Better Half

Family, Life, and Politics from Wifey

Who is Your Enemy? November 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 4:28 pm

My husband and I fight. No big secret there.  First, of all we’re married.  So that we don’t always get along goes without saying.  Secondly, I think he tweets about every fight we have, so that we fight I’m sure comes as no surprise to anyone reading this since most of you follow him on twitter and facebook.  My best friend and I fight as well though.  And so do me and my children.

Our married couples group is reading Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge.  Last night’s chapter was on how to have a really good fight.  The premise of the chapter was that we spend so much time fighting the wrong battles and the wrong person in our marriage/lives.  Most of us, especially Christians, fail to remember that we have a common enemy, and it is not each other.  When I’m angry with Shaun and give into the anger, I’m really giving in to the enemy of our souls.  The enemy of our souls is also the enemy of our marriages, our friendships, our family relationships, and our relationships with fellow believers.

The battles we fight-over time, money, kids, etc. are only the surface.  At work underneath all that threatens to tear us apart is the hand of the enemy.  He is the only real and true enemy we face.

This was such an eye opening realization for me!  I often treat my husband like he is the enemy.  And I’ve made certain “agreements” with the enemy about our marriage.  These agreements are lies (because Satan is a liar).  I play these agreements over and over again in my mind internalizing them and reacting based on these thoughts that are not of God. I will be transparent and tell some of the agreements I’ve made in my marriage.

I’ve agreed with the enemy that:

***Shaun is too busy to actively care about me or his children

***We got married too young; I didn’t have time to find myself first

***We married for the wrong reasons (I was 3 months pregnant)

***Our marriage will end in divorce once we’re empty nesters because we’ll have grown apart

What awful thoughts! I never thought about what an unhealthy dialogue I was having with myself about my husband and our marriage.  And this is in a so-called “good” marriage. So many people think our marriage is the model of bliss.  I’ve had to caution many young women who have professed to me that they want what I have.  Allowing them to pine for my life will set them up for great disappointment.  It’s tough (like all of our lives).  And even when you love someone as passionately as Shaun and I love one another, the enemy still creeps in and seeks to destroy our relationship.

This is because he knows how significant our marriage is to the God’s kingdom and the work that He has for us to do in the earth.

If you find yourself constantly at odds with someone in your life, I challenge you to consider who the real enemy is and why that enemy is trying so hard to come between you and that person.  It could be your spouse.  Or it could be your best friend, your mother, father, sibling, etc.  What agreements have you made with Satan about that person and your relationship?  Silence the enemy’s lies and instead embrace the truth. This is what I instead believe about my husband and our marriage:

I KNOW it’s TRUE that:

***Shaun has a heavy call on his life, but he loves me and his children deeply.  He shows it in his care for us and his constant presence in our home.  He is a tender and attentive father to Ezekiel and Savannah, and just needs a few gentle reminders when he becomes disconnected from me or the older girls 😉

***God knew His plans for us before we were even created.  He knew the desires of my heart, because He gave them to me.  Any “finding” myself apart from God’s plan would not have been a finding of my true self anyway! I have to find the courage to pursue my heart’s desires, and Shaun will undoubtedly be supportive.

***God used that child I was carrying to bring Shaun and I into right relationship with Him.  We married WHEN we did b/c I was pregnant.  But our love for one another existed before that and was only made stronger by us committing ourselves to marriage before Him.  Our marriage was planned and ordained by God.  Period!

***We will die married to one another.  We will stay connected because we have a common vision, a common purpose in the earth that requires both of us together.  We won’t let anything deter us from the vision God has for our marriage.

Pray and ask God to show you the real enemy in your relationships and what agreements you’ve made with him!

 

 

 

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Can Pastors be Friends With Their Members? October 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 6:09 pm

I’ve been mulling over something in my mind for a while now.  I’ve discussed it with several people, and I’m now ready to put it out into the “blogosphere” to see what others think about it.  It’s this idea of pastors and their wives having friendships inside of the church.  I’m starting to wonder if it’s really possible.

Over the last 20 months, there have been some people who have come into our life through the church that we have gotten to know and love dearly-and I mean dearly.  I find myself kind of in awe of God that He would surround us with such loving, supportive people.  It’s one of the greatest honors of my life that people would actually believe in what we’ve put together, and dedicate so much of their time and energy to serve alongside us.  It’s an honor, and an awesome responsibility.

All that withstanding though, there are some challenges that I am just now fully realizing.

Here is what I always thought about Shaun and I: we are young, hip, cool, and down to earth leaders that other people our age would enjoy being around, hanging out with, and serving with.  We weren’t bringing into the church leadership structure any high and mighty, I know God and you don’t, parental oversight and dictatorship.  We were of the people and for the people.  In every way, we were just one of the people who just so happened to be the starters of this church.   We always rejected any special treatment (no silly anniversary celebrations, no elaborate birthday gifts, etc.).  We were just two leaders among many.

This is what I thought of us until recently. What I’m now coming to understand is that while most of that may be true, our church members will never look at us nor treat us like we’re just one of them.  Particularly if they’re on the staff of the church, I think it’s pretty much impossible. We are different, and will be given “special” treatment. I started taking note of some behaviors that brought this fact to light.  I’ll detail them below.

#1. I started noticing how new people reacted when  they were introduced to me.  Someone who had been attending the church would invite someone.  They would see me in the hallway and introduce me as “Rai.”  It would go something like “Hey visitor friend, I’d like to introduce you to Rai.”  The visitor would look at me, smile politely, and say hello.  Well then the member would say “this is our Pastor’s wife.”  Then the face of the visitor would change, even light up a bit.  They’d say “Ooo” shake my hand again, smile a little bit bigger, and say “it’s so very nice to meet you.”  I’m not making this up.  I promise.  I’ve noticed it several times.  Introduce me as ‘Rai’ and it’s the run of the mill polite hand shake.  Introduce me as the Pastor’s wife and all of a sudden I’m important.  I get it.  I really do.  I guess it is cool to be introduced to and hold a conversation with the wife of the person who started this church you’re attending.  I guess it does give the conversation a new level of significance.  The message: I’m different.

 

#2. I started noticing that people aren’t always truthful with me.  I’ll have a conversation with someone-someone that I have a close relationship with-about a particular area they are serving in.  I’ll ask them how things are going, what challenges they may be facing, etc.  For the most part I’ll get that everything is just fine, that it is an honor for them to be serving in this capacity, they don’t really need anything at all, on and on and on.  But then, I’ll hear later on that things really aren’t ok.  They really aren’t too thrilled about what they’re doing, and there are some challenges they neglected to discuss with me.  And I’m stumped!  I’m like, really?  Why didn’t they just tell me how they were really feeling or what was really going on?  I’m starting to see that people will not talk to Shaun and I as openly and honestly as they will other members or even other leaders at the church. The message again: We’re different.

This really should not have surprised me. If I think back, it was the same way at other churches we’ve attended, except the shoe was on the other foot.  People would always come to Shaun about complaints and concerns they had with this or that because he was a staff pastor and not THE pastor.  I’m realizing now that women who considered themselves “friends” of the pastor and his wife at these churches had very frank conversations with me saying things that they NEVER would have said to the actual pastor.  And it wasn’t really because they were two-faced.  They genuinely loved the pastoral family, spent personal time with them, etc.  But I think there is always a space there, a line that can’t be crossed.  I think there is a hierarchy-even if it is slight- that doesn’t allow for free, open friendships where nothing is held back.

Members of my church-even if I love them, share my life with them, share my hopes, dreams, fears, failures, etc. and they share all those things with me- will always treat me “differently” than their other friends.  And I guess, if I’m being honest, I will always treat them differently than I do my other friends outside of the church.  I choose my words more carefully, I don’t share as many of the details of my marriage, because I’m not just talking about my husband, I am also talking about their pastor.  Now, I share a lot.  In an effort to be open, honest, and transparent, I share a lot more than I think most pastor’s wives do.  But, honestly, it’s not the same.  I want them to see me as worthy of this post I hold, and with my other friends, I don’t care about that.

Hear my heart, I’m not complaining.  At least I’m not trying to.  I see that people treat us the way they do out of love and respect.  And that all parties involved mean well.  I guess it’s just disappointing. It’s disappointing to realize that I can be close to and even friends with people who are members of my church, but it will never be as free as the friendships I have with those outside of my church.  At the end of the day, no matter how “cool” and relaxed Shaun and I try to be, our members will always defer to us.  At the end of the day, what we say (actually, what Shaun says) goes. Anytime you feel obligated to refer to my husband by his title before his name-as most people in the church do- there isn’t real freedom in the relationship.  This is particularly true if he signs the paycheck you receive.  Then he’s your boss.  A cool boss maybe, a nice one, and not overbearing one, but still your boss.  I don’t think genuine friendships can exist in that type of structure.

Maybe I’m wrong. I’d really like to know what the rest of you think about this!

 

Cleanliness next to Godliness? October 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 7:32 pm

As I look around my house each day, I am astonished at the mess. I love cleanliness. Clutter and mess drive me crazy. I get nervous, anxious, stressed, and overall pissed off at the site of a dirty house (well, my dirty house…I don’t care too much about anyone else’s).

My greatest skill as a homemaker (not counting Mom or wife stuff) is organizing. The Container Store is hands down in my top 3 of favorite stores (second only to Target). I like boxes of every shape, size, and construction. If I could, I’d have a box, bag, shelf, and container for EVERYTHING. And honestly, I almost do…and herein lies the problem: the word ALMOST.

I am discovering that no matter how hard I try, everything is never in it’s right place. As a matter of fact, these days it’s more like NOTHING is in it’s right place. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to manage the sheer volume of stuff my family of 7 produces. Despite my best efforts, my schooling desk is always a mess. There are always crayons on the floor, papers on the counters, clothes on the steps, bags on the floor, etc.
The stress of it all is enough to turn me into that big, green monster the Incredible Hulk. Unfortunately, I’ve thrown many a fit over what I perceive as a total lack of regard and respect for me and the way I like things done. The offenders are my husband and 5 children. So often they have been the object of my wrath over the messy house.

But now I’m taking a step back to examine it all. I’m realizing that this is a serious issue. And it’s MY issue. Are they slobs? Probably. Are they careless with some of their belongings? No doubt. But am I justified in going into a crazy rage over it? Of course not. What I’ve been perceiving as a slight against me, is really just a difference of priorities. Of course children don’t care about the state of the room they live in. They are completely content to live in a pig sty. They’re children. And Shaun could care less about the pile of clothes mounting next to his side of the bed. Is he helping to save babies in Haiti? Is he pouring his heart into being the best Pastor he knows how? That’s really all he truly cares about.

So the question is, why do I care so much? I think I know. Two words. PRIDE and VANITY. Everything about my house must be “just so.” It shows that I’m perfect and great. It shows that I have class and style, and am above reproach. What bad could anyone possibly have to say about me with a home that is as well run and as put together as mine is? But it ISN’T perfect, and it’s not always well-run, and there are probably more things wrong than right. Honestly, my house is full of mess and clutter. The garage, the playroom, the kids’ room…these are NEVER clean. And because I take it as a personal offense, as a personal account of my own worth and abilities, I loose it over the smallest things-an unwiped counter or a pair of pants left on the floor.

It’s a terrible dichotomy. Having a perfectly put together house makes me perfect but my house is never perfectly put together. So I’m not perfect and I’m mad about it. I’m a big ball of stress around the house, because all I can see is what’s wrong with it. I keep striving for this day when everything will be as it should (all the laundry is done, every bathroom is clean, the closets are organized and alphabetized), then I can relax. But in 9 years of marriage and children that day has NEVER come, and so I’m NEVER relaxed. How crazy is that?

I’m stuck on appearances and not what’s on the inside. Even houses that appear clean, can be full of germs and disease-both literally and figuratively. And having a clean house only shows the world the surface of who I am. It still can’t hide my internal sin condition.

This isn’t just my issue though. It was given to me-passed on to me from people like my grandmother and aunt. I think they coined the phrase “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and the Arm and Hammer man was their priest! I swear their houses were always so clean you could eat off of the floor. And they’d come to your house and give it the “white glove” once over. If it was clean, you got tons of praise. If it was a mess, they shook their heads, put their noses in the air, and pretty much refused to come over again. God knows I love them (my Nana is in heaven now, which I KNOW is clean…lol). But I now realize that this thing they have given me is not healthy. My Nana was tormented on the inside by the demons of her past (molestation, infidelity, dead children), and I think having a perfect house made her feel she had something she could control. I react to the world in the same way. When something in my world is upsetting, I clean.

What I see now though, is that if my house is a mess it’s because I chose to spend the day educating my kids, or relaxing with a husband I love, or because I’ve given love and dedication to church and friends. This is the true measure of my value and worth…what I’ve given my time and energy to. I’d much rather die with a full heart that has made others full as well than a clean house (that is sure to be dirty again after I die anyway if Shaun and the kids are still living in it 😉

 

My 20’s July 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 1:09 pm

I guess I’m actually writing this a year too soon.  I won’t be out of my twenties officially until this same day next year.  But with some of the health challenges I’ve had lately, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my life-not in the esoteric sense of pondering life in general.  I’ve really only been thinking about my life.  That’s all the mental space I have room for.

Today I’m 29.  Next year I will be 30.  It still kind of weirds me out to think of myself as a 30 year old.  That, to me, is so GROWN.  When I was a teenager, 30 seemed light years away.  I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 30. 

I wanted to be married- check

I wanted to be done birthing children- check

I wanted to have finished all of my schooling (doctorate and all)- missed

I wanted to be financially stable and debt free- almost

I pictured myself living somewhere exotic-which for me would have meant Arizona or Washington, DC 😉  I thought I’d be a lawyer working to improve laws to protect children…at a Children’s Defense Fund or somewhere like that.  I knew I’d be wearing fancy suits like St. John’s knit and Tahari.  And of course I’d have pumps in every style and every color.  I didn’t think much about what my husband would be doing.  I always figured I’d marry Shaun, and I did.  I guess I pictured him as either an academic or a successful pastor of a large, established church somewhere…he gave no hints of being the social do-gooder he has become!  I thought we’d have 2 kids- a junior for him, and a princess for me.

I never thought about illness.  I never thought about losing jobs.  I never considered financial hardships.  I never thought about mistakes I’d make.  I didn’t plan 5 kids.  I never planned on making a career of teaching.  I never planned to trade in pumps for flats that make it easier to carry babies and diaper bags.  I didn’t see Shaun planting a church- as a matter of fact I fought it tooth and nail.  I didn’t think about losing friends, and finding new ones.  I never considered loved ones dyeing before I was ready for them to go.

  I didn’t know that I would fall in and out of love with my husband on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis…lol (nor that he’d do the same with me). I thought we’d always be Gaga about each other.

I NEVER thought I’d be a stay at home mom.  I didn’t even know black women did that…seriously.  I never knew one when I was growing up. 

 I didn’t think about or consider any of these things.  Looking at it now, I realize that what I really didn’t consider was….GOD!

I thought I controlled my life.  I thought my plan was the plan.  How foolish!  I didn’t consider that God would step in and intervene in certain places-that He would close some doors and open others.  That He would give me many children, and give me a burning desire to raise them as close to me as possible.  That it was God laying church planting on Shaun’s heart, didn’t compute with me until recently. 

Too many of the years in my 20’s were spent feeling like I had missed the mark.  For too long I have been waiting for this point when I could get my life back on track.  What I’ve realized now is that it was MY track that I was trying to get back on.  God already has me where he wants me and has always wanted me.  This has always been God’s plan for my life.  And when I take a step back, and look at it all, I have to say what a beautiful plan it is!  A loving husband after His own heart, children that I adore, a home that is 100 times nicer that any I could have dreamt for myself, a life full of purpose and possibility….

As I prepare for life as a GROWN woman headed into my 30’s, I’m going to count every blessing.  Never again will I lament the road I’ve traveled and consider what could have been.  There is only what is, and what I do with it.  My prayer for the next 10 years is that I will view my life through God’s eyes…always asking and considering where He would have me to go, and what He would have me to do.  I want to be in the center of His will, ALWAYS-even if it’s not glamorous, and I can’t do it in heels, and it takes me by surprise…even if it hurts sometimes and I don’t understand. 

So, happy birthday to the me that God created and knew before I was even born.  I’m sure it’s 1000 times better than the me that I planned!

 

“And Lo, I Am With You…” June 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 7:10 am



A Little Story to Remind Us of God’s Promise:

On Saturday I took the kids to Centennial Park to play in the fountains.  Being that we’re right in the middle of the city, it’s become a summer staple for us.  This time was Savannah’s first time.

***Side Note: My baby is 18  months old and has only been walking for about a month (being the last one, she got carried a lot).  What’s funny though is that she went straight from crawling to running. The feet get going, even if the mind has not yet figured out where to go.  She’s so happy to have discovered this new feature of her body, she’ll often just walk in circles for no good reason!  It’s really cute :-)***

Back to the story:

Since this summer has been one of the hottest I can remember, the fountains were PACKED! There were children everywhere!!  Some in bathing suits, some fully clothed.  In 90 degree weather, you could care less about what you’re wearing, because you’ll be dry in 10 minutes anyway.  Even adults were taking the occasional stroll through the cool water-clothes and all.

Well I’m there by myself with my teenage niece (who’s too cool to get wet, and is sitting on the stone bleachers outlying the park) and 4 out of our 5 kids.  Since the next to youngest (EZ) was with Shaun, my only major priority was Savannah. She’s running, and the spontaneously rising water doesn’t scare her one bit!  She weaves in and out of the gleefully screaming children (big and small) and water with reckless abandon, and I’m behind her every step of the way.  It meant that I quickly became drenched from head to toe, but thanks to the natural hair and all black jumper I was wearing, it didn’t matter at all.  All that mattered was keeping my 18 month old out of harms way.

Savannah is clumsily sauntering in and out of the water, refusing to let me hold her hand.  She is in the midst of chaos and is determined to manage it on her own.  As a matter of fact, she’s not even aware of all of the dangers: bigger kids running her over, falling and scraping her knees, inhaling a nose full of water, etc.  But although she doesn’t know she needs it, I’m behind her, mirroring each step, anticipating every pitfall.  At times I can see that she is in over  her head, and can’t see through the water she’s passing through, so I reach out my hand to her and touch her shoulder just to remind her that I’m there…everything is alright…she is not alone.

As I’m following her obsessively, I suddenly have an epiphany:

This is how God treats and feels about us.  I have a vision of  us running through raging waters, and God following, chasing after us every step of the way.

How often do we go through life handling it all on our own, determined to make our own way, oblivious to God’s watchfullness and protection?  We rush from task to task, decision to decision forgetting that we’re not alone.  Even if we can’t see Him or always feel His presence, God is always there. He knows when to intervene and when to pull back.  He allows us the freedom to make our own way- to walk and to run in the direction we choose.  But His hand is ever ready-ever ready to lead, guide, protect, and comfort when we’ve gone too far, done too much, and find ourselves bruised and hurt.  Like a loving parent, He never leaves our side.  Every now and then, particularly through the darkest times, God will reach out a hand to remind us He’s there.

It’s simple enough really.  But it was also profound enough to stop me in my tracks.  I imagine I looked like a bit of a weirdo staring off into space in the middle of the fountains as I envisioned all of this.  The holy spirit knew I needed this reminder though.  And I thought I’d share it with you in case you needed it too! No matter what you’re going through, don’t think God has forgotten or has left you alone.

Acknowledge Him.

Accept His helping hand.

His word is still true: “…and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20.

He’s been with you all along!

 

Why I’m Called For This…(and you are too) March 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 4:16 am

If you know me, you know it’s no secret that I’m not the stereotypical Pastor’s Wife.  I don’t dress conservatively, I don’t speak softly, I’m not politically correct, etc.  No knock on those who do, I’m just saying, it’s not me.

Because of this I have struggled for years now to understand WHY God put Shaun and I together.  I have often thought it was either a mistake or a joke on God’s part (well the mistake would have been on Shaun…not God).  I mean we love each other, make pretty babies, and have a good time as a couple and family.  All that makes sense.  It’s the whole “Pastor” part that has had me stumped.  Well, he fits as a pastor (sort of), but I don’t (or at least didn’t) as a pastor’s wife.

Or so I’ve thought.

But God has shown me something over the past few weeks. He has shown me exactly why I am actually called to this, and how it wasn’t a cruel joke nor a mistake.

I risk the appearance of arrogance with the rest of this post.  But trust me, this isn’t boasting.  All that I am I am because HE made me so.  I have no illusions about that!

A few Sundays ago, I was doing what seems to be a trend these days- running around doing 50 different things.  This is what that particular Sunday looked like:


*Got up at 6:30am

*Got myself together, and ironed clothes for all 4 kids + Shaun (b/c otherwise he’s content to go wrinkled.  Normally I allow it, b/c I don’t have time to care, but not on Sundays…lol)

*Printed a sign-in sheet and note cards for a class we have at Courageous called “Next Steps”

*Packed up rice krispie treats, butter, and beads for a project taking place at Courageous Kids

*Woke up the rest of the house, got everyone dressed, did 5 sets of hair

*Fed the kids a light breakfast (b/c they eat at Church thanks to free breakfast), packed a milk cup and diapers for Savannah

*Got everyone in the car (tough all by itself- making sure everyone has the right everything of what they’re supposed to have), and arrived at church by 8:30

*Got to church, dropped off the sign in sheet and note cards, found pens and put them in the classroom, checked on the Next Steps teacher to make sure he was squared away

*Checked the kids into Children’s Ministry

*Realized I forgot to print something one of the teachers needed, ran to the computer room to do so

*Noticed praise and worship for children’s ministry was not going so well (the kids are normally a little slow-moving at the first service); Sooo, I took off my blazer and hills, cranked up the music, and proceeded to jump around and dance like a crazy person until every child got into it!

*Sweating, I put my blazer back on, went to the infant room to check on Savannah, sat and talked with the moms in there for a minute, then ran downstairs to do about 10 more things…


As I was standing at the elevator I clearly felt the Holy Spirit speak to me. ” This is why I chose you to do this with him.  This is why you’re a pastor’s wife.”

Not because I’m sweet (polite, and nice maybe), not because I’m just as passionate about saving the world as Shaun is (I’m not), not because I say the right things (I don’t), wear the right clothes, not because I’m the prettiest (close, but no cigar 😉

…but BECAUSE not every woman can teach Next Steps, help with children’s ministry, run small groups, sing on the praise team, serve on the lead team, take care of home AND stay sane at the same time.

Since that Sunday, I’ve begun to approach my role with a confidence I didn’t possess before.  My strengths may not be traditional or obvious, but with the gifts God has given me, I make it “do what it do”..lol.  And so CAN, so DO YOU!!

Whatever it is God called you to, know that it wasn’t by accident nor happenstance.  Whatever you need is already in you, or will be soon!

 

Curing My Hangover…Living Life on Purpose and Envisioning My Future! January 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 9:20 pm

Shaun’s message yesterday wrapped up a short little series he did called “Hangover.”  During the series he encouraged us to examine what troubling issues, bad habits, or unhealthy ways of being might be “hanging over” our lives.

He showed us how the very things that cure hangovers in the natural, can cure spiritual hangovers as well- water (living water), bread (the bread that is the word of God), and rest (the peaceful rest only God can give).

He also showed us that some of our issues are not short-term hangovers, but long-term, chronic issues that are more like alcoholism and will need more than a temporary fix.  One way to get over alcoholism is to envision a better, more successful future for ourselves. As long as we look into our future and see nothing but despair, the motivation to get better will not exist- without a vision the people perish (Prov. 29:18).

It got me thinking about something that happened recently.  I was talking with a girlfriend about some of my future goals.  The conversation went something like this:

Her: I took the LSAT a while ago.

Me: I’ve always wanted to go to law school, but I’m getting old now, so it’s probably too late

As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I shuddered.  I couldn’t believe I had just sold myself short like that!  I’ve never been one to doubt my ability to do anything.  But just like that I realized that I had stopped hoping for much regarding my future.  I’ve begun to lose myself.  Just like that.

One day not too long ago I was a 20-year-old college student with hopes, dreams, and plans a mile long.

Now, I’m a 28-year-old wife to a church planter (the church is our life), and mother and homeschooler to 4 children (they are all-consuming).  Most days I wake up at 8, cook breakfast, teach, change diapers, iron clothes, nurse, cook lunch, prep dinner, clean, entertain kids, run errands, on and on and on.  The only meal I eat sitting down is dinner.  Then by 10 pm once all the kids are in bed, I may check facebook for 15 min. or I might just pass out on the couch with Shaun.  I sleep terribly while tending to a teething almost 1-year-old, and then wake up the next morning to start it all over again!

As you can imagine, this schedule leaves no time for visioneering! I’m just trying to maintain from day-to-day.

I didn’t know this, though, until Thursday night when I made that comment to my girlfriend.  It literally SCARED me because at that moment I didn’t recognize myself. I’m full of hope for my children’s future, full of thoughts for the future of the church.  But I’m not sure I know myself anymore and the individual desire’s God has for me.

Do I want to homeschool longterm?  Is that what God means for me?

Will I ever return to teaching outside of the home?  It was once my passion, and I think it still might be.

Do I need/want to pursue a law degree to do the child advocacy work I’ve always dreamt of doing?

I’ve applied to and been accepted into the Master of Education program at GSU twice only to find out I was pregnant and have to postpone.  Is this still what I want to do?

Will we pastor Courageous Church forever?  Will we spend the next 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years of our lives leading this church?  How do I feel about that, if so?

WHAT DO I HOPE FOR???

I’m hung over! I’m in a constant state of wondering, confusion, and even hopelessness (as evidenced by my comment to my girlfriend…still can’t believe I said that!) concerning my future.

I know no one knows the future, but I just need direction.  I need God to give me the desire’s of my heart- meaning I want my desires to be given to me by God (that was such a revelation when Shaun broke that down).  I’m willing to let go of who I thought I was and what I always thought I was going to do.  I just need a fresh vision-lest I perish in the day-to-day!!

Sooo…now I know what this year will be about for me- curing my hangover!  I’ll be drinking the living water (seeking the holy spirit), eating lots of bread that is the word of God, and asking God for rest-peace in my mind and spirit-knowing whatever my future holds, it’s in His hands.