Change, sometimes the unwelcome visitor, turns our world upside down and hurls us out of our comfort zone.
Change, even when it is invited, still shakes us up and causes stress.
Our family has been anticipating and is now going through significant changes. The greatest, most impactful change has been having our one and only child, a daughter, whom we were never supposed to have in the first place, move out of our house and into her college dorm room. (more…)
A few months ago a representative from a local organization called me. She was very interested in having me perform for one of their events. She expressed how she was touched by my story in a recent edition of Christian Living Magazine. Our conversation ended with her wishing “Blessings!” upon me. Little did I know what road those good intentions would take me on. Watch your words got real. (more…)
This is a song I wrote for my sister, Catherine, and her husband, FJ, for their wedding day (Catherine & FJ Abaya). At the time I had to sing it acapella because my hands still hurt so much. This made me very nervous, but after singing acapella on the cruise ship, I was determined to do it! I hoped it would be a blessings for their ceremony, as well as a chance for me to pray out loud my hope for their life together.
When it came time to record this song I was ecstatic to surprise them with me accompanying myself on the guitar.
This song underlines the importance of having God woven into your marriage, “three cords combined.” Life can provide you with joyful times but also many challenges and disappointments. Sometimes circumstances around you can get so bad that it can use up everything you’ve got! When two people who love each other are both dealing with their own difficult situations at the same time it can get really rocky. God can be that third cord to keep you strong and keep from breaking apart.
If you ever find yourself wondering who it is you are living with and even questioning whether you like them.
You are just normal!
We all unknowingly bring so much of our past experiences into our lives that we don’t always see the other for who they are but either who they remind us of or even who we wish they would be. It’s important to stop and recognize this.
We need to get our heads wrapped around the fact that we are all broken doing the best we can with the tools we were given.
It’s also important to be open to the fact that we could learn more through counseling.
Counseling has been a helpful tool we have referred to off and on throughout our marriage. It’s part of the reason we have made it this far.
I encourage you to embrace your spouse and the fact that you are both imperfect and can still learn and grown no matter how long you have been married.
Ultimately though, welcome God into your marriage every day. He can give us compassionate ears that can listen to our spouse when we really don’t want to. He can give us self control when all we want to do is scream about our own boss, or our own relational situations. It is purely by the strength of God that we can have what it takes to care for each other in the midst of our own stuff.
Seriously, let God give you what you need to be there for each other. Don’t turn your pain into a competition, where you compare who has the worst situation. Everyone’s feelings count. We normally know this but when we are hurting it’s hard to think clearly. Remember you are a team. You two are one, but you don’t need to do it alone! Praise God!!
Can you relate? What are some tips that have been helpful in your marriage?
“Wave of Grace” is based on my memories of Joel and I taking Jessica to the ocean for the first time. She was only 18 months old. It was such an exciting day of discovery for her! She had spent so much time either in our house or my office at the church (I was doing Youth Ministry at a church full-time) that we hadn’t actually bought her official shoes yet, just cute slippers with animals on them. In spite of her tootsies getting a little damp she waddled with all her might along the edge of the sea. She really kept us on our toes!!
After a while, she reached down and “discovered” sand. She quickly learned that wet sand sticks to your hand. She got so frustrated when she let go of the sand, but it would not let go of her! Jessica shook her hand and expressed her thoughts on the matter, grumpy that her efforts to be sand-free were so unsuccessful. Joel or I would then help her clean off all the sand. Relieved that she was free of the sand, she would immediately plunge her hand back into the wet sand! Once again, Jessica was appalled that the sand would have the audacity to stick to her hand again! Had she not made it clear that she did not appreciate this outcome!?
Grace In The Grit
I can’t help but think there must be some kind of similarity between us watching our children and God watching us choose to do things a certain way over and over and getting frustrated when we get the same results each time.
In daily life, it is so easy for me just to fall back into old habits, doing things the same way over and over but expecting a different outcome.
God wants so much good for us and yet gave us the freedom of choice, so if we don’t want the good, He has to offer we are free to reject it. That’s got to be hard when He can see so many wonderful possibilities for us…His waves of grace!
Being a Mom, I have learned that wanting the best for my daughter is not completely in my control. Sometimes cost gets in the way. Or situations. But even when I can provide her with opportunities, I can’t make her embrace them. All I can do is encourage her to be open to the experience and hope that she will choose to be positive.
I have my own times when I am open to what God wants for me and other times that I have no interest in trying something new or viewing a change more positively.
How about you? Do you try to be open to God’s direction or changes in life that come your way? Do you demand to be the one making the shots? If maybe a little of both, why?
Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did [leave us a note by leaving your comment below].
Hosting the Hope-Filled Hearts Concert was a huge endeavor. I wanted to 1) provide everyone with a great experience from the moment they walked in the door, 2) inspire people to try new things and make room for hope to grow in their hearts, 3) touch someone deeply so they would know they are not alone in their trials, and 4) impact our local community positively by gathering food for the Idaho Food Bank and the Idaho Humane Society.
This meant a lot of details needed to be taken into account and many volunteers would be required to reach my vision. After much time, concentration, and a couple hours out of my sleep time, I came up with a long list of jobs.
The two most amazing things about working on this project were:
I always knew there were at least a few people who had my back from the start. They planned on filling in anywhere and everywhere they might be needed. Not feeling alone in the situation, I was really able to hunker down and work hard. Many phone calls, announcements, articles, and requests were written asking for volunteer-help during the final two weeks before the event.
As each day went by I had this little fire of hope growing inside. It wasn’t because I had crowds of folks wanting to help. It was but because those who volunteered really wanted to be there and help out. They said “Yes!” with enthusiasm and often added, “what else can I do for you?” It was clear these people had planned on coming to the concert anyway, so I was truly touched. Their joy and enthusiasm to help me out just fed my own little fire of hope! Even when little speed bumps came along the way I just held on to the hope that I had been given by others.
The help of others was what really kept my hope-filled heart burning so I could shine some hope back into their lives! It is good to be hopeful, isn’t it?
What are ways you can help others discover hope for their lives? Who can you help by feeding their flame of hope?
Leave a comment below. Add to the conversation! We’ll be glad you did.