Joy Returning

Originally posted March 21, 2014

Every Friday I link up with the ladies on Lisa-Jo Baker’s site for 5-minute Friday.  It is 11:30 pm and I almost missed it again.  This week I took part in my own 5-minute Tuesday because apparently that is how I roll these days.

Lisa-Jo gives a prompt, then we write without edits or re-dos for 5 minutes.  Today’s prompt is JOY.  Go.

For months, they have looked at me with their sad eyes asking, “Do you think maybe one day we will move back?”  Maddie May said to her Kristen just last week, “Maybe if daddy gets fired we can move back to North Carolina.  That would be good.  I would like that.”

Heart breaks again and again.

I thought things would be different once we bought our house, once we lived in a real home again with space, and a yard, and neighbors.

But still it is hard some days, many days.

When they say, “It’s a little better, but we still want to go home.”

Oh how my heart hurts and wonders when they will love this as home, when they will look out their doorway and see a place they would hurt to leave, when they will begin to put down their precious tender roots that I love so dearly and will do anything to protect.

It is still hard some days. But then the sun comes out, and they trot off to the woods.  Big brother with his pocket knife, not so big brother chasing behind, and little sister in her polkadot rain boots.   Off they go, only to return covered in mud, smiling ear to ear, beginning to love this place we now call home, beginning to peel a layer or two off the shield they have been carrying for 20 months.

Soaking wet, covered in mud, with 3 inches of rain in their boots.  JOY, Unspeakable joy.  It is returning.

If you have a blog you should link up and join us at 5-minute Friday!

Ephesians 5:22

Originally published November 4, 2013


I started blogging last year after moving to Tennessee.  I didn’t do much with that blog, it was really just a coping mechanism for me!  I just found this post written a little over a year ago and felt like I should share it here.  

We visited a new church on Sunday.  Church hopping has been one of my least favorite parts of the move because for us, our church is an extension of our home.  I need to have that important connection in my life and trying to find the right one for our family is a big deal.    Through true divine intervention, we met some wonderful new friends last weekend who invited us to visit Gateway church and I have no doubt it was exactly where God intended for us to be on Sunday so that I could hear this message.

The sermon was truly stirring and powerful, but one statement stood out to me more than any other. Pastor Charlie said that if you think about the area in your life where you take the most pride, that is where the devil will attack.  That hit me like a ton of bricks!  I am blessed with a husband who I love, adore, and respect.  We have been together for more than half of our lives having started dating when we were kids.  I have always looked at our marriage and felt a sense of pride at how strong, how solid it is.  We don’t fight, ever.  We might disagree (who doesn’t), but we do not speak harsh words to or ever yell at one another.  Well, anyone who has ever made a huge life changing move knows that the stress of a move can shake any relationship.  We are living in 1000 sq feet with 5 people and a 70lb dog.  We have one car.  We are waiting on pins and needles for our house in NC to close so we can breathe a little.  And oh yeah, did I mention I am an emotional basket case?

We have some very important decisions to make about where and when we are going to buy a house.  One of us being the nerd and one being the free spirit (thank you Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University for pointing out those lovely tags to us), we naturally have different opinions on what to do.  After Charlie’s sermon, I am reminded that we have to work at relationships in the tough times.  We can’t sit back and rely on how great it has always been.  When life is hard, or in a tailspin, or just in an intense season, it is more important than ever to dig in your heels and not give in to those attacks.  If you have just moved or are getting ready to move, be prepared.  Make the decision now to not let your emotions get in the way of your relationship.  Fight back not with words of disagreement, but with words of love, and (sometimes, when it is appropriate) words of submission.  I believe with all my heart that the Bible is truth.  We are told in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord”, I believe that this is a perfect time for that to hold true in our lives. Hopefully you did not marry a man who you do not trust to put your family above all else, to think of your family in all decisions he makes.  If you disagree over a decision to be made, state what you believe, but say it with love.  Ultimately, someone will have to bend when there is a disagreement.  My prayer is that you all married someone who you feel safe saying, “I trust you.  I may disagree but I know you are following God’s direction for our lives”.

To defer to your husband’s ideas can be humbling, especially for someone like me who is a self-proclaimed expert in all things.  I am outspoken, and I have opinions and ideas.  But, I married him because I loved and still love him. I trust him completely to always put our family first and to seek God’s will above all else.

I know women are strong, smart, and fully capable of making tough decisions.  I also believe that men are strong, smart, and when placed in the important role of husband and father, will do anything and everything to take care of their families if they are Godly men who wish to honor their wives and kids.  Let him take the lead, pray together, seek God’s will for your family together.  If you love him and trust him, why not say, “I’m with you”?  It will save you hours of heartache and will fight off the attacks that come when life gets stressful.  Be each other’s support in this crazy season of life.