Falling In Love Again…

*Note: this post is written in honesty and hopefulness.  I know it sounds harsh but it’s just real and I’m working through my junk right now. 

So a couple weeks ago I was sitting on the computer and looking at Facebook, admiring photography, checking blogs that I follow regularly.  And I turned and looked at my husband on the couch.  He was laying there watching ‘his shows’ which I have long ago grown tired of – how many episodes of NCIS can you watch?  Seriously?  And then it hit me – in a moment of brutal honesty….” I don’t love him.”

I felt terrible, I felt like I was the worst wife in the history of the world.  I began to think of what life would be like in a long, sad, loveless marriage.  And that made me realize that my thinking was selfish and UN-Christian.  I was falling into a pattern of thinking that was NOT good, and I recognized it immediately.

I thought back to many years ago when I went to an Ann Graham Lotz conference and she shared a similar testimony.  She woke up one day and realized she had lost her love for her husband.  OK…this is BILLY GRAHAM’s DAUGHTER.  She’s not supposed to fall out of love.  Or be weak.  Or sin.  Right?  She continued to tell the story of how she was faithful to pray for her marriage and her husband and herself.  Over time she began to fall in love with her husband again.

I had no idea that what she spoke on so many years ago would come flooding back to my memory and awaken in me a desire to choose.  I had to choose to not throw my hands up and say “I gave it a try, it would be better to find someone that I can love and who will love me the way he’s supposed to without me telling him.  And he won’t lay on my couch watching these stupid stupid television shows!” 

A few days later, I shared my feelings with my husband.  The news hit him like a ton of bricks…his wife was not in love anymore.  But there was a second part of this conversation that he just couldn’t hear through his reeling disappointment.  I was not giving up.  I was praying for our marriage.  I was praying for my heart to change.  I was praying that God would restore my love for my husband.  I’m not looking anywhere else.  I’m not planning a new life.  I’m praying and hoping and waiting.  And even though I ‘feel’ dry, I am positive that this time will pass.

My husband told me this was his chance to love me as the husband God designed him to be.  That he would not give up or leave.  He said he is committed to our marriage and to waiting for my heart to be his once again.  Gosh….just that…makes me realize why he was put in my life.  When I am weak he is strong.  And when he was weak I was strong.  And as the days pass and he quietly serves me and smiles at me and comforts me when I was sick recently…I see the man that I fwll in love with and God is working on my heart.  I just want to be around him.  I find myself looking at him not with disappointment but with renewed admiration.  I am trusting GOD to heal me.

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A Visit Home

I went to my mom’s for a Christmas trip – 10 days.  I was fully prepared to be miserable the whole time.  But I wasn’t.  It was kind of strange.  We were all nice to eachother.  I seriously kept waiting for the hammer to drop….but it didn’t.

Not that it was uneventful, it just wan’t horrible.  I did get into a little face off with my sister – and I must say that I held my ground pretty well.  She is so good at turning an argument on someone and for once I didn’t fall for it.  I think I’m learning!!!!

So anyway, I got to spend some quality time with my mom, shopping, visiting with friends and family, eating great food, and just trying to make life nice for her for a few days.  It was nice.  I’m glad I went and I really do appreciate her for all she does.

Leftover Bread

So, this is kind of noteworthy.  Not deep by any means but definitely a first for me.

I had 7 packs of hot dog buns laying around, leftover from a get together – apparently people like hot dogs more than hot dog buns.  And we had a lot leftover.  So, I was a little tempted to put them in the freezer but you know…they aren’t the same once they come back out.  So I pulled out the big guns:  GOOGLE!

I found recipes for old bread:  Peach Bread Pudding, Tropical Bread Pudding, Sausage Breakfast Casserole and Homemade Croutons.

I made them all!!!!!  The family decided their favorite were the croutons and the peach bread pudding.  They were awesome. 

We are on total carb overload.  It’s insane.  But it tastes good!  Amen.

Christmas 2010

This year I didn’t cry on Christmas.    This is big for me.  I think.  I am resisting the urge to analyze this thing to death….I seriously don’t want to sabotage myself. 

Long story short, I had a very traumatic experience on Christmas Eve 2006.  And even though I have worked hard to move past it, for the past 3 years I have absolutely shut down and cried at the memory of it.  But this year was different.  Every time the trauma tried to enter my brain I said to myself “I’m not going there.  I’m not thinking about it.  I’m replacing that thought with something else,” and thus went the denial game.  Or maybe I’m just growing.  Seriously, do I have to cry every Christmas??  And if so, does it serve any purpose whatsoever?  No.  It doesn’t.  And I’m moving forward.  Those memories are old and one day they won’t haunt me any more. 

It feels good to make the choice to choose life today over the past.  And through all of this I am praising my mighty Lord and Savior for healing my heart and changing my life – because it’s better now and I have a depth that only comes from surviving heartbreak. 

Thank you Lord….

Good Bye Extra Poundage…

My summer was nuts.  I spent a month on the road with no break visiting my family down in Georgia and my husband’s family in California.  It was supposed to be awesome.  It was TERRIBLE!  I was overwhelmed by the differences in our family and I missed my husband desperately while I was in Georgia. 

My girls were with me and they were pretty miserable with me.   And so when things got rough I did what all concerned and loving mothers do.  I pulled out my wallet and spent as much money as I could on them in order to make their vacation bearable.  We ate out a lot.  We went to movies.  I gave them cash.  I paid for amusement parks, aquariums, and trips to the store.  And I ate.  A lot.  And after I got home, I continued to eat.  A lot.  And it was to soothe my frazzled nerves and escape from the incredibly stressful trips I had been on.

August came and I went back to work – 20 pounds heavier than when I left in May.  I could barely get into my pants.  I was so miserable.  We were invited to a casual country wedding and I squeezed into my jeans and a ‘dressy’ top and when I got home and looked at my pictures I wanted to cry.  Really – that’s what I look like?!?!?  What on earth have I done to myself?

So for the past 2 months I’ve been on a radical weight loss plan – it’s called diet and exercise.  And so far I’ve lost 21 pounds.  But I’ve decided I don’t want to just lose the 20 I gained.  I want to get back to the weight where I am most comfortable.  So that means I have 29 more pounds to go.  I am ready and committed to doing this.  Because if I’m not healthy how can I serve the Lord?  How can I be all that I was designed to be?  I can take care of everyone around me but if I don’t take care of myself, slowly but surely I will not be able to do the things that I like to do, and more importantly, that I NEED to do.

So I’m trying so hard to do this.  And I believe I can, and I’m praying for self discipline and endurance.   🙂

Not Prepared Yet!

My Pastor got wind that I am a photographer.   But really….I’m not.   I like taking pictures.  I think I have a little artistic ability but am I a photographer?  Nope.  I take a lot of pictures and once in a while I get lucky and get a winner.  Ok, so I get a few winners.  And I’m handy with Photoshop.

So anyway – I got an email a couple months back asking if I would be willing to take staff portraits and the Christmas Card photo.  I was flattered!  And a little wigged out, too.  I am an anxious sort – and the pressure of taking photos that will hang in the foyer of our church….wow.  But I said that I would try and would love to do it. 

And then. 

Nothing.

No follow up.  No word.  And I heard another guy in the church had volunteered to be the “Church Photographer”.  So I started to think that maybe I was not going to be doing this.  And ok, so I was a little relieved but then felt a teensie weensie bit of jealousy.  If he has photog skills then he should do it while I ‘hone my craft’.  But I was a little excited about the prospect….  Did I mention I’m an Anxious Annie?

So last week the church secretary emails me and tells me she wants to schedule the photo day and it’s in two weeks and if I’m willing we’ll get this thing done.  So….I said “Sure!  Can we please use a room with natural light….thanks!”   Yep, sounding all kinds of professional – little does she know I’m freaking out here!!!!!!!

So.  In a week and a half I will do my first portrait session with 6 couples (and their kids) and a group shot of all the staff.  I really want to do a good job but I’m scared that I’m not good enough.   But I am going to do it.  I think.  Unless I come down with a horrible communicable disease.  It could happen.  But until that time, I’m reading everything I can get my hands on trying to get ready.  I’m not prepared yet, but I’m willing.  And really….I’m excited!  Cross your fingers for me!

“Ok Lord. You got me.” …and Daily Bread…

So I spent a good 30 minutes typing up a great blog post.  It was all about how different ministry teams in our church have failed and how the leaders were whack and how frustrating it is to help with ministry and see things get messed up.  I was proud of my post.  I posted it and left it out there for any and everyone to see.  And then….I began to read some of my favorite Christian blogs.  And God thunked me on the head and said “Enough.”  So I deleted the post and I’m ashamed of myself.

I am not perfect.  I’ve had some gnarly failures in my life.  Sometimes I cuss.  Sometimes I am mean.  Sometimes I bark at my family members and don’t even apologize.  I have messed up.  I have totally blown it.  And God, in his awesomeness, somehow manages to give me GRACE and lets me start new. 

I was a mean gossip in my post.  I wanted to point fingers and scowl.  But everyone has a story, and I don’t know the whole story of these people.  I don’t know that one day they may become my very best friend.  I don’t know if they struggled with things so horrible that I could never imagine.  And I know I sure haven’t stepped up to fill their shoes.  I talk a mean game.  But in this instance…I am ashamed of myself.

And today is a new day. 

Father God.  Please forgive me for being so judgemental.  Forgive me for allowing my emotions rule my words.  Lord, I ask that you would help me to grow in maturity and build me up in the areas that I need help.  Lord, help me to RUN TO YOU when I begin to fall away and lean on my own very pathetic understanding.

Heal me.  Help me to live a life that bears good fruit.  I love you Lord.  Thank you for my life.  Amen.

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