Monday, April 28, 2014

Praying for Rain

"Trust in Him and He will do this."
Psalm 37:5b

I'm not sure where it comes from, but I am often reminded of a parable of two farmers praying for rain.  The point of the story was that one farmer just prayed for rain, but the other farmer prepared his fields for rain.  He prayed with an expectation that God would give what he was asking for.

Lately our prayer lives have been transforming.  We are hearing from many promises, urging us to be diligent in our prayers, pray specifically, down to the details of what we are asking for, and to pray with expectation in our hearts that we will receive.  That last part is the hardest.  Deep down I want to protect myself, to not get my hopes up so I won't be let down.  My heart is convicted though. . . pray specifically, and pray with expectation.

I some ways I AM preparing my fields, but I also feel the hesitation in the depths of my faith.  I hold back from telling most people what we are hoping, because I fear having to come back and tell them we were wrong.  Sounds silly when I hear some of the stories of prayers answered, but I am seeking, striving, to be able to give myself wholeheartedly to the expectation of our requests.

Tomorrow is the day we may see into a window of how our prayers will be answered.  The anticipation is light and excited, but not without fear.

Pray with us please, that every day we would increasingly trust He will give us the desires of our hearts, and that this story will develop into one of incredible goodness and faithfulness as we see our expectations come to fulfillment.

We have read again and again of His desire to give us good things, and His prodding to ask and we will receive.  We believe our desires were His desires first, and look forward with anticipation.  

Pray on with us my friends, and watch for good things!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

About Normal

I have faced it.  Challenged it.  Decided to keep living like I wouldn't let it rob me of my dreams.

I thought I had been throwing myself hard enough to make that happen.

Last week though, there were words that cut.

I had urged the kids that if they diligently and obediently completed their chores and schoolwork, I would take them out for some fun that afternoon.  Obviously, since that was the first time in their lives that they had ever been required to do work or school, I was met with grumbling from one tired heart.

Sitting at the top of the stairs, my presence unknown, I could hear the frustrations being muttered from the next room.  My heart dropped hard as I realized what a deep and wounding disappointment had been planted in the freshness of a young soul

      "I doubt that will happen anyway; we won't get to do anything special because YOU will probably feel sick again.  You're ALWAYS sick and hurting, and you never are strong enough to take us anywhere.  You will never be well, because God doesn't listen to me pray for you to get better."

My joy fell, and my chest ached at the realization that life, the bitter grating side of it that drowns out all the good, had cast such a choking shadow on the spirit of my little one.  I cried. It was true.  No matter how stubborn my efforts to prove I can carry on as I always have, things are different.  In my determination, I have neglected to see how observant little hearts are, and how attentively they can sense the smallest changes.

That was a low.  I desperately want to cover my weakness, to be the mom my babies need  instead of such a painful disappointment to them.  It  hurts that they don't understand.  While some of them have come to comprehend that a snuggle on the couch is the new best way to spend time together, others have written me off and stride out to find the attention their hearts need in other places.  It hurts.  I want to be able to do anything for my children. . . to chase them around the house or keep up with them at the park.  They deserve that.

Truth is, I can't make it all seem right.  I can't go farther and longer than my body allows, and I am prisoner to the days when I can't stand.  It is a new challenge to reach tender hearts from the sidelines, and I pray that one day they will see that although the dynamics of our lives change, my love for them and my prayers for them have stayed the same.  They are my reasons, my inspiration, and my greatest joy. NOTHING can ever change that.

Right now,
I don't know what Normal is
That's because Normal has been changing
So much,
So often,
For a long while of lately.
I'd like Normal to be
Good health. . .
Emotional health,
Medical health, 
Spiritual health.
I'd like Normal to be
Like that.
I'd like Normal to stay,
Like that.
For now though,
I know that Normal won't be normal
For a little while. . .
But somehow,
Even if things are not Normal,
They'll be okay.
That's because I believe
In the great scheme of things,
And life.
~Mattie J.T. Stepanek (my 13 year old hero)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

One Love

For my Lobster, my One Love.  Together we can move mountains.

The song that so defines us must be shared. . .

Click on the link below to watch my tribute to the love of my life.

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Give up my Hope?


                                                Those of you close to my story know the last few weeks have been very painful.  I have never thought life needs to be perfect to be wonderful, but there are some times the pain is so heavy, so deep, every breath takes effort.
Disheartened, worn, clinging by strings of faith, it took a quiet sunless drive for me to cry out aloud for mercy. Convictions of where I could improve tapped at my heart, and my immense desire to live a legacy worth remembering pulled at the weight of my soul.

That was the night I cried for presence.  At the very desperation of clinging to hope, I needed to know that there was indeed a reason for this suffering, a purpose in the raw scraping of my heart, a confidence that yes, God is real and giving Him my all and enduring the wait of healing was what He really desired for me.  I begged aloud that I would see a sign that would give me the push to keep on in this blind and treacherous marathon to store up my treasures in Heaven.  I felt like I was losing, being mocked at my attempts.  I longed to know there was purpose for all this pain.

Two days later, things came crashing down again.  The deeper I dug, the more trials clawed at our foundation.  Our dreams of adding to our family collapsed.  Our marriage pulled thin.  There was disharmony in our children, and another joy-shattering loss slammed us in the chest.

My white flag flew. Tears burned hot scars of defeat across my face and my soul.

In the midst of my deep dispair, there was my man smiling and turning my eyes up.

    "Don't you see?" "This IS the answer!"

His voice so gentle, heart so pure, spoke of how our strength is a threat. A powerful threat to the darkness that thirsts to destroy us.  The closer we walk, the faster the punches come, trying to end us.

At first, this seemed motivation to throw up my hands, give up my hope.  I would be lying if I said those thoughts were not seriously entertained in my mind.  In the end though, I had to admit I'm a fighter, and for a reason that good to fight, I'm going to remain gloved-up.  The heartache is painful, the blows discouraging, but with my mighty soulmate and the ever-cheering teammates beside us, it is a race worth running.

I have come to know life is filled with pain, but it is making the joys even more worth celebrating.

I'm sure there will be more days of being face-down, but I am thankful and blessed that my loves and my friendlies will always be willing to pick me back up and point me back on my way.

                PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT,