Friday, November 1, 2013

Broken to Beautiful

"A song can rise from the ashes of a broken life"

I don't blog much anymore.  Maybe because my life is full.  Maybe because my heart has made the jump from the pain of a broken life to the joy and song of a life re-written by God.

Not too long ago I was in the struggle of my life.  Things I held dear were torn apart and the life I dreamt of came to a crashing halt.  I am writing this to those of you that are struggling right now.  I am writing to tell you not to lose hope.  Remember that God still has a plan for your life and that His plan is for good and not harm.  He loves you.

There were nights and days that I just wept.  I felt alone.  I wondered if I would ever feel whole, happy, and in love with God again.  I struggled to smile.  I played the part for my kids but inside I was crushed and felt defeated.  I struggled with bitterness, resentment, and anger.  How could this happen to a Christian marriage?  I didn't plan on this.  I wanted God to fix it.  I wanted things to be set right.  Watching my kids go through the pain of it was even more devastating.

At some point I finally surrendered.  I got on the floor one morning and laid face down.  I turned on a Christian song and said to God "I don't know what to pray for and I don't know what you want for my life.  All I have is this moment of silence with you."  In that silence, during a three minute song, God reached in and scooped me up.  He had been waiting for me to surrender.  I wasn't completely surrendered at that moment but my heart felt something for the first time in months.  I felt pain but I felt something and that was more than I had allowed myself to feel for quite some time.

I picked up my Bible.  I read a short bit.  It gave me a small glimpse of hope.  I committed to doing this daily (laying on the floor, listening to that song without asking for anything or thinking a word, and then reading a small bit of scripture).  In time, I realized that God still had a plan for my life.  I just had to trust Him. 

Over the next year little by little I noticed that my resentment was fading, I wasn't feeling sorry for myself anymore (well not as much), and I was embracing my time with God.  God started pointing me outward. I started to see other people and the pain they were experiencing.  I started to focus on other's more than myself.  I found myself completely in love with God again (I was so worried I would never feel this way again).  I still had times where I felt the world crashing in around me or felt sad but I was being renewed from the inside out.

I decided my life with God and my kids was worth the fight.  We would take this thing head on.  I started memorizing scripture and using it against my negative thoughts.  I failed at times but I was getting better.

I purposed myself to live for God.  No matter what.  At some point I realized I was going to have a great life.  As long as God was center then I would be happy.  I wanted redemption to win.  In the end it did.

No matter how the story went from that point on it was going to be a win.  Meeting Brian was icing on the cake.  Don't mistake me though.  It was not the cake.  The cake was God, His love for me, and his ability to create a beautiful song out the ashes of a broken life.  My heart was in this for God and He was and is my first love.  The icing (Brian and the boys) made my life that much sweeter but they couldn't take the place of God.

Whatever it is that you are struggling with take heart.  I know it's hard and you feel worn out.  You have made mistakes and you feel crushed by the weight of the world.   You want to feel whole again and happy.  You want to have something to smile about.  You may have nothing to give right now.  It may be hard to even lift your hands in prayer.  Give what you have, however little that might be.  God is in the business of building beautiful things from ashes.  He will fight for you if you will let Him.  Don't lose hope.  You will come out of this stronger and more beautiful than you can imagine.  You will love people in a way you never could have before.  Most importantly you will have a deeper relationship with your heavenly Father.  The parts dead in you will be reborn. 

I love you!!  Don't lose hope :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mother's Day thoughts

I was thinking about Mother's Day today.  Thinking on how blessed I feel to be a mother of six.

I have always wanted to be a mom.  From the time I was a little girl I always loved kids, loved babysitting, and loved holding little ones in my arms.  There was never a doubt in my mind that I would be a mother someday.

There have been many challenges along the way and if you know my story you know that there has been brokenness along the way.  The one thing that got me through some very tough days, besides God, was my kids.  I could never put into words the emotions I felt the first time I held my babies for the first time.  I will also never forget the day I said "I do" to Brian and looked four little boys in the eyes and promised to love them forever as I welcomed them into my heart and life.

Motherhood is full of ups and downs.  Wondering if you are doing things right.  Asking yourself if you were too hard on them, too easy on them, loving enough, kind enough, stern enough, etc...  Will they be strong enough to stand up under peer pressure, loving enough to ask a loner to join in at the playground, and confident enough to love the person God created them to be.  My job is to nurture, correct, love, and point in the right direction.  I often times want to protect them for the world instead of prepare them for it.  God has shown me that this will not raise confident kids but dependent ones.  Oh the letting go . . . .

On this Mother's Day I wanted to write and tell my kids how much I love them, what I hope for their future, and how blessed I feel to be their mom.

To my six kids,

I hope you know how much I love you.  You fill my heart to overflowing with your amazing smiles, sweet laughter, and unique personalities.  I treasure up each memory we have made together.  Sand castles on the beach, board games at home, bike rides, road trips, school plays, choir concerts, bedtime prayers, dinner around the table, and everything in-between.

I pray that you will love others, love God, and love yourself (just the way God created you to be).  I pray that you will look for the positive in all situations and learn to forgive and grant grace to those around you.  I pray that you will follow the dreams God has placed on your heart.  We believe in you.  You can do anything you set your mind/heart to. 

Remember that you can have everything and yet have nothing if you don't have love.  The world will not always be fair.  It will promise you things that it can't deliver on.  You will have moments of brokenness, broken hearts, broken promises, and trouble that you did not count on.  In those times, remember that it is in difficult times that we are tested, refined, and made new.  Those are the times that draw us near to God and grow in us a sense of compassion for others, the ability to cherish the simple things in life, and ultimately map out the course of our life.  Trust me, it is when things seem the darkest that God is doing His greatest work in you.

I pray that you learn to love life.  Embrace it.  Smile.  Bless others.  Forgive.  Be kind when others are not.  Love those that are difficult to love.  Always remember that Dad and I love you and are on your side!!

Boys,  I pray that you marry a woman that loves God and loves you.  I pray that you will lead your family spiritually and financially.  Your wife will need a strong man to lead her.  Be compassionate, gentle, loving, and kind.  Remember to tell her you love her every day.  You won't be perfect.  Learn to forgive yourself and learn to say you are sorry :)  (As you get older their will be much more to talk about but for now let's leave it at that :) .

Hannah,  I pray that you will learn to love God and treasure Him.  I pray that you will one day meet a man that also loves the Lord and cherishes you.  I hope to raise you to learn to put others before yourself.  To be your husband's biggest cheerleader.  I pray you will make a home that he can't wait to come home to.  Be patient, loving, and understanding.  Learn to say your are sorry and allow him to be imperfect (bc only God is perfect).  Just like the boys I will have more to say as you get older but this will do for now.

I thank God for you my little ones (although Logan just measured a tad taller than me!!!)  I hope to walk this life out with you.  I look forward to all the fun we will have in the future.  I am one blessed mom to have you in my life.  I love you to the moon and back!!!

Love,  Mom :)  XOXOXOXOXO