Double for your Trouble

 

After a hiatus from writing this summer, I’m excited to be back! I love to write and have missed my somewhat therapeutic times sitting in front the computer pouring my heart out. I’ve found that writing my thoughts and prayers on paper help me slow down and stay focused. That being said, there have been quite a few moments I would’ve liked to write about, but nothing ever became a complete thought.  I don’t want to just write the “stuff” life throws without sharing the lesson, hope, or new thing the Lord taught me during the moment. But it’s good to be back!

We had a busy but awesome summer! We didn’t go on any grand vacations or have anything really exciting happen, but we enjoyed the little moments of fun that summer brought. The end of summer and beginning of this school year started some remarkable changes. The weekend after our boys started school was an especially exciting time. I turned forty – yes 40! Honestly, I’m still not sure how I feel about this. My thirties were filled with some of life’s biggest blessings, but also life’s most difficult moments, trials, and pain. In some ways I’m ready for the next decade.  And then it hits me that I have a four and a six-year-old and I’m forty! This wasn’t my timing, that’s for sure. And there are many things I’d like to be different.

img_8595I’d love my dad to be here and my mom not to feel so alone, even though we live together in our crazy house with my husband, three kids, and two outlandish dogs. I know she carries deep loneliness most days. I’d like to be able to call my brother and see him enjoying his niece and nephews. I’d love my sweet baby girl to not have the struggles of her emotional difficulties that make some days super hard for both of us. Most of all, I feel excited for what’s ahead.

This past year I started making time for myself to work out and get healthy. It’s something my husband and I have done together. I wanted to loose forty pounds by my birthday, I got close I lost thirty! “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us….” Philippians #:13-15a It’s a journey I’m still on. That journey may now include melting off the few pounds I put back on during our end of summer celebrations. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled at how much better I feel and excited to keep working toward my goals.

I had a wonderful birthday! My mom, husband, and close friends pulled off an awesome surprise party for my 40th! I am very grateful for the people God has placed in my life. The celebration didn’t just stop that Friday night. My husband found a vacation rental house for us to stay in for the weekend. It was beautiful, down the street from the beach, and on the intracoastal. Sunday afternoon we concluded our weekend with a fun family day.

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However, the highlight of that weekend, for me, came Saturday night. That’s the night my husband was ordained as a pastor at our church. What an amazing gift to celebrate the same weekend. To say we were overwhelmed with emotion would be an understatement. The outpouring of support and love we received after church that Saturday night was unbelievable. What an encouraging time to be with our church family and share what God has done and is doing in our lives.

Many people have asked my husband what has changed for him since becoming a pastor. He will say, “Not much, my job is the same. But for my wife a lot has changed.” My husband is my biggest fan and is just as excited for the new doors that have opened for me in ministry. And I completely understand – As much as I enjoyed my surprise Friday night (and it was fantastic), I couldn’t wait for Saturday to share my hubby’s special night. We don’t do life perfectly and can very quickly get on each other’s nerves, but overall we try to do marriage well! We are best friends and still really enjoy spending time together. But yes, our life has changed in some ways.  It’s become busier, a little crazier (still not sure how that’s possible), and also more rewarding. We love serving together at our church. We met serving in children’s ministry 17 years ago and still look forward to serving together today.

When our first opportunity came to do a couple’s time of sharing during church service, we both had a moment where we wanted to respond – “No thank you!” Our church was doing a marriage series and we were asked to share on “Intimacy in Marriage.” On a Wednesday night we sat in front of our church and shared more then I’d like to, and I’m an over-sharer. LOL. As we both moved past the title and began to talk about intimacy in marriage, we were reminded it’s so much more than physical intimacy. And yes, sex, is a healthy, beautiful, and important part of marriage. (YES I just said sex in a Christian blog post as a very new pastor’s wife. Lord – you are making me bold.) We shared with the congregation that through almost 16 years of marriage we can keep intimacy alive by staying friends, being honest, respecting each other, and having accountability in our marriage. I love what my husband said, “If intimacy is happening in your marriage, physical intimacy will naturally happen.” Having a good marriage does require work. It takes planning to spend meaningful time together, especially with three kids, two dogs, along with a busy work and ministry load, and let’s not forget the extra demands that pop up daily.  But having a healthy marriage is completely worth it. I’m blessed and excited to share life with my best friend, and serving in ministry together is such a bonus! Especially when you get to see God’s promises come to fruition. img_8625

Over five years ago, I met a pastor’s wife who walked with me through one of my darkest seasons. She would always encourage me and say, “I see double for you.” And “Double for your trouble, hold on.” I knew the verse in the Bible, Isaiah 6:7, but I didn’t know what that meant for me personally. Sitting on my living room couch one night this summer talking with my mom, I told her that I couldn’t believe Michael was going to be ordained, and that I’d have a chance to serve more in Women’s Ministry. She looked at me and said, “It’s your double.” Insert happy crying face, I started balling!

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The realization hit me – that what the pastor’s wife had spoken over me years ago during one of my darkest seasons, was becoming answered prayer and a fulfilled promise. Ladies, please don’t lose heart! Hold onto what the Lord has promised you even if you don’t know what that looks like, how it’s possible, or if it seems light years away. God is always faithful and keeps His promises.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

We are now a couple months into the school year. We should be saying hello to fall, although in my neck of the woods there isn’t much of a physical change of season. However, my love of all things pumpkin and putting up our fall décor reminds me of the change of season. Recently our time has been filled with teacher conferences, middle school football practices and games for our oldest, ballet for our sweet girl and AWANA for our younger two kiddos. Car pooling and hours spent in my mini-van are at an all-time high! I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to serve over our Women’s ministry at church. I’m excited and humbled to get to do what I’m passionate about each week. I’m discovering even more the importance of crock-pot meals, using my calendar, and desperately trying to be better organized. I also recognize the importance of scheduling coffee dates with friends, one-on-one dates with my kids, and date nights with my hubby.

Today it actually feels a little fallish down south where I live. As we enter this new season –  whatever that looks like for you, whether lots of changes or more of the mundane –  I pray you desire to do it well. All the while knowing you don’t have to be perfect. I hope you’re sharing what God asks you to share, with whoever He tells you to share with. And I know that might take some courage and boldness for some of us. I pray you’re seeing God open doors for you, however little or big they might be. I pray for all of us that we won’t miss what God has for us in the valley and on the mountaintops. Happy Fall Y’all – Be Blessed!  images-1

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