Sunday, August 31, 2014

A struggle kind of evening

I am feeling these tonight....

shame, distrust in myself, sadness, guilt, fear, worries, doubt, anger, a lack of hope.....all of these.

 I believe feelings can lie and so I am working hard to exchange the shame and distrust for confidence; the guilt for forgiveness; the sadness for joy; the fear, worries and doubt for trust; the anger with compassion and the lack of hope with the faith that my God has big, bold, beautiful plans for me.

I am at the same choicepoint I often find myself loving others through. I know this place personally as well.  Can I acknowledge all of these ick feelings and allow myself to feel the weight of them for a moment and then LET GO so I may move forward?  I can...sure.  Will I?  Perhaps I should linger in the suckiness for a little while and fight what I am feeling...stuff it down or mask it.  Choicepoint.  Since I have learned the hard way that the latter never leads to a place of peace, I am going to focus on the first option.  I'm even going to openly write about it here in the gentle hope that I will find relief in sharing with an authentic, open heart and another will find an "I'm not alone" comfort in reading.

I quit my full time job (that I loved) at the beginning of this summer.  I felt so strongly that God was leading me in that direction and my heart knew it was best for my family and I.  I didn't know what was next and I kind of still don't.  I had big plans to sell meals and baked goods as well as provide childcare this summer.  I accomplished maybe a quarter of what I had 'planned'.  This means we were back to being a one income family for the summer.  Quite honestly, we had not budgeted at all for this change.

Instead of carrying out all of my plans, I focused on the healing of my heart, on loving my parents, on the recovery of our family and on letting God and everyone else love us. It's been tough at times, nonetheless,  we are traveling down a healtier road in our marriage and as a family and there is nothing more worthwhile than that healing is right now.  Thus, the result in that area is priceless and a God gift.

That said, tonight this flood of negative emotions is an outcome of the stress I am experiencing because of the choice I made in trust to quit working full time.  Honestly, although I quit in trust and I did not naively think everything would come easy, my plans to help us through didn't happen and we have struggled.  We have had help and I despise that at 42 years of age we need help.  I have conversations with myself about resuming full time work, yet in my heart there is no peace in that option.  I believe that our son needs me home for the hour he is out of school before our daughter gets home.  I believe that I need afternoons to help my parents however I can and to take care of our home.  I know we are fragile and still in recovery mode.  I know my part time job at the school is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.  I love the students, my coworkers, friends...every bit of it.  I also know that if we can't pay our bills it's not a great thing.

I know God has this covered but I feel an incredible amount of trepidation about what I am supposed to do now.  I am also having such trouble with forgiveness and letting go when it comes to our mortgage loan (where a huge chunk of our income goes every month).  This is so hard because we are here every day to see the chaotic environment, the damage done to our home, the work that remains to be done and corrections that need made.  A very personal struggle to me.

I have a load of guilt for daring to complain about any of this.  I wonder if I am grieving God's spirit with my whining.  Why do I have such a lack of success at letting go of everything?  I have practiced surrender over and over and over again.  I guess I'm gonna have to practice it some more, probably for a lifetime.

Last week, one of my kindergarten friends showed me the picture he drew.  I asked him to tell me about it.  He said, "it shows how rich my family is,  we have diamonds, new cars, lots of jewelry and fancy furniture."  I acknowledged his hard work and told him that my family was rich as well, but in different ways.  I said, "we have love, joy, faith, trust, compasstion and fun."  I truly believe that and know we are a privileged people.

It is an honor to live this life, this I know, yet in my humanness I struggle.  I don't want a magic wand, I am willing to work HARD.  Truly, right now I want my Daddy's assurance that everything will work out.  I want my Momma to not worry about us.  I want to know with peace and confidence that everything will be okay...that it IS okay already.  I want that....yesterday.  :)

There it current struggle.  I would love you to cover our family in prayers.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My hearts prayer


Dearest God,

I give you this school year.  I give you these times.  They seem so very daunting.  I know there is so much more to be done and only one of me.  My notions of what I can accomplish in two days are unrealistic and it is my human inclination to pile one task upon another until I am so overwhelmed there will not be success no matter how much I do.  So, Lord, can I just give my time to you?  I will be the hands and feet if you will just direct my path.  Can you help me still my busy mind and will you please grant peace to my chaotic heart?

I give you my babies....John and Stella...okay, I give you your babies and I thank you for the gift they are in my life.  The smiles, the laughter, the sunshine, the screaming, the tears, the attitudes, the scared feelings that I get when I think I am ruining them, the sacred souls that they are....I hand them back to you.  Please cover them with your love and God, please, please let them walk in the light.  I ask that you surround them with those who know you until they are strong in their faith...and then let them surround those that need to know you.  These children, they teach me so much more about life and myself than I ever knew; help me be the best Momma to them I can be.  Help me help them love you.

I give you my beautiful nieces and nephews....the originals and the greats.  They have blessed my life and they make it richer every day.  Walk with them, hold them when they need held and let them see you BIG.  These are my first and last babies God, and I treasure them and thank you for them daily.
They are young people, some with old souls, some fresh and innocent, some with hurting and wounded hearts.  Care for them and show them how to care for others as you would.

I give you my brothers and my sisters.  These people that I share the greatest similarities and the greatest differences with make my world a better place.  They have known my joys and my sorrows, and I have known theirs.  Let us love each other fully, know each other deeply and remain united always.  I love these precious hearts and am grateful for all they have taught/teach me.  There is no love like theirs.

I pray for my Auntie.  I love her very much.  She always knows when a heart is hurting and I know her own heart has ached since my Uncle died.  I don't even know what to ask God.  Hold her always, love her earnestly.  Surround her with love, always.

I give you my precious Momma and sweet Daddy.  Help me care for them as they have cared for me. Help me treat them with the dignity and respect that they truly deserve.  Sometimes, I am tired and my Momma especially gets the icky of me, help me work on that.  God, these times are tough.  I need to know that you are holding my Daddy in your arms through his disease and that you are loving my Momma in the most beautiful of ways.  Show my Momma her beauty and strength.  Help her know how much she is cherished by us and by you.

I give you my marriage.  You know God, this one is tough.  Last year was ugly and now you are blessing us with the restoration I prayed for.  Let us help continue rebuilding and help us be that couple that truly can say how much stronger we were after the infidelity.  I love Nathan.  He is my heart.  Help me unclench my fists and hand him over to you.  (Funny...I know you already have him, so my holding on is useless).  Pursue his heart in a way that he knows with his eyes, with his ears, with his heart and with his feelings that YOU ARE REAL and that you always have and always will love him. Help me trust, help me let go and let YOU!   God, I know you have a plan for us and I trust we didn't go through muck for nothing.  Let us be the light.  Let us tell our story where it counts.  Let us be your vessels of healing.  Please.

I give you my friends and I give you my non friends.  I mention them together because I know we are all your kids and you love us all the same.  I thank you for each of their presences in my life.  Even when I wished they weren't ever in my life, you had a purpose and for that I will be forever thankful.  Help me be a friend who very clearly is walking with you God, and help me show others your love, light and joy.  For my non friends.....frenemies.....enemies.....they are your treasure too God.  Help me remember that everyone deserves to be reconciled to you, this does not equate with me having to reconcile with everyone.  Help me live out forgiveness, mercy and grace and help me ask for it when I need it.

Lastly God, I give you those walking in your light and joy.  That they may be thankful for you always.  I pray for those hurting and wounded hearts that feel like there is no hope.  Show them hope God, show them love.

Thank you for listening God.  Thank you for loving me.  It's ALL in your hands.

In Jesus name I gratefully pray,



Monday, August 4, 2014

My heart's journey, this morning....

I have spent the last few days grumpy, sad, burdened and at a loss for what to do.  Our dear friends lost their precious 18 year old son this week.  Christian took his own life on July 31, 2014, also the 27 year anniversary of my brother Brent's death.  A painful day and somehow still, a day to rejoice.  Rejoice not in death, of course.  Death stings and leaves us with an inexplicable void.  The rejoice is in the celebration of the life had for a season and in the life that is to come.  However, right now, we are all in pain, it's the heartbreak that overwhelms and the new reality that stings.  There are other things making my heart sad, but in no way do they compare.

 I find as life overwhelms and as I begin to grip (opposite of letting go) everything painful again, my connection with God becomes distant.  Certainly not severed, though there have been times I have felt that too.  Just distant.  The opposite of whole...broken.  The opposite of surrendered... controlling.  The opposite of brave...retreating.  The opposite of truly happy....mask wearing.  The opposite of whimsical...oppressed and tight.  The opposite of worthy...self hatred.  The opposite of loved by God...the lies Satan feeds my tired human self.  The opposite of basking in God's sunshine...bathing in the darkness.  Get it?  A pretty solemn picture.

My heart feels broken when I think of Christian and how his heart mustv'e felt during his last days and hours on earth.  I wonder how deep was his sense of hoplessness and despair?  I wonder if he thought that the life of others would somehow be better without his presence.  And, oh, how I desperately wish I, we, anyone could've been the light for him, the hope, the love.  I don't know if he would've allowed that.  Then there is the guilt along with countless unanswered questions.  As I discovered on my walk this morning, at least for me, there is also a little anger and resentment toward God (maybe even a whole lot).

 I love Christian.  I have loved him since he was in his Momma's tummy.  My favorite memory of him is when we went to visit them in Dallas many moons ago.  Christian was about two.  We were outside and he was wearing a black leather jacket and jeans.  He was full of toddler energy, feisty and affectionate with the best giggle.  We blew bubbles for what seemed like forever.  He giggled the whole time (except when he spat on one of us...some of us still giggled)!  He was joyful and free and I believe that he is joyful and free now....but I miss him.  I wonder why this isn't one of the times when God chose to swoosh in and save the save Christian.  I wondered why He didn't do this the whole last year as well.  He didn't though, and that's that.

I love/hate Romans 8:28,  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  I love it because I know I can 100% stand on God's promise that there will be good, and I know nothing is wasted.  I hate it because no where does it say that God and I will have the same idea of good nor does He promise to give me all my requested answers.  So God didn't allow things to happen in a way that I think I would think is best...but again, he's got the panoramic view and I have the snapshot.  He is God, I am not.

I know His love remains steady in joy and in pain.  I picture Christian right now as little boy Christian in the black leather jacket blowing bubbles and giggling.....with God....with angels....with his grandparents and his little sister Trinity.  I am pretty certain God wept when Christian wept, that he weeps with those hurting now and that he will rejoice with us when we rejoice.

The time I used to spend on daily walks was a special time of connection for me and God.  Since these walks were times of connections and I have totally avoided them for a good solid year, it makes sense that my closeness with God feels a bit fizzled.  I mean, He is here.  We chat all day and sometimes all night long.  I don't do a whole lot of being still and I sure don't do much listening.  I am determined to care for myself and the most significant part of that is making time for God and I and our walks a priority.  This morning, I begrudgingly put my tennis shoes on right after I brushed my teeth...and a bra.  That's about it.  The pajamas and the attitude remained.  I grabbed ear plugs, my phone and headed out into the already humid morning.

Ten minutes.  That's it.  I only had to walk 10's a start.  I walked slowly at first, my head swarming with lists and lists of to do's and should have dones.  The sun was pretty and peeking from behind the trees, but it was HOT!  (Did I mention sweating is not my thing?)  Nothing in the worship music I heard really caught my attention.  (Bear with me, because the post is way less about me and way more about God and sweet Christian).  As I walked, some of the words to songs begin to seep in, until the song about putting my trust in Jesus came on.  The tears began to flow and I let God know how angry I was, how sad, and how messed up this is.  I prayed for everyone, including me....I could feel a small wall I was keeping up between God and I.  I asked Him how in the world I was supposed to put my trust in someone who allows this to happen.  God didn't reach down and scoop me up out of the pain, he didn't yell at me for being angry, he didn't stop my tears....nothing.  I heard nothing, and then I knew...time to shhhh.  So I walked, and I cried and the Holy Spirit began to fill my grumpy heart with something close to joy...coming in gentle waves, warming my heart and softenining my borders.  I stopped trying to ask question, I stopped talking, I just soaked in the lovlieness I could feel.

I was going to head back home but I felt one more round would be nice and maybe a song would come on that would be medicine to my heart.  (I had not looked at the clock once, that alone tells me I was entering a place of God and Sarah time).  I asked God to reveal himself to me because I was really needing him.  (It's more like asking him to help me open the eyes of my heart, to surrender and feel Him, for He never left me in at all.)

As I turned to make another loop, the song "I'll fly away" came on.  This song is immensely special to me on many levels.  I laughed out loud.  I held my hands out like wings and I closed my eyes, spinning and imagining I was flying.  (No neighbor called the police on me, for this I am thankful).  Christian was on my heart this whole time, joyful, free, smiling.  When I opened my eyes and turned around, I was standing in rays of sunshine beaming down.  Rusty (our golden retriever) and Maple (our special girl) had spotted me from a block away and were running, running, running toward me.  I bent down and called them by name.  They practically knocked me over because they were so happy to see me.  (nevermind that I had seen them less than an hour before).  Christian, again in my heart....I thought of God welcoming him with the most beautiful joy Christian had ever experienced.  I thought of Christian running, running, running toward God for an embrace from his heavenly father that he had been waiting for his whole life.  My heart smiled and gave thanks for the way God spoke to it this morning.

Please pray for Christian's sweet and hurting family and friends.  This pain is deep.  So deep.  There has been a fund set up for Christian, this will cover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills and whatever else is needed at this time.  If you go to, donations can me made.  I'm sure every little bit helps.

God bless.


p.s.  Nathan had posted the following bro tip on his fb wall the night before Christian says
"If only for a second, stop and appreciate the fact that you're alive."

So true.