Monday, May 2, 2016

keep growing

Sometimes God moves and it's obvious. Sometimes He heals people in a moment and they're not the same. There is proof that He was at work. Yesterday at church, a friend with heart trouble suddenly felt faint--he couldn't stand up and he was white as paper and sweating buckets (aaaand Arisa couldn't find his pulse for a while--when she did it was very weak). His wife said it was what happened the last time he had a heart attack. They both looked (understandably) scared. A group of us prayed for him outside and sent him to the emergency room. Before he left, his color started returning and there was NOTHING that showed up on his labs. The MD said it must have just been from locking his knees when standing up.

It could have been from locking his knees.... But seriously. God touched him.

So these things do happen. God moves.

And then sometimes He moves in a different way. He helps us outgrow something. That takes time. Sometimes lots of time.

It's like planting an oak tree. Let's say a sidewalk was poured near the tree. It may take (a lot of) time, but eventually, that tree's roots will outgrow the sidewalk. Eventually those roots will grow so big and unbending that they will crumble and overturn and displace the concrete. A little oak tree can grow and overcome something as unyielding as an asphalt road or concrete that it meant to handle pound after pound after pound of pressure.

I know I wasn't using a fruit-bearing tree analogy--but this also means that we can bear fruit while we are waiting on our freedom. Just because it doesn't happen suddenly doesn't mean it won't happen or isn't happening.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pneuma

During worship this morning we sang a song about how God is our healer. I was thinking about something my dad said in one of his sermons a while back--about how how we look to God to bring healing--and he is that--He is healer. But He's even more than that. He brings LIFE. In my mind's eye I saw how God brought clay together and breathed life into it. And it became human. Or how He breathed into the valley of dry bones and everything became alive. He breaths life.

Our sermon this morning was about the Holy Spirit. P Timmy said that the word used for the Holy Spirit in the New Testament was "pneuma" (I looked at Charlie and said, "Breath!") And that's essentially what the root of the word means. The breath of God. It brings life and power and refreshing. Even more than healing, God, the Spirit, brings life.

I am learning a lot about myself right now. Learning a lot and realizing how little I know. I like to be in control. Or... I like to try to control my life. TRY being the operative word. I know I've got to start letting that go. To start releasing it. I know the best way to do that is to release it to God. But then I get all, "I have to listen to God--I have to hear what He's saying and do everything right and don't mess it up and be sure I'm hearing Him all the time and doing what He says when He says it am I sure that was God? Am I sure that's what He said? Don't mess it up!" Which basically makes me in control again which was the whole thing that needs to change. What a vicious cycle.

I really do want to change. I really do want to follow the Spirit's leading and be less in control all of the time. But I honestly don't know how to do that without trying so hard that it makes me in control! blah! God, give me wisdom. Show me how this works.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

more

I watched a YouTube video the other day about marriage. It was the same guy who wrote the 5 love languages. He was talking about how every marriage has 4 seasons. Winter, spring, summer, fall. And every relationship goes through changing seasons throughout the duration of the relationship. He said it's basically inevitable that a couple will have falls and winters, but that there are things you can do to leave fall or winter and spend more time in springs and summers.

We've been thinking about trying to find a book to spark some conversations about our relationship, but haven't known where to look. Maybe this will be a good place to start. We've been married 6.5 years. The further we go, the more I realize I don't know about marriage.

AJ is the best thing in the world. I want like 10 more of her. I'm trying to be/get/become as healthy as possible so we can have options when we feel like it's time to expand our family. Sometimes I feel like I don't have enough hours in the day to do all the things I want and need to do to take care of myself.

I've started doing some guided meditation. I've found some good Christian ones that lead you with prayers or scriptures or prompts for praying/praise. I've really been enjoying it. I've been listening to podcasts on parenting and marriage and nutrition. I've been trying to get outside.

I need to exercise more. I need to figure out how to keep up with housework better. It is... not my gifting in life. nor is grocery shopping or cooking or decorating or any of the other house things I feel like I am supposed to be good at. Just because I am a woman (especially as a Christian woman). Somehow, those things that I am not good at are Charlie's love language. Whyyyyyyyyy. Whyyyyyyyyyyyy? I can tell him all the live-long-day how proud I am of him. But it just floats right on by him. And I eat that stuff up.

It's not easy. But I guess that's not what we're promised in life from the things that are worth it.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

365 days

Tomorrow is the birthday day! 1 whole year. The first 6 months kind of felt like 5 years, but the second 6 months went by in about 3.5 minutes.

She is so amazing. She's walking and talking (well. trying on both accounts).

She's supposed to be taking her afternoon nap right now. But she's sitting up in her crib rubbing her eyes. Susan said her boys went down to 1 nap per day at around a year, but she cries soooo much when I don't put her down. But she's doing 1 good nap for Mimi, so maybe I need to work toward that. I tried this morning, by holding off her morning nap until around 10:30 when Mimi puts her down. But instead, she just took a much shorter nap. HA. I'll figure it out.

Right now she's sitting in her crib rubbing her eyes. And then rubbing her head on her mattress and then sitting back up and rubbing her eyes. She's so tired.

I am a 365day-old mama. I know a LOT more about babies than my 0daymama-self knew. Aaaaaaand I have a lot to learn.

I know Parks and Rec is NOT a deep show, but on the last episode, Leslie tells April that kids are kind of like adding people to your team. Our team is SO much livelier and sillier and happier and cuter since AJ joined our team. But I know there are more of us. Our team isn't full, yet. It's fun to have your own team.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

i set a goal to blog once a week...

You'd think I could manage that!

I am having so much fun planning AJ's birthday party. Charlie doesn't understand. (And I've never been very good at planning a party, so we'll see how everything comes together...) but I've enjoyed it. I worked on a chalkboard poster for AJ today. That was fun. I've made some flowers (with some special help from the Loup ladies) and spraypainted some things and... we'll see.

I've been so cold lately. Which is soooooo different than I've been the last couple of years. It feels weird to feel cold.

Last Friday night we had our first ladies' night at church for 2016. Amazing. As always. I meant to write about this sooner so I could actually remember details, but hopefully I can still give the impression that was left with me.

We talked about hope. During worship, we sang a song (that I didn't know) and it talked about how we're almost home. When we were singing that, I saw in my spirit the veil that separated the holy of holies from the rest of the temple. And I saw that veil torn in half from top to bottom as it did when Jesus was sacrificed. When the veil was torn, light came FLOODING out. And I had the sense that "home" was coming to us. The heavens were spilling onto earth.

And I could see how we don't have to wait for heaven for everything. The good things of God are spilling into our space and can touch what is earthly and broken.

And that vision filled me with hope.

Which just so happened to be the theme of the message that night. Megan spoke (and it was amazing) and she started off with the scripture that says "hope is the anchor for my soul". But did you know the second half of that verse? Somehow, I'd forgotten that it says, "That hope,e firm and secure like an anchor for our souls, reaches behind the curtain 20where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone on our behalf, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."

I love that. He split that curtain. And let the Kingdom flood earth.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

love

I love this description of love by Lisa-Jo Baker:
"In real life people sneak out in the wee hours of Valentine’s Day to find a leftover card at the Dollar Store because they know it matters to us.

Sometimes real love is too busy unclogging the toilet, working the late shift, nursing the baby around the clock to find time to write down all the ways they love you – they’re too busy living it.

The thing about love in all its ordinary glory is that it was never designed to demand.

Love doesn’t stamp its foot because it didn’t get roses.

Love doesn’t sigh because it feels let down by the card or the day or the man.

Love doesn’t huff and puff and compare and point fingers.

Love doesn’t demand.

There is an age old definition of love that I thumb my way back to on the days I feel all that expectation bubbling up in me.

When I’m in danger of keeping score of what I did or didn’t get, of whether I was spoiled or celebrated sufficiently according to this weird and warped definition of love that has seeped into our culture.

On those days I flip back to the book that offers the most famously upside down definition of love:

Love never gives up.

Not when the baby has month after month of colic. Not when the teenagers won’t talk back. Not when the one you love is aching and breaking apart over that job, that terrible commute, all those night shifts, the dread of being laid off.

Love never gives up hoping, believing, cheering, listening, crying alongside, and planning together in the nooks and crannies of the leftover parts of the day – planning together for tomorrow.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love packs lunches for decades for kids who can never understand how boring week after week of figuring out new ways to make sandwiches can be.

Love moves in with its parents-in-law to take care of them, take up their burden and take back all the years they cared for you.

Love remembers to get up early to change the laundry to the dryer. Love kisses boo-boos and helps bandage up broken hearts.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t demand that card or necklace or Kay’s Kiss or Ring or Diamond when love has all these legs and arms tangled in a bed and a shared saggy mattress that wakes up to sticky kisses from toddler lips.

Love is satisfied with right now. Love isn’t always looking for something better than the man across the breakfast table who winks at you in your tired pajamas and still sees you through the memory of a twenty one year old’s eyes.

Love doesn’t strut, it doesn’t show off or show up others. It leans into the lonely and the forgotten and love sees them. Love sees the people around its table, living next door, swallowed up by fear – love leans into them and away from its own accomplishments.

Doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t keep lists of all that its achieved, all that it wants, all that you did or didn’t do for it. Because love is too busy admiring all that wonder in the DNA of someone else – that aunt who beats cancer every morning when she wakes up and decides to live out loud today, in that husband who keeps fighting for work that will provide for his family, in that first grader who sweats his way to figuring out how to properly make the “S” sound.

Love lives large through the victories of others.

Doesn’t force itself on others, love doesn’t stamp its foot or keep a list of everything it didn’t get or that didn’t go it’s way. Isn’t always “me first,” Love is about that tiny wisp of a baby, that temper-ridden toddler, that good man with his aching back. Love sees them through Jesus-colored lenses and believes the best.

Love isn’t easily disappointed or viscously competitive. Love doesn’t compare what it has to what it wanted. Love doesn’t point out all the ways the ones it loves were late or selfish or stupid. Love takes a deep breath. Love always gives second, third, hundredth chances.

Love is all about do-overs.

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Love doesn’t spiral into arguments that circle back to decades ago of disappointment. Love doesn’t say, “You forgot AGAIN.”
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
When he’s hurting or she’s so sorry for forgetting. Love listens. Tenderly.
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Love believes the best and receives the truth with both arms wide open ready for that hug, that gift of being nose-to-nose with the ones who make us whole.

Puts up with anything,
With burnt toast mornings and late shift nights. With imperfect cards, words, and offerings. With gifts that don’t live up to magazine standards of romantic and date nights that exist as stolen moments between the toddler’s bedtime and early morning wake up call.

Trusts God always,
That He will teach us how to love. And that He will surround us with love in every ordinary, nameless, faceless, Sunday that isn’t a special day on the calendar.

Always looks for the best,
In the man across the table and in the woman in front of us in the mirror. In the kids that frustrate us and in the day to day friendships that sometimes feel like they might break us. Love looks hard and long for the best.

Never looks back,
Not to the last fight, the last failure, the last forgotten holiday. Love only has eyes for today.

But keeps going to the end.

To the end of itself, the end of its expectations, love keeps walking its way home with the people who are the heart of its home.

I don’t know about you, but this is the definition of love I’m going to take into tomorrow – into Valentine’s Day and if I can remember, into all the other ordinary days that follow behind it.

I know I’ll get it wrong and there will be times I’m disappointed.
But I want to work hard at this love thing –
I want to do love – every day."

whew.

I still can't seem to kick the last little bit of perinatal anxiety that started during pregnancy. I'd compare it to... allergies or something. It does still bother me... but it's more of an annoyance that a big interference. BUT it does bother me enough to want it to go away. SO I'm trying something new. It's called EMDR.

It sounds kind of weird, and I don't quite understand it yet. But I'm hopeful. My basic understanding is that we'll try to re-frame some negative associations/fears. Which is really something I have been trying to do and prayed for, but this is a methodical and scientific method of doing so :)

What I'm praying for is that whatever comes up to be Holy-Spirit led. God created science and the mind and I believe that He can orchestrate exactly the things I do or do not need to re-frame.

When I spoke with the therapist, she kept asking me if I had any childhood trauma--and I don't! I explained what a wonderful childhood I had! Great parents, fun siblings, everything. I really can't imagine what it must be like for people who have had hard lives. What must that be like?! If you had absent / neglectful / abusive parents? I am so fortunate. God has blessed me over and over and over.

We sang this in worship today--it was so good. Faithful you have been, and faithful you will be. That's why I'm singing your praise will ever be on my lips...





The Loups

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My best friend Charlie and I moved from the deep South to the great North for me to go to graduate school at the University of Minnesota. I earned a Masters Degree in Public Health Nutrition and Dietetics, and we've moved back to Louisiana. I'm a dietitian who wants to help people improve their quality of life through healthy eating! We love adventures, traveling, food and family. We have two dogs: our corgi Punkin and our lab goofy Rufus. We are very blessed to be in love and to walk through life together!

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