Those of you who have been reading for a while know what we were going through a little over a year ago with Steve's job. And earlier this week I mentioned that Steve's manager at work had turned in his resignation. This really sent Steve reeling as this man (a Christian) was very much a mentor, a friend and someone who stood up for Steve many times. While Steve was still trying to get his feet under him, the owners came in today and told Steve's manager to just pack up and go.
I can't tell you what this has done to Steve. You know how you get angry on someone else's behalf when you feel they've been "done wrong"...well, that's how Steve feels. For at least 4 years now we've prayed that God would remove Steve from this job and provide something else. And each time, God's answer has been a definite "NO". I have spent more tears and prayers asking for guidance over this for Steve.
Given all that's happened this week and in the weeks leading up to this time, we believe that they may indeed shut his part of the company down soon. I can honestly say, without a doubt, this is as low as I have ever seen Steve in our marriage of nearly 12 years. He has shed tears, even sobbing, feeling that he is in a field all alone with no direction on where to go. He is angry with God for allowing the injustice of it all and he truly does feel all alone. I am at a loss for what to say. Steve knows deep in his heart that God has a plan for him and that if he will be still and wait that He will provide. However, when you are in the midst of the storm, it is hard to be still on a boat that seems to be rocking back and forth perilously.
I am crying out to you to stand in the gap for Steve right now. Pray for a peace of mind and focus on God. And pray that God will give very clear guidance on what we are to do. Also, pray for me that I will have the right words to say to Steve to soothe him. I feel that because I have begun to get my spiritual life back in order that Satan is attacking me by attacking the one that I love the most. I refuse to give in to him. Please approach the Throne as often as you think about for us.
Thank you dear friends...
I've been crazy busy at work with meetings solid for the past two days which makes me very behind on my regular work, emails and phone calls. I am afraid that this is just the beginning though. Also, this week Steve found out his manager is leaving the company. This manager has really done alot for Steve...taken time to teach him, mentor him and really been his advocate. He truly has saved Steve's skin several times. Of course, now we are back to wondering what in the world will happen and whether Steve will have a job in the future. We are praying sincerely about it. I feel the Lord is telling me that if we will just be still, He will take care of us. But being still is way too hard! :) Just something else to put on the prayer list!
Really, there's not that much else going on. No exciting plans for the weekend, but I'll keep you posted.
First of all, thanks for all the prayers for Steve's parents. His mom is still recovering and doing pretty well. Still a long road ahead. Steve's dad remains in the hospital with some hopefully minor complications. Keep them in your prayers...
Also, not on a health note, but on a prayer note, remember my niece in your prayers...I'll call her "G" since this is a public blog...she's embarking on a cross country drive to the west coast. She's only 19 or 20 and I'm sure this my BIL and SIL worried sick. Pray for her and them. The Taylors sure have a lot going on right now.
Finally, ending on a happy note, I had my second weigh in at Weight Watchers today and lost another 2.8lbs bringing me to a grand total of 5 lbs! I was very happy, although trying not to let my day/week be determined by what the scale says every week.
That's about it for now. Will try to keep everyone posted this week.
Thanks to all of you who read my last blog (epic) and commented on the blog or in person. I have found so much support through all of my friends. Just remember, this is an ongoing journey for me and your prayers are still needed.
Thanks again for those that have asked and prayed for Steve's parents. His mom is still at home and recovering. We went by the hospital last night to see his dad and she was there visiting. She just looked so much better being by his side. If there's one thing I wish for Steve and I, it's that we will be as much in love with each other after 50+ years as his parents are.
His dad is doing OK too. He looked good last night and you could tell he felt better with Mary at his side. They are hoping he will be able to go home tomorrow or Tuesday if things continue to go well. Because of all the blood thinners he was on, he's still passing some blood and they were checking that out tonight. We haven't heard the results of the test yet.
Neither of them are out of the woods totally yet, so keep them both (and all the Taylors) in your prayers.
Well, tomorrow is MLK day and Jenna is out of school and I'm off work. Hooray! I have no plans except to do a tiny bit of work at home and then maybe have lunch with Hannah and Rachel. I'm supposed to go to a jewelry party tomorrow night and Steve and Jenna are going to the DLES girls' basketball game. But we'll have to play that by ear depending on what's going on with the parents.
That's about it for now.
Before I start, let me give you all an update on Steve's mom and dad. Mom is doing better, but still has a LONG way to go. Steve's dad went into surgery to have his defribrillator inserted late this morning. I went to the hospital to sit with the family for a while. The surgery ended up taking nearly 4 hours. It was very difficult and there were complications. Apparently the doctor didn't get the wires placed exactly where he wanted them, but everything came out fine and now it's just the recovery. While we were in the waiting room, I was witness to the people sitting behind us being told that their loved one did not make it through surgery. It was awful to hear and it was very surreal to be a witness to someone's life being changed so dramatically.
That's a pretty good segue way into my story...
For quite some time, I have not been where I need to be in many areas of my life. Most of it has to do with my spiritual life. I had tried over and over to pray more, read more, study (not just read) the Bible more. And I'd try and do well on these things for a while but then I'd miss a day, then I'd get back on track. Then I'd miss another day or two but get back...you know how it goes. Eventually, I'd give up trying...at least for a while. After a period of time feeling guilty, lost and frustrated, I'd try again. And I'd fail again.
My life as a mother and wife was the same way. I'd think I wanted to do better with being a good wife. Being married nearly 12 years, you just lose some of the romance that you once had if you aren't careful. I'd decide I wanted to do better with that and I would for a while. I'd make a mental note to do something nice for Steve or do something that I wouldn't normally do and then I'd forget and slip back into my comfortable life again.
I'd promise that I'd do better at reading to Jenna, at playing more with her rather than sitting in front of the TV or the computer. I'd do that for a few days and then I'd think I was entitled to a few hours in front of the TV. Before I know it, I'd be yelling at her to be quiet so I could hear the TV.
Then there was the physical part of it. I'd try to go buy clothes and I'd get depressed over how overweight I'd gotten. I'd join Weight Watchers, lose a few pounds, gain a few, lose a few and then get frustrated that I couldn't eat what I wanted and just give up.
And somewhere along the way, things went from bad to worse.
Spiritually, I was as dead as I'd ever been. I just gave up trying to do any kind of Bible study. I did my morning devotional which took about 5 minutes and that was it. No praying, no nothing. I'd still have a good time in Sunday worship. The music still brought my emotions to the surface and I still loved to hear the pastor preach. I'd even pray during the prayer and altar time. But then, I noticed that started to taper off too. I got to where even though I enjoyed the music, it didn't touch me like it used to. And I found myself making mental to-do lists during the sermon rather than listening. And it wasn't long until the fact I was SO far away from God just didn't even bother me anymore. And KNOWING that it didn't bother me bothered me. But I didn't do anything about it. I just didn't care. I began to contemplate whether I wanted to even continue going to church seeing that I was getting nothing out of it.
Maritally, my relationship with Steve became more like a roommate relationship. We were in a routine...get up, go to work, come home, watch TV, go to bed. And then the next day started it all over again. We were barely talking and while we weren't unhappy, the spark was missing. And again, I just didn't care to do anything about it. I figured it was the same as the spiritual things I was going through..."WHY BOTHER?? Not like anything's going to change anyway."
Physically, I really quit caring. I just ate what I wanted, when I wanted and I enjoyed every minute of it. I quit looking at myself in the mirror and I certainly didn't go clothes shopping. It got bad enough that I resigned myself to buying my clothes as Lane Bryant so that I would be comfortable. No reason to diet because I was just destined to be this size. Might as well enjoy the food while I could.
Even financially...I'd tell myself that I needed to not spend any money on wasteful things and things we really didn't need. And then I'd go to Target and spend $125 on just random stuff.
But outside of the spiritual slump, I think it was parental responsibilities that suffered most. Looking back on it now, it's almost more than I can take thinking of how badly I treated Jenna. It got to where I would find any excuse not to play with her. I'd just as soon as sit in her bedroom all night with the TV on so I could watch my TV or read or work on the computer undisturbed. I was so, SO short tempered with her. I was NOT being the parent I knew I could be.
It was almost like I was addicted to spending, food, eating, ignoring my family etc. I knew I needed to change, but I had failed in EVERY aspect so many times, that I decided there was no point in trying anymore. This is just the way I was destined to be.
I'm sure to most of my family and friends reading, this is probably a pretty big shock because I rarely let on to any of them (even my closest friends) what I was going through. I mean, why talk about it when nothing was going to make any difference? I had an idea that if I could get my spiritual life back on track, that the others would fall into place. But my spiritual life was probably what was the furthest off track.
And then, something happened...I was at church one Wednesday evening in August maybe? I was sitting in the hallway with Rachel waiting on the girls to get out of choir when a mutual friend of ours, Jamie, walked up and was just all aflutter about a new Bible study that she and Rachel had attended for the first time the night before. She asked me why I hadn't come since it was located right in the little town that I live in (as did she and Rachel). So, they invited me to the study and I decided right then, that this would be a good thing for me to do. I always try to participate in things that are happening in "the hill" because I really enjoy not having to commute 20+ minutes to get to and from activities. So, the next week, I picked up the study book and headed off to the Bible Study leader's house. She lives just in the subdivision across the street from me and it's probably only about 200 yards from me as the crow flies. I didn't know hardly anyone in this study. I knew the leader mostly from seeing her singing in the choir and from our Thailand trip. I knew a few of the other ladies by sight, but not personally. But I can honestly say that this group and study turned my life around. It was a Beth Moore study and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I didn't miss one Tuesday night! And just so you know, the facilitator of this study, who graciously opened her home to all of us women is Leigh Ann whose blog link you can find right here on my page (extremely entertaining writer, so be sure and check her out).
It didn't happen overnight. In fact, it took the entire study before I realized what I had been going through. I had allowed Satan to talk me in to living a defeated life. Everytime I tried and failed at changed, I was defeated a little more until I didn't have the courage or energy to try again. And that's EXACTLY what Satan wanted. He has nothing to worry about as long as you are sitting around on your rump not bothering to try. It was during that study that Beth Moore mentioned living a defeated life and that was the moment that Satan's attack was revealed. Very slowly, I realized I DID care about what was happening to me after all. And I wanted to change. But I wasn't going to make these pie in the sky promises to make a miraculous turnaround. I knew I could only change a tiny bit at a time if I wanted to succeed at all. For me, complacent = defeated. But not anymore.
I joined Weight Watchers and I have NO EXPECTATIONS from week to week. My first week's goal was simply to buy and take a multi-vitamin and TRY to eat better. Not to deprive myself of eveything that tasted good. I met my goal and lost a few pounds in the process.
I bought the Chronological Bible, the Apologetics Bible and the archaelogical Bible and I committed to read the Bible every day. And if I missed a night, then I committed to not give up but to keep trying again and again as long as it took me to be successful. Leigh Ann gave me some good advice and that was to not expect too much of myself in this area. If I didn't get to read in all three Bibles or missed a day or two or even three of reading, just to pick it back up and try again. I have kept this in mind as I go and so far, I've managed to read AND make notes in a journal I bought about the things I am learning. The new Bible Study has started and I am doing that nightly as well. My time with my Father is just wonderful now. I still have a LONG way to go, but I am definitely making my way back.
I try to pray every day. Not just a quick thanks, please help and forgive me prayer, but a real, ACTS prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication) on my way to work after dropping Jenna off. Some mornings, I forget or my cell rings, but I don't allow myself to feel defeated. I just pray when I do think about it or try again the next morning.
I'm praying for more patience with Steve and Jenna. And I can tell you, I feel the difference! I will look at Jenna and the word "patience" just comes to my mind and heart. I know it's God's nudge to remind me of my desire to become more patience and loving toward her.
Life is just improving all the way around. Last week during the video for our first week, Beth Moore talked about God pursuing us. And it was so crystal clear to me. I could see in my minds' eye, God pursuing me through my friends, Rachel and Jamie, by inviting me to this study last fall. During those long, dry months of my life, as far away as God seemed, He NEVER stopped pursuing me. I picture Him walking the halls of our church and standing near as He nudged Jamie and Rachel to invite me to the Bible study. And I wonder how many times He was there, coming after me over and over again, trying to encourage me to turn back to Him, but I just was too involved in myself to feel His tug.
Like I said, it has not been easy and I'm no where near where I need to be in any of these places of my life. But I did not end up where I was overnight and so I will not be able to dig my way out overnight.
I won't quit though.
Not this time.
Not ever again.
I've been pursued by the Father. And I'm going to do my best to pursue Him back.
We've had alot of other things going on, so I'll try and touch on a few here...
Finally, here are some pictures of Jenna at her first horseback riding lesson 2 weeks ago. This weekend is supposed to be bitterly cold, so I doubt they will have them this week. She's going to be disappointed, but that's just the way it is. It's better for the horses to have a week off when it's so cold.
Jenna is finally back in school and we have settled into our routine again. On our last day off, it was about 70 degrees (yes, in January!) and so we spent some time at the park. Since everyone else was already in school, the park was completely deserted and I took the time to really play and be a kid again. Here we are in the tunnel slide. I'm embarrassed to say that I could barely fit in it! (it IS a kid's slide after all!)Speaking of not being able to fit into places...I had my first week's weigh in at Weight Watchers on Tuesday and I lost 2.2 pounds! Hooray for me! I worked pretty hard at eating better. My goal for the first week (besides losing weight) was to get on a multi vitamin, which I bought and have started. This week's goal is to take the stairs at work more. I only work 2 flights up and in the mornings I always walk up. But many times I ride the elevator. Week 3 I'm going to try and get at least one day of exercise in. I'm starting with very small goals so as not to get discouraged. Thanks to all my fabulous cheerleaders! I have had friends I didn't even know read this blog encourage me and that was just wonderful!
Oh, and something so very exciting for me (and other girls I know) is that my women's Bible Study started again Tuesday night! I have SO missed this time. I never remember looking forward to and not wanting to miss a study like I have with this group of women. It's also fabulous to be able to leave and arrive at my house 1 minute later! Living on the outskirts of town usually means at least a 20 minute commute! I am eventually going to post a very long post about my life changes and everything I've gone through in the last 6-9 months. It's definitely a journey I've been on and I have been thinking for some time about blogging about it, but it's one of those things that I have to have time to sit down and think about and really spend time doing. Hang in there with me because I'll get to it. It will be a very personal post though.
Don't forget to also keep Steve's parents in your prayers...
Another first was on Saturday, Jenna attended her first horseback riding lesson and loved it! I have pictures, but I don't feel like uploading them now. It was freezing cold and rainy, but not enough to stop them riding. I stayed out the whole time and watched. I know it must have taken me about 2 hours to thaw myself out!
Today was also my first WW meeting. I'm not EVEN going to tell you how much I weighed in at, but suffice it to say I have to lose 40 pounds to get to the HIGH end of my "ideal weight" (who thinks of those things anyway!?)
Another first for me is that I tried to give blood. Yes, key word is "tried". It really wasn't the first time because I gave about 9 years ago at work and ended up sitting on my head because I quite nearly passed out. But that was forever ago. Time to give it another shot (no pun intended), right?!
Not so much.
I ended up on my head again. Not just feeling like I was going to pass out, but nauseous and clammy etc. So, my motto is, "Once a fainter, always a fainter." Neither time did I go all the way out, but it is most uncomfortable.
I'm beat tonight, partly because I'm a huge bag of blood short and the other because I am back to getting only 7 hours of sleep when I have gotten used to at least 8 1/2!