Look who has taken a liking to the new baby.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Jesus Loves Those In Messy Marriages
By Lysa TerKeurst
"But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God." Jeremiah 17:7 (MSG)
I threw the cup of orange juice across the kitchen. It felt good to do something, anything, to release all the surging anger and frustration. And I didn't even mind cleaning the pulpy, sticky mess.
It felt soothing to know how to clean something. I knew how to wipe away this mess. And I liked seeing the mess disappear.
If only my marriage mess could be fixed with soap, water, and a handful of paper towels. If only.
I whispered, God, why does this have to be so hard?
Have you ever been there?
I think many of us have. Whether we're in a really tough marriage or just in a rough patch, marriage can be messy. Hurtful. Lonely. No one ever told me about this side of marriage before I donned the white dress and danced to MC Hammer at the reception.
But after 20 years of learning, growing, and pressing through the messes to see something beautiful form in the midst of it all, here's what I know ...
Jesus loves those in messy marriages.
He loves me and my husband in the midst of it all. Jesus doesn't love the mess of hurt, isolation, and bitterness. Those are things He wants us to work on. But He never stops loving us.
Jesus loves me. And His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of me. The good parts of me. The broken parts of me. The ugly parts of me. The bitter parts of me. The loving parts of me. And even the part of me that throws orange juice.
Yes, He loves me.
And Jesus loves my husband. His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of Him. The good parts of him. The broken parts of him. The ugly parts of him. The bitter parts of him. The loving parts of him. And even the part of him that looks at me like I'm crazy when I throw orange juice.
Since Jesus loves both of us, He's the best source of help for our marriage. I don't say that without a deep awareness of how stinkin' hard it is to go to Jesus when I'm mad as fire at my husband.
And I certainly don't say it in naive simplicity. Gracious, I know some of you are facing marriage situations that rip your heart into a thousand pieces every day.
But still, I know Jesus is the best source of help.
Honest cries for help lifted up to Jesus will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 in The Message version reminds us:
But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.
So, how do I stick with Jesus? I proclaim I'm sticking with Jesus:
Jesus, I'm sticking with You.
I'm giving You what I don't understand and what I can't fix.
I'm giving You what I don't like about me.
I'm giving You what I don't like about him.
And I'm giving You what I don't like about my marriage.
I'm listening for Your instruction.
I'm positioning myself to go where I'll hear Your truth.
To talk to others who love You and serve You.
And to read wise instruction from good books and most importantly Your Book—the Bible.
And even if it kills me, I'm not throwing any orange juice today. Amen.
Jesus loves those in messy marriages. I should know. Though Art and I have a wonderful marriage now, we can still hit some rough patches now and then.
But you'll be happy to know I haven't thrown any orange juice across the kitchen lately.
Dear Lord, so much of me wants to stick with my anger and frustration. But I'm choosing to stick with You. Today I'm going to hold my temper, hold my tongue and hold Your Truth. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
These days, I am one tired mama. My energy levels are down, my attitude is down and my mood is in the toilet. Diagnosis: not enough sleep, wine or chocolate. My husband seems to think that it is funny to photograph my narcoleptic events each night. I am not as amused. As you can see, a blanket and pillow await me on the couch each evening. NO amount of coffee is helping these days.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Our family loves the Easter Season. It comes as such a reminder to us of the wonderful and amazing sacrifice that Christ did for us. His death on the cross allowed myself and my family the opportunity to be forgiven for our sins - the sins that we commit despite our efforts to live good lives. I laugh at times when I ask my kids to think of some of their sins at the end of the day and they confess them in prayers. Occasionally, I hear Paloma say "but I didn't do anything wrong today." No matter how hard we try, we do something wrong every day.
To kickoff the Easter Season, our church holds the annual Easter egg hunt. Thousands of eggs are stuffed with yummy candy and dropped into a big field - waiting for all the little kids and their Easter baskets to run out and scoop them up in a matter of minutes. Our family loves the hunt - we stuff a ton of eggs as a family and then head out Saturday night and collect as a family.
We had beautiful weather this year and thoroughly look forward to next year's festivities. Praise God for another glorious holiday. He is risen indeed!
March marked the end of another successful Upward Cheer season. Both my girls had a great this season as they were able to cheer alongside some really good friends and make a few new friends along the way. I had another great year of coaching and was once again honored to be leading a great group of girls closer to Christ.
Mattea had the privilege of being on the same squad as her good friend Payton. It definitely made the year extra special when good friends are around.
Group shot before the big end of the season performance.
Paloma and her very good friend Abby. These two girls were the youngest on the squad but they did GREAT. So proud of these little cheerleaders.
Paloma is ready to perform.
Here's to another wonderful year and another wonderful group of little girls who are committed to showing team spirit and a Christ like heart through cheerleading. Congratulations my sweet sisters!