Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Melt My Heart

Wow. So incredible. This gorgeous mom (Ashley) has cancer & her hair was falling out rapidly so she decided to shave her head. Her mother shaved her head before she did (as a surprise) so she wouldn't have to do it alone:


Then the whole family got together for her head shaving experience and she smiled every moment of it. She was so brave. She is donating her hair to locks of love. Her darling little daughter did the shaving until her hand got tired & her husband gave her the sweetest kiss as she lost all of her beautiful hair:

What a precious story of joy in all circumstances. I don't think I would have been able to hold it together like she did. I couldn't even hold it together while watching the video. This is an amazing blog. I'm in awe of the joy of the Lord in her heart.

Resolution 1: Is Christ the center of every area of my life?

This year I decided that instead of treating my resolutions like far off wishes that I will forget about, I will make them goals that I work toward daily & will revisit at the end of the year to see how I did. I also decided that I wouldn't be too hard on myself, as I am so great at, & I would work through these things in ways that work for me. It's often difficult for me to stick to plans, so I figured that I would have to do whatever it takes in order to find out what works for me & then create a plan based on that.

Resolution 1: Determine how to follow Christ & make him the center of every aspect of my life & marriage.
Obviously this first task can only happen by following my 2nd resolution: Get in the Word daily.
The first few weeks I was determined to wake up every day at a certain time, grab some coffee, sit outside & follow a specific reading/journaling plan. Of course, I didn't do well with this. I was struggling with the fact that I love sleep, distracted by having 3 dogs (including a baby pup that's potty training & teething), dealing with the fact that there's no such thing as silence in this neighborhood, & working through becoming disciplined enough to read through specific plans & figuring them out on my own. This lead to discouragement and feeling overwhelmed. I read little and struggled much.
After meeting with a darling friend, Emilie Hendryx, & asking her how she worked through being motivated to be in the Word, I felt very encouraged. She basically helped me understand that not everyone learns the same way & that it's ok to shape a plan based around how I learn.
So I went home & struggled with where to start. I pulled out my journal & just started reading what the Lord had been showing me in the past. I decided to go back through my journal & test myself on how much I had learned on each topic that I sifted through. If I hadn't learned something He had tried to teach me in the past, then obviously I need to keep studying & seeking Him in that area. This led me to The Beatitudes. The first of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3) says "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God." I kept reading & then felt the Lord guiding me back to that. I started pondering what it truly means to be poor in spirit & what this specifically looks like in my life. I came across this article: http://www.gospeltruth.net/1844OE/441204_poor_in_spirit.htm
It opened my eyes to a world of truth in me. I have such a strong perception of certain things, like being poor in spirit, but does it actually ring true in my life? There is no way to force yourself to become poor in spirit overnight. This is a process that occurs by recognizing the fact that we are nothing without Christ & that without Him we are filthy and no good thing can come from us. I am asking the Lord to show me the areas where I still struggle with pride, the areas where I have hidden sin or hurt that is holding me up, & I am asking Him to gently deal with my heart on these things & show me that I am nothing without His grace & sacrifice. I believe this is the first step to making Him the center of any area of my life.

Now for: Making Him the center of my marriage. 
This is the single most important area of our lives if we're married. It's the area of our lives Satan will try the hardest to destroy. It's the area that's the biggest reflection of Christ in the world. An incredible marriage is the thing in the world that most reflects God's love because it's the earthly display of God's love for us. My husband is a wonderful man of the Lord & leads us well. We still have areas of our marriage where Christ is a part of it, but maybe not the center, though. I struggled with how to accomplish taking steps toward a Christ-centered marriage while my husband is working so many long hours & doesn't have a ton of extra time to spend with me right now. I realized that this is going to look a lot more like "How can I be a better wife & in return have a better & more Christ-centered marriage?" Anytime I think about improving marriages I immediately think of Song of Solomon. Anytime I think of Song of Solomon, Mark Driscoll's series comes to mind. Since I have never actually gone through it I immediately went to the Mars Hill site & as it would turn out, he started a series called "Real Marriage" this week. God is good.
So I started that series: http://marshill.com/media/real-marriage
And The Peasant Princess series on Song of Solomon: http://marshill.com/media/the-peasant-princess
I now have many biblical tools to begin refreshing my marriage. I am going to strive to serve my husband in any way possible & to esteem him at every opportunity. This also goes hand in hand with another resolution I made - to become less selfish. It will be good practice. :)

Today I'm thanking God for bringing incredible people into my life to challenge me, for the best friend in the world - my husband, & for never giving up on me. God deserves my best & I am ready to commit to giving that to Him on a daily basis.