Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No Rush

Often people ask me how I will serve Tim in his ministry life-- in what way will I come along side him? I have been asked the same question when it comes to our church life-- in what way do we desire to serve?

Tim and I are both servants. We love to help out and do things for other people. We have no lack there.  When we became members in our church we were given a list of places to serve and I felt like taking them all on.

But I am in no rush. I realize I have gone through many changes over the past 12 months and I am still processing this. I need time. I love the States and it's the place to be for me, but after having been in Holland for years and rebuilding life there, it's quite the adjustment to live here again. I need time. Married life is beautiful, I am loving life, but at the same time this too is a major adjustment. I need time.

Tim and I were very intentional about getting people involved during our dating season and engagement. We wanted people to come alongside us and have a deep look at who we are, what we were doing and where we were going. People who knew us well. We loved doing our marriage counseling both in Holland and in the States-- we couldn't get enough input. We both want to build something healthy, strong and fun. A firm foundation is important to us. And building that foundation is not something that is built in that premarital season alone. In that dating season you work through things, and you talk about what you want married life to look like, but it isn't until after the vows are taken, that we actually put things into practice. We have been very real about creating healthy patterns in our relating to one another and building our family, but of course old patterns do come to the surface as you truly start doing life together, and for us that was after exchanging our vows on our wedding day. It's not till you live under one roof that you really get to see someone's habits and ways. And thus building that healthy and strong foundation is something that is happening now more than ever, and it's something I want to be really aware of and concentrate on. And that being said, in all these changes this past year, and now working on our foundation, I have not been in a rush to take on anything else.

Of course we talk a lot about Tim's ministry life and how I fit in. There are times for sure when we work on things together regarding his work. To be honest, I can't wait to get to Gabon and meet his Gabonese family. I always tell people I know Tim's work on paper, but I really want to see it 'live'. We did take a road trip to some of his US church partners in November and that was a great way to see him at work. It got me excited. My hands are aching to get to work. But for now we are limited. I can't leave the US until my immigration process is completed and for now that won't be for another 4 months or so. I am not allowed to work just yet-- another immigration 'issue'. And that just fits right into us being able to build that foundation we desire. I love that I have this time to just be and adjust. I love that Tim is in no rush and gives me all this time.

And I am not worried. With our personalities we will always be on the look out to help others, come alongside those who are in need, acknowledge our neighbors. Just not in a formal role. And I think that is wise, for now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Often I am impressed with my husband, some time in December was one of those times I was really impressed with him. Tim understands the concept of leading our family, and for now, that is me. He took the lead in something that was REALLY important. I am so grateful I married a man who listens closely to God's heart, wisdom and ways. And when it comes to me, Tim wants to do right by me and be my helpmate. Sometimes that means taking a strong lead.

Both of our lives have changed drastically in a short period of time, but I think it is fair to say my life changed more than Tim's life did. I moved across the ocean, I gave up family and friends, I gave up the home I loved, bought and remodeled, I gave up my production company, and thus my career, if you will. Now, I gave all this up willingly and, to be honest, it was easy to give up. Tim is God's gift to me and everything in me knew that. There was only one way to go and that was to go west and forward. As we are working on my immigration process I am somewhat up in the air with things. I am not allowed to work and am adjusting to our new life. That is not always easy. And thus Tim prays a lot for me and is trying to figure out my needs in all of this.

The morning after God told me to 'just walk and not talk', Tim came downstairs and said he had been thinking and praying a lot about what's right for me these days. I am no longer working, and according to Tim, not using my talents like I used to. Besides... I was so concentrated on him, our home and the homemaking, there had to be more. Tim had been praying and said the following: “I have made a decision about something. I love all that you do for me. You take such good care of me. Your dinners are amazing! Our home is taken care of! You are awesome! But I just really sense you need to stop some of that. So for this coming week I don't want you to clean, cook, bake, do laundry or do any type of grocery shopping. I can do more, and I don't need to be made into a lazy person. I will pick up some chores while you just go out and enjoy yourself. Go see Melissa, go out for walks (knowing that is what I love to do) and I think you need to start picking up your camera and start taking photos again. You do know that I love you no matter what, right? Not because of all you do.' Little did Tim know that God had already told me to stop 'the doing' the day before. That I was still processing, but now for Tim to basically tell me the same thing was a hard pill to swallow. I knew he was right. He led it in such a powerful, strong and loving way that I knew he wasn't asking. He was hearing from our Lord. And there is nothing more beautiful than to follow a husband who is not afraid to take the lead and can be trusted. And so I followed.

The first few days I was doing really well with it. I started to rest, and boy did I need a rest after all the doing and after all the life changing events. What a relief that he was giving me a break. But after a few days, it started to get harder and harder. I felt so guilty. How could I not do anything for us? Tim was working long, hard days in his home office, and I couldn't stand to see him make his own lunch, tidy up the house or make sure dinner was on the table.

And then I had to be honest... I was not only trying to earn God's love, I was trying to earn Tim's love as well. Oh my, not a good thing! It felt like Tim had stripped me of everything, and yet his love was steady. A steady love I have never experienced before. So no dear one, I was not so sure of your love. I guess I did not know you'd love me even if I do nothing. I did not know that my actions do not influence your love for me. We have talked about it since and the new concept is slowly reaching my heart-- I know I can trust this.

I am excited to grow in this area and I know this isn't about Tim stopping me when I go overboard. This is about finding balance. It is about healing. And so I not only embrace the word LISTEN, I also embrace NOT DOING!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Word

Last year I read some blogs where some people had a word for the year.  They would pray about the word God had for them at the beginning of the new year.  A word to live out, a word that held promise, a word God had for them personally.  I thought that was pretty cool and I wanted a word.  Right away I sensed that God had the word JOY for me.  My life had been pretty tough up to that point and I didn't really know what to do with that word.  So I just accepted the word, and even though very foreign, it held promise for me. Little did I know....

36 days later I met Tim and I knew God was doing a new thing. 2012 turned out to be all about joy.  Joy I had never known.  It was fulfillment.  Dating a true gentleman-- someone who was just so very sure of me, someone caring and strong.  An engagement that was very sweet and exciting.  Planning our wedding was a super joyful experience for me.  And the outpouring of love from friends was a gift that touched the depths of my heart.  To witness true friends being extremely excited about this event in my life was such a joy.  So many people happy for me!!  So much joy!

With 2013 coming into view, I started to think about the 'word for the year' concept and I wondered if God had a word for me for 2013.  Right away LISTEN came to mind.  I knew what God meant by it, and I really wanted a different word.  I didn't like this word.  But I know God has something in store with this word.  So as 2013 unfolds I am embracing this new word and wonder how it will impact me this year.  How LISTENING will impact me!

Something happened to me in December, during my morning prayer walk on our property.  As soon as I got out of the house God told me to just walk and not talk.  I love my morning prayer time.  I love to intercede and pray for friends, and especially my husband.  I see it as my job to pray for him, and I love it!  And for God to tell me to just walk and not talk was really hard.  A few weeks before, God pointed out that He wanted to love on ME as I walked.  That concept is sometimes really hard.  I grew up in a broken family and love is hard to come by in such circumstances.  I learned to earn love.  So to be quiet and not earn God's love is hard.

It makes sense that God would give me the word LISTEN.  I think He is doing a new thing again. There is growth to gain.  To learn to 'just be, and listen' will not be easy, but nevertheless I am looking forward to this year because maybe I will learn more about the gift of listening.

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Blog

Although this blog is new, blogging and writing is not new to me.  I am a writer, I need to write.  Sometimes I have these creative waves and it just has to get out.  I am also one that needs to process and writing is a great way for me to do that.  I love to share life in a deep and honest way.  I have always shared my life openly, in the good and in the bad.  I like to be real and I truly dislike putting on a mask and putting up a front.  To me there is also beauty in sharing the difficulties in life because I know I am not alone.  Somewhere, someone has gone through the same or something similar.  There is beauty and power in friendship, and in people coming alongside one another with encouragement.  And by sharing honestly I know people in return have opened up.  It's good all around.

But this blog does feel a little different.  Besides my regular audience, this blog is read by a new audience, for one: Tim's friends and family. And for the most part, Tim's audience doesn't really know me.  I loved meeting many of them at our wedding and look forward to getting to know everyone more in the coming months.  I can't wait to get to know people who are dear to him.  But for now it is a little 'scary' to share my heart with people who do not really know my heart. 

So here's to a new chapter, in a new book. I no longer write as just me.  I am now a 'we'.  God has brought me the answer to my heart's desire in Tim and I can't wait to write many more chapters together!