Beautiful Day

It is a beautiful Saturday morning and I am about to go to my mission trip meeting/training. I am looking forward to it, and I have been praying daily that God continues to prepare my heart for this trip. I know He has something precious to teach me, not sure what yet. The past week or so I have been through a miriad of emotions. When I realized I was pregnant, I questioned going on the trip then I began to come up with all these scenarios of how to handle it all and not tell anyone until after the trip. I kept thinking I don't want anyone to worry, to be put in a position to make exceptions for me. As the possibilities whirled in my mind, the weekend arrived and it all changed. Since the miscarriage, I don't think I have gained any new perspective but I continue to return to the theme of joy and thanksgiving. I know it can only come from the Father, because it is not in my human capacity to grasp that right now. This morning I was reminded as I looked at the familiar scripture in Isaiah, He will raise us up and we will soar with wings like eagles. I know that even in the darkest moments, my God will lift me up and I don't have to go it alone, I don't have to put on a brave face, I can get through this and be strengthened by it. I know He'll carry me, especially when I cannot take a single step on my own. Somehow He takes care of me, He is always there and that helps me see this day as beautiful and full of hope.

Fog...when will it clear?

I realize that for most people, today will come and go like any ordinary day. For me, it would have been true. But now, in light of what I have experienced recently, I am taking each day more slowly, wondering when the fog will lift. I have to admit I have had some really good moments the past 24 hours. Physically, I am not doing so good since this sinus infection began yesterday. I have been out from work nearly a week now, so it has been odd to be out of touch with what is my usual routine. I am realizing there is a certain comfort that comes with routine, no matter how mundane it may be. It is amazing how one experience can effect your outlook on your life. Perhaps that is why God allows these things to happen.
I had a miscarriage five days ago, and for the first time I can put it into words that are visible and legible on my blog. My body is still taking care of itself, so I am slowly recouperating from the loss. I know it is something I will process for many days beyond this first week. I am finding comfort in my God, in His Word and through the love and support of my sweet husband Ryan, and my family and the few friends we have felt comfortable sharing it with. I am comfortable sharing it here, because I know at whatever point someone chooses to stumble upon my blog, it could be something they need to hear today. I know beyond this week, I will find purpose in this that will enable me to look back and see the reason more clearly. I have experienced some very strong feelings: sadness, loneliness, hurt, disappointment, confusion and some guilt. I went through the what if's as to how it happened, what could I have done to contribute to it, what could I have done differently to prevent it? The answers came quickly and I know it was reassurance not only from my doctor, but from those around me who have experienced it and from my Lord, who provides the peace that passes all human understanding. In my heart I know, beyond the fog that still remains, somehow there is a purpose. I know the fog will clear completely, but for now I will embrace the peace He provides that I am going to be okay. I know that this precious life that I carried for a hand full of weeks is in the arms of Jesus and I will meet them one day when we are all in heaven. I know that my heart longs for another child more strongly than before, and I trust that God will prepare me and Ryan for the right time one day. I read in my quiet time today in Phillipians about living without complaining, but to instead choose to live a life of joy even in the midst of difficulty. My brain cannot comprehend this concept, but when I ponder the way the Holy Spirit has worked in my life already, I know it is true and believe it. I know I need to give myself time, and that this will pass as I grow stronger each day. There is an unspeakable depth to the effect this type of life experience has on the heart and soul. It hurts my brain to attempt to understand, so I have to stop myself and somehow embrace the unknown, let go and let God take care of it all. The fog has not lifted, and may not clear for awhile but when I cannot see or need help along the way I know God is there to take my hand and lead me. I am thankful for that today.

Loss and despair--what is the difference?

I read in my quiet time this morning as Paul was imprisoned, how he prayed, hoped, pleaded and encouraged the people to stand strong and firm in their faith and to serve God, spreading the Good News with humility rather than pride. He asked them to examine their hearts, their motivation, as to their purpose....there should be no arrogance, no pride, no selfish reason for making their beliefs known to the world. Even in the midst of his imprisonment, he was not thinking at all about himself. I have considered this week where my life should go as a result of what I have experienced. I could allow myself to sink into despair, become overwhelmed with grief and loss and sit in it, wallow for as long as I want. What is the good in that though? So, I am left to ask, "God, what is your purpose for my life as a result of this experience?" "Why did you allow this to happen?" "What should I gain from it?" I am still wondering, and I am certain the answers won't come easily or quickly. I have not lost sight of the Savior, the One who will comfort and provide for me in ways that only He can. I have felt that already. But, I have also felt alone, hurt, disappointed, confused, and incomplete. I have found a certainty through this about some things, but others are still uncertain. God has a lot to teach me and I can't help feeling like this is leading me to what He has to show me through my mission experience in October. I don't understand His ways, but I know His ways are best, He knows best. I may not like it, but I love Him and will serve Him til the day I die. It is a strange thing, this need to serve a God who has so many unknowns, yet in my heart and soul what I do know is enough. I cannot explain it, nor can I justify it in human terms because it is beyond our understanding. Jeremiah 29:11 continues to be at the very core of my being, a solid foundation His word provides for me to stand on. I will go on, I cannot give up or give in because His purpose for my life, somewhat unknown at this point, pushes me forward with hope and determination.

When I think I'm going under, part the waters, Lord...

I was thinking just now about a song I heard and sang as a girl, an older Christian favorite by Evie. I have heard more recently a remake of it by Selah, an arrangement with the hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour". So beautiful, such words of depth and longing, that speaks to my heart and soul. I have had a very hard few days recently, experienced a loss I did not expect to face in my life. I know that despite how my heart and mind processes it, God has a purpose for it. I don't know how I would endure this without my faith. It is a peace that passes all understanding, something I cannot put into words. He knows my needs, and He has met me right where I needed Him to. I know this will pass and in the midst of this healing I will find new strength to move forward. God always provides, and when I cannot take another step I know He will be there to carry me. In my weakness, He is strong so knowing that I can take another step forward.

"When I think I'm going under, part the waters Lord.
When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea.
When I cry for help, Oh, hear me Lord and hold out Your hand!
Touch my life, still the raging storm in me."

Still the storm, Lord and I will keep my eyes upon you. I know you will carry me and protect me, for You are my God, my Savior, my Lord.

Second verse, same as the first....

So here I am, another Monday, returned from a great mini vacay with the fam and no motivation whatsoever. I am tired, would have loved to sleep in and be lazy all day but my expanding mid section is getting in the way. It is bugging me, reminding me it is absolutely time to get real with my health. I have seen my mom and other women go through this as they approached their 40s, so I know the battle I face. I have jumped back on the weight loss wagon today and as unhappy as it makes me to resist all the yummy food I enjoy, I will choose wisely and get this dad gum weight off! It is a cycle I keep going through, and it is ridiculous. I need to change, I know that, it just continues to be harder to stick with as I get older. As I look at the years ahead of me, I want to feel better physically, have clarity mentally, and treat my body as the temple God has created it to be. I will move forward and I will improve myself a little at a time. Nobody said it was ever going to be easy. Anyone who says that should be slapped a few times with a wet noodle.

my Ebenezer...

“…Thus far the Lord has helped us.”-1 Samuel 7:12 There are moments in my life when I look back and can see how God in His perfect yet my...