In constant pursuit of coffee and Christ

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Worthy of The Call

Today I grabbed what I refer to as my 'drama mug'

This mug was originally given to my sister, Jules, by a guy that was crushing on her in high school. How I attained it I'm not quite sure! She knows I have it and I have offered it back several times. Every time I drink from this mug I am reminded of how much I love my sister and how far our relationship has come. We were far from friends during my high school years. What we have now is a beautiful, loving, trusting, friendship that I would value and protect even if we did not share DNA. I love my sisters!

While flipping through the pages in Bears kids Bible I stopped on the story of John the Baptist, a passage I am more than familiar with and have even done studies and taught on several times. I'm not sure if it was the simplicity of wording, the fact I was reading aloud to my son, or my current heart and mindset, but this passage hit me in a new way.

100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs
 created by Stephen Elkins 

John did what Jesus asked of him, despite his feelings of inadequacy. In John 1:27 we hear John the Baptist say " He (Jesus) is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie".

What would have happened if John had looked at Jesus and said, 'I'm not worthy Lord, don't make me do this. I don't want to fail you. I'm not good enough. What if I drop you in the water and make a fool of myself? I won't be able to show my face out of shame. Pick someone else'.

John wasn't exactly new at baptizing. Matthew 3:5-6 tells us "People went out to him (John) from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan river". He was comfortable baptizing those he knew were not the Christ. He had developed a comfort zone, one that was demolished, or at very least expanded, when he did what Jesus asked of him.

How has the Holy Spirit been asking you to step up and out of your comfort zone? Will you be willing to place your fear and self doubt aside and trust in His calling? You can do it. Trust me, it's worth it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mopping the Kitchen Floor

This morning I chose Ben's blue mug. 

Ben shares in my affinity for coffee and their receptacles, so he is always on the look out for our next mug just as much as I am.

For the last several days I have been brought to the passage of scripture where Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before his execution. Seriously, for at least four days, I have fallen asleep and been awakened with this passage on my heart. Until yesterday, I really wasn't sure why either.

Correct me if I'm wrong but, I believe we're all guilty of not accomplishing something because we 'don't feel like it'. For me, this is almost always mopping the floors. I could vacuum all day, brooms are OK, but hand me a mop and all of a sudden I've lost all motivation. Why? Not a clue. I just really hate moping the floor. Maybe because having wet socks is such a pet peeve of mine. Whatever the reason, the fact remains, the floor must be mopped.

'Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.'  ~ Luke 22: 39-46

Jesus didn't feel like being crucified (who can blame him!), and earnestly sought out the face of God for another way for our sins to be forgiven. BUT! He submitted His will for the plan and purpose that God had set before Him, taking up the cross and dying so that our sins could be forgiven and our souls gain unending, undeniable, access to the throne of the Father. WOW!

Another passage that means so much more to me now is the passage that speaks of how we are to operate as a Christian household, specifically, Colossians 3:23 'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not people', and in Ephesians 6:7 'Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people' and again in Colossians 3:17 ' And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.' 

Whatever we do, whether we feel like doing it or not, no matter how trivial and mundane the task, we are instructed to proceed as if Christ himself had asked us to accomplish it. Yes, even mopping the kitchen floor!

On that note, I have bathrooms that need a good cleaning so I'm going to dust my mop off and get busy! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Seabee Wife's Beginning

Today I chose my U.S. Navy Seabee mug.

Drill weekend is never convenient. I was not feeling myself yesterday and knowing that Ben had to leave for the weekend wasn't helping. When he decided to leave early this morning, in place of last night, I was elated. Yes, even with the 4:00am wake up. I would love to sit here and tell you that I am fully prepared and confident for when "the call" comes and we're pushed into deployment mode, but in all reality, I don't think there is ever a way to be fully prepared. 

For those reading who may not understand the contract, a reservist is active reserve for 6 years, during which they must take at least one deployment, and inactive reserve for 2 years of an 8 year contract.

Ben and I celebrated 7 years of marriage on July 13th, we have been a couple for almost 13 years, and have known each other for over 20 years. The idea of an entire year without him home, especially now that we are parents, is a difficult thing to wrap my head and emotions around. The 7 months he was gone for basic training and A-School were hard, and that was back when it was just me and the furry babies. 

Back in high school we started discussing our post graduation options. When Ben said he would like to be a Navy Seal someday I knew right away how great he would be (he still would). I also knew that I did not want that type of relationship. I expressed that he would have my full support, I would write, I would pray, I would always be a listening ear, but I would not be in a relationship with a Seal. I wanted a home, a family, a husband who was around and that I was allowed to know where he was when he wasn't home. Their lifestyle simply does not align with having a successful family life (for most, not all), and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you're aware of what you're getting yourself into. He decided not to join, and I always felt like I had done both him and our military a great disservice.

I went through a time where I was jealous of his desire to join the military.

Why isn't our life enough? Why can't he be happy and fulfilled without joining? Aren't I good enough, exciting enough? Why does he want to be away from me? Don't I make him happy?...

I was struggling with my own insecurities and feelings of being insufficient, and could not see that his love and relationship with me had nothing to do with his desire to join.

Being in our military is part of what God has called Ben to do. Once I got over myself enough to realize that, that his desire to join had nothing to do with me or his happiness with me, that God Himself had placed those desires in his heart. I was humbled. I was corrected. I was mortified at the thought that I was holding him back from achieving his full potential as a man of God. 

I cannot stress enough the importance of supporting, edifying, praying for, and pushing (by positive reinforcement) your spouse. Don't take it personally when they have desires you don't understand, instead pray about how you should respond. The idea for Ben to join the Navy after college was not his, it was mine. He had given up, "I'm too old", "they probably wouldn't take me", he said. "You're never allowed to be old" I would say (Ben is a little younger than me, so if he's old, I'm old and that is just not ok with me), "they will love you. You're exactly what they're looking for".

We started doing our homework, researching the different rates (jobs) within the Navy and where he felt he would best fit in. We contacted a local recruiter and the process began. Let me encourage you, if you or someone you know is considering joining. DO. YOUR. HOMEWORK. Talk to others who are already serving, don't just take the rate they offer you. Know your options, know your rights.

Ben needed to join to be complete, a fact I wasn't ignorant of and am, finally, not intimidated by. I'm by no means taking credit for his success. He has gone above and beyond, as he always does, and there are no words to express my pride, love, and admiration for the man he is continuously becoming.

*This does not mean that I am always thrilled with how our government functions or appreciate the continual change of schedule. 

How can you encourage your spouse? Whatever their life's desire is (as long as it's healthy for them, their relationship with God, and with you/family), SUPPORT! Pray for them, encourage them, pray together. Don't let your fears, insecurities, vulnerability get in between your spouse and what God has called them to do. Let me encourage you in this, their calling will complement your own. I have always been very patriotic and even considered joining the military myself several times ( I even had a pretty incredible offer! ), I am incredibly sensitive towards our troops and will befriend and defend them all if I can. Now I realize that this patriotism is not just part of my character, it is part of my calling. I support our great nation, I support our troops, past and present, and I support my husband.

"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11