Thursday, September 30, 2010

"I Call Today" (to FREAK!)

Tom and I have had this “rule”/understanding between us that we both can’t “freak” (regarding his job search/unemployment) on the same day. There are mornings that I get up and am just overwhelmed with fear – and while I know that is not where God wants me, it’s just where I am sometimes. So – we have agreed that we can “call the day” – meaning I can say “Today is MY day” (to freak, be a little cranky, need some reassurance, be MAD, etc.). Tom has the freedom to do the same…sometimes he “calls the day” and that means that he doesn’t need me to be "on him" about “who did you call/contact?”, “did you send any resumes out?”, etc. It’s a “freebie” to let me know that he might not be “all in” that day – and might just decide to spend the morning mowing the yard instead of sitting at the computer or waiting by the phone all day.

I encourage all of the wives out there to offer some grace/freedom to your husbands who are out of work. This is an area that I haven’t/don’t always do “well” (like I BITE at it often). There are moments that I want to jump in, offer “suggestions” (a.k.a. – take matters in to my own hands and tell him what he SHOULD be doing), or just scream “WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING ANYTHING?” I’ve come to realize that that reaction is coming from a place of gripping fear. I’m blessed to know that he really IS doing all that he knows to do…sometimes there just isn’t much that can be done – but wait and pray.

I also want to encourage you to be real with your husband. Let him know when you need an extra hug of reassurance, ask him to pray for you as you struggle with trusting that God DOES have a plan….and it’s for GOOD, or let him know when you need an “update” on how things are going (just to encourage you that “something” is happening…however, sometimes “something” is just posting another resume on a job board!).

Now, I don’t suggest you constantly walk around sharing your feelings of “OH MY GOSH…WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?” or “WE ONLY HAVE A MONTH LEFT AND THEN WE ARE GOING TO STARVE TO DEATH?”, ETC. While you might FEEL that way (and I do understand, believe me, how fear can take over our thoughts and sometimes cause us to go places God does not intend), I have learned it best to find a girlfriend to “vent”/freak with – especially someone that will listen but then ENCOURAGE me. I know that Tom FEELS the stress/weight/reasonability of providing for our family…I need to make sure I’m ENCOURAGING him and letting him know that I believe in him…that I still think he’s the GREATEST provider/husband. It doesn’t do ANY good for him to have additional “I can’t believe you don’t have a job” feelings coming his way – believe me, the enemy is quick to point out to him his “worthlessness” in not having a job. A man’s self-worth is so tied up in what he “does” (not who he IS, in Christ) that Tom feels bad enough – without me giving him ANY indication that I am not trusting that he will be able to provide for us.

I came up with this little “sign”, for Tom, that I needed some reassurance – I tap on his arm or back (when he gives me a hug) 3 times…and this means that I need him to say/remind me, “It’s GONNA BE GREAT”. (The funny part is that I think I did it initially thinking that that sentence had THREE words in it??) Regardless, there are times I just walk up to him and tap him 3 times, and he knows I just need to hear it! Come up with something similar that you both could use to alert the other that you need some encouragement.

I need to be honest and say that I need some accountability with the above…this is ANOTHER area that I’m struggling with…keeping my mouth SHUT and not adding pressure/stress on him. If you see me, feel free to ask me what I’ve done to ENCOURAGE my husband lately.

“IT’S GONNA BE GREAT” – I can’t wait until “great” (in regards to a job) arrives!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finding the "Good" in Unemployment.... (Yes - I've found some!)

Well, it’s been a LONG 6 ½ months for our family…and I’d love to say we have remained trusting and at peace 24/7 but – that wouldn’t be the truth. However, while Tom and I have both had “our days”, overall – we are still FIRM believers that “God is Good, all the time…and ALL the time, God is Good!” I don’t know how people in this world make it through a day without KNOWING/believing that.

Currently, it’s 3:30pm on a Wednesday and I’m sitting at a table in Starbucks (with work spread out around me)…across the room, in a “comfy chair”, (the chosen seat) is a really good-looking man that keeps distracting me. I keep looking at him as he sits with glasses on and reading a book…Ok…I’ll just say it, “He’s HOT”!

“He” is also my husband of almost 25 years.

This is one of the “good things” that unemployment provides…some misc moments that would never happen if he was currently sitting in some cubical someplace. Now – don’t get me wrong, we both long (pray faithfully) for the day that he’s “someplace” making some $$ but – for now, in this moment, I’m choosing to praise God for the gift of an hour or two of just “being” with him…and seeing the stress (that this “job search” is causing) erased from his face. This afternoon, on this BEAUTIFUL fall day in Plano, TX – we are both “at peace”.

I encourage those reading this to look for the “good” in whatever situation you are currently in - that you may be “wishing away”. The phrase “Journey Well” keeps coming to mind…that’s what I want to do. I want to see God in EVERY day/situation. Some days are “easier” than others…but, I do know He’s there…24/7! Thank you Jesus!

So – today, in this moment, I’m thankful for an unemployed husband…and the joy I have just looking at his cute self across the room (actually, he looks like he’s about to nod off! Sleep… it’s a good thing!!) ;)

“This too shall pass”…I want to enjoy it while it lasts.

What tough time are you going through that God wants you to find joy in?

Thankful for the “good” in the “bad” times -

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Fall Ya'll

I love the fall - it brings a new school year (even though in Texas we begin in August and it's still, usually, over 100 degrees!) brings new things to sign up for (classes, kids activities, opportunities at church and in the community) and usually some "new" clothes (can't wait to wear the warm, comfy, sweats from last winter!).

We started a new bible study at my church this was crazy for me to organize it to begin the day after Labor Day weekend...I was alittle stressed from having the family all here and receiving emails all weekend from women that forgot to sign up but wanted "in", etc. So - Monday night I spent some time getting "right" (with God) about the start of the study - and wrote out the prayer below. God prompted me to share it/read it with the women that came to the Morning and Evening study - and a few asked for a copy, so - decided to leave it here. It might not mean anything to those that aren't involved but - just my thoughts on starting "another new study"...from a girl that has participated in her share - and hasn't always gone in to them with the right mindset.

What are you doing this fall? Have you prayed about your committments and what GOD would want you to say "yes" to?

Keeping it real -

September 6, 2010


So many thoughts are running through my head about starting the Tuesday morning and evening bible study tomorrow…first – NEXT YEAR, please remind me not to do this the day after labor day! :)

My heart’s prayer tonight is that we, as a group of women gathering at Chase Oaks, will seek after you, and TRULY engage in your word over the next six weeks. That we will choose to make spending time with you a priority and that your words would leap off the page to the women who will be bold enough to set aside time – maybe for the first time ever. For those women (including myself) that might feel “too busy” during the week – will you prick our hearts and call to us…and allow us to hear your voice and turn our attention to you. For those of us that might be stubborn and still not get it…May our cable go out, our computers not be able to log on to facebook (ouch) and opportunities that only you could orchestrate happen – in order to get our attention.

For those of us that have done study after study – Father, will you pierce our hearts anew with your words. Lord - we have had so many to choose from, been given so many opportunities to learn from great teachers and great material, and now the freedom to AGAIN gather as a group of women to share what YOU will teach us. I pray that we would not take this for granted…that we would not just check this study off a list or add it to the rows of other studies we have done. I pray that THIS would be life changing and that a year from now we will look back and remember the truths we learned at THIS time.

Lord – you know how I’ve grieved as women (in the past) have signed up to participate, only to fall away in a few short weeks. I pray that the women will have an eagerness to be here – that their hearts would be so full of what you have shown them, that they can’t wait to gather to share their thoughts and the truths they found hidden in your word. I pray that those that might struggle will come to be encouraged and that we might love-on and support each other as you would want. Lord, I pray that I would be a woman of my word – one that would keep the commitment that I made when I signed up - to be here/listen to others/spend time with you each week and then come back to share. I pray the same for my friends.

God –forgive me for the times I’ve taken WAY too lightly the gift of the Bible. I know it must grieve you when I casually throw it in the back seat after church…and way too often find it in the same place the following week. Lord, I believe your word is truth and life changing. I believe I’m WAY too careless with the instruction and wisdom you preserved for me – written so many years ago, yet so applicable for my life today. I know that I have much to learn about how to treat your word from people in other parts of the country and world that, if given the chance to own a bible, would cling it to their chest and read it daily...and possibly all night. I know that I mistreat your word – for that I’m deeply sorry.

Lord – I feel you have guided me, as a leader, to this study – in order to bring it to the ladies at Chase Oaks. I thank you for that. Because it is truly YOUR words – straight from the Bible – I know it has the power to transform our lives. Thank you Lord for free-will, that you give us the freedom to choose to make this a priority or not…but oh how I pray that we, that I, would make it a priority the next six weeks. I pray that we would be begin each day asking you to be more real to us than the day before.

I offer you all glory and honor of what will be.

Love, Lori