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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Precious Promises

Friday afternoon I was hit with the gut wrenching news that Chris had lost his job. Talk about a slap in the face. With our third child on the way I had already been dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety over finances, a car that we had already poured way too much money into, and trying to figure out how we could make it work so I would stay home. For the last two months I have wrestled with God over the question we all ask at one time, "Why me?" Many dark nights I struggled with God. Why did He seem so distant? Why did He place desires in my heart that He now seemed so unwilling to fullfill? The news Friday just felt like the icing on the cake, might I add really bad icing on a burnt cake. Although the news was devastating I felt more broken than angry. For the first time in months I lost the will to fight or question, all I could do was sob. All of the fears of losing everything were there, but mostly I just felt so low, so humbled.

Saturday was difficult. I cried a lot. I wanted to sleep and just forget everything. In the shower I began to sing the old Hymn, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand. Tears streamed down my face, and finally I felt what I had been missing for some time. The sweet presence of God beginning to fill and permeate the brokeness. I had finally surrendered to the work He really wanted to do in me. Sunday things began to feel better. Obviously our problems were not solved overnight, but I felt peace. I was able to smile and laugh more. I looked at my husband and children and felt nothing but gratefulness for their presence and steadfast love. Our circumstances took on a new light as I saw an opportunity for our family to draw closer together. Finally, yes maybe this can be a good thing.

I have come to find through the years that I am a planner. I want everything to go as planned. I would like God to come through for me on my timetable, and yet I want to still have some control in the matter. What I did not realize is how I was short changing myself for God's processes. They are not always fun processes, in fact somtimes they are messy and bring a certain amount of humility that I would rather just skip on. Oh how important these processes are though. I held an ongoing argument with God for two months, and in one day He washed away every pretense I could hide behind. Suddenly I realized how insignifcant my control really is, and how significant surrender is to His precious promises. One of those promises that has continued to stand out in my mind is at the very end of Matthew. After Jesus had given his disciples their last instructions He finished off with this in Matthew 28:20b
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age

I have heard this verse so many times it starts to lose its true value. As I let it sink in it is like a warm blanket to the soul and spirit. Jesus has promised His people He is not leaving. He is not going anywhere. There are no surprises in this life that throw Him off guard. We only fool ourselves if we think we can work the system. Could I lose everything of worldy value? Sure that could happen. I believe though that God is good, and He desires my good. As I believe in that, and lean heavily on Him the good in life just naturally works itself out. Walking with God is a win win situation when I let Him take control.

As of today I have not received a million dollar check in the mail. I have not been given a raise. Chris has not found a job just yet, but I am grateful. Our money is stretching more than I thought it would. I just looked at the bank account this morning to crunch some numbers, and I was shocked to find we should be just fine through this next month. Chris has had one job interview already that went well. We hope to possibly hear something by the end of the week. I have felt even closer to Chris as we work together to keep things going. I know it may sound silly, but I was rejoicing so much on the inside today. I know I have a Father who loves me. He desires all good things for me, but what is more important to Him is the state of my heart.

Friday, September 10, 2010

How I Came to Not Hate Football

There was a time when nothing struck dread into my heart more than waking up on the first Sunday morning of the season to the voices of Terry Bradshaw and crew on the Fox NFL pre-game show. It only meant one thing... it was football season and I was powerless to do anything but sit by and wait until the fever that plagued most of the country finally passed.
I know I am the odd ball out here. I mean football is as American as it gets, right? Of course being from Texas it should almost be a given that I spend my Friday evenings and weekends following this hallowed sporting event.

It wasn't really a problem for me during the first portion of my life. No one in my family is an avid football fan so we were all happy to hit the malls or restaurants while everyone else was glued to the t.v. Sunday afternoon. Yes life was completely, blissfully football free until I met Chris. My sweet, kind, lovable fellow was perfect except for one tiny little issue...Chris LOVED football. Of course being the sweet, kind, lovable girl that I am I made it quite clear that I HATED football, and that while I loved him he should not expect me to participate in any football shenanigans of any kind. Those first few years of marriage I tolerated it. Chris was extremely gracious and would forgo a game many times just to appease me.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when the change occurred. Perhaps it is my great love of fall that will not allow me to be brought down. I have to say I have slowly gone from completely cold to warm to the pig skin. For once I decided to put aside my prejudice and see the joy and comraderie that this sport brings to people. People's countenances change this time of year. There is something rejuvinating about people from all different backgrounds rallying together as the season finally starts to give way to cooler temperatures. Now I haven't completely gone off the deep end here. There are still many things I would rather do than watch football, but now football and I can coexist peacfully. I love the excitement on Chris' face when the season starts. A Sunday may consist of him watching the game while he plays around with the kids in the living room. I will light a pumpkin candle to give the house a nice fall scent. I may make some pumpkin bread, and if we are lucky we can open the windows and let some cool air in. The best part is being together even if it's not my favorite pass time. I am lucky to have a guy who still puts me first, and will not hesitate to help around the house even if a game is on. Hopefully I have become a little more gracious towards him because our marriage is a lot happier when we both delight in making each other happy.

From one non-football fan to all you crazy football lovers out there

Happy Football Season!!!!