Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The One About Walls & Vulnerability

Walls. Lately I've been feeling very strongly that the walls in my life need to be broken down.  Walls that I've put up to protect myself & walls I've put up from a very young age.  No matter how young you are when a parent decides to abandon you and no matter how wonderful the other parent is, there is still pain involved even if you don't realize until 28 years later.  The walls I have I started building at the young age of 5.  My biggest wall is because I do not trust people. This wall started when I was 5 and was added on to over the years when boyfriends cheated, friends betrayed me, & so on. I put up protection between myself and anyone.  There are very few people I'm completely open with and who know me to my very core. The ones I will bare my soul to and can be unguarded around.  They can see me in my sweat pants and hair undone. They can see me crying and I allow them to hug me.  They can hear of my inner struggles. They are safe people.  

At a women's retreat recently God showed me that these walls that I've built to protect myself are actually hindering my work for Him.  Sure, they protect me, but they also keep me from being in relationship with God (yes, I even have trouble trusting Him) & with other people. 

Our Pastor preached on Sunday about walls.  He preached about walls keeping the church from reaching out into the community and serving.  As he was preaching I got to thinking about the walls in my life and what the Lord was showing me at the retreat. And then my mind wandered to walls in relationships.  How many walls are built up in marriages that keep the couple from coming into full relationship with each other.  Walls because of the sharp words said, the voices raised, the comments made.  Our human nature is to protect ourselves and our emotions.  But what would happen if you were more vulnerable?  Not allow yourself to be walked on, but allow yourself to be open. Share your hurt in a nice way so that your spouse knows how you are feeling.  Give him time to process.  Share deep thoughts, dreams & desires with each other.  Give grace when it's needed.

There is power in being vulnerable.  Something I'm learning lately.  When you open yourself up to your spouse, your friends, your God... amazing things can happen.  Walls begin to crumble, joy and peace begin to enter.  Then God can do His work through you.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The One About Being Purposeful

     Being purposeful.  This theme has been running through my readings & thoughts a lot lately.  I think it started at the Weekend to Remember that Matt & I went to.  That was pertaining to marriage. Being purposeful to choose your spouse daily.  Choosing to receive your spouse as that gift God gave you in the same way that he gave Eve to Adam.  Adam didn't reject Eve... he accepted & received her as his life partner.  We choose to receive or reject our spouse daily.  Also being purposeful to show your spouse your love.  Don't just do things for him because you have to. Think it through, be purposeful about what you do for him.

     I was just reading "The Life Ready Woman" in preparation for a Bible/Book study I'm hosting soon.  This quote "It is so critical not to let life just pick us up and carry us along.  We need to be purposeful about making decisions that will help us take control of our lives...and our family's lives. " Be purposeful when making decisions.  Don't let life get overwhelming & sweep you off your feet.  Think things through. Pray things through. Read God's word. In doing these things, you can become purposeful about each step that you take & each life choice that you make. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

The One About Name Meanings

I was thinking about name meanings today & decided to look up my childrens meanings.  I looked at

Matthew means "Gift of God".  Yep... my hubby sure is my gift!
Rebecca means "Captivating". Uhh... maybe not so much there.
Michael means "Who is like God?"  With a question mark.  I'm not quite sure what to think of that.
Nathan means "Gift from God."  Interesting.  Definitely is a gift from God. I have learned the most about myself and parenting from that child out of all of the children so far. :)
Karah means "Sweet Melody". Awww. Yes.  She's so joyful and loving and always singing.  So yes... I can see that meaning with her personality.
Erich means "Honorable Ruler."  Hmm...  he definitely likes to try the ruler part out.  We're going to work on the honorable part.
Katelynn means "Pure Beauty."  Again... fitting.  She's so beautiful, both physically & personality wise. Sometimes her personality is a bit out there... but she's very loving and for the most part & definitely has an inner beauty coming out.  She likes it because her favorite princess is "Beauty". :)

Fun to look up the meanings and see if and how they fit with the current personalities of my children.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

The One About Marriage

My heart is heavy tonight.  Marriages all around me are failing. People I know from online, people I know from community, friends.. *sigh*  It saddens me immensely.  My own marriage was on the line recently.  We were stuck and lost and saw no way to fix it.. but God intervened & our marriage has been healed.  I wish that for everyone.  If every marriage could know the healing power of the Lord, it would be amazing.

It truly takes two people and God.  Two people willing to make changes in their lives. Two people willing to look to God to help them make those changes.  Two people, each willing to give up their own selfish desires because they know God has a better plan for their marriage. Two people & God.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The One About a Retreat

     So, I need to talk about this women's retreat I went on with my church.  I was hesitant to go, but a friend encouraged me & so I did.  When I read a little about the speaker, I have to admit I was really nervous.  Having been a teenager during the Toronto movement time in a Pentecostal church, I had seen a lot of people faking it.  It seemed that if you didn't speak in tongues or you weren't slain in the Spirit when being prayed over you weren't following God. This mostly happened in my youth group, but it was all around me.  So when I saw that the woman coming to speak at the retreat was very charismatic I automatically put up a wall.  I was nervous that there'd be a lot of drama, unorganized craziness & fakeness.  Yes, I'll admit that I was really hesitant about the whole situation.

     The first night I pretty much just sat. I sang and took notes, but my heart wasn't in it.  On the morning of the next day I woke up with a horrible migraine & ended up missing the morning session.  I did make it to the evening session and started the evening the same way I was the night before.  I sang, took notes, but my heart wasn't in it.  Then came prayer time... and yep! Lots of speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, etc.  I just sat there & watched.  Then I started to pray and the Lord spoke to me that it's time to take the walls down.  Then, as clear as day, I heard "You always say you don't put me in a box, so why are you putting me in a box?"  Ouch.

     My prayers changed... I started praying that God show me how to break down the walls.  I started concentrating more on my work than worrying about whether or not what was going on around me was real or fake.  Then... as I was getting ready to leave.. one of my good friends was hit with the joy of the Lord and laughter just began rolling out of her.  There is NO WAY this person would ever fake it... she's not one to bring attention to herself.  I didn't realize it at that time, but it began the work of chipping the walls... it was so obviously the hand of God in her life because that was exactly what she needed at that time. And again later, she received a word that was also exactly what she needed.  The speaker could not have known that... it was obviously from God.

   I can feel a change in my life due to that retreat and a Weekend to Remember with my husband the weekend.  Due to the WTR, my marriage is healed & restored, tho that is a testimony for another time.  I just cannot even begin to describe the changes I am feeling inside... and all I can do is sit back, laugh and say "Wow!" We serve an amazing God & if He can begin a work in ME... chipping away at those concrete walls I've put up to protect myself (tho He showed me they really are just hindering me)... He can work in anyone. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The One About Attitudes, Chocolate Chip Cookies & Bonding

Katie was throwing a fit this morning. Fit after fit and giving me awful attitude. It was really starting to anger me. Then it dawned on me that in the past 14 days she has spent 6 of those away from me. That's a whole lot of time for a child who is used to being around her mama 24/7. I decided instead of making her sit til she changed her attitude, I would spend some time bonding. We whipped out the necessary ingredients for chocolate chip cookies & baked together. She was so proud of herself. "I'm a big helper, Mom!" The attitude changed, my frustration melted & we bonded over some chocolate chip cookies. Love my little girl.