Family PIc April 2015

Family PIc April 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I Didn't Want to Write This, But I Wrote It Anyway

Gregg put this song into the CD player last night while we silently folded laundry together...and I realized we're both feeling it.  My precious husband has been burdened on almost every side.

The weight of the world is on his shoulders...and seemingly a new outside complaint or conflict comes every day.

He. is. worn.

And, me?

I'm worn, too.

I have this tremendous urge to tenderly gather my husband and my children together and retreat from everyone - like a mama bear gathers her cubs and retreats into the forest.

But, I know that's not God's plan for us.  We are called to be salt...and light. Retreating, like hermits, is not an option.

I'm just frustrated...disappointed...maybe I've even been disillusioned.

Maybe the world isn't good.

Maybe people really are as selfish as they seem.

Maybe no one is really "real" after all.

Maybe it doesn't even matter...

Maybe it's ME.

For the past 18 months or so, especially, I have watched a large handful of my friends experience excruciating pain and consequences - some pain brought from their own choices, and some from the choices of those they care about most, and some for reasons only God knows.

I have watched death...pain from sexual immorality...cancer...the loss of a child...the untimely loss of a spouse after childbirth...marriages ripped messes...a church that has turned others away from God...PAIN.  Silently, I have felt others' burdens as my own.  Many have no idea that I've been screaming out to God to hold them, to heal them, to take away the teach them and to change them if needed.

I've questioned God.  I've wondered where He is in all of this.

But, I've found Him always here...always very real to me.  I can't see Him, but I know He's here, as sure as I can't see the wind but can feel it on my face.

I so rarely find Him living in those who claim to be His people.  Is it any wonder that those who don't know Christ personally have no use for us?  Most days, I don't want anything to do with "christians," either.  Why is it that we say we are "believers," but we really AREN'T?

Maybe I expect too much.  I expect others to be who they say they are.  I expect them to do what they say they will do.  I expect them to have maturity...and admit mistakes and learn from have a passion for loving others more than be have the ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes (or at least TRY).

God is up to something (Isn't He always?)...I just hope Gregg and I can hang on.  I pray that we can be faithful...that our speech will be honest, but with a pure heart...that we can remember that our battle is against Satan and hell itself, not against others.

In God's unfathomable sovereignty, He has planned a time of rest for our little family soon.  In the next couple of months, I hope to blog about all God does. We had no idea, in the planning stages months ago, that our family would need a time of rest as desperately as we need the air we breathe.

I'm grateful.

I'm worn...but I AM grateful.  I'm anticipating a God-change in my family.  I have a strong feeling that it could be a painful pruning.

There are things inside of me that need to change.  I need new passion, new knowledge, new calmness, new perspective, new laughter, new joy...and who knows what else!

I sometimes hear people comment that I have it "all together."  I'm not trying to appear humble when I say, "I do NOT have it all together."  I REALLY MEAN IT.  I've made more mistakes than I care to mention.  I get my feelings hurt, hold grudges, and complain.  I can be more selfish than anyone I know. Sometimes painful, ugly words that I'm tossing around in my head and heart, come out of my mouth...and they hurt others.  I understand I'm not perfect.  I understand that no one is perfect.

Perhaps God allows us to become worn so we can enjoy the renewal.

Perhaps He allows us to become worn so He can prune us.

In our back yard are some beautiful roses.  Each year, Gregg and my older sons prune them until they look like they are dead.  And then, with warm sunshine, leaves begin to emerge.  Before I know it, they are blooming beautifully.

I want to be like that.  

As the song says, I want to see God "mend a heart that's broken and torn"...and "all that's dead inside can be reborn."

I didn't want to write this post, Lord.  I've been avoiding it longer than I can remember.  I have no idea why I'm putting it "out there" now, except that I'm pretty sure You're telling me to write and trust.  Perhaps, I was supposed to write this to help me heal.  Perhaps, it's supposed to help my children one day. Perhaps, it's for someone else.'s to being worn...and, Lord, here's to trusting in your plan.  Give our family clarity, wisdom, and strength to make changes where You want us to change.

"Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee." (Psalm 52:10-13)


  1. *relating* Saw the corresponding post on fb. Wondered what you had gone through to write so boldly. Now I've a hint. I've often missed talking about anything and everything together during those early morning work outs so long ago (it seems). You were also someone I could be real with. On of the very few I've found while living down here. *hugs* - Jenni

  2. Thank you, Jenni. I think of you often...and know we can relate to each for many reasons. I, too, miss those talks. Not so much the 5am workouts, but definitely the talks! ;) I don't often comment, but I prayed with you through your kitchen disaster, and the death of Brian's mom. Of course, those are 2 very different tragedies, but you handled both with such grace. (I am sure I have missed many other events in your life.) I am honored to call you friend, even if our busy mommy paths don't cross as often as we both might wish. ((HUGS))

  3. Thank you for writing this. It is timely for many reasons. I wish I were closer if no other reason to give you a hug every now and then. Hope to see you soon! Love and miss you dear friend.

    1. I would LOVE a "Robin hug" sometime soon! :)

  4. It's beautiful, Olivia, and it refreshes my soul.

    1. Thank you, Stacey, for confirming God's goodness and His plan for me to prayer is that these words will somehow be an encouragement to others and help us all know that we are not alone...

  5. Olivia, I know these feelings all too well. That's why I've started using writing as an outlet, again. It really does help our hearts. My hope is to help others walk through this world by learning through my experiences and to see how God has worked in all aspects of the journey. We're all walking in one of two directions in this Jekyll and Hyde world. Some are striving to walk, or even crawl, on Heaven's Highway. Their journey is long, and tiresome, but they’re determined to overcome the obstacles along the way because of their faith in the Lord. While others, find themselves stuck in the sticky, scorching tar that coats the Highway to Hell. This highway is less bumpy, and it burns the flesh from their feet, but Satan has them fooled into thinking his way is best. No matter which highway we tread, we'll each have our own judgement day when we leave this place.

    With that in mind, I strongly feel that helping others during the storms in life is expected of us. It doesn’t matter what highway they’ve chosen to trod; what does matter is how we used the opportunities to bring them closer to Christ when the paths intertwined. What did we do for the sake of Christ? Did we cultivate the soil at one junction and sow at the next? Was the name of Jesus even mentioned when we helped them cross the busy highway? As we grow in our faith, we learn to recognize the ground that is ripe for the sowing. For you see, the mustard seeds of Christ grow best in the ground that has been toiled up by the constant pound of torrential rains.

    At times, every part of our being can become worn and tattered by the burdens of others, along with our own, but we should continue to lift them up to the Lord in our weakness. In the world around us, the compassionate heart can feel overloaded by its ability to feel the PAIN of others. Without this Christ-like character trait, we couldn’t truly comprehend how to help others with their burdens. Thanks to the compassionate hearts in this world; I wasn’t completely cast into an abyss of despair after my husband’s affair ended our long marriage. It was the Christ-like hearts that allowed me to feel their prayers, hear their encouraging words, seek their Godly wisdom, accept their reminders of accountability, find solace in God’s Holy Word, and to recognize that I had their unconditional love. Most importantly, I remembered that God had not abandoned me too. He was always there.

    Olivia, I’ve made some mistakes after my divorce but it was friends like you that helped me to refocus and resume my composure. It was the compassionate friends in my life, and the Godly people, that shared my burdens in various ways. Many compassionate hearts helped me to regain enough strength to lift up my own yoke to the Lord, again. Such selfless acts made the darkest of my days more tolerable. Thanks for your words of kindness over the years, the prayers along the way, and for your dedication to your blog. It is truly appreciated. We are all in this journey together, and together, much strength can be found. I will keep you, and your family, in my prayers during this season in your life. Just remember this, God’s pruning does hurt…but the vine will flourish like never before. May God lead your footsteps. ((Hugs))

    1. Precious words, Tracy. Thank you for taking the time to write them to me!! They have been balm for my weary soul. Sometimes, just knowing that we are not alone and that someone understands, can mean so much! Blessings to you and yours!!