where I’ve been lately.

house

So I’ve been a little absent lately. Life is busy around here. Soccer has started again. Our oldest just completed her first science fair project. And on top of it all, we’ve been busy selling a house. Wait. What?

Yes! We sold our house!

We are actively, aggressively, passionately (insert any other adverb that means urgent) searching for a new one. The perfect one. Because we are homeless. Our house has sold and we have to be gone in 6 weeks… I mean 5 weeks. Yes, its 5.

All of that to say, please pray that we would find a new home in the next week or two. This is the biggest purchase we will ever make, and we want to be wise in our decision. We want our home to be a place where we can gather family and friends, where our kids can invite their own friends, where we can make memories as wonderful as the ones we have made in our sweet first home. There are so many feelings associated with leaving this first home. Sadness to be leaving it, but also gratefulness for all the good times. We brought all three of our children home here. We brought Ian home after his illness here. So much life has happened in these walls. It has been as close to perfect as it could be. Now that the time has come, we pray for the next one to be just as perfect for us.

I’m excited for the next chapter for us. Will you keep our house hunt in your prayers?

 

Love,

denisse

 

A Request: SHARE your struggle with others.

I had an idea today. In the last few weeks I’ve been struck with the amount of struggle and heartache all around me. On a day to day basis, we can all have joy, yes, but who has not had heartache or hardship in their life? I honestly don’t think anyone has been exempt.

Here are some examples:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Miscarriage
  • Death of a child
  • Cancer or serious illness
  • Serious illness of a child or spouse
  • Child with disability
  • Infertility
  • Divorce
  • Rape
  • Brain surgery
  • Dementia/ Alzheimer’s
  • Depression

 

I’ve learned that we ALL struggle. We ALL have hardship. What defines us is what we do in those times. Do we turn to GOD for comfort and strength? Do we trust that He is in complete control of the hardship and that it is His will without becoming angry?

I’ll tell you a little secret. For me, THAT was the only truth that made my struggle doable. Knowing that GOD was in control of it made me feel like I could overcome, because He would be the one to see me through it.

We all have crosses to carry. Yours is no easier or harder than mine, and you aren’t a better or worse person than me. Our struggles are just different. But they all matter to God.

WOULD YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE SHARING YOUR STRUGGLE HERE? WE COULD ALL BENEFIT IN KNOWING WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES. No one’s life is perfect. Let’s show each other our weaknesses. We are all REAL.

I’ll go first. {I’ll share a few, but I’m sure there are more}

  1. I have struggled with DEPRESSION on and off during my life. (Even before everything happened with Ian.) My depression seems to be seasonal. It comes when times are tougher than usual (beginning of school year, deadlines at work, etc), and it comes in the summertime which is the opposite of when most people experience it. I’ve learned that I have to be constantly analyzing my mood and attitude, my willingness to participate in activities, and friendships. Sleeping better and exercise help a great deal, but when that is not enough, I’ve had to supplement with medicine. It was hard to admit I needed it. I thought I should be able to control it myself, thinking I was weak when I couldn’t. Ian helped me see it this way. “If you had diabetes or high blood pressure you’d take medicine for that, right? This is no different.” Have I told you how much I love my husband? He’s full of wisdom and encouragement.
  2. When Emma was 23 months old, we found out we were expecting a baby. We told my family and friends all about it, and everyone was happy for us. Unfortunately, that turned into a MISCARRIAGE. I’ve never written about it, or talked about it much either. It was a special occasion holiday dinner on a Saturday and I told my parents and sister.. actually we had little one year old Emma tell them. “What’s in Mommy’s tummy?” I prompted her. “A baby!” she said. Everyone was thrilled. I went to bed just fine that night. The following day, a Sunday, we were sitting at a restaurant at lunch, and I started to feel the most painful cramping I’d ever felt and realized I was bleeding. I didn’t want to say anything and ruin my family’s lunch. Ian and I came home afterward, and I lay in excruciating pain in my bed crying for the rest of the day, knowing I was losing my baby and there was nothing I could do. After several months, we found out we were pregnant with what would be Jack. We had a complication with that pregnancy, something called a subchorionic hemorrhage. They found it during our first ultrasound. Ian tells me when he looked at the screen he thought we were having twins. But, no, it was an accumulation of blood that my body could release at any time. Basically, it was a condition that could cause my placenta to separate from the uterine wall and I could miscarry. Praise God I didn’t miscarry. Jack was a happy baby boy. But, my entire pregnancy was a constant worry, what ifs, and having to totally trust God.
  3. The most notable struggle has been the one with Ian in the last several years. He got sick, almost died, lost his legs and fingers, and life changed forever for us. I became a CAREGIVER for him and my three children. I learned to be SELFLESS. I had to continue to look up when times were hard.  I had to change my attitude to a positive and encouraging one. Those who knew me before the ordeal can confirm that I was a very different person. God changed my heart and perspective to be less selfish and more positive. Looking back on it, it wasn’t so bad. GOD gave me STRENGTH to do it.

So you see, my life has been far from perfect. Every day I choose to live according to God’s plan for me. To have joy and to love those around me. To HELP when I can, to TEACH what I know, and to ENCOURAGE others.

 

***Here’s what I’d like us to do. Let’s share about our struggles. Let’s show those around us the cuts and bruises that have shaped who we are. Let’s try to be transparent. Guess what? You may have gone through something years ago that can help someone else right now. That’s how I feel about my miscarriage, for example. I can encourage another woman who had a miscarriage by telling her my story, and then showing her photos of the two sweet boys I carried after it. There’s hope to be shared. There’s love for us all. Please, please share your struggles.

Encouraging Bible Verses: Week 1, Proverbs 3:5-6

In the tough times in life, I’ve found strength in God’s promises in the Bible. For the next ten weeks I’m going to share one verse each week, along with it’s meaning and history. It is important to know the context in which these words were written so we don’t misunderstand.

This first verse has been my favorite since high school when I first became a believer. It was the first verse I memorized and I’m grateful to have it in my heart when times have been hard.

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB

What does this mean? Well, Proverbs is a book of the Bible that shares practical wisdom with us. It is written mostly from the perspective of a father giving his son advice, but we call all benefit from its words of wisdom.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart– Give everything you have to the Lord, holding absolutely nothing back. This includes our marriages, our children, our jobs, our everyday circumstances. The opposite of this would be trust something else, yourself or your money for instance. Maybe you only give God some things, but hold on to others because you think you might know best in that area. No matter what, God asks us to trust him completely.

And do not lean on your own understanding– I like to know everything. Some of us have a desperate desire to know it all. (Find yourself Googling everything?:)) God asks us to acknowledge that His ways are best for us even when we don’t understand them. I’ve learned to trust Him at times when I don’t understand. I believe that God sees the whole picture while I am only seeing a tiny fraction of it. I can admit that I don’t know everything, and that is such a freeing feeling!

In all your ways acknowledge him– None of what we do can be attributed to our own doing. God’s hand is in everything. To acknowledge him makes me think I should live my life as if I know that he is always there, knowing that he is arranging every detail of my life.

And He will make your paths straight– This is really goes along with the previous section. IF we acknowledge him, THEN he will make our paths straight. The proverb suggests that if we know God, trust that it is HE who is in control of our lives, and live accordingly, God will direct our lives as he sees fit. That’s another freeing feeling to me. It means I don’t have to worry about orchestrating my life because that’s God’s job, not mine.

So whether it’s the death of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis, a miscarriage, or loss of a job, these words can be of encouragement to you. In a time when one might want to turn away from God because of pain or sorrow or anger, or because we don’t understand, that’s when we should trust and seek God. It’s hard at first, but when you get used to looking only to Him it really does get easier. Trust me on that one. 🙂

I hope this encourages you today!

 

Would you like to SHARE A TIME IN YOUR LIFE when times were tough and you found God’s promises to be helpful and true?