Freedom in Forgiveness

This is something I have been praying for, for a long time.  I asked Jeremy to consider writing a blog because I thought people could be encouraged hearing from him.  His first response was, “I can’t write.  I’m not good at that stuff.”  I told him that I just wanted him to share his part of the story and to please pray over it.  I left it at that.  Well, today I opened my email and here it was asking for help with wording and grammar.  He decided to share his heart with you.  While this was tough for me to read, I know it came straight from his heart and it is my honor to share it with you.  And so here it is, Jeremy’s first blog post:

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Forgiveness is something I have always felt I’ve been able to do pretty easy. It was the way I was raised and then coming to know the Lord I knew that I needed to forgive people because I was forgiven through Jesus Christ. Over these past 2 years it’s something that I truly had to rely on to make it through the day sometimes.  The pain and hurt that I went through is something I don’t wish on my worst enemy. I remember the day my world came crashing down in front of me. I came home thinking everything was fine.  Then, I remember my mother-in-law coming over and Dawn talking with her in the kitchen.  She then said to the boys “lets go for a ride and go see what Grandad is doing at the house” and they quickly left.  I didn’t know she was coming over, it caught me by surprise and when I looked at Dawns face I could tell something was wrong. She asked me to come into the living room and sit down because she had to talk with me about something. I could feel my stomach start to drop and cramp up. I was probably the most scared in that moment that I have ever been. I knew something wasn’t right but couldn’t fathom what it was.  In my mind, I was trying to think back on that day and even a couple of days back trying to figure out what I could have done to make her so upset that the boys needed to go away for us to talk. I remember the expression on her face when she said those words, “I had an affair.” I couldn’t believe it because I didn’t think it would ever happen to me. I am a very loyal person and probably to a fault so it was hard to believe that someone I loved and would die for could betray me in such a way and with a friend of mine at that. I just remember over the next couple of days just lying on the floor crying uncontrollably and the pain that was going through my body I can’t even explain what that was like.  The emotions I went through is something I will never forget.  But, the freedom and blessing I have received by God for forgiving both her and the other person is more powerful than words can express. Even more, the freedom in forgiving someone, even though an apology was never given, I can’t even explain.  Unfortunately, I have never received an apology from the man.  I point that out because you need to understand that even when you don’t get what you ‘think’ you need or deserve, you still have to be obedient and do what Scripture calls us to do.  That is to forgive. Christ didn’t deserve to die, nor did we deserve His forgiveness.  But He still did and we still got it.  It’s only through Jesus Christ I am able to do it. Being able to forgive a person and or persons that betrayed my trust and love for them was something that took me awhile to truly and wholly do even for me. For something that normally comes easy for me, it didn’t this time.  Yet, I did it through the strength of my God because it is what I am commanded to do in Scripture.

It is very important to forgive so you can move forward with your life and not let anger and sadness and bitterness take control.  It would be very easy to give in to those feelings of hurt and anger, use them as an excuse or as leverage but that would mean keeping myself in chains and not living in the freedom of the Cross.  I choose not to live like that.  I know forgiveness doesn’t come easy for many, so I pray that if it’s not easy for you to forgive, that God would give you a peace about it and the power to do it.  Know that Jesus died on the cross for you and forgave your sins so in return we have to forgive others no matter what the situation.  My situation was just about as bad as it could get.  Yet, I chose forgiveness.   And because I chose that, Dawn and I are mended.  I love her with my whole heart.  I trust her completely.  I know that the Lord is using us for Him.  This is a result of obedience and living out the Gospel.

“This, then, is how you should pray:  Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”   Matthew 6:9-15

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Tender Hearts

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I am not a morning person at all…..and so when my eyes pop open at 5:45 a.m. and I am wide awake, I choose to believe it’s the Lord.  So, as I laid there this morning, I began to just pray.   As I prayed, my heart began to stir.  When Jeremy got up he said, “what are you doing up so early?”  I said, “I’ve got to write a blog!”  And here I am, in my favorite spot on our back porch sharing with you.  I am going to step into a little bit of very personal things to Jeremy and I’s heart.  I believe that is what the Lord has asked me to do today and so because of that, I believe someone out here needed to hear this.  So, walk with me into a glimpse of our hearts…..

Occasionally Jeremy and I find ourselves in a conversation about our stuff. {Stuff meaning the part of our journey we’ve been on these last two years} Yesterday was one of those days.  These conversations have evolved over time where at first they were filled with overwhelming heartbreak, sometimes anger, and a lot of hurt to tenderness, joy and much much hope.  We were sitting at lunch and I was sharing with Jeremy a conversation I had at church yesterday morning.  Someone had come up and asked me a question pertaining to our stuff.  So, as I was sharing this with Jeremy it spurred us into an even deeper conversation on the topic.  {This is where I am going to share with you something that we don’t share very often.}  Part of going through something so devastating is the ripple effects.  Ripple effects are almost like the aftershock so to speak.  One of those ripple effects is changes in relationships, specifically friendships.  I have shared before that we lost friendships through this.  Several in fact.  But, let me be very transparent here and tell you that Jeremy and I both still struggle here. I have one friend in particular that I lost that still leaves me brokenhearted at times.  Jeremy has one friend in particular that he lost that still leaves him brokenhearted at times.  Why do I tell you this?  For a few reasons, but most important to let you know how important it is to remain tenderhearted when it’s easy to allow your heart to harden.  Remember me sharing that ‘hope’ thing with you?  This is one of those things we still hope for after two years.  We don’t share this often because most times people say, “give up.”  OR “They weren’t your real friend anyway” OR  “Just move on” and so on.  And I get it.  Yet, deep in our hearts we can’t do that.  We love these people, we pray for these people and we hope for these people.  Maybe we are crazy, I don’t know?  But, what I do know is that what I have seen resolved, redeemed and restored in the last two years is nothing short of an incredible God’s work and so I will not give up hope on things still broken.  I believe in what Psalm 27:13-14 says that “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  I will continue to “wait for the Lord, being strong and taking heart.  Waiting for the Lord.”

So, I share with you this short story today to tell you that this little tender heart secret Jeremy and I keep tucked away with hope remaining is because of the confidence we have in a big God and not in ourselves.  Friend, the Lord restored Jeremy and I to a place in our lives I couldn’t have dreamed of being.  Because of that, we believe fully that our Lord knows no bounds and can redeem and resolve anything.  So, sweet friend hold onto hope and keep your heart clear of hardness.  It is so important for our hearts to remain tender to the Lord as He works in His perfect timing, not our desired timing.

More than anyone in the situation we were in, Jeremy could have hardened his heart immediately.  Yet, from day one, even through heart shattering hurt, his heart remained tender to what the Lord was going to do.  As we sat yesterday ending our conversation, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “more than anything that breaks our hearts Dawn,  while I  wouldn’t wish the hurt I felt at the beginning of all this on my worst enemy, I wouldn’t take it back because of where we are today.

Oh, I love this man and his tender heart.  Remain tender and don’t give up hope today friend.

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27: 13-14

Dealing with Disappointment…While Keeping Perspective.

Sea WorldThis picture was taken last week at Sea World while we were on vacation in Florida. This picture is full of smiles and fun because this in fact was one of the coolest experiences we have ever done.  In the words of my son Kaden, “I love dolphins now!”  But what you don’t see in this picture is the heartache I was feeling from getting a call just an hour before this excursion saying my Grandmother had a stroke and had passed away.  Also, in this picture behind the smiles is the excruciating pain Jeremy was in that landed us in the hospital that afternoon.  It was such a bizarre day that I even sat through the Shamu show crying under my sunglasses! What in the world?  I kept telling Jeremy we could go because I knew how much pain he was in;  he insisted on staying because he didn’t want to ruin this for the boys.  Yet, by late afternoon the boys could sense their Daddy’s pain and told us that “it was okay if we needed to go, they knew Dad was not feeling well.” Can I say I am so thankful these sweet boys are like their Daddy?  Such tender hearts!   So, Jeremy ended up getting admitted into the hospital in Orlando for a night.  After getting him settled in the hospital, I went back to our resort to get myself and the boys settled for the night and to start trying to get flights changed to come home early for my Grandmother’s funeral.  Then realized that I couldn’t do that yet because I didn’t know when Jeremy was getting out of the hospital.  So, I then laid in the bed by myself quietly weeping over the chaos of the day; the heartbreak of losing my grandmother and Jeremy having to be admitted to the hospital and thinking “Geez, this was supposed to be vacation?!?!”  And then I hit reset on my thinking.

I stepped back and gained perspective.  My “old normal” would have been to get in a tizzy and selfishly pitch my own little fit about all of this wrecking our plans.  Yet, in that moment, I just said thank you Lord for giving us a great 3 days together as a family.  We had a wonderful beginning of the week.  Yes, I was heartbroken that my grandmother had passed away, but she was 91 years old, was ready for the Lord to take her home and I knew she was in a better place where her body was completely healed and she could once again walk.  Yes, I was sad Jeremy was in the hospital on vacation, but I knew it was temporary, he would be given medication and would be okay.  But, I was not going to complain or be upset about vacation getting interrupted.  What a privilege it is to even have a vacation when I have met many that don’t even know what a vacation is because all they are worried about is where their next meal is going to come from.  I also thought about those in Louisiana that are losing their homes, their livelihood, basically everything through record flooding and there is nothing they can do about it but watch.  I then looked at the picture of that precious 5-year-old boy in the ambulance in Syria covered in blood and ash, living in a country under relentless attack.  He’s not worried about the first day of school and I’m sure has never been on a vacation, he is just wondering if he is going to survive!

So, as I laid sad and stressed over my circumstances I asked the Lord to give me peace in my heart and wisdom in my mind to ‘deal’ with what I had to deal with.  Yet, I asked Him to help me remain in a place where I kept perspective on what a privileged life I lead and how even when my heart hurts or things are tough, I am still privileged.  I am meant for so much more than being upset over vacation being interrupted.

Our perspective has to reset often, or at least mine does.  We have to pan out of what is right in front of us and take an overview of life around us.  No, it’s not a comparison thing, it’s a perspective thing.  I remained thankful for the time we had as a family for vacation, even though it was cut short, because I realized this wasn’t the end of the world!

–Please don’t misunderstand me:  Many of you sweet friends are dealing with much heavier things than I could possibly fathom.  You are in major crisis from losing a child or a spouse, battling a disease that may not be cured on this earth, maybe dealing with abuse or many other things I cannot imagine.  These are circumstances that go beyond what I am addressing here.  And because of that precious friend, I am praying for you right now.  I am praying the King of all Kings wraps His mighty arms around you and carries you through.-

My purpose in this blog is for those of us dealing with more trivial things, things that are not major crisis’. Things like our feelings getting hurt by someone, stress at work or like me, vacation getting interrupted.  In these moments, we must keep perspective.    We must remember we are meant for so much more.  That more, is sharing the love of Christ.  Whether it be through missions in a foreign country, traveling to Louisiana to help victims of a flood, maybe serving at your local homeless shelter or simply helping out your neighbor–we are meant for more than flipping out over small things.  Remember that even if “so and so” hurt your feelings, 5 year old Omran Daqneesh of Syria just found himself in the middle of an airstrike instead of a kindergarten classroom.

Perspective is so important.

I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.  Psalm 34:1

 

Two Years Later…

**THIS BLOG WAS ALSO FEATURED ON THE SBCV WOMEN’S MINISTRY LEADERSHIP BLOG WHERE SO MANY OTHER RESOURCES CAN BE FOUND. READ THIS ONE AND OTHERS HERE!**

img_4884Sometimes I wonder how I even made it through that week.  I knew for a week’s time that I was going to have to confess to Jeremy.  I just had to wait for him to get home from a trip to tell him.  One night that week found me laying on the bathroom floor trying to get even a minutes sleep in between waiting for the heaves over the toilet to subside.  My entire being was distraught thinking about the fact that I may be days away from losing my husband, my children, basically my life as I knew it because of my choices.  Sin destroys you spiritually, mentally and sometimes even physically.  Confession and surrender redeems you entirely.

Today marks two years.  Two years of a journey that has gone from the greatest depths of heartache, betrayal and brokenness one could imagine to victory and hope.  You might wonder why I even ‘remember’ these specific days.  Maybe you are saying, “why don’t you just forget it and move on.”  Well, I’ve definitely moved on but let me tell you this:  trauma changes you – whether it be trauma you brought on yourself or trauma from a tragic accident, whatever trauma it is, it changes you.  That is why I remember.  I never want to sweep it under the rug, not talk about it or pretend it didn’t happen.  It’s my story, it changed me and I don’t ever want to forget it.

 I remember it for Grace:  I never quite understood what grace truly was until that is all that I could truly accept.  Grace upon grace upon grace.  My heart didn’t extend grace to others because I didn’t understand how much I needed it myself.  Yet, when it was extended to me from my God, my husband and many of those around me – it became clear what it was.   And so I remember this day so that I won’t forget how to truly extend grace to those around me.

I remember it for Hope:  Outside of grace the word I have clung to for these last two years is hope.  Hoping for different things at different times but always hope.  About a year before my world crumbled, I had bought a brand new devotional book by Beth Moore called Whispers of Hope. It was a devotional on prayer.  Yet, I never opened it.  You see, my heart was somewhere else, and I had a hard time praying.  How was I supposed to ‘pray’ when I was doing something so awful?  I felt like I couldn’t.  If I prayed, I would have to confess this thing and I just couldn’t do that.  So in those moments, because of myself, my lifeline to the Lord was quiet and that book remained unopened.  That is until everything was exposed; I was exposed and nothing was left to hide.  It was then that I came upon this book on my shelf and dared to open it.  When I bought that book, the Lord knew exactly when I’d open it. This book guided me on the days I was so lost for words, I didn’t know what to pray.  This book, which is also a journal, has written in it some of my most desperate heart cries and gut-wrenching thoughts from those first days and months.  Friend, I haven’t been able to open this book since I finished it.  I can’t bring myself to read the words I wrote.  I’m not sure I ever will.  But, what I know is that even in the midst of writing the agonizing thoughts and brokenness, I would still write out words of hope.  Just little bits of hope. “You are faithful Lord.”  “I trust you God.” Those words weren’t hard to write but at times they were hard to believe.  Yet, He was faithful.  And so, as I continue to walk this journey, I remain hopeful yet for many things.  But, I can say without any hesitation that the Lord has truly healed me, my husband and our marriage.  For that, I am eternally grateful. There are things I have hoped for over the last two years that I have yet to see happen.   When they don’t happen, I simply trust.  I trust that the Lord is working and in His time, I will see those things materialize.  I will not give up hope.

Through this journey I have learned to rely wholly on the Lord. I have learned to extend grace where before I would have rolled my eyes, judged in my heart and turned away.   I have learned that being obedient means completely surrendering yourself and doing what the Lord asks without doubt, hesitation or half-hearted effort.  So because of all I learned, I remember, I reflect and I continue to hope.

One final reason that I remember:  When I find myself hearing about someone in those same shoes, I can walk beside them in the depths of their darkness and say, “I understand.”  I can help them to know the hope of a Savior and the healing of surrender.  And before I start to judge, instead will be grace.  Always grace.

 

Two years and Hope later, I will continue.

 

 

 

These Things I Pray…..

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Sarah Vanderford Photography

I remember that day so clearly:  the day we found out we were having twins and that they were boys’.   I was going to a midwife for my prenatal care and this particular midwifery only did one ultrasound your entire pregnancy and that was at 5 months.  I had been extremely sick my first trimester, losing 15 pounds.  Morning sickness is a form of torture, I’m sure of it.  Everyone just thought that this was what my body did during pregnancy.  No one, including me, ever thought that I was so sick because TWO babies were in my belly!   So, as this day approached I was coming out of morning sickness and getting more and more excited!  We had a boy name and a girl name picked out.  We went in for the ultrasound, back when you still brought in a VHS tape for them to record the ultrasound for you and your reaction when they told you what you were having.  So after setting everything up and turning everything on,  the woman places the little instrument on my belly and immediately starts shutting everything off.  I began to panic thinking something was wrong with the baby.  She then looked at us and said “do either of you have twins in your family?”  We both said, “No.”  She replied, “well you do now!”  I began crying, Jeremy began laughing and we left the office that day completely shocked!  We now had four months to prepare for not one baby but two!  Now, here we are in middle school.  WOAH.  Being a boy mom is fun, adventurous and often times gross.  As a boy mom cleaning toilets is the worst and frequently makes me angry.  How does one miss the giant toilet bowl when going ‘potty?’  Seriously……  And as a boy mom, we didn’t dress up Barbie’s, we never played with babydolls and I don’t get to share beauty secrets and makeup tips. It was Tonka trucks, Bob the Builder and GI Joe’s all the way.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.   I look at these two boys’ today and I get excited imagining what the Lord has in store for them!  I am so excited to see the path that He has created for them.  Yet, I’m not a fool to think that path will be without hiccups, struggles and missteps.  It is starting off great though!  Our greatest hope and prayer became a reality this past year when they both accepted Christ and are now followers of Him.  There is no greater joy than to see your children surrender their lives and put their hope in Jesus Christ.  Now it is our duty as parents to nurture that by living a life that exemplifies that and also teach our children the Word of God.  We should also instill in them good manners and life skills, which includes discipline, to help them to know how to face this BIG crazy world!   I do have to say, they could not have a more incredible model of a Godly man than their father.  For that, I am exceedingly thankful.  My hearts prayer is that they will follow the lead of their Daddy.   But I will tell you this:  the number one thing that I do as a Mom every single day for these two boys is pray for them:  Every Single Day.  While these specifics I am listing are daily written prayers in my journal, often times a situation arises that causes me to pray earnestly in a different direction for them whether it be a friendship, a specific middle school struggle, schoolwork etc.  The point here is that one of our most important duties as parents is to pray unfailingly for our children.

Daily I pray over these three things:

  1. Their walk with the Lord: as they grow older that it matures and remains their focus.
  2. Protection and Strength from the Lord. Protect their hearts, eyes and ears from junk.  But when (not if but when) they are faced with ‘junk’ that they will have the strength to turn away from whatever it is and speak Truth to whomever is sharing it.
  3. Future Spouse: I believe it is so very important to be praying now for whomever the Lord has chosen for each of them.  She is out there, living her life right now. (Hey Girl!  I’m praying for you beautiful!)  So, I pray daily that the Lord is surrounding her with Godly examples in her life and that He is doing a work in her heart.  I also pray for the relationship I will have with her.  I hate that “mother-in-law” has such a negative association to it.  I pray for a beautiful relationship with my future daughters-in-law.

One day I hope to show my boys my journal of prayers for them.  Maybe on their wedding day, I don’t know?  But, what I do know is that I will never cease in praying for them.  The Lord has so graciously gifted us two precious boys to teach, nurture and love.  I count that a privilege and want to treat it as such.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, children, a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.  Such men will never be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Psalm 127:3-5 

Just a note….

 

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Sarah Vanderford Photography

I know so many of my blogs have been so heavy with emotion and I just felt compelled to write one with a heart full of joy.  I share with you an experience from this week:

I had a little traveling to do this week and one night found me in a hotel room in Winston-Salem.  I had about a four-hour drive there and I have to say, I love long car rides… ALONE!  On those car rides, I am doing one of two things:  listening to music and singing at the top of my lungs OR just talking to the Lord and reflecting. (This is why I love the new “Bluetooth” thing in cars now because people will think you are just talking on the phone not to yourself when they drive by….ha!)  So, I had this time to really just talk to the Lord, reflect over ‘life’ and just praise Him for all He has done and is doing.  And while I don’t think that we have words adequate enough to praise Him for who He is, I use the words He has given me and I love to just be able to speak out loud praises to the Lord…”You are amazing God”, “thank you Lord for all you have done”, “I am overwhelmed by You God” and so on.  Yes, those may sound like song lyrics because it may just be the song I just listened to…ha!  So, after my car ride sitting in my hotel room tears overtook me.  These weren’t sad tears though.  These were tears of happiness, tears of joy, tears of a heart that’s just exploding with gratitude for what the Lord is doing and has done over the last almost two years.  I hadn’t really just sat and reflected on it in quite awhile.  So as I sat in the quietness of a hotel room, it simply overwhelmed me.  For many reasons it did:  One, just simply for all He has done but also something else that was just neat:  —I was reviewing some reports from my blog that are sent to me.  My measly little blog that the Lord put a stirring in me to do just over a year ago.  I really wasn’t sure about this blog thing, never thought I’d be a blogger and certainly had no idea where it would take me…..{The Lord is doing BIG things in my heart and in my life!  These things will unfold as time goes on and I will be excited to share them with you!}  But on this report it told me that over the last year my blog has reached over 8,000 people.   Maybe that’s not significant in your mind or not a big number to you but to me, it flat out BLOWS. MY. MIND.  Please don’t misunderstand me – I am not trying to sing my own praises AT ALL.  Yes, it’s so neat to think that many people have read my blog.  But what I am excited about is the fact that over 8,000 people have been exposed to the redeeming love of an incredible Savior.   Over 8,000 people have been exposed to the hope of a Savior, the grace of a Savior the LOVE of a Savior.  My heart is soaring for that.  And I can tell you this:  because of this very thing – I am thankful the Lord took me through what He did.  I am thankful to have experienced what I did.  Some will never understand that but I would not be who I am today should I not have walked through what I did and if even one person runs into the arms of my God and can experience new life through Him, it was all worth it.

He has restored my soul, renewed my mind, redeemed my being.  I stand amazed in the presence of Christ.

Thank you sweet friends for standing beside, loving and encouraging me through it all.  I am humbled.

 

 

 

Laced with Grace

Sarah Vanderford Photography

My second blog is now posted on the SBCV Women’s Leadership Blog!  This one was truly tough to navigate
through.  It is a subject that is heavy on my heart as I desire to see Godly women, myself included, be bold in their faith and live it out by stopping poisonous talk and instead encouraging and uplifting our sweet sisters in Christ. My hope is you can read it with an open mind and hear my heart and true intentions in it.  Read it here!

Grateful

View More: http://sarahvanderfordphotography.pass.us/dsI was recently asked to write a series of blogs for the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia(SBCV) Women’s Ministry Leadership Blog.   I was asked to write with the focus on Helping Hurting Women.  I am excited to say that my first blog is posted!  This is truly an honor for me.  I am humbled and beyond grateful for this privilege.  Grateful that the Lord is taking something the enemy meant for destruction and using it for HIS GLORY!  Please check it out by clicking here.

Just wait……

Hello from Mexico!

One might wonder why I am writing while on an amazing vacation……well when something comes to me, it just won’t go away until I write it down.  I told Jeremy yesterday, “I’m fighting the urge to pull out the computer and type up this blog.”  His response: “Why are you fighting it?  You love doing it, so do it!  It’s not like it’s work.”  And so with that said, I am spending this beautiful morning sitting on our patio sharing with you all.

We left home early early EARLY Monday morning to come here(it felt more like the middle of the night!)  This is a vacation sponsored by Jeremy’s work.

**He earned this trip through all of his hard work last year and may I just add, he was the TOP Sales for his division in the ENTIRE COUNTRY!  I am so proud of him and how hard he works!**  

Back to the trip, we were at the resort by 11:00 in the morning.  Being that we were part of this big group, we were hoping our room would be ready even though check-in wasn’t really until 3:00.  Everyone around us was checking in and peoples rooms were actually ready so I was hopeful.  Now it’s our turn…..and I knew from the look on her face, “I’m sorry, your room isn’t ready yet.  You can check back with us before but it may not be until 3:00.”   I was bummed but we just decided to go get some lunch and hoped it would be ready after that.  You just don’t feel settled somewhere until you can get your room and just collect yourself for a minute.  We ate lunch, checked back.  Nope, no room yet.  Again, we saw many others saying they had their rooms and we just didn’t understand.  We ventured down to the pool and just relaxed there for a bit, then went and checked again. It was 2:00 so surely it would be ready, right?  “Nope, no room yet, please wait until 3:00.”  At this point I was tired and frustrated.  I just wanted my room and I just couldn’t understand why everyone was getting rooms and we weren’t.  Ask my husband, my children, well basically anyone that knows me; patience does NOT come easy to me.  It truly is a daily battle.  Something I truly have to pray for every day.   Well, my patience was running thin.  However, I just kept reminding myself, “you are on a free vacation – so shut up..…don’t you dare complain.”  So, I shut up, didn’t complain and waited.  Sure enough, right at 3:00 our room was ready.  We were taken to our room and walked in and our jaws dropped.  How on earth did we score this incredible room?  We have a corner room, central to everything, and our patio literally steps right into the pool.  Guys, it’s seriously amazing.  Some of Jeremy’s co-workers came by to visit and were just in awe of our room.  They couldn’t believe it!  We honestly aren’t quite sure why Jeremy was given this particular room,  our only conclusion is being top earnings may have given us this privilege.  We are just enjoying it!   This is our room’s patio:MexicoNow you’re probably wondering: Why did I tell you this story?  I promise I wasn’t bragging…..  As we sat at lunch yesterday I shared with Jeremy:  waiting on our room just reminded me about when we have to wait on the Lord sometimes.  God’s timing is perfect.  So often I just want to hurry it up!  I want to know something now, I want Him to make something happen now and many times, He says WAIT!  When we wait on His timing, it is SO MUCH BETTER!  We had to wait on our room all day, yet when we got it, it was perfect.  It was beyond what we imagined!  Guys, I have had a rough few months.  I have been down, I’ve been in a funk.  The Lord opened some doors for me for some AMAZING opportunities over the last few months.  (I will share those things with you at a later time as they are still in the works!) Yet, some things that I have wanted to happen, just haven’t happened yet and I was getting really discouraged.  I was going through this phase of feeling like a failure, feeling not good enough, wondering why the Lord wasn’t allowing some things to happen and so on.  Basically having my own pity party.  And some things that happened over the last several weeks didn’t help it either.  I sometimes wonder, “Why Lord, why did you let that happen?  Why didn’t you allow this to happen?  When is this going to happen” BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!  Why do I ask these questions?  It’s not like I don’t know His timing is perfect!  It’s not like I don’t understand that what I see in front of me or what I want to happen right now may not be the best.

I had been praying that the Lord would use this time away on vacation to refresh me and renew me.  He has.  Through a silly story about checking into our room He has.  Just as the hotel told us, 3:00 you can check-in – I wanted to rush it.  3:00 was the hotels perfect time, I wanted to rush it.  If I would have thrown a fit, demanded a room immediately, I probably would have got a room, even a nice one.  But it sure wouldn’t have been this beautiful room we waited for.  When I throw a fit, step out of God’s will and do my own thing…it ain’t beautiful.  And most times will end badly……     Yet, when we wait on Him, when we allow Him to guide our steps, He is honored and we are blessed.  Their may be struggle in the midst of waiting, their may be heartache, yet when we trust in Him we can have peace knowing He is in control!  I was reminded of how long some had to wait in the Bible.  David waited at least 15 years from the time he was anointed to when He actually became King.  Those 15 years were not all that pleasant.  I believe it took Samuel some 15 years to become king of Judah and another 7 to become king of Israel.  So goodness, He started teaching us early on in scripture that often we have to WAIT!  I just have a hard time getting that through this thick skull of mine.  So, if you seem to have that problem too, rest assured you aren’t alone.  He has something beautiful for you on the horizon.

Adios from Mexico.  I’m off to the beach…….

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.  Proverbs 16:9