Category Archives: Life 101

Things I have learned, am learning, or better learn!

Tectonic Plates # 3 (Continued)

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It begins shortly after the honeymoon- the shift of tectonic plates (i.e. earthquakes to the not-so-solid ground of our expectations). Like, say- when you discover your husband drinks from the carton, eats from the can and belches from his innermost parts.
Not my husband, of course, but I’ve heard…
Or later on- hypothetically speaking- he overfeeds the kids with pizza and two cartons of Rocky Road ice cream, then attempts to clean up the vomit with your vacuum while you are out for the afternoon having a baby or something…
But there’s no use arguing over the fault line, because we women are not the only ones for whom the plates shift. John had to deal with the Mother of All Tectonic Shifts, P.M.S. : One week of earthquakes, one week of disaster clean-up, two weeks recovering from aftershocks, aannd…
Begin again.
His only chance of parole was pregnancy or menopause, the latter meaning he needed a coat, scarf, and hat all winter. Even in bed. Because I need the windows open for that frosty air- it’s SWELTERING in here… Oh wait…no it’s not…Can you turn the heat up?
So yeah- we’ve leveled the playing field sisters, and it may just slope in our direction.
About these posts:
I welcome readers of the male species, but I am not comfortable addressing men in an instructive manner…Wait…What? Stop laughing John.
My opinions, while hopefully Biblical, are not intended as professional counseling. I speak to you as a sister in Christ, a mother, and a friend (yeah-that crazy one).
Let’s see…I think I’ve covered all my bases- oh, wait…one more thing: If you try my recipe for bread pudding but OMIT THE SAUCE, and end up taking home the majority of a 13×9 pan of soggy, tasteless bread from a church potluck, it’s NOT MY FAULT!!! Moving on…
A spouse who leaves their faith is no laughing matter. It’s really really scary, and based on whether its a slow slide, or a quick descent, emotions vary. We grieve. As in any grief, there’s a pattern (usually) and a process (always).
The first response is usually shock and denial, because to face a crisis gives it substance. To acknowledge it is to say, “This thing is REAL, and it might not go away.”
I prefer denial. To recognize all this pain is the last thing I want to do. What I want to do is drugs. Or run far, far, away. Or drink.
Absolut-ly.
(see former post under “Vodka”)
Yet while the temptation to escape, hide, kill, die or deny may be our first inclination, THOU SHALT NOT.
Denial is the first yellow brick on the road to insanity. We’re forced to create diversions, and depending on our coping skills (and creativity), there is no end of the lengths to which we’ll go as we attempt to keep reality from popping out of the box, Jack. But adjectives like “obsessive, “excessive,” and “destructive” are usually involved.
It often takes the death of something, to open our eyes to Truth:
“In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord….”
(Isaiah 6:1)
Your spouse’s loss of faith is a death to a tie that binds. It may be death to the reason you married him- though not death to the reason God allowed you to marry him, and I’d be pretty angry about that. Furious, maybe.
But face this death facing Him. Face Him wearing your angry eyes if that’s the reality. Maybe it’ll help a little to know that He cries over this too.
It’s a first step, and it’s a big step toward healing. Healing for you, your marriage and…. your husband because ( I say this next thing in a whisper) as difficult as it may be to embrace this, it’s quit possible-probable even- that your husband is hurting too.

Life is emotionally abusive, isn’t it? But walk in truth.

Reality is truth, and truth bites.

But then it sets you free. So walk in truth. Or crawl, if necessary.

(And know you are loved with an Everlasting Love, and that I am praying and cheering you on to the finish line).

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In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, seated on His throne, high and exalted…
Isaiah 6:1

Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE…”
John 14:6

He (the Lord) Himself has said, “NEVER will I leave you. NEVER will I forsake you.
Heb. 13:5

…If you continue in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:11,12

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Tectonic Plates 2 (continued)

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Regarding a spouse who shifts from belief to unbelief
(continued).

Two things happened yesterday to prevent me from writing on the above subject:

1. My husband John is sick. Women, you KNOW what that means: Serving up soups, teas, and barbecued steak (he uses illness to his greatest advantage); shopping for anything and everything that even alludes to the words “flu or cold,” including FLUid, FLUsh, FLUffy, and ice COLD Coca-Cola. Also gloves, wipes, masks, germicides, and anything with alcohol — just the rubbing kind, of course. Although I’ve heard Vodka can be used as a disinfectant, readers of our local newspaper could misconstrue the headline:

LOCAL PASTOR’S WIFE BUYS CASES OF ABSOLUT FOR “SICKNESS”

(Just so you know, I had to Google “popular vodka brands” in order to write that last statement).

2. (The main reason). I’m scared to death to write on the subject hitherto mentioned. I’m no expert, and judging from the private messages received, I’ve hit a need beyond my expertise- the sum total of which is listed under number one of this post (i.e. cooking, shopping, and avoiding bad press).
I spent the better part of the last two midnight shifts pondering and praying for enough courage to rise up and just plunge ahead, but I got a bit side-tracked as is my habit when stressed, so if any of you want to know how to make your own coffee-pods like for K-cups and the Starbucks Verismo, just ask. I’ve stockpiled a bunch over the past two mornings.

I’ve now run out of excuses, and I hear the heavy breathing of the “Still, Small Voice,” so I will venture on just as soon as I finish surfing the web on “How To Make Homemade Pellets for The Wood Stove.”
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Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9

Only be strong and very courageous. Joshua 1:7

Be strong and courageous and do it. 1 Chronicles 28:20

 

How to Not Drown

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Yesterday I addressed the issue of a believing spouse that decides to no longer believe—a situation listed on the Top 10 of “Things That Rock Our Boat, Tip it Over, and Leave us Flailing in the Icy Waters Off the East Siberian Coast”.

I’m reminded of a white water rafting trip on the North Fork of the American River. As we headed toward a narrow canyon, a guy, young enough to be my son, jumped out of the raft into the water. I did the only sane thing a mother would do: I jumped in after him. Turns out, that was insane. Under I went, and every time I surfaced I gulped water rather than air. So sure of my eminent death, my mind actually started singing,

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…” I once was lost but now I’m drowned…

As I flailed I heard a still, small, voice saying, “Head to shore! Head to shore!” It wasn’t God’s voice, but it was a good second— the voice of our rafting guide.

I was so busy flailing and trying to “save” the other guy (who, didn’t need saving after all), I forgot to swim. Also, had I remembered the life vest wrapped around me, I wouldn’t have panicked, but known regardless of the depth to which I sank, I’d be buoyed up again.

So it is with all things in the Top Ten, and particularly THIS thing of which I speak:

* It’s normal to freak-out when your spouse takes a dive; you just can’t REMAIN freaked-out. When you stop flailing, you’ll remember to swim.

* Also, you can’t save the guy. There’s One who can though, and our Guide is very aware of the situation. Leave it to the Expert.

– Remember you’re life-vest wet suit and scuba gear, which hadn’t been invented back in the day of Ephesians chapter 6, but they had “the full armor of God”. You have that. Put it on. Learn how to use it.

There’s no greater classroom than the School of Hard Walks, and no greater guide than the One who’s seen it all. Last I looked, He was not wringing His nail-pierced hands, but rather holding them out to you— yes, YOU. Take hold. Trust. Learn. And don’t forget to breathe.

…to be continued…

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Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Eph. 6:13

The waves Of deaths swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me…

(2 Sam. 22:5)…He treads on the waves of the sea…(Job 9:8)…He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed…(Ps. 107:29)…If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea…Isaiah 48:18

“Peace! Be still!” Jesus cried, and the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39) “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps.46:10)

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Read Mark 4 “The Storm”.

Tectonic Shift

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It is a fearful thing to marry a believer who slides into unbelief. I’ve heard the panic in a woman’s voice-and the heartbreak- as she shares concern over her husband’s waning faith. It can be the ultimate test of a marriage, and one’s own faith.

I’ll continue that topic tomorrow.

But those of you who are there, please know this: God has a plan, and it’s a good plan. Not “Plan B”, but His best plan for you: to know “the Lover of your soul” as never before.

Are you willing to trust Him? If so, the tap is now open for the cleansing of fear, depression, ugly thoughts and stresses that clog our ability to see beyond another’s faith; to the Author and Finisher of our own. To be continued…

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For your Creator will be your husband, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is His name.

Is. 54:5

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He protects His flock like a shepherd…He will carry them in His bosom and gently lead those that are with young.

Isa. 40:11

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Jesus asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

Jn. 6:67

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God’s In This- Even This

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It is a fearful thing to marry a believer who slides into unbelief. I’ve heard the panic in a woman ‘s voice—and the heartbreak, as she shares concern over her husband’s waning faith. It can be the ultimate test of a marriage, and one’s own faith.

I’ll continue that topic tomorrow.

But those of you who are there, please know this: God has a plan, and it’s a good plan. Not “Plan B”, but His best plan for you: to know “the Lover of your soul” as never before.

Are you willing to trust Him? If so, the tap is now open for the cleansing of fear, depression, ugly thoughts and stresses that clog our ability to see beyond another’s faith; to the Author and Finisher of our own.

To be continued…

————————

For your Creator will be your husband, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is His name.

Is. 54:5

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He protects His flock like a shepherd…He will carry them in His bosom and gently lead those that are with young.

Isa. 40:11

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Jesus asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

Jn. 6:67

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Looney Din

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I’m going to stay home. No. I’d better go into the church. No. I need to work on my project. Or maybe not work on my project, but finish the laundry. Or get that lettersentoffandgotothestoreorseewhatyouguysonfacebookareuptoIthinkIdranktoomuchcoffeeandaaaaaaacccccckkk!

It’s one of those mornings. “Among those nations you will find no peace or rest.” (Duet. 28:65)

“Those nations” being all the flurry and worry in me. I need to allow those “governments to be upon His shoulders”.

King David, harassed by a myriad of troubles, said, “Oh God, we meditate on Your unfailing love…”

I think I will just sit here a minute and breathe…

Inhale:”Be still and know that I am God.”

Exhale: “Give all your worries and cares to God, because He cares for you.”

Inhale: “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Exhale: “Jesus said, ‘Come to me, you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'”

Inhale: “In quietness and confidence is your strength…”

Exhale: “…but you would have none of it. (Until now).

Now, at least, I can think calmly. What should I do, when I don’t know what to do?

“Trust the Lord from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure things out on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the One who will keep you on track.” Pro 3:5-6 (The Message)

March on with courage, my soul….

Judges 5:21

Time to head out to this morning’s Women’s Bible Study

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Ps. 46:10, 1st Pet. 5:7, Ps. 91:1, Mt. 11:28, Is. 30:15, Ps. 48:9

A Bit of Christmas Cheer

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I bring you good tidings: “All is calm, all is bright,” is a delusion. There. Now don’t you feel better?

There was nothing calm or bright about that first Christmas, so what makes us think it should be different for us today?

Joseph and Mary, exhausted from traveling, enter Bethlehem. I blame all the glittery Christmas cards hanging on my stair banister for what happens next: Bethlehem is depicted as a quaint little village with clean streets- as if toilets were a thing back then, so people didn’t throw their Bucket o’ U-no-What out the door. Motel 6 was booked-but not to worry! The animal shelter is available. The one where all the farm animals have completed behavioral therapy or taken their anxiety meds, because not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse (or pooping, biting or baahing either). Hallmark says so; it must be true.

So why, in real life, did the angels frequently say to Mary and Joseph, “Do not be afraid”?

Is it possible that fear, stress and press is our human condition, which is exactly why a Savior had to be born unto us?

And His name shall be called “Wonderful Counselor”, because we’re all just a tiny bit nuts; and “Almighty God”, because we need Someone stronger and better than us; the “Everlasting Father”, ‘cuz the world needs a Really Good Dad; And “Prince of Peace”, because – well, at Christmas and every other day of our lives, the peace of Christ is exactly what’s needed.