Monday, June 29, 2009

Ahhhh Home Sweet Home.
Praises be! We have landed! Thank you Sweet Jesus for this blessed weekend.
The weekend trip has come to an end. Thanl you Jesus for your faithfulness, mercy and peace. Bless my man with a successful plane ride home.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Praise you Jesus! You have been beyond faithful during this trip. I love you more and more each day. I praise you for the lazy river too! You are good.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Praise the Lord. We have landed. Jesus your faithfulness leaves me breathless.
All the praise and glory to Jesus. We are off the ground and headed to Vacation. I am humbled by Jesus' mercy. Praise Him. Glory to Him alone. Thank you Jesus.
Praise the Lord we have made it to the gate. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness.
We are at the airport. Baggage and check in here we come.
Well it is raining and the tornado alarm in town is going off but the car is packed and we are headed out. Jesus we need you. Please be near.

5 hours and countng...

Well, work is done, I have enjoyed a little bit of McDonalds and I have vacumed the house. I would compare these last 5 hours to the preparations right before a big gymnastics competition. I have downloaded my "competition" music, I have written scriptures on sticky notes and placed them in my shoes. You see, ss a gymnast when I would get really nervous I would write scripture on sticky notes and place them in my shoes or leotard. I had scripture written on the back side of my grips or sometimes ont he inside of my sports bra... It was comforting to me to have the Word with me at my most nerve racking moments as an athelete. And today, I find myself doing the exact same thing.

I know Jesus has something big planned for us, regardless of if we get on the plane or back in the car, I will stand faithful and praise Him.

Check back for updates, Sweet Jesus has blessed me with the ability to update the blog from my phone so I will keep my warriors up to date. Much love. I am humbled by your prayers.

Bring it on... Today is the day...

Ours bags our packed, my toes are a fabulous shade of hot pink and I have invested in water proof mascara. I am ready. I am ready to walk into this battle with my man. I am prepared. I have prayed. I have read the Word. I have assembled my team of prayer warriors and now, I will watch my husband be victorious and I will give all the glory to Him and Him alone.

I gave my man this sword on our wedding day, for such a time as this. I wanted him to be prepared for the battles that were to come and the responsibilites he had being the man of our house. I wanted this sword to symbolize his role as well as my role as he went out and defended our family. I wanted him to be physically prepared for what was to come. I wanted him to know that when the time came for him to enter into war, he was prepared with a sword, The Sword, the sword of truth. Most of all I wanted him to know that he was fighting on a team that will not be defeated. Regardless of if he felt defeated or victorous, his team has already won and I wanted him to have a visual reminder of that everyday.

Now, I also wanted him to know that he has a partner, a prayer warrior and a woman who will welcome him home regardless of victory or defeat. I wanted him to know that I would create a safe and peaceful home to provide shelter and rest in between battles. I wanted him to know that I will fight along side him if needed.

And, today, we have been prepared for such a time. Do you think it would be an issue if I brought the sword along for the plane ride? I seriously think it might make my man feel better...

But sersiouly - today, we are prepared for battle. We are prepared to face whatever is to come together, as one, united by the blood of Jesus.

Sweet Jesus - bring it on. We are prepared for what you have in store and want to glorify you. You my Lord are worthy of all the praise and glory I can muster. I love you. Thank you for preparing me 5 years ago on my wedding day for this very moment. Thank you for providing me with the visual reminder of the sword over the last 3 years. I love you - Praise you sweet Jesus. Amen

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home Tour - Master Bed Room

Kelly is hosting another home tour this week and this week is the Mater Bedroom. Our Master Bedroom is a light sage green color, which is perfect, because it is such a peaceful room. We have a large book shelf in our bedroom full of books and bibles. Casually leaning up against the book shelf, next to Andrew's side of the bed is a sword. Yep, a real, sharp and heavy sword. I gave it to him during our wedding cerimony, right after we said our vows.

I gave him that sword on our wedding day, because I wanted him to be prepared for the battles that were to come. I wanted him to know that no matter what, victory or defeat, he had a partner. He had someone who will back him up with prayer, my knees have been sore on his behalf lately. I wanted him to be equipted with the Sword of Truth as the Bible puts it and I wanted him to have a visual reminder of what that meant. I picked the sword from Braveheart, because he loves that movie and it has great battle scenes in it.

We have a vase of our wedding flowers that sit next to our tall dresser on a white pedestal that was also used in our wedding.

Right above the bed is a scripture. Matther 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." With everything happening right now, this scripture is everything to us. We are in this together, we cannot stand alone. Where he goes, I go and when he hurts, I hurt. This scripture is a nice reminder of that.

The quilt on our bed was a gift Andrew's Grandma, Grandma Postma, made for us as a wedding present. My heart is tender for this woman, she has prayed for my man everyday of his life and she has prayed for us everyday of our marriage and now she has added my son to her daily prayers. I praise Jesus for her.

This cross candle holder hangs right next to my side of the bed. I love it and I love the picture of Isaac that is tucked right in.

Between our two windows I have hung a collection of pictures of Isaac. I also added the cute candle holders as an accent. I love candels, can you tell?

Our room is peaceful, decorated with scripture and the best place to end the day. Thanks for stopping by, make sure to leave a comment so I know where to visit. Blessings!

From the phone

I have now figured out how to send posts to my blog from my phone. We should have updates during the trip. Please exuse the horrible spelling that is to come, I am not the world's best speller and typing from the phone, it will get worse, trust me! Yeah for mobile updates!

3 down, 1 to go...

Well, today has come, today is packing day, oh and pedicure day - the musts before any big trip! Today is also a day in which is hard for me. I am so emotional today. I am standing on the edge of something great, I can feel it. Sweet Jesus is going to show up tomorrow in a big way and I cannot wait to see it all unfold. The anticipation for this trip is bigger than my memories of the night before Christmas as a child. I am fighting off doubt, I am fighting back tears as I get to praying over my man and I am honored to be blessed with the friends and family we have surrounding us. It is a big deal, we are in this together. We will either both get on that plane or we will both stay home. We will either both get on that plane and land in Vegas and stay for a few days or we will both turn around and rent a car and run back home. We are doing this, whatever it may be together. This is what it means to no longer be two but one. He is my man, He is my Jesus and together, we will do this, regardless.

If you need a great book I would highly recommend Stormie Omartian's, The Power of a Praying Wife. It is a well worn book by my bed side. I am praying one of her prayers over my man today and each day of this trip. Jesus has placed a scripture close to my heart, just for this trip. It hangs on the wall in our living room, but it is extra powerful today and in the days to come.

Scripture set apart for the trip.
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Lord, I pray for Your healing touch on Andrew. Make every part of his body function the way You designed it to. Wherever there is anything out of balance, set it in perfect working order. Heal him of any disease, illness, injury, infirmity, or weakness. Strengthen his body to successfully endure his workload, and when he sleeps may he wake up completely rested, rejuvenated and refreshed. Give him a strong heart that doesn’t fail.

I pray that he will have the desire to take care of his body, to eat the kind of food that brings health, to get regular exercise, and avoid anything that would be harmful to him. Help him to understand that his body is Your temple and he should care for it as such (1 Corinthians 3:16). I pray that he will present it as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You (Romans 12:1).

I pray You will sustain him and heal him. Fill him with your joy to give him strength. Specifically, I pray for his anxiety and fear. Give him faith to say, “’O LORD my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me’ [Psalm 30:2]. Thank You, Lord, that You are my Healer.” I pray that my husband will live a long and healthy life and when death does com, may it be accompanied by peace and not unbearable suffering and agony. Thank You, Lord, that you will be there to welcome him into Your presence, and not a moment before Your appointed hour.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2 days down, 2 to go... Wordless Wednesday

Today Isaac left for Grandma and Grandpa's house...
We will meet again in the mountains on July 2nd.

Isaac Martin, your mama loves you, Sweet Jesus loves you and I will miss you while we are gone. Have fun, be good and praise the Lord for all His blessings! Kisses my sweet one. Mama

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1 Day Down, 3 1/2 to Go...

Praises be to Sweet Jesus we made it through Monday. Am I really the only one out there that gets super excited for vacations and when they finally come, the days leading up to them always seem to go on forever!!!!

Well, Monday ended with a late night at work, late meaning I finally left my desk around 7:15pm, which means it was an 11 hour day. I got home just in time for give Isaac a bath and spend some one on one time with him while he played in the tub. Even if the evening was a short one, it was fabulous. Mind you, I am a little emotional about leaving this time, only because I will not see my baby for more than a week. He will stay at Grandpa Marty’s and Grandma Cheryl’s house until we all meet up for the 4th of July in the mountains… so this mama will miss her baby...

But back to the fact that I am the kind of woman that is super prepared... or at least I like to pretend to be. I love making lists, using my sticky notes and colored pens and getting everything all neat and organized. So last night, I got to use one of my new colored sharpies and check a few things off the list, well three things actually, I have included my lists for your viewing pleasure.

As you can see, I have spread out my things to do over the entire week. I know it might look obsessive, but once we get back from our trip, we only have a few days at home before we leave again, so I want to make sure we are ready for both trips.

Funny how even the most “prepared” person can still be unprepared… you see, no matter what gets done on the lists, no matter how the house is left when we leave for the airport, we still have to get on the plane. We will have to stay on the plane until it takes off and we will have to get back on the plane to come home. As I attempt to physically prepare Andrew and I for this trip, I must also prepare spiritually for this trip.

My list of things “to do” is not as long as my list of things to pray over. Trust me. I want to make sure the preparation for the trip is peaceful, not stressful. I have prayed for the Lord to show me ways that I can prepare for this trip and take some of the burden off my man, so I made lists. I can pack for him, do the laundry, clean the house, pack Isaac and the dog and yet, I cannot take the anxiety away. I am still “discussing” that one with the Lord, if I could just carry that for him, just for this weekend, so he might have a peaceful vacation, it would change our lives.

Jesus, bring peace among our preparations. Bring strength as we are weak, bring comfort as we are fearful and bring blessings. I trust you, I trust in your Word and the promises You have laid before me. Specially, Jesus, remove this anxiety from my man, strip him of all that causes anxiety. Bring him peace and bless this vacation. I call upon the power of your name Sweet Jesus, I love you. Amen

Oh and Satan, you are not welcome here, get behind us, we belong to Him and you are nothing to us.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The count down beings...

This week is a big week for Andrew and I.

You see, this week is a big one, because once we make it through the week, a HUGE event will be happening. We are going to take a weekend trip that will require us to fly - and that is HUGE - it has been more than 3 years since we flew anywhere, and we have only really ever flown together once, that was to Florida just before Andrew got sick. Needless to say, it was not a good experiance. So, this week, will be big. Today, kicks it all off and I am reminded of my Lord, JEHOVAH-ROPHE, "The Lord who Heals".

I have been praying for this weekend to come. I have been praying for the freedom that will come with getting on a plane and going out of the state. I have been praying over my man as he prepares for the weekend. I have full unwavering faith that the Lord who Heals will bring healing this weekend. I am so excited to see what He has planned I can hardly focus on work.

As we prepare for the weekend, I have been busy making lists. As, I love my lists, each of them are color coded, written on lined sticky notes with my new colored sharpie markers, if you think I am a little OCD, you might be right. But I have my lists all made. My to do list. My to be packed list. My to be prayed over list. My to be done for Isaac list. My to be done for Andrew list and most of all my praises to be shouted for the mountain tops list.

Friday night was spent cleaning, with praise music turned up so I can hear it and sing from every room in the house. I must say, sweet Jesus blessed me, if you have ever tried to mop with tearfilled eyes, you will understand when I say, it must have been Jesus, because my floor actually came out streak free and fabulously clean. I spent the entire night just praising Him for where we are and what this weekend will bring. I have complete faith this weekend will come and it will come with peace and fabulous memories.

I am counting on my JEHOVAH-ROPHE. His promises hold true, His work will stand the test of time and He will heal His children. Sweet JEHOVAH-ROPHE bring healing to my man. Come and come with all guns blazing. Bring your power, bring your grace, bring your blessing and bring your glory. I trust you, I trust in you and I will praise you for this week and weekend ahead. I love you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Show us where you live - WEEKEND

So this week, Kelly is hosting another "Show us where you live" party so here we go... This week it is all about the play rooms, laundry rooms and bonus rooms.

I will start with my laundy "room". It is really a closet, but I love it. It works perfect for us. The thing I love most about it is that I was able to organize it and maximize the storage. We hung a shower curtain rod that goes the full length of the "room" and it is just perfect to hang up all the work clothes and "non dryer" items.

Our "bonus room" is my most favorite place. It is our loft. It is large, open and bright. We have a futon set up and my most beloved reading chair. I sit here in the mornings and have my time with Sweet Jesus. It is the perfect spot.

So this is Isaac at 9 months, he is now 19 months... can you believe time as gone by so fast? Well, we created a play room in the walk in coat/storage closet on the main level of our home. He LOVES it! He plays in there, he takes his toys in and out and it is nice for him to have his very own space. Now that he is learning to turn the door handles, he will sometimes let himself in, otherwise, he stands at the door and "asks".... I recently added the stickers to the wall, but other wise it is pretty plain...

So that wraps up the tour of our home for this week. Thanks for stopping by and leave a comment so I know where you "live" and I will come visit. Blessings!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday... with a few words from Isaac

This is what Mama found when she came into my room this morning. Not to worry, I slept thru the bloody nose.

Mama thinks it is cute to "Mohawk" my hair!

Side view of the "Mohawk"...

My Great - Grandma Postma was intown last weekend.
She learned to drive the quad... She went really slow...

Mama took Grandma for a ride on the quad.
Mama went a little fast with Grandma.

It's been a great week -
Come back for more pictures soon-

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blistered but Steady Feet

I have been looking for new shoes for a while now. I wanted to get a cute pair of black and brown sandals that I could wear at work and on the weekends. I finally found something I liked at Payless, well, I only found a pair of black shoes there. However, I went to Kmart and found a pair of brown sandals, both pairs look fabulous. They are simple, cute and hied all the things I hate about my feet in a very stylish and fabulous way.

Following my weekend purchases, I had to get away from the office yesterday, it was the typical Monday. I was missing my baby and I longed to be at home, I had laundry to get done, I wanted to clean the house and I was drawn to the idea of having all the windows open, reading while Isaac napped and fresh air blew thru the house. So, since I HAD to be at work, on my lunch break I went to get my toe nails painted, I am too cheap to pay for a pedicure but I will pay the $8.00 to have them change up the color... I had the most uncomfortable, yet sassy shoes on and I wanted to slip into my new fancy black sandals but my toes nails were in no shape to be on display at work. So a little lunch out of the office was a must, plus it totally opened up the option to display my new shoes several times this week.

So today, I got dressed with my new brown sandals in mind. My entire outfit was focused around what looked best with my shoes. I changed my pants three times just to make sure I had on the ones that looked just perfect with my sandals. Once I had selected the perfect pants, the rest of the outfit just came together. The morning went smooth; I got Isaac to day care on time and to work on time. The trouble did not start until around 10am, just a little over 2 hours after I first slipped my feet into my new fabulous, fiercely adorable brown sandals from Kmart.

Around 10am I tell ya, my feet were on FIRE! The sandals were easy to walk in, but the leather strap that ran across the top of my feet dug into the sides and just kept digging with each step. I am convinced I will break them in. They were cheap, they are cute and they are just a titch uncomfortable, but I am praying about that. Seriously, I am going to pray about the breaking in process of these shoes because my heart is just so fond of them.

It all got me thinking, Psalm 17:5 says, My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. Then if you turn to Psalm 26:12, it reads, My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD. And finally, there is Psalm 40:2, He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

During the entire day, I never had any trouble walking in the shoes. My feet were stable with each step I took, but with each step that leather strap just dug farther into the skin on the sides of my feet. I left for work with a cute outfit and new shoes and I came home with blisters. How many times in our lives do we experience the exact same thing? How many times do we find out selves in the midst of trying times, painful times, yet it is in those times that we are stable, our feet don’t slip, our faith holds strong, our foundation is rock solid. Those are promises I cling to. Those are promises I pray over my son, that his days, no matter how difficult, may be days with steady feet. I pray that he might stand on holy ground, steady ground and stable ground, regardless of what might come his way.

I am so honored to serve a God who places my feet on a rock; He gives me a firm place to stand and He makes sure my feet do not slip; regardless of what shoes I happen to choose that morning. Regardless of the choices we make, His promises remain. How great is our God? Seriously? How Great Thou Art!

Sweet Jesus I love you – Thank you for keeping my feet steady, regardless of what shoes I choose to wear in the morning. Regardless of my choices, you are You, and You are God. And I LOVE YOU! I praise you Abba, I praise you! Oh and Daddy, please heal my blistered feet and ease the break in process of my new shoes. Bless me with comfortable brown sassy sandals. Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yep... still waiting...

I spent a good part of this weekend on my Mother-in-Law’s back porch reading. I love their porch and back yard; it reminds me of my parent’s back yard. The yard is big and green; the porch has comfortable chairs and the warmth of the sun and overall, it just feels like home. As I was reading in the book of Esther, the Lord pressed upon my heart, once again, to wait. I was really getting into the story of Esther. I am currently reading Charles Swindoll’s book on Esther, while reading the Word a long side. It is my favorite way to study the Word.

As I open the Word and Swindoll’s book, I am given a little background. You see, Mordecai, was a Hebrew, and was the gatekeeper at the palace of a great Babylonian king. Esther’s parents pass away and Mordecai raises her as his own daughter, devoutly praying that God care for her. Years pass, and Esther has grown into a kind and beautiful young woman. King Xerxes has ascended to the Babylonian throne, with Haman as his principal adviser. Xerxes has banished his wife, and sends for all of the young women in the kingdom so that he may choose a new wife. At first Mordecai is reluctant to send Esther to Xerxes. But God has chosen Esther for great things, and Mordecai prepares Esther for her meeting with the King. He warns her never to reveal that she is a Jew. Xerxes finds Esther beautiful, and makes her his queen. Haman, the king’s second in charge gets a little power hunger and declares that everyone in the kingdom must bow down before him. Mordecai refuses, declaring that as a Jew he will bow to no one except his God. This enrages Haman, who vows to destroy all the Jews. Haman goes to Xerxes and falsely claims there is a plot among the Jews to overthrow the kingdom. Mordecai overhears Xerxes give Haman permission to hang all the Jews. Mordecai asks Esther to intervene with Xerxes on the behalf of the Jews. So here we are in Chapter 4. Esther is told that Mordecai has been in mourning, he has dressed himself in sackcloth and ashes, (typical mourning attire for the times) and has been expressing his feelings at the gate of the kingdom. Conversation occurs between Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs assigned to attend Esther and Mordecai. After much conversation, Mordecai says to Esther, "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Her response to the man who raised her, "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."

For three days, she waited. She prayed. She fasted. She looked to Him. She thought carefully about the situation she was informed of. She spoke with the Lord about it, she did not seek council from her girlfriends or co-workers, if a Queen has co-workers. But, she looked to Him.

It was then that He directed our conversation to the following passages…

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (The Message)

Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (New American Standard Bible)

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (New International Version)

You see, I have been in a period of waiting for a while, much longer than 3 days. I know the Lord is doing a work within my household, I know He has something fabulous planned for my husband and I, something that will bring Him great glory. But, we are in the period of refinement and waiting. Sweet Jesus told me this weekend, that I can be sure of a few things while I wait.

#1. Waiting often produces great strength.
#2. Waiting often produces energy.
#3. Waiting often produces endurance.
#4. Waiting does not mean doing nothing.

Esther waited, prayed, fasted and sought the Lord for three days, yet, she also prepared a feast for Hamen and the King. I doubt she cooked the food herself, but she had a say in the meal and preparations. I firmly believe her 3 days were not spent alone, in a room, facing a wall. Sweet Jesus pressed upon my heart that when I wait upon the Lord, I do not have to sit in the corner doing nothing. I can pray, fast and wait, while going on about my daily business. However, it is imperative that I stay focused on Him, His Word and His thoughts.

Sweet Jesus left me with this simple reminder:

I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God. Psalm 38:15

It was a great weekend. Praise you Sweet Jesus for such a great weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Home Tour - Bathrooms

Last week I posted my house tour here. However, I really wanted to change up the blog, so I moved to the "new" address, mostly becuase of the features of blogger vs. wordpress. So I will continue the home tour hosted by Kelly's Korner at the new "blog home"... This week the tour is for bathrooms, our house has 2.5 baths, and I love each of them for different reasons.

The first bathroom is the 1/2 bath, just off the kitchen/back entry. When we first started painting the bathroom, I hated the color. It went on so gray and dark that I actually cried. But, as soon as it dried, I LOVED IT. The painting was done by a dear friend and I just treasure it. The bathroom is pretty simple, the color is a deep steel blue, with accent colors of cream and white.

The next bathroom is attached to Isaac's bedroom. The pictures are painted by the same friend who painted the picture in the 1/2 bath. I had to go with the rubber duckie theme, mostly because I love it and I am a fan of the color yellow. Did I mention I got a new camera? I think it take such great pictures, I hope you enjoy!

Finally, our master bathroom. I love it, it is simple, clean, pure, restful and a little traditional. I love the double sinks and the simple cream colored paint. The sage green accent color makes it peaceful and one of my favorite places in the house. When we moved in the bathroom had carpet in the bathroom, seriously, carpet! I hated it, so Andrew and I pulled out the carpet and a friend installed the tile.

Thanks for coming over for the tour. Make sure to leave a comment so I know where to visit. Have a great day! See you next week!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My new self... "Spring Cleaning"

I blogged about cleaning, well, a "sticky note" from my precious Savior who suggested it was time for a good cleaning. For now, the house is clean, and I have started to process the internal cleaning He has done within me. You see, over the past three years our lives changed. My husband changed, but lately I realized, I changed too. I have watched my husband change, our marriage change, our lives change and I finally got it, I also changed. Today I realized it and it was as plain as day. You see, when hubs got sick, I fell to my knees, no joke, my face pressed to the floor, Jesus and I became tight. We were always tight, but this time was different. I became interverted, I became shy, unsure of myself and for the first time in my life, I had no words to say, if I was not talking with Jesus, I got nervous, I had no words, nothing came. And today, I realized, I am so much more comfortable either on my knees, face to the floor, or in the back ground of the party. I am not sure it is a bad thing, however, it is hard to get use to. I got comfortable with my new normal, and now, now that we can go out, socialize with people, see friends we miss, I get nervous. I have no idea what to say, I can either talk about how great Jesus has been to us over the past three years, or I can talk mama talk about my son. But really, I do not know how to just talk with people anymore. Mostly, because life has changed for everyone. Three years has brought newness to everyone’s home, not just mine.

Jesus, give me confidence. Give me strength to reach out and get to know the people I love, once again. Amen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What did their Sticky Note say?

During all of this time with Andrew suffering, I have come to understand the Word so deeply. Recently, I have come across a story that is near and dear to my heart lately, it is the story of Isaac, which played a part in my love for that name… but anyways… here it goes.

Genesis 12:1-7, tells us about God’s call and promise to Abraham. At that time, his name was Abram, and his wife’s name was Sarai. God promised Abram that He would make of him a great nation and that He would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. How cool of a promise is that? Seriously, I love that the One who created the Heaven’s and the Earth will bless those who blessed this man and curse those who cursed him.

After hearing the promise, Abram and Sarai, along with Abram’s nephew Lot, pulled up stakes and traveled south until they arrived in Canaan, the promised land. One remarkable thing about God and His promises to Abraham is that He told Abram the same thing several times (See 13:14-15, 15:5), but Abram and Sarai weren’t quite sure how God was going to fulfill His promise. This is exactly where I am right now. I have been hearing the same thing for a while now, but am not sure exactly how He will do what ever He has planned and I am not even sure what His plan is… I tell ya, I have been tempted to pack up and move to Canaan as well, a new location, might mean a new message right?

You see, these two couldn’t have children (11:30), and it seemed obvious that this problem was a major obstacle in the way of the promise that they would become a great nation. At one point, Abram seems to think he’ll never have any children and that a servant will be his heir (15:2), and then Sarai comes up with the idea that maybe God wants Abram to have children through Sarai’s servant, Hagar (16:1). So, between having severe doubts and trying to solve the problem themselves, Abram and Sarai ended up going through a lot of turmoil as they waited to see God’s promise come into being.

I can relate to these two. Now, I have been blessed with a son, Isaac, but their story is near and dear to me. You see, I have asked for another “sticky note” from my Sweet Jesus and this one, well, it did not have any of the information I wanted. It simply said “WAIT”… yep…

It comes up everywhere, it seems like I cannot escape this one. I was praying over my man last night, and there it was, posted to my alarm in the morning. I was praying over our situation as I enjoyed a caffeinated beverage this morning, and there is was on stuck to my computer at work. Those 4 little words are following me everywhere. And just like Abraham and Sarai, I don’t want to wait. I for some reason am having a hard time waiting for much longer. After all, it has been almost 3 years… Now, Abraham and Sarai waited for much longer than that, but I don’t think we can make it that long.

When I kept digging into their story, it seemed like God was delaying, and in the mean time, trouble would come their way. A famine came into the land (12:10ff), and they went to Egypt, but because Abram was afraid, he and Sarai agreed to deceive the Egyptians and conceal their marriage, claiming that they were only brother and sister. The same sort of thing happened again later when they deceived another king about their marriage (see chapter 20). Because of this deception, Sarai was taken into the household of other men, first of Paraoh and then of Abimelech. Imagine how you would feel if you were Abram–imagine how you would feel if you were Sarai! They were waiting and yet, nothing, or at least it appeared like nothing.

Finally, however, Sarah (her name and Abraham’s were changed in 17:5 and 15) became pregnant long after she was of child-bearing age, and she gave birth to Isaac. A squabble broke out between Sarah and Hagar, because Hagar thought she was better than Sarah–she had been able to bear a son for Abraham and had named him Ishmael. Sarah got tired of Hagar acting superior and of Ishmael making fun of Isaac, so she demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away (chapter 21). Abraham didn’t feel very good about that–after all Ishmael was his son–but God told him to listen to Sarah. You would think that finally God would be satisfied that they had waited in faith and that He had now fulfilled his promise of giving them an heir.

However, in chater 22, we read about one last test. This one gets me every time. God tells Abraham to take his only true heir, Isaac, to a mountain and to sacrifice him to God. Seriously, after all they had been thru, after all the waiting and tests that came their way, they are suppose to give up the every thing they waited for, for so long?

I admire the man for even walking out of the tent, because I am not sure I would have even gotten that far. It turns out that just as Abraham was ready to plunge the knife into Isaac’s chest on the altar, God stopped him, satisfied that Abraham really believed that God could overcome even the death of Isaac and still fulfill His promise. God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead.
I cling to their story. I cling to Abrahams faith in God and Sarah’s devotion to her man. I admire the faith it must have taken to tie his son to that alter and look into his eyes as he is about to sacrifice his one and only son. I at times, feel like Andrew and I are right there with them. Trying to wait in faith and trust with everything we’ve got that something bigger and better is in store. But the faith at times, starts to run out, conversations with Jesus happen with great passion and frustration at the center. We are tired, we are spent and yet, we are still being tested. At this very moment I know I do not have the strength to tie my son to an alter, I am not sure I would have the strength to do that once this “adventure” was over. I am not even sure I have the strength to continue to very basic and necessary tasks life requires, you know, laundry, dishes, work, etc.

In the New Testament passages, we find out that Abraham is held up as a man who believed God’s promises despite the apparent impossibility of them being fulfilled. He is also shown to be one who put feet to his faith by obeying God when God told him to do something. I want to be that kind of servant. I want to have that faith, I want to have that strength. I want my man to have that as well.

Sarah is held up as a model for women, showing them how to be influential with their husbands. We know, having read Genesis, that Abraham and Sarah were not always confident in their faith and that there were several times when their marriage went through difficult periods. But in the New Testament, we learn that they triumphed.

It’s good to know that God doesn’t demand perfection, because right now, I cannot give Him that. I don’t think I could ever give Him that. But He does want us to hold tight to our faith and to the ones we love as we travel the path He has prepared for us.

It is because of their story that I am okay with the sleepless nights, the reoccurring night mares, the repeating of scripture over and over again just because it is truth and that is all we cling to. I am okay with where we are, because they made it. God delivered them, He fulfilled His promises and those promises I will cling to. I guess I just want a different sticky note… may one that will give me more information, like a time line or a deadline of some sort. Anyone else, just want a little stick note every now and then?

Sweet Jesus, I praise you for the night of restful sleep for Andrew. I praise you for a night free from nightmares and one of rest. Thank you for that simple but much needed gift. Give us strength to hang in there and wait. Our goal is to be obedient to you, to serve you, to go where you lead and complete the challenges you have set before us with integrity. Just watch over us. Never leave us, reassure us of your promises and love for us. Come into our home and make your presence known. Heal my man Sweet Jesus, bring healing. I love you. Amen

Wordless Wednesday

Spring Cleaning

A while back... I got a little sticky note like this...

This sticky note would probably be found clipped to the soap or shampoo in the shower. It leads me to this passage from Hebrew 9:22: In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The first thought that comes to mind is simple: If I were to clean my bathroom with blood it would create more of a mess, am I right? Just picture it, it’s towards the end of the week, Isaac is in bed and Andrew is playing the Wii. It is in these moment that I take time for myself. I love to clean, it kind of relaxes me in a strange way.

So I head up to the bathroom and under the sink is my carefully organized cleaning caddy. Complete with everything I should need to clean the bathroom in one fowl swoop. There are sparkling white rags, paper towels, Windex, Soft Scrub, Scrubbing Bubbles, my beloved Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet wand, Swiffer Dusters, Dusting Spray, Dusting clothes and finally, a toothbrush, just in case something needs more attention than normal.

I always start with the sinks. Because my husband is in love with the electric razor and I am a woman, we tend to have little bits of hair on the counters and if you ever just get right to it with a little water and a rag, you will notice that all you do is smear the hair all over the place, so a quick dust with the Swiffer Duster and we are in business. Then we move onto a little Soft Scrub, a nice bright white cleaning rag and some warm water and we are off, ready to rock and roll. In no time at all, the sinks are done, the counter top is sparkling and we are ready to move onto the bathtub, then the toilet and finally we finish the grand project with a little Windex on the mirrors, a mop and a bucket of soap and water for the floor and it is like a brand new bathroom. I can do it all in an hour tops.

It makes me happy just thinking about it, it makes me want to run home, right now in the middle of the day and give it some quick love. Now, I love anything that is freshly clean, soft tenderly warm right out of the dryer clean bed sheets, soft fluffy clean towels or even a clean pair of socks, it just feels right. As long as I have clean socks and underwear, I swear I could go for a few days in the wild… Clean means something to me, it speaks to me, it makes my heart at peace. It sparks something so deep within my soul that I want to obtain that feeling over and over again, hence me getting a little stressed when too much time has gone by between house cleaning weekends.

But if the law requires everything to be cleansed with blood, the results would be different. It would be a messier process, it would take longer to get the white tub white again, my fluffy towels or beloved bath robe would get a stain or two and the process would not be a meticulously planned and executed routine as outline above with great attention to detail If you don’t know by now, some might say I am a little OCD.

The “cleaning by blood process” would be hard work. Lots of frustration, lots of washing and re-washing. Lots of sparkling white cleaning rags would be ruined and I would at some point, want to stop washing and re-washing and just kick the wall out, exposing the bathroom to the world, bring in the hose and turn the water on. I would watch the blood stained water run down the side of the house and down the street. But then I would be left with a huge hole in the side of our home, which I am sure would not be the intended result. As I was thinking about this “cleaning by blood process” I came across another passage, this one from Exekiel 36:32-34. “‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ This passage can be summed up by one little but BIG word: WORK. The resettling of a town, the rebuilding of ruins, cultivating desolate land, all of which sounds like a lot of work. But we must not over look the promise at the end. “I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.” It could not be more simply put.

Now comes the part where I need to apply the scripture to me and the love note I received…
It is time to clean house, be washed in the blood, hang it all out there for Him to see, rebuild ones brokenness, cultivate desolate dreams and resettle the inner soul. But yet, cling to the promise the work will be done, the rebuilding and restoring will happen and it will be a success. Never the less, it still sounds like a lot of work, am I right? Sometimes I believe the sticky notes the Abba leaves me are not always warm, fuzzy, romantic ones. There are some that require work, and some that speak the truth I don’t want to hear, however, all of them bring me to Him, my Abba. They all have the same author penning them, they all are personally written for me and only me at the very time I need them. They are hand picked messages from the King to his Daughter. And I would want nothing more.

So, exactly what areas need cleaning? Everything. Just like every part of the bathroom needs attention and requires different cleaning supplies, every part of me requires extensive attention to detail and often times, several different “supplies”. The supplies can be people He has brought into my life to help dig out my dirt, or passages of scripture He has placed on my heart to help in the restoration process or dare I say it a conversation with my husband that challenges my wisdom and knowledge of His good word. All of the supplies have one thing in common, they are centered around Him, can be support by Scripture and are sometimes hard to hear. The personal process takes longer than the bathroom process, but the result is the same. Once deeply cleaned, the bathroom is like new, rebuilt with organized towels stacked neatly in the linen closet, cultivated, alive, restored with by the fresh aroma of lemon Soft Scrub and clean air, the items on the counter top are resettled, put back in place and life is good. Well, the same goes for me; my heart is rebuilt, my mind is cultivated with a renewed wisdom and my focus is resettled. But the journey; well it was hard, it took a lot of washing and re-washing, at one point I drug Him right in and watched the blood run right over me, covering me from head to two, it was bloody, I am blood stained, yet I walk away completely clean.

Praises Be Unto you Sweet Abba. I love you, you leave me breathless. Wash me clean, stretch me daily, challenge me, renew me and refine me. May all the glory be yours. Amen

Don't think it was easy...

It is no secret that Andrew and I have had our “moments”. We will just call them “moments” for now. You know the kind of “moments” I am talking about. The kind that make you fall to your knees, tears streaming down your face, doubt staring you straight in the eyes, the kind of moments that will literally shake you to your core. We have had those moments.

The moments we can look back on over the last 5 years of our marriage are life changing, faith defining, earth shaking moments. Some are filled with joy, others with anxiety. Some are filled with laughter filled nights, and others were spent listening to the beeping of hospital monitors. Some are filled with the greatest blessings anyone could ask for and then there are the moments that are so challenging one would question how we made it.

Those moments, all of them, are all moments that Jesus hand picked for us. He chose those moments for our first 5 years of marriage long before we took our first breath or even before our parents witnessed that little magic plus sign on their home pregnancy test.

So my question is this… when exactly did we ever think life, married life or life as parents would be comfortable, easy or always “wonderful”…. You know the kind of wonderful that leave it to Beaver experienced. Where exactly in the Bible does it say those who choose to follow Jesus will never know suffering, anxiety or pain?

Right now in our culture people will be in a TV show that will test the very strength of their minds and bodies, people will take it further and sign up for a TV show that will eventually put their integrity in question. They will put their kids in front of the camera and attempt to raise them with a sense of normality, and the moment they speak of Jesus and stand firm in their faith, it all comes crashing down and the cameras turn off and no one is around. The evidence of the “rumors” are still published, the hearts of their loved ones are still hurt and none of it was as easy as they thought.

I know of a woman who on a daily basis says these words about “my people”…. “religious people make me sick, their very view of life disgusts me”

When and how did we get the idea that following Jesus was the easier choice? When did we “those kind of people” think it was okay to have them call our Jesus disgusting? When were we ever encouraged to be Jesus with skin on because it was the “popular thing” to do…

His word makes it clear… “They will hate you because of me”…

Those seven simple words say so much.

“They will spit on you because of me”
“They will mock you because of me”
“They will tear your lives apart with so called “reality TV” because you choose to talk about me”
“You will disgust them because of me”
“They will withhold promotions from you because of me”
“They will try to spend your money on experimental medical testing because they have no other answers and refuse to look at me”
“They will beat you and hang you on a cross, because of ME”

So I ask you this, are you up for whatever He has set out for you? Even if it is uncomfortable, smothered with anxiety, painful, unfair, hard work, filled with long nights and even if it means you only wear water proof mascara for the rest of your life? Are you up for it?
I want to raise my son to be up for it. I want him to look in the face of pain, anxiety and fear and know that Jesus has already overcome the world. I want our family name to be one that brings a smile to the face of our savior and I want my son to be “hated” because of Him -yes you heard me right. I want my son to know Jesus so passionately no one will be able to see when he beings and his love for Jesus ends. I want him to know it is hard work to passionately love Jesus. But I also want him to know the blessings that come with it are worth it all and are enough.

But really, will the moments of blessing be enough? The moments of a peaceful nights sleep, a blessing in the midst of suffering. The moments of laughter, a blessing in the midst of over whelming heart ache. The moments of excitement as we dream of taking a trip to Vegas, a blessing in the midst of anxiety filled mornings.

Jesus – you are enough. I love you. I work for you, I sleep so I can wake well rested and honor you with my actions. I eat so I can be healthy and serve the people you have placed in my life. Even if those people spit on me, mock me, beat me and hang me on a cross, Jesus, I will do it for you. I love you.

Oh and PS – Satan, you have no place in my home, there is not a room that does not hold scripture on the walls, do not even think you are welcome in my life, my home, my mind or in any part of my husband’s mind, life and heart and do not get me started on my son… Back the heck up – YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.

Between Him and I

Sweet Jesus, it has been no secret to you that over the past few years, Andrew has been suffering. It is no secret to you that our nights have been restless and our mornings filled with anxiety. It is no secret to you that he is hurting, feeling alone and defeated and it is no secret to you that at times this is all too much to handle. It is also no secret to you, that this conversation between You and I would one day happen. So here it goes… Just as the psalmist David once wrote…

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer O LORD my God.
Give light to me eyes or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I will trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me. Psalm 13

I too have those every same questions. How long will you turn away from my husband? How long will he continue to suffer and have sorrow and anxiety within? How long until he can fell your love and be reassured of his place as your son? How long until enemy no longer triumphs over him? Lord, come quickly, this is a trying time and if there is something we, as one, are not seeing, hearing or learning, please Lord, light a bush on fire and help us out. As his wife, it is hard to see him suffer.

I will take this anxiety, if it means relief for him, give it to me, just give him relief. Give him a restful night, calm his fears, strip him from the nightmares and wake him with peace. I will do w hat ever you ask. I will sell all we own and give it to the poor and follow you, just as you asked your disciples to do. I will step out of the boat in faith, I will leave comfort and stability behind, I will do whatever you ask. Just ask, just make it clear and bring your peace.

Lord, if I may be so bold, I am done watching him suffer. I have had it, I know your healing power and I am starting to doubt. Your word is made of promises, we have cast the anxiety upon you, we have laid it at your feet, we have prayed continuously, we have sought you in your word and nothing. The anxiety is still there, the restless nights come every day and the toll it is taking on my man is too much. Ease the burden, even if you have to give it to me, just ease the load he carries daily. Your word says that you will make our burdens light, and yet, my man is heavy laden.

Regardless, you are Lord, you are God, you are the Alpha and Omega, and I will praise you in this storm. I will trust that it will not last forever, although 3 years is starting to feel like forever. You have been good to me, you have been faithful, but please just be good to him. Be faithful to him. He loves you, he is faithful to you, just come and come now.

A little bit about us...

It has been almost 3 years since life changed for us. We were just 2 years into our marriage, enjoying each other, loving Jesus, enjoying vacations, dinners out, late nights with friends, and then, everything changed. For a while, I had noticed a change in my man, I started praying over it, asking for the Lord to mold him, move him, and make him into the man He had set out for him to be. It was then, that I got exactly what I asked for… although it just took a while before I got with His program. The unknown came around and everything changed. In just one night, it all changed.

Something happened and I can still remember the day I got the call. I was working and Andrew called me, he was headed home from work, not really feeling well. Then, he called again and said, I needed to come home now. When I got there, something was not right. We called 911 and the years I now know very well, had begun. We spent the next several weeks, which turned into months, trying to figure out what was wrong. He was not the same, he would look at me almost as if he had no idea who I was. We spent days in and out of the hospital, nights were spent checking his vitals and making sure he was still here. I found a determination that I never knew existed. I found a power in prayer I never imaged. And I found strength I only thought very “mature woman” had.

There were days I did not shower, brush my teeth or change my clothes, and I work at the hospital, so I also got over caring how people saw me, real fast. All I cared about was him. There was not tim
e to make any phone calls or catch up on work; there was only time for prayer.

I spent hours praying over him in the hospital, countless sleepless nights just watching him sleep because it was the only time he really looked peaceful and I talked with every physician I had any kind of connection with. We looked into all kinds of possible medical explanations. We ventured down bumpy roads that seemed to have no end and we eventually found something along the way. By no means did we find “the medical answer” we had been looking for, rather we found something much greater.

We found us and together we have discovered Jesus, once again. It was in the middle of the night in the hospital when I crawled in bed with him, just to hear him breathe and I realized then, he was the strongest man I have ever loved. From that moment on, my life changed in a way that I can hardly explain. Nothing else really mattered. I missed endless days of work, just to stay home with him, and take care of him. I wanted nothing more than to be there when he got better; I wanted nothing more than to understand what was happening.
And yet, a few years later, there are still days of uncertainty and struggle. I can look back now and say with certainty that the past years were some of the best years of my life. When we got married, we said in sickness and in health. And I now know what it really means to stand by someone during the darkest moments. I love this man more today than I did a year ago.

I am honored to be the mother of his son. I am honored to wear the ring he gave me, and I am honored to have his name. As we approach the next few months, weeks days and even years, again filled with uncertainty, one thing I know without a doubt, we have an incredible God who can give miracles to the hopeless in their time of need.