Monday, April 28, 2008

Thoughts @ 3am

Hello everyone,

This is Rick with my first ever blog. As I sit here at work I have plenty of time to think about different things. Most of the time I think about areas of my life I need to change or I think about sports (for those of you that know me; you know I think about sports a lot!). There have just been a lot of things lately telling me that I need to refocus. Wither the Sunday school class that I am in, or the very good sermon that I heard tonight, or maybe even the conversation that Lisa and I had the other day (see sweetie I really do listen to you!). These things made me stop and think why I do the things that I do. When I help around the house do I do them because I am so filled with God’s love that I am just over flowing with blessing to give them? Or when I accept an invitation to be on a team and put another meeting in our family’s extremely busy schedule am I doing this because I think that this is where God wants me? Or am I doings these things to be accepted? As I look over most of the decisions that I make throughout my day and week I believe that I make a lot of my decisions based on my fear of failure and need for acceptance. Is it that I am just trying to stay so busy that I do not think about this fear, or so I do not have to have a deep relationship with most of the people that I come into contact with? Or is it that I am just looking to be accepted? I am not really sure.

I really do know that God loves me. So my fear of failure is childish in a sense. However, it is scary to open yourself up to those deep relationships because you have to put your masks away. When you are truly open and let people see you for you they see the cracks and flaws in you. The scariest part to me is that I feel that if people really knew me that they would laugh and run away. But then I think that since God loves me and my family loves me how different can I be from everyone else? I just keep hearing this little voice saying, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” (And the voices of my two oldest saying "Daddys home!!!", and my youngest blowing raspberries. How much more love and acceptance can you get than that?)

Now that I am 30, I look at my relationships and I do long for that deepness. But when you have been wearing your mask for so long it becomes really hard to take off. It reminds me of a couple of things that I have learned from Veggie Tales as well as a book my daughter has (hey, I have kids this is what we watch and read). The VT movie is a “Snoodles Tale” and the book is the Green nose book (I am not really sure what the title of the green nose book is but that is what I call it!). In both the book and the movie the main characters have to learn to get their self worth from God and not from others. I guess that if I can learn this then the deep relationships with God, my family, and my friends will be a whole lot easier to achieve.

I have thought a lot about this blog and what I should write. Sorry it is so depressing (see here I go again). I really do have a very positive self image which is the only reason that I will post this instead of just logging off without posting. Not really sure that posting at 3am is the best thing to do after reading over what I just wrote. Not sure when I will post again, but I do hope to be more cheery next time. Hopefully next time I can tell you about me new found deepness! I am open to suggestions if anyone knows how to get there!

Again, thank you for reading my thoughts very early in the morning. Now before I go get some more coffee (and yes I was one of those people that told everyone that I would never drink coffee and now drink it at least two days a week) for those of you that know me you know that I will have to end my post like this:
GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!! (See I told you I thought about sports as well)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

In The Waiting (Part 2)

Finally getting another chance to write more. Betcha didn't know that In the Waiting meant you would have to wait a really long time for me to finish my story. So sorry-having three kids will do that to you.

First I want to share some Scripture verses that have been especially meaningful to me during this time through which we have been going.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him; and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3.5-6
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46.10
Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4.6-7
When I was in college I was part of a traveling choir. We met weekly for a Bible Study and at one point we were studying the fruits of the Spirit. The Bible Study leader, in her wisdom, asked me to lead the study on "peace". She must have known me pretty well because she probably understood that I needed to be studying that topic more than anyone. I am not a peaceful person. I am prone to worry and anxiety. I have lived most of my life trying to please other people and often trying to please myself. So, needless to say, when I found out my husband had lost his job my immediate thoughts were not ones of tranquility and rest and peace. Well, to be honest, I WAS FREAKING OUT!!!!!. I was scared out of my mind. I really don't know why. God has never failed me before. That is one tough lesson to learn. Especially for someone who has lived her entire life totally focused on herself. I shared in my previous post that my first response (aside from the crying) was to call my friend Melissa. Melissa is a great friend whom I dearly love. BUT, she is not God. It took me a long time to learn that God wanted me to cry out to Him.
Rick received one month's severance and we used that month to send out resumes. That very night he lost his job, I stayed up into the wee hours working on his resume, trying to make it perfect. But, the phone never rang. I could not understand it. Here was a man with tons of experience, a college degree, and one heck of a resume (I'll wait for your applause-what a great wife I am). I spent hour after hour on the computer looking for a job. All the while my husband was right in front of me. Finally, he got a job. He started working there about 6 weeks after he lost his previous job and it was about two months until he got paid. Who knew we could live on what he got paid for two months instead of one? It was pretty much the worst job available for him. He was making less than half what he had made before, he was working long hours again, and answering to a boss who was several years younger than him. Rick had forgotten more about the business than his boss ever knew. It was such a humbling thing. That's how he chose to look at it. I, on the other hand, chose to gripe and complain about how awful things were.
In the Waiting...
I became even more desperate. People gave us money and gift cards, and instead of being thankful, I was totally embarrassed. Instead of recognizing this as God's way of fulfilling His promise to always provide for our needs, I was angry with Him for allowing us to go through such a circumstance. Are you tired of my whining yet? I bet God was. In fact I know He was because we sent out over 300 resumes and received no other phone calls. Week after week I sent resumes to the "perfect" job, just knowing that we were going to get that phone call. But all we got was silence. I couldn't understand it. I was desperate.
Desperate for financial comfort. Our needs were being met so I wasn't desperate for food and clothing and shelter. I was desperate for the comfort of knowing I could go out and shop whenever I wanted. I was desperate for status-the status of saying "my husband works here". I was desperate for more. More than what I had, for what I thought I deserved. I was entitled, after all. Look how hard I worked. Desperate for recognition and the ability to "keep up with the Jones'" Where was my Lexus???
Yeah, you could say I was desperate for the wrong things.
Well, I finally got so desperate for the wrong things that I decided to talk to God (tada! what a novel idea!). Now that was one hard conversation, and I wasn't the one doing the talking. I felt like God was saying to me, "FINALLY!!! I have been here the whole time. Where have you been?" You see, the whole time I was whining to God and asking Him where He was. He was right there telling me to WAIT. Well, I don't like to wait. Just ask my kids. But yet there it was, WAIT. God should we sell our house? WAIT. God, should we move away? WAIT. God should I go back to work? WAIT. The really tough one, when we finally did get that call-God, should we move to Florida? WAIT. But I don't wanna (can you hear it, WAH WAH WAH)! WAIT!
"Be still and know that I am God." Many people know that part of the verse, but not the second half. "I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Wow! That is worth waiting for. Well, can you guess how long it took for me to learn to WAIT? Wait is basically the same thing as saying no right? I mean, God sure wasn't doing things the way I wanted them done (thank you Lord). One year. One year, my family suffered because of my stubbornness. One year, my husband had a wife who was dissatisfied with his job (by the way, for those of you who don't know, in man speak, that means I am dissatisfied with you). One year, I wallowed in self-pity and desperation. Oh God, how stupid I was! Please forgive me Lord.
But I am here, we are here, to tell you that God is exalted. He is STILL on the throne. He STILL reigns. He did a new work in my heart and in our lives. Oh it hurt. And I can honestly say I never want to have to go through it again. He broke me and humbled me and I am still broken and humbled. And you know what? That means I am right where He wants me. I hope I never move from there. Almost a year to the day after Rick lost his job the phone started ringing again. And it rang and rang and rang. Within the span of a week he had multiple phone interviews, multiple companies calling to set up personal interviews and several job offers.
Well, we're still here. Having waited. We still have our house. My kids still have their mom. All the horrendous things I was sure were going to happen have not happened. Rick has a great job with great benefits which allow him to be home more often. He still works two jobs and weekends and makes less than he once did. And yes we would prefer it otherwise. But we are waiting. And we are thanking God every day for how He provides. He is exalted among the nations and He is exalted in our home. Right now we have less than $10 in our bank account. But tonight for dinner we had salmon and rice and baked potatoes. And plenty left over. We are certainly not desperate to have our needs met. No, instead, we are desperate for Him. We are desperate for His presence in our home and in our relationships. We are desperate to be used by Him. And in the meantime, we are content to be desperate and we are content to wait. There is no place else we would rather be.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalms 27.14

Saturday, April 12, 2008

In The Waiting... (Part 1)

Well, this is all so new to me. I have had such a hard time trying to figure out what to write about. For those of you who know me (Lisa-hopefully, I will get my hubby to post on here once in a while) very well (or even just a little bit), you know that my mind is always on, going a mile a minute (which is why I am up at 1 am writing this). All at once I can have ten thoughts run through my head of cool things I would like to post on here. Of course, my follow-through stinks (if you know me you probably know that too!) and I never write any of this brilliant stuff down. But here I am, following through on my promise to keep this blog going. Even if I am the only one reading it. Writing is cathartic to me. I have always loved journaling and writing so I guess this is as much for me as anyone.

Yes, I did have a point to this post. As I have been contemplating this week about what I wanted to write about, this phrase, "in the waiting", kept popping up in my head. In The Waiting is actually the title of an album by a friend of mine, Tricia Brust. For some reason it keeps coming back to me.

God has had our family on quite the journey for many months and the one lesson I can say that I have learned is "wait". Ha ha-I can hear you snickering-again, the ones who know me. Okay, I will admit, I am not the most patient person in the world. A trait I inherited honestly from my beloved grandfather (I am sure you will hear more about him in later posts). You know how they say you should never pray for patience? The reason is because God might just give you something that will require it! (AND THEN I HAD KIDS!!!) Well, boy did He ever! Keep reading if you want hear our story.

On August 14, 2006 I was trying to get ahold of my husband at work. I tried several times to call him, unsuccessfully. Finally, he picked up his phone and I found out why he had not answered before. He was in the middle of being let go at his job. Oh my goodness! Talk about having the wind knocked out of you! All at once I felt sick to my stomach, started crying hysterically and picked up the phone to call my dear friend Melissa. I had no idea what was going to happen to us. The first two thoughts that ran through my head were, "we are going to lose our house" and "I'm going to have to go back to work", which has always been one of my greatest fears. It was like a nightmare and I really could not believe it was happening. For the first time in 6 years of marriage, Rick finally had a job that was paying half way decently and he didn't have to work weekends. It was the first time since we had been together that he had not had to work two jobs. I mean, we were in heaven, the kids were loving having Daddy home, life was great. Then all at once, our feet were knocked out from under us. With no other source of income and only one month's severance, to say I was desperate is an understatement. Unfortunately, I was desperate for the wrong things. Incidentally, my husband's first comment to me after he told me what had happened was "I am such a failure."

Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Welcome to our Blog!

Hello all! We decided to create this blog as a way to stay connected to our family and friends who are all over the place. Here is our most recent family photo with our most recent addition (affectionately referred to as "Brady Bob"-aka Brady Robert). We will try to keep this updated on a weekly basis. Feel free to post your comments. We would love to hear from you. I guess we have officially moved into the 21st century when it comes to keeping in touch. Who would have thought?