You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘trying to walk the walk’ category.

Suffice to say that my protected post was re: a completely hypothetical scenario wherein I would be offered a job that was once [possibly still may yet be] on a list under the header of  “Dream Jobs.”

That post was highly impulsive and very much me thinking, not even thinking per se – more like conjecturing –  out loud, given a recent turn of events.

I have NOT been offered a job.

The necessary events for me to be offered said hypothetical job have NOT yet even occurred, nor is it for sure that they would – but there is potential.

So you see, just me being wildly imaginative – and given this part of my post:

So – setting the stage…..

#1.) I shocked myself and everyone around me when I gave up put on hold my career aspirations to have a 3rd child and stay at home with him and be more present with my school-agers.  It’s not been easy, but since when is sacrificing one’s self for the well-being of others, namely their loved ones, an EASY thing?  I mean if it were so easy, we’d have more intact families, less greed, a kinder – more courteous society, etc, etc, right?  Anyway, again, it has been the kind of hard that makes me feel as if each day I’ve run a mental marathon, given my bend toward validation, ambition, and accomplishment.  Despite the inner turmoil of my constant shadow-boxing, there have been significant rewards.  I’m watching Kelsey and Colton not only grow, but THRIVE.  I get to see every little new thing (including Christopher’s first time at clapping a couple of weeks ago – so sweet!) that my baby is doing and not hear about it second hand.  Most of all, I feel as if Seth and I have really grown together as a couple.  I’ve felt God sending reinforcement to me every time I get weak and doubtful.  Because there are those times.  Especially when the money runs out – which it has done several times since we had a little monkey wrench thrown in for good measure with me getting gravely sick, sans insurance, last spring.  Time after time I sit and look at the bills and say, “We have more expenses than income – this is NOT working,” and then an unexpected bonus comes at Seth’s work (or a loan that we’ve taken out, or me selling my maternity clothes, or etc) and we struggle to claw ourselves back up to heads [barely] above water.  Right now that magic money that will catch us back up is our tax refund, so I vigilantly watch the mailbox for the last of the necessary tax documents to file our return.  Again, despite the stress of all this, Seth and I remain close and are somehow (seriously, it is a mystery to me!) ok with each other and not mad or resentful toward the other for our current financial state. God is really blessing us in this area!   But the checkbook looks bleak right now, to the point of me wondering about getting an overnight position somewhere to bring in some extra cash and yet not compromise the good thing we’ve got going at home.

Given that part, let’s just say that I was stressed about finances right before this glimmer of probability even entered my mind – thus putting me in a suggestive state of mind re: the whole return to work idea.

Here’s the thing – I don’t really want to.  There, I said it.  I, a former Ms. Ain’t No Man Gonna Keep ME Down Ain’t No Kids Gonna Keep Me From Being Successful brand of feminist, have (despite some struggle with that former mindset + financial hardship + some strong-willed children) actually grown to love this SAHM gig.  The duties are not so great sometimes, but the pay – seeing my kids THRIVE, having the energy and time to spend a whole day baking for a Girl Scout activity on a moment’s notice (a whole other post of its own merit), reaching a new level of spiritual and marital fulfillment, etc., etc. – yeah, the pay is phenomenal.

After I wrote that post and actually thought more I realized, Oh yeah, summer daycare x 3 = no M-F 9-5 job will pay enough! Duh.  And that’s just a starting point of why it wouldn’t actually work for me to go back to a day-job (FT or even PT).  For now, at least.  Not to mention the loss of all those other things I mentioned above (so many intangibles are wrapped up in the etc., etc., folks!) In a few years when Christopher is school-aged, it may make sense to reevaluate.

So…I spent a heck of a lot of time worrying about something that isn’t even yet a reality (typical of me), sucked some of you all into it with me, and it was all completely needless, lol.  I’m reminded of Matthew 6: 25-34 (Seriously I should tattoo this one on the back of my eyelids, I forget it all too easily), particularly verses 27 and 34 [emphases mine]:

27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?

….

34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So….that’s all on that for now.  I’m done borrowing tomorrow’s troubles – they are now returned to the worry library for other doubters to check out.

Advertisements

Twelve years ago tonight I said yes to Seth, to our lives together.

Sometimes, on nights like last Friday/Saturday, I get all frustrated and think, “This is not the life I envisioned then.”

And it’s not.

At all.

But that’s not such a bad thing, ya know?

I had no idea how full my heart could get when I’d hear my six-year old son singing to his baby brother a made up lullaby about how much he loved his sweet baby brother.

I had no idea that I could love harder, faster andso fiercely over time than I did at 18, but I can, and that is a beautiful thing.

I had no idea that to grow we often must break first, and that these broken pieces can be fashioned into a new you that makes a devastatingly beautiful mosaic.

I know now that my mosaic is still being patterned and fashioned…. I’m finding theat letting go is the greatest thing we can do for ourselves, especially when we remind ourselves that we have chosen to let it go, meaning things are not going to turn out as we may have hoped or previously planned for.

My resolution is to more consciously let go of the things that I want to have my own control over and hand them to my God.

Tonight is a family night, watching movies, eating a good dinner in, and getting up in the morning to snowshoe (which we’re hoping to make our NYD tradition now that we all have snowshoes!  Well…Christopher has a backpack to ride in).

Be Blessed.

Click here for our Christmas newsletter.

2009 was a wild and crazy year, best summed up by Kutless’ song “What Faith Can Do:”

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think its more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You do have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That’s what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

My illness threw us for a loop this spring, but faith in God’s promises have gotten us through, per the letter.

May you all be blessed with such faith, hope and love this Christmas and for 2010!

 

I believe that God speaks to us through many different media.

There are written words, both those breathed by the Holy Spirit in Scripture and those penned by people (who often will not know their impact) in tomes of literature, on display of a computer monitor or some other format.

Nature speaks to me, not audibly to my ears, but to my heart and soul which “hear” things my ears never could.

Music speaks to me in a way that integrates all the senses.

The analysis of a series of events often conveys messages to me – though some might call it superstition, I feel it is more of a discernment and intuition.

I could go on, but that would take me away from the point at which I’m trying to arrive.

I also believe that God, when He really wants our attention, will cause the same thing that speaks to us to lend itself to repeated surfacings.  In the past I’ll have read a certain passage in Scripture and then it will come up in class or a sermon, or in conversation with a friend – usually a combination of all of those, too!

Recently, I got an e-mail from a friend called The Invisible Woman. The words, dealing with the frustrations of being a mom who often comes last, can be found below.  A few days later, I received the same e-mail with the message being spoken by the lovely and talented Nicole Johnson.

God’s doing it, trying to get my attention. The overall theme of The Invisible Woman is directly applicable to my life, particularly the part about God seeing ME and caring about what I do or don’t do and His admonition to keep at it.

And the timing….could it come at a better time?  No, in the midst of several attempts to do fun things with the kids for the holidays (salt dough ornaments and then the painting of them, holiday baking with the kids’ help, gingerbread cookies and then the decorating of them) and their quick lapses into complaints of “We NEVER get to do ANYTHING fun,”  not to mention my recent little pity parties, I’d say the timing on this is nothing short of perfect.

I’m going t share it with y’all, in the hopes that it uplifts you and speaks to your heart.  Blessings!

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?? Â I need that now Mommy!

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’ Hurry Mom, I’ll be late!

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe

I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it t o me until I read her inscription: ‘To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fuelled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become. At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re gonna love it there..’

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


I was perusing my blogroll the other day and found a great post of Megan’s over at Velveteen Mind.

She quotes from Meet the Robinsons:

From failing you learn.  From success…not so much.

Lately, I feel as if I am failing everything (perfectionist) and everyone (people pleaser) though, and it gives me pause to wonder what it is that I(‘m supposed to be learning.

For example, this morning Kelsey and Colton were in prime form, willfully disregarding my entreaties to, “Please eat! … Please quit reading riddles and get ready for school!  … Get your socks and shoes on, now please!… Eat your breakfast! … Socks and shoes! … Leave the dogs alone and do what I’ve asked you to please! :repeated ad nauseum: ”  I quickly transformed from harried, albeit polite, mother to a harsh monster as their mouths got smarter and sassier, not to mention none of the morning necessaries had gotten done yet.  As my normal voice had gone unheeded three or more times already, I morphed into yelling.  And that didn’t work either.  So then the flood of emotion started to build, as my inner dialog focused on my inadequacies as a mother – surely I was a failure as my children wouldn’t obey me in getting ready for school, surely it was my fault that my daughter’s eyes were rolling every time my mouth opened, surely this lack of respect for authority was going to wind them both up in prison on down the road – and they sensed it.  Colton ran over to me, breakfast STILL uneaten, and tried to hug me when I leaped over the edge.

“I DON’T WANT YOUR &*%# HUGS, I WANT YOU TO LISTEN TO ME!!!”

Yes, I swore at him.  Yes, I felt like my stature went from 5’5″ to miniscule in mere nano-seconds.  FAIL!

Kelsey and Colton both chimed in chorus, “You hate us,” and pouted.

I had to regain my composure instantaneously.

“No, guys, I do not hate YOU.”

“Yes you do!!!”

“No, please, let me finish. I am very sorry for swearing at you and yelling, and wish that I could take it back.  That was very wrong of me.”

Deep breath.

“Can we please just get along, follow instructions and have a relatively easy morning from here on out?”

Solemn nods.

And that’s just one example.

I feel like I’m floundering in so many ways.  And I’m left wondering, what is the lesson in this floundering?

All I can come up with is that I can’t make it all better on my own.  I can’t do all of this on my own.  And that I am NOT a perfect person.

But God is, and was, and will be.  And I just need to lean on Him more in times like these.  Forget pulling myself up by the bootstrap and ask Him to help pull me out of the slimy pit I’m in, to ask Him to put my feet on a firm rock.

[taps] Is this thing on?

So, yeah, it’s been a loooooooooong time since I sat down and pounded a keyboard.

Why so long?

Maybe because everything in the world has been on my shoulders and because I’ve been living the life of an ostrich (i.e. my head has been covered by sand, into which said head was thrust in hopes of acquiring the bliss said to be brought with ignorance)?

Maybe because everything is both so very right and yet so very wrong at the same time?

Maybe because I’m not at all anonymous in my blogging anymore, as my blog, due to a thoughtless click of a button, is now shared with all facebook friends, read: IRL people who KNOW me, or at least KNEW me at some point in time and not the random strangers or friends that the internet has offered me over the years. Funny, I used to think that I had carte blanche to say whatever I wanted when I was pseudo-anonymous (total anonymity is a farce, right?), but now I find myself censoring, wondering “What would that person think of me if I used PG-13 language,” or “Would this hurt so-and-so’s feelings?” or “Could this potentially be misinterpreted and held against me?”

I’ve been sick lately, so running has been out (and even if not sick, this week’s arctic temps have kept me confined as I have a running partner who really needn’t be exposed to brrr-freaking-cold air for the heck of it). Running has sort of taken the place of blogging as my sounding-off, head-clearing activity. Sort of. In that usually when I’m sounding off while running it is a sort of dialog between me and God. Not always verbalized, but a consciousness of themes and events in life that seems to make its way to Him in a Romans 8:26 fashion.

Money sucks. I hate this necessary evil with every fiber of my being. Yes, we are struggling. Yes, we have made dumb mistakes, repetitively even. Yes, some of the burdens were beyond our control, but no, we have not made the sacrifices we probably needed to to make ends meet. Relatively speaking, we are probably better off than many Americans, but personally, I hate this place we are in. I vacillate between thinking that I ought to go back to work and realizing that even if I could find something right now it probably would only cover childcare and possibly insurance. In other words, me working is not the magic cure-all.

Lil Guy is growing faster than I’d like. He’s sitting up and starting to army crawl quite frequently now. He’s my joy-bringer, that one. His smile, often accompanied by this one raised eyebrow thing that he does that implies a deeper understanding of the circumstance at hand than that possible of an infant, melts so much of the gray of life away that I wish I could just bottle it up for those all-too-frequent mentally rainy days.

Well, Lil Guy is awakened, so this is it for now.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

So, Saturday was my first 5k. Not my first 5k since being sick, but my first 5k. As in Ever. And yes, it was brrrisk out. Snowing and all of 17 degrees.

I am NOT a fast runner. I mean truth be told, some power walkers might outpace my “jog,” but hey, it’s my heart and it feels so much better to me when I jog versus walking.

I told everyone that if I finished in 45 minutes I’d be happy. My goal was to finish the whole thing running (no run/walk for this girl, thank you!), not a set time.

Well, how about finishing, running the whole way, in 43 minutes 10 seconds? (Yes, all you who follow on facebook that is a difference – there was a glitch in the official times on race day, apparently this is the real time – even faster than I’d thought!) Suh-weet! And, I finished 494th out of 1,000 runners, so I made the top half! And now I have me a really cool t-shirt too.

My friends above are all from church – the 5k was for CSU’s homecoming and we’d planned on running with some of the folks from our campus ministry; however, only one of the students actually showed. Anyway, the gal on the far left is my age and the HS cross-country coach I ran with the week before the race. She and the guy next to last in the pic came back for me after they’d finished. They found me at about the 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 mile mark and ran the rest of the way with me – encouraging me and not only cheering me on, but engaging the spectators to cheer me on too! They’re totally awesome like that. And in much better shape, I might add.

Thanks be to God for His healing in my body – this never would have been possible without Him.

I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

So, I didn’t run after last Monday until Saturday. Yeah, ’cause I’m all about regularity and routine, eh?

Saturday, I ran with LMNOB while she was pushing Lil Guy in the stroller. LMNOB did not last long with running and so she walked while I would run ahead and run back to her. I did that for 23 minutes, which was a new record in recent history!

Yesterday, I went with a friend from church, who is a high school cross country coach (read: in much better shape, faster, smaller, etc. etc. than me) to the university track and ran a bit with her. I ran a 1000 meter with her (totally kicked my butt!) and then did 5 laps that alternated between running and walking. I was kind of perturbed at myself and my lack of endurance to just run straight like I had on Saturday, but gave myself some slack in the end and was just glad that I got out and did something.

Now…ya’ll might be wondering what is my obsession with running…. While I was so sick I told God in a prayer that I wanted to get better, that I wanted my body to reflect His glory and healing powers. So what better than to take a person who virtually had no lung capacity and make them run mere months after such an ordeal? Not only that, but 5 years ago, I began running and it was such a thing of spiritual growth for me. Can’t really explain it, but running and praying to God cast a new light on what relying on Him truly meant. After that initial year of running, I began to trickle out of it and would run only sporadically. My spiritual life kind of went through the same spurts and stagnants cycle as my running. And after being so ill and seeing my mortality with such clarity, let’s just say that I don’t want to become stagnant in my faith again.

So there’s a 5k this Saturday….and I’m registered for it. So I’ve been getting even more serious about running as I need to train.

My goal was to run every day this week.

This morning it was gray and drizzly.

No matter, I’ll get a hat and wear a jacket. I’ll bundle the baby up good and warm.

And so I did. Got the older two off to the bus stop and set about my way at 8:20 this morning.

I walked for 6 minutes to warm up then started jogging and ran about a mile in 12 minutes. That’s about right for me. Stopped to cross the street and continued to walk for about 4 minutes. Then I started running again, but only lasted for 4 minutes. 4 minutes, what the heck?! And I began to think of the cross, and everything that Jesus had to endure in his last hours on earth. Surely I could do better than 4 minutes. I walked for 5 minutes, visualizing the cross the whole time. Then I started to run again…..6 minutes this time, but to be fair it was all uphill! I walked for several more minutes again noting that I would run on the walking trail when I got to it. I got to it and ran, and finally it clicked. Another mile + down in 13 minutes. I thanked God and looked up. The giant clouds that had been raining over me had split and suddenly half the sky was blue and clear. A nice “thumbs up” from God, it seemed, and my heart soared with gratitude for the affirmation.

I will finish that 5k on Saturday. With God’s help and example, I will persevere.

Acts 20:24 – However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

Now, if you’ll excuse me – I really need a shower.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

This morning, after a brief sensory meltdown (initially she was cold, legitimately as Charlie Brown left the downstairs windows open last night, and from there it spiraled as she couldn’t have the juice she wanted in her lunch….seriously?!?) made us late for the bus and I’d subsequently dropped the kiddos off at school, I ventured out for a run.

A run. As in that thing I haven’t done most of September due to a cold that hit me particularly hard after Labor Day. As in that activity that helped me drop 7 lbs in 2 weeks while changing nary a thing in my diet (which is already pretty healthful as I’m feeding me and Lil Guy but there are the occasional transgressions ;)).

And as I did so, I was struck. Not by lightning. Not by some giant epiphany. I was love-struck. Not by my love for someone/thing, but rather I found myself face to face with the Love that my God lavishes upon each one of us. I smiled as I saw the autumn sunlight casting beams off the trees and landmarks, just like He knows I love so much. As the cloudless sky, so pristine and crisply blue, seemed to purify the air simply by being, I found the strides, the breaths effortless and exhilarating at the same time. Just 4 months ago I was being released from the hospital and could barely walk up my stairs to go to the bathroom – and here I am running with a healthy body. Praise God! He has been so good to me and my family!

I reflected on yesterday’s bible class. This quarter we are studying the emotions of the Psalms, and for the past two weeks we’ve been focused on joy/praise as is found in Psalm 8. Despite Psalm 8 being more apropos for a starry evening, the words fit the moment this morning:

1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you. 3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor….

Indeed, when I think of ALL that God created and how small mankind is, relative to the planet, let alone the whole universe, and further how small I am in the grand scheme of things, I wonder how it is that I am so important to him that he is so intimately involved in my life – and those of others too?

And lately it seems to me that I can see God reinforcing this idea of his intimate knowledge of my heart everywhere I turn. Largely, where I turn in the Word.

Certain Scriptures keep getting cross-referenced in my path, reinforcing their truths upon my heart. I know better than to believe that these are coincidences, and know that God is working to let me know that He cares for me and wants me to rest in the promises of these passages that keep popping up.

The preacher’s sermons seem to be tailor made each week for what I am facing personally.

This morning, as I was reflecting on the Psalms class, I noted that the first emotion we’re looking at being joy/praise was just the jolt that I needed out of my recent depression. I mean, certainly there are Psalms where David was depressed and fearful – and those have comforted me in times of trials past – but it’s no small thing.

Today is good. God’s mercies are new every morning. I will rejoice and be glad in this day that the Lord has made.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Rejust served

So, it’s been 2 weeks since this happened – finally time to sit and write about it, eh? Also; any mention of voices in my head is regarding that inner turmoil that we ALL have in our thoughts – no auditory hallucinations for this girl, thank you for your concern.
Two weeks ago, we had just returned home from our short-lived camping trip. Both Charlie Brown and I briefly entertained the thought of not going to church in the morning, since we were supposed to be gone afterall. We decided that was just silly and ended up going.

Sidenote- in the weeks preceding this I’d been having lots of doubts about life. Doubts about our financial security, my mental health status, and the joint decision for me to stay at home among many other things. In chatting with girlfriends about these doubts, a few of them had suggested I maybe look for a PT job to help me regain some of my self-confidence as well as make a little extra cash for those daunting medical bills. And the juxtaposition of all the voices of these doubts with the tidbits of “helpful” advice was driving me to the edge.

Ok….so, back to church.

Our Sunday morning bible study this summer has been on Romans. The text for the day was Romans Ch. 8. As the teacher droned on about how an abstract was different from a book review (re: a handout that he’d thought was helpful to the study), Li’l Guy began to fuss and alert me to his growing hunger. So I took him into the “cry room” (a little private area for nursing moms) and fed him. While doing so, I halfheartedly listened to the teacher on the speaker. As the abstract v. book review discussion went longer, I grabbed my Blackberry out of the diaper bag and pulled up Romans 8 using the Youversion app (which I totally btw).

I read the whole chapter, the words not unfamiliar to me as Romans is probably the book I’ve read most in Scripture during my walk with the Lord; but towards the end my face grew hot and moist as the tears came down, for I read:

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[b] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[c] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them…

…35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[d]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[e] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

I’d been feeling guilt about my silence in the dialogue between me and my God lately. Even knowing full well that this promise of an intercessor exists for those times when life gets so overwhelming, so full of other voices that I cannot find my own, beyond the simple gut-wrenching utterances of “Lord, please help me,” despite knowing that, I was in a place where Guilt had begun to plague me, adding just one more voice in the cacophony that my mind had recently become. So irrational was this Guilt, bothering me over things of which I had no control – namely my getting sick. Yes, I know, like I could have prevented such an anomaly; the doctors still aren’t quite sure how I came to be so ill.

Through this passage, God assured me. The Voice of Truth stilled the others and spoke, in solo: You are still my child, sweet girl. I have not abandoned you and I know you are overwhelmed right now. My Spirit is translating the woes on your heart and I am listening. NOTHING can ever change that. Keep going.

I was so thankful that I was physically alone, just my baby and I, in that room because I wept freely at the reassurance the moment had afforded me.

Later, the preacher’s sermon (link opens an MP3 recording of the sermon if interested) was on Luke 5:1-11. Specifically, he focused in on how the men, professional fishers of their day, had fished ALL night and not caught anything yet Jesus told them to go out and launch their nets one more time. They did and the blessings (fish) were more than abundant, they almost sunk their boats! Perseverance, especially when all looks bleak, pays off, was the message in a nutshell.

Keep going.

The words, coupled with my moment in the cry room, were just what I needed to hear. Tears streamed down my face long before the conclusion of the sermon, as the realization hit me that it was no mere coincidence that our camping trip had gone south and caused us to return home early. How amazing is this Love that notes every detail of my life along with those of every other living being?

I knew I had to go forward at the invitation, to ask for the prayers of my family. But what most people didn’t realize is that it wasn’t a feeling of hopelessness that drove me to asking for help – rather, the hope and reassurance that God had given me that morning made me want to publicly recognize my need for Him in my life. We have been so blessed over the past several months with my rapid recovery, the help and support we received, and through things not yet revealed. Several people mistook my emotion as a cry for more help – but as I talked with them I assured them it was just a realization that I needed to keep going.

And how much good it does me to know that as a direct result another young mom shared her struggles with me that night. And then another. When a dear older sister e-mailed me the next day to see how I was doing, she mentioned “mom coaching,” so I called her and asked if she would meet with some of us to pray and talk some things through. Not only would she, but she and a couple other more experienced sisters had been praying for such an opportunity in the spirit of this Scriptural example. Not because of me, but because of God.

Keep Going.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

I'm a 30-something with a bend toward the spunky and unconventional. I like to accent big words and academics with slang and pop culture - makes me a little more well-rounded. My husband and I follow Christ and am training up my 3 precious kiddos to do the same. This means that I'm human and I fail - a LOT, but there is beauty in sharing that with others. Last, but not least, in case you haven't noticed, I'm prone to rambling. It may seem unrelated to you but the little "tangents" I go on are all interconnected in my mind!

Retro Ramblings

(c) 2006-Present