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Homesick.

10 Oct

The Lord has worked in my heart, helping me to adjust and to slowly find my place. We are building relationships with our church family and are so thankful for what He has accomplished over the past twenty two months. I really have been getting adjusted to the idea of life three and half hours from the only life I’d ever known before moving to New Jersey on that final day of 2012. This is the only home we’ve ever known as a couple. It’s here that we unpacked our wedding presents, where I stood amazed at two pink lines that changed our lives forever, and where we welcomed our sweet baby girl last year. It’s here that I’ve learned to cook, to keep house, to serve Him in the daily tasks that often go unseen by anyone yet must be done. Having LG has helped me to feel more at home, she keeps me busy and my mind usually doesn’t have much time to dwell on being far from family.

And while Caldwell is our home, the place where God has called us to serve, I find myself homesick, tonight.

Longing for dinner with my parents in their dining room, for a chat with my Granny or for a shopping trip to Harford Mall with my Sissy. I’m missing my Mom Mom and my Mamal. I want to take my little cousin to Chic Fil A and then to Bouncy Place like we always did before she gets too big to enjoy it. I am craving the things that life used to be.

I am homesick.

It usually hits the hardest after I’ve been home recently or after I’ve spent a good amount of time with family, which have both happened in the last few weeks.

It came silently, but strong. The emptiness in the pit of my stomach. The sadness as I think of the things, the time, I’m missing with ones so precious to me.

While my heart aches for home, the Lord reminds me that it is neither in Maryland or New Jersey.

Home is Him. Home is Heaven.

My heart will never be truly satisfied until I trade my cross for a crown, but in the meantime my Savior longs to be my Sustainer.

He wants to hold me when I’m lonely. He wants to dry my tears when I cry.

I may be a hundred and fifty miles from the embrace of my Daddy, but nothing separates me from the comfort of my Heavenly Father’s arms.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

What comfort there is in knowing He is near when everything else seems so far away.

I’m Back.

12 Sep

I’m back.

It’s dark and quiet, the only noise the hum of the air conditioner that runs to cool our bedroom as we sleep.

It’s September. Yet the temperatures soared to over ninety today.

The last time I wrote here, my sweet baby girl was only a month new. Tomorrow, we are three weeks away from celebrating her first birthday.

Oh what a year it has been.

A year of the highest highs and lowest lows, I believe I’ve ever experienced before.

Her early months were filled with nursing, nursing and more nursing. Her tiny jaws just weren’t powerful enough and made eating a laborious task for her and her exhausted mama.

I spent every hour on the hour feeding my itty bitty baby. Laundry piled in baskets. Dishes overflowing in the sink. The house unkept. (So much for being Homemaker of the Year.)

The last few months have been tiring in other ways. Nursing is still frequent, but no longer difficult. In fact, it’s probably one of the few things we’ve found our groove in. I am so grateful that the rough beginning has faded into such a precious experience, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Eleven months and one week have passed since that rainy October evening and yet I feel as if I am still there.

Not physically, for all but seven of those (fifty!!) pregnancy pounds are gone, but spiritually.

I’ve drifted so far away from Jesus, and I miss Him. I miss this place where I spent many a midnight sharing what He was teaching me through His Word.

She arrived three weeks early, and maybe that’s why the entire year has felt so overwhelming. Maybe I didn’t prepare enough. I underestimated just how much a baby truly does change everything.

Here I am, exactly where I’ve longed to be.

Married. Mothering. In ministry. 

And sadly missing sweet fellowship with the very One who gave me my petitions.

I have everything I prayed for. Waited for. Weeped for.

But I’ve put the blessings before the Blesser.

My Londyn Grace is my world. Caring for her consumes me and it should. I believe wholeheartedly that motherhood is a sacred calling, but that’s just it a sacred calling calls for communion with the Savior if it is to be fulfilled adequately.

I didn’t notice the absence of my time with Jesus during the newborn days, but now I am painfully aware.

As she asserts her independence and showcases her strong will a little more each day, I am aware of my need to be in Him that I may train her in His ways.

I didn’t imagine we would already be dealing with the testing of boundaries and breaking of rules, but we are, and oh, how I need His help as I try to teach her right from wrong.

My husband deserves a wife that seeks first the kingdom of God so that she can be the wife and ministry partner needs.

He works hard to give me the opportunity to stay at home. A clean house and a meal prepared are important, but what matters most is that my heart is right so that I am able accomplish the lengthy to-do list that awaits me each morning.

My church deserves an associate pastor’s wife that is deeply in love with the Lord not one who is simply going through the motions.

So as the past year, my first year as a wife and a mama, slips into my second one, I pray that you will find me here more often, again using this place as I testament of what He’s doing within and without in my life.

And He certainly has a lot of work to do within.

She’s asleep…

10 Nov

but not in her bassinet. She doesn’t like her swing or her crib. She likes to fall asleep on Mama’s shoulder and scoot her way down to my chest before she will rest comfortably. My hair is thrown into a messy bun. As for a shower, I’m pretty sure my last one was on Tuesday. Laundry baskets are full. There are dinner dishes in the sink, but I hold her and rock her anyway. I feel the softness of her skin and smell the sweetness of her breath. I admire her tiny fingers and precious little nose.

A month has passed since the midwife put this little girl on my chest for the first time and many a night since then she has slept peacefully there.

Yes, my house is messy, my arms are sore, and I don’t think I’ve ever known this level of exhaustion, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. For as quickly as this first month has passed, I know that the next eighteen years will do the same. Before I know it, I’ll be lying in bed wishing for just one more night with my baby sleeping in my arms.

So with greasy hair and a grateful heart, I praise Him for this gift and kiss my Londyn girl again.

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Waddle it Be?

10 Jun

Image

 

Click the link below to find out if our little duckling is a boy or a girl!

http://newlywedsinnewjersey.blogspot.com

From Maniac to Messenger

26 Sep

Living among the tombs.

A terror to society.

Possessed with demons.

Unclean and unclothed.

The awful description of a man, we only know as Legion, who made his home in Gadara near the Sea of Galilee.

He had  battled this evil for a “long time.” (Luke 8:27) He coped with the agony and torment by “crying and cutting himself.” (Mark 5:5) Many had tried to bind him “with fetters and chains” (Mark 5:4) to no avail.

That was until he encountered a man named Jesus.

Jesus heard the hurt in his voice. Jesus saw the glaring need in his life. Jesus, unlike those who had attempted to tame him before, spoke peace into his pain.

“For He said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.” (Mark 5:8)

I cannot imagine the relief that must have flooded through this man as possibly thousands of devils departed from him.

Oh what a miracle performed on Galilee’s shore that day!

Within a matter of minutes, he went from crazy to captivated by the Lord!

He “was sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind!” (Mark 5:15)

He was “at the feet of Jesus” (Luke 8:35) reveling in the reality of redemption!

And Jesus didn’t deliver him and leave him there in the graveyard!

He bid him “return to (his) own house, and show how great things God (had) done” for him! (Luke 8:39)

The maniac had a ministry!

The once demonic man was now a disciple!

And he immediately obeyed the instructions,

“he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him!”

(Luke 8:39)

Since hearing a message preached from this passage yesterday, I haven’t been able to get it off my mind.

It paints such a beautiful picture of God’s marvelous grace!

Grace greater than all my sin!

Though I was not dwelling among tombs, I was bound by chains of sin.

Chains my Jesus broke when he saved me fourteen years ago!

His grace becomes more of a reality everyday, and for it I will be eternally grateful!

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

Ephesians 1:7

Praying that His Grace is real to you this week in ways you’ve never experienced before!

Enjoy the final week of September! The months are flying by! 

Life.

5 Jul

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

~ The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Ever since reading these words on Sunday in anticipation of our Nation’s birthday yesterday, I haven’t been able to get them off my mind!

Life. I live it without thinking about it most of the time, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot today!

I’ve physically lived twenty-three and half years in a place where four-wheel drive Chevy trucks and tractors are common place. No sidewalks. No Wal*Mart. No street lights. Working in the garage with my Daddy. Catching lightning bugs on summer nights in my backyard. Learning to bid on antiques at auctions with my Mama. Snapping green beans on my grandmother’s porch as the sun sinks below the horizon. Life has been sweet in this little country town. And I am thankful for the privilege of growing up here!

But I have only truly lived for fourteen of my twenty-three years. That Sunday night in April I’ve mention so many times before will forever be etched in my memory and in my heart, as the day I “passed from death unto life!” (John 5:24) The things I’ve enjoyed in my life would mean nothing without the salvation He so lovingly gave me when I was nine years old!

Then there was that day at the end of this month nearly six years ago when He turned life as I had always planned it upside down! And oh how thankful I am that He did! I often think about how different my life could have been if He had allowed me to continue down the road I was walking, and I realize again how much He loves me! He loved me enough to rescue me from a future full of my plans in order to give me a future full of His richest blessings! A future that meant six years of seeing struggling learners succeed, six years of seeking to know Him and His precious Scripture, and six years of preparing to be a wife to the godly man I knew He would bring me in His time. I know I have grown more in the last six years of my life than in any other. And for them I am so very grateful!

The last six years bring me to where I am today, living a life that truly is “exceeding abundantly above all” (Eph. 3:20) that I could ever asked for and dreamed of! You’ve read hundreds of posts on how amazed I am that He has given me the desires of my heart in this way.

I pray that I will ever seek to make Christ my life and passion and learn to love Him in a greater way as I continue to live the life He’s so graciously given me!

But life is only life if we’ve be given “eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Do you know Him today, dear friend?

Has He given you life “more abundantly?” (John 10:10)

I pray that He has and that you know the joy that knowing Him brings!

“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…”

Acts 17:28

Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at Liberty! Another one of the “unalienable rights” we’ve been so graciously given!

Just a Note…

31 Mar

to let you know I’m still here!

Since my laptop is broken and our home computer is down with a virus, as well, I’ve been without a computer all week!  I am chomping at the bit to get back to blogging, but the Lord has been using my time without technology mightily, and I am so grateful for the help and strength He’s given in some areas of struggle! I am anxious to return to sharing His Word and work in my life with you!

Lord willing, I will be getting my new laptop tomorrow so a new post should be up late Friday night! Praying you’ve had a wonderful week full of His Presence!

Happy (Almost) Friday, Friends!

“I know that thou canst do EVERY THING, and that no thought can be withholden from thee!”

Job 42:2