Monday, January 26, 2015

Filling an empty tank

Last week at the GF office we watched a really short video that focused in on identifying what "drains" and what "fills" you as an individual. It was really good, and last night the hubs and I went on a date and really got to dive into those things. {Side note, we had no money left in our January eating out budget so we packed sandwiches and walked around the pond at a park -- it was great!} 
Anyways, it was great to brainstorm those things for ourselves and also to know them about each other. If you know what drains your spouse than you can either A. NOT do those things lol or B.Understand they need some inflow since they just had a big out pour.
We are still working on our lists, it's hard to think of the specific things that just suck you dry but I challenge you to do it! With these past months being some of the most draining and exhausting of our lives we have learned firsthand how bad we handle stress at times in the sense that we just go into extreme survival mode. And I think there are times in life where that's just the reality. 
 If in the midst of  hospital visits, medications and appointments Jeremy had said "I need to fill my tank I'll be out fishing all day" it probably wouldn't have been the BEST form of refilling in that specific time. But to an extent we do need to do this. When Juliana was getting one of her many MRI's instead of sitting outside the room I went for a walk around the park across the street. Be mindful of things that are just draining you so that you can make sure to double up on things that fill you. 

For me just getting outside in some form of nature works, even 10 minutes. After a long tantrum and no nap filled day I will absolutely walk around our block when Jeremy gets home. Knowing the specific things that tear down and build up our spouse makes us able to serve each other better and a much better team overall! 

Here is the video check it out :) 

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

When you hear nothing.

This season of our lives has been more than the word "challenging" can really sum up. 

As I write I hear the steady "hiccup, hiccup, hiccup" of my toddler. I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it, I'm tired of talking about it. We are in a discouraging spot where we had been so full of hope  in the diagnosis of her having this esophagus disease and that it would be the SOURCE of her hiccups. Months into the medicines and rigid diet we still see no change. While we pray it just needs more time there's no other word for how we feel--aggravated. 

Sometimes we get into these habits of feeling entitled. Like God owes us. For whatever reason.....maybe we've been "good", or spent our life serving Him, or have already had so many bad things happen we don't deserve one more thing. But he doesn't owe us. I've been noticing that pattern in my thinking. I want to say that I am handling this season, the most difficult I've ever faced, with grace, hope and patience.
But that is not always the case.
 I've had to take captive my thoughts and attitudes of anger about this situation. I get so upset that is happening to her. That I feel like every family around me has normal 3 year olds with normal struggles (another misconception that we only see when angry!) My husband said tonight that he was grateful for what this trial was doing in our lives and walk with God.
My first thought was "really?!" I would so much rather have a trial of my own in my own suffering or pain than have to watch my tiny child go through anything. But isn't that just it? It's hardest to trust him with the things I value most, to hand over the thing clutched hard in my hand, unwilling to give up for fear that he won't handle it with the care necessary.
My husband has been the constant, daily reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness throughout this whole thing. My mind often struggles with why God is allowing this to a person like me who already has a tendency to fret and worry -- but again that's just the point. He has so much to teach me and has already in this.

I'm not in control.

I never have been in control.

When things are going easy in life there is the illusion that we hold some ounce of control but we don't. He is the only one I can trust with this. He will save the day. We pray that he will use doctors and some revolutionary cure or cause for her case that no one has ever seen or heard of.....but it will be him.

So as we pray and wait and hear nothing, see nothing, we trust. As I lay for hours and plead for hiccups to stop at night I rest in peace that he will take care of her. Even when they don't stop. My faith and trust in God is not dependent on if he does what I want in my life. He's not my genie in a a bottle who "if he really loved me" would do what I am asking. Bad and painful things happen in life and we spout out things like "God why would you let this happen, why won't you stop it, etc etc". God isn't in a box that we understand and control, and we never ask why he chooses to allow blessings when things are happy and good -- but yikes are we angry when they get bad.

He has this whole crazy painful life worked out for his purpose. None of it makes any sense or seems to have any purpose right now but it does in him.
Soon we hopefully come out of this, and it can be something to look back to and remember that urgent dependency on Christ. And if life doesn't change we continue to wait. Expectantly waiting on him even when we hear nothing.

I hope in some way this encourages you. I know my blog is kind of a downer lately but life isn't exactly easy right now, but is it ever? I know hurting people are everywhere. They are easier to see when you are hurting too. What a unfathomable joy it is to take this burden that feels like pounds of bricks on my shoulders at times and offload them on him. I can't imagine my life without Christ and what he has done for us.

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