Sunday, July 28, 2013

He wants our hearts.

It's amazing how nieve I can be with God, do you ever feel that way? It's moments like last night while doing my Ruth study, that I realized how difficult I make conversation with Him. I am able to graciously thank Him and praise Him in times of prosperity, but during the moments of trial and misunderstanding I tend to numb the blanks with a coffee cup full of ice cream or updating my Instagram feed in place of praying and asking humbly for His reasons.

Up until Kelly pointed out how maybe we do these things because we are afraid of what we'll experience once we state our peace or fearful that we won't hear anything back from God or even that He'll require something of us we won't want to give, I guess I thought well: He's God, and I shouldn't question His reasons, it would be silly to question Him right? Sure it's fine to question my husband when he eats that whole box of oreos in one sitting, but God? No way! He is the one person I shouldn't question, right?

Not neccessarily. I'm learning now that I can address my concerns, and it's totally fine with Him. Because that is exactly what He wants me to do. I cannot avoid God during adversity. It just doesn't work. I have got to express my need for His reasons before He can reveal them to me! It's kind of like that saying: "Well if you never ask, you'll never know" I suppose. 

I fell so hard in prayer after I realized how dumbfounded I discovered I was all this time. I wept like a two year old whose cherry-lime popsicle melted insanely too fast right in my hands, but oh it was a cry I needed and I pray the Lord heard it at my best. 

There are many people in the scripture that question God's reasons, many, many! Job for instance faced so much trial and even felt as I do sometimes, in a pit with no escape and asked God many times, "You made me God so why do you destroy me? And "God you hear my cries all of the time, or do you really hear them?". Job felt sometimes that he didn't have a chance with God and I can relate to him in so many instances, but I never took the time to ask as he did. You can see his cries toward God in these verses:

Job 9: 16-19
Job 10: 8-9
Job 19: 8-10

Regardless of my fears, I know now that God wants to hear my voice, any questions big or small, any doubt, any anger I'm dealing with, He wants to hear it all. Just as a healthy home thrives on verbally expressing differences of opinions in misunderstandings in order to "work it out", that's what it takes with God too. 

You can't expect to find healing when you don't even bother to point out the wound.

If your feeling frustrated about something God has put before you, don't avoid talking to Him about it. Really tell Him what is on your mind, ask Him why and just lay it all out before Him. He wants to hear your side, it's not a one way conversation and He wants you to know that. I felt inspired to write on this subject because it just touched my heart so good, and I can see how others can most likely feel the same way I have felt about verbally talking with God.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Things Change.

Early yesterday morning, I received a warm text from my dear friend telling me that she would be coming home to Mississippi, but just for the weekend. They had planted their roots now in Oklahoma near relatives of theirs and would be returning to bring with them back all of their belongings from their family home. If your a long time follower of mine you may remember her being the close friend of mine whose sweet daddy passed away in April, if not and you would like to catch up, read HERE and HERE but be sure to grab your tissue box. I was quickly excited as soon as my ears filled with the great news, but quickly let down as I thought about what this ultimately meant. This was it, my best friend was establishing her new life in Oklahoma but now for good. My heart broke again I won't try to hide that fact, I had settled in the fact before this news that yes, she was living her life too many hours away from me but I had also settled comfortably in my heart that yes, she does still have a home over here with belongings-she will be back. But now I'm just not so sure.

This morning, of course, I had to go see her. I hadn't seen her since the funeral, and no we really didn't talk too much during the time in between I sadly regret, but our lives obviously went different directions and in a hurry. Life gave us a full plate, sadly more heavily on her end of the table. When I reached the screen door to her house I like any other time, looked toward her daddys recliner to find that he wasn't there. It broke my heart, and flash backs from seeing her suffer that sad day came rushing back to my memory. That house would forever be stamped by his memory, and I could understand how staying would only make things harder along with the fact that they absolutely had no family really at all now that they could still call family in this town. 

There are a many of reasons along with new ones of why they are having to leave it all behind now, and if I were in the position she is in, I honestly would do just as she is doing. It saddens me that the circumstances she has encountered with family members have caused her to relocate her whole life, but at the same time.. she is happy, and that is really all that matters, isn't it?

Reading through my Kelly Minter Ruth study this morning upon leaving to see her, my eye just happened to catch the corner of the page that read: Although there will be weeping in this life, the direction in which we weep is what truly matters. I have no doubt in my mind, God drew me to this study because He knew I would need help coping with this new change in my our lives. 

I was being selfish, I was angry and I couldn't understand why things had to up and run the direction I just couldn't agree with. She isn't just my best friend, she is my sister, we grew up building each other up throughout lifes many speed bumps, and now we would only be losing contact slowly drifting apart I could only imagine throughout the years to come. Distance wouldn't be my friend would it? 

I realized then that I had to be happy for her. Yes, this part of life isn't easy to say the least and my friend is still weeping and will battle this sadness for as long as it takes, but the good thing about her weeping, is she is weeping forward, just as Ruth and Naomi. My friend, just as these two legendary women in the bible, lost it all and life is granting her a new beginning.I can't hardly argue with that. It hurts but deep down it is well with my soul and I know that God will provide opportunities of reuniting us somehow, although I did fall apart on the drive home from her last hug.

She would punch my arm if she knew I shared this
 but it sure makes me laugh when I wanna cry

God sees my tears, I can cry and I can wipe them, feel them.. but I won't let them stop me..  it is possible to cry and walk.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Just Listen.

Lately, I have really started to slow down and try to see the big picture guys. And if your wondering where I have been here lately, I've been a little obsessed with Instagram and a few small devotionals. I have been digging deep friends, and the Lord is really speaking to my heart during our second part of marriage. There have been a few times here lately while I've been processing it all that I just literally lifted up my head and said "I hear ya Lord!" because He speaks so loud and hits right on my soft spots! So I've been just sitting here quietly listening. The wheels of life are still steadly spinning but I'm really focusing on the ride instead of the drive.

A good friend of mine and I decided to give Kelly Minters living room series "Ruth" a try and boy does she make you dig deep in the Word! I have always been a huge note taker in school and it's kind of my best strategy to learn things, so with that said and from the evidence included, you can kindly see that the study questions are hidden beneath my chicken scratch writing. But hey, whatever works right? This study is going to take my heart pretty far and I can tell you it not only gives you more insight on the story of Ruth but it also brings it on the home front in areas of your life that you struggle with and face!

Another daily study I am doing is with She Reads Truth, you can find their website HERE. I'm one week in on the Women in the Bible study and it has been just what I've been needing. I have always loved reading about women in the bible so this study caught my eye big time! The daily lessons are pretty short and maybe take me fifteen minutes tops to do them, each day discussing different women for instance: Eve then Sarai and Hagar all of which fell short of trusting Gods plan for them, I'm finding that I'm a lot like these women and I have learned so much through this study. I encourage you to join in, you won't be sorry!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Will Guard This Heart Of Mine

I'm in Day 2 of Living The Love Dare, it is a spiral flip book with 365 messages on leading the heart throughout a marriage and the message for this day really struck a cord for me. It says, "The world says to follow your heart, but if you are not leading it, then someone or something else is."

It also references to Jeremiah 17:9 where it says, "the heart is more deceitful than all else." "And it will always pursue that which feels right at the moment."

Ever since I learned of what makes the true anatomy of the heart, I've always felt only the good could possibly come from the heart, all else has to solely come from the mind, right? How could the underlying grim of my inner being evolve from my very core? I had trusted this part of me for so long only to learn that it before all of the other parts that make me the person I am would and can deceive me the most. That is if I don't guard my heart with all my might and seek wise counsel. 

The world can really be your worst enemy, and marriage these days isn't near where it should be. People give up easily, because the world tells them you CAN have it YOUR way. Divorce is an easy exit because the world states: Oh it's the norm, go ahead sign your name along that dotted line and you will have freedom once again though I do believe there are some circumstances where divorce is necessary. And the heart just doesn't pump in and out throughout all four valves anymore because who has the time for that anyway?

I know I'm only one year into my marriage and I still have so much to learn, but I don't want to be the woman who gave up when I could have stood up. I don't want an easy exit, if this road gets hard I want to pick up my feet and go with it. And I truly want to make time to show my husband how much I love him because time is love. 

Referencing through some other scriptures, I've learned it's very important that I guard this heart of mine from the things of this world that could easily seep in and influence it in deceiving ways. I want to be completely in control over my heart as well. I want my hands firmly on the wheel without anyone or anything trying to steer it for me. I have always had a tight grip on my inner lining but seeing as though it is possible for it to turn on me, I will guard it even more than ever before.

"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."
Proverbs 28:26

What are your thoughts toward guarding the heart?
I would love to hear them!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ephesians 5

I know I've emphasized how just being married has sky rocketed my relationship with the Lord before, but I just can't explain the depth it has taken my heart. And I've learned the reason behind it is this: God uses marriage to show us where we need to grow and deal with our self-centerness through the help of a lifelong partner. Here lately, my focus has been on the fifth chapter of Ephesians. While it isn't very lengthy in it's text, it's filled with so much insight on how we should live and love in a marriage and it just sets my soul afire as they would say! It also speaks of the "S" word most of us wives find hard to live by: Being submissive to our husbands. Being submissive to one another in the fear of God.

I read through the chapter a couple of times to myself and I thought: Why do I make this so hard? I make this concept God tries to imprint on my heart so difficult and I am so very selfish. I guess it's just the woman in us all that tends to react to opposition and just being told that we're wrong even when we know very well we are wrong indeed. We will fight that gravy train until the wheels fall right off and dang it when we're right we will let you know it, and a couple of times at that! But it shouldn't be like that should it? 

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body."

It's hard when the world we're living in wants us to believe we are bigger than ourselves and our husbands have no control over us, but honestly we should trust in them and let them lead. After all, they were chosen to be the head of the wife and just as the church submits to Christ so should we wives submit to our husbands. It's a hard fact to swallow, but it all goes hand in hand with the endless cycle of love and respect I think. I know for certain that God designed my husband to lead me in the best ways possible for us, he is a great husband and he will be a great father to our future children, I'm very blessed to be able to say that. He doesn't know how much I look up to him as my husband.

Although our husbands aren't always right in a disagreement, I don't believe God intends for us as women to not have a voice at all in our opinions, I do believe he wants us to point out our thoughts and opinions of the matter in the sweetest of ways though. There's nothing wrong with conversating and talking your problems out, I really believe the Lord wants us to talk among struggles, it's the best medicine for rekindling our love back in place, but sometimes we forget to end at the appropriate moment, and just let things go and let love back in. Yes, I am very complicated in my womanly ways, but I am so proud to be able to be someone's wife, Garretts wife.

But what I love most of this chapter is how precious God points out how our husbands should love us as well. 

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."
"So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself."

We as each others mate both hold high responsiblites in loving and taking care of each other. Our husbands should love us as much as Christ loved the church and as much as they love themselves, their life. That is BIG to me, and I don't know about you but that makes me feel so valued as a woman. It makes being submissive and doing my best to live my role as the wife worth more than anything this world could ever think to offer. 

Tonight I really wanted to do something special for Garrett to put my Ephesian ways of love into practice, so I decided to surprise him with a candlelit dinner in our dining room, just the two of us. I made the table as pretty as I pleased and picked a fresh flower from our backyard and set out our never been used wedding plates from the china cabinet for the occasion, it was perfect. It was our first candle lit dinner while I kind of planned it spur of the moment, it was awfully sweet I think. 

Since we just came from vacation, we felt we needed to stand back from the heavy spending of going out, so I brought it on home instead. I cooked up my version of Teriyaki Shrimp over Fried Rice and warmed up some yummy rolls complete with cinnamon sugar butter. It felt nice and it will def be a memory to cherish, no it wasn't restraunt worthy in no way but the husband did compliment my first attempt at the dish and that was good enough for me. 

I couldn't help but tear up as he prayed the sweetest prayer and thanked God for his wonderful wife and the meal that I had prepared for him, if he would have noticed I would have blamed it on the caffeine from my vanilla coke for sure, but it sure made so proud to be his wife and that he values me with his life and cares enough to thank God for me in every single one of his prayers. It makes every role of being the wife worth putting into practice to hear the love that spills back from it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Little Wifey Turned 23!

Oh, where have I been you ask! Panama City with my other halfs family, my family! We had a blast the four days that we were there, but we are so glad to be back home. There's just nothing like it. Not to mention we missed our little fur baby Mila as well, but luckily I have the best mom in the world who checked on her everyday while we were gone! I can't wait to share pictures but they will have to wait until my next post, because I haven't shared my birthday celebrations! They are past due but here they are!

I woke up that June morning bright and early to my amazingly sweet birthday card from that dear husband of mine. A year ago from that day I woke up to my newly wedded husband on our last day of our honeymoon at the Hard Rock & Casino Hotel, it was hard to comprehend this was my second birthday to spend with him as a married couple! Where did that time go?? I am so blessed to have him as my husband and I love that I get to spend all of my upcoming birthdays with him for the rest of my life! He is my treasure.

 I had to take my mother to her doctor appointment also that morning, the most thoughtful thing I could do on such a day. She birthed me 23 years ago I thought, what better way to start my special day than taking care of her. I treated myself to a warm cup of cardboard coffee while I was in the waiting room, yuck! I didn't let it ruin my day though.

My heart felt directed to read the Book of Ruth that day for some reason, it's the shortest chapter in the Bible but man is it a good one! I needed that book of scripture on that day, the heart of Ruth just captured mine that day and it inspired me in so many ways. I plan to order Kelly Minters devotional: Ruth as soon as I get to it, I've heard nothing but great things about it and I can't wait to dig in!

It was getting time for that husband of mine to get home from work and I just couldn't wait to see him! We really didn't have much of a plan but he had a cake and balloon ready for me, and that was plenty enough for me at that point. Later that evening my mil and sil came over with pizza and birthday gifts. Garrett pulled up a chair for me and lite all 23 of my birthday candles. It was such a sweet moment for me, he's has the best heart. After we ate, Garrett instructed me to keep my eyes on the ground and he led me to my big surprise! They had built me my own little potting table, boy was I excited! They know my love for plants all too well, don't they! I had always dreamed of having one of these, but never expected to actually have one of my very own. I love that they built it themselves, I will cherish it for years!

My only birthday request was that we would revamp the upstairs guest bedroom. Husband agreed to it so right after my birthday celebration we got straight to it! We both agreed on Rich Navy. It was a job indeed but we got it done pretty spiffy! I can't wait to share the finished project with you all, but that will come later as well!

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