Monday, February 20, 2012

Heart Series 2b

H I M cont.

When you have emptied and laid it out and listened for His voice.  And you have followed.
Yet for some reason, you just can't see to get on the same page.  Maybe you try and just can't get there....husband is just not getting it.....not getting me.
Days go by, paths cross, chores are completed, kids are cared for but as you lay together late into the night you barely touch.  Love has not faded but life has pulled, and stressed.
He is busy nurturing.
He is wondering if it's are frustrated that he is not connecting.

Love is a dance and the wise learn the steps, the tempos, the nuances.

And the even wiser know that to love for lifetime....  it is a fight.
One that is the very fight of our lives.  Cause the love is what we need to give and to live. 
This is a fight that is worth the effort.
One we cannot walk away from.

I found this by a favorite author of mine, Ann Voskamp and thought it was very honest, wise and necessary for the days we are finding ourselves living on a separate page from the one we love. 
I added some thoughts in red.

5 Ways to Fight through to Love:

1. You don’t need honed communication skills
As much as the will to connect hearts.  It comes down to do we truly want to communicate love or be sure our point gets across or that we were right.  Who cares what the point is and that we are right if love is not being given.  This our lover, whom God has given us......  must connect our hearts and work from a place where everyone wins. 
2. Get to the tender wounded question behind every fight or misunderstanding:
“Can I depend on you?
Do my feelings matter to you?
How do you care about me? Hold me?”  We spend so much time on the surface instead of getting to these core issues.  Get here, and most of the surface will melt away.

3.  In the anxiety that’s masking as anger, don’t up the ante
Don’t up the ante with name-calling, labels or threats of the D word (divorce).
Critical language can register in the brain as the same area as physical pain — which leaves your spouse dealing with their own pain, instead of caring for you in yours.  Unacceptable.  If you find yourself easily getting to this point.....spend some time allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life.  There are probably some other anger issues for you......that is not your spouse's fault.  Talk to a friend or counselor and work through it.

4. Be your spouse’s ER:
Emotionally Respond. Listen to the cries of fear behind the fighting. Hear anger as a cry for attachment, this call for connection. Have the courage in the midst of the heat to tenderly reach out and touch the bruised places.
Reassure that you’ll always be there, that you care, that you’re in this together.  This is so important.  I have been guilty of saying, well he isn't emotionally responding to me, so why should I him.  But love does ANYWAY and in spite of.......and trust me, as you love by emotionally respond with no strings attached, that emotion will come back in the most wonderful ways. 
REMEMBER - we have to see.

5. Hold each other close and long
Love bears all things. Be a roof, a wing, a shelter in the storm.  YES!

Wise words to us today.  
And so my friends, engage.... first in a daily surrender of it all
right into the hands of God. 
then you are free to love fully.....

your spouse
your children

Tomorrow I will be sharing thoughts on FRIENDSHIP.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Heart Series 2a

H I M cont...
So what about the other days?  When your vision is blurred and you struggle to see.  The obvious answer if you are a Christ-follower is to lean on your faith.  To hang-on for a better day.
Isn't there better than this?  I question.
Longing for more than the leaning and the hanging.....
yearning for a love that is deep and rich?
Beautiful is what it sounds. 
A marriage that is rooted in Christ is just that......beautiful and holy. 
It is the getting there that trips us and casts those doubts.  Bringing the hard days.
And the journey is what makes the life....and the love.  This getting there.
Becoming lost along the way,
We find ourselves surviving instead of thriving.
Striving instead of loving.
Doing instead of being.

And there we are scrapping at what little is left for ourselves
let alone loving a man.  Making a marriage.

For me it's when I capture the moment......
              my thoughts
Empty it all
and lay tenderly before my Savior. 
And as the Message translation of 2 Corinthians 10:5 says-
fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ

Only words needed are those of thanksgiving..praise as I breath still before Him.

And as I move towards the life shaped by Christ, everyday, those trips and doubts lessen. 
Transforming me.
Freeing me to love.
Finding what I have longed for.

Maybe today you step towards a deeper love
fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ

Find a place of solitude.  Quiet before God.
Emptying it all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Heart Series 2

His strong hands all dried from the crisp cool air gripped the rake as I gazed on from my chair.  Me sipping my morning coffee snuggled in my robe and blanket on a lazy Saturday morning and him already up for more than an hour with chores to be done.  I had already slid the glass door pleading him to let me help him........rather unconvincingly all tied up in a robe and disheveled.  He just smiled and replied, "I am almost finished, you just enjoy the quiet before the kids are up".
This I knew he would say.  Because this is him, my husband,
whom I love and vowed til death do us part almost 22 years ago.

 22 years of marriage.  Of love and life.  Tears welled as I sat back in my comfy chair still warm.  He loves me.  He knew I needed this quiet and these moments.
Loving a man for a lifetime.  How is a woman to do that and do it well?  To know that her husband is being loved as he needs to be.  I contemplate that as I sip and watch him.  Am I loving him enough?  Does he know?
There are the days when love seems full and words flow and moments catch your breathe.....

there are others that rip and tear at the fibers.......casting shadows.....kindling doubt.

It is a wonder, miracle really that a marriage can stand.  That two people can love for a lifetime.
He is gone from my sight now, cleaning up, washing away the sweat and dirt.  And our day will take off with errands to run, things to be done, kids to keep in line, arguments to break-up, projects to finish.........all of what makes up this life.  Our story.  Yet, in these still moments as I hear the shower turn off, I go to him. 
"thank you"
"No big deal", he says.  "Got to get done." 
What I wanted to say was YES!  It is a big deal and I know that you are out there loving me.  And I am sorry that I often miss it......the ways you love me.
But I didn't.

I am learning though, to see his love.  He needs to know that I KNOW when he rakes, he loves.  And when he interrupts his day to help his wife who locked her keys in the car........and tells her it's going to be okay.  He loves.
And when he tells me I am beautiful as he gazes at me.........even disheveled in a robe.  He loves.  

Allowing him to love me........his way.  Not turning it away because it doesn't match my way.  
Opening up my grasp of what love must be.  Not expecting all the words.  Letting go of my breath when he is silent, granting an occasion to see.  To see him love.

In effect I am catching the winks and the twinkle in his eye. 
Offering him the opportunity to love me has cleared the way ........
bringing an intimacy of that which I didn't know I needed.

It is my turn to shower and ready for the day, and he goes to get the kids moving........
there he goes loving me again.

See how it changes your perspective of love?   We will continue this discussion tomorrow.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Heart Series 1b

I am beginning to wonder about this post.  This is my 3rd re-write!  First one didn't come together right and the second failed to save and so now here I am with #3!
Honor was what I was planning on continuing with, 
so here it goes.
We throw this word around quite a makes me think of the
military.  Honor brings about a feeling, an emotion.  I hold my head higher and breathe deeper when I say honor.
Why is that?

Looking up Honor, I found that it can be a noun or a verb.  As a noun honor means honesty, fairness or integrity in one's belief and actions.  As a verb it means high respect.
 In the Bible- Ephesians 6 tells us to honor our parents.....and it comes with a promise.
That basically your life may go well.
Interestingly, before the word honor,  
the word obey pops out.
Last entry, I shared thoughts on discipline--
pointing our children towards obeying.  And it really does have to be taught.
But what about honor?
Since honor comes after obedience, I am thinking honor is really 
the attitude behind obedience........
And that is what we are after, right? The attitude.
 To get my children to have the attitude of honor just sounds like more work huh?
Guess what - it is.  So often we go about it the wrong way.  I read this the other day-
Parents who try to get respect from their children by quoting this (Eph. 6)  scripture will be as
successful as trying to steer their car by honking their horn
We teach them honor by how we honor our own parents.   How we care for them as they age.  And it doesn't stop there.  Jesus was pretty clear about us honoring others.  Simply putting others before ourselves (Matt 24:40).  You honor others by treating them with the same high respect you owe to the person of Jesus Christ. If you treat others the way you treat
Jesus, you will honor not only your parents but every living sou

Think I am getting it........getting my kids to do something or be something better has less to do with me yapping all the time and trying to do the right things
and so much more about me being who I am suppose to be.....
through God's Spirit working in me.

That is what causes the emotions......the head held high.  Because we are honoring Christ- connecting so intimately with our creator when we honor others.
Let's teach this to our children by how we honor everyday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heart Series Part 1a

Children cont.

Yes, Monday came and went and now it is Tuesday.....and I am a little late on my posting.  I finished Sunday with exasperation.  I always wondered about that word and now that I have put some action to it, I can see it for what it is.  And I can get an honest look at me.
Cause really, I can truly teach and give to my children only what I already possess.........and learning to possess.
So what do we do with this ugly word exasperation, because it really does sounds ugly. 
Not something I want to line myself up with.  But really, how do we move from just being exasperated a lot of the time to raising our children with discipline?

We must move to training and instructing our children with love.
Doesn't that sound so much better?

I firmly believe that showing them affection and using great listening skills on a daily basis - even our teenagers -is key.  Giving them this time first- lays the foundation for proper instruction and training.
This may step on toes -And I am so pointing at myself.........but
conversing with them while playing a computer game or on Facebook doesn't count for time with them!  And it doesn't have to be a large amount.  Just focused for a few minutes
Look them in the eyes. 
Smile.  Be sure they know you think they are beautiful inside and out, no matter what.
Give lots of hugs.  Squeeze lots of hands....Even the big boys.  And LISTEN to them.  Really listen with our ears.  CONNECT with them.

Now the foundation is laid for the instruction.
By Instruction I am implying the "what you say".  It's all the counseling, the teaching, the moments of sharing your stories and yes, believe it or not, they are listening to you.

And when you are loving them, listening to them, instructing them,
You will be able to TRAIN.
Training is the "do part".  The nitty gritty, at times, as this is where the discipline comes in.  The correction......always in LOVE.
The training will flow with much more ease through you when you have already had the connection and the conversations. 
And then they will EXPECT it.  They will know they need correction.

And while they may not say it,
they will love you for it.

Always remembering the end goal.
We are fueling the next generation.  Big job.....I feel it too.

Tomorrow.......I will be sharing my thoughts on HONOR.  Will you join me? 

Sunday, February 5, 2012