Choosing Over and Over Again

Something odd happens when you choose what you already have. When you choose contentment in the chaos.

When you choose your husband. Over and over and over.

Betting on us regardless.

Joy happens. Not every second of everyday.

Some entire days he’s just annoying.

But he’s mine and we are on this ride together. I recently read that no marriage has two strong people at the same time.

But I disagree. Our strengths are different. So sometimes we are both equally strong. And sometimes these strengths butt against each other.

I think that’s a skill set in itself. Learning to use your strengths as a couple, that passing is as important as shooting. And rebounding as important as scoring.

We’re in counseling and working on knowing each other better. Working on listening and understanding how we became who we are and how to become more one.

Today you see a lot about individuality and not losing yourself, be it to motherhood or wifehood.

But we’re supposed to lose ourselves. We’re supposed to become one. Two parts of one, but one nonetheless

Somedays I’m the better half. Most days I’m the irrational half, but no matter what I’m only a half.

Learning to love is a funny thing, but at the end of the day it’s all that matters.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. ” 2 Peter 1:5-8

  • J

Missing a Romantic Bone

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from https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=my+hearts+best+gift+vintage+valentine&view=detailv2&&id=D496504811EF36FF75AE869B6E188346E8D1C1D0&selectedIndex=0&ccid=P5HLImuZ&simid=607989481045167902&thid=OIP.M3f91cb226b993942b063cb9fde9f2042o0&ajaxhist=0

With Valentine’s Day approaching, talk of love is everywhere.  And it is interesting because this is the love I don’t connect with.  Truthfully, it is a love I have no interest in (or expectation of) connecting with.   The type of love that I connect with is compassion (which isn’t to say you couldn’t connect to both, I just don’t).  

I have never been a romantic.  (I still remember having a conversation with my mom as a little where I explained I was going to pick my husband in order to fight racism because social justice has always been my God given mission.)

My romantic bone is all but nonexistent.  But, my deep love of and compassion for humanity bone is oversized and takes the place of both.

I believe we are called to soar, to excel.  But we can’t excel or soar at everything.  I believe I can do anything (with some obvious exceptions), but not everything.   I want to go deeply into everything I do, which means I choose those things very carefully because I am incapable of staying at the surface level.  

I realized in high school, as I looked around at other families in the stands, as I looked around to the other couples in my extended family.  That was not me and never would be.  Love in its best sense is 2 becoming 1.  I didn’t want that, I don’t want that, I don’t think I ever will want that.  I’m too stubborn.  It’s not that I can’t  compromise or share, but that I don’t want to.

You can’t have everything and achieve everything.  That was the thing I was willing to give up.  I didn’t/don’t want to to shift priorities.  I don’t want to shift/share responsibilities.  I want it to be me and God.  Just us everyday, all day.  

I am by no means advocating this approach for others or saying that marriage is bad or compromising.  I’m just glad God showed me so clearly that it wasn’t His plan for me and blessed me with, not just acceptance, but no desire for something different.
I know Valentine’s Day can be wonderful for some women (and men) and painful for others, but, just remember, you are loved beyond belief by the One who knows you beyond belief.  

  • S

Less and More

2015 has been a lot. Just a lot.

I have to say I’m hoping for less in 2016. And more.

e4523c85f0950afbed411779edbfa3b5Less commercial, more real life.

Less new, more reused.

Less house, more time.

Less chemical, more homegrown.

Less stress, more choosing joy.

Less fights, more listening.

Most people know we’re headed to Joplin this year. I’ve heard many mixed comments on this. I’ll always choose more family, more love. Less distance. Less phone. Fewer car rides.

And honestly, it will feel really good to step off the rat race of Johnson County. To step back, out of suburbia. Into smaller town. It’s a forced slow down and one I can’t wait for.

I’m excited for 2016. And all the curve balls it will surely bring. But I’m ready for change.

This soul was made for it.

  • J

At Every Stage and Every Hour

I recently read a devotional about using my God given gifts and talents to serve the community and church.

Truth be told, I’m not doing this at all.

I’m using them to raise two perfect little wild childs. But outside the home, not so much.

In this time of littles my mission field is simple: fellow mommas, more littles.

But Gods seemed to surround me with difficult mommas. All in various ways. Some pushy, some know it alls, some so needy it hurts, some apparently needing nothing, some too busy to return a text.

And I’m by no means innocent of all or any of these qualities. Being a momma is hard. At every stage and every hour.

I need to extend more grace and fill more gaps. Be a breathe of fresh air even when I’m feeling winded.

I’m not my own air supply after all. And while taking care of myself is important, it’s not as important as helping others, even if those others are other mommas.

It’s a weird season I’m in. In between houses, in between churches. In between friends if truth be told.

Yet my words for 2015 year were show love. It all comes back to love for me.

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from http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/the-most-amazing-up-close-snail-photos-youll-ever-see?sub=2061460_948623?sub=2061460_948574#.luqoGYKjw

I could write on. Have a few good one liners, but I’ll end here and pull out my stationary and write some letters instead; to some mommas who could use some fresh air.

Or at the very least a snail mail pick me up!

  • J

Just Breathe

I am feeling overwhelmed.

Lord, I know you are in control.  You see and manage all the variable if we let you.

It is when we try to take charge and make sense that tension builds, stress rises, and (sometimes unknowingly) we shut you out.

We absorb the space we should be giving You to do Your work in our lives. – instead filling with stress and worry.

I refuse.

d317f12ee48146f03e4d5f8edd19e125For every breath I take, I am consciously breathing in your grace and power as I exhale stress, worry, and my own sad attempts for control.

Breathe in Your power.  Breathe out clutches for control.

I relinquish it all…

…to You

…my Protector

…my Father

…my Savior

I relinquish control to the One who knows and loves me best.

  • S

 

Here and Now of Life

It’s time to start again, a life intentionally based on thanksgiving, thanks-living.

 

2 ½ years ago I started keeping track, physically numbering my thanks, listing His graces numerically and forgetting oh so many.

 

2015 felt long. I’m excited for this new year. I’m done looking ahead though. This right here, this now, this is life, and it’s where I live.

 

And it’s hard and messy and I’m trying desperately to obey my God. To be willing and open to anything. And I’ve never been here before. This open, this devoted, this yearning.

 

tongue tamingBut it starts with the heart, it starts with relationships, I’m finding most things God directed start with relationships. And so it starts with my tone.

 

So I’m re-reading 1000 Gifts (Ann Voskamp). I’m reorienting my heart alongside my head.

 

Redirecting my focus and repeating my prayer, “Let my tone reflect my heart, not my circumstances”

 

Keeping my mantra of perspective in mind.

 

I need all the help I can get. The tongue is not my master and yet all too often I let it rule.

  • J

Annoyingly Humbling

Honestly, I’ve been flipping between annoyed and not annoyed with Nameless.  This person doesn’t know Christ  and there is a real opportunity to share and show God’s love in a daily way.

 

But then something happens or is said and I find myself annoyed and putting distance (or at least wishing for more distance) between us.  

 

But, then, I read this from my devotion (from My Utmost for His Highest”…

The Lord’s next point is—“Pour yourself out. Don’t testify about how much you love Me and don’t talk about the wonderful revelation you have had, just ‘Feed My sheep.’” Jesus has some extraordinarily peculiar sheep: some that are unkempt and dirty, some that are awkward or pushy, and some that have gone astray! But it is impossible to exhaust God’s love, and it is impossible to exhaust my love if it flows from the Spirit of God within me. The love of God pays no attention to my prejudices caused by my natural individuality. If I love my Lord, I have no business being guided by natural emotions—I have to feed His sheep. We will not be delivered or released from His commission to us. Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by following your own natural human emotions, sympathies, or understandings.

Well that kind of hit me between the eyes and in the gut at the same time.

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by Christian Schloe

Sometimes, these people are put in my life for me to see how my eyes are blinded by the wings of my own selfish, very human shortcomings.

Sometimes, the people that push away or are hardest for me in my own “emotions, sympathies, and understanding” are the very people God is calling me to feed…
one [sometimes annoying and humbling and annoyingly humbling] day at a time.

-S