Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Its amazing to me how life circumstances can take over your whole being and almost make one obsolete from the day to day. Even though my grief over several losses has been in my opinion minimal for my normal level of emotions, I still have felt like I have been living in another world for the past few weeks. I came to work and talked with people, all the while truly being out of it without my knowledge. I just feel like I've been living in the peripheral zone. Its a weird time of year to do so as Christmas is coming, but today I have begun to re-enter the land of the living. I am beginning to reconnect with work tasks and feel like I am a true human being interacting in the real world - still grief-stricken, but reality aware. I am remembering my to-do lists and working on accomplishing tasks, which feels really good.
Monday, November 30, 2009
How does one measure the meaning of their life? Lately, I have been living in an Alice in Wonderland state where things are not always what they appear and do not coincide with my normal definitions in life. I wonder if I have been looking at things backwards or even upside down. Recently, as I have shared in a previous blog, an old relationship has discovered new meaning where past events are now viewed differently.
I have told my story on stage so many times I can no longer count. I have recited details of situations, both bitter and sweet, and discussed where they have led me in life. I have gained insight into myself through those experiences and what I feel God has done in me because of what I have encountered. What if my chronological recounting has missed meaning of events because I was measuring in a linear format? How can I measure specific circumstances or my life as a whole when each new day brings new meaning to who I am and why I am here?
I Corinthians 13 tells us at the close of the chapter that now I only know a part, but then (when Jesus comes and I go to be with him in heaven) I will know fully as "I am fully known." The older I become I really should have more questions than answers because new dimensions of myself and God's hand in events should be revealed. If I wake up from a nap with my head against a picture on a piece of paper, my eye close up will only see a glimpse of the whole, as I raise my head and have more focus to see it all, then I will know what I am looking at.
So how do I measure my life? The answer is I don't have an answer, but I will not limit my beginnings of an answer to my own knowledge or experience, but will be open to the possibilities of what God has in store and will cherish even the things that at first may seem bad. For I know that while living in an abusive home as a child was a horrible experience, it is now measured by the lives I encountered and cherished for those reasons. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to know someone even in dark circumstances. I can't wait to see how the rest of my life will measure up. Who's with me?
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Have you ever wondered about your life in movie form? I have - often. In fact I've said as the credits roll at the end I'd like "Here Comes The Sun" by the Beatles to play. My sister said the other day that if my life was on the big screen she thinks Reese Witherspoon should play me. Not sure what that means but she's definitely cuter than me so I'll take it.
I love at the end of the day to sit and veg in front of the television. I joke I could write tv scripts - I've seen so many shows. My favorite are Hallmark movies. They are cheesy, predictable, romantic, sweet, and completely what I need when I am overwhelmed by life. Hallmark movies are exactly what I need to go to make believe land and find calm. The thing is if my life was a made for tv movie, it would never make it on the Hallmark Channel. My life is more suited for the Lifetime Channel - drama, cliffhangers, and climatic events.
I guess if that ever happens I need to start doing more writing. I have a ton of beginnings of my story written in a million ways without any endings to finish it off. The truth is life is interesting and I'm not sure a movie could fully capture all the nuances of what our lives mean.
There are so many layers to who we are. Each event has multiple meanings that sometimes are contradictary. If nothing else, facing some of my past recently has helped me to see that. Events can mean one thing our whole life and one simple change can help us see that it meant something else all along. The heart experiences life in an array of ways.
Who knows if I will ever get that book about me written or if I'll ever have a movie about my life? For now I will just enjoy it and face the bad stuff with confidence in God and who he has made me to be. I will continue to grow as a person and see what the future holds. Who knows maybe one day Reese Witherspoon will play the role as Carrie?
There are seven stages to grief. Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Guilt, Anger, Depression and finally, Acceptance.
With my recent miscarriage, I feel like I quickly experienced shock and denial and passed by bargaining and guilt straight to anger. I have parked my car there with a quick trip to depression on the occasion. I find myself spouting off things I can and can't do now that I am not pregnant. Kevin asked me who I was mad at and I don't have an answer for that, but I am angry. Angry my life just can't be easy at any step of the way. Nothing has come easy for me and that is frustrating. I am not angry at God because I know he knows what he is doing. I just wish it could be easier than it is. I have no desire to ask,"why" I just want to know, "what now?" What should my attitude be? How should I approach my life? These are all questions I don't have answers for, and I'm fine with that for now. My emotional process has been interupted by the current physical pain. I had no idea a miscarriage would be so painful. I didn't want to have to have a D&C as it would remind me of my past abortion, and I am thankful that I had the miscarriage a day after discovering it was my envitable future, but I did not expect both the pain the reality of all that would happen. It was shocking and slightly traumatic, but it was nice to have a distraction from my emotions for awhile as I let my body heal.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Faith is a powerful tool in one's spiritual tool box. Knowing what its used for and what it is and what it is not will allow it be the most useful tool out there. Today I was met with seeing what you hoped for not come true and yet still filled with faith in a God who is what he says he is. Its being able to thank God in the midst of sheer heartache and still hope in future dreams. I am sad because today I learned that this pregnancy isn't going to happen. The baby has stopped developing and we no longer hear a heart beat. While it is still partially in my body, its soul has gone to be with the Lord. After my dream last week, I have decided to name this miscarried baby, Danielle. I now have 2 babies in heaven and still hope to have one on this earth. I still long to carry a baby to term and hold it in my arms and watch it grow. I still believe that God will allow that to happen, but for now I grieve the loss I am experiencing and pray God will get me through it. Its easy to lose hope, but I choose to believe in a God that has all under control and has perfect timing. In Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that Gods thoughts and ways are not like ours and are higher than ours. God knows what he is doing, and I trust in that. I cannot know the mind of Christ for me in this painful situation and honestly painful time as I have faced a lot of heartache with others in my family and close friends. I can honestly say I am tired of death and heartache, but I don't have control over what I face, just how I face it. So I choose to walk in faith even in this time of sadness and grief. The tears will abound, but the heart will remain strong.
Monday, November 23, 2009
There is a part of my life I often refer to with accurate factual detail. Its a collage of events that are apart of my past and a part from which I have effectively become emotionally detached. However, those memories that seemed almost dream like awoke when I discovered someone who represented so much negative in my life is dying. My heart broke open with emotion that were neither expected or explainable. They weren't feeling of anger or self-sadness, but instead compassion and love. And the "hardest years I've ever known" have been right beside me for the past few days more of a friend than an enemy as "I may someday be friend to my enemy."
You see I love someone not because of what they have done, but just because. I grieve for the life that could have been and the part of my past in the hellish mess that were cherished and wonderful. I weep at the thought that my times of deepest pain was the greatest time in his life. Disfunctional as it may be I was one of his two only children even though I am not his. My heart is in pain right now and words seem to inadequately describe all that is happening inside. My past has met my present with quite a deal of suprise and I am not sure what it all means I am just taking it one day at a time.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Hebrews 11 - Tells us that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This is sentence is easier to say than it is to live out. But today I began to see it bearing real fruit in my life.
I was married 4 years ago last month. I married a wonderful man who has experienced a lot of life, something I am very familiar with myself. It was God that brought two people together who are 16 years apart in age. Having been previously married my husband brought two almost grown children into our marriage. I came into the marriage with only an abortion in my past wanting desperately for children of my own.
My husband had a vasectomy in his previous marriage which would need to be reversed. We went into the reversal surgery already with 2 years of marriage under our belt and were only promised a 50% chance of success. I was believing God for a miracle as the surgery alone cost us the rest of our savings at the time, but with each month of a period my hopes for a baby was crashing. I told God I trusted him no matter regardless of his plan for me, and even though I felt I wanted a baby more than anything, what I most wanted was his will for my life.
Almost two years passed with no sign of pregancy. But I continued to persist in prayer and put my trust in God. Last month I discovered I was pregnant and was bewildered and excited all at once. It was something that didn't feel real, but it was in fact happening. I cried with gratitude to the Lord and called everyone on planet earth with the news.
The story now brings us to present day "Carrie Life" and a few weeks ago I began to have bleeding, something that can be normal with some women in pregnancy, but as a precaution I was sent to have blood tests and an early ultrasound. All tests came back saying things looked good, until yesterday. I went for my first official doctors visit and after the ultrasound the doctor told my husband and myself that he was 98% sure I was having a miscarriage. The ultrasound machine he was using was older so there was a chance a different machine would be more assuring and I could just be early in my pregnancy than suspected. So I was asked to go into get another ultrasound today.
I left the office last night upset but determined to have faith. I put it before God that I would always stand by Job 1:21 - "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, may the name of the Lord be praised." No matter what the outcome I would praise God because He is in control and He is Lord. He has a plan and I will always put my trust in that instead of what is before me in life. I chose, despite the thoughts that tried to bombard me with discouragement and doubt, to stand by God in faith believing that 98% "No" in human language was not too much for my God. I chose to walk in faith and trust God to do anything. As I slept last night a familiar song filled my head. Its called, "He's Never Failed Me," and the lyrics truly inspire confidence in God. I awoke and read about the Fiery Furnance in Daniel chapter 3 and decided to give all glory to God despite the outcome, and regardless of any news this morning I felt like I had been successful in having faith. I felt my believe in God permeate my being and live out in my actions. I was walking in the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
I went in for the ultrasound this morning and while I have not yet heard from the doctor, I know I saw a sack and fetal pole and heard a heart beat. The nurse said I appear to be more like 6 weeks than 9 weeks, and I am confident God provided a miracle for me. I receive this amazing gift not only of a baby, but also of faith.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I was reminded by the situation about the importance of relationships and how we should not take each other for granted. I was reminded that we must be communicating love to each other and work out all our fights with friends and family, because we never know what will happen tomorrow. I was glad as I waited for a report that I had just returned from a love-filled visit with my mom and family, because in that moment I wanted my mom to know she was loved.
An hour later I received a positive report - the screws in my mom's neck were still in tact and the damage to her back was not permanent, and the only other damage was to her teeth - easily fixed. Praise God.
Happy birthday Carrie
I love Carrie so much
Can you take to lunch again Some time
Where are doing tomorrow morning
Carrie love's me very much
Can you do Something on Next Birthday
I love Carrie so much
When are you doing on Next day or Other Week
Do you like Dogs so much
Can you Give me Money for Washing will your Gone you Went Ohio
May be can Buy you a StarBucks on your Birthday
(This was my birthday note from Katie)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Do you ever stop and ask yourself what your life reveals about your priorities? I got to take a deep look at this question over the weekend. My answer to the priority question has really changed. I believe one priority I did not recognize was fear. I was motivated by how others saw me or fear of getting emotionally or physically hurt. Those things kept me from my desired priorities like God, walking by the Spirit, loving people, and experiencing the wonderment of life and the moment. As I begin to experience freedom from fear I truly experience the life planned by God. Won't you join me?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Before I answer that question, let me tell you some of what I have faced since I said, "I do" to Kevin Eugene Guy. After 1 month of marriage I began a new job in addition to the job as youth pastor that I have had for almost 7 years. We moved only 3 short months later and less than a month after that my husband went away on business for 3 weeks leaving me with a house that started to show needed repairs, two new stepdaughters, and a lot on my work plate.
I was overwhelmed by it all and all too willingly accepted help from a trusted friend in getting household repairs done. It was months later we discovered he was molesting my younger stepdaughter, who had been acting out as a result of it all. We of course only first saw the acting out, not knowing where it was coming from. For her protection I will leave out the details, but part of the battle was with her diabetes care, which meant several trips to the hospital. It was nightmare for all of us. We had court proceedings and counseling sessions. This huge travesty was only compounded by the normal adjustments faced by any new blended family and my emense desire to have a baby, with no pregnancy in sight. How would we come through - all of us victors?
I am still in process and honestly the sermon I delivered this last Sunday at church really speaks the journey I have been walking because half the battle for me is just accepting that I am, indeed, in process. God is doing a work in me - I am the masterpiece, not the Creator. I don't get to direct my life and truly even on a bad day - my life is far greater than the prophet Hosea or Job :), but the truth is the first stage I faced (still coming out of it) was anger. I finally decided to allow myself to be angry (something I learned from situations much earlier in life). I have heard from everyone where I should be and I know where I need to get to, but I am not there and just telling me over and over again was not changing anything. I needed to do it at the pace that I could do it. When I accepted that reality things started to change for me.
Starting counseling 2-3 years ago was one of the best things I ever did. It has been wonderful to have a safe place to let it all out and find God through it all. I have learned that my life is not about me. I have learned that people pleasing is seriously overrated and doing things God's way always pays off - even when what I want most is my way. I am learning to accept reality and see God through it.
To answer the second part of the question for myself I would say I got through it with friends. Building a support network of people I could trust, talk to and just have fun with. Girls nights are paramount in facing life. You don't have to be 13 to enjoy a good movie and do your nails - 20-40 something works well too. I have also had to find what makes me happy - places I can go on my own to discover more about myself - the me God delights in. For me its been voice lessons and dance. Finding ways to express myself has been amazing. I also bought a chair - yes you heard me right - I bought a chair. Its not just any chair - its my solace chair. Its in my room. So when all is quiet or all have gone from the house - I can go in my room - curl up in it and pray, read my Bible, or just sit in silence. That chair has been such a gift, as crazy as it may sound.
So here I am still figuring it out, but hoping to learn from the road behind me so I can be prepared for the road ahead. Hope this was helpful for someone else out there.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Its time I stop throwing a pity party and open my eyes to all I have. So each day I am going to see the haves in my life, not the have nots. I need to so I can recapture the joyess spirit I used to have. The blessing though in the pity party is that God exposed to me things about myself that I never realized or admitted. So now I can look at them realistically.
For now I can say I have:
A wonderful husband
Two beautiful stepdaughters
Great teens that God has allowed me to share life with
A job where being on the beach or on a house boat is just a day at the office :)
A beautiful house
Wonderful friends - actually some of the greatest on the planet
All body functions - legs, arms, hearing, sight, etc.
Some great side jobs to help make ends meat
A love for music and people
A running car
food in the house even when we are out of money until the next payday
Lights and air on
A pool in the backyard
clothes to wear
A big wonderful family
A love of cooking and ability to put together great meals
So each day I will evaluate and recognize the positive - I'm sure I haven't had my last childlike fit, but here's to the road to recovery!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Life is infact a process, one I am no doubt in the middle of - while a mulligan would be nice - its more like an art project where you use the mistakes to create your masterpiece - there is no such thing as do over - it is what it is. I must go from here - no turning back, no guessing what could have been - its what might be from this point. So I've had to come to God and face what is my life. I found a great book I am currently reading which has me facing what I want to run from. I want to have a baby, a new job, and my step kids to love me. Nothing is changing. I am not pregnant and with each period I am outraged at one more month that mocks me. I am working for a church with part-time pay where the volunteer leadership team treats me with comtempt and I slave over a plethera of odd jobs to make ends meet. My 18 year old stepdaughter dispises me and spends all her time with anyone but me. She has no desire to imulate me or enjoy that which is Carrie Guy. She seeks to be as far away as humanly possible. So at the end of the day my life looks at me and laughs knowing nothing is as it should be.
So what are my choices? That is where the book comes into play because the book by Jill Briscoe called, "8 Choices That Will Change a Woman's Life." So here I am choicing pain to purify me instead of running from it like fugitive. I must accept my lot in life. I must love it and even embrace it even though all of me wants to rebel and demand a refund for the emptiness I feel. If that were an option I would have a new life by now, but instead I must allow my crappy circumstances to change me into a better person. It kinda sucks, but here I come. I know I am not alone in my steps to acceptance of what I have. There is a world out there of unhappy people. People I hope will choose with me to be better for the stuff they live that they hate. Join me in acceptance of disappointment for the purpose of happiness, will you?
Friday, July 10, 2009
Life makes me laugh and life makes me cry. Those two things are true. While I hate the emotional rollercoaster that is my life, I completely love that my heart is open to things most people desperately try to shut out. I allow the hurts of the world to visit my heart and stay for a visit. I allow people into places of my being that even I can't comprehend. Even though at times it tries to destroy me, I love it! I love the connection with the heart of people and humanity. I love being able to see past all the junk that I encounter daily - to see past the attitudes, addictions and caustic demeanors to see the essence of being stripped of all its embellishments.
So what is it? What is the shape of the emotional playground that lives inside of me? The answer is something that only emotion itself can answer. Its something I've passed on to a friend in heart speak and no other language can translate. As I left the theatre tonight I saw a poster for a movie coming soon. The movie is a children's book I read often. I loved the book and still have it in my livingroom on the bookcase. I got in the car and called my mom, sleeping three timezones ahead of me, to tell her the news that couldn't wait til tomorrow. As I told her I cried. My heart went back and took a trip through the time and life of Carrie Messinger, now Guy. It brought back with it a flood of tears. So here I am writing them down and sharing them with you. Even though tears are currently hitting my chest as they run off my nose, I am not sad. Hard to believe, but true.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Yes, at first glance holding a sign on a street corner that reads, "I Regret My Abortion" is a highly personal statement to share with the public at large. So the question to answer is, "why would she put herself out there like that?" The author states that, "in no other area of our lives are women so freely permitted or expected or encouraged to express regret, much less put it on display in the public forum." It may be the only venue women are focusing on regret, but not the only area where women are being so emotionally exposed to the general public. Follow a walk for domestic violence or a breast cancer walk and you will see passionate women speaking up about the life experiences that have dramatically affected their lives.
There is no sign that can state regret for getting breast cancer because they had no choice in the matter, but they want the facts to get out of prevention and support. Women in violence may regret partner choices even if it’s not written on a sign, and their purpose of getting out there is to let others know this is not a road to go down. The message for all three groups of women are the same. They are all in some way saying, "This is something to avoid." The women having experienced domestic violence is a much better parallel than the woman standing at a McDonald's regretting her daily calorie overdose. Overdoing it in a fast-food restaurant is a much less life-impacting choice than the choice of abortion. This is where the author of this article and I begin to part ways.
I trust women to make good choices, but I also recognize with all the messages that we encounter in our daily lives we are set up for a possible misstep in the life we desire for ourselves. I wish we lived in a world where pro-choice agencies were doing all they could to ensure women were making the right choices and keep women being forced into abortions, but countless examples, studies, and stories would show that this is not the case. Otherwise, reporters like Lila Rose, wouldn't be successful in exposing the statutory rape cover-up that is happening in numerous cases across our nation.
As a post-abortive woman I do not trust any agency offering abortions to get me all the information I need in making a choice I could live with. My personal experience has shown me this, as well as the experience of most women I have encountered, these are women not brave enough to expose their regret, only able to tell me for the first time hoping I would understand their pain from their dark secret. If women were being exposed to the truth of what abortion can do to someone after the initial flash of relief, then I would not need to hold a sign or wear a shirt that identifies my past abortion, but women aren't going to get all the information, so the burden of truth lies on me and others in the trenches.
Bottom line: I trust women to make a good choice once they have all the information to do so, but I don't trust they are getting all the information they need unless those of us who have been there can share our experiences
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We were able to tour the school. I met a man named Hello in the handicap living quarters. He is blind, but had a great spirit. We prayed for him and loved on him and even now as I think of him tears are in my eyes. We also got to go to the different classrooms and play with the children. We taught them songs and played Heads Up, 7Up with them and before I left and I taught them, "I love you" in sign language. My heart almost fell from my chest as they all raised their hands to say, "I love you" as we left. I told them I was taking them all home with me in my heart, andI know they are all nestled there right now. As we walked to the car one of the teachers, Gloria, followed us and we talked. She thanked us for coming and praying with the kids. She said, "I hope I see you again." I told her I didn't know when I could come back, but if not here, she was my sister in Christ and I would see her again. What hope that sentence held for me! They will be in heaven some day with some of the greatest rewards because they possess incredible faith.
The second have of our day was to see Pastor Winai and all he is doing near Mae Sot. We first went with him to a village to pray for a woman. She had fallen into a fire and no one could take her to the hospital, so she lay crippled in the floor of her small bamboo hut. We prayed with her, and again I was touched by her faith and beautiful smile. While we were there we saw one of the churches Pastor Winai planted and prayed with a guy who is helping out there.
Next we headed to the Agape Center, started by Pastor Winai. One one side of the road is the new home for the elderly he has started where he and his wife and small daughter live. On the other side of the road was the center for children. His oldest daughter and her husband, Briti, a Musekee graduate, live and work with the children, at least 30 (maybe 50). We sang songs with them in worship and as they headed to bed all of them gave us a hug and a "God bless you." Some practiced their English and even said, "I love you," or "I miss you." It was so sweet - totally melted my heart. I then played the guitar with Briti. I was really impressed with his English and he had great guitar skills. Pastor Winai then took us back to Dave's where we had dinner. Oh and while we were gone Don was able to get the truck because the protest had ended.
We contacted DK Guesthouse where we were staying and they were going to come and get us. Apparently, some locals in a sign of protest (to what I have no idea) decided to park their trucks along the road to block it from anyone getting through on either side. They had been there since 10 in the morning and no one knew when it would break-up. The people reacted differently than those here. First of all, the police did not get involved. Which here the police would have already gotten them off the road. And Americans would have been engaged in outspoken protest of the protesters demanding our rights to get where we needed to go. These people just accepted it, even though some of them could lose their livelihood if the trucks didn't move soon. I almost loved the way the police let them work it out, and the acceptance of the people - its a lot less stressful and forces people to work things out (not that I am proposing a change in our country...its just different).
When employees of DK Guesthouse arrived, they helped Don park the truck at a friend's house on our side of the blockade, where they would watch our truck and stuff. Elaine and I, who haven't changed clothes in days, grabbed stuff we would need, and we all walked past the blockade to the truck from DK and we drove some back roads to the guesthouse. We checked in and got our stuff situated then headed to a recommended restaurant by the guesthouse, which was wonderful. It was a restaurant owned by a Canadian named Dave. Then we went to bed at 7pm (which was 3am CA time). Elaine and I woke up around 3am and were ready to go for the day so we just sat there til breakfast at 7am :).
One woman told us of her life and how she was coming from Colorado, headed to Bangkok, to see her husband in the military. I couldn't believe how sad to only see him a few weeks every 6 months. We arrived in Bangkok to discover our bags were taken straight to Chaing Mai, so we were free (after a line of 4's) to get to our hotel Novotel. (Okay, so every person we went to with a question gave us an answer that involved a 4. It was humorous because we heard 4 about 20 times...comical really :)). Novotel was a beautiful hotel with great accommodations. It actually cost the same as the Hacienda in LA and was much more luxury accomodations.
Light Bulb Moment on the Plane:
To say I enjoy the trek from LAX to CNX would be a complete lie. Somewhere between the 15 hour time change. Long hours sitting, switching planes and customs makes me a bit insane. I feel homesick already just from the journey, but in the midst of this madness God spoke something amazing to my heart.
As timing would have it two days after I return to California, I am singing at church. My first song choice didn't pan out, so before leaving I chose a second song that I love called, "Held" by Natalie Grant. I brought the words and song on my ipod so I could practice. As I read the words on the plane, God used the song to answer some questions for me.
Before heading on my trip, many questioned why I was going and why I wanted a visit to a refugee camp to be apart of my trip. The only answer I had was that I felt God wanted me to go. It was on my heart, but I had no human reason to give (not that I needed one). As I sat on the plane with the lyrics before me I started to cry because I knew that this song was for the refugees and its lyrics held the purpose of my trip to the camp. The song talks about devastation people experience and knowing in the midst of it what it means to be loved and held by our Savior - that no matter the circumstances we face, being loved by God and held in his hands are what is most important. I want to walk with my brothers and sisters in Christ showing them love because that is what matters most. I want to extend my heart to my Christian family around the world. By extending the love of Christ to those with circumstances less than appealing is a true extension of hope.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
As I said, this verse wasn't a one time lesson that got left back at camp, but one that has stayed with me as a sacred companion. Last night in my time with God I was reminded, not of this verse, but of this truth. Faith is what is counted to us as righteousness. Faith is what marks our journey, not merely our actions. We read in I Corinthians that our works will be tested by the fire and it is our heart, that only God sees, that tests these actions. Some of our actions seen to others as "righteous works" will be consumed and come out as worthless.
I look at a generation of teens that are consumed with busyness. They fill their calendars with afterschool activities, sports, and clubs. They try to find their identity in the groups they busy themselves with, and that aren't alone. They have taken this cue from the overworked, stress cases they call their parents and mentors. They see adults fitting a new activity in each night of the week and running from one activity to the next. Why are we doing so much and what is the purpose behind it? Are we stopping to ask God before we step?
I propose of new way of life, even for those of us in full-time ministry. I propose we begin to "walk by faith and not by sight." I am suggesting that each step we take in our life or our daily planner gets put before the throne, because it is God's job to direct our steps. Even good things may not be what God has planned for us. Some of us (I live in this camp) try to save the world, but it wasn't us who came to save, but Jesus. We are mere servants doing his bidding, and in that we must acknowledge that He is the one with the daily planner for all. Sometimes some of us who do it all are taking the joy God has planned for others to get involved in the process, and when we take their job, we stand in their way.
Think about the stressfree life that could await you if you only took a moment to ask God what his direction was. Learn to tune in with the voice of God and not just the voice of ministry. Be free from obligation because you are doing the work God has put before you, not what others demand of you. Let your belief in Christ been seen in the way you live your life, for that is the true test of what you believe. Ideas in the head are just that when they aren't acted out in our lives. Faith needs to be more about action and direction of Christ then a philosophical point of view. It is practical application. Be free through faith.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
We are all wacky and heck were family so of course we each have our own dash of dysfunctionality, but we have a great time. We know how to enjoy each other's company and I always have a fabulous time. My cousin Conor and I played on Hilary's computer making funny pics, this one is more sweet than funny, but I loved it.
We started the weekend out at dinner to celebrate my grandparents. It was lots of fun, just ask Uncle Mike. My dad made this great slideshow and it was wonderful to reminiscence (at least for the ones that were taken in my lifetime). We celebrated and ate then we just went back to the hotel. Saturday was wonderful bonding time with board games and then the guys went to see Gran Torino and all the gals went to see Bride Wars (12 of us ladies laughing). Then it was back to the house for a family dinner.
Sunday we all went to church (took 3 rows) and then went to my dad's favorite restaurant (Taco Bell) for lunch before heading home. Having time just to catch up with everyone was fantastic. I have such a great family. I am truly blessed. Both my mom's and dad's side of the family are big and love to be together. It couldn't get any better.
The bottom picture has all the female cousins and my stepdaughter, Stephanie.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
You see, thus far I have seen my choice to marry my wonderful husband as a result of past longings. My parents divorced when I was young, and despite their loving attempts to make me feel accepted and loved, I never felt like I completely belonged to anything. I felt I was a fraud and an outsider always looking into someone else's full existance. I always knew my step mom loved me, but felt lesser to my half siblings that were hers and my dad's. Going from one parents' home to the other meant missing out on what was going on in the other home. I never felt like I fully belonged anywhere on this planet.
One day earlier last year, it hit me, that when I married my husband, with 2 children from a previous marriage, that I had unknownly placed myself in the same emotional outsider situation, and my husband's attempts to prove otherwise had been futile. This fact felt depressing to the progress I had hoped to make. I am working on my internal struggle and working at correcting the wrong thoughts and feelings I face, but it just seemed futher compounded.
Yesterday all of that changed. The struggle is still present and real, but the perspective is different. You see now I see that though I made the choice that brought me back into a place of emotional pain, God allowed the choice to bring redemption into my life. As I continue to correct my feelings of pain, I am redeeming the past. I can't go back and relife it (nor would I want to), but I can heal deeper places in my heart because they overlap. That is such a freeing perspective. It makes me want to sing at the top of my lungs and dance around the room. Because what Satan intends for evil, God will use for good. Joel 2:25 says, "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you." I love that God has come to redeem the gnarly parts of our past and wishes to not only heal them but make us spiritual giants through the process.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Yes, I know I walked down that aisle. I signed up for this, and let me repeat, no regrets. A lack of regrets does not equal a lack of difficulty and frustration. A day in the life of my stepmother experience includes tons of looks. People often ask me if I am my stepdaughters' sister, because I look young. My older stepdaughter is special needs and is 7 years younger. So while she looks adult-sized, she acts child-sized and that adds to the looks. I love it because she calls me mother. She is full of energy and adds to my life. When I tell people they are my stepdaugthers I usually get an, "oh..." Its like they aren't really sure how to react.
I Feel Like a Phony
When women ask if I am a mother and I say I have 2 stepkids. I often get an "oh, you don't have your own children," as if I am fake or phony. The fact is I do all that biological moms do, and at the end of the day I get no credit. At the end of the day "she" will always be mom and I will be the "step." Let me tell you that fact alone, sucks. Especially considering I don't have children yet, and its not that I don't want my own children, I do, desperately. Mother's day has become an awkward experience for me because I really don't know what I am, especially considering for many years my husband was both dad and mom for his girls. I really feel like he should be honored.
Learning the dance is taking some time. Learning when to step in and when to step back. Its difficult, but worth it. Because at the end of the day those girls need someone in their corner and it keeps me humble, because its not about me. I just wish that more people got it. Its often a lonely journey, and that's with great girls and a great man. In the process, I am learning to be myself and learn to have my own life. I am really enjoying a life outside my family and that is helping me enjoy more of life with my family.