January 25, 2012
In light of this blog and the eloquent and honest way this woman shared her views on motherhood, I've tried to slow down and take note of these "Kairos" moments. If you talk to me on a regular basis, you will know that I feel like we live in a house of chaos that is cluttered with constant disobedience, backtalk, me spouting off, rushing & frustration...from all of us! But, I wanted to see if these Kairos moments were real now that there are three little ones, one husband and one Mommy who hasn't a CLUE what she is doing.
Today made me very aware of God's grace toward my doubting & ungrateful heart. My entire afternoon feels like it was a Kairos moment. My younger two took naps, I got some stuff accomplished, my oldest arrived safely home from school, she did homework on the computer while I did my Bible Study, the younger two woke up...happy...the girls quickly started playing together but doing their own thing with Big Sis painting (something so beautiful, I will take a picture to make sure I treasure it forever) & Baby Girl playing on the computer, Little Man was wandering so happily around eating whatever snacks he found & humming/chattering all the while...and I actually had time to sit and read!!! "These are Kairos moments" I thought to myself. These are moments given by God to let me know that all is not lost in our little family of five and to also make me very aware of His presence. His ear is attune to my woes, my insecurities, my desire to really enjoy my kids. The day ended with dinner as a healthy family of five, Daddy and his girls heading off to show love and support for cousins & the most treasured time with my boy. We sang, we laughed, we snuggled and read the story of creation. I noted every. single. KAIROS moment of this rainy & cold afternoon when my heart was completely warm.
March 25, 2011
Jeff and I have been married for almost 8 years. We started dating in March of 1996 and after 7 tumultuous years of dating we were married on July 26, 2003. The day was so gorgeous and I had so much peace as we walked into marriage together. I was certain this was the man God had hand picked for me. 3 children and some years later I was completely certain that was no longer the case. We had walked into a HUGE mistake and now needed to find a way out. You may be wondering what sort of things would lead to such a harsh conclusion...just to name a few: during our 7 yrs. of dating and frequently breaking up we had never learned how to resolve conflict, there was a lot of past hurt that I was convinced would never heal and I was certainly never going to forget (or let Jeff forget for that matter), we are very different people with very different interests. That's just the tip of the iceberg, or so I thought. There have been many conversations where divorce was a regular topic, no matter how many people told us not to let it in...we did...we felt we had no other option. I should say "I". Jeff was most always diligent to shoot the idea down.
A few weeks ago I heard a little something as I was venting to myself and I'm sure others about who knows what, but definitely something Jeff had done wrong. Looking back I feel it was VERY audible...the voice of God. He said clearly "You are the bigger problem in your marriage." WHAT???? I started processing this. "Okay God, I can see where you would get that idea. I have so much anger and resentment. I have excused myself from being the Godly wife you have called me to be and my excuses have been Jeff's sin. I hear what you're saying but what do I do with it?" I used that as an excuse to further prolong repentance on my part because I didn't know fully how to move past all the drama, baggage & pain. So until I had a clear plan of attack on all that junk, I wasn't going to move forward any time soon.
About 4 weeks ago I got a call from my Dad informing me that some friends of his were hosting a marriage conference at their church and would we like to go? Mom was going to be out of town so he would care for the kids and allow Jeff and I the opportunity to attend. At that time, Jeff was supposed to work a side job and in all honesty, I didn't want to invest any more money, time or energy in these marriage conferences. For now we had a way out...until the week of the conference when Jeff's side job was canceled and that audible voice of God, or my gut feelings toward our marriage got stronger and louder. So, I called Jeff, asked if he had any interest and called my Dad. Not only was he still willing to keep the girls, he also offered us his ticket as well as purchased the additional one we needed.
By this time, I knew God was at work, I could feel the nudging getting stronger. I even told Jeff that I needed to talk with him about some stuff, knowing I had to apologize to him. Man, how humiliating was that going to be. I still was in turmoil about what all of this looked like. I still had so much pain and still no answers as to where to go with that pain. I felt like I had to know exactly how to "move past" before I could move forward with the necessary repentance.
Friday night we headed to West Hills Community Church. Tensions were high, as usual. We tried to make small talk while driving through the torrential rains to get there on time. We arrived safely and took our seats...knowing no one but two other couples seated all the way across the room.
The conference was Family Life's "The Art of Marriage". It was six video sessions. There were skits in the videos portraying different marriages. One in particular was a couple in therapy and as they sat there laying out the misdeeds of the other, the room we were in was cracking up...Jeff and I were not. We were mortified. Someone had taken our life and put other peoples faces on it and portrayed it to this entire conferences. Not only that, but what that couple was experiencing was no laughing matter. The counselor in the skit plainly looks at each spouse and says "You are the problem!" They were baffled. He proceeded to say "There isn't A problem...YOU two are the problem." That's when everything started becoming very clear to me. God started peeling back the layers and giving me the clear answers to the healing that I had been asking for and using at my crutch to prevent forward movement.
There is so much more to say about all that happened but I will try and make things as concise as I can. This was the first marriage conference I had been to where God only spoke to me!!! This is pretty funny and yet sad at the same time. I will fully admit that I was completely convinced at all other conferences, sermons, etc. that Jeff was the reason we were there...there was something he needed to hear. Me, not so much! Not the case March 4 & 5. We were there for me and because of me!!! While I know there is a lot Jeff learned I heard nothing I thought he NEEDED to learn. There were so many simple points that God used to give me freedom from the past hurts. First of all, Jeff is a gift from God. I am sad to say that I had never viewed him, nor treated him as that. Despite his sins Jeff was created by God to be used by God and God was kind enough to give him to me to walk through life together. Secondly the conference encouraged us to revisit our vows. Again, sad to say I had never fully thought about what I was saying to him on that July day. All I knew was that it was till death do us part and that had begun to give me a total feeling of suffocation because all I wanted was a way out. Vows are a covenant and we had entered into a covenant and I had completely devalued all that the covenant of marriage means. We had to write a love letter to our spouse. Man, I haven't done that since probably the second year we dated. That really began the heart softening. I had to sit and revisit all the things I fell in love with all those years ago, what first attracted me to Jeff, all the things I was convinced were gone. I used that opportunity to confess my sin to him and ask for his forgiveness.
As the conference continued, two major points really lifted the veil of hurt from our marriage: the gospel and these words, "Your spouse is not your enemy. There is a greater enemy at work in your marriage and he wants to destroy it." Let me first address the gospel. Through this point I realized I had not just held Jeff to a higher standard than myself but I had placed myself in a place of NO blame...sinless for the most part. I realized I was the worst of the Pharisees and that in and of itself brought me to my knees. How could I look at the cross, with the Son of God on it and devalue it so much. That price, that great sacrifice was made because of ME!!!...not just Jeff and not just for anything he may have done in the past that I deemed unforgivable...but for my self-righteous, prideful heart that views myself as better than others. Whoops doesn't even begin to cover it. Once I grasped that, I was able to better understand and give credit to the work Satan has done to tear apart this God ordained union. Satan knew right where to get us and we allowed him to over and over, year after year. Not anymore!!! I am declaring this a Holy Union and Satan no longer has any influence here!!!
There were other influential points through the conference but it was through these specific points that I could almost physically feel the shadow and gloom over our marriage and home & most importantly, my heart, be lifted. I now have a full understanding of the word RESTORATION!!! I have joy in my heart, not just because my marriage is functioning but because through my marriage I am fully aware of my deep need for a Savior. The cross never looked so beautiful to me. I was never more thankful for that great sacrifice than when I realized how sinful I was and how much damage I had done, but that God laid everything out in His perfect timing and plan so that I could be right there, at West Hills Community Church, attending The Art of Marriage conference and fully see how deeply God loves me in spite of everything and because of that love allowing me to love my Gift from God better than I ever thought possible.
I am so thankful for Jeff, my holy sandpaper!!!
You are such a treasure to us. You are a quirky, funny, sweet & intriguing little person & we are so blessed to be a part of your life!
And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said,
“Who are these with you?”
Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Happy 3rd birthday sweet girl!!
February 8, 2011
Before you were born I set you apart.”Jeremiah 1:5a
your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
In all your ways remember Him. Then He will make your paths smooth and straight.”
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
”Grow in the grace of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.
Get to know Him Better. Give Him glory both now and forever. Amen.”
to be self-controlled and pure,
to be busy at home,
to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands,
so that no one will malign the word of God. "
From Titus 2
December 23, 2010
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!