Wednesday, May 27, 2015

life + victory shadowed by defeat

 Here we are, nearing mid-way through 2015 and I feel like this year has been a blur already! Life has been... crazy? Full. It's definitely been full. 

We are "well-established" at Crosspoint Bible Church, and loving what God is doing in us and with us in our ministry there. Our second campus launched in April, meeting at Heritage Elementary School in Bennington, NE. Josh has split time pretty evenly so far leading worship at one campus or another and preaching some, too. What an interesting journey we are on there!

We found out at the beginning of March that we are expecting! Due Nov 15, I am 15 weeks this week. Praying daily for God to sustain and grow our sweet baby. We are SO EXCITED!!! Here's more info and pictures for all those interested!

Soon after finding out I'm pregnant, we realized we would rather move now than later, considering we hoped to move in the next year or two. Anticipating God wants us at Crosspoint for a while, we are hoping to move closer to there, which will also be closer to Bennington. Before we could list our house, though, we had a LOT of work to do. Not that our house was in disrepair, we just needed to clear out a lot of junk (really, we needed to do that whether we were moving or not!), and have some repair work done. We are so grateful for those who have been able to help us get all our projects done! I'm ready to just "move on" ;)

Jordan biggest change has been some size growth, but also he is so very interested in reading and writing. He reads books to us now, sight word books and even "real books"! Whoa. He is amazingly excited that he will be a big brother, and I am truly loving all the ways he takes extra care of me now and gives me glimpses of his tender heart toward his sibling already.

And... for some heart talk...

The hard thing has been, though, I always struggle with stress and anxiety and it has been much worse lately. Pregnant + decluttering/painting/cleaning in any "spare" time + toddler sleep problems + toddler potty problems [because of error in initial training (he learned to just hold poop!) which ultimately results in him also not being able to hold pee through the night. So many details you don't need to know boil down to: I'm so very over it, but we're so very stuck.] 

Many days, which has turned into most days lately, all victory is shadowed by the defeat in my mind. I struggle to even choose a "joy" at the end of many days! As a family we've been working to cultivate a more positive atmosphere and one way we do that is to share our joys midday and at the end of the day. I mean, I can choose something I kinda enjoyed, but I was getting so that I truly experienced more true joy, and I feel like I'm losing that as I lose hope because I'm looking to my life "things" to bring joy instead of the Lord. 

I realized two nights ago as I lie awake for hours, longing for Jordan to go back to sleep, that I really struggle to give grace to myself and to my boys (Josh, Jordan, and Justin and Miles that I nanny). I understand and accept God's grace, but I'm so hard on myself all the time! And hard on the boys too often, too. I focus on the defeat and feel like I always need to be doing better. As I contemplate this I'm reminded of a quote that has stuck with me, 
"There were moments...when I hurled insults at myself—you always do this! You really can’t change!
But then I apologized to myself, because nothing of beauty gets built through shame, and began again, began again. It’s all you can do, right? Begin again, begin again, begin again.
And one thing I’m learning over and over: you cannot do big-soul-rearranging alone..." (
#1: BEGIN AGAIN. {cut it out with that shame stuff!}
#2: I can't do it alone. 

I pray God instills His truth in my heart so that I and my boys can learn to live life knowing we don't have to do it alone, and that shame has no place - just begin again. 
As I do a study on the "I will" promises of God this summer, I know He is working to take me deeper into His presence, where I truly long to be. Darkness can't thrive there!

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