Monday, February 25, 2013

Faith and Patience - A lesson in perseverance

I thought God had taught me all I needed to know about Faith and Patience. Boy was I wrong. I had it all planned out. My husband had two semesters left of seminary, and then I was free to come back home have more babies and go back to being a mom and wife.

We became pregnant right on track with my plan. I would have a November baby get my maternity leave, he would graduate and then he would get a wonderful job and we would move out of our tiny seminary apartment by the end of January at the latest. I even got the girl I had been longing for.

Autumn Rose came on my birthday, couldn't have asked for a better birthday present, Aaron graduated on December 14 with over a 3.8 GPA (yes my husband is the smartest man I know). Christmas came and went and still no job, not even a good nibble.

God provided, He always does. New Years came and went, we enjoyed extra time at my parents because I was staying home and he was just working UPS. Wonderful holiday season of relaxation, no juggling two work schedules.

Then came the worst day of my life, I get the call every daddy's little girl dreads. My dad, who I had just seen in great health two weeks earlier was dead. I was crushed, numb, confused, angry and a lot of other emotions that come with heartbreak and loss.

I could see God's timing in Aaron not having a job yet. I got to spend a week with my mom and sister. My dad's twin sister who had been battling brain cancer for over a year, passed away five days after my dad. I got to go and see her before she passed and Autumn Rose and I were there when she passed away.

God comforted me, He surrounded me with loving family, friends, church, and gave me a peace about everything that was happening. Then I came home, and the waiting game continues. I still have wonderful friends and family who are always there for me, and I want to be there for them as well.

In limbo, is how I describe this stage in my life. I feel like I can't plan anything. I am living day to day waiting to hear if Aaron will get a job and we will be moving soon. I don't want to commit to anything because I don't like canceling plans or letting people down. So I sit... waiting... and waiting...

This is where I am at right now. Being taught patience and faith. Learning to rest in God's comfort and timing. Knowing that He has a great job out there for my husband and that in His time He will make everything known and start the ball rolling. I sit at His feet waiting and struggle with the temptation to jump ahead and seek my own council or that of others.

God provides, He is providing. With Aaron's part time job and freelance work we are surviving and thriving. It is amazing to see how He supplies all our needs, even though we yearn for the next steps in our journey, He has us here for a reason.

"For I know the plans I have for you” this is the Lord’s declaration “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you” Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Not My Will But Thine (as long as it is what I want)

This seems to be the prayer of many Christians today. We enjoy throwing around the Christian card and saying that we want God's will to be done in our lives and society but what we really want is our will with God's blessing. I have been praying for over four years that God will send my family to the mission field, namely Ireland. It is what I want and desire so that must mean that God wants that for me too, right?

Wrong, we all have our wants and desires, but God's plan for us is so much better than our own. David wanted to build the temple in Jerusalem, but God in His wisdom, knew that David's son was the one that He wanted to build the temple. Jonah didn't want to go to Nenivah, but God's plan was for Him to speak to that city so that they may be saved.

We see in the Bible when there is conflict between God's way and man's way, God's way prevails. Yes, there are times when people mess up, Abraham and Sarah are a prime example. Instead of waiting on God's timing they jump ahead and the negative result continues today. We too tend to jump ahead of God. We want things when we want them and do not want to wait.

We live in a now culture. If I want something I go and get it. I can't afford it, I charge it and pay for it later. If I can't find it in my hometown I go online where I can find anything and order it, next day delivery. With the now culture, it is not just worldly items that we want now. We want a new job, a better relationship, smarter children, and a closer group of friends. We want them now and we will do whatever it takes to push that through. Despite the costs to those relationships or others.

Sometimes God wants us to slow down and really think about what He wants for us. Do we really need play dates for our 3 month old three times a week? Does our two year old need to be enrolled in soccer, dance, karate and preschool? Do I really need to meet the girls every week for a shopping trip and lunch? Do I need to spend every lunch break at work searching the internet for a new and better job?

With all the technology that we have today we are always busy, always on the go, have our lives planned out to the minute detail. When do we take a breath and wait on the Lord? When do we take a step back and listen to what He would have us to do?

As moms, wives, friends, sisters, and daughters we need to make sure that we are taking time out to listen to God and to wait for His direction. Do we really need 3 dozen friends and four playgroups? Are we really spending quality time with our children? Putting down the technology and listening to what they want and need from us? Are we waiting for God to tell us where He would have us go?

Or are we jumping ahead and saying if God doesn't close the door it must be okay? Take time this week to reevaluate your relationships, time and faith and see if you are in God's will or just moving forward aimlessly because you feel like you need to fill all your time with stuff. It isn't just material things that can get in between us and our relationship with God and others. Sometimes it is our need to fill our time with non-essentials and not with the only essential, God.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Curse of Eve


This past Fall, I was fortunate and blessed to take the Theology of Women class at SEBTS in the Baptist Women's Institute under Christina Middleton. I went into the class thinking, "Okay, I am a Christian I know all about submitting to my husband and loving him, blah blah blah." I read Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley and loved the book, I agreed with everything in it and I thought, "This is going to be a breeze." 
However, after I began to read Equal Yet Different: A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender by Alexander Strauch, I was incensed. I literally had to put the book down and stop reading, I would get so angry at what he wrote. But after hearing Middleton explain in class the same passage Strauch would go over, the Lord opened my eyes. 
I learned through the study of God's Word, Strauch, and Middleton (thank you) that women are created in God's image equally with men, yet created for a unique and beautiful purpose designed by God for women.
From the beginning in Genesis 2 we see that God created woman as a helper for man. God established Adam as the head of all creation, including Eve. Genesis 2 reveals the beautiful picture of God bringing Eve to Adam and presenting Adam with his perfect match and helper. This is something I stress to teenage girls and single women. God has a perfect match for you, just wait for God to bring him to you or you to him.
Unfortunately, Eve with the help of the Deceiver, sins by not only disobeying God's directive to not eat of the tree, but also by trying to usurp Adam's role as head and leader of mankind and creation. In the curse of Eve, God tells her that she will "desire her husband." This is not the physical desire that I always perceived. This "desire" is the woman's urge to take the lead in the husband/wife relationship. God is telling Eve, and the rest of mankind to follow, that women will try to rule over her husband and household.
The curse given to Eve and all her female descendants has been groaned over for centuries. I always thought the worse part was the pain in childbirth, but after having two children and gone through almost ten years of marriage, now that I know what the "desire her husband" part of the curse really means, I can honestly say that is the most difficult part.
It is a constant battle to allow my husband to take the lead, to trust him enough to get everything done and to make the right decisions for our family. It is a daily struggle, but I am working on it with Christ's help. Now that I understand this desire to make the decisions and wear the pants in the family is a sin, and one that I share with all womankind, it is easier for me to recognize when I am trying to take the reigns and for me to let go and let my sweetheart lead.
We see throughout scriptures women continually trying to take the lead in a relationship with their husbands/sons and trying to lead them from God's plan. A few chapters later we see Sarah imploring Abram to take Hagar so that he could bare Sarah children through her servant, trying her idea of completing God's plan, instead of waiting on God and her husband. Lot's daughters, Rebekah, Miriam, and many others in the Old Testament manipulate their husbands/heads so that their needs and wants are met or their ideas are pushed forward.
In the New Testament we see the fulfillment of God's plan in Jesus Christ, who comes to bring Salvation to all mankind. We see Him defend women, widows and children. He helps to take undue burdens from women's shoulders. Jesus' sacrifice is the culmination of Genesis 3:15 “And He will crush your head and you will bruise His heal.” Christ came for all mankind.
Paul continues Christ work through his missionary journeys, taking the Gospel to all the known world. In many of Paul's letters, including Timothy, Ephesians, and Galatians, he issues warnings to female believers so that they can stand out to the world they live in as pure and holy, as the church was to be pure and holy before Christ. Paul states in several letters that women are to be taught the Word and are to be workers in the church. In Titus, Paul outlines traits and characteristics that Christian women should have so that they can teach others to love their families so that the Message would not suffer. 
This correlates with Proverbs 31, where we see a verbal portrait of the godly woman, wife and mother. The character traits listed are still viable today, because the focus is her inner beauty as pointed out by the theme of Proverbs stated in 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and reiterated in 31:30 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord, shall be praised.”
As women of Christ, we need to resist the sinful tendency to rule over our husbands. This is a major factor in many marital problems today. On TV, in movies and in society we see women as the head of the house, making the important decisions about finances. Sadly, in the Church, we see the same wrong model of women leading the families spiritually. This is wrong. Women are not to be the heads of the family or the church, we are to be nurturers and helpers.
If we are constantly berating them for making the wrong decision, not making a decision or just taking over and doing it ourselves, we are not only displeasing God, we are discouraging our husbands and causing strife in our marriages. We need to stand aside and allow our husbands to be the God appointed leaders in our families and churches.
If we follow the biblical model of marriage, women are set free by Christ to serve God, the church, our husbands, families and communities so that the Kingdom can be expanded and the Great Commission carried out. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Year, A New Goal.. Down with the resolutions

I refuse to make a New Years Resolution. I never stick to them and then I get all bummed when I fail to live up to my unrealistic expectations. At the end of January 2010, after once again not living up to my "New Year's Resolution", I had one of those "Ah Ha!" moments. After living my whole life, especially pre-teen to present time trying one fad diet after the next, I was going to stop the diets and start a lifestyle change. I cut the carbs, literally. It was a year of discovery for me. I don't think I will ever forget 2010. It was the beginning of the end of dieting and off and on exercising. The end of excuses, the end of pity parties and gorging. I have NEVER been able to stick to a diet for longer than three months. But I have stuck to this lifestyle change for almost a year, a year!
So for 2011, I am setting goals for myself. No more resolutions. My goals will be simple, straight forward and realistic. I am never going to be a size 4 and 120lbs, not happening. So people who care and those who may not here are Pearls Goals of 2011:

1. Exercise at least 5 hours a week. There can be more, but not less a week.

2. Run a 5K. At least one, maybe more. Pray for me, b/c I am a chicken...

3. Go on an International Mission Trip. God has given me a heart for missions and a passion to see His message taken to those who have never heard, but once again I always make excuses. I pray God would calm my doubts and fears and give me the strength to take this step of faith. I am planning on going to Bolivia this summer with Aaron. We are praying that everything works out with work, finances and our two wonderful children.

4. Spend more time with my boys. I love them so much and they are growing so quickly. Wesley turns 9 this year, unbelievable.

5. Celebrate the best ten years of my life being married to the greatest man ever. September 1 marks Aaron and my ten year wedding anniversary. If I only knew then what I know now....


This is going to be a great year, even if I don't reach one of my goals, 2011 is going to be a year to celebrate life. Ten year wedding and college anniversary and I am in the best shape of my life. I am looking forward to days ahead and all God has in store for me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Long time no see

The title of this posts has many meanings. As I come upon my 31st birthday, my original goal, I am disappointed since the last time I posted I have only lost a couple of pounds. I have been working hard exercising and I am losing inches but the weight refuses to drop. I am at the end of my rope or treadmill.
I have officially dropped below 170lbs, I am now at 169lbs. But that is far from my goal of 145. I am asking you, those few who may come by here and read this, what can I do to lose those last 20lbs?
I exercise for 80 minutes every morning, eat healthy low-carb meals. My vices are diet sodas and an occational dessert. Life has to have some pleasures.
If you are reading this, give me your best advice, please for losing those last pounds and my problem area, belly fat. I officially don't know what to do.
Accomplishments since last posts, I am now in a a size 10 pants and medium tops, I haven't been this size since high school. I ran 2.75 miles yesterday on treadmill on the way to my goal of 3 miles.
I have learned many things over the past 10 months that I have been on my weight loss journey, I guess that your goals and your body's goals aren't always the same, but through everything, I want God to be glorified. I wouldn't have lost one pound without His strength, I couldn't have ran one step without Him. He is my fortress and my Rock, my Deliverer.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Monday Monday

I did not wake up this morning, or I should say, I did wake up but then went right back to sleep. I woke up at 6:21am and so exercise this morning was a no-go. It was a long day at work, and I spent my lunch hour grocery shopping. All I wanted to do was come home and eat supper and rest. But with encouragement from my spectacular husband, I headed down to the fitness center and spent 75 minutes. Once I was there, everything felt great. I got some reading done for my class coming up this fall, and I was listening to my exercise music. My I-Touch died, so I watched Sports Center. I most likely know more about what is going on in sports news than my husband. That is a first.
So I made it past this first day. It is going to be a long week....
P.S. for supper tonight we had fried chicken left-overs from lunch, plums, cucumber (from my "garden"), grapes and cheese. The boys also had crackers, a banana, and some grilled chicken left overs. I had a boiled egg along with mine.

Will the pattern continue?

This is the question I have been asking myself every minute the boys have been back in town. Tomorrow will be the pivotal day. Will I continue exercising? Last week I spent 530 minutes exercising, that is just under nine hours total. This week, I am not expecting those numbers, but I am aiming at around 5 hours. I am praying for cool weather so I can take the boys walking in the park. Pray for me this week as I try to fit fitness into my family life. I am sooo glad they are back.