Monday, February 22, 2010


To every one of you who called, wrote (yes, snail mail from Canada), emailed, or commented, and to all of you who prayed for me...thank you so much. God used each of you to encourage my heart! Thank you.

Yep, some seasons are harder than others. In the midst of this hard season, God has faithfully lifted my head and when I have wanted to set my eyes on the ground, He has lifted them to the heavens. He is giving me joy and contentment in places and ways I haven't experienced before. He's even giving me a tiny bit of love for Warrior. (I said TINY. Really, really tiny. I did love him more, but then he ate my black leather gloves mama gave me. He took them right off my shelf. See, he's so tall, he can reach lots. And my love for him is quite conditional. So...)

We hosted a missionary couple in our home last week. As we prepared for them (renovations are still going the house is torn apart), I doubted whether or not God had truly called us to host. With everything out of place (we'd planned to be finished), getting ready was fairly stressful. I considered calling it off, but felt confident we were supposed to host, not to mention, we'd made the commitment. They'd be coming home from Wednesday night church with us...Tuesday afternoon I realized I'd have to do Wednesday night church by myself, T had to work. I felt totally overwhelmed and exhausted when I thought about how I would handle things...three children plus myself through a supper line, silverware, napkins, and drinks, the inevitable bathroom trip, finding a high chair, the logistics of getting it to the table, etc., etc. Let alone figuring out how to get all of us home (missionaries, too), get the dogs situated, Little Bit nursed, and the two older children always want a second would I do it all...graciously? And without casting our guests aside? More to the point, without losing my patience?

You know how?

The Holy Spirit worked every detail out. As soon as I entered the fellowship hall for dinner, a dear family who has in many ways, mentored us, invited us to sit with them. They helped me with the children. It was wonderful! After the service, I approached "our" couple to talk logistics of getting them to our house and guess what? They needed another 20-30 minutes to rehearse. (They're musicians.)


I was able to get home, deal with closing the gate and the dogs and nurse the baby and put her to bed and get the other two their dinner and into pajamas. And then, we were able to calmly welcome our guests into our home.

And. It. Was. A. Delightful. Time.

(Yes, those are Sister's clothes on the Little Man. They were "twins.")

I am so glad we stayed the course. Oh, the blessings! It was wonderful! Our missions' conference is one of the highlights of our year!

Changing gears a bit...

Renovation wise...there are the dreams...

and the makings of the dreams...

There has been help from a kind friend for which I personally am so thankful! (He doubled as a carpenter and stand in story book reader - the children begged him to read to them.) They were hanging sheetrock...that's some HEAVY stuff. And no doubt having a man to help T hang it spared us a few frustrations.

There have been layers of paint and wallpaper...

...wheel barrow loads...

...hardwood floors to patch...

...and one really good lookin' carpenter.

That really good lookin' carpenter and I were at odds over a few things last night. We did something we haven't ever done before. In the middle of a disagreement - ok, wait, honestly, it was an argument and we were both mad, we knelt on our knees and prayed. It was hard. Really hard. There is nothing like praying, knowing God knows my heart, so I better not sugar coat things, in front of my husband, who I wanted to be guarded with. Ugh. It was hard.

But it was good. So. Good.

I can't believe that in over eight years of marriage we've never knelt in prayer together in the middle of an argument.

Can I encourage you to do that? I promise, it wasn't comfortable. It was downright awkward. But oh, how God knit our hearts together through that.

P.S. J ran this by me and it's posted with my complete blessing -T.


  1. Wonderful, God-honouring post J! Oh how hard it is to pray together when you are at odds, but SO POWERFUL!!! THAT was the best marriage advice we were given nearly 19 years ago and it WORKS...EVERY TIME!! :) Sometimes we are called to challenging things, but GOD is GREATER than it all and in the midst HE BLESSES...HOW AMAZING His Grace!

    Love to you my friend!

  2. J - I admire you so much for your honesty and also for your Godly advice to all the wives reading your blog. Thanks for keeping it real. It is refreshing.

  3. Wow! I don't think we have ever stopped to pray in the middle of a fight. That takes guts and must be very humbling.

    I too, have been in that situation at church functions. God always provides people who want to help. Some take the two year old, some take the baby while I juggle plates, potty trips and such. To say the least it is stressful and I try to avoid those situations normally. I feel like my older children miss a lot because of my fears. I'm looking forward to it getting easier as time goes by.

  4. Your honesty always touches my heart. Thanks for such a moving post. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but Aaron has wanted to stop and pray during disagreements and I'm always against doing it. Because, like you said, God knows our heart. Thanks for encouraging me this morning!

  5. That has got to be very hard, but gutsy. You are right, God does know our every thought, and the power of prayer is strong! Glad to know that you battled through all of the overwhelming-ness! I want three-four kids one day and am already sure I will have to have you on speed dial to help me! :D
    Missed you, thanks for your sweet comment on my Lenten post-glad all is going well. And remember, I will babysit Warrior for you! I only have 1 kid and two dogs that would LOVE to hang with that big fella! :D You can email him to me! :D

  6. Hi J :) Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog and how much it encourages me in the season of life we are in with little ones! Thank you for sharing your heart. :) Hope to meet your little ones sometime. :) Mom loved seeing you awhile back.

  7. Hey J!! You inspire me so much with your strength and faith! Love yall!!

  8. I appreciate your honesty and transparency here... ultimately I see your reliance on the Father in all things and that glorifies Him despite a messy life.

    I've been thinking a lot lately about how I expect things to "just be hard" in the matter of a few weeks. It's been a long time since we've had an infant in the house... I've been lulled into a relatively easy and comfortable way of living (full night's rest every night, potty trained kids who can talk and communicate, relatively easy mobility, etc) those things are changing soon. I'm afraid it's going to rock my world a bit. It so good and encouraging to see your reliance on Him and His provision. I have nothing to fear.

  9. This was a very real post. Thanks, J! I hope to send you an email soon with my thoughts. :)