Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 20 - Love is Jesus Christ

This day reminds me of the song East from West by Casting Crowns. Christ says that he forgives our sins as far as the east from the west. Yet in the bible it says we will go the the seat of judgement. I struggle with the thought at times of all the "sinning" that I have done. My big ones I should say. Daily I struggle with the "little things" but to God sin is sin and holiness is holiness. So, I just have to choose to wrap my arms around God's forgiveness. I just can't imagine that in my worst moments that he wants to forgive me. My heart is in awe of the love and forgiveness that Jesus' blood has covered for me!

So, I do want to give Jesus all of me again. I know, because I am a controller, that I want to hold on to parts of my life. I have that wrong thinking that "I can do it". I will give it over again and try to leave it at the feet of the cross and just rest in his arms. I need to remember that I am a child and as a child I am to take instruction and if I do not follow I will be corrected. This was a day that was a bit heavy but in the end I feel excitement because I know that my eternal destination in heaven with my Heavenly Father!! I know that he will carry me when I am down, all I have to do is ask!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 19 - Love is Impossible

I am secure in my relationship with the Lord! I had messed up my life in such a horrible way that I knew my only way to sanity was through him! Each time I choose to step aside and do it my way, it seems like everything goes wrong. For me, I accepted Christ on the worst day of my life but isn't amazing that God changed that day for his glory! He made it all about him instead of that destructive day being all about me and how bad I messed up my life.

I know that I still need strength and grace in a huge way with the challenge of day 6 - Love is Not Irritable. I struggle with my mood at times. If I feel out of control in any area of my life my tendency is to "control" everything else. It hurts everyone around me and gets me into a mess each time. My biggest struggle is that Andy is still smoking. His addiction is so strong and I can't imagine what he goes through daily with his conviction to stop. I know he desire is to stop but it has not happened in the past 2 yr since his heart attack. My struggle is making it about me. I know that I make a conscience choice to get worked up and then be short with him. I allow myself to go down a destructive path an think about what it will be like to be a single mom since I feel he will die so young and leave me alone with OUR children. Those actions and reaction do nothing good for me though. I know that if I were to take it to the Lord in prayer and plead with God that He will hear me and he will give Andy the strength some day. This is my largest lesson in control or maybe 2nd. Once I gave up controlling Andy's drinking he became sober, so I am really working on releasing this too~

This verse has changed our marriage and I just love both versions! This is my prayer today....That I will put my words aside and show Andy my love and adoration with my actions! So hard, I love to communicate....I have to learn that words don't need to communicate everything though!!!

1 Peter 3: 1-2 (New International Version)

1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

1 Peter 3: 1-2 (New Living Translation)

Wives 1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 18 - Love Seeks to Understand

We finally got a date night! Since Andy's mom passed away a month ago, life has been hard. We have bee busy trying to catch up from being gone 9 days and each of us have been dealing with our emotions in different ways. I have been sick but planned a date night anyways!

When we have a date, it's always enjoyable and peaceful. We talk but we do not normally try to learn something NEW about one another, so this was fun! I brought a list of fun questions to talk about. I would ask him a question and learn something new about Andy's dreams, passions or his past. The biggest thing that I heard was Andy's level of contentment with his life. One question was, If you could change places with anyone in your sphere of influence, who would it be and why? Well, he said no one. He said he loves where he's at and no one he knows has a better life than him!!! He does not envy another persons family or things more than what we have. This was just such a gift to hear because like many other people, we have taken a huge hit with this economy and life is hard financially, he just lost his mom, and we have been through so much pain in our marriage... It was just so comforting to hear that he would not change any of it. He would not even make it easier! I respect my husband even more just knowing all this and I would have never known if I did not ASK!!

I will continue this journey! It was so fun! We laughed so hard about each of our answers at times but most of all we talked about so many new things, we just don't do this very often, so it was a treat! I plan on getting a fun book of questions and will take it on some date nights and maybe just bring it out instead of watching TV some nights, it sure was fun to learn new things about my husband who I have known for 14 years!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day #17 - Love Promotes Intimacy

Well, to be honest. I am all or nothing in this arena. I can be a great listener or I can sit there and think the whole time he talks about what I will say next. I was really convicted by this from our bible study this week. I do not see myself as an active listener,just a listener. I like to debate, in a healthy way. I love communication and to learn all angles of a topic that we are discussing. I love to be a student and then teach what I learn! I know that Andy would be happy from time to time if I would just listen and hear his heart, that is it! Not add my little thought or my feeling about what he said.

I do have to say that I have grown miles and miles in the past 11yrs in this. I would slam him in most conversations for about 8-9yr. I have learned to listen alot better. I have not "slammed" Andy in a long time, since I realized that it is all about my selfish desire when I do that anyways.

What I have learned today is that I need to hear Andy and not look into what he is saying. Because he is a man, he normally means just what he says...Unlike women who speak in code alot of times =) We had our first good talk, last night, in 3 weeks. It was hard because I did not agree with Andy but we really made it through the conversation and we were able to hear our hearts in the end. It was good. I hate when life gets to busy and we put one another aside, it hurts...I need to grow up and put Andy first on my list again!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day #16 - Love Intercedes - Nicole

I sure have experienced the power of prayer! As I shared with you, Andy's birth mom just passed away on Feb 13. We were across the country in Pennsylvania when we got the news. There was nothing we could do but there was so much to get done. We needed to see how we could afford plane tickets when it's already tough to meet bills, who would watch our children, where would be stay in Idaho, when would we leave, how Andy would still keep business running in Arizona & this would mean a 2nd week of me not being able to work also.

Well, after we wipe away a million tears all we could do was pray. These were too many details for us to meet under such stress. On top of all that we were in PA helping Tim Kimmel with Family Matters @ this Weekend to Remember Conference. We had a big responsibility and we wanted to do a great job for his ministry! So, in our silence, we just prayed and prayed and prayed. God, we are helpless! We are away from what we know and where we can get help. All we have is you!! You are all we need and here are our needs. We need you, we love you and we know that you work all things together for good, so will you take care of our details? Will you carry us through God, this is way to big for us!

Here is how God pulled it all together in just 3 days! We were given a gift of plane tickets, Our children went with friends and our parents, We were on a plane the day after we came home from PA to Idaho. We were invited to stay with Andy's cousin Jim & Jill in Idaho and they also drove us around for those 4 days we were there. The funeral as beautiful and Andy & I were able to be with, love and serve his family in Idaho for those 4 short days! The pastor even gave the message of salvation during the funeral, it was just awesome! One of the greatest things also is that at the marriage conference, marriage were restored, rekindled, learned to pray, learned to put God first, learned to fight fair and learned how to respect one another. There were so many people who gave their life to Christ, people who recommitted their life to Christ and those who are choosing to allow the Holy Spirit to work and not them anymore!

So, our God is so big! He can cover the details in life if we give them to him! Walking in faith is a hard thing to do but it was the biggest gift we could have received at that time! It is an honor to pray for Andyduring this time, this is hard and I can't fix it but through daily prayer, God will do for him what I cant!

To God be the glory, even in the sudden loss of Andy's birth mom Kristy! This is a song that I sent her thanking her for giving Andy such a gift, life! If your life is touched by adoption, I am sure you will love this like us. It means even more today that ever!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Please forgive us....

We are so sorry for not having a post for awhile.

We were attending an incredible Weekend to Remember Marriage conference in Hershey,PA this weekend when we got news that Andy's birth mom has died. This came out of no where and needless to say, we are struggling with her loss. We found her 3yrs ago and have loved getting to know her and our new family, so it makes this loss hard because we were just building a relationship and loving it. We are flying to Idaho Tues-Fri this week to be with the family and attend services.

If you would, keep us in your prayers, we would be so grateful. Neither of us have ever lost anyone close to us, so these are new emotions and feelings that are coming up. Also, "grandma" is still alive and this is the 4Th child she will bury on Wed. Her other daughter died just 2 mo ago from brain cancer, so please life her up too, her name is Evelyn~

Thanks for understanding, we will be back to the blog soon!
In Him,
Nicole & Andy

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day #15 - Love is Honorable - Nicole

I know that Andy loves when I seek his input about any situation. The other night I had a situation that I needed his guidance on. I asked for his advice and wisdom about a big decision that was brought to me. We were able to talk and he was able to shed a LARGE light on the situation. He opened my eyes and helped me to see the next steps that I need to take. It was so enjoyable to "talk" together. I do love when he is sharing his wise words with me. That is a way I can honor him more, bringing him into my world and allowing him to speak into it.

I struggle with independence and making quick decisions. I have a great group of women in my life that I am able to seek advice from. They are godly women and I trust them with my life. I am blessed to have these new friendships with these women but I can tend to rely on them vs Andy at times. If I disagree with their idea it's no big deal if I make a different choice. If I disagree with Andy I don't want him to think I am stepping over him if I do not go with his idea.

So, I know that I can honor Andy by seeking his wisdom or advice more often. I can seek his guidance, even on the little things. I know it will bring us closer and help me to be ONE with my husband! It will be a great example to our children too... So, once again, I have a bit of work ahead of me! I am excited to see what will happen! I love to seek out what the bible says, ask my mentor to guide me or even call a friend but I need to change up that order for some decisions!

I know I have not been the most regular with my "Dares" but every time I do them I really have an opportunity to search my heart and relationships...not only with God and Andy but all those who are in my life! It just brings me to a place of gratefulness for all the incredible people God has brought into my life!