Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Fresh Start

It's a new year and I'm giving my blog a fresh start having abandoned it for almost a year. Shamefully, I can pick up where I left off because I'm not much further ahead. Some areas, thankfully I've grown. Others, not but an inch.

I've spent the past year with Freedom Session, having come away with a new and practicing understanding of forgiving others and making amends. Both huge leaps for me.

Since September, I've been facilitating a group of 10 ladies through Freedom Session. A daunting but awesomely rewarding task. It might not be for everyone, but to walk through pain with others in authentic and open community is where I feel alive. It's where I experience God.

But then there's the mere inch of growth part.

"Someones got to be the hero"..........those were the words spoken to me about my marriage over a year ago by my three friends, my confidantes and prayer partners.

I get that. Is it not the essential message of the bible? To lay down ones life for another. That Jesus lay down his life for us.

I get it in my head, but in practice I am this donkey digging in it's heels, unyielding, frustrating any hope of going anywhere.

How can two people who are postured in a stance of self protection from years of reciprocal hurts, find the way to vulnerability and intimacy?

My heart is telling me the way is through yielding. Swallowing my pride, my entitlement and dismantling my walls of protection. Resisting my urge to dig my heels in. Then perhaps there's a chance for abundance in my marriage.

If  any of my readers are still out there.......please pray for me....that I will find the courage and humility to rise to the occasion.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Yes I got stuck half way through my Love Dare.

It was the part about forgiveness.

If I was going to be honest with myself, forgiving my spouse and asking for forgiveness was going to take more than the two days allotted in the book. And I didn't think I could skip over it so I just put the book down at that point.

However, about the same time I started The Love Dare I joined a Freedom Session class. I had an idea that this class was going to lead me where I needed to go at a much deeper level.

And so it has. Based on a 12 step program we meet weekly for group DVD sessions and then break into our small groups for discussion and review of our homework. We dig into the hard stuff. It's all pretty honest.

Maybe it's the deep honesty that got me stuck. At this point in the class, we have made "a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves". We've listed all our hurts that come to mind and the people involved. We've listed all of those we've hurt. And then we read them out to a trusted sponsor.

Whew! It was actually very cleansing. I've done much of this already over the past few years but this is very thorough and has led me to process a lot of current dynamics in my life that are all interconnected.

In a way, I'm rather disapointed in myself. On the other hand........I'm being honest.....patient....submitting myself to the process. We'll see where that takes me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm Doing It!

After my last post, where I told my self to just stop thinking about The Love Dare and "just do it", I visited the 40 Day Love Dare blogspot where Jennifer and Eric were just finishing their 40 days. Near the end of her post, Jennifer writes:

"If you haven't started the Love Dare, just do it! It will change your marriage and just maybe your life."

Can you believe that? Is that's not a bit fat Holy Spirit nudge or what? It certainly made me think for a minute that God is totally behind this and the time is right.

I got my Friday morning group of ladies on board and we're all doing this together. We watched the movie "Fire Proof" together and then picked a date to start.

We're on day 14 and the biggest change has been in me. Each day gives me something new to think about, a new approach to relating to my husband, and of course an action to take. Sometimes it's hard to carry out a particular task on that day so I go back and check it off when I've done it a few days later. Feels like a scavenger hunt.

I realize that I have been quite hard hearted and self protective in my marriage. I find it hard to be vulnerable and give of myself and I'm not quite sure why. But, I'm taking this one day at a time and I'm trusting that the Lord is in this with us.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just Do It!

Looking back over my past blog entries, over and over I talk about my desire for humility and selflessness. And yet, why do I find it so hard to put that into practice, especially with the most important relationship in my life?

Have you heard of the love dare from the movie "Fire Proof"? I'm considering it. In fact I just registered on-line but I need to get the book. Somehow, I think I'll only make it to day 3 and then give up because I'm not getting anything back. I'm so tit for tat.

What compels me to try is the sad realization that I have been thinking about these things for years but am hopelessly self centred when it comes to practice.

I need to just do it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Taking Inventory

For the past 10 or so years, my focus has been on the journey within. Figuring myself out, figuring God out, figuring me and God out......and all that.

When I look around my internal room, I can say I'm content with the results of my rearranging and tidying up. It feels okay to just sit for a while. My faith has been analyzed, tested, turned up side down and it's fitting comfortably.

So here we are, God and me, sitting quite contently in my inner room.

However, it's become increasingly apparent how much my marriage is in need of attention. Perhaps I've been self focused for just a little too long.

In the past couple of years, my husband and I have agreed that we want more. We know it could be better. But then we go back to regular life, not quite knowing how to start, lacking courage to take a step.

Things really blew up in January when unexpectedly, I had to spend 6 weeks on crutches. The stress of having to rely on my husband and children brought out in me so many resentments, frustrations and hurts. Hurts relating to not feeling cherished.

That time of adversity was a real wake up call for the both of us. Things are still up and down, but we're taking it seriously and we've both agreed we don't want walk away.

The fists are down.
We're talking.
Unfortunately, neither side has much to say.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming Up For Air

Yes I've been AWOL for quite a while. So what's up? Well life just took over I guess and then it was hard to get that blogging momentum stirred up again. Stuff has been percolating in me.....just nothing concrete.

But I miss blogging! I miss all you guys. Still been around the sphere......I'm sure you've seen me here and there.

So I thought I'd try the babbling thing. Be off the cuff. I'm not much of a babbler.....I like to have it all analyzed, double checked, packaged and pristine before I press the publish button you know. So this is a new thing for me.

Wow - I kind of like just much less pressure......

Quick update for now:

Ended 2009 on a lovely Sayulita vacation with the extended family. An absolutely wonderful place if you like the hodgy podgy kind of Mexico and can handle the roosters crowing in the wee hours of the morning along with the random dogs, ducks and children outside your door. There are many lovely and luxurious places to stay scattered through the town, great food of all kinds and everything is walking distance.

Started 2010 with some minor knee cartilage surgery that left me on crutches for SIX WHOLE WEEKS!!! If you are a mom with a job and a home to run you can totally understand how this amounted to a death sentence for me. It certainly brought out the worst in me and I learned that I DO NOT handle adversity all that well.

In February, while still on crutches, our city hosted the Olympics. I was bummed because it was hard to participate but I still got out to a hockey game. The torch came right by our street. The whole city and neighbouring towns were in party mode and the atmosphere euphoric. A truly great experience!

So with summer vacation upon me, kids home from school, free of schedules and commitments, I can sit back and take a breather. As I take inventory of my inner space, something has shifted. Although I can point to a few changes in focus here and there, I just can't put my finger on it. Thus the babbling. I figure if I just write it might come out with some kind of structure rather than left all fragmented and formless inside.

Enough for now.

I'll be back.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Touched By The Fathers Love!; In the Palm of His Hand

I'm participating in Daveda's invitation to join her in sharing our stories of being touched by God's love. Daveda says "knowing the love and favor of our Father, is most definitely worthy of praise and a thankful heart. I hope you will join us." I agree. I love to hear stories of God's presence in the lives of others. It builds my faith.

I have posted this story before, over a year ago and it's my most popular post. It seems a lot of people google search about being in the palm of God's hand and find their way to my story. This story is what sealed the deal for me that God is truly a personal God and knows me intimately.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

A few years ago, God spoke to me through a painting. He put my whole life into perspective and securely anchored my soul.

When my second daughter was a little over a year old, and the oldest one four, my husband and I made the decision not to have any more children. We were happy with the size of our family and wanted to move on with our lives. However, I couldn't help but feel a sense of loss for the chance to have a son as well and hold a baby of my own one more time.

Oddly, this decision led me to think about getting a piano. Since I had two girls I definitely wanted them to play the piano. I found a beautiful 1918 converted player piano that looked lovely in our home. I dug out my old music books and began to tinker with tunes long-forgotten. As my fingers found their familiar place on the keys, it brought me back to my early teenage years, before the solitary disciplines of music were put aside for a social life.

The music opened up a longing and a passion in me that had been sitting dormant. A grieving in my heart emerged for the loss of my own identity because, in the years that followed, fitting in with the crowd became my priority. I learned to put on a new face for each area of my life, and lost my own. I began to wonder how things might be different now had I made other choices then. My heart was wavering with insecurity and the music was bringing it to the surface.

Having the piano in my home reminded me of a print I had seen years earlier. It depicts a young girl playing a striking grand piano. Her eyes are interlocked with her little sister’s, whose hand is perched on the keyboard. I remembered standing in the art store 15 years earlier, the picture tugging at my heartstrings as I admired the soft pink dresses and the black patent shoes. I remembered thinking at the time, “If I ever have girls, I am getting this picture.”

When I popped into an art store in the mall and described the painting, the clerk knew it right away. It was a well-known painting by Greg Olsen, entitled “Dress Rehearsal”. She said it could be ordered in as a framed special and if I didn’t like it I didn’t have to buy it. That seemed good to me since the idea of picking out matting and a frame seemed overwhelming to a perfectionist like me. When it arrived, it was more than I could have imagined, beautifully framed to match my home.

As that picture hung in my living room its significance became apparent. For one thing, it was uncanny how much the two girls in the picture looked like my own. The hair and facial features were the same for each girl. Although the girls in the picture were a little older their age difference matched. In fact, as my youngest has grown up, she is convinced that it is her in the picture and wants to know where the pretty dress is that she was wearing!

Then God spoke to me in my heart. He got my attention with that picture and He told me about my life.

“Your life is in the palm of my hand”.

"I saw your longing in that art store years ago and I have given you the desire of your heart. "

"Everything now is meant to be. "

Do not regret anything, because your life circumstances have brought you your husband, your children and your identity. Don’t worry about not having any more children, because everything is good as it is.”

As it began to sink in, this message brought me an incredible peace and security. My marriage and relationships improved because of my secure heart. I was somehow different and it showed.

You may wonder how I can be so sure it was God who spoke to me. It’s hard to put into words but it’s like having knowledge in your mind all at one time that you know you didn’t make up yourself.

It’s like having a dream with the story all laid out before you and all you do is observe, not remembering how it came into your mind.

It’s like how you know when a puzzle piece fits.

The Bible says, “My sheep hear my voice.” I just knew that this was the Lord’s voice and not my own. I have always had a faith in God but He became so real then. He was actually involved in my very life and thoughts!

A couple of years later, God gave me a reminder and a confirmation of His message to me. I went forward for prayer at a church conference, and the person who prayed for me said, “God has you in the palm of His hand.” It was good to know I was still on the right track.