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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Its all Coming up Roses

Its been forever since I did a thankful post. I perhaps should share a bit about what's been happening in my life.

Its been crazy, hectic and stressful for the past few weeks. There's been illness, pain and more bumps in the road than I care to admit. I have come to realise that I NEEDED to keep up with my thanksgiving so that I could focus on the good, the blessings and not just the trials that threaten to break us.

My friends, someone recently said in her blog that most of us have masks we wear when we visit Facebook, Twitter, in our blogs. Masks that give people the impression that our lives are going just as we want them to, that our children are perfect, our marriages made in Heaven and we are in control.

Well, I got to thinking about whether or not I give that impression. Truthfully, I could not witness for God if everyone thought that I 'had it all together' and its all coming up roses in my life.  I recently observed that St Paul witnessed the most for Jesus from behind the walls of a prison... it was his endurance of the trials that made his testimony the strongest. So it is with us.. people need to see us broken and bleeding, rising from the dust and finding strength in Him to continue.

Well, my friends, I will share with you that I have more meltdowns than I care to admit. My life is chaotic, my house always messy, my children are good girls but present challenges to me daily and my marriage IS made in heaven, but my husband and I are two imperfect human beings struggling with our basic human flaws to build a life together.

I will share with you that we are in debt up to our ears and our savings are minimal. Our eldest daughter is about to start her third year of university and I'm at a place where I wonder if we ought to have sent her in the first place. My second born is about to go off to Spain for a couple of weeks but when she returns we have no idea what is next for her as university is out of the question. My husband is working hard at a job he enjoys but the pay is barely meeting our needs and he, at times, feels that he is not a good provider. He questions whether he should stay in this job or try to get one that  pays a better salary. Most days I feel tired and overwhelmed with it all. Yet, my friends, it IS all coming up roses in my life. 

I have the promises of God to hold on to, the love and support of my husband and family and our faith in God is complete. I can see God hard at work even in the areas that seem the darkest and most impossible.

Today, I'm thankful that He gives us strength to persevere, that He has given my husband and I new understanding of each other and Grace to endure in a unity that only He could provide. I am thankful that my bills get paid and we always have enough to eat. I am thankful that my husband has a job, there are so many out there who do not. 

I am thankful that, by His Grace alone, our faith in Him is absolute. We have nothing to lean on or depend on but Him, His mercy and compassion, His provision, His Love... I am thankful for this. I am thankful that I can TRUST Him with every aspect of my life. I am not in control, I can acknowledge this and let Him take the reins of my life.

I am thankful that my children have the opportunities they do have and I have to believe that He opened the doors for them and He has them in the palm of His Hand.. their futures are secure, no matter what the present seems to indicate.

I am thankful for every single one of you who read my blog, offer support and prayers, words of encouragement. I am thankful that I can read your own blogs and be inspired by them.. so often one of you has written words that I desperately needed to hear.. Thank you!

As I sit here typing this, my mouth is swollen and painful from a root canal procedure I did this week. As I lay on the dentist's chair enduring this, I sang every single worship song I could think of  in my mind.... including the one above. Every time I thought I couldn't take it anymore, I remembered all the suffering that Jesus endured for us.. without novocaine or painkillers, without anyone soothing Him with gentle words. It gave me the strength to endure.

I don't tell you all of this so you can sympathize with me (though I know that you do) it is so you can be empowered by the knowledge that Jesus has got your back.. no matter what you're going through.. give Him thanks.. for it all!  

Thank You for the trials Lord.. they hone our faith to a sharpness and depth that wouldn't be possible without them. Thank You for the pain and suffering.. they enable us to unite with You in Yours and offer us the opportunity to make reparation to You. Thank You for your faithfulness and the promises that we can rely on. Thank you for your unconditional love!


BarefootButtercup said...

I caught myself making everything look like we had it all together on facebook. Then I remembered that if people couldnt see the struggles we went through, they would never understand when I was praising God for what He brings us through :)

Also, Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Shanda said...

Thank you for this. The last couple days I have been discouraged and upset and having nothing to blog about. But it is about being real and not putting up fronts. And...coming back to thankfulness :)

Brooke said...

the blog reminds me of James 1: 2-4 2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

its not in my "good" days that i have the opportunity to witness to my husband. its the bad days and how i handle them!

Lisa Maria said...

Candace, thank you for coming by for a visit.

Thank you Shanda.. for your encouragement and for knowing that sharing can help someone else. God Bless!

@ Brooke.. YES, that's it exactly! It isn't easy to do though is it? Thank you for the blessing of your kind words.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Bravo for not wearing a mask. I don't have perfect children, and have lived with debt in the past, although worked through that. I am so not perfect, I have been known to whine and pout and can be lazy at times. But these things I work on striving to be better each day. Our youngest is starting college at the end of next month and only have the money for 1st year. We are living as minimumly as possible so we can save. We have always lived this way and for 29 years, God has always provided our every need. I'm so glad you wrote this so we can all identify together and encourage one another. And praise God together for always being there for us, providing for us, forgiving us, and walking through the trials with us, equipping us for everything on the road ahead. We are SO blessed, aren't we? :)

Lisa Maria said...

Dear Kristin.. you are always such a blessing to me. Yes we ARE blessed, despite or because of all God sees us through. You said it so well.. I couldn't have phrased it better.

Hope all is well down at the pond.

Love & Hugs

Lynn said...

Lisa Maria...

My friend. Wow and Wow... Thank you for your authentic telling. Isn't this how we all live indeed?

So it is with us.. people need to see us broken and bleeding, rising from the dust and finding strength in Him to continue. Amen. and thank you.

Happy TT. Rejoicing in His Grace this day. Hugs, Lynn

Tami Boesiger said...

". . . it was his endurance of the trials that made his testimony the strongest."

LOVE that! And I love your example to CHOOSE to be thankful, even when our lives are far from ideal. Nice work, friend.

Lisa Maria said...

Oh thank you Tami.. its been quite a time, but I realise choosing to be thankful helps me to force myself not to dwell on the bad stuff that's happening to see His Grace all around us.. He never abandons us!

Heather said...

Back again :) This time from Spiritually Unequal Marriage...

I agree that in order to be a true witness, people need to see reality, not just some internet persona we've created. How can they see the work of our Lord if they see no improvements or positive changes? Thanks for being real!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. We are in a tough spot right now financially, and we have racked our brains on how we can make it better, even down to selling our small house, which we would pay a penalty for anyways at this point so it's not worth it. I had been making so much progress with our only debt which is school debt (besides mortgage of course) and was so close to seeing an end to that I could almost taste it....until it seemed every roadblock imaginable could happen, and now not only is that put on hold, but we have started to struggle in other areas financially. It makes me ask God "what the heck is going on?" but I need to trust HIM AND be thankful. Thanks for the encouraging post.