When You Hit the Ground Face First.

It’s a pretty icky feeling.

When you think you’re adding a hearty dash of season salt to your eggs and you learn the hard way that you actually added red pepper. With your mouth on fire and shock written all over your face you try to gracefully recover while trying to figure out WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

When you go up a stairway in the dark and you think there’s one more step but instead find yourself trying to step on air, you walk away feeling a bit like an idiot and  you feel a bit betrayed by your instincts.

That’s how it feels when you try to sell your house on public auction and only one interested person shows up and refuses to bid against themselves. 🙂

After a series of events in our lives we felt sure God wanted us to sell our house. We didn’t know why exactly, but everything that happened in our lives seemed to point in that direction.

It was a decision we struggled with a bit because if we are staying in Lancaster County why wouldn’t we keep our house instead of renting? At the same time though there’s this thing we want to pursue and we felt it would be easier to pursue it if we let go of the financial responsibility of owning a house.

Well, we tried…

and we failed.

We feel…

angry?

confused?

betrayed?

Yes, to all of those.

Excited? Yes, We feel a bit excited because first of all we get to keep our house, we don’t have to pack up and move. 🙂 We also feel just a wee bit excited because God never let’s stuff like this happen unless he has a better plan.

Yes. All those emotions are directed at God.

When you seek his will and you try to live in the center of it, then he doesn’t show up when you need him…

Well, you wonder if you can ever trust him again?

I know, I know. God always shows up when we need him, but when he doesn’t let your house sell it sure doesn’t feel like he did.

Which leads us to wonder…

Did we get it wrong? Did he never want us to sell our house?

Or, did he want us to face this situation so we can learn from it?

We have come up with multiple ideas of why he let this happen, I have absolutely no idea if any of them are right tho.

Control. Do we still try to control our own lives and he is bringing us to a place of complete submission?

Fear of man. Does what people think still matter too much to us and he is bringing us to a place of complete freedom of that?

Trust. Is he bringing us to a place of trusting him even when we don’t know what that’s supposed to look like.

It also makes us wonder if we can ever trust ourselves again? Do we even have any idea what we are doing?!

I’m sure of one thing though. I’m very, very sure of this to be exact.

Prayer is incredibly powerful!!

I have seen prayer change people that I honestly thought would never change. I have seen things work out because of prayer that shouldn’t have.

Then there’s a more personal level…

If you pray for patience, you will find yourself in many situations where you need to practice patience.

If you pray for faith, you will find yourself in situations where the only way out is faith.

We pray daily that we would live in God’s will, that the choices we make would fall in line with what he wants. Why then, as soon as something doesn’t go the way we think it should, do we get all ‘bent out of shape’ and wonder what God is trying to do?

Maybe the simple conclusion is: “He is answering our prayers.”

We have dreams, BIG dreams, dreams that we believe are God inspired. Dreams that we can’t accomplish on our own, we need his help to get there.

Jeff Nolt (pastor at Threshold) had a sermon on this once. A couple things he said stood out to us.

If you believe there’s something God wants you to do, you can’t sit around waiting for it to just happen, because it won’t.  You’ve got to start taking steps in that direction. Oh, and you will fail. You’ll have moments when you are sure this is God’s plan but your ‘step of faith’ finds you flat on your face on the ground. That isn’t what matters tho, the only part that matters is that you get up, brush yourself off, learn from it and try again.

That’s not his exact words but it’s the point he was trying to make.

So, maybe that’s  where we are right now?

If God wants to use you in the highest places he will first prepare you by taking you through the lowest valleys.

Maybe he wants to use this to prepare our hearts for something?

I believe each person we meet, each situation that arises plays a part in taking us where God wants us.

What the devil wants to do to throw us off track, God can always turn around and use for our benefit and for his glory.

We can let hard situations derail us, or we can use them as stepping stones to a greater faith, greater trust and greater assurance that God knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us…

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More Then You Can Carry

It’s a cute little phrase that sounds perfectly ‘christian’ and is used a lot.

If you don’t think about it too much you’ll probably nod your head and agree.

Because it sounds good.

It sounds nice.

It sounds legit.

But if you take the time to really think about this phrase, you will find that it is anything but true. As far as I know anyway, there is no biblical backup for it.

“God won’t give you more than you can carry.”

First of all the whole structure of the sentence seems to be a bit off. God is for us, not against us, so I’m not entirely convinced that the hardships in our lives are from God.  Jesus says:

The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.    John 10:10

I think that God is ultimately in control though and the devil can’t do anything that God doesn’t first allow.  (Read the book of Job for an example of this)

So, why would God allow anything bad to happen to us? This seems to be a popular question as soon as bad things happen to good people.

Honestly though? I could never figure out why people struggle with this so much.

Isn’t it obvious?

First of all: We (even the good people) live in a fallen world, so why do we think we should be exempt from the consequences of that?

Second: Think about this: When did you grow the most spiritually? Was it in the good times? Or was it in the hard times?

The life I have lived has made me who I am today. It doesn’t matter if it was the choices I made, good and bad, or the things I had no control over, again good and bad, ALL played a part in who I am today.

However, it was those moments of hardship, when circumstances where completely out of my control. When life hit me hardest, those were the moments that brought me to the place of choosing:

God or bitterness.

If I choose God and allowed him to walk through it with me, it became so much easier, he somehow opened my eyes and allowed me to see the whole situation from everyone’s perspective instead of just my side of it. He gave me grace and love to pass on that I would never have found on my own. He changed my heart.

Got that?

He didn’t change my situation. He changed me!!

Before he did that, however, he brought me to the end of myself.

He gave me more then I could carry…  on my own.

How else are we going to learn to rely on him if we don’t first run out of our own strength and realize with brutal honesty that we can’t live this life without him?

If he never gives us more then we can carry, wouldn’t that mean we don’t need his help?

If we are never given more then we can carry, then why are there so many divorces? Suicides? Broken people? Hurting people?

I think its because life does throw more at us then we can carry. Thats why we need Jesus. When our trials become too heavy, when we feel hurt, lost, confused or whatever, he is there to help us through. He is there to carry our burdens that have become too heavy for us too carry alone.

To end on a positive note let me just say:

Life WILL break your heart.

Over and over again.

Yes, I know, that’s not very positive…

but this is…

Every single time (if you let him) Jesus will carefully put it back together and every time it will be just a bit more beautiful then it was before.

 

They Call Him Daddy

These kiddos…
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They call this guy Daddy.

I know…

Those aren’t the best pictures, but getting some people to pose is pretty complicated! 🙂

(Yea, no comment.)

I’m guessing you’re wondering what this post is all about.

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Well it has a whole lot… actually it has everything to do with the fact that the guy pictured above (we’ll call him checkers 🙂 had a birthday. Notice the ‘had’ in the last sentence? I would love to make it look good and make it sound like his birthday is today and I’m writing this post right on time but the truth is: I’m writing this 7 whole days late. A week, that would be a week late in case you didn’t catch just how late this really is! 🙂

I tried to write it last Wednesday, but I couldn’t even decide on a title. So, after about 30 minutes and five ‘starts’ followed by five ‘delete alls’…

I quit.

For some unknown reason I cannot sit down and write off the top of my head. Usually I have this subject rolling around in my head, I think it through from every angle possible .

(I’m a thinker not a feeler, if you studied personalities you will know what that means and if you didn’t… well it means I process things with my brain not my emotions 🙂 Which might sound logical, but really, it’s not always, because Depending on the situation I can appear pretty heartless because rather then feeling… I think.)

Anyway… I think something through  (google and books play their parts as well 🙂 till I come up with a thought process that makes sense and it has to make sense from every angle or it doesn’t make enough sense that I’ll accept it for a final conclusion.

Got that?:)

After awhile I have all this loose information floating around in my head and it starts to feel rather disorganized. Then when I sit down and write, its easy, my thoughts tend to run faster then my fingers can type.

But if I didn’t think it through, then I sit here staring at a blank computer screen wondering if I actually wrote every blog on this page, because in the moment it simply doesn’t seem possible.

So here we are a week later and I’ve finally organized my thoughts on what I want to write so it shouldn’t be a problem.

The truth is though…

I still didn’t write a single thing that I was going to and have instead written half a blog on things that I had no intention of writing.

Back to this guy…IMG_4061

He’s awesome!:) I couldn’t ask for a better Daddy for our kids. They love him to pieces. (almost literally sometimes.)

Most mornings, within half an hour of being up, Kenzie will say: ” We should sit on the couch and watch for Daddy to come.”

She’s usually not to pleased with my answer of: ” Its going to be awhile before he comes.”

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When she finally hears his truck pull in, she runs to the couch to look out the window, jumps up and down excitedly and makes sure all the neighbors are aware that, ” DADDY”S HERE!!!”

I fear that because of my lack of jumping and hollering Checkers will assume I’m not excited to see him. (He didn’t seem offended yet tho.)

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Kynaston has absolutely no idea what all the excitement is about until the door opens and he actually sees Checkers. He usually gets a BIG smile and then proceeds to watch Checkers’ every move. I can almost see his thoughts: ” Wait. Its him. He lives here too, but I didn’t see him for awhile. Hmm, he’s often not around but he always comes back. Wonder what thats all about.”

Actually I have no idea what he’s thinking but I do know he’s usually excited to see his daddy again. 🙂

Yes. He’s an awesome Daddy.

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He’s also an awesome husband.

He is everything I’m not and I think, I’m everything he’s not. So we do a pretty good job of completing each other. 🙂

He is a feeler, not a thinker, so he often helps me to see things emotionally rather then just trying to come up with a solution to fix it. I’m often amazed at his ability to feel what our children are feeling. He can actually almost feel it as they are feeling it while I tend to rely on head knowledge.

On many occasions he has come home from a long day of work and after taking one look at our messy house, disgruntled kids and ‘we don’t want to know what I looked like’, he simply stepped in and took care of our grumpy kids and/or he washed the dishes after supper. This made me realize just how awesome he actually is:)

I’m often amazed at his ability to put up with me and my laid back ways. We joke that my ‘adrenaline rush’ equals his ‘calm’. In other words, When he is at his calmest he is still as excited as I am at my most excited.

I love the passion God has put in his heart. I love that he is willing to follow God anywhere at anytime. I even love the fact that he struggles with the mundane routine of life, because he has seen the work God wants done, he has seen the ‘need for Jesus’ thats rampant in this world. For him to be here when theres so much to do there is hard, but he has found peace with even this because for now God said: “Stay.”

Yes. I have learned many things from him and I am incredibly blessed to be his wife and to be able walk this journey called life with him.

So heres celebrating my AWESOME husband on (or after) his birthday! 🙂

Happy Birthday Checkers!!