Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Laying Down The Armor

Confession time....

I've had some issues here lately. [Duh...ya think Missy?]

I haven't been myself for a while. [Not quite sure who I've been.  Maybe Craig was right when said I should choose Ursula the sea witch as my Disney avatar.] 

I won't bore you with the details of this dreadful school year but I will say that my mood was compounded by the fact that I've felt so out of control in my own classroom.  Honestly, that has been the one place that felt "together" for me until this year.

Somewhere, along the way, I lost myself.

I lost my joy.

I lost my faith.

I stopped believing that I needed to give it over to God.

I am not sure where, along this journey over the last year, that this happened. Looking back on several moments I would say that it wasn't long after Christmas this year.  

There isn't one defining moment or event that happened.  

It just happened.

I stopped finding joy in the stuff that used to be me...

I haven't baked cookies or a cake in forever [unless I absolutely had to].

I stopped running/walking/moving. [I have NEVER in my life been as heavy as I am at this exact moment.  Its quite embarassing.]

I quit trying to actually worry about how I look every day. [Some of you are like, "We couldn't tell the difference."]

I stopped sending my daily text message to my friends.

I stopped listening to voicemails.

I. Just. Stopped.

There have been so many sleepless nights in the last few months.  Nights where I would, literally, sit here and think and worry and try to do life all alone. Nights spent retreating further into this place of frustration and anger.  

But, slowly, because God is so gracious and so much bigger than anything going in my life and because I know there have been people praying on my behalf, He has been speaking truth in my ear. [And when I say speaking, I mean really speaking.] He has delivered me out of this darkness.

Just like He promised.

This past Sunday, our message at church was about working until Jesus comes. As I listened and took notes, my heart began to stir in a way that it hasn't in a while.  While my toes were being stepped on, it was my soul that felt the shame over my behavior and attitude these past few months.  

The one statement from our dear pastor that resonated with me [really slapped me out of this stupor I've been in for months] was simply this:

"Saved people can act shamefully."
Disruptive behavior.
Being a busybody.

Yep.  That just about sums me up. [I mean, really, there is nothing like a good, swift kick in the seat to make you pick up the mirror and say, "Oh, hey you."]

2 Thessalonians 3:11-15 
11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them,in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

I have been pondering this particular set of verses for the better part of two days now.  Not only that, but God has busted this puppy right open and laid it right in front of me.  

Ya'll know I like the internet. [Sounds sort of redneck doesn't it?  If the shoes fits...] Tonight, while on Pinterest [pinning 12,458 things that I'll never make, bake, or read] I came across a blog. Now, you and I both know it was no mistake that I landed here but a God thing. 

Daughter by Design

I was led to this specific post about becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman and I began to read.  [I'm guessing my head is as hard as everyone says it is because it took me until about 1:OOam to realize that I desperately need to work on doing the things from Proverbs 31.]  

I HAVE to:

  • Get up early and make time for God and prayer.
  • Take care of myself - physically and spiritually. [Get some sleep. Exercise. Study and follow scripture. And yet, it is 2:15am and I am banging away at this keyboard.]
  • Become unselfish and help others.
  • Be optimistic. [This one hit me hard.  Craig has always called me "silver lining" because I see the good in everything...but not lately.]
  • Take care of my home and car and personal space. 
  • Speak in wisdom and encouragement. [Side post: I've struggling with this one lately and I am burdened.  Ya'll know I am going to fiercely defend my children when I know someone is treating them wrongly or being mean. I mean, like the Hulk. After a recent heartbreak, my son was hurting and I reached out to him, but he taught me so much more than I taught him.  "Mom, it's not bothering me like it bothers you. I promise I am fine and I have moved on.  I will not hide behind my Twitter or text messages and I can't control those that do. My God is bigger than any of this and I know that He is in control. You have to let this go because I have." Well played, God, well played.  He breathed those words through my son, not to reassure him but to reassure me. Can't argue with that now can you?]
  • Work without complaining. [And again, haven't done a fantastic job with this one but I will work on it.]
  • Take care of her appearance. [In my defense, my hair does have a mind of its own.  I try.]
  • Take care of my life, my spiritual heart, and live in a way that honors God. 
So, I am laying down my armor [mixaphorically speaking] and I am making a promise to myself, but most importantly, to my God that I will have faith, even when I'm not sure where the path is leading me.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

I do not want to be a saved person that lives in shame because I won't just let God have it all. I believe, fully, Philippians 4:13.

We sang this song this past Sunday.  I included it in this blog because of these words:
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated

Forever. He is glorified.
Forever. He is lifted high.
Forever. He is risen.
He is alive.
He is alive.

I mean, if Jesus can be flogged, nailed, and broken so that I may know eternal life then I can say to Him that I believe in Him with my whole heart.

Piece by piece.

I lay it down.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Hope You Had the Time of Your Life

We survived....


Emily and Molly

Emily and Molly...getting photobombed!!

Lyndsay, Haley, Emily, and Molly...Totally describes them to a T!
Molly had an amazing time with her biffles and her handsome date. [I have TONS of pics of her and the boy but I didn't want to overstep my bounds by posting pics of him without really knowing him...He might find that a tad bit odd.]  

She was gorgeous [of course she was] and ready to take on the world. 

Her friends were gorgeous [at the least the female friends were...the boys may think gorgeous should not be used to describe them....the boys were very handsome] and full of fun and happiness.  

Oh to be 18 again....

[Its about to get deep...and not the kind you need a shovel for...emotionally deep.  You've been warned....]
13 more days.

I was thinking last night, as I began this post, about some things I want to say to Molly as she prepares to start a new chapter in her life.

Choose wisely.  Your friends. Your future spouse.  Your Saturday night activities. [I think this one needs no explaining but trust me on this one.] One choice, made out of anger or despair or desire can Cost. You. Dearly. When you are away, at college, your parents won't be there to question what you are doing or who you are with so choose wisely.  [I speak from experience.]  

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. 
Philippians 4:8

Take some risks.  [Some of you are scratching your noggin' because I just said choose wisely....]  Take a fun elective in school or pursue something you never thought you could do.  As a college sophomore, I took scuba diving.  I am SEVERELY claustrophobic [not afraid of Santa Claus but closed in spaces]. I took my certification dive in the CAYMAN ISLANDS.  Take some risks and don't be afraid.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Find a cause to support. Volunteer at Hospice or a soup kitchen. Be a mentor to an underprivileged child.  Learn to serve others because it ain't about you.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45

Laugh...A lot. Yes. College is serious.  [I mean, I did squeeze 4 years into 6 years...] But that doesn't mean that you can't find the time to have fun and laugh.  You will make some of the best friends you'll ever have and hopefully, continue to grow the friendships you have now.  Find the laughter and the joy, even in the mundane times and times of hardship. 

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
Proverbs 31:25 

Budget your money.  I am the WORLD'S WORST money manager. [Ask Craig. And my dad.]  I am not good because I don't [didn't] listen.  Don't be like me. Save up, save up, SAVE UP.  Tithe.  Spend your money wisely.  NEVER BUY ANYTHING YOU CAN'T PAY FOR UP FRONT [in other words...AVOID credit cards...avoid them like they are the plague...]

Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Proverbs 13:11

There aren't many days, here lately, where I am able to hold back the tears when I think about Molly graduating from high school.  This has been an emotional several weeks.  I know I have three more behind her [of course, the jury is still out if Gabe will actually finish high school because he is a first grade delinquent when it comes to homework] and each of them will bring bittersweet emotions. 

There are things I could tell about Molly's grand entrance into our lives but some things need to be kept private.  I will say that I was an unwed mother [we were married when she was 5 months old] and I'm not sure many people [including myself] really believed we would actually make this family work.  No one has ever felt more guilty than Craig and I for starting out the way we did, with a baby out of wedlock, but God does amazing things when we feel like the world is stacked against us.  

God already knew, even before we saw her in that first ultrasound, that Molly would change our lives in ways we could never imagine.

He knew that she would grow into this amazing young woman, who loves her Jesus, her family, and her friends without reservation.  

My tears are not to hinder her journey but because I am so fiercely proud of who she has become. 

13 days will go quickly but these memories will be here forever.  

My dearest Molly, I hope you've had the time of your life.  

The best is yet to come my sweet girl.