Monday, December 6, 2010

super abundantly

I sit at the computer listening to Christmas music while the older three play in the backyard and Jude sleeps. This is why I love Homeschool. We needed a break FIRST today. So this afternoon we will School and this morning we will play. Everyone needs a morning to play.

I drive a 1997 Suburban. It's leather interior is torn in many places, the floors are stained and I sometimes have to pop the hood to lightly hit the ac compressor with a hammer in order for it to work (something on the list to fix). It's brown, not too shabby on the outside and gets me and the four kids to wherever we need to go. AND it's paid for! We paid cash so we would not have a car payment. A vehicle without a car payment is the best kind to have. 

Last weekend I drove up to Walgreens for something we needed for the outside Christmas lights. When I went to get out of the suburban, the handle would not open the door. I panicked. How was I going to get out of the car without looking like an idiot climbing over to the next seat? Of course I called Jeremy and said "Babe, I am stuck inside the suburban and I can't get out!" And in his calm, country sounding voice he says, "Oh yeah, I knew that was about to happen. Just roll down the window and open the door from the outside." So that's what I did! The door handle is fixed now because I am married to a man who can fix just about anything (except the ac compressor I mentioned above). Not only is it fixed but I have a brand new door handle on my suburban. 

Almost four years ago when the Lord moved us from Dallas/Fort Worth to the Austin area, I was not prepared for all of the change that would take place in my life. Being removed from family, friends and everything familiar revealed a lot to me about myself. I soon found out how broken I was and how much I had relied on people and things to fix my brokenness. It was the greatest thing that could have ever happened for my marriage because we were removed from family (which has always brought a lot of conflict to our relationship) and Jeremy was finally free of his job at UPS. Living with a man who HATES his job is not fun. He had worked for UPS for 13 years and then he didn't. It was like I was married to a new person. I never knew how much his job had played a negative role in his life until he resigned. 

God did so much when he moved us. I often refer to "Dallas" as our Egypt because it truly felt like we were leaving a place that had us trapped in bondage to many things. A bankruptcy stripped us of everything financially and the three hour move from Dallas to Austin stripped us of comfort. Everything was new. If you would have told me five years ago that I would be driving a 1997 beat up suburban instead of a shiny brand new SUV and NOT be embarrassed, I would have laughed in your face. This is why I love my suburban. It represents so much of the work God has done in my life, in my home and in my marriage. 

After my "Walgreens episode" with the door not opening, I thought about it later that night. I thought about rolling down the window, reaching out and opening my door from the outside. In many ways, that is exactly what God did in our lives when He moved us here. He separated us from everything and everyone and many times we felt alone, stuck and discontent. We longed (more so me because Jeremy has ALWAYS loved it here) for change again. I felt like if we could just go back to Dallas where family was and my best friend that everything would be okay again. Then last year we thought we were moving back. Something was changing with Jeremy's job and we thought he would be moving to corporate. But the door closed. I was sad. Jeremy was relieved. 

No matter how hard I tried, I could not get to a place where I felt content. I kept looking backwards and wanting to go "back". Then last October, after running the Chicago marathon, I began to hear whispers from the Holy Spirit. I kept hearing "It's time to build your family." I was ready to run my third marathon but God had something different in mind. For a few months I struggled and continued to feel stuck. In many ways running for me was something that filled a space but God used it to allow me to work through so many things. This was about the same time the "Dallas" talk came about and we thought we could be moving back. 

Then one day I was running down 1660 South in Hutto, finishing up a five mile run when I relinquished control and quit trying to yank the door open. I had been LISTENING to the Father the entire five mile run and I heard Him say "Let me show you something new. Let me bring a new chapter. Allow me to love you and heal you in a whole new way." Something happened on that run. I received peace as I placed all of my dreams at the alter, allowing HIM to give me new ones. 

In many ways I continue to see myself like my suburban. Beat up, broken but still running! Just as Jeremy continues to work on my car and keep it running, my Father in heaven continues to restore the broke down pieces in my life. It's a process but if I didn't allow Him to do the work, Jude would not be here. I am thankful for being broken. I am thankful for being stuck because HE always comes to my rescue. He opens the door every single time and shows me something I didn't know was there.

He restores. He heals. He loves. He forgives. He blesses. He makes ALL things new.

Revelation 21:5 (Amplified Bible)

5And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine).

Thank you Father for the broke down pieces in my life that you constantly restore and replace. I love you Father.

Thank you Lord for the SUPER ABUNDANTLY you have given me!

Ephesians 3:20 (Amplified Bible)

20Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]--


Wendy said...

Amen! It has been so awesome to see how God has been working in your life the last few years. Thanks so much for always sharing your heart, and the journey. You have been such a blessing to me!

Kelly Ann said...

This post makes me happy in my heart..on lots of levels! :) I love that you found freedom today in schooling and in the schedule. I want to hear God the way you do. I want to be better at being still and LISTENING. I love that we are ALL under construction. And I love that we have a Father in Heaven that cares enough about us to heal, restore and refine. And...I love you! :)

Minnie said...

This blessed me beyond words!!! I love you, Friend.

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful picture of what God is doing in your life. I love that He can restore and redeem anything we give to Him. Thanks for the wonderful pictures you share of God's undying love for each of us. Oh, and I an TOTALLY with you on the paid-for cars driving the best!! :-) Love you!!!

Kate said...

oh how i love this post. can totally relate and fully get it! eph 3:20-21 is my fave verse.

Kelly said...

LOVE this.

Needed this today.

I will probably be back to read it again tomorrow.

Thanks for your encouragement...

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!! Makes me feel not so alone in what seems sometimes like a world that's consumed with consumerism. I drive a 2000 Chrysler mini van. We paid cash for it and we love reminds me every day of how we worked together, as a team, to save the money for it and we owe nothing!!! It's awesome! :-)

I love the way God is constantly working on our hearts and in our lives...I love the way HE challenges, molds & changes me..

Thanks again for sharing!! You are a blessing to read, as always.