Thursday, September 29, 2011

Side by Side

He leaned over and gently let the postcard fall into my hand. I eagerly rushed to bring it to my eyes and see what was there. It read:
"I love you
In you hat...
I love you for your beautiful soul
I love you because you wake me up for church
I love you because its "Taylor Gang or Die"
I love you because your my soul mate
I love you because you put the music in my heart, you are the soundtrack to my day, I love you in every way!!".
(His words written on a blank church postcard, bordered with the script, "...encourage one another daily..." Hebrews 3:13)
It was one of those normal Sunday mornings where you can always find the two of us side by side, sitting in church. You know those sort of spontaneous thoughts that flood your mind and make you think about how wonderful that person is next to you? That moment when you turn and see them listening intently to the sermon and you realized how you love that stare and that brain that soaks up information like a sponge. This is how I picture what's going on inside his head when he thinks to himself, "I love her", "I love her because...","I should tell her".  Okay, so maybe just maybe it doesn't go the way this way, the way I dream it went or the way it suddenly pops up in my own mind and makes me feel giddy and eager to spill my guts to him.. HOWEVER, who cares what sparked the thought, his words simply fill my heart to the brim.
I know him well, so well that I know when he does special little things to reveal his love like this, he's doing it because he knows what it means to me, better yet, he knows how much it means to me. I've always heard people say, "its the thought that counts". And it really is. He must have thought, "I love her..and I should tell her because I know she'd love to hear it, and because she'd love to hear it, she'd be happy, and when she's happy, I'm happy because I love her". So, like I mentioned before, maybe his thoughts didn't go exactly this way but I think subconsciously there's a quick but detailed process that occurs and gives us an idea. And that idea is what's so special. 

I have been thinking, I wonder how long it would take for me to write every adoring reason I love him? Don't worry, you didn't get suckered into reading a 10 x 10 FOOT novel. I'm not going to write out every reason because at least 3/4's of the reasons I love him I could never put into words perfect enough or detailed enough to fully express what I truly feel. So I will simply share a few of the reasons why I love him today:
I love...
How you drool when you sleep, it gives off a very innocent look and reminds me of how you must have been as a little boy.
How you pull me close when we are both in REM sleep, I don't know how you do it or if its possible but you do.
How you ask to play with my hair...who asks to do someone a service? Its usually asked for. And I love it.
How in the morning you have no ability to be serious.
How you have a new adorable and silly name to call me every day, sometimes every hour.
How you always get food on your face.. or on your clothes. 
How you do things that I would normally think are disturbing or gross, but since its you, it just makes me giggle.
How your vocabulary is abnormal and ridiculous.
How you love music and love sharing it with others.
How you treat me sweet, every waking hour.
How you desire to always protect me and you always stand by my side.
Your HUGE heart for God.
Your BIG heart for your family, me, and my family.
Your COMPASSIONATE heart for others. 
How you are so kind and tender and sensitive.
How you listen and how you always give the right suggestions.
How you are encouraging and supportive no matter what my little butt is getting into.
How you make me smile all throughout the day with memories of you that you've left behind stored in my brain bank.
How you fill me with love and joy with texts all day long.
How you share your faith with others and especially with me.
How you love to pray with me morning and night.
How you take pride in bettering yourself daily.
How you are always so willing to work on yourself if you think there is something that needs change.
How you know your life's purpose.
How you care so much for me.
How you are attentive and gentle with me and my feelings.
How you know me SO well, more than anyone else.
How you can calm me, speak truth into me, and keep me grounded.
How you motivate me to better myself.
How you try to be healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually one day at a time.
How you cherish every minute we spend together.
How you help me to not get ahead of myself.
How we share each others dreams and dream new ones up together on the daily.
How you aren't afraid to be honest, open, and transparent.
How you are vulnerable and intimate with me in the most purest form.
How you are considerate of myself and others more than I've ever experienced.
Your humor and your ability to always make my abs hurt with laughter.
How you are easy going and a go-with-the-flow-type-of-guy.
How you are understanding.
How you are courteous.
How you help others, at times even ahead of yourself.
How you have shown me the greatest blessing and gift of love.
How you share everything with me, especially your life.
That you are my own personal angel that God sent, to spend our lives together, being voyagers, journeying side by side.

Thank you for the constant reminder every day that I open my devotional and see that postcard, I know your love, I appreciate our love, and I thank Jesus for this gift.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Music Man

I have always loved music.  When I say love, I mean that I absolutely melt inside when I hear a good tune.  I don’t know how anyone else feels when they listen to a song but I know what happens to me.. when the melody first hits my ears, my stomach tightens, my neck grows a little bit longer, chills flood the entire surface of my body, and whatever mood i was previously in has changed to an entirely new experience.  I get in the groove and find myself sucked into the speakers.  Sometimes its the lyrics, other times its the drums, guitar, the song as a whole, or just the voice of the singer that reaches my core and sends shivers up my spine.  Because of my love for music I have been to my fair share of shows, from hardcore bands, no namers, to Janet Jackson to Brittany Spears. You name it, I’ve loved it all and listened to it all.  At some point my love for music extended into my love for singers.  Theres something about a man singing on stage in front of a room full of people that draws me in.  Possibly its the vulnerability in  exposing one’s voice that makes it so appealing.  Maybe its the fantasy or the character they turn into while performing.  Quite possibly its the courage it takes to belt out a tune, write your own song, and fearlessly share it with thousands of critics.  I don’t necessarily know what it is, but its a gift to listen to and its beautiful.
In college we once had a speaker come share on “how to find your match”.  I remember sitting in my seat, shivering cold, listening intently for something, at least one thing that could come out of this lady’s mouth that might possibly interest me.  To my surprise she shared something truly valuable. She told us to write a list. 
“This list will have three columns.  In each column you will be thinking about things that you value, things that are important to you, your family, and for your future.  You will be thinking about the man that will possess the qualities that you need and are searching for in partner, a lover, and a best friend.  In the first column I want you to write all the ‘things’ he HAS to have, no if, ands, or buts.  In the second column write in all the ‘things’ you would really really like him to have.  In the third column write in all of the ‘things’ you would absolutely love for him to have if you lived in a perfect world and could have every wish come true, but he doesn’t have to have these, it would just be extra nice if he did”.
The story the lady shared was so profound that i went straight home and wrote my list.  This list included every detail I could possibly think of for what I wanted in the person who would eventually become my husband one day.  The first column included things like, “he MUST be a believer in Jesus Christ, he MUST love my family, he MUST be close with his family and love them if they are still alive, he MUST be smart, he MUST be outgoing, he MUST like to have fun..etc etc”.  The second column included things like, “I would love it if he liked to exercise”, I would love if he enjoyed watching movies, I would love it if he was romantic, I would love it if he wants to have at least 3 kids, I would love it if he loves music, I would love it if he has good hygiene..etc etc”.  The third column listed things like, “It would be nice if he came from a big family also”, it would be nice if he plays sports, it would be nice if he enjoys food like i do, it would be nice if he was a singer..etc etc”.
Did you catch that?! I enjoy watching singers and listening to people make music enough so that I decided to add it to the list of my dream man.  Fast forward 2 years and I met my dream man.  He possessed every quality on my list of dreaminess, singer included.  In fact, he surpassed the list I created.  He showed me the man that God created for me, the man that I truly yearned for.  A man endowed with qualities I never knew I needed or ever wanted.  He helps me remember that God hold’s the plan for our lives and I see this every day when I look at my beloved music man.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When I can't hear you, its ME.

I know I have your promise that ‘your sheep will hear YOUR voice’.  I think the problem is, sometimes i feel like i am one of those sheep who is deaf to his Shepherd.  So many distractions and little things get in the way of me listening for You.  Sometimes my head and ears are overwhelmingly overflowing with doubt to the point that there is no room for hearing You.  I feel not only deaf but I go blind and suddenly I’m left wondering around completely vulnerable, an easy target for sin and temptation.  It’s such a silly place to be in because I know that I am the one that created this handicap.  You are always with me and have assured me you are present at all times.  So this feeling that I am all alone is me listening to doubt.  I go over and over it in my journal, “Lord, why cant I hear you”, “Jesus, help me to feel you, to see you, to believe and overcome any disbelief about you”, “fill me up with your holy spirit”, “open my heart to understand and receive what you’ve always offered me”.  All these words, but where is the action?  I can feel it only for so long before I finally get a kick in the ass and make myself FIGURE-IT-OUT.  I figure myself out.  
So what do I do?  I do something different then what I am currently doing that is NOT working.  I go back to the basics, back to the simplicity of having a relationship with Jesus.  I spend time with Him and carry out what I know He has taught me.  I open my bible and start listening again. I learn to be still again.  I learn to tune out the world and all of my tiny itty bitty distractions that had become giant blocks inhibiting my greatest relationship.  I learn to focus in on what is important by quieting my mind, my thoughts, and my emotions and concentrating on hearing God’s.  He speaks to us through the most beautiful and unexpected ways.  We all want the LOUD BOOMING VOICE OF GOD but sometimes it just doesn’t occur in the way we expect it to.  Some ways that I find he gets His message to me is through spontaneous thoughts, visions, feelings, and impressions.  It’s that thought that all the sudden pops up in your head when your driving and you think, “I need to pray for Molly”.  I believe it’s God telling me to pray.  It’s that spur-of-the-moment thought that lights up in our minds.  Another way he speaks to me is while listening to music.  If I am silent and I open myself up for unhibited flow, I feel Him speaking to me in an entirely different way, sending chills down my spine.  He also does this while I desperately close my eyes and pray, sharing all that’s buried deep within my heart and suddenly a vision emerges.  Sometimes a vision may come so easily that I am tempted to reject it and throw it aside thinking it is just me.  But it’s Jesus.  I see this through my writing.  I journal my prayers and see us having a conversation, him and I, back and forth.  What we experience on a daily basis is him speaking to us and teaching us through our circumstances.  He talks to us LOUD and clear.  His presence is everywhere and in everything, because He is always present with us, so how do we not see Him?  Well, like I struggle with, its me getting in the way of Him.

                                There is beauty in the breakdown of the treasure found in His voice.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I don't ever want to forget.

       These words will stick with me because I don’t ever want to forget.  The place I’m in right now in life is so nerve-wrecking, anxiety provoking, and stress inducing, and yet at the same time its exhilarating, faith-building, and full of God’s glorious wonders happening right before my eyes.  I feel as though I have been called to a position to counsel people who are in the midst of struggles, pain, and suffering.  I know my calling is to be used as God’s instrument to help others find truth, freedom, healing, and His all-surpassing love.  He has brought me to a venue where i can live out my purpose and shine His light into people’s lives, into the darkest places that no other power, person, or thing can touch.  These deep, painful holes that torture people day after day and keep them chained up bounded by their secrets, isolated in their brokenness, and lying on the floor curled up in a ball trying to hide from it; that darkness, it needs His light.  I have found so much joy and honor to sit with people, just like myself, and normalize the pain, the questions, the confusion, and help them find peace.  To discover one’s passion, one’s story, one’s purpose for all the pain they’ve kept inside burrowing deep within creating deeper holes that eat away at their being; well nothing is more liberating than finding meaning for it all.  I have the second best view as I watch along side the Lord and see what He is doing in another human being’s life.  His very hands at work, like a surgeon strategically and carefully cutting away at the old damaged pieces of us and reconstructing new, beautiful, healthy ones.  What a vision, what a miracle, what a job!  I will work anywhere He wants me, and as i do i know i will find fulfillment in it because thats His promise.  He will meet our every need.  He has and He does and He will.  
So, I find myself questioning and doubting His promise at times?  Why, must I give in to the world, give in to the temptation of worrying and obsessing on “the unknown”?  Well, this is because I’m human, I’m broken, I’m flawed.  I won’t always keep my eyes on Him, but I can try my best to.  I can give my best shot every day to live for my Father and follow His Will patiently and trustingly.  And when I don’t, when I become distracted, fall short, or backslide, thats okay, because He knows I’m imperfect AND He knows my heart.  He knows I want to know it all, have it all planned, and sometimes I try to control everything myself instead of surrendering to Him.  He knows that sometimes I get ahead of myself, that sometimes I think I know whats best for my life more than He does.  He laughs at myself with me.  He shows me that being human is difficult and He understands.  And all along He shows me compassion, love, and grace and leads me back to the straight and narrow..right back to Him, to the light.
This is my reminder, when I feel overwhelmed, burdened, and/or stressed, I will remember that He has a plan far greater than any plan I could create for my life.  I will remind myself that these moments where I am working for barely any income, that these were the times when I was closest to Him.  I find myself leaning further and further into Him daily because of the place I’m in.  I need Him, I need His direction, guidance, and comfort.  I need His assurance that He has my back.  I draw closer and closer to Him for strength, encouragement, and answers.  I pray on my knees for my clients, for my fellow employees, for our business, for my walk with the Lord, for my family, for my friends, for my future husband and his passions and purpose, and for myself that i never ever forget these tough times that show me how much I need God.