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Offering Grace

09/28/2012 - Author: Jennifer

I have the privilege of attending a book study with a group of ladies led by Rachel Wojnarowski. The book is Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst. In her book, Lysa talks about imperfect progress. That phrase resonated with me, but in another way than what she was talking about.  When I read this phrase, what stood out to me the most was GRACE. I am offered grace from a forgiving Father, husband, and my son. In addition to that, I need to offer it. Matthew 6:14-15 says that we must forgive others in order for us to be forgiven.

I have struggles with resentment, guilt trips, and offering grace (forgiveness) when it comes to my husband. I expect him to be perfect and he isn’t. NOBODY is. When he needs to talk to me about anything, I need to stop hurting him with words and offer grace. When he continually strives to be a better husband and we both work on making our marriage better, I need to remember that WE have been making imperfect progress.

GRACE. There is healing and relief with grace.
I need to receive it and I need to GIVE it.
I am so grateful for grace you would think that I would want to offer it more so people can have the same feeling of relief that I experience when I receive that precious gift.

I am grateful for imperfect progress because it is progress and everyone is equal. I am going to stumble at times and need help up. What I have to remember is that others will too and I may need to help them.

This book and study is helping me and has been such a blessing to me. I would encourage you ladies to read it.

Be blessed:)

P.S.– Tonight a question was asked about progress, to compare it to a carnival ride. I was bumper cars. Henceforth, the photo:)
http://alwaysalleluia.com

4 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

No matter what….

09/20/2012 - Author: Jennifer

Maybe because my days of riding the baby train are coming to a close soon, but someone has come to my mind recently.

In November 2008, the day before Thanksgiving, my husband Matt and I had learned that we were pregnant. We were shocked and excited. We told family our parents and siblings the next day. We could NOT keep this to ourselves!

Right away, I made a doctor’s appointment. They scheduled it the next month the day before my husband’s birthday. What a gift!

I am, by nature, a pessimist. I know it doesn’t help anybody or any situation, but I try to guard my heart against disappointment. So, leading up to ultrasound, I was nervous and felt like something was wrong. Everyone said I was wrong. When the doctor started the Ultrasound, I knew. We had lost our 1st baby.
It was devastating. No heartbeat. My fears were right. I wanted to be wrong. Hoping for a miracle, they did another Ultrasound on New Year’s Eve. I felt pregnant–still really tired and sick, but our miracle was not to be ours yet. It was confirmed that our 1st baby had no heartbeat. We did everything right. This wasn’t supposed to happen. That was the hardest Holiday Season for us–the death of our baby and the birth of our Savior. I am not saying it would have been easier at Easter, but we certainly we not in celebratory moods.

This was one of the hardest things in our marriage. I needed comfort, but so did my husband. We didn’t know how to help each other. Nobody knew how to act or what to say, mainly out of fear. Fear of saying something inappropriate or fear of me breaking down.

I have been taught some valuable lessons.

  • You can love someone, and mourn someone, you have never met
  • No matter what the situation, God’s value does NOT change. Good times, bad times, God is God.  It is strange—I was mad at Him, but I also needed His comfort, love, and healing that only He can give. His Word in Matthew 5:4 says God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • I felt the comfort of prayers. When a co-worker said that she was praying for me, I knew it! I felt comfort that could come from nobody and nowhere else.
  • Talk! It doesn’t have to be long conversations. It can be short talks. Please, ask if they need anything or nervous about their D&C. It shows you care. If they don’t want to talk about it, they will tell you.
  • If you know person well enough, send a card, letter, flowers, etc. They did just lose a loved one.
  • Ladies, ask what your husband needs. Men, hang on because hormones are HORRIBLE right now.
  • I can’t blame myself. We live in a human/imperfect world. Our bodies are not perfect and bad things happen to them that are not always our fault.

I am happy to say, I now have a son who is GREAT!! When asked, I have said that he is our firstborn. Those who have lost a child know what I am saying. We have one in heaven waiting for us. He or she has had the privilege of having the arms of our Heavenly Father wrapped around them. Yes, I wanted to first, but that baby is very blessed and I as a mom have one child that I do not worry about :)They are being taken very good care of.I would love to hear your thoughts. Have you gone through a rough time? How did God or others come through for you?

Be blessed:)

13 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

A new direction

09/17/2012 - Author: Jennifer

Have you ever been sure of something? There was no doubt the direction my life was headed.
I really thought that my family was going back to FL. My husband and I both sought God by praying and felt He was leading us back to a place where we used to live — a place we missed and longed for.

We have been here in Ohio for 4 years and have not really felt connected. Loneliness set in and that is not something I am used to. I was a new mom and felt alone. We prayed for friends here, trying to get involved and plugged in. It shouldn’t have been hard. We grew up not far from here, but we felt like outsiders — cliques run rampant here! So, we put our house on the market and it didn’t sell. Right now, we are seeking God asking “what did we miss?” Why did God lead us and get our hopes up just to keep us here? I am hoping to learn a lesson.

I have experienced a lot of heartache and disappointment since moving from friends and places I love. I want to experience those connections again here in Ohio. Where God has placed us. What will God teach me from this?

I may never get answers. If God says it, faith says that should be enough. Maybe I will get answers later. Maybe He will take us where we want to go. Where is that? Where He wants us.  God does have a plan.  Maybe He wants bigger blessings here. I want to be a blessing here.

I have now discovered a MOPS group and a new book study that I can get involved in. We have also joined in a small group at our church since my son now has a little more flexibility in his schedule.  Maybe this is where I can get connections. Maybe not. I am scared that hope will lead to heartache.
Why didn’t God show me the mom’s group earlier?

Please pray for connections for our family. My 2 year old needs friends and so do my husband and I.
Have you ever felt God threw you a curve ball? Did you find the blessings from the journey?
I am looking forward to this next chapter. I know I am expecting a lot, but God is great. Even through heartache.

10 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

How to focus through the haze

09/14/2012 - Author: Jennifer

Five minutes—that is all. Write without abandon from one word that you are given on Friday. Five Minute Friday. Here we go!
The word is FOCUS

How can I focus when all I feel is pain? When I am judging because I have been hurt?
It is so hard to focus when my vision is clouded. How can I have better vision?
I need to love them like Jesus! Open His Word and search. We all have issues and it is NOT fair to focus on the bad and judge others. It is sin. Plain and simple. Matt. 7:1
Everyone needs love and I need to look through the haze of hurt, disappointment, etc. and focus on the good. I am not saying healing shouldn’t take place, but focus on the good.
Pray. Pray for me and them. Haze can be lifted and beams of sunshine can come through if I focus on The Son. He wants to help and He wants me to focus on ME (ouch).

Be blessed:)  

Five Minute Friday

10 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

The Blame Game

09/11/2012 - Author: Jennifer

I am not athletic, but there is a game that I am good at — The Blame Game. Personal responsibility is not my strong suite. I am trying to do better. Really I am, but I still have a long way to go.

Who do I blame when things go wrong?

Who Why
Husband He doesn’t listen. He asks a question and I tell him the answer. If he doesn’t remember, then it isn’t my fault. Is he really paying attentino to me?
Son When he doesn’t listen or when he tests his limits. In a word–being 2 years old.
Parents I can’t help who I am. I was raised this way.
Strangers Slow drivers when I am running late or a new cashier to name a couple.
God When I don’t get my way

If I am disappointed in the answer/direction God has for me, I blame Him. There are times I really think my life would be easier if I was able to do things my way;  but I really believe I would miss out on any lessons that I have learned.  Maybe God had me go through something to help others. I don’t know.
I do know that it is easier to show sympathy and offer help to others who are going through what you have been through.
If we knew everything, then God wouldn’t be God. Isaiah 55:8 says “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
So there I have it—too much for me. 
So I need to stop being on defense, and join His team. Will you join us?

2 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Graceful

09/07/2012 - Author: Jennifer

Five Minute Friday
Graceful

I took dance when I was in junior high, but you can’t tell.
I became a Christian when I was 12, but with my recent struggle, I feel like I am a “baby Christian”.
I feel like I look anything but graceful.
I have been receiving grace because I am clumsy. Thankfully, my Heavenly Father is here to catch me.
I can’t watch dance because I compare—wishing I was better (then and now).
I am struggling with blogging because I compare. My words do not come out like the others. I am clumsy, not graceful.
My Savior is full of grace. (gracefull?)
I need to be more graceful to my husband and son. I need to shine His light and be graceful like He is.
I will stumble, but I need to let Him lead in this dance to become more graceful.

Five Minute Friday

8 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Resentment

09/01/2012 - Author: Jennifer
The biggest struggle in my life is resentment. I have a hard time moving on when others have hurt me–intentionally or not. When I have been treated unfairly, I admit, I would love to get back at them. I want to do to them what they have done to me.

I will admit that there have been times that I have hurt others, but there have been a lot of mistakes made against me. If the person who wronged me doesn’t pay or really seem sorry for what they have done, resentment creeps in my mind. I get upset all over again, even when I have moved on.

In my experience,  it is a lot easier for the offender to move on than the one that has been hurt.
When I was younger, I was in a bad relationship that I tried to get out of, but EVERYONE said to stay. It was horrible. There was no physical abuse, but there are scars leftover from the emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse from that relationship. This experience has taught me:

  • Just because I was young people assumed that they knew better than me.  But, I knew what was best, and I should have done the right thing. It was so hard to have the world against me, but I should have listened to what God was saying to me.
  • I was so hurt, by those who told me to stay with him and by him, but I had to forgive.
  • God had to help me heal.
  • They had NO problem forgiving themselves. They said I had to move on.
  • Those who hurt me had NO problem moving on—they couldn’t figure out why I had a hard time moving on.
  • They had a responsibility to let me heal and allow me to tell them what they did to me. How can we learn? There is a right and wrong way to go about this, but I feel it would have been easier to handle. I had to let go before I was able to move on. I could not let the mistakes that I made or the mistakes of others hold me back. I would not have been able to get married.

Things I have learned:

  • The hurt may linger, just don’t let it ruin you.
  • Scars are there, but you need to heal. This may be especially hard if there are life long consequences
  • People who hurt you may not care and you need to learn to live with that
  • Let it go and move on.  If people don’t care, that does not matter — I sill need to let it go.
  • Sorry might be the only thing they can offer. Some things can’t be fixed, but stewing about it won’t make it go away.
  • I want them to have regrets, but that doesn’t make me better or the situation better
  • YOU MUST FORGIVE NO MATTER WHAT (Matt.6:15)
  • Don’t bring it up
  • The relationship may not be the same. There is still forgiveness. You can have forgiveness without resentment and still remember.
If you have hurt people:
  • OWN it. They may not forgive you, but do your part
  • Be sincere.
  • Offer ways to help, but it has to be practical.
  • Relationship may not be the same
  • They may need space whether it is to grieve or just cool off for awhile–give it to them. YOU have done your part.
  • They may NEVER get over it, but as long as you did your part, forgive yourself and learn from this.
  • Don’t let them throw it in your face
Forgiveness needs to be more powerful then resentment. Forgiveness frees us to start healing and to really live. So, I choose forgiveness. How about you?

Happy Wives Club

6 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

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