Saturday, March 26, 2011

...pour out your hearts...

"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Selah."
Psalm 62:8

Have really been *trying to be* practicing this verse this week. Especially pouring out my heart to Him... oh goodness has He had an "ear full" from me this week!! It's good though. I need that. He desires that. I'm thankful for how trying this week has been. How emotionally & physically exhausting it's been. I'm learning to trust Him & pour out my heart to Him... I want to continue to practice these things even when Dustin gets home. I've been completely and utterly dependant on the Lord this week... I don't want to go away just because I have Dustin back again.

That being said, his flight is delayed & they'll most likely miss their connection flight. I'm trying to be okay with this. They are supposed to be home at 6:30 tomorrow, but I had already prepared myself for them being home tomorrow night... now that that is looking like a reality, I'm definitely needing to pray through it!

Pray with me/ for me... please... it has been such a long week.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Satisfied in Him alone...

I will glory in my Redeemer
Whose priceless blood has ransomed me
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
And hung Him on that judgment tree
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who crushed the power of sin and death
My only Savior before the Holy Judge
The Lamb Who is my righteousness
The Lamb Who is my righteousness

I will glory in my Redeemer
My life He bought, my love He owns
I have no longings for another
I’m satisfied in Him alone
I will glory in my Redeemer
His faithfulness my standing place
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me
My feet are firm, held by His grace
My feet are firm, held by His grace

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who carries me on eagle’s wings
He crowns my life with lovingkindness
His triumph song I’ll ever sing
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who waits for me at gates of gold
And when He calls me it will be paradise
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold

© 2001 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).

I think those are some of the most beautiful lyrics I've ever heard. I've been unable to stop listening to this song ever since yesterday afternoon on the way to church. It's one of Dustin's favorites, and to be honest I've never listened to the lyrics too closely.
I'd love to say I'm doing great since he's been gone... but this being here without him is SO HARD! Maybe the hardest thing I've ever done. And the Lord has just really spoken to me through this song. Between this & the sermon last night & praying for Dustin and the W.A. team, the truth of the gospel & what happened on the cross is just playing over and over again in my mind.
My only Savior before the Holy Judge......

I want to be able to sing the second verse as truth in my life. His faithfulness to be my standing place, especially this week, when honestly there have been moments I just want to lay in bed and sleep until he gets home. (I'm pathetic, I know).
I have no longings for another, I'm satisfied in Him alone....
Satisfied in Christ alone. In His presence in my life. With His company alone. Not satisfied in Dustin being home, here, "safe", able to call him whenever I want.
I know it's okay to miss my husband. And obviously I do, terribly. This is the first time in our marriage we've been apart like this. Saturday was the first day in over 4 1/2 years where we did not talk at all. So it's going to be hard, I know that. I don't think it's wrong for me to miss him like I do. I just don't want to miss what the Lord has for me this week. What He wants to teach me and to show me in this.

You are welcome to pray for me if you think about it :)
And pray our baby doesn't decide she wants to come this week!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Challenged to Love

We went to friends' house for dinner this evening with all my family. My brother & his wife are in town this weekend- and that's been fun. We were able to get out just the four of us. We had lunch & ran around town while my mom & dad kept the girls. It was nice to hang out like that, it's not often (never, really) that it happens!

On the way home Dustin and I got into a conversation-not long, not in too much depth, but still a good conversation. We were talking about this couple the Lord has placed in our lives, and how God has drastically changed his heart toward the husband.
He said to me: "You know, he still drives me crazy, but the Lord has really given me a love for him... I legitimately consider him a friend." I just thought that was amazing, and told him so. We really give credit completely to God, and how He has the power to change our hearts. I told Dustin how I remember two years ago, honestly, he couldn't stand him. He's just one of those guys that everything about him rubbed Dustin the wrong way... and me too. Same with his wife. Dustin brought that up, saying "Now, (his wife), I'm not so sure of... You know, I don't really know her."
I admitted to how I still struggle with both of them, really. I know God places people in our lives that our difficult to love for a reason. To make us more like him... Because I know I'm difficult to love!! But I just see my husband's heart, how the Lord has changed it completely, and it truly challenges me. It caused me to be honest with myself and him as I said, "You know, the reason I have a hard time with (her) is because she just so different... just kind of weird, and she's just so immature." Saying it out loud was almost embarrassing- even though only Dustin was listening. Before I had a chance to say anything else, he cut in:
"I know it's hard to enter into a relationship knowing you're not going to get anything out of it... at least for a long time. It really challenges our selfishness."
Wow. Praise the Lord I have a husband who oh so gently, but confidently, points out my sin to me. Even though he told me later, he wasn't saying that directed at me, but to himself. I didn't say much, if anything, after that and was pretty quiet the rest of the way home thinking about things.

Do I really only pursue relationships with people when I think I will get something out of it? Even if my motives are good-- I see someone who may be further along than me spiritually, and I want glean from them. Or another mom who has kids older than mine, and I think I can learn things from her. Or someone I notice I have a lot in common with, and I think we'll have a good time together. These are good things.
But when someone is "hard to love"? I know I have absolutely nothing in common with them. They are seemingly less mature than I am. They have a different sense of humor, or different parenting ideas, or they're at a different place spiritually... Do I always shy away because this relationship doesn't seem to have much, if anything, to offer me?
If I'm being honest with myself. With the Lord. With you.... Yes. I do.
How unlike my Savior?!?!

So when I went to bed tonight (or last night, it's 4 in the am right now & I am wide awake), I was talking to Dustin, then praying as I was falling asleep, that I just don't know what this means. What do I do with this conviction? Where do I go from here? What does it look like to love someone or pursue relationship with those who seemingly "don't have anything to offer" me?
I guess -one of the things- I fear about befriending certain people is that they'll end up being "that person" who is calling/ texting you constantly, stop by unannounced, or just seem to not have a comprehension of boundaries... I don't know if that makes sense to some people, or if any of you have ever experienced someone like that... I have in the past. I told Dustin I'm afraid of turning into someone who just can't say "no". He understood, then gently reminded me, "But honey, your problem right now is that you can't say yes." ::sigh:: Then he went on about how sweet the Lord is to pursue me. How He loves me just way too much to leave me like I am... in sin.
.......Don't I just have the greatest husband?

So I asked the Lord to show me what all this looks like in His Word. Then when I woke up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back asleep, I came out here in the living room... and He showed me.

"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."
Luke 6:27-36

I know that the context here when Jesus is talking about lending, expecting nothing in return is not referring to relationships, but I still find it appropriate in this case. I mean, He is also speaking about love. I think back to before I knew Christ and then to now, and see this is an area of my life that has remained unchanged. This is definitely an area where I do not look like Christ. Love. I do not love well. And isn't it the greatest commandment? Oh Father, forgive me.
My footnote says: Reciprocity is insufficient, because even sinners practice reciprocity. And "you will be sons" does not mean "you will become sons" but "you will demonstrate that you are sons" by imitating God's care and compassion even for those who are evil.

So to answer my own question: What does it look like to love someone or pursue relationship with those who seemingly "don't have anything to offer" me? ...It looks like Jesus.
If I am only loving those who love me, who offer me something, how does that at all resemble my Father in Heaven- Who loves me & gave Himself for me when I had & still have absolutely nothing to offer Him! It doesn't.
And I say I have these "fears"... but they are really just excuses, let's be honest. If I had any legitimate fears I only need to be reminded that "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear" 1 John 4:18.

So here I am. Praying God will please mold my heart to look like His, praying He will enable me to love. He has shown me what He commands, now I'm waiting upon Him to give me to the ability to do what He commands...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

18 Months Young!

On Tuesday, our sweet Cate-Bug (or "Catie-BooBoo" as she's also been affectionately called) turned 18 months! I just can't get over how quickly time goes by. When she was a baby, she was so tiny & dainty, it just seemed like she was always going to be a baby. I know that may sound odd, but other Mommies know what I'm talking about I'm sure. And now, she's about to have a baby sister of her own! She won't be "the baby" of the family anymore, which I still can't get past in my mind. I wanted to post a picture from last year, just for fun & to see how much she's grown.

This is Catie the day she turned 6 months old, 3/1/10:
She was always so easy to make smile.

Last week, a friend of mine posted on Facebook: "How is it possible for a baby to be so precious and so rotten at the same time!" I laughed, because that is Catie in a nutshell. She has always been the absolute sweetest baby. Not that Gabbi wasn't a sweet baby, she was, and still is such a sweet girl... but Catie has such a different personality, like I've posted in previous blogs. She's been much more timid, much more attached to me, much more snuggly... just a "sweet" personality.
The past few months though, she's come out of her shell just a little bit more. Her "fiery" side has shown. And although she's had a more sweet & tender personality than Gabbi... she's also been a bit more... "rotten". It has truly caught me off guard how different my two girls are, and I've been learning how different children do need different things in the way of discipline & instruction. Learning. I definitely do not have it figured out yet.
When Catie does not get her way, or if I have to take something away from her she shouldn't have, she really will scream and stomp her way around the living room, or wherever we are, pitching a little fit. At first I was so shocked (because this is honestly something Gabbi did not do) it made me laugh a little... it's something we are "working on" though. Along with her little fits, she likes to tackle her sister. Maybe because Gabbi has done this to her in the past? Well, she definitely thinks she owns the place & if something, or someone, is in her way she just steps on it, over it, or tackles it.... to the ground. She's so feisty- and it's really only come out the past few months. Maybe it's just because she's had to be to keep up with Gabbi, since Gabbi's not always the easiest person to play with :) She just knows exactly what she wants, and will let you know when she doesn't have it!
She's super super attached to her paci & blankey.
She loves food & it's starting to show! She's turning into a little chunk! Gabbi was so tiny, and still in size 12month clothes until she was about 20 months old. Catie is pretty average... and chunky :) We'll go to the doctor tomorrow to find out her weight/ percentile.
The funny thing is, Dustin & I have noticed, she doesn't seem to like carbs (weirdo, right? hehe). She doesn't eat bread or rolls very well. She doesn't eat waffles well. She seems to pick the toppings off of pizza without eating the crust. She'll eat crackers if she's really hungry while waiting on something else at a restaurant. But otherwise, she just doesn't eat bread or carbs
She has little to no interest in TV, which is also the polar opposite of her sister who would sit on the couch and watch TV the entire day if I let her.
She is starting to say more words, some of which are: Mommy, Daddy (of course), Nana, Poppy, Babbi (Gabbi), Sissy, paci (which is her word for both her paci & her blankey), puppy, ball, cup, cracker, ease (please), up, baby... she has really just started talking. She's been almost silent for a long time. Besides words, she's also speaking that "jibberish" that toddlers do right before they take off talking. It's fun to listen to.
She is very much a Daddy's Girl, but if I had to choose, I'd say Gabbi is her favorite person. She absolutely adores Gabbi. The first thing she says in the morning when I get her out of the crib, without fail, is "sissy... sissy... sissy". She always has to have her morning snuggles from Gabbi before she starts playing. And of course, she wants to do everything Gabbi does! It's so sweet how much she loves her and how her face literally lights up when Gabbi walks into the room. It absolutely melts my heart. I truly hope & pray she will always love her so much, and their love will grow as they grow... all 3 of them :)