What Have You Been Settling For?

A LONG TIME COMING!

Settling- it’s what we do as Christians.  We hide it under the blanket of being content.  Being Satisfied.  I hear it all the time.   “That’s how God made me”.   “That’s what I have been given so I need to just deal with it.”   “That’s not what I’m good at.”   and the list of excuses goes on and on and on.

We settle for mistreatment by others under the disguise of love.

we can settle for our attitudes towards other people because we have a justifiable reason for anger or vengeance

We live in anger bitterness and malice.

we say “Oh that part of the Bible is outdated.  We can live however we want to these days.”

We justify addictions and idolatry.

For almost 2 years this blog post has been rolling around my heart and mind.   I have addressed this topic in both our Ladies Bible Study at church AND through last year’s influence blog posts.   And for two years I have suffered from an uneasy heart and a major case of writer’s block. U have prayed, I have journaled. I have read and I have avoided blogging because of this nagging sense of not knowing what to write.  I have deep burdens in this area.   So today HERE is my heart.

IDENTITY

For the last 3 or 4 years, God and I have been on a back and forth mission about what real Identity in Christ looks like.   It’s something we are not often taught about.    For me, it began with my review book “I Am” by Michele   Cushatt.   You can find the review here.  Through this book, God impressed upon my hear that befoe I can figure out who I am I must first understand who God is.  Then the same year I read that book I also read a book by Renee Swope called a confident Heart.   In the very beginning of the book, she talks about how as we go through various changes and traumas in. our lives we need to re-learn who God created to be AND sometimes (my addition we need to re-learn who God is (That’s my addition)

Once we have a firm grip on who God is, and who we are in Christ we gain confidence (HMMMMM pretty sure that was my word for 2017!).  AND as we gain confidence in who we are in Christ our influence shifts (HMMMMcan you say the word for 2018).  AND when we live within those parameters we are filled within abundant JOY! (YEP THAT”S 2019_. I really didn’t plan it that way.

However, over time our identity can get skewed by little things that we let creep into our lives.  Matt Little, President of New Brunswick Bible Institute (NBBI for short)  in reference to Psalm 73- A Psalm of Asaph “when our faith loses its own reality.”   We need to spend time with God so He can realign our sight.

How I got here. A Little backtracking.

For months now God has been stirring in my heart to get back to this but I have all sorts of excuses.  Busyness being at the forefront. But at the beginning of the summer, I was really praying that God would give me his words to say.  I knew bits and pieces but the words just didn’t come.  Oftentimes I would just sit and stare at a blank screen praying…and yet nothing.   Then we came to our camper at the end of June and within 3 days of being here God released me of the busyness and by that I mean I got hurt.  Sometimes God has to take drastic measure to get our attention I sat in a chair for 3 days with my food up. I was on crutches.  I was stuck…or was I.  See there is this book that has been calling my name since the beginning of the year.  It’s a skinny little thing and despite the nagging feeling to read the book I put it off till camp.  and I read it in just a few days.  I thought it was gonna be an easy read, but the heart work  God did showed me that I really need to take this message to people.    The one thing I didn’t do as I read through the book is the study questions. By the end of the three weeks away, God was convicting me that I needed to head back into the book and do the questions.  I have been taking my time really soaking it all in and then last night I came to Chapter 3 entitled CHILD: LOVED BY THE FATHER written by Courtney Doctor.  I glanced through the chapter refreshing my memory of the topic and settled into the questions. and then I finished  question three.   I was then prompted to go read 1 John 3:1-10

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not lovetheir brother and sister.

Pay specific attention to a couple of verses:

verse 4-6  Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

When we are linked to Christ we have this desire not to sin.  we are broken by it.  Yes, we slip up and make mistakes but we have the ability to choose not to sin.    when our lives are gripped by sin we have to start asking ourselves some super hard questions.

Am I really a Christ emulator is top on the list because as Matt Little Said in his message you cannot have one foot on the land and one in the water.  You cannot live as the world lives and be a Christ-follower.

And then there is verses 7-9-Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are

Pay very close attention to what 8 and 9 days

*those who do what is sinful is of the devil (yes we all sin but this is a life defined by sin

And  “no one who is born of God will continue to sin.  meaning they will not actively pursue it- they will not continue it, they will turn away from it.    They won’t justify it and they will no be ok with it.

They will actively seek help and truly repent. and change.  It takes an insane amount of work BUT they are willing to do because of two things.

  • they were to be like Jesus
  • And they want to glorify God in all they say and do

Matt Little said in his message when of the most important things we can do as a Christian is to say NO.  Now, this isn’t about The Best Yes- This is about sin. So let’s define what the Bible says sin is.

SIN

Mark 7:21-22-For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

Matthew 15:19 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

But you say Mary: that was then and this is now.   The culture is in a  different place.  And remember I’m not speaking to unbelievers here THIS IS WHAT YOU SIGNED ON FOR WHEN YOU ACCEPTED Christis.  You gave your life to him.  you denied yourself and your desires: It’s not about your rights, what you think, how you feel about something.  You became a Christ emulator.

And Hebrews 13: 8 says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

AND WHO IS THE WORD? John 1:1 says it’s JESUS

This morning’s Eyeopener

So that was last night’s, then I woke up this morning and hit Chapter 4 SAINT: REDEEMED BY THE SON.

YIKES, it was hitting me where we sometimes wallow…in our struggles. I had to read Romans 7:15-8:11. But for the purpose of the blog post, I am going to camp in Romans 8:1-11 which is what struck the deepest chord for me.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sinand death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b]God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

Let’s hone in on a couple of verses:
verse 2 The law of the  Spirit has freed you from the law of sin
Verses 5-8
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
The flesh is our sinful desires- what we want.  It’s selfish. IT IS SETTLING FOR SECOND. not even best.
it says here that if your mind is controlled by the flesh it is death….you are destined to die but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace.  It’s not rooted in anger and bitterness and hatred.    It doesn’t hold grudges.
Moses wasn’t settling for his best
Sometimes we have a choice that looks great for us.   AND yet that very decision is detrimental to our faith.  The message this morning was all about a decision Moses had to make.
He could stay in Egypt and very likely could be next in line for Pharoah. That’s great for him.  He would live a life of wealth, comfort and prestige.  AND  yet He made the unpopular decision and refused to be called the Son of Pharoah’s daughter. HMMMM Then Matt said something that I hope sticks with me FOREVER.
“we makes our choices and then our choices make us”. 
It also makes me think of another old saying “we make our bed to we must lie in it”
It means that there are consequences for every sin.  You Lie so know people don’t trust you.  You cheat on your spouse- so you get a divorce.  You do the crime you do the time.   in short, we are a product of the choices we make and who we hang out with,  The glorious thing is at any point we can change
Another thing Matt discussed was how it’s ok to own things But it’s not ok when those things own us.    WHO or WHAT is it that we can’t live without?
here are somethings I’ve heard in my lifetime that people can’t live without.
MY phone
the internet
my computer
my spouse
my children
chocolate
my dog
my home
my friends
my boyfriend/girlfriend
That’s just to name a few.
Moses was saying he was refusing to have Egypt own him.
You can not serve two Masters.  It’s either God or something else. and if you pick something else-it’s idolatry. (Matthew 6:24)
And the last two things that Matt said that really hit home for me was this
“When you say NO to the things that are wrong (AKA sinful)  you clear the way for  God’s amazing blessings- but you can’t have those until you say no.”
AND
 ” God can teach us but we are responsible to learn it”.
This one really struck a chord with me because as a parent I teach my kids all the time.   BUT if they don’t embrace the teaching and learn it for themselves we will have a recurring problem.
So are you settling for a package Satan has set before you?   One that seems like it’s the best? One that you think is the best? OR are you choosing  God’s best?   If you are settling for the first one are you prepared to deal with that choice for the rest of your life?  Are you prepared to have that choice be detrimental to your faith?  What is really most important to you?
Remember we are told in Romans 12: 2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(All verses and Passages are taken from the NIV)
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Thankfulness Challenge- My Pastor Husband Pastor’s Appreciation Motnth

husband

The  missed oppertunity

I have been re-reading some past blog posts, and do you know what I realized?  I don’t blog very much about my husband!!  That’s mostly because I respect his desire to not be put into the spotlight  and it’s not that I am choosing to disrespect his wishes today BUT there are some days that you have to give credit where credit is due.

I was doing some prep work for a blog post for later today and I was overcome by the amazingness of my husband.  The things not everyone gets to see . The things this man does and I get to support him in. The things I am sometimes  guilty of taking for granted.

His Many Hats

He wears many hats and God has gifted him the ability to do them well.  He and I have been married for almost 15 years.  We have 4 kids ages 12,11,alomst 10, and 7.  One has Autism and another has a learning disability known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder.  This is a huge part of his life but the other huge part is his calling to be pastor.   We have been at our current church for almost 9 years.  I have watched him spend countless hours ministering to people in some very unconventional ways.  He has the unique ability to meet people where they are, work side by side with them and create a relationship with them.  My husband is so dedicated to his call that he is constantly seeking to grow in it,  to learn and grow deeper his relationship with Christ.  I have watched him pour countless hours into people, to shed tears on their behalf and still treat them with the love of Jesus when he is hurt by them.    He is a real leader who can lead without an iron fist or micromanage the people he is leading.  He also takes time to to fix broken things at church. He runs errands for church.  he runs errands for home and as I looked at the calendar page for October I noticed there were things missing from his weekly activities

  • Phone call
  • emails
  • texts
  • visits
  • people in crisis
  • emergencies
  • last minute meetings
  • Prep for sermons
  • prep for 2 Bible studies  a week

And this doesn’t even begin to cover family things like convent care trips and the like.

He as a person

Though he will tell you otherwise he is intelligent and skilled in communicating the word of God.  I have watched him painstakingly pour over God’s word sometimes changing his sermon multiple times to be sure to bring God’s truth, even if it stings deep within his own soul.  and with that goes transparency of his heart sharing both from the pulpit and in private his struggles.  He does not view himself as higher or better than another.  He has strove to continue to grow in his education, that enables him to sharpen and fine tune his skills.

One of the greatest things about this man that I count as a blessing from God is his desire to do whatever it is he has set his hand to, and to do it well.  Many people don’t get a chance to see this, but I count it a privilege to get a front row seat.   To the countless hours counseling in person at our table, on the phone and via text message (yes that really can happen). I get to watch him wear himself thin as he goes from one meeting to the next, ones where he spends hours, days and weeks praying for and pouring over.  I count it a privilege to  Get to be the one who shares in his greatest joys and his deepest sorrows.  I have watched him help others try to pick up shattered pieces of great disappointments.

People are important to Him

He makes time for everyone though that is rarely seen .  It is done  in secret to protect those who are hurting.  He holds so much  between him and God even I do not know all that he has been told.  He drops his plans, and desires to run to the aid of another.  He changes  his work schedule to meet others needs and has done so, most jobs would have fired him.  And this is why  some days our grass is not mowed or the garbage has not been taken to the transfer station.  He views our cars and home as not our own but those things belong to God, things to be used for His service. They are just on loan to us to be used for God’s work.

Care for our family

Most people don’t realize that he is the sole driver of our family.  Something he committed to nearly 16 years ago when he asked me to marry him.  He knew it was highly unlikely that I would never be able to see well enough to drive.  So sermons are prepared as I take care of kids appointments, emails are sent and visits are made in-between  all the craziness.  He is an amazing multi-taskr.  he uses every spare moment he can.

A week  ago I posted this picture of something that is rare.

pastor husband

We had already

  • y picked up kids at 11:45
  • ate lunch
  • took headache medicine to the other child at school
  • gone to two parent teacher conferences
  • worked
  • sermon prep

The poor guy had a migraine.  And had about a half an hour before we had to eat dinner and leave for Awana.  When I posted the picture to social media it was about the cat.  She doesn’t snuggle with just anyone.  She likes him a lotAnd there were very supportive comments on social media.  BUT comments came outside of social media that were not so kind. And that is sad.  For a  man who rarely if ever takes time for himself, who pours so much of himself into others.  Who seeks to build community and build others up.  Who gives everything he has and then some. Who bends over backwards for anyone who asks his help.

I am truly sorry I posted it….for the flack he has taken.

So Grateful

  1. So for all of this I want to take the time to thank God for all that he does both the seen and the unseen.  The 80+ hours per week for church the 10-20 hours a week for his other job and the countless hours for our family.  His ministry is so far deeper than most can imagine, even within the community.
  2. I am grateful that he loves us and takes care of us.  Enough to step up and provide in different ways.  that he makes sure we always have working vehicles. that he makes sure that we are cared for.
  3. I am thankful that I get to watch.  I get a front row seat to his ministry, our ministry together.This also means that sometimes the seats up close see the messy things too.  Those moments when people are so wrapped up in themselves to see what is really going on.   Im so grateful he includes me.  so many pastors and wives live two separate lives. I saw it while we were in seminary. Couples who did their own things, separately.  When I am leading Bible study, he is watching the ladies kids.  He helps  with the RGT conference.  He has mentored young men alongside me at the Pregnancy center, reaching deep into the messiness of our community.
  4. I am so grateful to get to watch him grow into the man God always knew he would be.   It’s huge blessing to see him step out and try new things to gain boldness.
  5. To watch him give his whole life to Jesus in service.  That he holds nothing back. To sacrifice.

To My Pastor

In Short during this month dedicated to showing appreciation to  our pastors.  I want to say a great BIG thank you.

Thank you for being a selfless example of what a godly man should be, not only for our own children but to the kids who know and love you!

Thank you for reaching me every Sunday , and every other day what the Bible teaches.  I love sitting under your teaching and I learn so much.

Thank you  for teaching me how to show love and grace through the good, the bad and the ugly.

AND THANK YOU for asking me to be apart of this journey with you 15 years ago.  Thank you for seeing me as God does, as a women with potential NOT just as I am a broken imperfect person.

I will gladly serve with you another 15 years and until God sees fit to call us  Home!

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This Hula Hoop Girl Just Dropped Half Her Hoops

 

This Hula Hoop Girl Just Dropped Half Her Hoops

My friend September McCarthy (who blogs at One September Day and is founder of the Raising Generations Today conference) wrote a book a while back called Hula Hoop Girl. You can find it on Amazon. (This is NOT an affiliate link) I think it is the first book I read on this journey God has taken me on over the last two years that looks so differently than I have ever lived. It has been a journey of letting things go. (Instead of piling things on and living at a level of insanity no person can handle

Ministries

Raising Generations Today coRelationships

Chores

and now something I REALLY enjoy.

I sit here tonight writing and I must confess….I. AM. EXHAUSTED. I like feeling exhausted…NO REALLY, it means I have accomplished something, however not my new exhaustion…not one bit. Matter of fact I hit this time in the evening and I feel plum tuckered out…and I feel as though the only thing I have to show for it is 4 children who are still alive. Three of them are VERY exhausted too, not of their own choosing either, their bus schedule is a MESS. (They have to get up at 5:30 to be on the bus at 6:30, then they get home at 4:30…) Yep that is a 10 hour day. Most adults only work 8 hours a day. the meltdowns and crabiness is unreal. They go to bed at 7:30 every night except Thursdays when we have AWANA. That night they go to bed between 8:30 AND 8:45. It is their only extracurricular activity.

God has really taken me on this Journey for two years now of just letting things go. Hula Hoops if you will. I have let ministries go that I was just doing because they needed somebody to fill the gap. I wasn’t good at that nor did I enjoy them.) I have let gardening go, because that is what was programmed into me that every good wife and mom does…..even if you aren’t good at it, don’t have time to learn to be good at it…and hate it. Yep you read that right. I don’t like to garden and for the last decade I have killed my back and knees doing something I dread….(not like high school and college where I killed my knees doing something I LOVE *basketball* !!

But tonight as I sat contemplating something that is begging me across the room, my planner, what’s more is it is IN my planner. It is my goals list for 2016. I am a goal driven person by nature. I have to-do lists coming out my ears and I work hard on them all. Its how I feel accomplished, like Im getting somewhere. BUT here’s the glitch….I CAN’T. I have moved past the stage of overwhelmed and now I am just being REALISTIC. This hoop has been a pleasure thing for me, but it has also been a part of my growth as well. So there are 42 books on that list…ranging from classic fiction to Great Christian authors whom I know and love. 42 books has been reached before. BUT in my current place in life I am only being realistic when I say I can’t…at least not now. So just like the heap of other hoops on the ground I’m tossing the hoop of my reading list to the ground. I can always pick the hoops back up again. I am pretty sure this one is the hardest though because this one I actually enjoy….I love to read. I love checking books off the list. Don’t worry though my title of book nerd will still be proudly worn. I’m not giving up reading…oh no, however there will be no list (EEEK did I really just say that?) I will be shooting for 2 books a month rather than 4 (there’s that Goal thing slipping in) and I will be choosing said books as I go….and as for the rest of this year? I think Im going to focus on finishing books Ive already started and a few new ones that have caught my eye (that I already own.) And most importantly I’m not going to stress. I’m actually going to take the lists out of my planner altogether. I’m sure that at some point in my life I will again pick up that shiny purple and green hula hoop and give it a go again but for now in this present season, it can sit on top of the heap of other broken worn out hula hoops and I am content.

It’s Been a Month…..

It's Been A Montha Month…a whole month?   REALLY? Tomorrow marks a month since I last posted , and it’s not because of a lack of want.   it’s been a very crazy month and i wish I could say it was going to get better.   Actually it will…..once we leave on vacations, but until then the month coming will hold some fun!

 

It had been a pretty focused month …and then it happened last week….I got sick.   I have not been sick all winter…I would start down the cold road and then I would take extra vitamins and then Id be fine.My seeds That needed to be are all started…They aren’t really doing much BUT they are started at least!I had my laptop sitting next to last week, open all ready to write but my arms ached so BAD!  I just rolled over and went to sleep.

So here are some of th things we have accomplished over the last month

  1. Little Bean turned 6
  2. Picnics
  3. Weasels’s 3rd quarterly report was written and sent in.
  4. Homeschool curriculum for grade 3 has been purchased  and recieveed
  5. Letter of Intent to homeschool has been sent in
  6. Away has been completed
  7. we acquired a second set of college stdents (related to a class that they take in the special education degree)  they spend 25 hours with a family over the course of a semester.   For whatever reason the second set couldn’t finish out their hours with their assigned family so we were asked if we could fit in another set.  this was a fourth semester participating in this program…a lot of this college kids don’t…or can’t connect but the group we had this semester really connected wonderfully with weasel…..they were simply amazing!
  8. My stack of reading is GOING NO WHERE FAST!   I just had too many things going on at once, but soon I will have more time once homeschooling is done for the year.
  9. we (my Women’s Bible study group that I leadI) put on this AMZING Ladies Brunch….. And we are beginning to form the foundation of a a thriving women Ministry in our church.  this was really time consuming, BUT it’s what I am called to do and I love it!
  10. we are getting ready to kick off our next ladies Bible study  using Rest Assured By Vicki Courtney which I reviewed here a couple of months ago.  I have fallen in Love with the book and it is beginning a 4 level Bible study series spanning 4 books
    1. Rest Assured
    2. The Best Yes
    3. Thrive
    4. Fervent
  11. and even though I have been silent on the blog, I have been writing.   There is a blog series pending the release of Stacey Thacker’s book  Fresh Out of Amazing.   This series of blog posts has been shall we say….HARD!  that seems like such an understatement.
  12. There have been people in my life who need me…not just my hubby and kids.  I have some friends who are really going through some really hard things…unthinkable things.  sad things.  and I will be there for them.  I made a determination a year ago that I would be that friend that God uses to be a light….(I write this as Michael W. Smith’s song I will be Here for You come on)
  13. We also have another Bible study meeting here in our home.
  14. and there are somethings I just can’t share.   tThey quite possibly could require “new Normal’s”    But we are willing.  That’s really what God asks of us, is willingness.  Usually based around our “i’ll never…” statements..
  15. Little Bean accepted christ as his Savior,  then later that week, 3 young girls from our church followed suit!  what an amazing blessing…Did I mention Little Bean accepted Christ on MOTHER”S DAY    🙂
  16. Hubby and I celebrated 13 years of marriage..while I was sick 🙁
  17. Tomorrow is Hubby’s Birthday!

Well there is a look inside our last month.  You will be hearing more from me more often I have some really neat thing coming down the line including a weekly project Post, sharing my latest creations and  a snapshot into my planner….I have been using The Happy Planner for the last 7 months and boy am I loving it.    There will also be some  Why I do what I do posts, inspired by Rest Assured and The Best yes, So won’t you Stay tuned in the coming days weeks and months as we jump into writing again!  I promise It won’t be a month till you hear from me again !

Blessings

Mary

Putting On My Oxygen Mask

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Have you seen Mom’s Night Out?  It’s a movie that released a little over a year ago, right around mothers day.   It took us almost a year to see and my darling husband found it at a store and bought it for me……I LOVE THAT MOVIE.  Without fail, it makes me cry..Every. Single Time !   No joke and it usually is a different part each time, for it meets me right where I am in that moment.

The title of this blog post comes from that movie, and it is the very thing my husband said to me 4 days ago.  I was a bit uncertain about this week.  In all honesty I was having second thoughts about the entire idea.  My husband had this idea for me a year ago as we were making he decision to place our camper on a permanent lot at a Bible Conference a few hours from home.  We had no idea at that time what our lives would look like in a year and let me tell you if I had the choice to live this last year over again, Im not sure I could do it.   It’s only by God’s amazing grace that we have made it through with our marriage and family intact and I believe stronger.  Im still not ready to post about it, but it IS coming I promise.  We were hurt in some horrible ways.  Most people who know of our last year are shocked that we are still where we are.   And we had no idea that the decision to put our camper at the Bible Conference would lead to such great healing and respite for our family.  So here I sit.  IN my little retreat I have been completely alone for nearly 36 hours.  Im at peace.  I am feeling refreshed and renewed and I sill have another 3 1/2 days .  I have written and read and studied and blogged. I have rested ….AND BARELY SPOKEN TO ANYONE!  I have talked to my husband and kids a few times over the last day on the phone but that is the limit of my conversing.  It’s ok Im an introvert.  Maybe that’s why I needed this so much.

The premise of needing to putting on my oxygen mask is this…a quote from one of my college profs

seasonal specials

And that was the premise behind the overly long observation of the husband in Mom’s Night Out.   The dad travels A LOT.  So when he FINALLY connected the dots, the idea of the oxygen mask in the airplane resonated with him.  you have to help yourself before you can help someone else get their mask on.  I needed to take some deep spiritual cleansing breaths before I can tackle another round of insanity..    If I don’t have my relationship with God front and center, how can I possibly give my kids and husband what they need?  How can I teach?  How can I write to you?   My husband knew this line would resonate with me and it did…it made me smile to.  he told me  ” you need this, and you are going to love it”   He was right…..on both counts.

So I want to say THANKS HONEY, for cheering me on to do this, to go beyond my normal, to stretch myself and to feed my soul .  and if you happen to be a guy reading this  and your wife is looking a little…or a lot frazzled, why don’t you consider a way to encourage her to put on her oxygen mask!  and if you are a mom, can I just take a moment to encourage you to take a step back, take a deep refreshing breath and sit at the feet of Jesus. Turn your chair away from the chaos  that is where you are and face  it to a window.  I know what it is to not have the words to say, the tears flow easily and no words come.  I know that ache that makes you want to be sick and I want you to know that HE hears the very cry of your heart without  uttering One.Single. Sound.   he knows and he loves you  even in the biggest of messes!  Wont you meet him there He’s waiting!