Category Archives: Depend

When Your “One Word” Challenges You

Depend

How is it possible that another year has passed? I can’t even remember where December went and am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it is New Year’s Eve tonight. I haven’t written a lot in the past few months but felt like I needed to pen my thoughts on my “one word” for 2015.

I wish I could wrap it up in a pretty red bow and tell you that I finally picked a word for the year and mastered it in my life.

Unfortunately, I find myself at that place once again where I feel like my hopes for what my word was going to be are instead a reflection of my failures of not following through.

I read back through my post last January and remember the challenge I was placing before me. Depend on God in everything. Look to Him as my source of comfort and hope. Could I place my dependence on Him in every aspect of my life?

The answer, quite frankly, is no.

Could I….yes.

Did I? No.

The reality is that I am a Type A person to the core. I like things my way, I want to manage my circumstances and the outcome. I don’t like the unknown. And I certainly don’t like making mistakes or being wrong.

So while I found myself at the beginning of 2015 in a place where I was eager to give up that control and depend on God instead, somewhere along the way…and I am guessing rather quickly, I decided that I could speed things up and manage my life (and others) well enough on my own.

Can’t you just see my head growing with ego and pride!?

And don’t you sometimes wonder what God must be thinking when we put ourselves in places like this? I imagine He laughs a little and then steps back, like we do with our own kids when they are trying to exert some independence and thinks…go ahead, give it a try and I will be right here when you are ready for my guidance again…

He was always there with me, but for the majority of 2015 I worked pretty hard at trying to keep my life all under control on my own. The difference this year from years past is that when things went wrong I didn’t blame God. It has never been that He wasn’t there to guide me…I just stopped asking for His help.

So while I find myself at a place I hoped I wouldn’t be, I am trying to see this as a challenge instead of a failure.

You see, I am a work in progress.

And in many areas of my life I can be a slow learner. Thankfully I have a God that is patient and long suffering. I am not perfect (while I so desperately wish I were) and I am very slowly seeing the benefits of letting go of the things I can’t control and trusting God through it all.

I don’t have full dependence on God mastered at the end of 2015 and I am beginning to believe that this will be something I will continue to work on for the rest of my life.

Today I am ok with that.

Friends as we watch the final hours of this year tick away can we try and focus on the small steps forward instead of the seemingly big failures? Let’s start the new year grateful for the challenges of the past and hold onto hope in our continued growth in the future.

It has been a blessing to walk this past year with you – Happy New Year!

What a Zip Line Taught Me About Fear

Black Hills

We just got back from a week in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is our third year vacationing there and we rented a cabin in Lead. The cabin was at the top of a mountain and it took 9 minutes and 38 seconds to get up or down the road.

It was kind of a treacherous road as well..I will have more on that at a later time. It was long and bumpy but lead to a beautiful cabin and view. We were remote in many ways…including that we didn’t have wifi. It was a true vacation and such a good week.

One of the days it was rainy and Dominic and I took Isaac, his friend Zach and cousin Casey to go through Rushmore Cave in Keystone. The little kids didn’t want to go so they stayed at the cabin for a “rest” day with the grandparents.

The cave was fun…beautiful really, and for the most part, the journey through was manageable. There were a couple of interesting spots where you had to watch your step, but overall it felt safe.

Then we headed to this 7-D theater experience where I was in last place for shooting zombies. This didn’t come as a shock to me as I was with 4 boys! 😉

The final part of our time there was supposed to be a zip-line ride. We headed up the hill and Dominic and I got on first. As soon as I was in the seat and my feet were dangling, I started to get second thoughts.

It wasn’t a terrible drop, but I am not one who loves the thrill of my stomach dropping in rides. I don’t like roller coasters and other rides like that. Panic waved over me and I said that I wanted to get off.

I know that Dominic was disappointed in me…he had just wanted to ride together. But, as in so many situations, when I feel fear, I want to run.

I didn’t think about praying, didn’t consider pushing through. I just got scared and I got off the ride.

Looking back this is so indicative of my faith life.

I can be happy go lucky if things are safe and going well…but the minute it becomes a little dangerous, or unknown, I bail.

As much as I feel I have grown this past 6 months in my dependence of God, this experience felt like a huge step back. I could have asked God to calm my spirit, could have just had courage to stand up to my fear, but I didn’t.

And it has bothered me ever since.

I don’t want to be ruled by fear, limited in what I can or will do because I am so afraid of the “what ifs.” I think for me, right now, this fear is coming from the reality that we will be sending Isaac off to school in a few months.

We visited the school again while we were there…I have some concerns, less about Isaac and more about what the environment will be like those first few weeks/months. Let’s just say the freshman all get to wear a ugly green beenie hat for like 2 months or more (no one we have ever asked will admit to the actual length of time….all the students “can’t remember”) AND while wearing the hat they can (and will) be forced to stop, get on their knees and sing a “I love my beenie hat song” at the whim of any upper classman.

That along with the parties and alcohol etc., that will be available (and it sounds like all freshman get forced pulled into those first few weeks)…I am suddenly entering this place of being unable to control what happens to Isaac and what the outcome may be.

Not like I ever had any control right? Maybe the illusion of control when he lives upstairs…but 7 hours away with a bunch of students who try and humiliate and pressure my first born. Ugh, this mama heart almost can’t handle it!

I am on that ride again and I just want off.

I told Isaac that I thought he needed to stay home another year before going off to school 😉 …I just need more time you know?! Time to make sure he is prepared for the real world, to make sure he can melt chocolate without scorching it (inside joke)….I haven’t possibly done enough.

And as I type these words I realize…like literally right this moment, I can see that I am so darn afraid that I haven’t been a good enough parent.

I should have been stronger, prayed over him more, encouraged him and prepared him, told him I loved him and hugged him more. I suddenly feel like a failure. He is going off to experience one of his biggest life changes yet and I want it to be good.

I want to be able to wrap an imaginary swath of bubble wrap around him so that he doesn’t have to experience hurt and failure and disappointment. I want everything to be roses and the reality is that it probably won’t be.

And as much as I know that he needs to go through these life lessons, just like I did. Oh how I want it to be easier! 

As a first time mama going through this, I am not sure how you survive?! I know that you do…I have seen others go before me. My own mom survived me and that was a feat in itself! ha!

I am at that moment where my feet are dangling and I know that it is going to be scary but I have to be able to trust that God has my son just like He always has me.

I have to let go.

I have to trust that God is with Him.

I have to trust that Isaac will go through what he needs to, and that his life experiences will hopefully draw him closer to God as well. He is a great kid and I just want amazing things for his life.

Will there be unknown? I am certain of it.

I am also certain that God loves Isaac even more than I do, and that He will be with him every step of the way.

Fear doesn’t have to control me. I can learn to let go and trust God. (<====Click to Tweet)

It probably won’t be a pretty journey on my part…but it is a step forward in the right direction!

If you want to see the lamo ride that I chickened out of you can check out the video below (or here if you are reading in an email) 🙂

YouTube Preview Image

How I Got My Hope Back

Hebrews 6 19We are studying Colossians in our Hello Morning study right now and the question today asked how did the text talk about instructions for walking with Christ daily. Our leader shared that there is a woman in her church who is struggling to get pregnant and has lost hope in that dream being fulfilled.

There is a darkness that seeps into the empty spaces when hope is lost. (<====Click to Tweet)

I have been there.

I lived years in a struggle of trying to find and keep my hope. Years where my husband and I walked apart from God. Stubborn and selfish and sure that we could “handle it”….we stumbled along life, limped is more like it.

I cried out to God in those times that I felt completely alone. Where was He? I wanted Him to fix my problems, make it all better…but He didn’t, and I was angry.

When life started to change for us, when we recognized the need for a Savior in our lives, I started to feel that hope returning. Maybe this time things would be different.

We started going to church, we were baptized and rededicated our faith. We said prayers together as a family in the morning and shared our faith with others. We were doing all the “right” things.

As things started to change we talked about trying to have another baby. We had struggled with getting pregnant with Gabriel, but now…it should be easy. We were doing what God wanted. We were on His path so surely He would “reward” us.

And for 18 months we tried, and each month the hope that I had in the goodness of God faded a little.

You see I walked through those times believing that because we were finally making Godly choices, that somehow we deserved all the good stuff. Alll that God had to give us. I deserved it after all those years of struggle, didn’t I?

And then one morning, 2 faint pink lines.

Finally! I rejoiced in the goodness of God and my hope in Him swelled.

God is good when He allows good things to happen….

And then one morning the cramping came and I knew. I fell to the ground that day in my bathroom and begged God to stop what had already started. I believed with everything in  me that He could save this baby if He wanted. You can do this God – I will proclaim Your goodness if you do. Please God.

But it didn’t stop…and in those moments my hope was once again gone.

How could God allow bad things to happen to “good” people?

It was a question that I wrestled with for 6 months.

Honestly friends, it is a question that I still wrestle with…bad things happen to good people ALL.THE.TIME.

But I was lucky because I had some faithful people that surrounded me during this dark season of my life. Women that knew the Lord and openly shared their faith with me.

They prayed for me. They told me that God could handle my anger and my questions. They shared their own stories of loss and frustration, and then they shared the hope that they had in Jesus.

It didn’t come overnight.

I wasn’t sure it would ever return. I seemed surrounded with people pregnant with life, while I felt a barrenness in my own. I wanted what I didn’t have and I wouldn’t allow myself to celebrate with those who did.

I saw a counselor and she encouraged me to write a letter to the baby we had lost.

Looking back on it, it was one of the first things that led me back to writing in 2008. And so I penned the words I had for that child. The child we had prayed for and loved from the first moment we knew they were ours. I cried ugly tears through the process but found healing. I had written my love letter and I wanted to hope again.

And one day I found the blog of a woman walking on her own dark path.

And yet she had a faith that was strong and sure.

“Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday…”

As I read her words I felt my faith changing. I wish I could say that it came back because of my reading the Bible, or my prayer…but it didn’t.

I needed to see the faith of another, played out in real life in front of me, to believe again.

And that is exactly why I write today.

If I can share my testimony, a piece of my story and bring hope to even one person…it is worth it.

Angie did that for me…she walked the hard road with faith and my life was changed because of it.

Life isn’t going to be easy. Even when we are doing all the right things. I know that now, but today I hold onto the hope that it is all for God’s glory. That our messes and weaknesses and then our subsequent muddling through them might someday offer another hope.

I don’t do it perfectly, but I don’t have to.

Today I read my Bible in the hopes of knowing more of who God is. I know that difficult times could be just around the corner. I know that I am not promised tomorrow so I try and live today fully aware of His grace and mercy in my life.

I have so much to hope for, even when life is tough. (<====Click to Tweet) And I am called to share the peace that I have found in depending on God through it all.

So I write on. And I hope. For you and for me I hope. And for each woman out there that is at the end, on that cliff…feeling like all is lost and God has abandoned them…I am praying for you.

God can handle your questions, your anger and your fears. And He won’t abandon you just because your faith isn’t strong right now!

No in hindsight, I can now see where in those weakest of moments, He was carrying me…and He is doing the same for you.

Today I have confidence that He will return your hope back to you as He did for me. Hold on sweet friend, it is coming….

It Is Well

It is WellI decided on a whim to do a makeover on our toy room. Call it fresh starts, or Dominic’s absolute distaste for the clearance red paint that I put on the walls over a year ago….it felt like it was time to liven the space up.

I love it already. Seriously, I may go missing and be found hanging in the space. I still have so much to do and now have run out of time…but I am excited to see the progress happen!

I spent the better part of the day on Saturday priming and painting. And I just listened over and over to the Bethel Music – You Make Me Brave album. My favorite song thus far is “It Is Well.”

YouTube Preview Image

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Through it all.

I felt God calling me to depend on Him this year. I didn’t really want that to be my word because it scares me a bit. What might He call me to? What may He ask us to walk through?

And as I thought of these things on Saturday, the words of this song flooded my spirit.

Through it ALL. My eyes are on you Lord, and through it ALL, it is well.

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Even when I can’t see the whys, even when I don’t know the future, when there are trials and unknown….even when my eyes can’t see Lord, it is well.

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

Yes THIS – let go my soul and trust. Trust in God, trust in His plan for me and my family…He has control over all, the waves, the wind….He has it all.

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.

Most of our lives we deal with the unknown. We can’t see what unexpected circumstance may come our way. We don’t know how our children will go through life. For someone like me who deals with fear and worry about those unknowns, this can be debilitating.

But God.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

God goes with me in each moment of my day. And through it all, it is well.

I find comfort in those simple words this morning. While today I am not faced with a major crisis, or decisions (except for maybe pink eye, which is another post all together…) I can trust that whatever I face in my day to day, God is going with me.

Through it all, my eyes are on you Lord and it is well with me.

Depend – My One Word for 2015

Depend

Can I be honest with you? I didn’t really want a “One Word” for 2015. Because finding Balance was such a BIG failure for me last year…I just felt like I would be setting myself up for failure once again if I joined in.

For a few days I thought maybe I would choose a word and that would be “intentional”, because seeking to be more intentional with my family, my writing, my quiet time etc., were all good things. Right?!

I even had a beautiful graphic made from a FB friend…but something didn’t seem right.

And late in the hours of the final days of 2014 I knew that God was speaking to me. Sometimes He does that through a thought, a prayer request when I am in the shower….but this time it was through the voice of my friend Christine.

I was struggling with something and asked Christine and Gindi for prayer. They have become mighty prayer warriors in my life. Voxer has been a gift and has allowed us to communicate daily and find ways to pray for and encourage one another.

So this particular morning Christine left me a message with words I felt God wanted me to hear. Where and with whom does my dependence lie in? Is it in things of this world, of people?? Or is my full dependence on God?

I struggle with fear and worry. I let little things become big things, and always assume the worst. When I depend on people, places and things for my security, I often find myself let down. And it is a part of my nature to just take control and “manage” my life on my own…because surely I won’t fail if I handle it all! 😉

Christine’s words hit home because I knew that I had been trusting God with SOME things, but not everything. Can I place my full dependence on God? For everything?

And so the journey this year begins.

To seek Him, dive into His Word, to know Him and try and understand His plan for my life. To give Him my everything. My hopes and my fears, my worries and my doubts. My joys and triumphs.

I want to surrender my control and fully depend on God.

Writing those words are scary.

What path might I be taken down to test my faith, my dependence on Him?

I have a feeling that this year will be one of growth and change, and while it is scary I am committed to seeking the One who has already brought me through so much. In every trial, every blessing, God has been there. So even if I am certain of only one thing right now, it is that He IS with me.

And that truth is enough to start my journey of depending on God in everything.

Did you choose a One Word for your new year? I’d love to hear what it is if you did!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...