Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When God Seems Silent

I was thinking this morning about blogging. I didn't know what to say. This got me thinking about why I haven't had much to say lately and it really all just boiled down to one thing. "God sure seems to have been very quiet lately." 


In the instant I thought that I could picture God sitting on his thrown next to his son with a bummed out look on his face saying, "Sarah sure has been very quiet lately." 


Next time you feel like God has been quiet in your life, has not been speaking to you, loving you, even correcting you ask yourself, could He have the same legitimate complaint about me?


Thankfully we serve a God who is a pursuer 

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." Revelation 3:20


But in the same way He wants to hear from us to. He can rescue, tend to, mend, and comfort but He wants us to make a move to show we want it. 


O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Isaiah 30:19 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:8
When He seems silent He may just be waiting on you. His love for us is unconditional, No Matter What! A relationship is an all together different thing... it takes TWO!  




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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Seconds

So I said last week (you can read last week's post here our FIRST DATE) that date number two with my husband was for another post. This is that post!

Jarrod and I had that first date and then there was the swooning and the ooey gooey phone calls, and mushy looks for a week. It was pure obnoxious bliss! Jarrod came to see me at work every evening. (he got off an hour before me) He'd loiter by my desk, I'd try to act all smart and professional, we were ridiculously cute. And then came our first fight.

One night (I think it was the Wednesday after our first date) Jarrod had the nerve to NOT show up at my work. I called and complained. He said something very vague and guy like. To be honest I don't remember how it was resolved but we got over it pretty quick.  He smartened up and showed up to watch me close the rest of the week. Then it was the weekend again. At the time it seemed though like it had been months. We had plans to go to dinner that Friday night, date # 2. I remember talking to my sister on the phone at work that evening before the date. I told her what we had planned and then before we hung up I added. "And pray he asks me to marry him soon. I don't know what is taking him so long!"Yes, yes I know, one week... but it had been a REALLY long week.

We went to dinner at a nice restaurant in town and then we drove around for a bit. He suggested we find a spot outside somewhere to sit and chat. We ended up at a park. Jarrod wanted to go on this nature trail we had been on before when we were just hanging out as friends. I knew we had some strict guidelines, courtesy of my parents, as far as our "alone time" was concerned because we were technically in a courting relationship at the time. So I told him I didn't think it was a good idea. Too secluded. He seemed politely annoyed. In fact he had seemed annoyed the whole time we were driving around. He kept seeming to be headed to very specific places and then when we would get there he'd change his mind.

We settled for a picnic table we had driven by earlier at the park. He parked the car we walked a bit and sat. We chit chatted for a moment. Jarrod acted fidgety and uncomfortable. I had been a nervous wreck the week before on our first date. I figured it was his turn. (guys are always doing things backwards) He moved from the top of the table we had been sitting on to sit by my feet on the bench. He asked what I was thinking right then. I said something gushy, like, "I was just thinking how much I love you," interjected a few bats of the eyelashes, then asked what he was thinking.

He said, "I was thinking how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you." *Swoon*. And then he stuck his hand in his pants pocket and proceeded to get it stuck for a moment. So he says. I was busy looking dreamily into his beautiful brown eyes and thinking how lucky I was. He then, frustratedly, pulled out a beautiful diamond engagement ring, and said, of course, "Will you marry me!!!"


Apparently I said "yes" I still to this day don't remember saying it. In fact later, back in the car ,I do remember asking, "Did I even say yes?"

He swears I did. I do however remember grabbing him and kissing him! ;) It was a GREAT night. And this is the 9 year anniversary of the night I got engaged!

Many conversations followed that night. And one thing Jarrod was sure to clear up right away. That fight when he had been such a jerk and had not shown up at my work... He was asking for my dad's blessing and buying me an engagement ring. I would love to say that I have learned since then to stop jumping Jarrod's case and assuming something fishy is up when he is vague and cryptic. Man, would I love to say that.

As for the annoyed driving around that had taken place earlier that night. MY man remembered a conversation we had had much earlier in our relationship in which I had told him that it was my dream to one day get engaged in a gazebo. He very proudly had driven to our local down town gazebo that night just to find out it had been torn down to be rebuilt. He thought he had remembered seeing some other gazebos in town but everywhere he drove to... well... no gazebo. As for the nature trail he tried to take me on... He was pretty sure under the circumstances my dad would have been ok with it. Jarrod was thinking of a cozy bench we had stopped at before on our walk along the trail. The perfect proposal spot. I had to go and ruin that too. It's a wonder he still married me after all that. At least I can always say he knew what he was getting himself into!

Yes, I know this post is not helping the case for, "my family is not crazy". But in our defense Jarrod and I might as well have been dating for that year and half that we were "just friends". We did practically everything together. By the time we started actually dating we realized, what are we doing, let's just get married already. And we did... 3 months later... but that's for another post ;)


Somewhere I have an engagement picture too
but I can't find it either.
I assure you we are every bit as adorable here as we were then.



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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Firsts



Today is an anniversary of sorts for me. It is an anniversary of firsts... several firsts! 
9 years ago today I got all dressed up, took a ride an hour from home and ate at my very favorite Seafood restaurant. I saw a halfway decent movie that, to this day is one of my favorite movies! It was my first date with my, now, husband! A night I will forever remember! But that was not the only first that night. 
Let me back up. I was born in Murray, Utah 23 years and two months earlier... Oh wait, too far? Okay, how’s this. 
Jarrod and I had been friends for right at a year and a half. Our friendship started off innocently enough. He showed up with a friend to a kick off for a singles bible study I was starting. And as my mom tells it, “he just never went home after that!” Small town, the kind everyone leaves the minute they graduate from high school. There weren’t too many options for friendships at the time and so we just kind of gravitated towards each other. He was the rebel, I was the goody two shoes - so when he announced to me a few months into our friendship that he wanted it to be more I panicked, thanked him for stopping by my office, walked him to the door, and told him we would talk next week when I got back from a weekend mission trip I was about to go on. I spent the weekend freaking out and discussing it with our mutual friends, who were engaged to each other at the time. I loved Jarrod, he had quickly become my best friend and experience told me that the minute I said we are not going anywhere beyond this it would be end of our relationship. I was not ready for that. But he came with baggage, I was legalistic lucy and there just wasn’t a “future” for us. 
We had plans to have dinner together Monday night before bible study after I got back from my trip. We literally had not spoken since he said “I like you and would like to start dating” and I said “okay bye, we’ll talk Monday” (other than to make quick arrangements for dinner) 
I broke the news at Denny’s, was very honest about the reasons why. He said he understood and we could definitely still be friends. I smiled, nodded, and left with a broken heart, knowing that after what was about to be a very awkward bible study I would not see my best friend again. 
He proved me wrong (his favorite past time) and spent the next year going out of his way to prove what our friendship meant to him. We spent every spare second emailing (literally over a thousand emails exchanged between us in that year and a half) on the phone or hanging out with our group of friends. He looked out for me. I admired him. We were best buds!
My parents had decided some years before all of this that their three children would not date in the traditional sense... more of a courtship type of arrangement. (if that didn’t scare off the prospects... well if it didn’t scare them off at least you knew you had a good one... or a psychopath)
So around Easter (10 months later) I grew a brain, realized I had been crazy in love with Jarrod for who knows how long. I told my dad. He went to dinner with Jarrod and told him he would commit to praying for 3 months and see what God’s plan for our future was... if there even was one. Poor Jarrod at this point had never even asked for permission to date me. So he was caught a little off guard but was pleased. See what all he stuck through. (we were still trying to figure it out, keeper or psycho?) 
At this time Jarrod and I were doing a community production of West Side Story together! He was the lead. I suffered through a bad attitude from the Chorus line as, night after night I watched him lip locked with a rather stunning “Maria”! 
Side note my, not so funny, daddy took a video of one of our productions. His favorite thing to do during those weeks (and remember I am living on pins and needles at this point knowing that my dad and God were about to decide my whole future and I could lose the man I loved at any moment) Daddy dearest would call me into the living room very innocently and there paused on the Television would be Jarrod and the beauty queen with the voice of an angel in one of many various kissing scenes! I know, right... Jerk! ;)
Okay... hang with me we are almost caught up. The big decision day was July 6. That was the day my dad had kind of committed to end his time of seeking the Lord for us and a decision would be made. Jarrod and I had discussed it at length. I was very prepared to honor my parents decision. We knew it would be too hard for things to remain the same if we were not going to be taking the next step. We were both living in the town I had grown up in. Jarrod had only been there a few years. He was going to move back to California if the decision was not favorable. 
The play closed on July 5th. In my plot to spend as much time between “Maria” and Jarrod as possible (I mean literally in between) I had arranged it somehow to be standing next to Jarrod for our final bows every night. So the curtain went down, our hands were clasped from the bow and Jarrod pulled me aside. He told me he had waited a long time to tell me this and now he finally could. He said, “I love you!” and that was all I needed to hear to know the decision had been made and our future sealed. Jarrod was honoring a request from my daddy. When my daddy told him he would be praying for three months he asked Jarrod not to tell me he loved me or talk to me in depth about his feelings for me. (so as not to make things even harder). Jarrod honored the commitment. I knew he would not be speaking those words without permission. My dad, who knew that I had always been a little bummed about the fact that he would know before I did that I was about to be in a relationship with somebody (because of the whole courtship thing) thought it would be nice for me to hear it from Jarrod first. I know, right... Sweet! ;) 
That was a Saturday night. Jarrod wanted our first date to be on a Saturday... traditional date night. So we had to wait a WHOLE WEEK for our first date! 
So, here we are. July 11, 2003. My first date with my future husband. But let’s not forget, in my family we did not date traditionally so this was not just a first date with Jarrod. This was a first date! Many years earlier I had made a commitment to God that my first kiss would be with my future husband. Yep, that’s right, that night was also to be the night of my first kiss! And incidentally the first time in my relationship with Jarrod that I was a nervous bumbling idiot. Because I was so sure he was never a potential prospect for me in the beginning there was no pressure to “perform”. By the time he was “husband material” in my book I was so comfortable with him that it didn’t change anything. But oh, the firsts were piling up in my mind. That and the fact that my mother and grandmother were nearly gitty as they helped me get ready. AND I was about to kiss something that, I was pretty sure, had more experience than my pillow that had received all of my previous practice kisses (many, MANY years earlier... I promise... really!) So I flipped, I barely made eye contact all night and did a lot of mumbling. But we did make lip contact and there was a date the following weekend. But that is for another post! 
I am so thrilled that (as crazy as my family sounds) Jarrod got to be the man to experience so many firsts with me. My heart was whole and completely his. I was given to him pure in so many ways. I have never looked back with regret or what if’s! He is my first love, my only love... (people wise) and he has every part of me! 

Here we are about 1 1/2 years later.
(I couldn't find the pics from our first date)




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Monday, July 9, 2012

My Happy Place

"Find a Happy Place, 

Find a Happy Place, 

Find a Happy Place!" 


Today I am reminded of Peach from Finding Nemo and her hilarious quote as the dreaded Darla tapped on the glass of the fish tank.

I have a happy place. I went there today... in my mind. It's called Three Patches! How it got that name, I don't know. I am reasonably sure my family made it up. It was a wooded area we went to for picnics when I was a little girl. It was during the days that we lived in Wyoming and so I know I did not visit it after the age of 7 when we moved to Texas. But it holds treasured memories. It will always be a place of exploring, relaxing, family... just the five of us. To me it was our own little secret place (though I am sure it was not a secret) It will always be the place we let my older brothers beloved horny toad go. The place where I have a vivid memory of playing with my brother and sister while my parents looked on from a cozy spot on the ground where they lounged and smiled. It was safe and fun.

I wonder if my kids have a happy place. I am sure they will say Sea World is a lot of fun. Mc Donald's play place is always a favorite. But when they are older and want to take a little mental retreat I would love it if they escaped to a private place, that was just the six of us. Somewhere that was quiet and peaceful. Where mommy and daddy smiled and relaxed. Maybe it will be the dining room table, maybe we can find our own Three Patches. I just hope we are intentional about making memories for our kids. Memories we make together... not the kind that are made for us by strangers entertaining us. Not the ones that involve greasy french fries and sticky slides. Those places are fun too (maybe with the exception of the sticky slide) but I hope some of their best memories are the ones we make up all on our own. I hope they look back at and recall fun with the family being hugs and laughter not lines and chaos.

How about you? Do you have a happy place from your childhood? Are you carving out your own ones with your children now?


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Friday, July 6, 2012

The 4 Letter Word

Rest is not something I do well. I am always being told to slow down, take a break. I was often compared to a bull in a china cabinet and a wiggle worm as a child. Chiropractors have to tell me over and over during visits to relax. I have to have something to do while watching television and waiting for the computer to load drives me bananas. You get it, I just don't do rest!

Rest is all I have been able to do for weeks now and I am learning... there's an app for that. It's called Grace. I have had to learn the beauty of this little 4 letter word. R E S T! I have had to learn to rest gracefully.

I have talked to my children more, done more cuddling, read more books to them, had more one on one time with each of them. I have no where else to go, nothing "better" to do. Right now I am not in a mad rush to do anything or nothing. I have experienced boredom for the first time in a LONG time.

It is a joy and privilege to be able to keep up with housework. To make your house a home. But there are all kinds of seasons in our lives and in the midst of those seasons it is best to learn to handle it with grace. More than that to learn the beauty of grace through that season. If grace is God's kindness that we don't deserve than why not see the kindness He is trying to show you in those moments.

I am learning the love and kindness of my husband who comes home late at night and takes care of what I cannot take care of right now. I am learning the kindness of my mother who has prepared lunches for my kids so that I can pull things out of the refrigerator put them on a plate and be done. I have witnessed the kindness of my Lord as he allows me precious moments with my kids that I miss out on daily in my haste to get things done. I hope that this season in my life is going to be ending soon. But if I can learn to find a balance somewhere between keeping up and slowing down it will have been very worth it.

Be still, and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)



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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Waiting Game

Today was the day of the LONG awaited doctors appointments. I mentioned about a month ago going to the E.R. because we were concerned I had had a mini stroke. I had pain followed by numbness and weakness in my right arm. (I have a heart defect that puts me at risk for stroke, I am not just paranoid... okay so I am but I am paranoid with good reason... this time) A stroke was ruled out but my doctor wanted to run some tests to look into other things. We were waiting for insurance to be effective which took a month (that felt like a year). In the meantime  the pins and needles feeling in my arm turned into pain all over my body both in muscles and joints and this has all come with some heavy duty fatigue. So insurance kicked in yesterday and we hightailed it to the doctor today. I had talked myself into thinking I was just going crazy and so I expected the doctor to confirm that. She did not (see my insanity has still yet to be documented!) She did order some lab work. (6 whole tubes) to begin looking into Rheumatoid Arthritis and other Autoimmune Diseases. If those come back normal she will do an MRI to look at the possibility of Multiple Sclerosis.

My husband asked when we got done how I felt about all of it. I never really know how to answer that question. You spend your time dreading an upcoming appointment. You try to prepare mentally for bad news, put your faith in God and hope for good news. You want answers... even if you don't like them, at least it is something.

I realized later that I expected this to play out in one of two ways. Either I would go, my doctor would tell me I was crazy. I'd be mortified, then I'd just stop being crazy and feel better.

Or, I'd go, she would listen patiently say, "Oh yes, I know exactly what is wrong with you," give me one dose of the miracle drug for what ails you, and I'd feel all better.

As is normally the case it did not go as expected. I should be use to this by now. I do not live in the 7 bedroom 10,000 square foot home I have dreamed up, drawn up, and expected to live in by now. I am not a world famous published author and I have not put on an extra 7 inches of height... nor do I have boobs. But I continued to hope!

The other way I was afraid it may go was that I would leave with nothing being done to look into what is wrong and I'd just be stuck with no hope for answers. This is not what happened either. My ever patient and thorough doctor is right on top of it, as she always is. Not one thing she mentioned was something you just get over. But some are worse than others. So there is hope. God is bigger than all of them so there is GREAT hope, and peace! So I suppose that is how I feel. Grateful to be moving forward to find answers. Hopeful for the lesser of all the evils. Prayerful that God chooses to intervene and heal, and thankful for the ways He will work in my life through it ALL!

On a great note I also was scheduled to see the Cardiologist today. He was not overly concerned about the murmur that seems to be getting more and more predominant (but did not alarm him). He reexplained the heart defect and said it was nothing to be concerned about! He scheduled an Echocardiogram, which I was due for, but does not expect anything significant to show up! This was all GREAT news!!! And a nice way to wrap up the day.

Actually my mom making dinner for us and not having to feed my crew myself was a VERY nice way to wrap up the day! (thanks mom!)

Oh, and in the middle of all of this I found out I had received a blog award from a fellow blogger. (who's blog I just so happen to love and visit often, and you should to!) Becky at Time Out: Devotions For Moms now that was cool!

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