Friday, March 26, 2010

Soldiering On

It's not for lack of wanting or material that I have been so long away from my blog. To be honest, there's just been too much on my heart and too little time to sort it all out. There have been 50 posts begging to be written between the last time I posted and now, but wanting to have wisdom and discernment in what I display to this great, wide world, I have refrained.

With all that is going on in our life, Casey and I (mostly I) are finding that we cannot do it with the grace and peace that God would require of us by our own ability. Our strength and intellect and emotions (mostly my emotions) are no match for a time such as this. So, we have resorted to listening and obeying the ways of God laid out for us in the Word of God. Imagine that!

Here is a brief run-down of our present situation:
- We are starting a church. Christ Community Church in The Woodlands/Magnolia area.
- We are living in two places at once. (Brenham & Magnolia)
- We are trying to sell our house. We've had a good number of showings, but no bites yet.
- I enrolled Braelyn at The Children of the Woodlands preschool for the next school year.
- Casey will be commissioned by Christ Church in Brenham on April 11th.
- Christ Community will begin having Sunday night worship services on April 11th.
- My brother is engaged and will be married almost 10 years to the day after Casey and me.
- We decided to begin taking Clomid with the hope that we would become pregnant.
- I have gone through 2 rounds of Clomid with no success.
- Clomid makes me a crazy, crazy woman.
- I am taking this month (and perhaps a few more) off from Clomid so that I will not be in the hospital with a newborn baby while my only brother is getting married.

Now that you have a bit of context, I will tell you that many a tear have fallen in these last few weeks. It's been hard to know what's what. Am I crying because we are in the middle of a huge life change? Am I crying because I don't feel at home anywhere right now? Am I crying because I desperately want to have a baby? Am I crying because the Clomid makes me incapable of handling any sort of negative situation with any amount of grace or dignity? Um...yes, yes, yes and yes. (As a side note...I will say, that since I have been off Clomid...I can report a SIGNIFICANT decline in the number of meltdowns. That's very reassuring. I mean...maybe it's more the medicine and not just me having the emotional stability of a thirteen year old girl. Let's hope.) Anyways...Clomid or not...we have too much on our plate, too much at stake to just fumble our way through these next few months.

I began to pray that God would show us how to honor Him in this season and He provided some answers. He reminded me of His great faithfulness and that He has provided trustworthy instruction in His Word. He reminded me that His ways are not just good topics for Bible study discussion, but are there for our benefit and are worthy of obedience. Everywhere I turned He poured out this truth, through His Word and through His people.

His gentle correction led me to this: to manage my home through more discipline, more prayer and more planning. anchor these habits by practicing the Sabbath.

With renewed hope and determination, I went to work at laying out my week on paper...Magnolia in green, Brenham in white. I factored in a laundry day, a day of deep cleaning so the house is ready to show, I planned meals and noted where I would cook them, I marked down weekly Bible studies, and meetings and story time and date night and even planned a time for planning. I fit all that in six days, and then left one day completely open for rest and time with my family.

Looking at my week all outlined and organized, the task ahead seemed less daunting. And it was! I found a bit of a rhythm. I knew what I needed to do and when to do it. I knew what to expect and left margins for the unexpected. It was a pleasant week and a significant victory for my weary soul. Then, we took our Sabbath day. We slept. We read. We spent time alone. We spent time together. It was a great blessing to our family. And I welcomed the week ahead.


Why am I surprised when God's ways bless me? Why do I forget that there is joy in obedience? Why do I wait until I'm at the end of myself before "resorting" to obedience?
And here's another question that's been haunting me: Have I convinced myself that thinking well of God's ways and talking about them with great affection is the same as obeying God's ways? I worry that I have.
Certainly, there is never a shortage of things to confess and pray about.


We are traveling in unfamiliar territory. But it feels as if, through discipline and routine, I have gained a walking stick...just a little support in this unknown. And it feels as if, through practicing the Sabbath, I've acquired a cup of cold water...just a little refreshment. It will still be hard. It IS still hard. Even today, I had to declare war on some untimely and belligerent tears. Yes, it is still a long road ahead. I'm afraid I have many more tears yet to cry. But, we are not without a Wise and Wonderful Counselor. We are not without instruction. We are not without a walking stick and a cup of cold water. We soldier on...because there is more of Him up ahead.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with a bit and bridle or it will not stay near you.
Psalm 32:8-9

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

(Sorry that this is so long, and sorry that it hardly makes any sense. I've just been keeping this all in for a while now. I should be able to rein it in a little better from now on. :)


Cynthia said...

So very amazed by you and blessed to see you yielding in obedience. I'll pray you continue to find rest and refreshment with God's guidance.

Jenny said...

I know we have had our own seasons of flux but instead of treading in the "friend of Job" category I can say that I am continuing to pray for you and thank you for the honest, honest, update. Blogging is a funny thing, like in our case, where I do not know you outside of what you share in the virtual space but do have a wonderous connection, not just by incidentals but with the cord of kindness of Christ. Hoping and Praying for you and for me....Jenny

Katie said...

Wished i read this friday and not sunday... oh well. i enjoyed seeing you yesterday. Thank you for sharing your heart in this blog. Isn't God GREAT, that he wants us to rest, regardless of all we have to do. I find it hard to sit back and rest, but it always does me good when I do.

I'll be praying for your spirit to be renewed with joy and a hope of the great plans He has for you. Again, thanks for sharing!

The Kramer Family said...

oh girl. this really speaks to me. thank you for putting that all out there...and it makes perfectly wonderful sense.

"scheduling" has been something as of late that I feel I must get a hold of. i realized the other day that virtually NOTHING in my life is scheduled. i believe that in order for me to be more purposeful in life and for fear of letting life just "happen", a schedule is long overdue around here.

so, tomorrow marks the day of a new awakening. i'm so excited. i'm jumping in knowing that i can "tweak" as i go since what usually leaves me paralyzed in the first place is fear that my schedule won't be just right. ugghhh!

this encouraged me.

Cheryl said...

i have been thinking about you and wondering how you are holding up so i was glad to see you wrote. And now I am praying and thinking about you even more. here's my motto lately "God's timing is perfect" that's what is getting me through each day lately. it's simple, hopeful, and the truth. it'll all come together perfectly and beautifully. just wait and see....much love to you.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing this, Steph. I am praying for you guys as you transition in so many ways, and I am inspired by the courage you have to obey, even if it is, or seems to be, a "last resort." I think God knows how desperately we need, and for some reason, how stubborn we are in turning away from Him, while knowing what we lack. Thanks again. Love your family.