Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Slump

I haven't written in a while. My first taste of writer's block, perhaps? If I don't have anything to say, I shouldn't write anything. Oh wait, it's if you don't have anything NICE to say don't say anything. At any rate, I'm writing because my wonderful husband revealed to me that he's my biggest blogging fan and he looks forward to reading each new blog entry. Who would have thought? Ha! So I'll dedicate this blog to him. He really is an amazing man. I have known him since first grade (and I remember him). We have been through many bumps and bruises, fun times, and life changing times. We have been on a journey, sometimes together and sometimes on our own. I mean how can you be a strong married couple if you aren't whole people? Let me say that I believe that God has always been with us, leading & guiding us, but four years ago God made it very clear that we had some fixing to do. Praise God for that! Let's just say that it's nice to ride the ebb and flow of life in a boat together then paddling by yourself.

Adam is smart, funny, hardworking, dedicated, and awesome with children. He loves me! It is definitely not always easy. You know Adam heard on a radio program once that normal is a setting on your dryer. The sooner we figured out that there is not an attainable "normal" the better off we were in our marriage. We need to stop worrying about what other people are doing or not doing. You are not the only one not getting what you want, you are not the only one going through this pain, you are not the only one that struggles with this or that! Why do we think everybody else has it easy and we don't? Since this is my blog I'm just going to say it. We put on a mask, we make everyone else believe that we have it all together, we smile, we are polite, we don't let anyone in or else they might see that we are as flawed as the next guy and we struggle as much as anybody else does. Why do we do that? It's such a trap. Being a friend, a spouse, should mean that we can share the hard things, which leads to deeper connections. The Bible encourages us to "carry each other's burdens", but we're so afraid of what people might think that we don't do that. It also goes back to trust (see a previous blog entry for my take on that). In order to share, we have to be able to trust each other. People are so alike it isn't funny. If we could all take off our "masks" we would all see that we have the same fears, the same issues, same struggles. Four years ago, God "turned the light on" in my marriage with Adam. God made it clear that we were no longer going to pretend with each other. Once we got the hard stuff out of the way with each other, we started sharing with our close friends. What a difference that has made in our connections with each other and our friends. We can honestly say that we have real intimacy and deep relationships with people because we are honest with each other. We can ask for prayer or even help because people know what's going on. And when people know what's going on, they can see how amazing God is and how He works in & through our lives.

"If you don’t see the real me you won’t see what mercy’s done. If you don’t see my weakness you won’t see what love has won. If you don’t see the distance from the darkness to the sun- You won’t see. Honestly."
Lyrics from the song "Honestly" by VOTA

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quotes of the Day

"You've never gone through anything that wasn't supposed to mean something." - Beth Moore, "Breaking Free"

"We've control of little in this world. It doesn't belong to us. It's out of our hands. Like being born... All we can change is the way we think and the way we live." -Francine Rivers, "Redeeming Love"

"The outcome of our lives is not determined by what happens to us but by how we respond to what happens to us." -Nancy Leigh DeMoss, "Choosing Forgiveness"

Paraphrased from the movie "Facing the Giants":
There were two farmers. Both prayed to God for rain for their crops. One prepared his field for the rain and the other just waited. Which man had more faith in God that it would rain? Obviously, the man who prepared his fields for it.
When we ask God to do something in our life, are we preparing a way for it or are we just waiting to see IF the Lord will provide?
Prepare "your fields" for rain and you will be blessed!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Helpless, but not hopeless

This has been quite a year for the Willard family. Last March 2008, Adam's mom found out she had Stage 4 ovarian cancer. She had major surgery and chemotherapy thru August. Many setbacks & complications later, she found out in September that she is in remission. A miracle! Praise God! Then in August 2008, Adam's grandmother (his mom's mom) found out she had breastcancer. She had a lumpectomy and is currently undergoing chemotherapy followed by radiation treatments. Both his Mom and Grandmom have been inspiring examples throughout their ordeals. Their cancer has just brought them all the more closer to Him!
PHILIPPIANS 4:11-13 "...I have learned to be content in all circumstances...whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Two Sundays ago, our brother-in-law (Adam's sister's husband) was baptized at Chelten Baptist Church. Something we were blessed to see happen after all these years. He said that watching Adam's mom deal with her cancer in such a positive way, giving all the praise to the Lord, was a real encouragement to him. Today I found out that our other brother-in-law (husband of Adam's younger sister) has an uncommon condition called Chiari malformation and will have surgery next week. They are currently living in California, far away from friends and family. God, we know you are working! It's so hard when you want to fix it. You want to make it better, but you can't. You can only take comfort in the fact that God has a plan and He is in control. He knows everything (SEE Psalm 139)!

Yesterday, I had to pick up my son early from school because he had an ear ache. It must have been really painful because I haven't seen him so miserable! How helpless to be a Mom watching your child writhe in pain, crying because it hurts so badly. Thankfully, we only had to wait an hour before he could see the doctor and get some relief. It's amazing how natural it is for humans to want to fix everything. But sometimes, not fixing it is fixing it. Pretty deep, right? A very wise woman once said, "When we can't be in control we can see how God protects us. Sometimes God uses "suffering" so we can see how great He is" and how much we NEED Him! So take comfort in knowing that although we can't fix everything, GOD CAN!

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverence. Perseverence must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." JAMES 1:2-4

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A little something about TRUST...

Is there anyone who does not struggle with trust in some area of his life?

According to Webster's Dictionary, trust is "a firm belief in the honesty, reliability of another; something entrusted to someone". Trust is inevitable. If you don't trust in the Lord then you trust in someone or something else.

The trouble is that we want so much for people to be trustworthy that we forget the fact that it is also inevitable that a human being will fail us or betray our trust. We attach ourselves to people (husbands, wives, children, parents) or things (shopping, television, alcohol, sex, addictions) that we know are going to fail us.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't trust people. But we need to be careful when we put ALL of our trust, ALL of our confidence in a person or thing.

Beth Moore wrote, "the higher the expectation we have for (a person), the further they're going to fall…People can help us, but they can't heal us."

So if people are going to let us down, why bother?

At my lowest points with people, through faith, I know I can trust God. I have had things happen in my life that have made me feel like I couldn't trust people. I can't keep struggles & affliction away, I can't control whether other people will or will not hurt me.

All I can do is trust in a God who is unchanging, faithful, and absolutely trustworthy.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him." JEREMIAH 17:7-8
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." PROVERBS 3:5

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Two in a Row

It's raining and cold outside today. It's one of those days you imagine staying in bed under your warm covers and sleeping in...but then back to reality because that's rarely possible these days. I was just thinking "what is a blog anyway?". I guess it can be whatever you want it to be. I have seen blogs that purpose to update & let people know what's going on in their family. I have seen blogs used as a kind of public journal. I guess the people that read your blog actually care about what's going on with you or they wouldn't be reading it, right? I guess most bloggers don't really care about who's reading it. It probably doesn't matter really why people blog. I think I'm mostly curious and I have always enjoyed writing. Whatever the reason why you are reading my blog, I hope you will either learn something new about me or my family or find encouragement for your day. Otherwise, why bother?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New to this...

So I have no idea what I'm doing. And I'm not sure whether I'm going to continue doing this or not, but I like learning new things so here it goes. This is obviously my first blog and my first post. It's 2009 and we just enjoyed the long Christmas and New Year's holidays. Everyone is back to work and school and we are adjusting to life as usual. "Life as usual" is code word for back to the laundry, the dishes, making lunches... I'm certainly not complaining as I really enjoy staying home with my kids and taking care of my family. It has been the most fulfilling thing I have ever done and I can't imagine missing out on this time with the kids. I don't know how I do it sometimes. God is faithful and He provides. It's the only way I can be here right now. And I'm married to a wonderful man that works hard and takes that responsibility very seriously. It begs the question, though, why am I blogging right now instead of doing the dishes? Well, I will do the dishes, even though it is my least favorite household chore, but I tend to put it off until right before I have to make dinner when I need the space, the pots & pans, and it is absolutely necessary for me to clean the dishes or atleast put them in the dishwasher before I can cook. It works for me. Cooking on the other hand I enjoy. I just wish I didn't have to clean up afterwards. Not quite ideal to like the cooking but not the cleaning up. It reminds me of days in my childhood when my Dad, a "tree man", would climb up into a tree and trim all the dead wood out. He got to swing in the trees and make a big mess, but my brother & I would have to pick up all the branches that fell and drag them into a pile. I think I have always hated "cleaning up". Make the craft, play the game, cook the meal, start the project, but never ever wanting to clean up when I was done. I mean I did clean up, just like I cleaned up those branches and I will clean up my dishes piled in the sink. I just don't LIKE doing it. I can't be the only one like that. Although my friend Meredith said the other night that doing dishes was her favorite thing to do. Can you imagine?
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