13 November 2013


When we began the journey into the Family ID small group curriculum with our life group, there were no warning signs posted at the door or caution stickers affixed to the workbook to show us that there would be huge hurdles in this lesson plan. We began carrying out the lessons each week and completing our homework assignments towards this family vision and gravitating from idea to action. It has been the most invasive of all the studies we've done. It will cause you to dislike your comfort zone and no longer desire your current circumstances. You will want to change your family's course of life for the better!

Sounds doable, right? Not too hard. Until the enemy comes to thwart your efforts. My last post gave a small glimpse at some of what the enemy had plotted against us to derail our efforts and to plant seeds of doubt.

The enemy is quite slick at making us focus on the actions of what the other person is doing. We allow ourselves to become his puppets if we don't arm ourselves daily with God's Word and his protection through prayer. We don't realize this enemy is pulling the strings to engineer his crafty scheme. The ultimate goal for him is to derail what we as a couple are working towards.

Palm to face. Facepalm.

The attacks began as soon as we verbalized what we were willing to step up and do! We did not see the true impact and nature of what we agreed to. I'm sure many who are called into ministry can attest to far greater trials and tests than what we've encountered.

As my husband and I discussed with our great friends what led to the pitfalls over the past 2 weeks (and so many times long ago in our marriage), I did that facepalm motion.

We have all had these moments in life. When we are in the midst of a storm, we can't see through the rain. Once the rain clears, the clouds dissipate and the sun comes out, we can see a clearer picture. I realized all the above last night. It was more than my husband not catering to my needs. It was more than my emotions getting the best of me. It was a test to see if we were made of the stuff necessary for the next level in our marriage and in our purpose. The heat and pressure was applied and our pot boiled over.

Hmmmm, ok.
       Lesson learned.

Like the wise elders leading the young valiant hero in one of those classic stories, our great friends continued on in the conversation to warn us this would happen again. Not if, but when. What?No sugar coating? Darn. Ok, I guess we must prepare for battle. For you see, we have been called to be a peculiar people. To BE WEIRD!

Have you been fighting and struggling in your marriage? Perhaps it's because you aren't willing to settle for average in our society of normal? Don't give up. Be encouraged. It may seem grim. It may seem bleak. Get counseling. Kneel down and pray together. Don't allow the enemy to sneak in and kill the thing God blessed you with.

07 November 2013

Birthday Do-Over

I love making people feel special. Serving is my love language. I love helping them celebrate, especially my own family. When it comes around to my turn on the birthday wheel, it seems to fall short. Even Mother's Day is less than spectacular.

Now, I don't require a lavish, grand ballroom-scaled celebration but I expect a halt on sibling quarrels and husband screaming at said quarrelling teens. I always hear from mommy friends that this is an unrealistic expectation. I disagree. I want 1 day of calm; ok 2. I'd love 363 other days of calm but let's be real about the odds of THAT happening!

Here are the events that ensued based on my recollection:
This year, as I can recall for at least the past 2 years of birthdays and Mother's Days, the bickering, fussing and fighting did not cease. I informed my husband in advance what I'd like to do and made sure to include the link to the desired event on his Facebook wall for all mutual friends to see. There was no subtlety involved. He made sure to get the good seats for the event which was above what I asked. I felt this was a good sign.

Let's just say, the calm wasn't there. Even the next day, actual birthday, was a repeat of the same shouting, bickering, whining. Please Earth, swallow me up now.

Drama Queen Alert!

I was at the breaking point. Snapped. Done. That was me. I spiralled out of control in my self-loathing and cried and slept for the next 24 hours!  My friends thought I'd lost it. I'm sure an intervention was being planned.

My husband pried me out of bed and convinced me I needed to eat food. I sulkingly walked down the stairs, out through the kitchen and in to the dining room where my three men were standing. My husband crowned me with the finest crown that Walmart could buy. It was cute, sparkly and had pink and purple jewels. As I became teary-eyed again, my three men began singing "Happy Birthday" and guiding me to my seat. Dinner was plated and a beautiful arrangement of my favorite flowers were before me. The walls were dotted with pretty pale pink balloons. They made it as girly as possible in my testosterone filled home. It was imperfectly perfect.

I couldn't believe it! I was handed one of thos wonderful, musically-injected cards and a handmade card from my youngest son. What a change of events!

My dear husband guided family conversation and led the family devotion time. Family devotions are a new routine that we began just a week ago. Now, we have engaging conversation at the dinner table. The daily devotion was one crafted just to what I needed in that moment. After dinner and discussion, the kids voted to watch a family movie and I selected "Fireproof". We had not watched it since it was in the theater but were reminded, painfully, of all the areas we need to improve upon in our marriage.

The kids meandered off to bed after the movie and now it was just the two of us. We had a good conversation about our needs and how we each could have acted better. I confessed a song kept running through my head all day as I tried to stay in my grief. There was a war between my head and my spirit. I reached for my iPhone and selected it from my iPhone play list. My knight in shining armor jumped to his feet and grabbed my hand. We slow-danced in the middle of our living room. Let me explain, my husband never dances; hates to dance. I can only make him slow dance at weddings. He held me tight as we listened to the tunes. It was a magical, memorable birthday do-over.