Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Good Morning World

Where are you emotionally this morning? Discouraged, distracted, tired, worried, sad, overwhelmed? We all have so many things going on in our world - we try to do the best we can but often just feel "less than" in a lot of different ways. Today, I am challenged to be joyful! We are called to be filled with joy as believers, but I'm not sure that people I pass in the streets would see joy in me. How is joy possible when we have so many other distracting emotions. It's possible when we turn our focus on Jesus - sitting at his feet and recognizing the many blessings we have. When we focus our hearts on him, the other distracting emotions change....we start to feel lighter,calmer,more hopeful,more grateful,more joyful. See, when we enter the presence of Jesus, we are changed! So, this morning I have started my day focusing on Jesus - remembering my life is for His glory and allowing my heart to focus on the important things of life. This makes me joyful, and I want to share my joy with others today. How will I do this? Today, I want to become more intentional in my interactions with others - smile and engage those around me, care about those in need. It's the simple things that can make profound differences.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Love Who You Are

So something you should know about me is that I've struggled with weight issues since I was a teenager. In my 20s, I was probably 40 pounds overweight. In my late 20s, I lost 40 pounds by diet and exercise. To try and maintain my weight loss, I became pretty rigid and restrictive with my eating patterns and exercise. I felt like my life became about what I ate and how much I exercised so that I would not gain weight. I met my husband when I was 28. After we got married, he learned quickly that I had "food" and "weight" issues. He didn't want me to make separate meals for him and me, so I became less restrive with my eating over time. Then we spent several years dealing with infertility issues and trying to get pregnant - this meant lots of fertility medicatios/injections. My weight issues took a back seat to having a baby. I finally got pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl in 2007. I gained a healthy amount of weight during my pregnancy and really focused on eating healthy. Since having my baby, I still exercise daily and focus on healthy eating, but I have an extra 7-10 pounds on my frame. That might not sound like a lot of weight, but to me, someone who has struggled with weight for years, it's hard to accept. I don't want to be restrictive and rigid with how I eat anymore. I want to be healthy person, inside and out, and a good example for my daughter. My weight battle and my relationship with food continue to be a daily struggle for me. I don't believe overly focusing on weight or food is where God wants my heart or time. I try to remember that my body is God's temple, and I strive to be balanced and healthy in how I eat and exercise. If I'm so rigid with eating and exercise, I'm out of balance. If I don't have any boundaries in place with how I eat, that isn't God-honoring either. So, it's living in that tension - to have self-control and balance. It's a daily walk and more related to my spiritual journey than I've previously known. I don't want to be that person who is never satisfied with how I look, always wanting to lose 5 more pounds. I want to be happy with who I am, inside and out, and take care of myself so that God is pleased with my stewardship.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Infertility and faith

My husband and I have been married for 8 years. I knew when we got married that it might be difficult for me to have a baby since I had been diagnosed with PCOS when I was 16 and never really had regular periods. We decided to wait a couple years before we started active efforts to get pregnant. We started working with my obgyn, and she prescribed Clomid. I took that for several months, but it never worked. She then referred me to a fertility specialist. When I saw the fertility specialist, he told me I didn't have PCOS but rather a problem with my pituitary gland. Because of my condition, we started a regimen of fertility medications and injections and attempted intrauterine inseminations multiple times with no success. After three, I think, failed IUIs, we proceeded to invetro fertilization. Because of my desire to have a child, I was ready to try invetro right away. My husband, on the other hand, was more skeptical and uncertain about the process and the many ethical dilemmas we might face moving forward. Because you had to know how you would handle possible situations, we had to slow down and think through everything very thoroughly. Letting go and stepping back was really hard for me, but I knew my husband and I had to be on the same page, and I knew my husband had to have peace before we could move forward. So, I stepped back, slowed down, let him lead the process. I had to get to the point of surrendering my desire of having a baby because I didn't know that ADam would be okay with moving forward with invetro. After prayer and a period of waiting, Adam felt comfortable moving forward with IVF. We started this intense process over 4 years ago. The result of our first IVF attempt was our beautiful daughter Emerson. She is a miracle in so many ways, and I truly believe I appreciate and love her more fully because of the gift I know she is to us from God. We love Emerson fully and have wanted to expand our family with more children. We've had many failed attempts at IUIs and IVF since Emerson's birth. We are approaching our last attempt at IVF next month. I'm scared and excited at the same time. But no matter what the outcome, I know God's will is always better than mine. And, I don't want anything other than His will.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Just got home from dinner with friends. There were three families total - the kids playing downstairs while the adults sat around the dinner table talking and laughing and talking and laughing. Our conversations covered so many topics from family finances, "crazy love", the recent Revelation study at our church, heaven, tattoos, movies - all in the course of three hours.
I love community! I love fellowship! I love having people around who are like-minded. God created us for community and fellowship, and it fills my soul when we get it right.

While we were talking about finances, God just impressed upon my heart the need to uplift my husband, using my words wisely to encourage and praise him rather than make jokes about his growth areas. I found myself wondering what the other couples thought of how my husband and I talk about each other. Do they think we are critical of each other? Do they see love in our hearts and words for each other? I want my husband to feel loved and valued by me, even when we are having conflict or disagreements. I want others to see the love and respect I have for my husband. Thankfully,we have good friends who love us and give us grace. And thankfully, we serve a gracious and loving God always there to grow us even closer to Him.

Friday, March 25, 2011

1 Peter 3

During my quiet time this morning, I read 1 Peter 3 which reads: "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight".

As I meditated on that scripture, I was convicted by my stubborn heart. I've never really seen myself as a prideful person, but God has revealed sin in my life and heart. He's shown me how I often times want MY way rather than submitting to my husband with purity and reverence. Wow, purity and reverence. How do I do that? Obviously, with the Holy Spirit's help. It says earlier in 1 Peter 2 that slaves are to submit themselves to their masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. I take from that scripture that I am to submit to my husband with respect and purity EVEN WHEN he is harsh. That really kicks me in the butt! This is when my prideful spirit rears it's ugly head. I think I DESERVE to defend myself or I DESERVE to assert my rights, etc. I'm not saying we don't express our feelings or work on improving relationship issues, but I do feel challenged by God's Word to submit to my husband, die to myself and my way of seeing things.

The more I learn about God and His call for our lives, the better I understand the need for Jesus' death and resurrection and the need for the Holy Spirit. Holy living can't be done by our efforts. We need God's grace!

Lord, forgive me of my sins. I want to live a holy and pleasing life, but how often I find myself letting you down. I'm thankful for your Holy Spirit to guide and convict me. I'm thankful for your grace and mercy that you give new each day. I'm thankful for your love and faithfulness. Help me to serve and love Adam well. Let me submit to him with a pure and reverent heart as I depend on you. I realize my utter dependence on you to live the right ways. I desire your ways above all else, help me to die to myself so that you can reign in my life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crazy Love

I'm reading the book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. It's challenged and convicted me in so many ways. The thing I'm most challenged by today is whether I'm serving leftovers to a Holy God? Am I living life in a way where I put my desires and wants above God? Sadly, most of the time, I feel like I am driven by my agenda or my to-do list rather than living a surrendered life and agenda for Jesus to work and move in and around me. If I am filling up my time with "my things", how do I even know when Jesus is moving around me or when He wants me to do something? I say I love Jesus more than anything, but am I living in a way that reflects my love for Him? It takes the Holy Spirit's help to die to our flesh daily and to live surrendered, obedient lives. Without His help, we will constantly fail in our flesh. To love Jesus fully, I have to be focused on Him completely and intently. I have to hear His whispers. I have to know when He's calling me to give, or to love, or to serve. I have to be pursuing Him. How does this affect my daily life? All I know is that I must hold on to my "agenda" loosely, be prayerful and aware of God at all times. Jesus, help me to love you well! Help me to show that love to others, no matter what the cost. I pray I will die to myself more each day so that you can be alive and at work in me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My experiment

So, when I decided to start a blog, I had a little experiment I wanted to try. I told my husband about my idea to use a blog as a journal of my spiritual journey-as a way to document how I am growing spiritually and what my challenges are that I am facing. BUT, I don't want to tell anyone I know about my blog. I just want to start it and see if anyone happens upon it. Maybe this will just be a journal for my learning and growing, or maybe God will direct people to this blog. I guess we will see.

Day 1 in the blog world

Well, I've recently become fascinated with reading blogs - mostly about health and fitness. As I've been searching for and following certain blogs, I had the idea of starting my own blog, not about health and not about fitness, although these are both very important things in my life. But, the most important thing in my life is my faith. More than anything, I want a real and transforming relationship with Jesus. I want to love Him well and love others well. Lately, I've been struggling with life, like everyone does, but I wanted an avenue to journal about life struggles while trying to hold on to what's really important - a life surrendered to Jesus. Hopefully, in my earnest attempt to be authentic and genuine with my faith and struggles, I can encourage others and point them to Jesus. I know He is the author and perfector of my faith.