Friday, November 19, 2010

Lead Me

We had a MOPS speaker talk to us about marriage; one of my top three things to read about or hear a speaker present on being that I am constantly trying to be more of the wife that God had intended me to be to my husband.  I fall short.  Daily.  So when I heard our speaker was presenting on marriage I hunkered down with my pen and paper ready to take notes and be inspired.

She gave us word pictures.  

Mirror/Selfishness:   We often times point out the flaws we see in our husband.  But instead of pointing the mirror at us, we needd to turn that mirror around and look at ourselves and see what it is revealing about us.  She gave us a quote from an author which said, "One of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse.  Had there been a card attached it would have said, "here's to helping you discover what you're REALLY like." (Gary and Betsy Ricucci)

Chairs:  What chair would our marriage sit in?  Chair #1 Exciting!  Love is new-hot, passionate, all consuming, giving, thoughtful.  Chari #2 Satissfying, Fullfilling-Love is not so new, but really good.  It's sometimes hot and passionate; it's been tested, good communication, best friends.  Chair #3 Routine-Love has grown stale, mediocre-not much attnetion has been paid to it so it's getting pretty mediocre, mundane.  Chair #4 Dead-Love is pretty dead.  You may still be together, but it's on the rocks as far as real fun, satisfaction, joy, friendship.  You're in the chair that no only you think you're in, but in the one your spouse thinks you're in.  (EEK!)

Love Bank:  We can't be writing checks on an account where no deposits are being made.  Eventually the bank will be dry.
Leftovers:  Our spouses often get the leftovers of our life when everything else is taken care of.  While children and our jobs/volunteer work may take a lot of time, our spouses need to be our top priority after Jesus.  Our spouses deserve our best, not our leftovers.

I didn't leave MOPS that Tuesday with the same warm and fuzzy, refreshed and filled up feeling I usually have. I left feeling very convicted. Which is good because I KNOW I needed it!  

So I went on my way with my day with this feeling of conviction in my heart and I was ready to be the wife God intended me to be for my husband. 

Unfortunately Satan was ready to pounce. 

And around 5 o'clock Satan struck and arrived as an unwanted dinner guest.  
I was frustrated with My Sweetie and grouchy with the kids and my mind was whirling with all kinds of not so nice things and my heart was hurting.

Then those word pictures stared to flash in my mind;chairs, love bank, leftovers!  

Ok God, yeah,I get it but, but, but what about me?  What happens when I feel like I'm getting the leftovers????

Another word picture flashed....selfishness and mirror!  


I was feeling defeated and hopeless and I just wanted to go to bed and start again the next day. 

Then God reminded me of a song,one I thought my husband "just needed to hear".

So I pulled it up and listened. As I listened God convicted me again and that mirror I had been pointing towards my husband was now pointing at me; I was the one who needed to listen all along.

So I wanted to share with all of you....maybe its another God thing, maybe one of you need it too. There is a lyric which refers to "my wife" but if YOU are the wife, you can easily change it to "my husband" and it still applies.  

The end of the song is my favorite, its a prayer; one that I repeated over and over that evening in my kitchen.  It's a call out to God that we can't be the wives and mothers, husbands and fathers that God has created us and called us to be without HIM leading us. 

Monday, November 15, 2010


We walked through the doors of that little blue house on Walnut Street in May of 1997.  I was 20, My Sweetie was 22.  He had just graduated from college, we had been married for just under a year and we had a 6 month old baby boy.  

I remember walking in those doors and feeling like I was finally able to breath for the first time in about a year.   It had been a whirlwind.  

 Just a year prior I was finishing up my sophomore year at college and planning a wedding.  We had gotten married in June; I had moved from my parents’ home into a small home of My Sweetie’s parents just after we were married which we lived in for about 2 months.  We then moved about an hour away to college where My Sweetie finished his senior year and worked.  Every weekend we packed up and came home to be with family so I could work.  In November we had a baby.  I had gotten a job back home so I moved in with my parents about 6 weeks before My Sweeties graduation going back to our apartment on my days off.  My Sweetie finished college in May and then we packed up and moved again into the little blue house on Walnut Street when he graduated.     

As we walked through the door I instantly felt at ease; I finally felt like I could start to get settled into our life.  Even though we would share the space with his family for a few more months until their house was finished being built, it didn’t matter because I knew I was home.  

Just inside the doors of that little blue house a lot of growing took place over those 13 ½ years; much like a baby growing in a mother’s womb; warm and safe, growing until it was time to leave the safety and warmth of the only thing that baby knew into something else warm and safe-a mother’s arms.  

Our maturity and wisdom grew;  our marriage grew into something more beautiful than any young, scared, 19 year old bride could have ever dreamt; our family grew to 3 boys; our boys grew more quickly than anyone ever told me they would; our faith grew into something I never could have even wrapped my mind around all those year ago.  

Then at just the right time we walked out of the doors of the safety and warmth of the only house our children had known, the house where we had spent most of our marriage, the house that had been cozy and comfortable (literally and financially) through the doors of another house that was warm and safe; The yellow house on the prairie. 

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in October our family pulled into the drive way of this yellow house on the prairie.  I unloaded the kids, their exciting squeals as I set them free made me smile.  I filled my arms with the first things to be carried into our new home and began to walk into the garage (Grin!!). 
“WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!!”  My Sweetie exclaimed, “Put your coffee down.  Put your stuff down.”  He said as he practically took it all out of my hands and put it down on the ground.  

My handsome groom led me to the front of the house, scooped me up into his arms and carried me over the threshold of the door to yellow house on the prairie.

“Welcome home,” he said and he bent down to kiss me.  

Home indeed is where we were and it felt good!!! 

Although that little blue house on Walnut Street was the place we called home for so many years and the place where all of our babies took their first steps and celebrated their first birthdays it’s really only a house.  All of those memories belong to me and my family, not the house.

The house is not what makes a home a home.  A home is created in the living, loving, growing and creating of memories by the family that lives just through the door of a house. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy 14th

Dear (sweet, God-Loving, smart,) Boy of mine,

Happy 14th Birthday.  

We were driving and discussing how you don't have a cell phone a few weeks back and I said, "I will consider allowing you to have a cell phone next year when you turn 15."  

I stopped. 

I gasped.  

I couldn't believe that i had said those words!!!  

"Next year when you turn 15!!!??"  

You were only 13, but only weeks away from a birthday.  


This fall you entered another school season of being the "big man on campus"  LITERALLY!!!  Not only are you a top dog 8th grader at school, but BOY oh BOY you have GROWN.  Last year at your birthday you were about caught up to your ole' mom in height.  This year there is no need to squint.  You have surpassed me in height.  Even when I'm in heels you are taller than me.  I know, I know, one of these days I will find myself looking up at your brothers too, but let me get use to looking up to you first, ok?  :)  

Not only have you grown physically this past year, you have really matured from a kid into a teenager.  You continue to make me proud in all that you do.  You chose to spend your spring break volunteering for a lunch program for kids who may not otherwise receive lunch on days when they aren't in school.  You ran the powerpoint for VBS at our church and run it every Sunday for service.  You chose to spend most of your summer growing in your faith by attending a leadership camp, going to Green Pastures for a Martial Arts camp focused on Defending your Faith and serving in St. Paul, MN on a mission trip.  We actually had conversations about you wanting to be away for another week of camp this summer but I selfishly wanted you home instead and wanted you to have some down time.  You are truly your happiest when you are in those settings among other peers who are strong in their faith and Loving the Lord.  I have been blessed to be with you a few times, watching from the back, seeing the different person you are there compared to the person who deals with the world within his school walls.  It's hard to be a teenager trying to fit in.  You are choosing to store up your treasures in heaven, not here.  You will look different to your peers who have made and will continue to make different choices.  I will continue to pray for you so that you can find the perfect balance between continuing to glorify God in your choices and feeling like you fit in among your peers.  God has great plans for you, I just know it.  I'm excited to to watch and be your support and encourager.   

You gave football a try again this year.  

You remained in one piece!!  You played hard and really began to understand the game.  Last year when I'd pick you up from practice you were beat.  This year when I'd pick you up from practice you were pumped up!!!  I had the best time watching and cheering for you from the sidelines.  This was the first time a fall sport ended that I was a little sad to see it end.  I had so much fun watching you play football and I thank God you didn't get hurt.  It's rough out there!  

Even though you are a cool teenager now, I did enjoy seeing you "play" this summer while we were on vacation.  You and your brother just loved digging in the sand along Lake Michigan.  Don't forget to be a kid.  I often tell you to "Just enjoy where you are now at the age you are now" because I don't want you to miss out on the blessings of today.   Life is short and you will be grown up before you know it and needing to make adult decisions.  So keep on digging.    

By the time I sit down to write you next birthday letter you will be in high school.  It seems like I was just freighting over you beginning middle school.  SEE!  Life does go fast.   

You aren't a big fan of mom's hugs anymore.  I thought that maybe I should just stop if you didn't like them and figure out a different way to let you know I love you.   But God placed in my life the wisdom of another mom who had raised boys as well.  She saw me hugging Little Dude as he ran into preschool one morning and she told me, "Don't ever stop hugging your boys.  I had boys and even if they don't like it, keep hugging them because one day they may want you to hug them again and if you have stopped hugging them you'll never know."  

So curl up in the fetal position all you want, I will never stop hugging you.  I don't care how tall you get, I don't care how old you get, I will never stop hugging you.  

Never forget how special you are to me...YOU made me a mom and I LOVE being a mom;  I LOVE being YOUR mom.  I love our good conversations, I love shopping with you, I love watching you play football, I love watching you play nicely with your brothers, I love watching you grow in your faith, I love your humor.  I will never stop cheering for you.  

Lots of Love and Happy Birthday!!!