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Monthly Archives: June 2009

I’m Going YOUR Way

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Back in December Jake scheduled (tentatively) our trip home to Oregon for July of this year. For 7 months it’s been all we’ve clung to, to get us through the end of winter (which was last month HA!). It’s our main topic of conversation. Our main focus…. the reward after 15 months of missing our parents and grandparents and nieces and sister and brother and friends and…. you get the idea. 😉 It’s been “all we’ve lived for” so to say. Consumed our every thought.

Earlier this month we were getting the run around on Jake’s Leave to go home. “Suddenly” all of these ISSUES were coming up that would in the end prevent us from going home. I won’t go into details becuase it’s a LOT of military mumbo jumbo that is hard to explain and would inevitably leave you scratching your head wondering WHY we have chosen this way of life. The important thing to know is that all of these things were not normal to have come up all at once. It was throwing us for a HUGE loop, and we were not happy about it. In fact, behind closed doors (and eventually out in the open) we were devestated by it. There were SO MANY things we were looking forward to. Visits with family, friends, going to eat at our favorite places, enjoying drinks with friends at local bars (we’re smart people, no worries), going to the coast, camping, just going home to ENJOY ourselves and our loved ones. Like I stated before…. it consumed our every thought. These issues got to be so big we were starting to see the door close on our trip home. To say we were disappointed was a gross understatement.

I ranted and raved. Jake yelled and threatened certain action if we didn’t get to go. Heck, I threatened action of my own…. all out of selfish anger. We were being told NO and we didn’t like it. After all, we DESERVED this trip. After divulging MUCH of my heart in a counseling session (yep…. counseling due to stress from his job… for both of us together to learn how to COPE) and later that night in emails to a friend, I went to bed with a heavy heavy heart scared for what news Jake would bring home the next morning (he’s working nights). I was fully prepared, and already depressed, for news that we would in fact NOT be going home in July. My heart mourned for the tight clutch of my moms hug and the smell of granny’s skin. I cried at the thought of another year gone by not seeing my nieces. I fell asleep pleading to God. 

I woke up the next morning to Jake bearing BAD news. As far as he had been told at work, we may as well put our suitcases away and prepare to stay home…. it was not looking good. As he told me this, my heart felt different though. I was not freaking out. I was not crying. I was not mourning any loss. I was at total and complete PEACE. Peace that passed ALLLLL understanding. Peace I did not have the night before. Peace we had not had in a couple of weeks about this trip. And my peace wasn’t because of good news. My peace was about feeling security, that God was in the midst of these decisions. I just laid there and listening to Jake spill out all of this horrible and unbelievable issues that kept coming up. I mean, seriously people, it was ridiculous the amount of stuff standing in our way. SO ridiculous in fact that it only made sense one way….. God was behind it. 100% behind it.

Plain and simple, we were not meant to go home. I knew it right then with every fiber of my faith, we were not meant to go home. I told Jake my feelings on the matter…. that all of these  things were dang near impossible to seriously be happening to us all at once (boring details I’m sparing you) and that the ONLY way it made any sense was that God was behind it. Orchestrating it in such a manner that it would prevent us from going. Jake was not pleased with my explaination. Understandably he was wounded and did not want to think that NOT going was best for him. I told him that if God did not want us to go there was no way I would push it any further. If that was His will for us at this time, then so be it. Even if it means sacrifice. Again, who am I to stand in God’s way? I would hate to challenge Him and be wrong.

I spent the rest of my day completely at peace. That night the boys and I prayed that whatever God’s will was, that He would mold our hearts accordingly. I explained everything to them in a manner that they could understand, and they still prayed with me. There was not an ounce of selfishness in them in those moments. I went to bed telling God what my heart wanted, but also surrending the decision ultimately to him. I prayed for Jake’s chain of command…. that they would have soft hearts where hard hearts had previously been concerning this trip. I fell asleep completely at peace.

The next morning Jake came bounding into our room (yes, bounding) and had the look of absolute happiness on his face. ONE HOUR before he got home that morning, his “bosses” (it’s easier than remembering rank LOL!) came to him with a change of heart, a change of opinion, a change of expectation, and granted him permission to persue his Leave. It was as if God Himself kissed me on the forehead and said “GO.”

No matter the circumstances, no matter the cost, I will always go Your way Lord.

I am so thankful that I trust in a God that I know has my best interest in His will, even if it means depriving me of something I want. Isn’t that ultimately the job of a loving Father?

I pray that I always keep this lesson in mind, and rest in peace that passes all understanding….. even when our circumstances are not to be understood.

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Over the course of my life I see that God teaches me the same lesson over and over again but in different ways. Always put HIM first. Always have HIM consume my every thought. Always cling to HIM alone. Always put my hopes in HIM and nothing else. Not in a person. Not in a trip. I would hope I’d never have to be taught this lesson again, but realistically…. I know I will need to be reminded at some point. I just wonder how He will teach the next lesson? And will I catch on sooner and not waste so much time being negative??

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Confession: I use crutches

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We all know someone in our lives at some point or another that uses a certain circumstance in their life as a crutch to keep them from moving forward, from growing, from taking responsibility. In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve all DONE it at some point. I realized today that I used my stand-by crutch as an excuse for something. My kids. If I can’t get to something, or haven’t done what needed to be done, or have messed up…. I say “yeah well it’s hard getting around to THAT. I have THREE BOYS and some things just get left undone.” While it is true to some extent, I find that I am USING it when I should really just fess up and say “I dropped the ball because I was irresponsible.”

Other places I have used different pairs of crutches: my marriage, friendships, jobs, my Faith, my everyday responsibilities around here.

The truth is, I am capable of more than I do. Capable of being more responsible, but whenever I am embarrassed by the slack I have left behind or by the fact that I am SCARED to do something…. I use crutches as my “get out of jail free” card.

Today was the first time I realized I used a crutch, and it EMBARRASSED me. I was instantly disappointed in myself and started thinking about all the other areas in my life I have done this.  It’s time to toss the crutches.

On a more serious note, I have dealt recently in my life with several people who are using very real and very painful crutches to keep them from moving towards HAPPINESS.  These crutches are keeping them from accepting LOVE, from accepting RESPECT, from accepting JOY. 

Their crutches are just as destructive as mine.

Do you walk with crutches that could be tossed??

Getting Out Of The Way

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I had a very generous offer last week from my mother-in-law to pay for a once a month maid service that caught me completely off guard, and left me feeling awkward.

A few weeks before that I had a generous offer from my mom to help me start up my Cookie Lee business, which also left me feeling awkward.

Last week two friends offered to come over and help me clean and organize my house before our trip home, awkward again.

I don’t like HELP. I like HELPING, but I don’t like RECEIVING the help. I like to be the one that gives it and never needs it.  The last few weeks have been a huge lesson to me in being on the receiving end of help. I started wondering why I felt uncomfortable. Why was it awkward for me? Why did I physically feel ILL at the thought of someone helping me? Why did I feel like their initial offers weren’t sincere? Why did I feel like they thought less of me becaue they were offering help?

Yes, all of those insane thoughts went through my mind with each of the offers I mentioned before.

I twittered a thought I had at 1 in the morning while laying in bed about this…. accepting help makes me feel like I’ve just stamped FAILURE across my forehead.Clearly I wasn’t good enough at something, so I needed help. Clearly I couldn’t do something on my own, so I needed help.  Clearly I was incompetent, so I needed help. You see the pattern??

It might also have to do with my perfectionistic tendencies. Yes I said perfectionist. If you know me, you know I’m unorganized and messy. That’s because if I can’t do something PERFECTLY and have it STAY PERFECT, I don’t want to do it at all. So I don’t. And then I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. And need help. 😉

A lot of my doubts about the sincerity of these offers is indicitive of my own doubts about myself. Really I’m not WORTH the time or money someone is putting out to help me, so why would their offer be sincere? Really it’s MY OWN fault that I am in the predicament I am in, so I should be responsible and take care of it myself…. so again, not worthy of a sincere offer. Really they’re just being nice and hoping I say no….which I usually do at first. Part of that is me testing the waters to see if they really mean it. Not fair at all of me, but it is my natural reflex. I hate that part about me. (I hate admitting this here too) I am very gun shy about taking someone up on an offer when they give it….something I am trying to work on.

One thing my mom said when she was insisting I take her offer was that it was more for her than it was for me. My mother-in-law said it was a blessing to them to help in this way. My friends said they love to organize and clean and it was FUN for them. (can you imagine?! haha!)

I am learning that in the same way I experience JOY when helping others, they do to. If I decline their offers I am keeping them from doing what God has put on their hearts to do. Keeping them from experiencing the joy that comes from helping others. Keeping them from doing what God commands us to do….lift eachother up. I would also be missing out on the learning experience God is walking me through because of their generosity. I am having to examine myself a bit more and deal with these insecurities and unrealistic expectations of myself to go through life on my own, without help, in whatever form.

Now, who am I to stand in God’s way?

Reassurance is always a good thing!

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There have been times since we’ve had Owen when I’ve thought “should we REALLY have gotten Jake fixed?” When I see a little baby, when I HOLD one, when I see how much my own have grown. And how FAST. 😯

And then there are days like today, when they ask me a million times to open up their yogurt because they’ve accidentally pulled off the tab before they got the whole top off. Or when I hear “mommy! I pooped! And it’s messy!” which means it’s my turn to wipe. I also particularly love when I’m taking a shower and they NEED something immediately. Or when I have to cut up pizza into bite size pieces for three kids. By the time I get to my own food I’m nuking it for a few seconds.

Moments like these reassure me that YES I AM DONE, no matter how sweet and precious the newborn looks, or how cuddly and devoted a 6 month old is, or how fast my own are growing. I am at a point where I enjoy the growing independence THEY are getting, and that I am getting as they grow. When I think back to the days of toting around a newborn, sleepless nights, figuring out nursing (and dealing with the PAIN), all of the spitting up…. I could on and on really. I watch all three sit at the table feeding THEMSELVES and I am so glad they can. 😆 I watch them all playing outside running around and I am thankful that all three can walk and talk (sometimes!) and play together without me directing their every move. Growing independence is a good thing!

Owen is OFFICIALLY done nursing. Yep. And as much as that broke my heart to do, I am realizing how much EASIER it makes my life. I am glad though that I nursed him to almost 2. I will never regret that. But I am glad it’s over. 😉

It’s always good to be reassured of these things. A mother wonders from time to time.  😉

Here they are….

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