Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Winners

Did you have a nice long Thanksgiving weekend? I sure did. I have so much to be thankful for. One of them is this train, which keeps the kids entertained for hours on end.





Another one is all of you lovely friends who read this. Thank you so much for every wonderful, meaningful, honest, and funny comment you have made, here on the blog or otherwise. And a special thanks to Heather, who has generously offered to add one of her books to the drawing, so that we could have two winners! Thanks, Heather. I love you, and am thankful that you obeyed the Lord's call to write your story in book form. 

And so, our first winner will receive a copy of "Dancing on My Ashes" with the bag and the second winner will receive the book from Heather and no bag, because I played with my family all weekend and didn't touch my sewing machine. But take heart, second winner. The book could change your life; the bag, not so much. 

Okay, dum da da daaaaaaaaa! I prayed over this drawing, like I always do, and the first winner is Vivian! Congratulations to Vivian, my sweet friend from Kansas. We used to do church together back in the day and she and her husband were always so faithful and devoted to the Lord. I hope you enjoy the book, Vivian.

And our second winner is Sarah, also from back in the day! Congrats to Sarah, who used to be a leader and teacher to me in the days of my youth. But she is not old. No, no. She is still the same age she was when she was my youth leader, right, Sarah? And I know Sarah has a heart for people and will see that this book gets into the hands of her friend, who needs to read it. 

Now, if you didn't win, and want to read the book, you can find it easily on Amazon. Ask for it for Christmas! You won't regret it. 

Next up, I'm ready to overcome. I shall not be overcome by the circumstances of my life and neither shall you, my friend! Come with me on my seven part journey of overcoming.

P.S. I love you.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Wish

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which was my dad's favorite holiday. He liked to root for the underdog, and Thanksgiving is sort of an underdog holiday. It does get rather trampled on by Christmas. But my dad was a thankful person who loved spending time with his family on a day uncrowded with gift-giving and other flurrious activity. If you think flurrious isn't a word, you are probably right, but this is my blog, and I will make up words if I want to!

Here is my Thanksgiving wish for you:

May you not burn your sweet potatoes for the fourth year in a row and get banned by your family from ever making the sweet potatoes again,

May you linger around the table with the people you love,

(turkey-induced stupor, circa 1996)
May you crash out on the floor like a lazy dog and take a good, long nap,


May you successfully teach your children to gobble like the turkeys they are,


And no matter what you are facing in your life, may you be able to say: "Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s."(Psalm 103:1-5)
~

P.S. You still have time to enter the giveaway if you haven't yet! 



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks: A Giveaway!

Hi! Do you want to know something? I am thankful for you. Here. Have some kabobs. Happy Thanksgiving. What? Don't you eat kabobs for Thanksgiving? I love Thanksgiving and I love being thankful. It makes my heart feel all squishy and full.

I'm so thankful I'm at the end of the story about my life's disappointments! I want to start telling the God part of the story. If you haven't read yesterday's post, go ahead and read it now, so today's will make sense.

So, here is the sick truth. I am holding nothing back here. By the time Bob had his "incident" I was walking around wearing this warped badge of honor. On this badge that I bestowed upon myself was my list of all the wrongs, the hurts, the injustices, and the disappointments I had endured. I was developing an unhealthy pride in the list and felt I surely deserved something for all of it. But what did I deserve? What was it I wanted?

I tried chocolate chips for awhile. I ate them by the bag. They were not good friends to me, though. So I tried letting my normally frugal self go a little wild and buy things just for fun. I figured I deserved to do at least that with a husband who worked so much. I tried losing myself in books and sewing projects. I stayed up for hours searching the Internet for anything entertaining. I watched all the old episodes of "Mary Tyler Moore," "I Love Lucy," "Little House on the Prairie," and "Dr. Quinn." Don't be makin' fun, now! 

I felt sick and disgusted with myself. I knew exactly what I was doing, and yet I continued in it. I was avoiding intimacy with God. I was filling up every silent moment with stuff, so that I wouldn't have to face Him. I knew that if I did face him, I would be completely raw. I would be totally and utterly exposed, unable to hide a thing. And I knew that would make me feel things I did not want to feel. Pain. I did not want to feel the pain.

I love so many things about the Lord, and one of them is that He uses other people that he has encouraged to encourage us, in turn! Check out 1Corinthians 1:3-4. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." Ahh. God is the original author of "pay it forward." 

And this is exactly what happened to me. He used two sisters who had suffered many troubles to encourage me with the encouragement they had received from God. In fact, He has used them to encourage many people who are encouraging others, and so on it goes, and isn't that wonderful? He is a wonderful Redeemer. 

I will never forget the day I heard the news that Holly and Heather suddenly and tragically became widows in their twenties. These two sisters and I had grown up alongside each other at church and school. I was so moved by their loss, I can still remember the spot on my living room carpet where I sat stunned, crying and praying for them. Little did I know that more than ten years later the book that they would write about their experience would be the spring board to launch me out of my own pit of misery.
A good friend loaned me Holly and Heather's book months before it was officially "out" and I read it in one day. I read into the wee hours of the morning, not interrupting what the Holy Spirit was doing in me as I read. For me, it was similar to ripping off a bandage, and I just wanted to get it over with. I didn't want to cry. But I did. I didn't want to relate to their thoughts and feelings. But I couldn't help it. 

These two women are beautiful examples of what God will do with a life fully surrendered to Him. He will redeem, restore, and reconcile. I like that "reconcile" means "to re-establish a close relationship between." It holds within it the hope of second chances with God. Reading this book helped to start me on the path of facing the God who loves me and being reconciled to Him. I was at last ready to let Him help me take off my sick badge of honor and replace it with a crown of beauty, the oil of gladness, and a garment of praise (Isaiah 61). 
By the way, besides having a beautiful testimony, Holly and Heather also have beautiful singing voices that they use to minister to the Lord and to others. They have just finished a season of women's retreats that I hear tell have been wonderful! I'm not sure if they have more of those planned for the future, but you can read a little more about the sisters and their book here.

So, because I love you, and because it's Thanksgiving, and because you should read it, I'm giving away a copy of this book!

 Also, I had some scraps of Christmas fabric and an old sweater that sort of threw themselves together and became a bag that I am also giving away.

 You could put the book in the bag! Or you could read the book and give the bag to your niece for Christmas. Or, if you've already read the book, you could give it to your friend for Christmas and keep the bag for toting around all the baked goods you will be handing out to your neighbors because you are secretly related to Martha Stewart. 

Here is a hint for you: do not think that you have to have gone through a tragedy to read or enjoy this book. No, no. This book has something for everyone, simply because the Holy Spirit has anointed it. And if you have never had a troublesome day in your life, one is coming, I can guarantee you that. So, go ahead and leave a comment, so that you will have a chance to win the Book in a Bag! You can stay anonymous, if you like. And if you want to have fun, when you leave your comment, tell me your favorite Thanksgiving food.
Mine is...the mashed potatoes, of course! The turkey would be naked without it. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Disappointment With Life, part seven: Fear

Do your kids like to pretend they are afraid? Here, mine are faking terror at the T-Rex Cafe. I suppose pretending to be afraid is thrilling when you know that you are really safe. I used to be the same way when I was a kid. True fear, however, is anything but thrilling. Fear is my enemy. It is disabling and takes my focus off of what is good and true.

I have struggled with fear off and on in my life, but a recent series of events brought it all to a head for me. My biggest fear has always been losing the people I love. When my dad died, I was afraid that my mom would die, too. When Bob's dad died a year later, I worried about who was next.
(the house where Bob grew up)

Bob had just accepted the manager position at his office, which meant more stress and more hours for him. He had been spending every weekend with his dad during his illness.Then after his dad died, every weekend was spent at his childhood home working on going through things and getting it ready to sell. I was afraid all the stress and grief would make him sick. I was afraid the lack of sleep would cause an accident on the road with all his traveling. And I was afraid that our family would be negatively affected with Bob being gone so much.

In the spring, things started to look up a little. The house sold, and Bob could be home on the weekends again. I thought that maybe things might slow down a little so we could lick our wounds and finish grieving. I was tired of grieving. I wanted to be happy again.

By: mconnors at morguefile.com
And then, the unexpected happened once again. Early in the summer, Bob came home from work around 8 o'clock in the morning. He had been up and to the office at 5 am, which was not unusual for him. I knew something was wrong when he walked in the house at such an odd time.

He looked me in the eyes with seriousness and told me that he had just been robbed at gunpoint. Two men assaulted him at an ATM, forced their way into his car, and ordered him to start driving. So, with a gun jabbed into his neck, Bob drove, trying to shut out the screaming demands of his attackers and think about what to do next.


Thankfully, the men had Bob drive to a certain location where they fled on foot. And after calling 911 and meeting with the police, he came home to me. Safe and sound. How thankful I am that he is alive. It brings tears to my eyes. I know it might have turned out differently, and I am grateful that God protected him from death that day.

Bob took it all in stride. He was a little jumpy for awhile, but mostly he was thankful to be alive and had a new appreciation for what really matters in this life.

Well, I'm sorry to report that I was not as mature about it. At that time, I only focused on this terrible thing that had happened to my husband. I played it out in my mind and wondered what it must have been like for him. I imagined different endings to the story, and I became more and more frustrated with life. Hadn't we been through enough? What terrible thing was going to happen next? If someone had told me that in 9 months I would develop a mysterious brain lesion, I think I might have gone ahead and had a nervous breakdown.

As it was, I was plenty fed up and sick and tired of living. "This world is dumb and stupid," I said. "Bad things happen, and we have no control over it. Anyone can die at any time, and I have to just take it!" Yep. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. And afraid. I was so afraid of all the other unknown terrible things that were going to happen to me. I was very focused on myself, to put it mildly.

And then, my hero stepped in. The Lord saved me from myself. He spoke to me and woke me up from my self-induced nightmare. I love Him so much. There are no words. 

Tomorrow I'm going to tell you what happened and also give something away, so come back!





Friday, November 19, 2010

Disappointment With Life, part six: Personal Failure

Hi! I have a story for you:

 Once upon a time, when I was young and dewy fresh, I married Bob. The Bobster. Bobikins. We went to Wyoming on our honeymoon. In the winter. "Wyoming in the Winter." That's the name of my new book coming to a Target near you in March, 2055. Don't miss it!

One day, in Wyoming in the Winter, on our honeymoon, Bob ate scrambled eggs. And then he spent the next 12 hours ridding himself of all of his innards including every drop of liquid that existed in his body at that time. In other words~Food Poisoning! He then spent the next 12 hours in the Wyoming in the Winter Emergency Department for Honeymooners who Eat Infected Scrambled Eggs. He then spent the next 12 hours sleeping in the hotel room, completely unaware that he was married or that he was in Wyoming or that it was, in fact, winter.
The Bobster was dead to the world. If I had invited this buffalo into our room to keep me company, Bob would not have known. And while I'm on the subject of buffalo, if I could have, I would have invited all the nice little buffaloes into our room just to keep them warm. They all have icicles hanging from their noses in Wyoming in the Winter. It's not easy for them, you know. My book, "Wyoming in the Winter" will actually be dedicated to all the dear little buffaloes who sacrificed their modesty and privacy so that I could take pictures of them and laugh at their icicles.

Okay, back to my story. It's really important.
All was not lost! No, no. For you see, it was Loretta Young's birthday, and the TV in the hotel room was playing her movies back to back all day. Thanks, Loretta, for making all those great movies so I wouldn't be bored out of my mind in Wyoming in the Winter. Later that night, I decided to live on the wild side and order room service for dinner! The smell of this wonderful food roused Bob, who was unsure of how the aroma was affecting his ailing stomach. I quickly reassured him that it was all a bad dream and to go back to sleep so I could chow down in peace. 


And now we come to the crux of this exciting tale. Hungry for some stimulating conversation, I wandered downstairs and began a lively discourse with the 60-something hotel owner. I was witty, funny, intelligent, and charming. I laughed. I smiled. I pretty much cheered up his whole life! 

Feeling really great about things, I went up to my room and got ready for bed. And that's when I discovered the horrible truth: I was sporting a large piece of broccoli between my two front teeth the size of...a large piece of broccoli. I replayed the whole scene into the mirror, talking and smiling and laughing, and decided that the hotel owner had definitely seen the broccoli. There was just no getting around it. The broccoli might as well have been honking a loud horn. I looked like a clown! My first thought was a common reaction: "Why didn't he tell me?"

At times like these we want our flaws pointed out to us so we can immediately floss. But there are other times when we really don't  want to be reminded  of what we already know. None of us are perfect. We have all failed many times. And if you are like me, you have played your failures over in your head like a bad movie. And if Satan is as mean to you as he is to me, then he has tried to get you to believe lies about yourself based on all your failures.

JiNKY Lim

I will share with you one of my weak spots. It's an area of vulnerability that has developed over time. I have struggled with low confidence in my abilities, or lack thereof, to be a good friend. My love for my friends does not always translate well, and I have often unknowingly hurt or offended the people I love the most. I have been really hard on myself about this. I have poo-pooed myself and called myself bad names like "terrible friend" or "loser." This is not good. This is not true. This is not what God says about me, and He is helping me heal in this area. Later, I will tell you about my secret weapon for overcoming these kinds of feelings.

But don't you know, Satan loves to kick us when we are down. A couple of years ago, I was grieving the loss of my dad and also struggling with one of the broken relationships I wrote about in my last post. I was feeling like a failure.
One day, I received a strange letter in the mail. I thought it looked odd that my name and address had been typed on a paper, torn off, and taped onto the envelope with no return address. The letter itself was also typed and anonymous. The writer informed me that I was a terrible friend and not a good person, among other things. My first reaction was to feel creeped out by the creepiness of an anonymous letter. This was my first one! That night, I felt like the person who wrote it was watching me through the windows. I am assuming the person who wrote it is female, so let's go ahead and name her. I will call her Shadow, because she is a mystery to me. 

My biggest reaction, however, was sadness. I felt so sorry that I had done whatever it was I did to make Shadow say the things she did. I felt so bad for Shadow and wished I could talk to her and tell her I was sorry for hurting her. I prayed for Shadow. And I convinced myself more than ever that I was a no-good friend. 

Just in case you are wondering, my Nancy Drew skills helped me to deduce that the letter definitely did not come from my broken relationship person. I have one more Disappointment post before I will move on to Overcoming and share all the good ways the Lord has helped me. But for now, I have wanted to do this for a long time. So, just in case she is reading this:

Dear Shadow,
I love you. I want you to know my heart wishes to make things right with you. So, if you ever decide you want to make yourself known to me, I am ready. I hold nothing against you. I am sorry for hurting you. I still pray for you sometimes when I think of you. I hope that you know how much Jesus loves you.
Love, 
Rachelle 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Disappointment With Life, part five: Broken Relationships

Just look at that. Isn't this the picture of childhood innocence? That's me with my satchel headed off for the first day of Kindergarten. I have a satchel and not a backpack because backpacks weren't invented yet. I liked that little green satchel. It made me feel grown up and professional in a way that only a satchel can. Thanks for the satchel, Mom.

I didn't know it yet, but I had a bright little school future ahead of me. Yes, I was that girl. The one with straight A's who respected her authorities and never got into fights or trouble of any kind. You see, I was born with that people-pleasing gene. I wanted to please my parents, my teachers, my friends...everybody! 

This worked pretty well for me in school, but real life taught me that no matter how hard I try, I can't control other people. I can only control myself, and sometimes that doesn't work out too well, either. 
Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe conflict with others? It makes me feel sick. All my bodily functions go haywire and I freeze up, unable to do anything until the situation is resolved. I've had two relationships in my life that have been broken. A hurt led to conflict, which led to complete breakdown of the relationships. Neither one was quickly mended, so I was forced to get on with my bodily functions and regular life. 
But inside, the wounds festered. I chose to dwell on how I had been wronged and conveniently skipped over the parts where I had done the hurting. I harbored unforgiveness in my heart. It makes me cry to confess that. Sometimes forgiveness can come easily, but other times it seems almost impossible. In fact, I truly believed that one of the relationships would always be broken. I couldn't imagine anything different.

I love that what God imagines for us is so much better than what we imagine for ourselves. Although it took years, both relationships have been healed! This is for me another testimony of the power of His love and forgiveness. I will be sharing more of what I've learned about forgiveness when I write about overcoming. 

But for now, if you have a broken relationship on your hands, take heart! God is a restorer of things. The Bible is full of references to God's ability and desire to restore things to His people that have been lost or destroyed. I know Amos is perhaps a weird book of the Bible to find comfort in, but check out this verse: "In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be..." (Amos 9:11) 

In this chapter, God is talking about bringing the Israelites back out of exile. I think David's fallen tent is symbolic of the nation of Israel and how they were ruined and scattered because of their disobedience. For me, this is just a great reminder of what kind of God we serve. If He is able to restore a nation, He can restore a broken relationship.

Thank you, Lord. My tent was fallen, but You repaired its broken places. You restored the ruins that I helped to create and You have built back up what I thought was lost forever.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Being Three


Dear Ben, please raise your chubby right hand (the one you stroke my cheek with) and repeat after me:

"I Ben, do solemnly swear that I will do everything in my power to never grow up. I promise not to let my chipmunk voice ever deepen or my squishy little nose ever grow into a man's. I promise, upon penalty of naptime, to never, ever stop stroking your cheek with the aforementioned chubby hand, so help me God. Amen."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Disappointment With Life, part four: Loss

"Mommy."

"Mmmm."

"Mommy, open your eyes."
"Oh, hi monkey boy."

"Mommy! You call me monkey boy! I like dat. I do love you so much, sweetie Mommy."

"Mommy, you look really so nice and handsome."

"Mommy, your breath is stinky."

"Can I please have some milk you cutie Mommy? Thank you, sir!"


These are the things I cherish so about Mommyhood. Being loved and called sweetie and cutie far outweigh the brutal honesty about my breath and being a handsome sir.

And this is exactly why loss is so doggone hard. Because having is so good. So sweet. I am blessed with people in my life who love me and who I love so much it makes my heart hurt. The thought of losing any of them is too painful to dwell on for long. But people die. They do everyday. I know how much my own losses have hurt me, so the thought of masses of people losing loved ones every day is almost too much to keep on typing. Every day, so many people are facing the shock, the anger, the sorrow, and the loneliness of the loved one who is here no more.


I have shared in the past about losing my dad and my father-in-law here and here. And I have shared a little about how the Holy Spirit has comforted me. One of the ways He has done that is through the Word. I don't know if this is true for others, but at times I felt that as a Christian, I needed to "get over it" and just be happy that they are in Heaven and that I will see them again someday. And I am happy about that. It's a most comforting and hopeful reality. It's the only way we can make it through this life without giving ourselves over completely to despair.

But this reality does not change the fact that when we lose someone, we miss them and we do grieve! You know, I often consider the first Christians of the New Testament to be "super Christians." But, while they were indeed supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit, they were normal people with emotions like us! I have been so moved by one simple verse in the book of Acts. Stephen, a follower of Jesus had been stoned for his faith in Christ. This is a most honorable death, to be martyred for the sake of the Gospel. I imagined that perhaps the other apostles must have rejoiced over the honor that Stephen was receiving in Heaven. But check out chapter 8 verse 2: "Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him." 

This is not an earth-shattering verse, but it stops me in my tracks for a minute, imagining the scene. These were the movers and shakers of the first century! They considered it all joy to suffer for Jesus. And yet, they were not immune to grief. They were going to miss their friend Stephen very much. The tenderness of the words "mourned deeply" connect me to those men somehow. I have mourned deeply, and knowing that others before me have also mourned deeply makes it just a little bit easier to bear. I am not the only one! And you are not the only one. And you know, it doesn't matter whether the person you lost was in your immediate family or not. If you have lost anyone you love, then you have no doubt mourned deeply. 



After I was blessed with two children, I was excited when once again, those familiar pregnancy symptoms came upon me. Yuck. But yay! Bob and I looked forward to welcoming a third baby into our family. I dreamed about that baby. I imagined a sister for Sara. I so wanted her to have what I have with my own sister. 

When my doctor got a funny look on his face during my ultrasound, I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. No. Surely not. There couldn't be something wrong with this baby! But there was, and several days later, I miscarried. And I mourned deeply. I had never met this child, but I loved her! 

I  have compassion on women who have miscarried. Their loss is not especially noted with a funeral or ceremony, but it is a loss nonetheless. I have since had my third baby, and I am so happy with my family! Sometimes, though, I feel like someone is missing. I turn to make sure all my kids are with me, take a quick count, and  subconsciously look for the fourth. I still have dreams about that missing child. 

If you have ever lost a baby, my heart hurts for you. And if you are grieving the loss of a loved one right now, I am praying for the Holy Spirit to comfort you. He knows how you hurt. And He wants to walk through this season with you. 

By the way, just in case my post titles have been misleading, I want to say that I am not disappointed with my life! I love my life and I love my Saviour. I have had disappointments, yes. I have wanted to throw up my hands and just quit the whole thing. But, because of the grace of God, I haven't. I'm still chugging along. More than chugging, in fact. God has been teaching me the principles to overcoming the disappointments of life. They are simple, but they work. You have probably heard them before, but I think they need to be repeated often! 

So, as soon as I finish this disappointment series, I'll be moving on to overcoming! I can't wait. I hope you will come and overcome with me!  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Because I Care So Very Much



Do you have trouble with your geography? I care about this, so I'm gonna learn you real good. Here's your lesson for the day. Quiz on Monday.

video


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Disappointment With Life, part three: Unfulfilled Dreams


Hello.

Here is a poem for you:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Writing about disappointments
Is no fun and very disappointing.

So why am doing it?

You don't have to answer that. I was talking to myself. I would rather eat chopped liver than keep writing this depressing tale.

 I feel sorry for chopped liver. Why does it have such a bad reputation? What about unchopped liver? Does it rank any higher on the meat scale? Why does chopping the liver make it so sorry?


Here is a helpful household hint: you know it's time to go to the grocery store when you serve your children bacon, carrot stick, and raisins for lunch.


Here is a wake-up call for you: if your children are excited about bacon, carrot stick, and raisins for lunch, you may be in a lunch rut. You might consider adding some variety to your menu. Just a thought.


Here is a self-awareness tip for you: if you find yourself writing stupid poems that don't rhyme and handing out useless tips, you may be avoiding the topic at hand. 

So, here is a story for you about the topic at hand!



Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, life was different than it is now. Or maybe I am different. I'm not that old, but I do love the old days. Back in the old days, my sister and I used to dress up in our mom's old white prom dress and pretend it was our wedding day. What did we use for a veil, Holly? I think it was a lace tablecloth. 
A few times, our wedding was an outdoor ceremony, and we used the white blossoms off the locust tree for our rice throwing.

I guess every girl dreams of her wedding day, and I was no different. I also dreamed of my life as a grown-up wife. My mom, Linda and our backyard neighbor, Martha were friends who would sometimes get together for a chat. So, Holly and I, being the brilliant children that we were, came up with a game called "Martha and Linda." This was a favorite game in which we hosted one another at our homes for tea, snacks, and chatting about our husbands and children. Perhaps we painted our nails or flipped through magazines while we visited. But we never forgot to cut it short at 4:30. The husbands would be home at precisely 5:15, after all, and a lovely dinner must be waiting on the table.

"Oh, what will I make for dinner tonight, Martha?"

"Oh, anything, honey. Just throw some things in a pot. You know that husband of yours thinks everything you make is divine!"

Ahh...those were the days. 

And then we grew up.

I never chat with my neighbor. I can't remember the last time I painted my nails. And I can't even count how many 5:15's have come and gone with no husband at home to appreciate the lovely things that I throw in my pot. 

Please take note: as I mentioned in my last post, I am NOT disappointed with my husband! He is such a blessing. However, it was not long after we were married that I became disenchanted with our lifestyle, which I felt was quite different than my expectations. I was rudely awakened from my dreams by my husband's alarm clock. He, unlike my dad, has never had an 8 to 5 job. I was unprepared for this rude awakening. I mistakenly began to believe that my husband's job was more important to him than I was. 

Crimfants

Back in the newly married days, I pulled all manner of stunts to get his attention and make sure he knew how unfair my situation was, including crying very loudly and acting very much like a two-year-old. And when we finally had some bona fide toddlers running around, I made sure I loaded all the guilt trips on him that I could. I reasoned that he ought to feel mighty terrible about leaving me alone so much with those little ones. I played a great martyr and even compared myself to single moms at times.


 I'm afraid that all this might make Bob appear less than wonderful and fabulous. I know it doesn't make me look very good. I don't care about that. But I do care about Bob. So, please repeat after me: "It's not Bob, it's the job. It's not Bob, it's the job."

Okay, I feel better. It's not Bob, it's the job. Really. He doesn't like the situation any more than I do.

This December, Bob and I will celebrate 14 years of marriage. And guess what? None of my bawling, whining, pleading, or guilt-tripping has done a single thing to change this situation. In fact, thanks to the Lord I finally saw that my behavior had only made a stressful situation worse. I tried so hard to change Bob when it was me who needed to change.

Have you been there? Do you know what I'm talking about? Maybe your dream is a career that you just can't seem to make happen. Or perhaps you succeeded at it only to discover it wasn't what you thought it would be. Maybe you've dreamed for years of getting married and you are still single. Or perhaps your dreams of having children have been shattered. Maybe you do have children, but being a parent is not what you thought it would be? There are so many dreams and just as many ways they can be broken.

I'm really looking forward to reaching the end of my "disappointments" so I can start sharing with you the things the Lord has taught me and the ways He has brought healing in each of these different areas. That's the good stuff! He gives such great light bulb moments. There are many disappointments in this life, but none that lie beyond the reach of our Saviour. He has a really long arm.

I will leave you with this: "Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled" Joshua 21:45. Yes, we may be walking around with unfulfilled dreams, but God always fulfills His promises to us! And His dreams for us are bigger and better than our dreams could ever be for ourselves.  

avandia recall