Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Fra-gee-lay that must be Italian..."

That is a quote from the movie A Christmas Story when Parker pronounces "fragile" incorrectly. It is also how I have been feeling over the past several weeks...fragile! If you were to ask me how I was doing, I probably would not have told you that, though. Like most military wives in a deployment, I would just smile politely and say something along the lines of "hang'n in there." When the truth is, I'm tired, something (s) in the house is probably broken but as long as the house is still standing- I'm good, pine cones and needles are covering the driveway, a squirrel has decided to dig into my bedroom wall to make a nest, laundry is always piled somewhere (clean or dirty), it's been way too long since I've cleaned the floors, my baby is learning to pull everything out of the kitchen cabinets and then crawl away as fast as she can, she also is getting lots of teeth which is why I have bite marks on my arm (not hickeys from a glowing vampire), I lock the dead bolt of my front door ever since I had random people hanging out there at midnight one evening, I admit that I also sleep with our shot gun next to me lol, I sometimes would really like to express myself by screaming and crying like my 11 month old is doing as she fights falling asleep right now, and I'm usually passed out by 9pm. I was carrying Tierzah on one hip, had the diaper bag on the other side, my keys in one hand, and her folding high chair in the other as I walked out of a restaurant recently and an older gentleman opened the door for me. While thanking him he said to me, "Boy, I sure hope you're not ...uhh...I'm sorry I shouldn't say that, never mind..." Knowing what he probably was about to say I assured him my deployed husband would be home soon. I must have really looked like a mess! :) I know this is just a fraction of what other's go through daily and I'm honestly not writing to complain (ok, I am venting a bit) :)...but here's where I'm going:

In the midst of feeling blue I read this today. "For God, who said, "let there be light in darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shinning in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair, We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down but we are not destroyed...that is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed everyday. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long." -2Cor 4NLT - I also like how The Message paraphrases verses 16-18, "So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

That's been so true for me recently...when things seem like they are falling apart (or I'd like to throw in the towel), I'm reminded that not a day has gone by this year without God's "unfolding grace." I know I've mentioned this before, but God's put some wonderful friends and family into my life that have encouraged me exactly when I needed it. They've reminded me that I'm not alone and have been so gracious and understanding with me as I definitely do not have it all together right now. :) My mum came out for several days this month and that was SO wonderful! Without even asking her to, she did laundry, gave Tpot baths and fed her, cleaned constantly, and babysat so I could go all by myself to get groceries and to the salon. It was great to have her company and for Tierzah to have quality time loving on her Granny. We also got to drive to TN together to have an early Christmas with my sisters and their families. I did not want the fun to end!

I'm also especially thankful for Stephen. He is sacrificing so much for what he believes in and for our family and I respect him immensely for that. Our relationship has deepened more than I ever knew it could. I know that it is only by God's grace! There is a book we were recommended by my friend called, Sacred Marriage. I can not rave about it enough...seriously, if you are looking for a good book on marriage this is it. I guarantee you probably haven't read one like this before. It's challenged Stephen and I to look at the big picture more frequently and remember what matters most. Like Paul says, "For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." I get to be on this journey for however long God allows with the most incredible man. I love you babe! Looking forward to seeing him again in just 6 weeks.

Until next time... :)







3 comments:

  1. Thank you for being so open and honest, sharing your struggles and the encouragement you find in God's word! The "refining" process isn't easy or painless, but know that God is molding you and making you into an even stronger woman - a woman after His own heart!

    Hang in there! You are doing a great job!
    K

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  2. Thanks for posting this Julie! Just what I needed to read. I often get down on myself because I feel like I'm the only mom whose house is a mess, baby is going crazy, and can't seem to find enough hours in a day! Love you girl, keep up the great work.

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  3. Thanks for your encouragement, friends! Love you too. "Grace for today...bright hope for tomorrow!" :)

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