Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tired As A Mother






Almost asleep.
*baby cries* 
Nurse
20 min sleep. 
*baby cries*
Nurse
Repeat.

All through the night.

3 days in a row.

Teething. 

I'm tired. 

However, I'm not just tired physically.  It seems like all of the health-nut people are making/raving about all these delicious looking "health bombs" or "fat bombs" or "tastes-like-grass-but-it-looks-good bombs."  Bombs, that when a bite is taken from one, the result is an explosion of healthy nutrients in your mouth.  ***see pictures below*** 






Yeah.  Well, if I were a bomb, I'd be a tired bomb.  My tired bomb consists of a dangerous mix of no energy, no motivation, anger that I'm tired, anger for no reason, dysfunctional fog brain,  tears about everything, but mostly tears because I'm tired, where just about anything could set it (me) off. Biting into my tired bomb is ugly. Unhealthy. 

I dread the Sarah who doesn't get sleep. I regret the way I allow myself to make excuses for bad behavior because I feel like a "victim."  I am terrified of hurting my kids by having impatient or angry responses to their never ending needs.  I have to repent of much to my husband who takes the brunt of my explosions.  

I have to ask myself, "how did I get to this place....again???" 

I've been thinking a lot, and the Lord has been convicting me of much.  Yesterday, a dear friend and I realized we shared some of the same struggles, and we found too, that our hearts were being convicted of very similar sins (If you're reading this, hi friend!).  I was so encouraged and also felt a confirmation of some of the "why's" to my inability to handle tiredness well.  I think I have some insight as to why all self-control and helpful truth seems to disappear in a moment of exhaustion.  I'm going to attempt to share in the midst of having a very sleep-foggy brain...

Let's break it down.

1. I struggle daily with a heart problem of:
Not trusting that Jesus is my everything; my strength, my joy, my fulfillment, my grace.  I often try to be self-sufficient, in control, and find the rest, joy, fulfillment and every other craving, met in something other than Christ.  This looks like watching a dumb movie or scrolling through my social media feeds, or even something healthy like working out, before making sure I'm getting fed by the Word, surrendering my day to Him and surviving via prayer, asking for His strength and joy for the day.  When I attempt to make mindless, worldly things, or even good and legitimate things my main course, with only a side of Jesus, I am left feeling even more empty, anxious, and full of cravings. And...exhausted.  

2. I'm not living like I'm in a war;  a war that is fighting my own flesh. I'm coasting on the waves of past graces, past victories and future forgiveness, instead of training for battle, learning new strategies and being on guard.  You see, satan (I won't give his name undeserved caps) is always prowling around, seeking to destroy.  I sometimes forget this...until I press into Christ.  When I press into Christ, fight my sin, and set goals and God-glorifying priorities, the enemy comes racing in to sabotage them, discourage me, and honestly!? Fatigue me.  I feel like sleep for me, is one of the weakest areas in my armor, and the enemy knows that.  It's almost laughable, except I'm not laughing, at how every time I am encouraged by scripture, putting plans in place to be in the Word, praying and relying on His strength and grace, working to kill my sin, in comes: 
sleepless nights, kids at each other all day, sickness, marital conflict, you name it. Whatever he brings in, it is always exhausting.  

So.  How can I not be an ugly explosion of sin when the fatigue falls on me hard!??

Seek Christ. Trust that He is enough. 

I keep thinking on a few passages of scripture:

1. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." -Matthew 6:33

2. "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." -Galations 6:9

3. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." -Hebrews 12:1-3

I could go on for a long time about these three verses.  But, for now I'll just say that they are greatly encouraging and set my heart on the right trajectory in a time of fatigue.  Yes, I have needs, and they are legitimate. However, pursuing those needs and trying to secure them before I pursue Christ will not work. I must seek Christ first. Trust that He is enough. And then?! "all these things will be added to you." Jesus loves to give good gifts to His children and He promises to give us all that we truly need. 

Also, it helps me to focus on my life eternal, my true home. The glory and beauty that awaits me.  The rest.  When I think about heaven, my motivations in the right place, I remember my purpose for this life here on earth, I have a desire and joy to look at Jesus, my perfect example, and keep on doing good.  I desire to "lay aside every weight" (aka all that I pursue outside of Christ) and instead run with endurance, trusting that He who is perfect, will give me that endurance no. matter. HOW. tired I am.  

I trust that my God is sovereign, and even if the enemy tries to cause me to come undone by keeping me physically exhausted, God has a good and loving plan for me in it.  His heart towards me is good.  What kind of loving God would leave me to my own strength, my own cravings and not use whatever it takes (including difficult circumstances) to draw me back to himself? Jesus is my rest! Why would he allow me to continue the futile search for rest in carnal things!? No.  I know my Jesus, and I praise Him for not allowing me to stay miserable in my own sin and strivings. 

So.

I don't need to sound fancy like a "fat bomb" or have it all together like a "chocolate-almond butter-sweet potato-collagen-spiralina-wheat grass-bone broth" bomb. However...I'd be thankful to be a healthy, life giving, sweet and tender Jesus bomb with a pinch of salt from some battle weary tears.  A bomb that when the enemy makes moves to detonate by lighting it with fatigue, I'm ok with it "going off." 




Ok. yeah. 
Now, if you haven't already, you are totally warranted to make fun of my dramatic and corny metaphors.  I claim fatigue. ;) 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Zion Makai: Birth Story

So I am wayyyyy behind the game with this third child.  Hence, I am just now at his three months of age posting his birth story (the first two kids' stories I had knocked out in the first 2 weeks).  However, isn't that how it goes in other areas with the third born?  I'd like to think of it as I'm just more "chill and laid back" but, *ahem* I think it's more a matter of.....


OH MY FREAKING GOSH, I HAVE THREE KIDS AND I DON'T HAVE A BRAIN THAT WORKS ANYMORE AND WHERE OH WHERE ARE THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!?!?

Anyway.  I digress. 

Zion Makai.  His birth story.  

Let's see how well I can remember this all.  So, because of my first two pregnancies, I was trying to mentally prepare myself to be late going into labor and to have no clear "labor is imminent" signs until...well, boom, here is labor!  So, I was quite surprised to wake up a day before due date and have what I was pretty sure to be my water breaking! I also was excited as I knew that labor would have to be in the next 24 hours whether by going into labor spontaneously or via induction.  So, my dear and amazing friend Alyssa came over with her three kids while Joshua and I went to Sacred Roots Midwifery to see if we could try to get labor started naturally.  

Because I was group b strep positive, I would also need to get IV antibiotics started.  This, I was not excited about, but it was what it was. I'll try to summarize the lead up to active labor...

-After examination, my midwife wasn't sure if I was leaking amniotic fluid or cervical fluid so we were sent to walk around.  This part was difficult, because every hour that passed that I was not in active labor, was getting me closer to having to be sent to the hospital for induction and not the labor experience I was hoping and praying for.  Indiana has a law that you have 17 hours after water breaking to go into active labor before you have to be induced. I will say, as difficult as the "what if's" and questions I had were, it was so nice to have a date with my hubby; we ate Chipotle, sipped Starbucks and walked around Target.  We could actually look at things uninterrupted! So, with the freedom to roam all of the wonders of Target, we hung out in the kid isle, picking out cars for the kids, and looking at bike helmets. ;)  It was in the bike isle where I felt lots of fluid starting to leak out, so we headed back to the birth center and sure enough, it was definitely my water that had broken. 

-Antibiotic IV rounds were started
-Castor oil was taken (not a huge amount to make me sick, just to get things going!) 
-Waiting in the AWESOME "family" room with Joshua, eating snacks, watching Netflix, and trying to get contractions going.  

I was able to get contractions starting by stimulation but they weren't coming naturally on their own. I was starting to get quite annoyed and a bit anxious, because, again....clock.  My midwife team (there are three at the center, all certified, highly professional Nurse midwives) was so amazing.  I really clicked with their personalities and enjoyed chatting with them while we tried over and over again to get the second round of antibiotics in without my veins being obnoxious and difficult.  Anyway, the midwives were encouraging to me saying that they thought I would kick in gear soon, and that no matter what, I WAS going to have a baby very soon.  

Finally, with one hour on the clock (barely!) to reach 17 hours, I started having stronger, longer and consistent contractions that were becoming difficult to work through.  I know the Lord was behind all of this, and I also know I was thankful that the castor oil was finally kicking in! 

I labored mostly on an exercise ball, or holding Joshua, or (real moment here, on the toilet 2349830948 times because... castor oil and chipotle).  My active labor with Israel was 22 hours. With Jericho it was 12.  With Zion....6!!!! I had prayed for 6 hours and God literally answered this prayer to the hour!  

Backing up a tad...so I was contracting hard at this point and in lots of pain...so I got in the tub.  Oh, that felt good!! I have to say too, that Joshua was amazing and everything I needed him to be for me. He was encouraging, sweet, and right there for me.  I was thankful we had had sleep the night before and he had a steady dose of coffee to help him this time (if any of you know Jericho's labor story, you would know why this was so crucial ;)) Anyway, as sweet as Joshua was, I was starting to feel irritable because it hurt so bad!!!! I just wanted. to. be. done.  I tried praying (this is so hard to do, because I once read that the pain of labor for a women is equivalent to having 20 bones broken at once, and I definitely was feeling like that was about right!!) and asking the Lord to help me connect to the pain and suffering He went to on MY behalf.  His sacrifice.  Innocent lamb dying a painful death for my sinful self so that I might live.  I thanked him for the privilege of the sacrifice my body was making to bring forth this new life.  Quick, disjointed, thoughts and prayers...then my midwife was coaching me in position, sounds to make, pushing and breathing (which was so helpful!).  I pushed for 35 minutes and at 1:59 am, July 8th,  Zion Makai came into the world!!! 

I will never forget, as they were handing Zion to me as they lifted him from the water (I gave birth in the water), Joshua was talking to me, and Z craned his little head in the direction of Joshua's voice.  This was so sweet to me since Joshua had been talking to Z in the womb and  I know Z recognized his voice.  :) 

We enjoyed sweet moments with our son, and the whole birthing team was so amazing and helpful (getting me in and out of the shower, dressed etc).  Even with stitching from a slight tear, I (and Zion) was doing well enough to leave the birth center 6 hours post birth! 

Driving up our driveway and seeing our other two children watching excitedly and curiously out the window, waiting to meet their baby brother, was so special and amazing.  My parents had come to spend the afternoon and night with them and I was so thankful! 

I could go on, but for now, I'll leave it at that.  For anyone in Indiana, wanting a natural birth, I would highly recommend Sacred Roots Midwifery.  I'll post a few pictures below....

                                    Israel and Liv (Alyssa's daughter) being silly while we were gone:











Sunday, May 21, 2017

A vivid mental picture of my life in regards to my "cleaning issues" in which I describe the futility of solving said cleaning issues for your potential laughing pleasure OR your relating solidarity:


*Ahem*

Let me just start out by saying....I have issues.  Big ones.  Cleaning ones.  Cleaning issues that extend out to extreme organizational nerdiness (or if I'm being honest...also neediness).  My issues are such that if I am not in control of the cleanliness and organization of my living arrangement, my internals do not do so well.  In fact, they can feel so overcome by chaos that I may just want to run away.  
I thrive on clean. Organized. Functional...yet aesthetically pleasing...living arrangements. 

But, I have another problem;  I have a family.  A family that I love to death, wouldn't trade for anything, find so much joy, happiness and life in.  Oh man, when I get to thinking about them, they are SO worth it, I almost could just stop here and not actually finish this blogpost.  Almost.  

...But issues.  

Let me just put out there too, that I am in my waddling walrus point of pregnancy, so that when it comes to cleaning house, my routine necessarily looks a whole lot different than that of my "non-waddling-walrus" days.  For instance, since I can barely bend over without inordinate amounts of huffing and substantial discomfort....I have taken to the "scooting with laundry basket" method.  This method is simply grabbing an empty laundry basket (which let's be honest, the laundry basket is never empty, thus you have to dump it's contents out somewhere else for "later" to make it such), scooting on your bum whilst grabbing the plethora of items off the floor and piling them up in the basket to then hopefully "later" distribute to their rightful places in the house.  So there's that. 

But then, there's kids.  

Yes.  Let's start with diapers.  Now, my kids are out of diapers except for at night.  However, come morning when they take it off to clean themselves and get dressed...why...oh why is it that that diaper will make it centimeters to the trash basket...ok, maybe on a good day it is languidly resting half in/half out of the basket...BUT NEVER FULLY IN THE WASTEBASKET!?!? 

Ok and then there is the never remembered light left on in the bathroom, toilet seat up, matchbox cars hidden in bookshelves, under beds and any other place you might imagine, 10923809834 stuffed animal "friends" who have been abandoned mid-play for some other "better" thing to do....like snack...

Snack.  Yes....I shall move on to the food cleaning issues.  One might think in looking at the sheer amount of crumbs and goop that winds up on the floor, tabletop, and any other place but the mouth, that we don't teach our kids manners.  Or maybe even some people might wonder if we have even introduced our 3 and 5 year old to a simple spoon and fork yet?  I don't know. But it's bad.  If it weren't for the ants that can sniff out a single crumb from a mile away, I don't know that I would be bothering to sweep the floor after every meal, pre-meal, snack and pre-snack (we love food around here).  

Yes, let's talk about those ants for a second.  Apparently everyone in our neighborhood struggles with these little guys.  Yes, there are the ants who live under the table scoping out my kids droppings.  However, I think that there is a conspiracy against me to cause further anxiety and annoyance at their never ending-won't-die-and-stay-dead presence...JUST because I am pregnant and bum scoot a lot.  Seriously...I don't even see the ones that plague my countertops (that I try to wipe down at least 30984 times a day to feel like we aren't "gross" people) eating food as they traipse across my counter on their merry little way to who knows where and WHY!!?!?  Ok ants, laugh it up. You win. 

One last but not even close to conclusive picture of my struggle with cleaning.  Coloring, crafts, and paper airplanes.  I know, I know.  It's great that my kids love to be artistic and creative.  I should be thrilled that I am seeing some fruit in my efforts to cultivate that in them.  But...but but...but...the papers! the shards, scraps, airplanes, stickers stuck forever on the wood of our only table and chairs set, the crayons somehow inside couch cushions, the marker that is washable so *they* say, hanging out for weeks of scrubbing before fading....aghhh! But...

But then I think about the fact that all of these struggles, messes, frustrations, and never ending work mean that I am blessed with two (soon to be three!) amazing kids that bring that aforementioned joy, happiness and life into the house!  They are part of what make this house a HOME.   Do I want order, organization, and cleanliness!? uhhhh yeah.  I still thrive on it.  Can I work more with teaching the kids to be helpful, aware and even find similar joy in being clean?  Sure.  Definitely, I can improve there.  I can also stand to just ignore the house and just partake in the snacking, coloring, crafting, playing, diaper tossing (ok, maybe not diaper tossing) and try to breathe in the life they are experiencing...with them.  
.....Heh....ehh heh  hehe....Breathe in.  Yeah...as long as I am breathing in my lemon essential oil being diffused throughout the home to hide the fact that I am breathing and not cleaning. ;) 

Plus, if I did too much cleaning today, I might have accidentally thrown away this little gem...the family portrait of our alien-fly resembling family: 


    ***(please note and be sensitive to the fact that Zion has not developed his head or hands yet)***


So, final question:  How do I handle the remainder of my struggle-bus issues of never ending clutter!? Why, take that laundry basket full of random toys "to put away later," and dump them in the garage....to clean up/sort through/throw out....."later."   And then, finally, go find the laundry (clean and unfolded or dirty, could be either) that I had dumped out earlier so that I could use the basket to bum scoot clean, and put it back in the basket....to take care of.....LATER!!!!  

Of course. Obviously.  












Sunday, June 28, 2015

I'M UGLY...BUT IT'S A BEAUTIFUL THING

I'm ugly....but it's a beautiful thing. :)

Disclaimer 1: this is going to be raw.  Personal. Just warning you.

Disclaimer 2: If you see a bunch of quotes or pictures from FLYLEAF lyrics, it's because for the last few months, I've been listening to them on my runs.  God has used a handful of the lyrics to really spur me on in digging deeper into my own heart.  No, they aren't super theologically deep, but I'm thankful for the thought their lyrics have provoked...




Let me give you a few snippets of my background to flesh out the picture a bit.


Most of my life, I have been one of two extremes:

1. Highly praised and favored or
2. Highly assumed, backstabbed or just...the recipient of mean.

For number 1, the main things I have heard over and again:  "You're so encouraging, the most humble person I've met, sweet, kind, beautiful, fun..." ...


For number 2, I won't go into details, but let's just say my trusting vulnerable heart got hurt many times by both guys and girls.


Because I have had so much praise, while at the same time so much hurt, a few things happened.


1. I became puffed up with pride, while...


2. I became insecure in my identity, so...


3. I started becoming a huge people pleaser, which...


4. Over time, lessened my fear of God and increased my fear of man, which...


5. Fed my pride and built up walls to keep people from knowing my ugly, which...


6. Has kept me in a life of legalistic bondage in my thinking, in my talking with God and in my ability to receive and give grace.


7. Kept me seeking man's approval and constantly fearing rejection because my identity was... honestly... built on what others say I am.








***  I'm just going to add here a few more pieces of the picture:

-While I have MUCH to be thankful for during my growing up years (including my parents loving me and doing the best they knew how), I grew up the entirety of my life (up until marriage) not fully knowing what it could look or feel like to have my heart pursued.  Not the  "oh, you are xyz in all these areas and I love you" kind of pursuit, but the "how is your heart, where are you at, how can I help you, I've gotta call out some sin because I love you" sort of pursuit.  I grew up lonely.  Secretly, devastatingly lonely, yet terrified of being known at the same time.

Then came marriage.


I have to first say, I am married to the most amazing man I could have ever asked for, God's greatest gift to me outside of my salvation.  I am so thankful for my husband.  :)


That said... marriage hasn't been easy on me (ha, does any really deep, really wonderful marriage come "easily?").

All of a sudden...

I'm not that encouraging.

I'm one of the most prideful people ever.
Sometimes, I'm sweet and fun.
I'm beautiful, but my sin... not so much.
Fun? Well, now that everything I knew about myself has felt "insulted" let's just say my sense of humor went into hiding a bit.

Now, again, I don't want people to see this as my husband has been unfair or discouraging or anything like that...but, marriage is really a great and very clear mirror for oneself.


Let me just tell you, in the beginning of marriage, I really didn't like the mirror.  I bucked it so hard.  Tried with everything to turn the mirror onto my husband instead... or anything else that could take the view off me.  I didn't receive correction as love... even if done in love.  I didn't want to really hear how I was anything but "beautiful." I wanted to be "Princess..."  Princess because I was entitled, worthy and beautiful, and wanting the praise for it... not because of what I have now come to know as a "true princess" (if you want to read more about me and being a princess, you can do so here ).



ANYWAY....so many details, but I want to stay focused.



Over four plus years of marriage, God has been doing two big things in my life that are monumentally HUGE for me.


1. Showing me how ugly my sin is

2. Getting rid of the sin




Now, both 1 and 2 are prayers that I have prayed and that God has and still is answered/answering.  Both are monumental because it hasn't been until last year that I finally got the desire (by asking for it) to beg God to show me my sin.  I wanted to see my sin as great because I wanted my need for my Savior to be great... and to see my GOD as great.  Because I have been so highly praised by people, I have begun to realize that I was seeing my sin as "not that bad" (see blogpost specifically on God's work in this area here ).  I had become prideful, judging (mostly in my heart, but in marriage, the judging definitely came out!), and to be painfully honest...

I valued the approval, praise and identity of and from people more than I did of and from my great, and beautiful, King of kings, creator and father GOD.  


((((Of course, since I am still human, still fighting my flesh till the day this body dies, I still battle the desire for man as my everything.  Aka...idolatry.))))


I remember times throughout my life that I'd ask God to show me my sin. But really, deep down, I didn't want to see it, much less deal with it.  You see, I have spent so much effort trying to "keep" the identity I've created for myself based on the praises of man, I have had to about kill myself in exhaustion to "protect" myself from being found out...


That I am rejectable.  Ugly.


A sinner.


Because I have valued man's identity over my true identity in Christ, every time I have been wounded by people (even unjustly!), I have been too deeply impacted.  That is, I have allowed the impact of wounds as they affect my identity to be far too great.  Instead of finding joy and freedom and acceptance in Christ, I have justified wallowing in the pain that people cause me when they "reject" me.  Which makes the sick cycle deeper as I then try to "work my way towards" or "prove" a certain image of the "beauty" I really am.  That means more walls, more denial of sin, more bucking of correction and... just... loneliness.


It is a lonely life to live in bondage to the sins that you are called to repent of and find freedom from in CHRIST because you refuse to even acknowledge their presence in your life as "that bad!" 


Ugh.  


Paraphrased realities of what my "prettier" thoughts and prayers really are at root level: "I've messed up again.  Now I'm sure it will take at least 2 weeks to wait out the disapproval my husband must feel towards me because of my failure. Hopefully I can draw him closer to me in other ways so that maybe I'll be more desirable again."  "God, I want you to help me and heal me but I know that my heart isn't right so I'm going to try to be what you want so you might bless me."


No.  No, no, no.   Where is the humility? The seeking of grace by repenting and being forgiven?? Where is the motivation to have a beautiful heart so that I will honor my God?  The desire to encourage people to glorify God and not myself!?  


NOT.

EXISTANT.
(at least enough)

I can go so much deeper and expound greatly on the realities of the journey to seeing my sin as great, but let's just jump to the GRACE that was given me when I finally earnestly asked God to reveal it to me as such.




Some really hard and painful (to my pride) happenings started slowly bringing to light how ugly my sin really was and, wonders of wonders, God gave me the humility to receive the truth of the Spirit's conviction and FIND PEACE.  Joy.  A taste of freedom.  Again, you can read more about this in a past blogpost linked above.


God took the blinders off.  It was like in one moment scales just got ripped from my eyes.  My journey to seeing God as bigger and most beautiful, though just beginning, really is helping my identity in him be more weighty and wonderful... and true.  


In the wake of scales and blinders being slowly removed, I have begun to experience a real life...


IDENTITY CRISIS.


This is where my hurts, wounds and coping mechanisms from over many years come into play.


While many of my wounds are legitimate and need healing and a gentle hand, my response to the wounds has not been healthy... and even sinful many times.  Again, this is because of the heavy weight I have placed on man's approval.


As I am being sanctified in the area of seeking out the depths of my sin so that I might see my need for a savior as great, I am also, finally, for the first time in my life that I can remember, asking God to KILL my sin, to really root out everything that is not of Christ.

Whatever. It. Takes.  

Woah. Did I actually pray that?  Those words, "whatever it takes"... I have not been truly willing to repent of sin and ask for complete change whatever the cost, until recently.  I have prayed prayers like, "Lord, change me, sanctify me, but do it gently."  ... "Take away this sin, but let me keep ____." ... "Be kind to me, easy on me."  You know why I have prayed this way?  Because I know that when you pray for God to kill sin, he will answer.  And killing sin...

It hurts.  Badly.  

But.  

Answer to prayer # 2: 

Because I am loving God more than ever these days, the Spirit is working in me to want to root out anything that is keeping me from healing, freedom and wholeness.  What a grace!  I have become so exhausted lately as I am stepping out on "new to me" waters of making decisions not based on my emotions or my "own" wisdom/logic.  The flesh in me is crying out to react in my old comfortable "secure" ways, such as:

- using my own reason and logic
- blame and focus shifting
- protect myself at all costs
- save the face of my fleshly identity




Yet... at the same time, the Spirit in me is urging me to fight with Christ, with the WORD, and to lean not on my own understanding.  To lay down my life for the sake of the Gospel and to be willing to be hurt and show love in the face of pain.  To experience grace and power in my worth and hope in HIM and not in myself and man.  Be willing to see my sin as ugly so that I might see Him IN me as beautiful.  And worship him. HIM.

So yes, I can't say I am on the "other side" of my battle to find healing by way of rooting out deep buried uglies and wounds.  No, I'm in the the middle of it all.  I am already experiencing God answering my "whatever it takes" prayer of bringing things (not of him) up to the surface so I can deal with and get rid of them.  What does this look like?  It looks like I'm manic (or at least I feel like it)!  It looks like in the middle of a conflict with my husband I actually am hearing and wanting to lay myself and my hurts down for the sake of unity, for the sake of something much bigger... but at the exact same time, absolutely despising the idea of letting go of anything and pushing and demanding to be heard and served.  In the middle of something I feel is "unjust" towards me from my husband, I am feeling both tender towards him, desiring to know him and love him well, and also raging angry.  I'm even experiencing rage that is coming out of "nowhere" at random moments after feeling quite joyful maybe even minutes earlier.  


SPIRIT IS WORKING AND WARRING AGAINST FLESH.  YES! 


God is working. He is answering my prayers, and it hurts.  He's sanctifying me in places I've never let the Spirit in before.  




He's showing me that my identity in man is ugly and full of striving, condemnation and fear... and that my identity in HIM is beautiful and full of freedom, peace and confidence. I am dead flesh, brought to life in the Spirit.  


So yes, I'm ugly... but it's a beautiful thing.  


Lord, "Lead me to the cross where your love poured out.  Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down. Rid me of myself, I belong to you. Lead me, lead me to the cross." (Hillsong United)







If anyone reading has any questions or wants more of the above filled in, feel free to message me or talk to me privately, I'd be happy to share more.


Friday, June 5, 2015

When I am afraid I will trust in....me.




Trusting God.  Do I even know what that means?!

I think lately as there have been a lot of stressors in life or reasons to want to give into anxiety, I have been asking myself some deeper questions about my heart, and about how I have been trusting God.  Part of the reason for peeling back the layers of my heart is that I am not really finding myself able to trust in God when the pressure is on.  No, rather, I recognize that my pattern is to first look to myself

See, in the past I think I've always just sorta chocked trusting God up to simply telling him my needs, asking for help, and then waiting for him to do something about it.  I have told myself I need to surrender to him and not try to make something happen, but...what winds up happening is...I quickly take hold of the reign (or at least I think I'm holding it) and try to tell God or imagine ways that he will do things "my way."  I suggest to him ways I think would be quite good for all involved and could bring him glory in the process!  BUT...am I really ok if he says "no."   Can I really say and actually mean "your will be done?"  Sometimes, I'm ashamed to admit, I even feel like I have done well with the fact that I've gone to God in prayer asking for help, and then legalistically wait for him to reward me for my righteousness (gag).  I could go on about my legalistic tendencies that I have to fight, but I'll save that for another time.

Yeah.....

I think I have 
1. Gotten surrender all wrong and 
2. Left out a really key part of being able to truly trust God.

Let me expound on number 2.

I like the comfort of knowing what's ahead.  I like to make plans based on what I know.  Prepare. And...be in control.  But, is that really comfort?  I know that I know that I KNOW that I would make a terrible God.  No.  never, ever would I want that.  Yet, I act and think as if being in in complete control, and trusting in my ways, my thoughts (aka trying to be God)...will bring me comfort and security.  Well...guess what.  It doesn't (big surprise there!).  You know what I have found comforting though?   THINKING on who God is,  and then DWELLING on who he is, and then PRAISING him for who he is.  And when I am done doing that, I find...that I can't help but be comforted and feel secure.  For example, just dwelling and thinking on God's goodness and sovereignty....and how he is never one and not the other...blows my mind open and I find myself humbled on my knees in thankfulness and praise, asking him to help me LOVE that about him.  The fact that he is above all things, knows all things and orchestrates all things, and that for those who love him, all things are for GOOD (Romans 8:28).  I could go on and on about how God being good and sovereign is so amazing, but my point is...I find what I'm looking for when I think about who God is:  Comfort and security and...a DESIRE TO SURRENDER everything to God and LEAVE it there.  I discover joy that I can't know all things, fix all things, or control all things.  Because I have acquired a peace that he does, and he can, and he will.  

So...trusting God.  Lately, it's meant not looking for him to answer my specific ideas of how to fix my life and my heart, but rather, dwelling on and praising God for who he is and finding the natural desire to surrender all to him and to leave it with him.   I know that there is so much more even, that is part of trusting God, but for now, I will leave it here.

 I love God.  I love His Word.  And...because I love his Word, I will leave you with some that has been encouraging my heart lately.   




"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose Word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid." -Psalm 56:3-4 (emphasis added)

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" -Matthew 6:25

"No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do as he had promised." -Romans 4:20-21 (emphasis added)

"For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.  For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.  For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  This God--His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him."   -Psalm 18:27-30 (emphasis added)

"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, oh most High...And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, oh Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." -Psalm 9:1-2,10 (emphasis added)


ok...so so sooooo much more scripture I want to put down, but I'll stop here.  For now. ;) 




Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Faces of Pride





Hey friends,

So it is a bit uncomfortable to share the following with you as I am a beginner/not professional in my writing skills.  At first I started writing a "rap" with a chorus and then I think it turned more into a poem or spoken word?  Whatever this is, it's from my heart and I hope that it encourages and challenges. 


The Faces Of Pride


I've been walkin' around with all sorts of bruises, life of wounds and wrong thinking, but to admit this my heart refuses 
'cus PRIDE.
Pride has many colors, many fingers and motives; to think I have immunity from any shade is just bogus.
Self-pity, it is pride, and it's wanting to be noticed; it's feeling sad for myself that my beauty is below His. 


I've got these shackles in the way, oh God I pray take them away; every-time I seek your face it feels like you turn it away, God no! 
please stay! 
Don't abandon my soul to the grave, no, I know in Psalms you say, that you've not abandoned me this day; you have delivered me.
I wanna be rid of disgrace, this constant striving for acceptance; but then I mess up again and think it's time to pay penance.


I get all bent out of shape at how humans treat me; I want to justify myself when they try to unseat me.  
such pain.
It's cus' there I go again trying to beat all that is wrong, instead of singing "this is my story, and this is my song."
Forgiveness, it is mine, and it's free, glory be!  Christ died a perfect death in my place, he hung on the tree. 

So.

Whatcha gonna do when you build on the sand
Whatcha gonna do when your right hand man
is youuuuu? 
is youuu? 

Whatcha gonna do when you're sinking down
The clay gives way and you start to drown 
you prayyyyy
I pray


If God is so loving, also sovereign and good, then why did he make us, I've misunderstood.
what's good?
We're created by him and for him, his Word makes that clear; but why does he want me when I scoff and don't fear? 
I have raised myself high and stolen your glory, but when I find myself wanting I yell out "Lord, help me!" 

The problem is not that we live without knowledge; no, we think for ourselves, study up, go to college. 
We learn, we take in, and form our worldview; but we desire self-glory and worship smart thinking in lieu. 
of you.
Itching ears want to hear and the heart is deceitful, so to figure it out on your own, without His Word is just lethal. 


Whatcha gonna do when you build on the sandWhatcha gonna do when your right hand man
is youuuuu? 
is youuu? 

Whatcha gonna do when you're sinking down
The clay gives way and you start to drown 
you prayyyyy
I pray


So.


So it seems the main problem is me thinking I'm no problem; trusting in my own understanding of who God is and what my heart says. 
Thinking I have arrived and there's nothing new to learn, of my patient Father God that he is kind and not just stern.  
I must learn to discern when I'm just trying hard to earn, my way, what I want instead of making a return. 
to my knees.


SURRENDER


How dare you, how dare me try to be what we are not; all powerful, sovereign, and perfect like God. 
it's disgraceful.
You have washed me in your blood; you have covered me with grace; 
while I have sought out my own pleasures, not the beauty of your face.
I long to kill this pride, heal inside from all these lies, but the journey will stop short 'till I find you, my God, the prize. 


so.


So I am sinking down, sinking down not on the sand; I'm dropping to my knees to surrender you my right hand.
oh, God.
Believing in the power that is released when our hands meet; rejoicing as all the lies I have believed fall in defeat.
You are my king and my God, and that's nothing short of glorious;
I raise my hands in praise, you rose from the grave VICTORIOUS!


(C) Sarah Codispoti, April 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Things for Thankfulness



So, I have been overwhelmed in every area lately...emotionally, physically, circumstantially, mentally, spiritually...to the point of I don't even know where to start with coming up with something to write, especially something organized.  I feel....flooded and stopped up at the same time.  But, writing is therapeutic for me, so I think today I am going to write a list of things I'm thankful for.  Watch out, it's a big list.

-My husband and family
-New church family
-Chocolate flourless cake
-Especially homemade chocolate flourless cake so that you can eat gigantic portions of it and still have some left for breakfast  snack the next day.
-Close to my parents with this new move
-Awesome place to rent
-Several sunshine filled days in a row
-Great area filled with parks and super cool libraries
-God teaching me how to trust him
-God teaching me that I CAN trust him
-God teaching me that I am desperately in need of him
-God comforting and helping me as I come to him in desperate need
-New jeans that stay where they belong when I try to walk and bend and sit like a normal person
-Money to pay for said jeans
-Fruit bits, Haribo Gummy Bears and anything gummy with sugar
-Hilarious moments from your toddler that slightly redeem non-hilarious moments (like painting your piano with white out)
-mug and candle obsessions that can appear slightly shameful when mug and candle collections are taken out of storage (but are oh so enjoyable) (can one ever have too many mugs or candles?) (don't answer that please).
-grace through friends bringing us meals our first week here!
-New coffee pot
-Dark, dark, strong, deeply dark coffee brewed in said new coffee pot
-Chocolate cake eaten with said dark coffee
-the WORD and a renewed hunger for it
-My siblings :)
-Half-price bookstore now accessible with a 10 min drive (Yes, you should be concerned for our pocketbook)
-A washer and dryer in our place! (I got tired of turning my underwear inside out back and forth for the last 4 years of marriage) (j/k)(is that gross?) (inappropriate?)(sorry)
-New dream job for Joshua
-Applecare
-The FACT that my husband is extremely good looking
-Mason jars and glass jars filled with food stuffs
-Naptime
-God's sovereignty
-Planners and organizational tools
-Sometimes, my brain
-Sometimes, the Lord despite my brain
-My whole freaking life.

Ok, I know I said it was going to be a long one, and it's a bit of a cop out to just say "my whole freaking life"...however, my only time to write without interruption is nap time,  (which is on my thankful list) and nap time today, well...it just isn't working out.  Thus...a shorter than planned list.  Here, I will add one more to the list so I can end on a thankful note:

- Thankful for grace and patience for my kids even when they don't help me out in the nap department.

......
......................
Now, I am off to go ask God for said grace and patience.