Thursday, September 27, 2012

His Beauty for My Ashes

I don't know why I didn't understand this earlier, but better late than never. My husband and I have been married for 2 almost 3 years. He is an amazing husband, great father, and my very best friend, but he is in no way perfect. Amiss all the things he does to protect, love, and lead our family I would find myself angry with him for the littlest of instances. I was holding him to a standard that he would never meet; I was trying to live my "happily ever after" through our marriage. I was going through my Christian life without any joy.

Growing up my family life was far from perfect. Years of unrest, insecurity, and my parents separating gave me the inkling that this was not what life was about. I was damaged, we as a family were damaged. Through God's grace and infinite mercy He reconciled my parents and I have seen an amazing depiction of how God can truly work in willing hearts and minds. Even so for years I allowed the previous situations and instances to shape what I thought I could correct. Don't get me wrong I have a great relationship with my parents now and I truly have laid to rest all the resentment and anger I had for them personally; but I still was holding on to the idea that I still needed to be fixed, that my life was broken. 

While in a service I heard an evangelist speaking about how we as Christians so often look back and in turn are robbing ourselves of the great and full life our God wants for us. Then it clicked. My resentment toward my husband, my disgruntled attitude toward my Christian walk, and my unrestful spirit stemmed from my inability to forget those things which I and God had forgiven years ago. That's when I realized I wanted to trade God. In Isaiah 61:3 it says, "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified." I wanted that, I wanted God's beauty in my life for the ashes that I was holding onto. Crying out to God I settled that and now I can be as the verse said a tree of righteousness that the Lord planted.

It's so easy sometimes to hold on to that bitterness. Forgiveness is best done when you put it behind you so you no longer can see it. Learning to rely on God for your completeness and joy is an everyday thing. It's a choice. One I am more than happy to make each morning. Now when I look in the mirror in the morning I see God's beauty and not my ashes and let me tell you it's a much better view.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What I have learned... so far

Well it has been officially one year since our family started this Marine Corps journey with Jon and it has been filled with surprises, disappointments, jump up and down moments, and i never want to do that again moments. It's strange to think that a year has already come and gone because honestly I feel no more knowledgeable than I did last September. Does that say I have a slow learning curve... maybe who knows. What I have gleaned from the experience is a wealth of lessons that I now hold very dear to me. I wish I could say I learned them gracefully, but then who am I fooling... I hardly ever learn anything gracefully and certainly not  hard lessons. However, it is nice to know that I can take this new information and apply it later on. Maybe, I won't fail so miserably on the next test....

  1. The sound of your husband's voice is irreplaceable. This was something that has been taught to me over and over again. From 3 months of deafening silence while he at boot camp to the days now that I go 12-14 hours without hearing anything at all from him. This makes me cherish the nights that we lay in bed as his deep baritone surrounds me telling the cheesiest of jokes or listening to him drone on about something someone said at work. Just hearing his voice makes all the difference. I wish I could say from the time we got married I thought this way, but I didn't. We were together 5 years before we got married and married 1 year before Jon enlisted. There were days that I rolled my eyes if I had to listen to him talk about sports, or tell a joke that I knew I wouldn't find even remotely as hilarious as he did. I took hearing him and all he wanted to tell me for granted. Those 3 months of boot camp were the most humbling months of my life. I can truthfully say that God used that time to help me see I was taking my husband's presence for granted. Now when he comes home his voice is the first thing I want to hear, no matter what he has to say.
  2. God truly can make a feast out of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. You know that parable about God taking a willing little boy's lunch and multiplying to so much food it could rival an Golden Corral buffet? Well, God did that and so much more for me. When Jon abruptly left for boot camp 5 months early you can say we hadn't saved up as much as we would want to. Now I Jon did write me at boot camp and said he could send money home if need be, but I really didn't want him to have to worry about us or have to undergo some drill instructor scrutiny to do so. Going from 2 incomes to just mine put a little stress on our finances. Being the planner I am I sat down to "calculate" the budget with the saving we did have just to make sure it would work... well it didn't not by a long shot. I remember just praying, God you know what I have and what I don't have so please take what I do have, it's yours anyways, and please make it work for the next 3 months. And you know what.... he did and then some. I even had some savings left when Jon came home. 
  3. Your children are more resilient and smarter than you think. All I could think of was Landon as Jon left. He is going to be so sad and how am I going to deal with that? Landon had a great attitude. First of all he was so proud of his daddy and talked about him whenever he got the chance. It made me see that although they were apart he did truly realize why Daddy was gone. I would have never given him that credit on his own. It's great to see your children focus on the greater good and not the situation. We as parents could learn a lot from their example.
We have only just begun this journey and I'm sure there will be other great things to cope with but, the way I see if we're learning we're growing and that's just fine with me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear Hubby, Thanks for always remembering to kiss me goodbye in the morning. Since you leave at the crack of dawn it's nice to know that you want me to know you will miss me but you don't wake me up. How sweet are you? Dear Landon, You are getting way too big! When I see you in your school uniform each day I truly can't believe you are in kindergarten. Where did 5 years go? Dear Schoolwork, I really need you to take it easy on me. I mean I know that I am only taking 3 classes but you are really heaping on the assignments! I am not ready for you not one little bit, Oh and 5 page paper due next week... write yourself... please? Dear Lawn Care Guys, You guys are amazing! Since our riding lawn mower died 3 weeks ago the lawn has been left to it's own devices. Rain everyday in Jacksonville... well you've seen the lawn... enough said. Dear Weekend, Please don't go quickly.