Friday, October 31, 2008

Do I Have Faith?

Do I have faith? Yes, I have faith. The last two and one-half years have been enough to prove that to me. When we left the church we had served in for almost nine years, the circumstances proved to me that God really is in control of me and my life. I learned that my choices are important and that listening to advice from others is OK, but listening to direction from God is the best. The financial struggles since then have taught me to trust Him even more. In March we began to seriously pursue a pastoral position for Brian. In April, I was praying and telling God that if He wanted us to move away, live in a little house, have a small income, etc. that I would be okay with it. God's response was to tell me that if that was all I asked for, that was all I would get. In my effort to be willing, I was expecting the least and putting God in a box. I was telling Him that I didn't trust Him to give me good gifts. There is a verse, "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who trust in Him!" Psalm 34:8. I love this verse. I first experienced it when we found our second house. It was almost twice as big and well within the budget we had set for ourselves. It was far beyond what I had expected or even allowed myself to dream. I took His response in April to mean that I needed to trust Him to exceed my expectations and to give Him the freedom to bless me.

I was given another trial of my faith in August when my nephew died. I was faced with the choice to either absolutely believe everything in God's Word or I could believe nothing. (Including the verses that speak of God knowing every day of a life even before birth.) Through the grace of God, I made the decision to believe Him. I am enjoying a Bible study through my church titled "Becoming a Woman of Faith". There is a woman in our group who suffered the suicide of her barely adult son two years ago. She is still having trouble understanding why God has allowed this to happen when she prayed and prayed that He help her son. I had the opportunity to use what God has shown me in my grief to hopefully help her a little with hers.

I don't know all of the reasons God has for the trials and tests we face, but I know that without them, my faith would never be strengthened. I am not going to say that I am adjusted to life without Jacob. However, I am certain that because God has been growing my faith, I can be comforted by Him. I can trust Him to be in absolute, loving control.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shopping is Evil

I swear, when I am just out window shopping I can find all sorts of clothes in the colors I want, but when I actually need a certain item of clothing in a certain color, it's nowhere to be found. I need a nice dark green or navy blue shirt to match the Christmas dresses I bought for my girls. It's as if the clothing industry knew what I was going to want and sent out a memo - No dark blue or dark green until after Christmas! Anyway, I know this isn't all that important, but it's nice to vent.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Getting Old

I have started to feel old. I have aches and pains that I don't remember earning. Or maybe it's my memory starting to fail. A few weeks ago, we were at Mazzio's with all of the family for lunch and I was trying to ask my niece to go get me a plate. The problem was that I couldn't remember the word, "plate". So I find myself describing it to her, "it's round, you put food on it". She looked at me like I had completely lost my mind and then she (and the rest of the table) burst out laughing. I catch myself remembering "the good, old days". You know, the ones before bills and children. I see new lines on my face. I keep telling myself that it adds character and interest (yeah, right).

Right after I married Brian, there were those who were surprised by my young age in light of Brian's ministry position. I reassured myself then with the comment that I am just the age that God intended me to be. I have to remind myself of that more often lately. I was talking with my friend tonight and wished her a happy birthday. She told me that she was pretty depressed yesterday because she was starting to feel old. She said that she almost emailed me because she knew I would understand. Good thing we're good friends or I might have been offended ;).

Oh well, I guess there are worse things than getting old.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The One About Biblical Clarification

I have been reading Wade Burleson's blog recently ( and I must confess that I waver between disbelief and anger as I read the information he provides. For those who are unaware, Wade is the pastor of a church in Enid, OK and is very concerned about the way some in authority are interpreting the Bible to fit their own comfort levels, whether or not it is accurate. One of the more recent causes he has been supporting is that of Dr. Sheri Klouda who was fired from teaching at a Southern Baptist seminary simply because she was a woman who taught Hebrew and that "placed her in authority over a man". There are those who are choosing to interpret the Bible to say that women are only to be mothers and grandmothers. It makes me want to scream when people choose to take a few verses out of context and use them to push their agenda. There are scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that give examples of women in authority over men. Most memorably is the judge, Deborah, (she's my favorite). There is also Priscilla who, along with her husband, instructed a man - who was preaching - in the ways of Christ and His teachings. I am by no means a feminist, but my Bible tells me that we are all the same in Christ. Wade's views on the subject and his ability to point out the Biblical discrepancies of others - along with Biblical truths, has been educational and helps me see the big picture. I thought it might be helpful to others as well. Reading his blog keeps me up-to-date not only with things going on in the SBC, but with Christianity in general. I don't always understand absolutely everything (Mr. I have a Seminary Degree - A.K.A. my hubby , Brian, knows all the big words and can usually explain it to me), but I get most of it. If you are interested in this subject, check out his website -

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

God is Good!

The test results for my grandma are back and there is NO CANCER!!! They were able to identify the problem and should be able to correct it with medication or a minor procedure. God is so good to us.

Brian met with the search committee of a local church last night and feels that it went really well. They want to call a pastor by Thanksgiving, so if nothing else, we will know something soon. This is the church where Brian believes God wants us to be. We just want to make sure that we are in God's will during all of this. I personally think it would be just like God to bless the socks off of us by allowing us to remain local. Last spring, I was praying and asking God to go before us regarding our future church. I was hoping to stay local, but preparing myself for the worst. As I was praying, God told me that I was limiting Him. He basically told me that if all I asked for was a church where we could scrape by, He would provide it. But, if I asked Him for what I truly desired, just hang on and see what He will do! So, I am hanging on and figure that God is big enough to provide for us in ways that I can't even imagine.

I was driving home from PE this morning and a song from several years ago (and many trips to Falls Creek) kept running through my head. Unfortunately, I could only remember one phrase - "God is good, all the time, He put a song of praise in this heart of mine". God has been good to us, even in our grief. He is giving us our hope for the future. He has brought a baby safely into our extended family. He is providing for our financial needs. He continues to comfort us. He is so good.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Home Sweet Home/Prayer Requests

We're home! I am so glad to be back. We have taken a family trip to Branson for the last three years. This year's trip was harder than any of us expected. We are coming off of three deaths and Patrick is on a business trip to Boston so there were two people missing this year. My grandma had a CAT scan yesterday where they are looking for liver cancer so my mom was on edge. However, we couldn't have asked for the weather to be prettier or more comfortable. The kids seemed to have a great time. And, last but definitely not least, we are safe.

Prayer Needs:
I am starting my yearly bout with depression early this year. It doesn't usually hit me until sometime in November, but I've been fighting it for the last few weeks already. I'm sure it's due to the lack of a church to serve in and to the loss of Jacob. I miss him terribly. I try not to dwell on it, but memories will pop up and it's all I can do not to cry out loud. I was looking through my pictures for backgrounds and came across pictures I forgot I had taken. One day when Jacob was at my house, he got "stuck" in my bed. The look on his face was priceless. I try to remember the happy things, but right now all of my memories have a bitter-sweet taste.

It is possible that my grandma has liver cancer. My mother lost her father on the same day that we lost Jacob. It would be really hard if we lost Grandma this year, too. I know that God will not send us anymore than we can stand and I'm truly glad that we can lean on Him. I keep holding to the promises He gives and asking Him to show me their fruition.

Brian was contacted by a local church and will be going to talk to them on Tuesday. So that is a bit of encouraging news. I really need something tangible to look forward to right now.