February 08, 2015

Where (My) Feet May Fail

We sang Oceans in church today. It hit me today like never before. Like many people I know, this last years has been long, hard, and draining. There have been many times this past year that I felt like I was sinking in an ocean. My eyes were definitely not above the waves. My focus was on me and my circumstance, not on the sovereign God who was holding me in His arms through it all.

God brought something else to my attention this morning, too. You see, I have this ache to leave these US borders and head out on mission to...well...anywhere but here. I want to be in Africa getting my feet dirty as I serve the orphan there. I want to be in Romania handing out glasses and God's word to people who have no doctor and no Bible. I want to be in Haiti serving some of the poorest children in the world. For so long I convinced myself that my "trust without borders" and "where feet may fail" would happen far from here. But today. Oh, today. Though there was no audible voice, I clearly felt God tell me that sometimes, those places are right here in our own homes. For me, the place that is hardest to be, hardest to see or feel His hand, the place where my feet don't want to tread, is the home I live in doing the everyday, ordinary things. Did I miss it? Did I refuse to hear what God was really saying? Could it possibly be that, when I cried out, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith would be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior" that he Lord answered that prayer by NOT sending me anywhere else? Did He answer that prayer with homeschooling, where I've had to learn to pray and rely on God more each day to be able to answer in obedience. Did He answer that prayer when my children weren't saved at the same time all the other kids are getting saved, causing me to lay my children at His feet and trust that their lives are in His hands? Did He answer that prayer with health problems for my husband that have forced us both to our knees more in the last year than we ever have been? Did He answer that prayer by putting two sweet, young kids into our family for Family Quest every week where He challenged our faith and knowledge with questions our kids have never asked before? Did He answer that prayer with 2 families who are moving to the mission field while I stay home so that I could learn to truly be content in any and all circumstances and learn how to truly love on and cheer for others? Have I been missing it?

Oh, Lord, forgive me. Forgive me for missing out on the many ways You answer my prayers and I refuse to see it because it wasn't the way I wanted the prayer to be answered. Lord, open my eyes and my heart to see more than what is just visible to my earthly eyes. Oh, Father, help me to see all that You are doing here, in the everyday, ordinary, crazy, amazing, blessed life You have given me. Oh, Father, take me deeper in You, even if I never leave my home. Lord, move. Move in me. Move in my family.

February 04, 2015

Something They Never Tell You Before Getting Married or Having Children

People give you lots of advice before getting married and having children. They also give you LOTS of warnings. You know what no one ever really told me about? The lack of time to yourself once you're married. And that gets even less when children enter the picture. For some, this is really not that big of a deal. I am not one of those people. I can only handle so much of my time being spent with others. Then, I need time alone to regroup, rest, and, well, breathe! 

You get married and suddenly there is another person around ALL.THE.TIME. The one time you can really look forward to time alone is the commute to work (if your spouse isn't going to the same place.) The best part of working in college admissions? All the time spent in the car on my own. Listening to whatever music I wanted. Singing to said music at the top of my lungs. Making random pit stops just because you want to. Oh, those were the days.

Then, the kids come along and those glorious, all alone driving moments are virtually non-existent. You live for the random trip to the store alone or those 5 minutes it takes to get from dropping the kids off to your office. I'll admit, I force reading on my kids each afternoon just so I can have time to myself. 

I can feel it, too, when I've gone too long without time to myself. I can literally feel my blood pressure rising, I get very short-tempered, and even more irrational and high maintenance than usual. I become a very hard person to be around. But, I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with a husband that understands this. He knows when it's time to take the kids to the store, to play at the park, or to go see Grandma because I've had all I can take. I know, however, this is an area that I need to turn over to God on a daily basis. I have started getting to this point almost daily, and that is not good! Every morning I need to turn my day over to God and submit my plans and pride to Him. Every afternoon as I feel the onset of anxiety mounting I remember that I haven't asked God to help me with this yet today. That I haven't laid this area of my life at His feet today. 

Oh, Lord, help me to rise each morning ready and willing to turn my whole life over to You. Give me the strength to leave it there. Father, as I feel the anxiety and irritation mounting, remind me to stop, take my worries and stress to You, and keep breathing. Help me to remember that the only way to make it through this life is with You by my side. Oh, Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!!!