Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Time in the Closet

Last night, I told you I was headed to spend some time with Jesus. That's what I did. I spent some quiet time in the closet and this is what came of it.

When I made the choice to start this blog almost one year ago, I decided it would be a place to journal my thoughts, our family activities for the grandparents and aunts and uncles who live out of town, and to document for my daughters what God is doing in our lives.

It is intended to be an "Ebenezer" for them. A place of remembrance. I want them to be 20 years old, come back to this and say, "Hey! I remember when God taught us........."

Part of doing that means that sometimes, I document hard stuff. We all know that no family is perfect and ours sure isn't, I'm sure you can say the same! I do not want my girls growing up thinking that Chad and I believe we do no wrong, that we don't make bad decisions, or that we don't sin. We do. We are human. There have been and will be times when we as parents have to ask our girls for forgiveness, just like there have been and will be times they ask us for forgiveness.

What we do want our daughters to see is that we are crazy about our Jesus. We want them to experience Him in every day life. I was so blessed to have parents that taught by example that a true relationship with God takes work. Much like real life relationships, it takes communication (speaking and listening) honesty, and the willingness to admit when we mess up. The cool thing is, as many times as Jesus has heard me say, "I'm sorry, please forgive me." I've heard "You're forgiven and let's try again." He has never turned His holy back and said enough. Even in the times I've had to experience consequences for my actions (you know, spanked!) I've never felt unloved. That is the love of our Savior. That is the way I want to love.

Chad and I know first hand that our God is in the restoration business. Because HE restored us, as individuals and as a couple. We never pretend to have it all together because we don't. (People that do scare me!)

We've experienced healing. Physical healing and emotional healing. Chad had an incredible encounter with the Lord at John Eldridge's "boot camp" a couple of years ago. He came home a different man. A man on the road to being healed. A man who had encountered his Abba Daddy and been loved on like never before. It was incredible. (Send your man to boot camp if you ever get the chance... There is nothing se*ier to a wife than a man who is crazy about the Lord. Just speaking the truth.... ) And I've shared with you before the extreme measures God took to finally get my attention so He could do a work in my heart.

I say all this to say....when I journal here I completely understand and "get" that others read this. That is part of this community. It's for the most part, Christian sisters encouraging each other in our walk. BUT, I also understand that there may be times when my honesty about our journey may bother others. Some just don't understand being so honest, or out there with life and that is okay.

Honest is the only way I know to be. I wasn't raised to hold things in until the hurt becomes so dull you just assume it's part of everyday life. That my friend is pit dwelling and that is NOT what God intended. Soooo,

If you have ever been offended or hurt by something I've written and feel like you can't pick up the phone or e-mail to say just that, I'm sorry because that means that in some way, I have hurt you. I would not hurt a fly intentionally. If anything my flaw is that I want to see God restore the years that the enemy has stolen. He (God) can’t do that when we are content to tiptoe around the pit in the dark. That's what the enemy wants. That's what the enemy is counting on! He wants to keep things just the way they've always been. Believing that things can't change is believing the father of lies. Been there, done that and refuse to go there again.

So there, I've shared what I feel led to share from my time in the closet. If you get it, then it was for you. If you are scratching your head saying what in the world, then thanks for reading this far. I count you as a friend. :)


Jess said...

I can't speak for the others, but I think your honesty is nothing short of a treasure. More people should share their true journeys. It's then that we realize that we are not all in this alone! And, as you said, nobody's perfect.
Keep up the great journaling! I know your girls will so appreciate it down the line, just as we do.


Fran said...

I agree with Jess....honesty is a treasure and honesty is real. I need "real" in this life and I thank you Steph for doing just that.

Blessings today!

Cheri said...

Proverbs 12:17
A truthful witness gives honest testimony,but a false witness tells lies.

Thanks for being truthful. I know it hurts sometimes.
I'll be praying for you that whatever may have happened you can give it up to the Lord and move on...because I now it is no fun to dwell. I've done that and it only brings heartache.

Amy Wyatt said...

Your honesty and transparency is what I admire most.

Kristib said...

Thank you for your words of honesty! Keep on keeping it real!

Mount Vernon continues to grow. We have around 700 on Sunday mornings. Was my husband the missions pastor when you were there? (Scott Brewer)

Are you going to San Antonio in August for the siesta fiesta? Would love to meet you.

Have a blessed day!
Kristi B.

Kristib said...

Sorry. I misread your post. When was your DAD at the seminary?

Kristi B.

BethAnne said...

I have to say that if you werent 'real', I would have never re-visited your blog. But, since you are so real I visit it everyday! ;-) I know too many people who play church in their everyday lives - they want to look good, smell good, talk good, and appear to be perfect.....they are lying to everyone including themselves.

If Christian brothers and sisters cannot humble themselves enough to admit that we dont have all the answers and our lives are not perfect, then we are completely missing the whole point of our Christian walk. It all boils down to PRIDE. When we are too proud to show vulnerability around our brothers and sisters, then we become too proud for God to use us in the way He intends.

Dont you ever stop being real! (and dont apologize to anyone for it either)

DeAnna said...

Closet time is like no other, isn't it. You are truly a blessing and encouragement to so many people. Keep on keeping on, dear friend!

Mommy Dot Com said...

I am only encouraged by everything you post. I love your heart and your committment to Christ. You spur me on.... as it should be... and I hope we all do the same for you.

Heather C said...

I absolutely LOVE your honesty! Don't ever let go of it... it's one of the most beautiful things about you!


Carol said...

I'm definitely scratching me head. So I'm glad I'm your friend. :) I love reading your posts! You are the bestest!

Shari said...

I'm with you - I regret the years that the enemy has stolen and want to see them restored. I think honesty attracts people to Jesus. It's too hard to become a Christian if you feel like you have to be instantly perfect and not real.

Leah said...

Your transparency is a blessing in this age of lies and deceit. God bless you, my friend.

have a wonderful day.

Kemi said...

Your honesty about your life issues and relationship is the main reason why I look forward to reading your blog and learning how you handle them with the Grace of God on your side.

Please don't change it because of anyone or anything. You are truly a blessing to me even though I don't know you personally.

Take care,

NYC said...

It is so wonderful that you are willing to share your experiences with people. I am sure that God, in His providence, directs people to read what you've written; He is amazing like that!