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Friday, March 13, 2015

Humble Pie

A lady who has been a great influence in my life and also a mentor asked on her website the other day "How does your husband know that you love him, without you saying the actual words." (Side note, if you are anything like me "How does she know you love her" from Enchanted will be playing in your head over and over and over at this point)

Well, I asked Kyle. His response wasn't quite as immediate as I would have wished. He said that he knew that I loved him, and he was so thankful for me... BUT, if he was being completely honest we show love in different ways, and I show it in my words more than actions.

Kyle and I are complete opposites when it comes to love languages. I want to be cuddled and to receive little notes left for me, and "just because I love you" gifts. Kyle feels love through acts of service.

For example: Making him a lunch.

Sure I make him lunch..... some of the time. I mean he's a grown man, can't he make his own lunch if he wants to eat? ;-) He also likes it when I get everything on his grocery/ home supply list. Actually, he'd really like it if I just used a list at all so that I wouldn't forget things. But who needs lists? I mean is it REALLY that frustrating to have no paper towels, or laundry softener, or hot sauce. These aren't the essentials of life. Sure they are nice, but not NEEDED....

I think you get the point. In the last year I can see areas where I've really stopped being Kyle's helpmate. I'd could give you plenty of reasons why, and some of them seem like really "good" ones from the outside. But is there any good reason to not keep your priorities in order?

Well it hasn't been easy, but I have really relied on the Holy Spirit to be my strength and have worked to make my husband and home my priority. It has been such a joy! Isn't that how it always is when we are doing what we are called to?

It's been quite humbling. Any wife would want to hear the answer to her question be, "You are the best wife and I know you love me in every way, in your words and actions." In reality Kyle tells me all the time how thankful he is for me. Please don't think of him as some tyrant that needs perfection. Indeed I am thankful I am married to such a supportive, sweet man who is willing to tell me where I am weak. Not so I can serve him better, but so I can be the best wife and mother that the Lord has called me to be.

It would be so much more comfortable to not point out areas of weakness in each other; but what growth has ever come from comfort?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Servant? or status seeker?

While listening to a sermon by Allistair Begg today he said something that stood out to me. "You should be about serving, not status." Read it again, "You should be about serving, not status."

Couldn't we unpack that statement for awhile? As a stay at home mom this could be my mantra. As a wife this could be my mantra. But as a believer shouldn't it be so intimately written on my heart I live this way without thought? Shouldn't it be my desire to live like my Lord who came to be a servant among men? 

I think that statement by Begg stood out to me because it seems to be something brought up in different circles lately. It is observed by those in the generation ahead of me that those in my generation want status, demand status, and serve for the sake of status.

When I think of the qualifications and role of an elder, those of "highest status" in a church, they are the most humble men of character. Isn't that why they were asked to be elders? No elder goes to a church and asks to be put in that position. The church goes to the qualified man and asks him to serve. And serve they do. They pray for the congregation, plan for the congregation, hold fast to the teaching of the Word of God for the congregation, they invest in our lives, give counsel, and do it all that they may serve us and the Lord. They don't do it for status. 

Think about people in the Bible who are honored; Joseph, Daniel, David. They lived lives in quiet submission to the Lord, and after a lifetime of faithfulness the Lord blessed them greatly. 

I hope I don't serve for status, and if I am blind to areas where I do, I hope the Lord strips me of it. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Marriage Retreat

Our church does a great job of promoting and supporting marriage. Every year they do an event for couples, or a retreat. This year they did a retreat in San Diego and Kyle and I were able to attend.

It was a great little get away. The speaker was one of our favorite pastors and his wife was able to join him on the trip. She is a real gem and I loved spending time with her.

We were able to explore San Diego a bit. Hang out with friends. Enjoy a couple nights sleep without our little one to wake us up ( My sister and brother in law kindly watched him so we could get away) And hear really encouraging sermons on marriage.

Here are a couple of things that were said at the retreat that really stuck out to Kyle and I. (They may not seem to be related to marriage, but they were)

- Less of you, More of Christ.
- Never be ok with making excuses
- "You are strongest together when you are strongest in the Lord alone."
- "Sin will keep you from this book, or this book will keep you from sin."
- Dignity= knowing how to behave in every situation.

Jonathan turned 1

Yep, my baby is one years old! Well he turned one on February 8th. I can't really believe how quickly it went by. I know parents always say "enjoy it, because in no time he'll be graduating high school." Well if the rest of his life goes this quickly It'll seem like his graduation is at the end of the week.

Somehow, at the very same time it seems like the longest year ever. Probably because I am just so tired. I don't remember what consistent sleep was like. Really, I don't remember.

His first birthday was just the sweetest. We wanted to keep it small. I invited about 8 families, and didn't think that all of them would come. But they all came, and brought their entire families and about 30-40 people ended up being at his party. Really it was just a celebration that Kyle and I had kept him alive for a year, and then we handed Jonathan a cupcake, which he wasn't interested in eating.


We are SO blessed by our community of friends at church. They have truly become like family. They have loved us so much and supported, come along side, and did I mention loved us? Of course our actual family came down for the birthday and some close friends from LA. J has no idea how loved he is, and it brings me to tears to think about the community he already has at the age of 1.

We celebrated a bit early since Kyle and I were gone the weekend of his birthday for a marriage retreat. We picked him up Sunday afternoon (His actual birthday) took him to Kyle's parents house and had a small celebration.

This time he LOVED his cake and couldn't get enough.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

James 4:6

If you still read my blog, then you are aware I haven't written anything since November. I thought about it, and then Jonathan would need me, or I would be planning a wedding, or doing dishes and laundry and things for Jr. High ministry.... and I would also sit down to watch Agent Carter (am I a total nerd for admitting to watching that? I don't care. I really like it.)  while J napped.

When life gets busy, this is the first thing to go. I had to think about it and re-evaluate why it is that I like it, why do I write this blog? Well, I just looked at some old posts and quickly remembered. It's my little online diary with pictures that I get to share with people who want a peek into my life.

I will be adding pictures soon and catching up on posts, like Jonathan turning 1! and Kyle and I slipping away to a marriage retreat :) Today, I am going to catch you up a little on my heart.

Since November Kyle and I have been busier than we have probably ever been. I say probably, just in case I'm forgetting something, but really I believe we have been the busiest we've been and I'm sure that life will only get busier as more children join our family (no I'm not pregnant).  I could write out the list of everything we've done since November, but that would bore you and isn't really the point.

The point is that the Lord has been stretching me and humbling me every day. It's painful, but oh so good. Kyle and I are in a new position within Jr. High ministry at our church, really the new position is just for Kyle, but the one new thing for me is that I am disciplining the staff women. So, the Lord has been humbling me in every way that it is important for a discipler to be humble. Think of that older wiser woman that you go to for advice. Isn't she slow to speak, quick to hear? Don't her words, although strong and firm in truth, drip with honey and encouragement? Doesn't she seem to handle her household in a Proverbs 31 kind of way? Do you admire her discipline?

Well basically all of those are things I fail at, and so the Lord is humbling me and showing me my weakness so that I can be strong in Him to serve my family, serve these women, and ultimately serve the Lord.

It's painful to see your sin. At least it's painful to see mine. It's not subtle at all, it's out there for the whole world to see. I'm pretty sure if you polled anyone who knows me they could tell you without much hesitation faults that they see in me.

Instead of trying to put a pretty face on my sin and appear a bit more put together, I am seeing the great benefit of having people know me this well. I don't get away with anything and thus I am forced to the cross when I would otherwise resist.

James 4:6 is ever on my mind. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.