Monday, May 25, 2015

He wrote me this letter...

Okay, so it was a Facebook post for the entire world to see.  But it's made every tear, every heartache, every moment of brokenness, every prayer so very worth it.  I wouldn't have seen these words even a year ago.  Yeah, this is big, guys.  Never in my entire life has my Superman made me feel so loved and honored.

Dear Rachael,
You have given me a lot to smile about over the last seven years. I know I have been a challenge, but I am grateful for the challenges that you have given me. I am so thankful that you never gave up and you kept on persevering. Where others walked away and gave up you stood there toe to toe with me against all kinds of adversaries. You have brought lots of smiles and laughter to my heart. I cannot ever thank you enough for the encouragement that you poured into me. I am so grateful for your love and strong willed determination to see me grow in the things of God in spite of the trials and the hardships that I dealt with. I have watched you grow in the things of God. I am glad that I played an integral role in that. Seven years ago, God used me to introduce you to things about the Kingdom of God and then like an untamed thoroughbred take off in all the things that God has for you. One of things that makes me love you more and more each day is how you get ahold of things and then I watch you just take off. I love that you throw caution to the wind and jump in head first. Even when you are afraid, you don’t let it show. To me you are the standard of a Proverbs 31 woman. My heart trusts in you because of the God in you. Looking back seven years ago and looking ahead to the next seven years and beyond my life would be an empty and void if I did not get to live it with you.
You are my Wonder Woman; I love you with all my heart,
Happy 7th Anniversary
Your Superman

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Untitled Project

I've probably start, stopped, and rewritten this post several times as I've processed what happened with my husband's second heart attack.  And I'm still processing.  I'm just going to be real here.

I have a new found admiration for every family member that has to sit with anyone they love in the hospital.  They are the ones that have to fight for that one they love in that hospital bed.  In my case, it was fun because my husband was totally drugged and was saying things like, "Awww, you're so sweet to me."

Did I have my Daddy God to lean on?  Absolutely.  What I found out is that people I thought were friends really weren't when it got down to walking the talk.  One person out of hundreds actually showed up in person.  One.  Know what I needed that week?  Real, actual people.  Those who will come sit with me through hours of waiting while my husband was in surgery.  Someone who would have offered to check in our kids while I was at the hospital, maybe taken them some meals.  Someone who would have reached out with a hug to me and said everything was going to be all right.  It would all be okay.

I just learned those willing to go that distance don't often exist.  And I'll admit, I'm pretty disappointed in my circle of so-called friends.  Everyone worries about that person in the hospital bed, forgetting on the opposite side is someone they love having to drop everything and care for that someone they love dearly.

Let's not forget the hospital staff themselves.  If there's one thing I can say to the hospital my husband was in is that they really, REALLY, need to get on the same page with hospital policies.  Being told one day, yes, I absolutely need to stay with my husband from a hospital administrator after being told by a nurse that I couldn't stay the night, and then the next, being told by yet another nurse I couldn't stay at the hospital overnight and sleeping on a waiting room floor, knowing my husband was going to have a second surgery the next day... that was more upsetting to me than anything else.  The nurses don't even realize how much work I saved them staying in the hospital with my husband. 

And now, my husband is back at work after being fully released by his cardiologist, and now, because someone up high seems to think my husband had open-heart surgery (he had a cath procedure to place stints), they're not letting him work OT, which puts even more stress on me to work to make up for the difference. 

Am I angry right now? You bet.  I am angry that my husband hasn't taken care of his health all these years, though I am proud of him for changing his eating habits and adding exercise.  I am angry at the hospital staff.  I am angry because I just can't seem to get a break from working, when I need for things to get paid off so we can get out of debt.  I am angry at God because I feel like He's letting me down right now.   I am angry for all those people who say, "Yeah, I"m your friend," but don't show up when it's really needed.  I'm angry. 

So there, God.  I've laid it down on the table.  I know you know how I feel, but I have to ask you what you're going to do to show up and keep your covenant of faithfulness to our lives.  I have to know.  I have to see your hand working here. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dear Pam

My dearest Pammy,

You died today.  Those are three of the most difficult words for me to type, because with it, it brings finality to that dash that lives between the moment you were born and the moment you died.

Your husband said you died peacefully, as well you should have, because in our many talks, I wanted to make absolutely certain you knew Jesus as your savior.  So I know that all of heaven rejoiced the moment you arrived, fully healed, fully whole, and I'm sure you were overwhelmed as Jesus enveloped you with a bear hug like only He can give, and you felt His love and joy permeate your spirit.  In that vivid picture in my mind, I can totally rejoice and feel great excitement for you because I know you're healed.  I wouldn't be surprised if you told me He had chocolate ice cream ready and waiting for you.

But back to that dash called your life.  What you did with it, as I reflect on it, I am grateful to be a small part of it.  I say small because you were a lot larger than life.  I don't think you even realized the countless lives you've touched.  But I quickly saw it, as I watched the messages pour into your Facebook page.  I saw it when I walked into your hospice room, your mom snuggled up with you in bed, fiercely loving and protecting her daughter, tenderly stroking your face.  I saw it as I watched your husband wrap his arms around you as you talked about needing to go to bed.  I saw it as you wrapped your arms around his neck and peace poured over you.  I saw it in every moment we were able to hang out.  In those moments that I wanted to bless you, and you instead blessed me.  I saw it in your Facebook posts, encouraging others that sat in the chemo room at the hospital.  Even your team of doctors knew it.

You carried a light inside you that was God's gift for the world.  There was always just that something about you that a stranger on the street could spend five minutes with you and that person would walk away feeling like they were loved and that they mattered.  Words of affirmation, totally your love language.  Quality time, totally your love language.  Still to this day, my daughters love your nail salon.  If mom was going to Miss Pam's, everyone wanted to come. 

You touched my life in such a way that your death is hitting me hard.  Nothing more so than just because I'm going to miss your very presence.  No more talking at 2:00 a.m. because neither one of us could sleep.  No more time spent on HAR.com.  We really did spend a crazy amount of time on there, trying to find us a house.  No more talking about matters of the heart.  No more talking about your chicken pot pie recipe or any other recipes.  No more sitting there chatting, drinking our HEB Texas Pecan coffee from your Keurig, watching our kids run around together, playing or napping on the floor.  No more trips to the NASA Space Center together, and no more Mexican food green sauce at Moreno's.  It's the littlest things I will miss that were really big things.

Neither of us wanted your life to end because of cancer, especially not you.  Yes, it's a reminder as women that we need to make sure we get yearly mammograms.  But even more so, it's a reminder to make sure we all know who Jesus Christ is, and that we've accepted His free gift called salvation.  You were young.  Perhaps it's easier to deal with death when you know the person is old, and they've lived a full life.  But then again, you lived a full life in all of your 29 years.  I know I don't need to worry about Tanner, Jacob, and Aubree.  I know God's got them, and they're going to be okay.  I know you're a part of their great cloud of witnesses, cheering them on as they run their races. 

And now, you're a part of mine.  Thinking about that makes me smile.  And I hope you've met my dad by now, because he's quite ornery and fun to be around.  As I wonder what you thought about your mansion in heaven, I can't help but smile at what your reaction must have been.  I smile at the thought of you being introduced to colors you've never imagined here on this earth, wondering how you can get a nail polish in that color. 

We're going to celebrate that dash soon as we lay your earthly body to rest.  I'm going to smile, and I'm going to probably cry.  I'm going to listen as others share stories about how you've so profoundly impacted their lives.  You are so worth celebrating. 

I love you, girl.  And I just miss you. 

See you again soon :)

Rach

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's being made new...

Over the past week, I've felt this void in my heart that some wives have felt before. You know the one.

Does my husband love me?

So I've turned to my Daddy God to fill this need. He awoke me with songs in my head like, "Arise, my Love" and "You're Beautiful." I know how much He loves me all the way to my inner being.

This void, though, this ache, this longing still filled my heart.

Does my husband love me?

"Yes," he says. "With every bone in my body and ounce of my blood."

Good answer, Superman. :)

Still heart aching.

And then, my husband stopped to pray over me yesterday, which is one of the ways he makes me feel loved and cherished.

All the people in the world can love me, but there is nothing like my husband's love being shown to me. There's nothing like God loving me through my husband.

And today, I know my husband loves me.

The Promise Keeper

Good night KISS from Heaven:

I hear His whisper...

"I long to be more real to you than life itself. My promises are more faithful and true than you have ever imagined. The power of My Word has sustained you through your life and holds you near My heart. Even now your heart beats because of My promise to you when you were conceived -- 'You will LIVE.'

"I call you to walk upon the water of My Word, to trust in My promises more than sight or human skill. My Word is your strength and I have never failed to keep every promise I have made to you. My Word is more tangible and real than anything you see, for all that you see has been made by My Word. All things are held together in space, on earth, and in you, because of My Word of power. I call you step into living by faith in My Word and let all that distracts you fade away.


"Believe all that I have spoken to you about your family. I will complete the beautiful work I have begun, trust in Me and rest in My promises over you and those you love. Believe all that I have promised you concerning your finances. Am I the God of Abundant Supply? Do I not provide for the birds, for the animals of the field, and for everyone of My sons and daughters? For you are the most valuable and costly part of all My creation. Sacred blood dripped from the Tree to show you My love for you. If I have given the blood of My Son to redeem you, will I not also give you everything you need as you walk with Me?

"Speak My promises over your life. Read the Words I have promised you in My Holy Book and make them real by faith. Place your hands upon My Word, for they are tangible, and trust in Me-- I will not fail you, for I am your Father and Great Shepherd. Speak My promises over your family and over every need you have this day and you will see the deliverance of your God! Believe when all around you is contrary, for then you will demonstrate the power of faith. I have rewarded everyone who comes to Me in faith. My reward is My promise completed and My presence sealed upon your life. Rise up in a new wind of faith this day and you will not be disappointed. Take the steps that I call you to take, believe as you hold My promises, and the miracles will flow into you. Faith is the victory that you need, My promises are the seeds of that victory. Overcome in faith and you will see with your eyes the Kingdom of Heaven before you."

Hebrews 3:12-14 The Passion Translation"So search your hearts every day, my brothers and sisters, and make sure that none of you has evil or unbelief hiding within you. For it will lead you astray, and make you unresponsive to the Living God! 13This is the time to encourage each other to never be stubborn or hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14For we are mingled with the Messiah, if we will continue unshaken in this confident assurance from the beginning until the end."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Knowing the Power of Sonship

This is straight from The Passion Translation's page on Facebook last night. In the midst of where I am, I am posting this right here on my blog, because it's for me. Just so I don't forget about it and can come back and read it.

Good night KISS from Heaven:
I hear His whisper...
"I will give to you a new heaven and a new earth. I am the God who makes all things new. I will renew your heart and spirit this day to know Me as the God of Heaven. My presence, My Immanuel, lives in you. Where My presence abides it is heaven. What makes the heavens full of glory is My presence, for where I am, glory is found. Living within you this moment is the heavenly glory that I given to My sons and daughters. Many look away to heaven and fail to embrace eternal life within. For everything that makes heaven real, lives in you, My child.
"The heavenly reality will be made clear to you. Soon, all that is around you will become nothing more than trinkets compared to the glory that is within you. My endless grace has opened a fountain within you, pouring satisfying streams into your thoughts, your emotions, your very soul. This grace-fountain will be the source of life, heavenly life, within you. Love, joy, peace-- is My presence in your soul. Fill your heart with My words and more of heaven will flow into you. Never say, 'I am rich and in need of nothing,' for that is the boast of the Laodecians who must come to Me and buy gold, so they can be truly rich.
"Heavenly life is My portion which I share with you today. Have I not seated you in heavenly places and enthroned you as My overcomer at My right hand? All that I am I give to you, My heaven-born child. Receive yet more and drink of the water of Life that flows from before My eternal throne. Drink deeply of the substance that pours from Me. Heaven's gift is yours this day.
"Let your mind be renewed and brought into a heavenly perspective. I have you taken your true life and it is now hidden in My realm of glory. Set your eyes and your affections on heavenly things and watch the healing of your heart be complete. I have a heavenly eye salve that will cause your eyes to open to the brightness of My glory within you. I have pure white robes to place upon your inadequacy and weakness. I bring My children into My courts as they see what I have provided for My household. As My children praise Me I open greater doors into glory. Come into My world, for I have come into yours. Seek My face, forsake your habits of passivity and stir your heart to come into the heavenly chamber. For I am the God who makes you new, strong, and courageous."
Psalm 26:6-8 The Passion Translation
When I come before You, I’ll come clean,
Approaching Your altar with songs of thanksgiving;
Singing the songs of Your mighty miracles.
Lord, I love Your Home, this place of dazzling glory,
Bathed in the splendor and light of Your presence!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Three. Little. Words.

"Guard you heart," a wise woman recently said to me.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked in hopeful desperation.

As the conversation continued, God gave me so many answers to how I handle things His way when the enemy attacks. I know I forget so often that really, I don't fight against my husband. I fight against what the enemy is doing to attack me and the foundations of my faith in Jesus Christ. Three seemingly innocent words have given me the very key to what changed the very atmosphere of not only my home, but my marriage and my family as well.

Things like feeling myself gearing up and bracing for what was going to be a sure argument? Didn't happen. Instead, it turned into a very peaceful discussion over the next few hours. I found out so many things on my husband's heart and mind as we talked. In that moment, God even answered a prayer of my heart nearly seven years in the making in showing me what our life ministry is together, and why we're here in Houston to do it.

And setting out to honor and serve this man of mine, once my enemy in marriage and now my ally, that's opened up even more unexpected doors. I know so very soon, the freedom I've been waiting for him to experience in Jesus Christ will happen. It's not all about him. It's all about me, about the hope I have in Jesus Christ that is connecting me to God's heart and love for me. It's putting on the full armor of God and taking a stand with the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, and that breastplate of righteousness. All three guard my heart.

But knowing that I can hand my heart to the Father and say, "Guard it!" that's where my hope is found. That's where my true rest is found. Keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open to what my Abba is saying, giving me promptings to how I can love my husband more, serve him more, and honor him more.

After all, my husband's name means kingly. Should I not honor the king of my home as we walk this life together? Superman, I love you even when you don't love yourself so much. I know that very soon, you will find true rest.