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Archive for the ‘Mindspace’ Category

” ‘I will not let You go until You bless me,’ was the tenacious, passionate motto of my youth. It was the ultimate challenge to God of how much I really wanted the things I said I did.”

I read these words from the blog “Mindspace” and everything stopped as I thought of the implication these words had for me. Yes, I have spent years praying for my marriage, but God knows my heart, and He knows I have not prayed for my husband with conviction, passion or faith in a long, (long) time.

“God then challenged me to acknowledge that as long as I didn’t pray for my husband, I had no right to complain, or be dissatisfied, or demand change . . . “

“It was like God was saying, ‘What kind of marriage do you really want? What kind of man are you really seeking for in your husband? How serious are you? How much do you really want it? Enough to go to therapy, read books on marriage and self improvement . . . But how about pray? You complain, analyze, are disappointed, disillusioned, ready to give up . . . while it is much more work to trust God’s timing, to stand your ground, to stay alert to Satan’s lies . . . Pray. Pray for the fathers you never had, the intimacy you’ve never seen modeled, the honesty and wholeness that is foreign to both of your families of origin.’ “

“He challenged me  to never open my mouth and complain if I am not willing to spend even a fraction of that time on my knees praying.”

” . . . And so I will pray. Not just for the sake of myself and my husband, but for my children, the new generation, I am praying for a new family history, a break in the sin of the forefathers, and a new level of health and wholeness for my family.” ~ Mindspace

Wow, huh? I am humbled by her words. How can I not be when they cut to the core of everything?

” . . . And so I will pray.”

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“Exhausted”
“Defeated”
“Frustrated”
“Lonely”
“Overwhelmed”
“Depressed”
“Discouraged”
“Ashamed”
“Angry”
“Insecure”

“These are the words used by today’s Christian women to describe themselves . . . Many living under a cloud of personal guilt and condemnation. In bondage to their past, whether the result of their own failures or the failure of others. Their pasts hang like huge weights around their necks. Others in bondage to what the Bible calls the ‘fear of man’ – longing for approval.” (Lies Women Believe ~ DeMoss)

Yes, yes, and yes. This is me. This is my life. And yet, someone who doesn’t even know me was familiar enough with my life to write about it. I am convinced more than ever that the devil is a liar and he will always use the areas in which I am most vulnerable to keep me spiritually impotent and ineffective.

According to De Moss, the cycle begins when we listen to the lie, dwell on the lie, believe the lie, then eventually live as if the lie is truth.

The solution? Identify the area of bondage, identify the lies at the root, replace the lies with Truth.

What lies have I believed, how has it manifested in the way I live, and what steps do I need to take to re-align my life with the Truth?

In my marriage, I have felt “ravenous for kindness, starved for approval, distraught with my fear of abandonment.” Now realizing that I need Him “filling me up constantly enough so that I can be in a place of surplus – so that I can have enough grace for others.” (mindspace by T.C)

A Letter To Myself:
I need to release my need for his approval. For his compliments. For wanting him to be proud I am his wife. I need to let go of trying to understand his thought process. To make sense of how he can easily compliment the talent, appearance and personality of others but virtually ignore me. I must rely on God to provide what my husband does not. I must grow stronger in who I am in Christ so that I can live confidently. I may always wish things were different and may always hope they will be, but I must finish grieving for what my marriage is not and move forward in life – regardless of the circumstances – and be filled by Him, allowing and believing His grace to be sufficient.

Psalms 31:14-15a But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, “You are my God! My future is in your hands . . . “

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A part of me fights the thought that all my life has been full of pain for nothing. I feel God has to make it meaningful at some point. One day, I want to look back over my life and have gratitude and joy. I recently read that the word Ephraim means, ‘God has blessed me to be fruitful in the land of my suffering.’ – Fruitful in the land of my suffering . . . The word “fruitful” hit a chord with me. I like the word ‘fruitful’. I want to know that IT was purposeful in my life. My tears, my sorrow, my mourning, my sacrifice. Even if it means nothing to the one I love – at least God, You will make it fruitful.” (mindspace by T.C)

Lie: God should fix my problems . . .

Truth: Living an obedient life does spare us from the many problems that are the natural consequences of a life lived apart from God. But that does not mean those who follow Christ will be exempt from problems. Until heaven, there will be many tears, sorrows, pressures and problems. He uses pressures and problems to mold and shape our lives and to make us like His Son. God has a purpose for our problems. He wants to use them to change us and reveal His grace and power to the world. (Lies Women Believe ~ De Moss)

The words of others resonates so accurately with my own heart when it comes to the lie that “God should fix all my problems.” And while the Truth is something I KNOW, when I am in the midst of my problems, it is so hard to make sense of His will and His ways.

“Our circumstances not only molds our character , but also reveals it.”

Realizing that this current problem is not my first, and will not be my last, but with each challenge, I have the opportunity to let it refine me.

James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

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While my husband was in Arizona, I tried to make the most of his absence and view it as a break from his difficult personality. The household was peaceful but the kids were so needy, not giving me even a minute of downtime to do anything else but be available to them. Since my husband is not usually welcoming to their friends, while he was gone, the kids had friends over almost every night for dinner. Despite the work required in being a hostess, the atmosphere was relaxed and dinner time was filled with much laughter and conversation.

With my husband’s return, the tension, chaotic energy & guarded interactions that keep us disconnected have also returned. I saw the following comments from the blogs I read and could relate so well to the author’s sentiments:

” Sometimes I feel like I have the maturity of a child. It takes days for me to relax and trust that your presence is not fleeting. It takes weeks of consistency for me to trust & depend on your friendship. It takes months to feel comfortable enough to call you when I need a friend.” – (mindspace by t.c.)

” . . . the times he’s absent and you numb a piece of your heart, resentment leaving a thick, bitter coating . . . What you wouldn’t give to feel like you were created from a piece of bone near his heart, wildly adoring who you are together.” – (a deeper story)

On the first weekend of my husband’s return, we attended the wedding of his cousin. I dressed with care, hoping he would notice. I spoke with endearment in attempt to draw him to me. Longing for his approval and some glimmer or sign to indicate he had missed me. As usual, he seemed too pre-occupied with a hundred other things to observe my attempts to connect.

At the end of the day. when the vows had been exchanged, congratulations had been given and the wedding couple toasted, we drove home in silence. My husband lost in his own thoughts and me, with this on my mind: “I realize how far I am from that innocent bride that was filled with so much hope as she walked toward her husband at the marriage altar. A bride who would have laid down her life out of love for her husband. No, I am not that bride anymore and I never will be again. My co-dependant self screams to him, ‘You killed her. You starved her little by little, till she was gone.’ “ (mindspace by t.c.)

Ephesians 5: 22-28 (the Message) Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.

How and when did we get things so wrong from the way they should be?

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“I often wonder, if given the space to be a different person, who would I reinvent myself to be?” . . . (mindspace by t.c.)

Over the course of my life, I have felt very little freedom to be anyone other than the me I was expected by others to be. Growing up, those “others” included my parents, extended family, schoolmates, teachers, & (even) God. My family was very involved in church ministry, so living in a fish bowl with the eyes of the congregation watching, was my norm. Going to a small Christian school and conservative (legalistic) church meant my world was controlled by definite rules of conduct. All judgements were made by appearances. So as long as I looked & acted the “right” way, no one really questioned the condition of my heart. Not even me . . .

In college, living away from home, I had the opportunity to experience an unaccountability that I had never known. I began to question,”What did I believe, who was I, and who did I want to become?” At the age of 20, before I had an opportunity to answer those questions fully & with confidence, my identity became “mother”. I embraced the responsibilty that came with the title and loved my role. So much so, that after getting married and adding “wife” to my resume, along with many others, years had passed before I realized that these labels had become more of a description of what I did – not who I was.

Taking away the titles, responsibilites, and expectaions others have of me, who would I re-invent myself to be? Ahh – now that is a question to think about. I have such a wide spectrum of the “me” I would like to be – some very far from the woman people now see. How to reconcile them all into one “me”? Not quite sure . . . is it even possible? Can the “me” that wants to feel sexy still be respectable enough to teach Sunday school? How about the “me” whose heart’s desire is to be a stay at home mom and yet also wants to have a career that is fulfilling and pays well. Then there’s the “me” who would lay down my life for my children but who secretly wishes I could be that woman who is able to spend all her time, money & energy on herself. Oh and can’t forget the “me” that is pleasure seeking, yet who also truly desires to put God first.

Balance and boundaries – something God is still trying to teach me.

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I have to believe, You love me

You will come through for me

You will be faithful

You hold my dreams

I have to believe, You want to bless me

You make beauty out of ashes

You make good out of bad

I have to believe, You love me

The trembling, fragile, weeping

In a million little pieces me.

But do You love him more?

You fill his needs

You gave me to him

You fill his incompleteness

But who fills mine?

Taken from the blog titled “Mindspace” by T.C.

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