of sam today. when i was frustrated at 5:30 with a whining henry who wouldn't eat his dinner, with a baby who wanted to be held, with mason demanding a bath, with campbell not picking up trains. and i was frustrated. why am i doing this alone????? even though i have family around me, why am i now a single mother? why am i back in my parents home instead of in my house? why am i so far away from Gus??? why am i in such a tight spot?
and you know what? even when the water from mason's bath that i neglected to turn off had filled her tub and 3 inches of my bathroom floor, i remembered deep in my heart- i am THANKFUL.
so very thankful. to the depth of my core. to the beat of my heart. to my hands beating to air drums. this is where the Lord has me. right now, in this bar stool, listening to happy hour stories.
being terribly embarrassed when drew behind the bar tells me how in junior high he liked bleed american. i'm old.
but i'm feeling young.
today, i spent 90 minutes in a counseling session, and it was uplifting, reassuring, and at the end my hope for returning was that i am wanting to continue to seek the Lord. my heart is so pulled toward Him. my eyes are fixed on Him. and i want nothing to change that. NOTHING. i've been in the darkness before, and i never want to be in the darkness again. NEVER.
i wish when the water had soaked my feet this evening that i could have laughed with my daughter instead of being frustrated that it hadn't occurred to her to turn the water off. i wish when henry was fussing non stop that i had chased him around the living room and tickled him. i wish i had built more track with campbell, i wish that i had hugged my baby a few more times.
but what i did do- was remain thankful. always thankful. because honestly, i don't want anything different right now. if i could go back and change things i wouldn't. i am to happy. to thankful for where the Lord has me, and for how He is Sovereign in all things.
i love it. bring on the hard days. bring on the things that i struggle with that mean i have to go to Him in prayer and trust.
bring it on.
i'm thankful.

96) for early morning texts from my lovely best friend. telling her how i cry when i look at my rainbow closet and miss her. look for a post dedicated to my unfailing love for her.

97) touching my sister's belly and knowing that Hope is growing in there.

98) knowing that hope is growing in me. from Him.

99) He loves me. He died on the cross for my shortcomings as a mother, as a woman, as a daughter of my Father.

100) for the sweet taste of one york a day.

101) for a $3 beer that is now gone.

102) for a shuffled playlist that i love.

103) for emails from an old friend from my college days, and knowing that he and his wife love me dearly.

104) the requests of my children to hear Psalm 121 played in music form.

105) a darkened coffee shop where i can blast music in my ears and write.

106) for every morning when i come down the stairs and am greeted with amazing cheers from my children. i kinda rock there world.

107) mason's prayers at dinner time.

108) for the simple things, like wearing an owl t-shirt from my sister, and seeing my owl book end, and knowing that i am in His hands.

109) for absentmindedly sitting in a chair at fred meyers to talk on the phone and sip my coffee and realized, i sat in a green one.

110) for loving the color green. but happily moving on to orange.

111) i was gonna stop at 110, but i'm thankful that for the first time in my life i feel so alive in the Lord that i can sit here and bounce back in forth as the music plays in my ears and i don't really care at all.

112) for 610+ more reasons to come about being thankful.

113) for knowing that i can open my Bible and find all the truth i need about who He is, and what He is doing. even if the plan isn't totally visible, and i might feel blindfolded at times, He is leading me.

114) for the americano that i am going to order once i hit post. i may have drunk my beer to quickly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

for the moments i feel anger

i kind of like surprises. in a big time way. i have only been truly surprised a couple of times in my life. and i love the feeling you get when you think about a surprise again. that somersault activity in the pit of your stomach. its awesome.
big surprises i have received: a sewing machine that sam and serena orchestrated getting for me. and of course, the positive pregnancy test of mason, henry, and wilder. talk about surprises.
big surprises i have done- well the best one was serena and i talking ashley to disneyland last year. that was phenomenal.
until thursday. it seems like i plan a lot of cahoots with my best friend, who i have affectionately nicknamed gus. because she does all the driving in our cahoots. and i'm shawn, because i am usually quoting something that isn't original mary tongue.
with gus and my dear friend kris larson, we decided i would fly in to grass valley under the radar (well, i'm sure the pilot did keep us in radar) and surprise as many of my friends as i could. my idea- host a girls night for me (its just all about me) and tell everyone i'll "skype" in.
well, that definitely drew a crowd. a very surprised crowd. with tears and laughter and brie cheese and lava cakes and apple pie and (shocker) wine, i relieved the last 10 years of my life, and the last month. and as i stared at all my dear close friends it was wonderful to feel home. ah, how people truly are what make you home. its not a place. just like i can feel home here because of the people who surround me with love.
well, a little wine, a lot of sugar, and retelling my story, and the "expletives started flying". and i had been doing so good at not dropping the f-word. however, most everyone keeps reminding me that this word is being accurately used, as that is what was happening. but still. it riles me up- big time. blood hot through veins.
and then, i was told that sam's longest running lady friend had been given her job back at starbucks. and that flashing red light of rage was blaring in front of my face.
i went home with serena (gus) and was just irate. and i told her that i wanted to just go into starbucks and in front of anyone who was there point her out and tell everyone what this girl had done to me.
and as i was sitting at serena's table with my heart pounding hard and wonderful apple pie on the fork in my hand i sat quietly for a moment.
Romans 12: 17-21 went through my mind:
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone, Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "it is mine to avenge; I will repay", says the Lord. On the contrary. "If your enemy is hungry, feed him. if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Phew. Big sigh. the sighs were back.
and then it hit me. mary, you are so ridiculously happy. like crazy happy. like wailing into dancing. happy. so very happy with the Lord. would i want anything other than what i have right now? NOPE. not even a little bit. this is where the Lord has me. everything that has happened over the last 10 years of my life has brought me here- to sitting on the floor of my parents house, typing on my computer, with "i'm coming home" blaring in my ears so i can avoid henry's strong argument to get out of the bath, with my Bible open at my feet. this is where i am supposed to be. this is God's plan for me. and i love it.
so why on earth would i be angry at anyone who was part of how God got me here? the Lord uses the sinful actions of people for His GLORY.
so why would i be angry or hateful?
that's just ridiculous. its like having a big bowl of maggots served to you for years and then finally someone gives you a big bowl of ice cream, and you start eating the ice cream while still complaining about the maggots.
STOP COMPLAINING! i never have to eat maggots again!
and then i thought about this girl. and i felt compassion. i thought about the example of a Christian that had been shown to her. and i thought of Jesus. and how much He loves me. and how i am a sinner. and how He hung on that cross for my failures and sins that i have done, still do, and will do. and how He hung on that cross for her.
and my heart hurt.
and somehow i found myself driving to starbucks, seeing her car, parking next to her car, and literally walking in with music playing by my ear. and once i saw her, i felt free.
i'm sure i scared her. i know i did, because she told me later.
but i walked up, and told her out thankful i was for her. how the Lord had used her, how i was set free, how i felt more love for her and for Christ than i thought possible.
and then we decided to meet up and talk the next day.
do you want to tell me how a person could walk up to a person that had hurt and wronged them and leave with the biggest smile on their face?
Christs work.
when i met up with her the next day, i happily ran from my car to greet her.
and it was wonderful. no pain. no hurt. no anger. compassion. God's love. Christs work. His love, HIS FORGIVENESS.
i spent a little time explaining my history with sam, how i had finally found out, how i had been suspicious for months, how he had changed. and then i apologized for all the hard words i had said towards her. she was able to talk, explain what had happened.
and she has been truly repentant. she looked at me and said that she knew what she did was wrong, she had a choice, and she knew the whole time it was wrong, yes he lied to her, and said really manipulative and harsh things about me and our relationship- things that she chose to believe, and that he made it hard for her to end things, but that she still made the choice.
no excuses. remorse and repentance.
and then i shared with her about what the Lord is doing in my life, how only He can be what takes true pain away, how He loves her. i gave her a Bible, with blue polka dotted duck tape on it (just like mine, thanks Gus) and the devotional Jesus Calling. she gave me socks. we are a lot a like.
and you know what. i have a new friend. because of what Christ can and will do. it is through Him, He has given me love and compassion. i could cling to hate and anger, or i could embrace the love that Christ offers me.
its freaking amazing.
so this is my new friend. i'm praying for her. i'm here if she needs anything. i know she needs the love of her Savior. just like i do.
and you know what, she makes a mean mixed cd.
cedar, i am so thankful for you. i am so thankful for how the Lord used everything for His Glory, and i am so sorry for the pain you went through as a result of His plan- but i know that if you embrace Him, your pain will be gone.

happy valentines today to all those i love. remember the best gift of love. Christs Work.
and eat a york peppermint patty, because they are awesome.

wheels down.

i'm back in washington, and have muchos things to say. my trip was fast, but it stretched out in a wonderful way. and i cannot wait till i have the opportunity to return and to see all that i love.
i need to run downstairs and embrace the four little people that have been asking for me almost hourly while i was gone- i'm kind of a big deal. apparently.

my heart overflows with gratitude and thankfulness for a Savior that loves me, that protects me, that cares for me, and who offers me all the love that He has for me. all the love that i need.

i will blog later this evening. because i spent several hours this weekend with the last woman sam had been with, and it was amazing how Christ used me- how Christ is working in even the worst of situations. and just how at peace i am with who He is to me.

but, i feel compelled to say this:
sam emailed me asking me to more humble in the way i am talking to him- both in emails that include other people, and here on the blog. he said that people are commenting to him and saying that they are concerned that campbell will read this:

"and all the blog stuff, not from me also but others have commented that they're ready to not see you be so cruel on such a public forum. so please? since the things you write will be able to be read by campbell before he can understand it, please dial it back ?"

well, i think it will be good for my children to know the truth when they are old enough to understand what has happened.
if someone really feels like i am being "cruel" please talk to me directly, i have no desire to be offensive to anyone. and honestly- i am so unbelievably happy about how the Lord has lifted me out of darkness and into light, that i have no-none-zilch-zero- desire to hang onto any the darkness- but instead just be a light for the Lord. that's all i want.
so really, talking about sam isn't something i need to do here. as he isn't a part of the light of what the Lord is doing.
oh- and i should probably mention, that i will be strictly monitoring my children's internet usage when they actively using a computer- so they won't have free roam to simply stumble upon anything, whether it be this blog, which i am not ashamed of the words i speak here, or whether it be something sinful on the internet.... not that there is anything sinful on the internet. wait.

so, i will be back tonight, to share what the Lord is doing.
i'm back on facebook: God is good.
and i think i can smell pancakes.
my dad might rock.
wait, he does rock.

and now, as i am focusing my gaze on the Lord, i've got Pressing On blaring in my ears-
"my problems fell out of the back of my mind.... to go back to where i was would just be wrong.... i wont sit back and take this anymore"

i'm pressing on- i'm following my Lord.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hello to my blog reader family!! I apologize for the 2 day + silence. The cat is out of the bag- or more appropirately, the girl is in California! I flew down Thursday night in top secret ninja style. I surprised my wonderful girl friends, and have been truly amazed at what God has done in just a few short days. I will have much to say about my little weekend getaway, but today is a day spent to worship Him and be in fellowship with other lovers of the Lord- I hope you can all do the same.
May you all have a wonderful blessed day.
And a great breakfast. It is entirely possible that I had leftover Indian food for breakfast. I won't deny or confirm this. There also could have been a cookie.
Again. It's possible.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

music

i've not hidden that music has been a huge blessing to me. it has. i've actually branched out towards some music that i listened to bttwr (before the truth was revealed). i find that even secular music at this point i can find truth in. i guess it depends on what you are looking for.
and right now, i'm looking for songs that pump me up, in a positive Jesus way.
so, since today was a little odd for me. and i don't want to expand more on that. there is always the bright light of what Christ gives me everyday. and every day He pulls me closer to Him, shaping me like the potter shapes clay, and i am hopeful that everyday i become for useful to Him.
my current goal, to offer as many smiles as i can, to let the love of Christ shine out of me.
of course, i'm not always perfect.
i may or may not have gone through a starbucks drive-thru today, and while waiting for my drinks asked the pretty barista if she felt like everyone who worked there as pretty close. she smiled and said, "oh yes". i was like, yeah, my husband used to work for starbucks. and she asked, "oh, did he think they were a close group?" and i smiled and said, "i think so, seeing that he was having sex with the baristas in the back room."
i'm not perfect.
and maybe i have a shameful smirk on my face.
maybe.
back to music that pumps me up.
this is my new theme song. and it "may" bum people out. oh well. i listen to it everyday. my kids hear me singing it very loudly. if you were in the van with me you'd be getting a private dance show.
well, if you are driving next to, you are getting a private dance show.
http://youtu.be/LLNcsqHwoXI
that link will you take you to the video... its not a great video. but you won't really be able to picture me rocking out unless you watch it. this is a Christian punk/emo band.
here are the lyrics:

Pressing On
Relient K

I think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here.
Out of mind, out of state.
Trying to keep my head on straight.
I think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here.
There's only one thing left to do.
Drop all I have and go with you.

[Chorus:]
Somewhere back there I left my worries all behind.
My problems fell out of the back of my mind.
We're going and I'm never knowing (never knowing) where we're going.
To go back to where I was would just be wrong.
I'm pressing on.
Pressing on, all my distress is going, going, gone. (pressing on, pressing on)
And I won't sit back, and take this anymore.
'Cause I'm done with that, I've got one foot out the door.
And to go back where I was would just be wrong
I'm pressing on.

I think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here.
Out of mind, out of state.
Trying to keep my head on straight.
I think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here.
Adversity, we get around it.
Searched for joy, in you I found it.

You look down on me, but you don't look down on me at all.
You smile and laugh, and I feel the love you have for me.
I think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here, and we're gonna make it after all.

now, the 2 other songs that aren't exactly Christian, but are getting me pumped are both by Jack's Mannequin.
and you should watch the videos. and then think of my sweet sister. who in reference to Andrew from Jack's Mannequin said "I wish he'd play me like that piano" i can't remember the last time i laughed that hard.
well, i do. cause, He's turned my wailing into dancing.
http://youtu.be/sA8PaIw5gcE for swim
and
http://youtu.be/jrOMu-lmfnI for resolution.

enjoy.
cause its 11pm and i've got earbuds in at a way to high level, and i'm having my own little music party.
and then i'll take my ear buds out, read my Bible, and then listen to music from "my jesus" mix as i fall asleep.
occasionally i get good dreams.
two nights ago, 2 of sam's ladies were in it.
less fun for me.
but- i'm pressing on.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

sleepiness.

i'm tired. it was a long and wonderful day. joy seeped out of me like a faucet that couldn't be turned off. the things that usually frustrated me with my children were still frustrating, but i didn't care, i loved them, and i sought compassion and gentleness with them.
my mind faltered a couple of times. the thing that i struggle with the most is the pattern of lies. how for my entire marriage i was with someone who was involved with other woman. and how for so long i didn't know. how does the person you trust the most in the world, who you believe could never hurt you, sleep with another woman and you never be the wiser? how could he do this over and over again, i just never knew? how did he have a girlfriend for 9 months and i didn't know. how could he take her to my disneyland? and what were these girls thinking when i would come into starbucks with our children?
foolish, i tend to feel foolish.
for about 1/2 a second- and then RELIEF! FREEDOM! the Lord lifted me out of the worst situation of my life and has given me more love and kindness than ever imaginable. The Lord used everything sam ever did to bring me closer to Him. and i don't have to go back. i never have to go back. all of the pain is worth it. all of it. because i am forever in a better place.
the Lord's got me. He's got me. He loves me.
and i am thankful.

86) i'm thankful for friendships that carry me through the day.

87) there's a window outside of wilder's bed, and you can see it from the staircase, when he wakes up you can see him standing in his crib peering out the window, when he catches your eyes he gets so very excited.

88) for a best friend that texts me throughout the day, always wanting to add cheer to my life.

89) for a mom, who tonight, sent me out for an hour so i could get a wonderful break from a full day with my children.

90) sitting in a crowded Christian coffee shop, and happily chatting with anyone and everyone. for so long i have felt like nothing, and now the Lord has lifted me into His arms, and i feel amazing. and i hope my light in the Lord shines out.

91) smiles directed my way. from anyone and everyone.

92) for the meditating on the Word of God and working harder to memorize more and more of it into my heart.

93) embroidery floss and a needle and thoughts and prayers that go into each stitch.

94) early morning workouts that energize me- and make me hungry.

95) indian food, and how much it makes me like to eat.

Monday, February 6, 2012

iron sharpens iron

i am being ridiculously spoiled. the Lord is faithful to me in so many ways. His provision, His love, His protection, His gentleness. i am spoiled.
that alone is enough to suffice me. Grace is enough.
and yet, He uses others to bless me with kindness, love, joy, peace.
and little presents.

my dear from Piper from my college days has been faithfully praying and contacting me. she also sends me wonderful little gifts in the mail. the packages that have arrived bring my heart great joy. just little tiny things that remind me of how good He is to me, and the heart for Him that so many i love possess.



a beautiful mug, that holds coffee right now.


this journal is so exquisite, and in perfect timing, i have almost filled up my current one.

corn snacks, caramels, and a sweet note.
and a beautiful new necklace. i left most of my necklaces at what was my home, because i no longer wanted them, so i greatly appreciate new things to hang on my neck.


thank you my dear friend Piper. thank you for packages that bring joy to my day.

i would also like to mention my friend Emily, she sent me the book 1000 gifts. i have only just read a few pages, but i am too very thankful for the gifts my friends send me.
i thank the Lord for all of you.

when my mind briefly falters.

i went to bed last night, late. i usually go to bed late. everything in my life has become such a complete shift for me. i used to get up super early, and now, its the night time that arouses me. i used to move mountains to work on my physical body, now i feel weary if i am not working on my spiritual body. i used to feel like fading back into a crowd, now i want to tap dance in front of a fireplace letting the love of Christ that is in me shine out for all to see. for Him, not for me. i am but nothing. it is He is me that makes me everything that i am.
i meditate a lot on the truth. my mind for the last 10 years has been victimized of doubts. certain things like, "well, sure lots of husbands fall asleep in their cars at 3 am and just don't come home..." when that happens like 4 times and you are trying to convince yourself you aren't crazy, well- it makes you crazy.
if i keep my mind centered on the truth of Christ, if i keep my life open and willing to serve and love, if my mind is meditating on the Lord, if i am walking with Him.
i find myself saying little things over and over again to myself:
God is Sovereign (this is huge, it means nothing is a whoops, it means God is in control) He's got me, Jesus loves me, Jesus died for me, The Lord will fight for me, i need only be still, Be still, be strong and very courageous.
and, i do a lot of picturing in my mind, i picture myself in heaven, praising Him in all His glory. i picture myself in a place where there is no pain, no heartache, just Him and glory.
i picture myself at the cross. i picture my Jesus dying for me- He who was perfect, i am who am perfectly flawed and fail in every way, someone else wants me to be perfect.
so last night, as i was falling asleep, and my mind is tired, and the little lies that the enemy tries to bait me with plop into my head, i felt tired.
and this morning, i am not.
bring it on.
the doubts and fear that cloud by mind creating lies are thing that cause me to doubt who the Lord is. so i can cling to truth.
the greatest gift i have ever been given: salvation.
EVERYTHING else that is in m life- gifts from the Lord! all the people, all the things, all the experiences (even something painful like the experience i have been dealing with) and when i let myself worry for even a split second, that well- what if i don't have certain gifts tomorrow? what if something is different than today? well, then i sin and take the glory away from the Lord- because he is the master gift giver and He takes joy in how happy what He gives me makes me. and i know that tomorrow when i wake up i will have at least- which is also the GREATEST (i wake up every morning with the GREATEST gift at my feet) the amazing gift of eternal life. every other gift if a bonus. i have already been given the best.
so i will enjoy every gift my Father gives me today, for every second. this is why He it upsets Him when we complain- LOOK at what He has given us.
i will enjoy what my Father gives me. i will treat my gifts well with respect and in a way that is pleasing to He who gives them.
and i will be thankful. so very thankful.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

His love endures

a couple of days ago i had spent the day reading psalm 107. and i stopped at the first verse, deciding to take a closer look.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

the word endures is what stood out to me. in my simple mind i thought endures meant: last.
so i decided to look up a couple of translations of this verse, endures was the consistent word. in the ESV, they added steadfast. so i wrote in my journal:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love enures forever.

and then i decided to look up what the word endures means:
to carry on through despite hardships, undergo, to bear with tolerance, to continue in existence, last, to suffer patiently without yielding.
so it means a little more than last.
and then i looked up steadfast.
steadfast: fixed or unchanging, steady, firmly loyal or constant, unswerving.
the Lord's love- His steadfast love is fixed and since we know that God is love (1 John 4:16) we can see He is firmly loyal, constant, unswerving.
And in all that steadfast love- His steadfast love it endures forever- it will carry on through despite hardships, it undergoes, it bears with tolerance, His steadfast love lasts, it will suffer patiently without yielding.
FOREVER.
Give thanks doesn't even seem like enough- when this is what we have from the Lord,
steadfast, unchanging love- that will suffer patiently without yielding. forever.

i will give thanks,

71) a wonderful message at church today, and again feeling welcomed by all who attend, i have found a church body, i am making friends, my children are secure.

72) continually being shown who Christ is in my life, that He is all that i need, that He's got me.

73) my mother, her generosity in giving up her usual routine and taking care of me is more than i could ever ask for.

74) my mother's cooking. its fairly amazing.

75) 5 special hours with my baby sister- i love this girl. and i cannot wait to meet the precious baby that is coming soon.

76) my dad who provides love and discipline for my 4 little ones.

77) listening to henry call my dad "happy" instead of "pappy".

78) mason renamed the song surely goodness and mercy to: the house of the Lord, love hearing sweet words come out of her mouth.

79) beads of color strung together that give my hands something to mess with.

80) a purple journal that is starting to contain words of a story.

81) my littlest brother eric, and the attention he gives my 4 babies.

82) my nightly glass of wine and the sweet taste it has when it hits my mouth.

83) a Bible reading plan that provides me with the truth of God's love, on the days when i truly need to hear it.

84) knowing, The Lord will fight for me, i only need to be still.

85) accepting God's Sovereignty with my arms open wide.