Marriage: Kill Me.
Probably not what you would expect me to say in reference to my marriage…right? This blog post is going to be super real you guys so just get ready.
You know they always say marriage is work, right? Everyone tells you that tp stay married you have to really work at it. One thing I have realized they fail to tell you is that almost all of the work you put in is work you have to do on yourself… not together.
Sure you have to decide things like where you want to live and what school your kids go to or if you even want to have kids. You give and take when it comes to what show to watch and where to eat dinner. There’s the small annoyances like someone who leaves the dishes in the sink versus the spouse who always puts them in the dishwasher. This is not the “work” I am referring to.
Since getting married I have realized marriage is a lot more about working on myself in order for my marriage to work than it is working on our actual relationship.
Heres the thing that nobody wants to admit: I am nowhere near perfect, but I think I am.
I think my way of doing things and in my timeline is the best and only way. I think that my plans are better. I think that I know what is best most of the time. I become overly critical when things don’t go my way or happen when I think they should and I realize that for my marriage to thrive and not just survive I have to do one thing.
That’s what I mean when I say kill me.
I have to DIE to my expectations and my selfish need for everything to be how I want it to be. You see, I didn’t marry myself. I married my husband. I married a man who is so completely different than me in so many ways. I’m extremely organized and I plan things out down to the hour. I enjoy a decluttered house. I am very strict on our finances. I drive fast. I love chocolate. I am loud and outgoing. My husband has small pieces of some of these things and some he doesn’t have at all (love for chocolate LOL) but at the end of the day I didn’t marry him because I thought he would be like me. I married him for who HE is and because he complimented me in all of the areas I was lacking. I married him because God designed him to be who he is exactly for me to have what I needed.
I love myself.
That’s the problem. When you get married you have to stop loving yourself and your ideas and your ways of doing things MORE than you love your spouse and their ideas and their ways of doing things. Marriage isn’t hard in and of itself. The part of marriage that is hard is dying to yourself every day just like Christ died for you and serving your spouse just as He served us.
The longer I am married the more I realize how selfish I am and how NOT okay with it I am.
I love my husband, but I also love myself.
I married my husband, not myself.
I expect perfection, yet I am terribly flawed.
I realize more every single day how much I need Christ to change me.
I realize more every day that my husband doesn’t need to change,
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“Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in You. O God, ransom Israel from all its troubles.”
How many times do I come to the Psalms or any scripture for that matter and try to read myself or my situation into it? This is how I was taught to read my bible. I was told at a very young age to open my bible, pick a passage and after reading it ask myself these questions. I don’t remember exactly what the questions were but they were all centered around ME.
As I have gotten older and am learning more about the Bible and God I realize I have been “studying” the Bible wrong for most of my life. You see, the Bible ultimately isn’t about me. It isn’t about you. Its about a HOLY God who wants you to know about HIM.
Used to I would have read this Psalm in a time of distress and thought about how bad my problems are and how hard my life is and it would be therapeutic in some ways because well at least I know someone else could relate to me, right? But reading it today I see something much different. I see that David is not primarily concerned with the pain or the problems and getting sympathy for them but that he knows the character of the LORD. Yes, he is stating he has problems so that we can understand where his heart is but when I really look at it and remove myself from the passage I begin to see a different picture.
David was relying fully on God.
He knew GOD’s character is one of justice and mercy and faithfulness. He didn’t deny his pain or declare it in Jesus name to be gone. He didn’t take authority into his own hands and demand his situation to change. He didn’t say “What can I do to get you to change this for me”? No. David cried out to the LORD and said “Forgive me! Help me! Please hear my cry and rescue me!” His hope was not in himself or what he could do because I believe David had one thing figured out. I believe David knew there was nothing he could do. Davids hope was in Him and only Him.
I’m trying to read my bible in a way that focuses on GOD and not on me. We are transformed by the Word because by the Word He has given us knowledge of Him. When we know the character of God we can know what pleases Him. Being a selfish person it is so easy for me to open my bible and start looking for myself. I don’t want to find me! I want to find Christ so that the person I am can be molded into the image of Him. Why on earth would I want to find more of ME when I could find more of HIM?
I’m really not that cool.
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It’s a new year so obviously we need a blog to talk about it.
In 2019 the Lord really did a lot of things. Some things He finished that He had started the year before. Somethings He revealed, started, and accomplished. And some things He started that haven’t been completed yet.
We had a year full of blessings and we had testings. We had laughter and tears. We had confidence in some situations and in others we had a lot of doubt we had to battle. One thing is certain, 2019 happened a lot differently than I had expected.
We went into the year as newlyweds. Six short months under our belt! We honeymooned in Jamaica and joked about moving there to go into ministry… At the sandals resort, obviously. Once we were back it was life as usual and besides the curveball of getting pregnant after our first try most of the year was full of average every day moments. By no means did we live in honeymooner mode all year. There were parental challenges along with marital challenges. There were choices in career changes. We had unexpected expenses arise. We did get to spend a lot of extra time with Elijah and pour into him during the summer months knowing it would be his last year to be an only child. I am so thankful for all of the ordinary moments.
I am thankful we have a house the perfect size for our current family. I am thankful we were able to take Elijah on a real family vacation as an only child. I am thankful my husband has chosen a career path that I know he will do amazing with and be proud of. I love that I was able to meet so many new clients and continue to build relationships with all of my regular ones. I got to learn so much and grow so much in the Lord this year that I can hardly remember it all without looking in my journals. I feel very good about the blogging I got to accomplish and all of the experiences we had as a family. My pregnancy was difficult at times with a lot of pain and extreme exhaustion but even that I can be thankful for because going into the year we had no clue if we would even be able to conceive. Our labor process was a total surprise and went so smoothly you wouldn’t have ever known that my pregnancy had been so strenuous.
You all may know most of this already because I am a pretty open book when it comes to our families life. I think it’s important for people to see your downs just as much if not more than your ups. Life is full of both and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.
So, bring on 2020! I told the Lord that this year is the year of surrender for me. Surrendering all of my ideas, plans, goals, finances, relationships, health… all of it. It is all His to begin with.
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. The world and all it’s people belong to Him.” Psalm 24:1
I pray this year I remember that verse and that I live with loose generous hands and a spirit open to correction and growth knowing that all that I have whether it be material or not was given by Him and it is all His. May I remember that all that we feel we lose this year was first given by Him and it is also all His.
Happy New Year!
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Beckett's Story pt. 5
After picking my mouth up off the floor
we finished up the conversation and she told me I needed to go take a pregnancy test and call her back with the results. We hung up the phone and I stopped dead in my tracks.
I got on my hands and knees and cried. I cried so hard. So full of thankfulness, but equally filled with wonder and awe and anxiousness. Just because some paper was saying it was likely I was pregnant did not mean a test would read the same. I got very real with myself and with God in that moment on the floor. I began to worship Him and sang a song that I had been resting in.
“You are worthy of it all. For from You are all things, and to You are all things. You deserve the glory. All of the glory, all of the glory is Yours, is Yours, is Yours.”
I began to say out loud to Him “Even if not, You are still good. You still deserve my worship. You Lord still deserve ALL of the Glory. If this test is negative You are still faithful and You will deliver on Your promise.” I was scared to death to drive up the street to Walgreens and buy that test. What if it was negative? Would my heart truly still worship Him for all that He deserves or was my heart truly thankful because I felt He was finally giving me what we had prayed and believed for? I wanted my heart to be thankful for the sweet gift of life, but mostly I wanted to to remain content with getting more of God even if it wasn’t His timing yet.
I bought the tests and came home and wasted no time peeing on that darn stick.
As I waited I sang again to God that exact same song. I read all of the verses I had written down about His goodness and faithfulness. I remembered how the Apostle Paul wrote in. “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:8-11)
If that test came back negative I wanted to be sure that I remembered that the true gift from God was the gift of repentance and salvation through His son Jesus, and not even the life of a child placed inside of me can replace that joy. It made sense to me that this journey was meant to sharpen me and make me rely on Christ. This journey was for me to know that all of the scripture in the bible reminding us of Gods faithfulness always is to make us turn back and remember that He will be faithful to fulfill the promise of salvation in His son Jesus. It was a reminder that because He is faithful in that, we can be sure that in His divine timing He will deliver on every single promise He gives us.
It was positive.
“All of the Glory, ALL of the Glory, it’s Yours. It’s Yours.”
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All Hail King Jesus
There is a place of brokenness that no man wants to travel to.
There is a place so dark that we dare to even imagine it. That darkness contains absolutely no light whatsoever. It’s complete death. It is pure evil and wickedness. No man wants to enter this place. No man has the humility to lower themselves to walk in and sit down here. How dare we even think of such a place? Can we imagine a place where our own children would murder us in cold blood? Can we imagine a place where we wouldn’t think twice about hurting our loved ones to the point of death? The highest forms of torture and violence are not only planned here, but they are celebrated. The most atrocious act of hatred and evil that you can imagine, bringing joy and celebration in this dark place. The inhabitants here receive so much gladness from the utter terror going on around them, they cry in exultation of the despair. They desire nothing more than to relish in the suffering of one another, cheering one another on in acts of hatred. Racism. Murder. Lies. Cheating. Rape. Disgust at ones own body. Incest. Greed. Abuse. Harsh words. Terrorism. Disease. Death. Depression. Addiction. Identity Crisis. Empty of mercy. Pride. Gossip. Deception. Arguing. Disorder in the family. The are boastful and disobedient. They are jealous and are full of EVERY kind of wickedness. The wickedness they know is not enough, so they invent new ways to be wicked. Promise breakers and haters of God, that’s what they are. (Romans 1:29-31) They call out to the clouds to bring hurricanes and they scream to the flames of fires to grow bigger and stronger to burn people alive. In this place they try their absolute hardest to outdo one another in evil acts, wanting absolutely nothing to do with mercy or grace. Hating everything that gives light or hope.
Do not mention love
or you will hear shrieks of the highest pitch your ear drums may bleed. In this place of darkness you will have to prove yourself to get in. You will be tested to see how strong your hatred really is. How evil are you? Are you worthy of being here? Do you puff yourself up in pride because of how much you know? Can you murder your own flesh and blood? Do you lie on your taxes and look at others in anger? What about your attitude, is it hateful and frustrated? Are you REALLY bad enough to come in and compete for the place of the most wretched?
This place does exist, it resembles the place we would all like to recognize as hell.
But this place I speak of is the heart of every man.
There is a place of light that broken men dream of, but cannot truly begin to imagine. Do we dare to try and comprehend a place where absolutely no darkness can exist? Where the slightest hint of evil or immorality can’t enter? No man has the authority to enter here. No man could ever comprehend the holiness that is in this place. Perfection, what is that? Do we even have the capacity to understand all that is in this place of holiness? A place where nobody is allowed besides the creator, because one touch from the created would defile it completely. There is a place where even maggots praise their creator, and their creator finds great joy in their worship and praise. This place exudes with all kinds of the things man loves to imagine. Peace. Joy. Love. Grace. Mercy. Justice. Goodness. Truth. Health. Forgiveness. Rest. Abundance. Fullness.
This place also exists, and it is what we would like to call Heaven.
But this place I speak of is the heart of God.
How do we get there?
How do we get from one heart, to the other heart? How am I able to get from pure evil to goodness? If the heart of GOD cannot be touched by the darkness, and I am only darkness, how will I ever get to the heart of GOD. I am not that bad. I do not wish to hurt my children. I do not wish to rape, and I try my hardest to be honest. I hate terrorism and racism. I am not completely evil. I am not that bad. I struggle, but I love God.
_But I dare inform you of the scriptures that we so love to read and skip over…
“For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.” Mark 7:21-23
Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:26–29
“as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become useless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.”
_And let me also remind you of the scriptures that we hold so dear
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” Ephesians 2:4-5
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
“Though they were not yet born, and had done nothing either good or bad — in order that God’s purpose to choose might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls.” Romans 9:11
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
_You get to GOD’s heart by Christ and Christ alone.
ANY good in you comes from Him alone, and any evil that you do NOT take part in comes from Him alone. You are the created, He is the Creator. He takes your rebel heart of stone and turns it to heart of flesh. He brings you from death to life. He redeems your evil and can use you for good, for His glory. It is only by the saving grace of Jesus on the cross that you are able to enter the throne room of God and bow at His feet and worship Him. It is his mercy that restrains you from what your heart of wickedness would choose on your own. This is why we worship King Jesus. This is why we call God our Father, Adonai. Master. This is how we come to the right position of worship and awe before our perfect creator. Again, you get to the heart of GOD through Christ, and through Christ alone. If this reality that perfection would choose to welcome in radical corruption and give it the chance to be new doesn’t bring you to fall on your knees in praise and desire and longing to experience the holiness that is our God, then my heart truly breaks for you. There is no possibility that once you grasp how bad you truly are and how good God truly is that you can possibly turn down His offer of forgiveness.
The amount of love that our God has for you is something you cannot fully comprehend, but I desire the hunger to comprehend, for all of us.
I will leave you with the words of Timothy…
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; “
1 Timothy 2:1-8
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