Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I love my Husband...I want to keep him

I love my husband so much. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by how much God has blessed me by giving me this incredible man. Tonight I found myself staring at him as we drove home, just trying to memorize every detail of his face and the look in his eye when he realizes he's being watched and how his smile spreads across his face, so sexy!
I have this fear that I wont get to keep him for as long as I would like...I think it's because I still can't believe he's mine or that he chose me! And because of this fear I find I do the memorizing thing a lot. I want to remember always, how it feels when he holds my hand completely in his, the smell of his neck, the warmth and security of his embrace, the many things he can tell me, just with his eyes, the incredible things just one of his kisses can do to me, his tenderness and his hungry love...
I want to remember his deep yet soft voice, as he leads me in prayer everynight before we sleep, his incredible capacity for faith, the real kind...the kind the BELIEVES GOD, not just in God, his big hopes and dreams for us and his enjoyment of our lives even with our limitations. I love how he enjoys just watching our wee ones and how he hasn't forgotten what it was like to be 14 & 17 just like our boys. I love his tenderness when he deals with our daughters and his frank honesty and openness with the boys.
I love my husband. He is my living proof that God is Gracious, he is the balm to my wounded spirit and my joy and laughter after the storms and tears. He is my best friend, lover, companion and soul mate. He is a gift right from my Heavenly Father's hand and I want to remember to treasure him as such.
I want to keep him...I love him with all of me.
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." ~James 1:17~


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Be Careful what you wish for & Mind how you pray...

For the past 12 years I have prayed that all the “stuff” I had gone through in my life, wouldn’t be for naught and I also prayed that God would use me, and I mean use me anyway he saw fit. One of my gifts was a singing voice, and I figured that may be one of the ways He would use me, but instead for a period of about 6 years He removed completely from those opportunities. Although I missed singing, my heart on that issue was that if He wanted me to sing, He would put me in it and if He didn’t want me to sing, I didn’t want to. I had learned how much better it was to rest in His will than to have my own.
I sang publicly again, for the first time last, January. The song was titled “Completely Yours” and was truly a testimony for me…

I brought to you my heart, stained by the guilt of sin…”
It tells the story of God’s spirit in me being the only way I could be truly changed and then my promise…
I’m completely yours, the rest of all my days, and this eternal debt can never be repaid. So I give to you my all, though it may seem small. You are ALL I need and I will always be completely yours.”

At the time our family was in the middle of a very terrible time. We were facing many struggles from every angle to the point of wondering what we had done so wrong to deserve all the attacks. But we came to the realization that they were just that, attacks and we didn’t have to battle them alone, but what we did with our hearts and minds during this time would be up to us. So we decided that if Job could praise God during his testing so could we and so WOULD we…the next time I sang publicly God gave me the perfect song for me personally, “Praise you in this Storm” by Casting Crowns. After months of rising at 5 am and being on my face before God and begging him to take this cup from us, we were no better off... His constant answer was "not yet my me at the river". I was amazed that I could sing this song…but then again…it’s not me is it?

“I was sure by now LORD, you would have reached downand wiped our tears awayStepped in and saved the daybut once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rollsI barely hear your whisper through the rain"I'm with you"And as your mercy fallsI raise my hand to praise the God who givesand takes away”

My decision was to Praise Him in “THIS STORM” and all the ones to follow. I knew that even though I was praying everyday for relief, the season wasn’t over yet. I knew also that when the season ended and another began, more seasons just like the one were in would come again, in addition to this knowledge I was becoming keenly aware of God’s hand in all the little details of our lives and how He had been placing things in order before I even knew about them….little did I know how He was answering my prayers from years ago…
Fast forward to this Christmas Eve, 2006…my hubby took our youngest out of the church service in the morning, he was too wiggly and there was no child care this Sunday morning. He took him to play in one of the Sunday school rooms and shortly there after a woman joined them with her little guy. My husband introduced himself and they played there for awhile with the children. After a while the woman spoke, “your wife is a singer right?” My husband answered, “Yes, she sings here on occasion.” “She sang a song last year, called ‘Praise you in this Storm’ right?”” Yes that was her” he said. She recounted to him her talk with me after that service and how the song had touched her and why. She tearfully told me about her good friend in Cameroon, Africa who had just been diagnosed with Leukemia at a very young age. She then asked me who wrote the song. I had given her the name of the album by Casting Crowns. As she was leaving she thanked me for choosing that song for that day, because she needed to hear it and so did her friend. I told her that it is all God and He chooses the songs and gives me the opportunities. As she wound up her account of that day to my husband, she added that she had indeed gone out and bought the CD and sent it to her friend. She told him it brought her friend great comfort. My husband asked how her friend was doing, her reply, “she died”.
God was answering my prayer. I asked Him to use me, and he was, even without me knowing it. He used my own struggles, to lead me to a song that I thought was for me, but it reached all the way to Africa to comfort a dieing woman and her friend who couldn’t be with her.
This past fall I started to get to know a sweet young woman better. I had known her since she was a girl and had even taught her Sunday school. Certain circumstances in her life brought our paths together and I was honoured to be able to support her in a difficult time, but this was no coincidence. Once again, God was answering my prayers. Remember I asked him not only to use me, but that everything I had experienced would not be in vain…for nothing. Well it seems that even the stuff we think is just bad stuff is being used to glorify Him. Praise God for that. Well as Christmas was quickly approaching and money wasn’t coming in, I took ill, partly from an ongoing illness that is triggered by stress and partly just plain sick. My two wee ones were sick too. I almost couldn’t function at all, here it was a week before Christmas, nothing bought, no money to buy, nothing baked, no ingredients to bake with and no energy to do anything about it all. I started praying for a miracle, a Christmas Miracle. However, I didn’t have enough energy to imagine what form it could take.
It was in the middle of all this that this dear sweet tender-hearted friend who has been a balm to my heart and soul more times than she knows, and has ministered to our oldest daughter and grand-daughter, decided a course of action. She wanted to “play Santy”! Excitedly she and my oldest daughter started making lists and plans to go shopping. She shopped and wrapped and shopped and wrapped. She took me shopping, she took my husband shopping and on Christmas Eve, the gifts came out from under the tree to half way into the living room. The stockings were filled and had over-flow bags beside all eight of them! We were blessed beyond belief.

The best part of all was the joyful way in which she did this for us…really for HIM. She selflessly, obediently and sacrificially gave us and our children the Christmas we never would have had.
As my husband and I marvelled, this morning, at the miraculous way our Christmas came together, and thanked God for providing for us, we realized that it wasn’t all about us. Our friend kept saying this was the best Christmas ever! We thought we were the ones going through this because we had something to learn or because we had done something wrong. And in the midst of it as I tried to stop her from doing all this, my friend used my own words against me in an email…”it is our privilege to bear each other’s burdens and part of ministering to others is allowing them to minister to you”. She revelled in the joy and excitement that she was largely responsible for making happen, but not for her own glory or anything in return, just for the shear joy that comes from being obedient to God and open to Him using you. She was the instrument of our Christmas miracle. We prayed that God would use us, she needed to see Christmas in a different light, we had no money to make that part of Christmas possible for our children, God used her and WE ALL WERE BLESSED IMMENSELY!
Praise God for knowing His plans for us all. And praise God for His mercy. I am sure one day I will get a glimpse of the wings this friend cleverly hides under clothing…she is an Angel for sure! Thank you Sweetness! *mwah*
So…be careful what you pray for, be sure that you mean it when you pray, He hears us and will answer….and remember His plans are not our plans. Praise God for that too!
Jeremiah 29:11

To see the rest of the Lyrics to "Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns go to:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I Believe

I am convinced that NOTHING can separate me from the love of GOD! It has been a rough few days and although I fully expect the next few to be equally as rough I am finding comfort in the knowledge that I am not alone in my anxiety. I have a sweet friend who knows just when to show up or call. I have a husband who loves me no matter what I look like (poor guy) and I have a Saviour who knew that I would go through this very struggle. A gift was dropped in our mail box today, not something that could solve all our problems, but something to remind us that HE is in control and HE will provide for us, in many ways. He still does miracles! I am so grateful for this gift and the anonymous giver...I don't think they know how they did more than give a gift, but reminded me of how many times God has provided our needs and always does. In our own strength we can do nothing. I don't even want to try.
Right now I am praying that I can get my family through the holidays without feeling like they have been robbed of their traditions. But more importantly, we are praying for a miracle. My husband and I and a dear friend have agreed to pray for this and pray believing God for it in advance. It's so big; we are realizing how small our faith is. And He is stretching us...we know nothing is too hard for him...the question we have is "is it ok to ask for something big?" I think He is enjoying our attempts at this and the lessons we are learning in the process. Isn't this the whole reason for this season? Didn't He come to earth dressed like us so that we could have HOPE? Here is the thing about hope...Hope isn't what we would expect: it's not so much that God doesn't give us what we hope for as it is that we don't know the right thing for which to hope. Are we hoping for the wrong thing or is there more the thing we are hoping for than we know? Whatever it decision is made.

I'm Believing God!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Am I getting Old?

How do we know when we are getting old? Is it just so gradual that one day we wake up and realize we are old? Or, is it an annoying painful process that leads to cenility? Or do we know we are old when our friends...who are younger than us...start peeing on their sweaters? Who knows?...Who knew?