When life is just plain hard…

Processing LIFE. That’s something I’ve had little time to do of late. 2015 has been a doozy, and it’s not even August. So, with the realization that things aren’t going to slow down any time soon (read: pending move and baby due in 5 weeks), Matt suggested we create a list of all of our stressors and anxieties, then take the time to pray through them together, casting them on the Lord and off of ourselves.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

For real. So we did that. But I found as soon as we did, new things were added to the page. Now, I realize, the verse says “casting,” as in, and active, current, over and over action. Not a once and then done thing. Duh.

We just moved in June to KY, and man, I now know the meaning of “We’re not in Kansas (read: Ohio) anymore.” I mean, this has been more jolting that moving overseas. Maybe it’s that we’re a family of 4+, not just adventurous 20-somethings. But Kentucky is like a foreign country. All of my expectations have been blasted, beat up, and run over by the onslaught of physical, emotional, and financial assaults we’ve endured since arriving here. Overly dramatic, you say? Well, it’s almost comical…seriously, you can’t make this stuff up:

  • Being downwardly mobile for the sake of the Gospel (Matt preached about some of our decisions and the sacrifices here)
  • Moving into a 2-bdr, not so nice apartment on an expensive short term lease because your first two above list price offers on houses did not win. It’s that competitive.
  • Four days after plating Matt’s new to us car, the runoff creek behind our apartment floods the complex, totaling his car…and costing us a couple thousand extra-unexpected dollars.
  • Finding mold in your bedroom 2 weeks after said flood. Explains toothache that you probably had needlessly filled. And sinus infection. Ensue sleeping on mattress in living room indefinitely.
  • Learning that everything is more expensive in KY…taxes…state, local, property, vehicle (yes, vehicle tax is real here). …insurance…car, homeowners, health, dental. …school…preschool tuition.
  • Within 48 hours of purchasing the post flood new car it starts making noises.

I’ll stop there. It’s been crazy. My spirit has been beat down. But you know what? I’m casting my cares on HIM, because HE cares for me.

Jesus is clear: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

And then, He’s speaking directly to this almost-35-week-pregnant mama today, using my circumstances, and relating them to HIS sacrifice on my behalf:

20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament [at my death], but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16

I can choose joy in the midst of sorrow. Thankfulness in the midst of suffering. Patience in the affliction. Jesus is God’s sacrifice for me. For you. For all the sin and brokenness and hardship in the world. All my money is HIS. My healthy or ill body is HIS. My home, car, possessions, or lack thereof are of HIS doing. So I surrender. And I will choose to ask HIM to intervene, knowing that he hears my prayers. That my joy may be full. Just like my belly.

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To be called by Name

Julia. My sweet 18 month old girl who is super into names at the moment. It all started when we pulled a few books out for bedtime. One was The Jesus Storybook Bible. Haven’t heard of it? It’s stellar. I used to read it to her before she was mobile or could grab and tear pages…so I stopped reading it to her at or before her first birthday. But, we pulled it down from her shelf and left it on her nightstand for our night night reading time. 

Sitting down with Julia, I pick up a book to read, to which she promptly said “away, away, away” as she pushed it out of my hands and toward the book basket on the floor. Leaning back toward the nightstand, I was sure she’d go for Rainbow Fish 1,2,3 next. Picked it up, and it was “away, away, away” again. J turned back and pointed to her Bible, and said clear as can be “Jesus!” 

My girl wanted Jesus…his picture on the front…calling him by name. 

Here’s the thing. We haven’t read the book in over 6 months, and we could definitely talk to her more about Jesus. But somewhere in her little heart, somehow, she knows who Jesus is. She called HIM by name. And unless she has an out-of-this-world memory, Jesus has made himself known to her. Does Jesus talk to toddlers? Appear in their dreams? Do they know him and their knowledge or understanding of him fade as they grow up, having to re-learn his ways again? All I know is “Jesus” is as known to her as “Mommy” and “Daddy.” What a fun and loving Jesus we have, who reveals himself to the little ones who help reveal him to us! 

And He has given her a name, through us, her parents: Julia. But she’s never been able to say it…it is a little hard. So two days ago, at breakfast with Nani and her cousin, someone said “Julia,” and my little girl blurts out “I’m Julia”…saying her own name for the very first time. Once again, clear as day, she calls someone by name, this time, herself! 

To top it off…at lunch today, eating her “dip” (aka yogurt), with me sitting next to her munching my salad and opening the mail, this little one says “Amber.” She’s babbling about something, but she says it again. I pause and listen, making sure I heard it right. And then she says “Amber’s nose” and I’m sure my daughter has just said my name, for the first time. How sweet, and how fun. Called by Name by my daughter…the name given to me by my parents and my God. 

(at Papa’s on Independence Day)

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Jesus in My Day

Last night, breaking into the basic chit chat around our patio dinner with friends, said “So, tell me about Jesus in your day.” We all paused, none of us with something ready to burst out of our mouths. We thought about it for a minute and shared.

What I want is to be able to immediately share how Jesus has changed my heart, answered my prayers, and loved my unique personality and soul. I’m really just beginning to learn and recognize how He loves me as me.

So, this morning, after breakfast, Julia and I went for a walk down the hill to the park before it gets too hot out. There’s a ‘stream’ of sorts down there that she really loves…and will certainly romp around in when she gets older, as I can hardly keep her from diving in right now. It’s a bit of a wild park, just a little baseball back fence, a volleyball net, and 4 swings in the middle of an open field. We were ‘off-roading’ in our stroller through the grass when I spotted something on the ground. I subconsciously am always looking for money on the ground, but usually, all I see is trash. Sometimes a penny or two, a dime, if I’m lucky, a quarter. But today, I wasn’t sure. As we walked up, it looked like bills. Yup, two folded one dollar bills sat there waiting for me, damp with the morning dew.

How sweet! But you want to know what makes it more sweet? It was Jesus, entering my day, responding to my thoughts on my walk. As we had been walking down the hill and I’d been somewhat engaged in this subconscious ritual of looking for money, I was reminded of an incident from 5 years ago. I was getting ready to check in at the airport, was a little flustered, and pulled over 60 bucks out of my bag. I adjusted my luggage and checked in, but when I left the counter, I realized I had not picked the money up off the chair I was sitting in. Went back and it was gone. I cried. Beat myself up over my stupidity. And have been upset as I’ve been reminded of the incident over the past 5 years.

But today, Jesus entered in. I had been thinking about how much I needed that money (really? $60 only goes so far…), and how I felt jipped. In the midst of that, Jesus reminded me that he cares for me, he knows my thoughts, and he’ll even have $2 waiting for me in an empty park.

 

Thankfulness By The Numbers

1: beautiful daughter

20: fingers and toes (total, people)

1: awesome husband who provides for and wholly loves his girls

34: days until we move into our new house

25: hours of labor (which are happily a blur in my memory)

2: awesome grandmas who pitched in with love and encouragement post-baby

9: community group friends who have blessed us greatly with friendship, accountability, babysitting, and house work

3: number of times baby’s poop woke her up in the last 36 hours

1: ding from heaven (a hit-and-run that is helping finance home repairs!)

9: total number of rooms in our new house, a huge upgrade (note: this number includes 2 bathrooms! eek!)

3.5: the number of baby robins hatched in a nest outside our back door…patiently waiting to see this last one come out!

1: mom to whom i am incredibly grateful for her sacrificial love for me, my family, and my daughter

13: pounds of rolley-polley baby that i love

1: jesus who is sanctifying me in motherhood

133: number of days we’ve been blessed by julia jane cable

and a few pictures to boot:

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About Patience

When my mom said “Patience is a virtue” I never really fully understood what she meant. I still don’t, and I’m not sure she knows, either. I’m not sure we can ever really be “good” at being patient. And what is patience, anyway? Waiting-for-something. Can you patiently wait for the unknown? For a spouse? A best friend? Good news? A new job? A change in your finances? A baby?

Pregnancy has taught me a lot. Like being okay with the fact that I can’t accomplish tasks at the speed I once did. Asking for help and allowing others the opportunity to bless me (food does this really well!). I’ve learned to surrender my body to the process…a very unique, amazing, miraculous experience that only God himself could have designed.

But there’s still a lot I don’t know. I don’t know when this baby will arrive. We are 41 weeks today. A friend recently told me about hitting the point where you just think that baby is never going to come out. Check, I’ve hit that. But the doctor assures me that all babies do eventually make their debut. There is something rather beautiful about God determining when our baby will be born. It’s his to decide.

And this leads me to a discussion on faith. Reading Hebrews 11 today, I was struck by this: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (v.1). How does patience tie in to faith? I suppose I can be patient for something but yet not be assured that it is going to be. I can be impatient and unassured. I suppose I can even be impatient while being assured. Or, I can be patient because I am assured. I’d like to choose this one.

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (v. 6). Just chewing on this today.

A Cable Christmas

A Cable Christmas…the first, and probably only Christmas as just the two of us! Here are some photo highlights as we’ve celebrated the coming of Jesus, received such good gifts, and anticipated the birth of our baby girl (who is still cooking btw).

made it to my dear friend sarah's wedding on dec 23rd!

dec 24th's christmas gift of matt's job offer in the mail!

all ready for christmas and baby!

all ready for christmas and baby 2

all ready for christmas and baby 3

7am present opening (background w/evidence!)

Cable-Xmas

dec 29th hike to get things movin!

dec 30th...due-day...

Stay tuned…some much more adorable pictures of Cable #3 will be arriving shortly (hopefully)!

These Haphazard Days

I truly have mama brain and this baby isn’t even here yet. I just accidentally x-ed out of my wordpress window on a post that was almost done. Grr. I was beautifully sharing some post-thirty-weeks pregnancy pics and the glory of our first Cable Thanksgiving hosted by Matt and I. So, here’s the skinny: we are 35 weeks + 2 days and I’ve taken to calling this baby Bigfoot because she keeps pushing her big foot out my side! Our first Thanksgiving went off without a hitch (is that how you say that?), complete with both sets of parents, Matt’s brother, and three friends from my department sitting around our table in our (what we’ve just determined to be) 650 sq.ft. apartment. Here are some post 30 weeks pics and Thanksgiving photos. I didn’t get a picture of Matt’s amazing Turkey carving job, though you can see the result on the table. And I made the most beautiful gluten free apple pie that also tasted amazing. It was fun!

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