Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Mark 3:32-35 (New International Version)
32A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."
33"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.
34Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
35Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."
Sunday, April 11, 2010
As we get older, we find that we have fewer friends. Not because they have died, but because we have let them die in our hearts. We don’t invest the effort, the personal attention, friends require. We collect many acquaintances along the way, but maintain fewer friends. When we were children, making friends was easy and natural. We were emotionally freer then, unafraid to open our hearts and communicate our feelings and needs. We didn’t fear rejection the way we do now. We didn’t keep score regarding who called whom last. We didn’t hold on to argumentative words, but instead forgave readily and completely.
In order to de-stress and experience true happiness we need to connect more deeply with others. Our friends remind us of the song in our hearts when we have forgotten the words. Our friends give us objective advice when we are too close to the big picture. Our friends listen to our troubles without judgment and with great compassion.
However, friendship is not always idyllic. We grow and change; likewise, friends move on. They might speak their truths, often upsetting us unintentionally. To preserve and nurture a special relationship, a friendship that is more positive than negative, requires honest, assertive - but not aggressive- communication. Here’s how to communicate:
- Choose the proper time and place for your discussion. If the other person is stressed, or busy, even if you need to vent, control yourself and wait. Timing is everything.
- Begin with a neutral topic, something you both agree on. Say something pleasant to your friend. Affirm what he or she does right, even if at the moment this is a big reach for you. No one wants to be pelted with critical remarks.
- Avoid judging your friend, or using adjectives that convey criticism. Try to objectively, clinically, and briefly describe the action or words that have upset you. Keep the details concretely to the point. Don’t digress and include past indiscretions.
- Express your feelings about what happened. For example, “I felt humiliated when you revealed my secret in public.” “I was sad when you didn’t come help me unpack when I moved into the new place.”
- Communicate specifically what it is you want your friend to do, or not to do. No one is a mind reader.
- Now that you have cleared the air, let it go. I mean really let it go and make plans to have a good time with your friend.
Friday, April 9, 2010
We've been together for 20 yrs today (soon to be 19 yrs of those being married yrs). As our Gaga used to say...that would be about 7 happy yrs, or something like that. ;)
There is some truth in that. I mean, ALL of the years are special. However some are sweet, some are bittersweet...and some are just comatose blurs, honestly.
Then, at some point life gets hard. Can't say exactly when or how, but the trials become overwhelming...life becomes overwhelming for some. Well, it did for us for several years. It isn't anything I would even begin to go into on a short bloggy blurb. If everyone is honest about their relationships, they would have to admit there are mountains and valleys.
However, in the midst of it, God has always been faithful. He has always been our source of strength many times when we didn't have it in us to carry on. Jesus has alway been walking right beside us, and even carrying us at times.
We read things like "Footprints in the Sand". We read about God carrying us through tumultuous times. It is only when it becomes REALITY to us individually...do we truly know what these writings mean. For each of us it can mean something totally different. It can be dealing with our painful past, or losing loved ones, suffering sudden financial distress, or personal illness...any of those or many others can be the "walk through the valley of the shadow of death".
For our little family, we have been touch with a bit of most of those I wrote.
Yet...something about this very moment in our lives, we are beginning to see the sunshine after the storms... in a fresh and new way.
After many years of walking through some REAL challenges, it is like God is pouring His refreshing healing rain on us as a family.
It only seemed fitting that my husband would remember this day, and present his special thoughtful gift to me, as I was playing a worship song for him (that I had learned today). The song is called "Shadowfeet". The words are so fitting.
toward home,a land that i've never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day
when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you
Theres distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way
You make all things new
When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
God is amazing! I learned this song on piano today, a song that had more sharps and flats in it than I am knowledgeable to know how to play!! haha! However, when things are done in the strength of the Lord, He gets the glory so no man (or woman) can boast.
Sooooooooo, why did my husband cause me tears tonight? Well, they were happy tears that only he and I could know the depth of. Tonight, in a sweet way, he reminded me how much he loves me. Not just words, but every thought and emotion and step we have taken together as a "unit" living for the Lord. Seriously, the past few weeks of been like crawling out from the end of the tunnel...kicking and screaming our way out...literally!
Today, he was called into work unexpectedly; he had this evening all planned out. He had to PRAY to make it home at the precise time...to meet the 7 o'clock in the p.m moment. He arrives home about 6-6:30-ish. The children and I had just returned from the library. Dinner was going (compliments of our chef daughter), and he sits down to the computer, to do his normal thing of checking emails and unwinding from the day. I play for him the worship song God taught me today. ;) As I was approaching the end of the song, it was getting closer to 7 pm. Little did I know what was going on while playing the song for him, he was searching for a song of his own on youtube to play for me.
At exactly 7 pm he swings around in the chair and says...you have to stop playing piano now...and you have to open this right now. He starts this song on youtube.
This is not just any song, but a song he dedicated to me when we were dating. Approx. 19.5-20 yrs ago; he had stayed up late to dedicate a love song to me. He TAPED (on cassette) of himself dedicating this song to me. When he picked me up to drive me to work the next morning, he popped the tape in without telling me. It sounded like the regular radio station to me, but it was actually my then boyfriend dedicating this song to me...the sweetest thing!
So here is our song...my apologies for the album cover, but it was the only vid of the original song. ;)
In the past 5-7 yrs we have struggled and endured a lot of painful things in our lives. From time to time we lose sight of the sweetness of our relationship. Our God is the restorer though, and the redeemer. He redeems the time in one moment!
So, my husband starts this video, and hands me a card. Of course, I was already crying before I even opened the card. We were both filling with tears. It was like remnants of pain released together from us, along with receiving more of God's healing. This is part of what true love is.
I don't always tell you right then and there when you're doing something that's making me fall in love with you all over again, but I want you to know that it happens all the time.
Flower, Exactly 20 yrs ago tonight my life changed for the best. I love you more than you'll ever know. Thank you, Pooh Bear
Healing is coming full circle in our lives. It was such a beautiful moment. God isn't finished with us yet, but we've come a long way with the healing as individuals and together as ONE in Christ.
Wedding vows are a covenant to one another, and most of all a covenant together with God...not to be taken lightly. When we said those vows, we never knew the impact of what it would be like to LIVE those vows. Actually, we still have yet to live out! We have in many ways to this point, and God has been our source of strength. I'm not sure how anyone has such a full and meaningful life together without Christ being the center. Even in the painful hard times, we still have the inner joy and hope of knowing that Christ is our sure foundation.
I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband),
for better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish;
from this day forward
To my husband, here is a song dedicated to you. I love you, and God loves you even more than I ever could. He surely fills in the gaps where I miserably fail as a wife.
Twenty years ago today, I met the man that would be my partner for life. God brought us together in such a unique way, and He has walked this journey with us, and continues to keep us on the journey with Him. He blessed us with two beautiful children, and a blessed life together. "All things DO work together for those who love the Lord, and who are called according to His purpose". (me paraphrasing from Rom 8:28)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Here's what we got. I'm not too thrilled with them, but at least it is something to show for their 2010 Easter pics! ;)
And a few fun ones of the woogie!
Friday, April 2, 2010
I can't believe how fast our children have grown!!!! Where does the time go?