Good gifts

(I started writing this a couple weeks ago and then added some final thoughts today.  So the Sunday mentioned was actually several Sundays ago…)

Sunday was one of those beautiful life days.

Nothing spectacular happened, but it was a day filled with many small, simple moments that make me love my life so.  We went to church in the morning, where Aaron led worship (he’s not the main worship leader, but filled in at the last minute).  Came home and had a quick lunch before putting the kids down for naps.  Aaron slept some while I read.  The early evening was spent with the kids.  And then my sweet husband topped off the day with my Valentine’s present.

Like I mentioned, nothing huge happened.  But several times throughout the day, my heart would be filled to bursting at the joy in the little things.  Cedar dancing to Josh Garrels.  Listening to Aaron and Cedar reading “Where’s Goldbug?” (i.e. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go) while I nursed Genoa down for her nap.  How much Cedar and Genoa enjoyed their smoothies at supper.

Sometimes I wonder why I have it so good.  Why do I have such an incredible husband when so many of my friends want to be married and aren’t?  Why have I been blessed two sweet little ones when so many women lose children or aren’t even able to have them?  Why was I born into a country where I have enough food to feed my family, when so many women have to watch their loved ones starve?

I hear about women losing their children or their husbands.  Of others enduring great sorrow.  And I wonder when it will happen to me.  And I find that I can start to live in fear that something will happen.  That God will bring me sorrow to make up for the “perfect” life thus far.  But then I realize that isn’t God.  That isn’t His character.  He wants to give good gifts to His children.

 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” ~Matthew 7:9-11

We live in a fallen, sinful world.  And I don’t know why horrible things happen to so many people.  With hard questions like those I just have to trust my Father and know that He is good.  And when hard and horrible things come to me, to rest in Him, trusting in that goodness and His grace to uphold me.  And when beautiful and good things come to me, to accept them with a heart full of thanksgiving knowing that this too is grace.  All is grace.  My sweet husband, my precious children, every moment of this life I love.  They’re all gifts.  And for them I give thanks to my Father.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” ~James 1:17

Grit

We were away with limited internet for a good part of last week, so I missed the last Five Minute Friday.  And this one stumped me for awhile and then I realized how it related to something that my husband and I continue to learn more and more.

Five Minute Friday: Grit

GO

I’ve worn contacts for over twelve years and I’m still amazed at how much damage a small piece of grit can do.  Some tiny piece of something comes out of nowhere, somehow gets under my contact and lodges there, trapped.   I usually can’t even see it, but I can definitely feel it.  Scratching away at my eye, causing so much discomfort.  And it will only get worse until I take the time to take out my contact and rinse it away.

And I’ve found it’s the same way in marriage.

I find it interesting that having good communication in a marriage has almost become cliche.  When people ask me for marriage advice and I mention how important good communication is, I almost  feel like I should come up with something more creative.  But this is one case where it’s cliche because it’s so true. Communication in a marriage is so very important.

At my bridal showers, we played a game where everyone there wrote some advice to me on pieces of paper and I read them off and everyone had to guess who wrote it.  And one dear friend, who had only been married for just over a year, gave some of the best advice.  To make sure to be open and communicate with your husband about everything.  Making sure that nothing gets swept under the rug and festers there.

Because the tiniest piece of grit, left unattended, can cause so much damage.

STOP

 

Trust

Five Minute Friday: Trust

GO

I’ve come to the conclusion that learning to trust my Father is something I’m going to keep learning until the day I finally go Home.  Because it’s a daily lesson.  One where the subject and application will change as the years move on, but it’s still always there.

Back before I married my love, I struggled so much with trusting the Lord with His timing and plan.  Why wasn’t I married yet, when all I wanted to be was a wife and mama?   And despite what others say, God doesn’t always bring your husband the day after you finally decide to lay it all on the altar and trust Him completely with your singleness.  For me, it was something I would trust Him with for awhile, and then take it back, often without knowing.  And it wasn’t something I had down and mastered when the Lord brought my husband and I together.  Which is why it’s so obvious to me that Aaron is such a gift.

And I’ve found that being married has stretched me even further in learning to trust my Father.  Now, my heart and life is intertwined so completely with this other person…so what if something happens to him?  And the Lord gave us our babies…so my heart is linked with two more.  And if they’re ever taken away, I know a part of me will go too and I’ll be laid bare and vulnerable.  Oh, to love is indeed to be vulnerable.  And the knowledge of the possibility of such hurt can cripple you.  Which is why I’ve found it’s even more important to daily, every moment, trust my Father.

For He holds us all in His hands.

STOP (written in a bit longer than five minutes…I had to get it all out!)

 

Real

Five Minute Friday: Real

GO

Real.  One of those words that I like to talk about a lot, but one that has many layers and meanings.

I want to always be real with people, but what does that mean?  I want to be honest, sometimes even brutally so.  I don’t want to be polite just for the sake of being polite.  When you ask me how I’m doing, I want to tell you truth.  Not just the ambiguous “fine”.

Fake is the opposite of real and that’s something I never want to be.  I want to be open.  Genuine.  I want that realness about my life and my struggles to show you that I’m not perfect, but there’s grace.  There’s grace for me in my real messiness and grace for you in yours.  And together we’ll push each other toward Jesus.

For He is more than real.

STOP