Friday, April 29, 2011

Training or rather REtraining

"The medicine will retrain your brain to produce Serotonin.  In a few months you should be able to come off the medication and be who you were before." so said my Doctor.  I can't wrap my mind around this thought.  How does one retrain something without doing anything?  I know that I am technically doing something, I'm taking a pill every day, but really is that training?  How will my brain know to produce serotonin when the pill stops telling it to?  I guess that's one of the medical mysteries I'll just have to leave with the Doctor. 

But as I've been thinking about this I've been wondering, if the lack of a chemical can make me cry then can it also change the way I live my life?  Of course!...If it can change my life then will it change my habits?  Yep, sure can!...Hmmm, not quiet sure how to retrain myself or even what needs retraining in that mind of mine, but thankfully, my life--a puzzle to me, is the Lord's special project that will end in perfection. 

One thing I have decided to do is to remember.  Remember all of the good in my life.  If I can feel it or not.  I have a friend with a goal of writing out 1,000 blessings.  She found the idea in a book called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp.  The author started her list so she could see all the gifts God gives her each day.  I have decided to write my own list so that I can remember all the gifts I'm given.  I have what I call a "God sized miracle" journal.  I started it years ago when I lived in Hungary so that I could remember all the big things God has done in my life.  This list isn't like that it's to remember all the little things He gives to me each day.  So here's my start:

1.  First real smile in weeks-watching sleep over take a fighting little boy.
2.  A husband who holds me in prayer.
3.  Friends who see, and walk beside me.
4.  Doctors who understand my mystery.
5.  A Father who knows how to put my "puzzle" together perfectly.

Is this going to fix me?  Nope I don't think so, but it won't hurt anything.  It'll be fun and give me a way to process all that is going on around me.

And so the seasoning and tenderizing continues...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

He's going to love this one =)

Meet My Best Friend, Char!

You guessed it--he had no idea I was going to write about him.  It's been 6 hours since he left for his conference and I'm more then slightly missing my best friend!   But why shouldn't I?   He's more then just a best friend... 

He's the best Daddy I know.  Just take a look...

These are the moments I wish I could just freeze time and savor...

How many Daddy's would clip there noses just to get a laugh out of there littles?

...Now back to the topic of best friend, and him being mine.  It's been a good five years.  He's seen me at my worst and I've seen him there also.  Being at our best has been fun too!  It's the daily life I love the most.  Being able to count on him each day.  Him, the morning person, getting up with the boys so this bear can take her time getting out of bed.  Watching him make the boys laugh so hard they look like they'll burst!  Having passionate conversations about spiritual things.  Enjoying his homemade pizza.  Having to think about how to open the gas tank because I fill it maybe twice a year.  Giving baths together.  Tucking the boys in together.  Sitting with my head on his shoulder in church every week.  Staying up into the wee hours to make sure our relationship is good.  We make a fantastic team and are committed to loving each other all of our days and then some if possible. 

My motive

Here are a few reasons I write:

1.  I have these supper cutesy journals for each of the boys and I have filled maybe two pages if I'm lucky.  I know I'll do better typing then I would writing.  I want my boys to have memeories from when they were little.  And I can do so much more with this then paper.

2.  I love hearing other Mother's stories.  Not only do I learn from them but I am greatly encouraged by Moms who have gone before me.  Maybe by sharing my life publicly I'll encourage those coming behind me.

3.  Most often I write about what God is teaching me.  My friendship with Him is the MOST important thing in my life, more important then my husband and boys.  I would love for my boys to see how human I am.  Christianity is not a religion to me, but a relationship.  I put work into my friendship with Jesus, just like I do with Char, and the boys.  I want to stand out to my boys, flaws and all, it's how I'm made.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The wonders of family!

Excited happiness.

Wanting to be like Mommy.

Imaginations running wild as they read to themselves.

Curious exploration. 

Innocent pride. 

Literal obedience.  "Open your ears and listen."

 Brotherly hugs (usually ending in a tackle)

Daddy death matches.

Bedtime snuggles and prayers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beginning to end

I love the book of Genesis.  It's the foundation for everything to come.  It's not just history and good stories of God's love and provision.  It goes much deeper then that, it outlines the plan God has for mankind.  It shows our epic flaws and shows His unending love and grace.  I also enjoy looking at the Good Book as a whole it amazes me that God chose to use people from all over the world, Jerusalem to Babylon to Rome.  He used farmers and kings, men of great stature and women, those who trusted Him and those who didn't even acknowledge Him to bring about His plan.  Each book follows the same outline.  I love to read the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy and watch both be fulfilled generations later.  It all sings the same song, God is faithful, God has a plan, God is in control.

Praise the Lord that in 2011 it's just as true as it was 2000 years ago when Jesus and His disciples walked the Earth.  It's easy to read scripture and say, "We live in the end times.  Be strong and courageous."  It's easy to look back 100 years and say, "Life was so much simpler then.  You didn't have to fight to have a sacred marriage, or fight to be a family.  Each man worked for his own food..."  But it's easy to forget Solomon's words, "There is nothing new under the sun."  What was then is now.

I'm praising God that I live during this time period in history.  Not too long ago I found out that I was depressed.  During my last pregnancy I was on medication to prevent morning sickness, and as a side effect I fell into a deep depression.  It was the worst place I've ever been in my life.  I recently learned that once you've been depressed you become more prone to it.  Basically your brain can just reset it's self and in doing so it can stop producing enough serotonin resulting in depression.  It's nothing I can fix on my own. It has nothing to do with my life.  Life is good, and I can say I am blessed.  A week ago I would look at life see all the blessings and good happening around me and still feel like I was being carried away in the current of life fighting for all I was worth to keep my head above water and hoping that I didn't hit a rook on the way down stream.  I would constantly scold myself for feeling this way, I saw and knew all of the good things that were happening around me and yet little by little I was enjoying life less and less.  Charlie saw the similarities to my last pregnancy and a friend also noticed my symptoms.  Both suggested I see a doctor.  There is no heart problem, nothing is wrong in life, it is not a season that I just need to get through, it is simply a chemical imbalance.

Already after a short time of being on the medicine I find myself smiling because I want to, not because I should.  I see joy in the sleepy eyes of my son.  I see the pleasure of little fingers exploring my seedlings and dumping dirt all over my living room floor.  I'm beginning to see life in list and organization as I had before.  I'm starting to see life with all it's possibilities rather then being overwhelmed by the option of chicken or beef for supper. 

Praise the Lord for modern medicine and doctors.  Praise the Lord for a husband to notice and friends who care.  Praise the Lord for knowing what He was doing when He planned out my life and when in history I would live it.  Praise the Lord for being faithful from beginning to end.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His loving kindness is everlasting. 
~ Psalm118:1

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2 paths, 1 dream, and a heck of ride!

Nine years ago I had a dream, one that kept me up at night as I planned, prayed and longed to be living my life with people coming behind me.  I longed to simply live life, but live it to the fullest and invite people to come and be in my house, to rest and be filled with the love of Jesus.  6 years ago I did all I could to stay in my beautiful castle, in wonderful Hungary, with amazing friends, ALMOST living out my dream.  God is always good, and He knew better than me.  He knew I wouldn't be satisfied with almost.  While I was state side raising support (In reality I was losing all of my previous support and not gaining any new support), I met Charlie.  My mother had been trying to set me up with him every time I was home visiting.  Charlie had been working as a youth paster for a few years, was deeply involved with Bible quizzing, and had a passion for mentoring the young men that came into his ministry.  This time she won, I had no choice but to go along with her and spend a weekend working at one of his quiz retreats.   From there a friendship sprouted, and as we learned more about each other we quickly realized we had the same dream. 
A dream where we both longed for a haven where people could not only rest in Christ's love but can physically be refreshed. Where they can be real without masks, and still be mentored. To have a place they can learn the value of work and the true meaning of a family unit.  In our dream this haven was framed in beautiful Maine, with woods and trails to walk, bubbling brooks to sit and meditate beside...
Once it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to raise the support needed I went back "home" to Hungary.  I packed my bags, trained somebody to fill my role in the ministry and moved state side again.  Two weeks after I moved home I was asked to be Charlie's wife and 72 days later I began the best chapter of my life.
From there we had two sons.  We were also able to live out a small part of our dream.  In our little tiny house in down town Bangor we were able to have some who needed a home live with us.  We loved it and are pretty sure they did too. 
From my earlier post "Sweet Submission" you know we had a weekend to decide between two major roads that would take us in two very different directions.  I've found from my life experience and from Scripture that often times the best road is the one that makes the least amount of sense to me.  Three days ago I was able to say that I trusted my husband as he led me.  I'm completely confident in his love and care for me.  Today I am able to say that I think he made the best choice for our family. 

For this season of life as I enjoy the ride with my hubby, as I raise my two little boys, as I sit and rest with friends, as I mentor those behind me, as I'm loved by those ahead of me I am finding these verses helpful:
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;    
~ Psalm 37:3-7a

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sweet Submission

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever say something like "Sweet submission".  Any who know me, know that I'm not afraid to give my opinion even when I'm not asked for it.  I can be pushy when I'm passionate about a subject.  I'm not scared of being told that I'm wrong, and I have no problem fighting for something.  In general submissiveness is not something that comes to mind when people think of who I am.  Yet, I am able to find rest there.

For two in a half years we've been working towards a job as a customs agent.  Every step of the way we've not only seen God keep the door open for us, but watched Him open the door.  We have constantly been reminded of how weak we are and how great He is.  While all of this has been happening our hearts have become more and more driven to the understanding that we need to be deeper in the ministry.  This past Friday we were finally offered a job with Customs, but we'd have to leave our church and move almost three hours away.  We only had the weekend to decide what we would do.  Weekends for us are the busiest time in our week, so each night around nine o'clock we would begin our talking, planning, and searching together.  I knew from the time Customs called what Charlie would decide to do, but he didn't and CBC (Calvary Baptist Church) wasn't my preference.  However I firmly believe that Charlie is going to have to stand before God and give an account for how he led our family, and I will also stand before God and give an account for how I followed my husband.  Ephesians 5:22-24 has been in my mind a lot this past weekend:  "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior or the body.  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."  I can rest in God's Word and I can rest in the journey God has taken me on up to this point.  Many times He has called me to do what didn't make sense to me.  I know that my husband's love for Jesus is more then his love for me and I know he cares deeply for me and consistently tends to my needs.  He does a fantastic job of living out the next part of Ephesians 5 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.  he who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are the members of His body."  Because Charlie loves me in this way I am able to rest in my submission to him.

As I spent much of my weekend in prayer with the Lord, I asked God to give Charlie clarity, peace in his decision, and conviction.  I asked for myself that I would ask hard questions and have keen insights that would help him find his answer.  God is always good, and gave all of these things and more.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

I'm glad that we are able to use CBC as a place to put our roots and raise our family and learn to Love God.  As I always say, God is good!

Boy do I ever love this man!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some restful verses.

Glad I can rest in God's faithfulness.

Oh Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For you have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
                        Isaiah 25:1

You are My witnesses, “declares the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.  Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.”
                        Isaiah 43:10
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
                        Psalm 37:3-7a

More thoughts to come...