A Marriage After His Heart

My journey and life unscripted as I transition from the role of a single mom living for God to a newlywed trying my best at blending and expanding my family, all while pursing a marriage after God and my husband's heart. Join us on this journey!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reflection on Mustard Grain Faith

I was reading through the older posts from last year on my other blog. I was trying to look back and reflect on my life and to measure the mileage on my journey from last year to where I am now. When I wrote this post, I was in a season of prayer, my now husband had just approached my pastor and I about his desire to marry me. It was something that I wanted for so long, but when it came I felt unworthy.

Fast forward a year later, I am now married to that man and expecting his child in a few weeks. We went through a period of plenty before we were married and now after being married we are now in a period of less. We have become stronger, more grounded in our faith as God has always provided a ram in the thicket, and as his word promised we have yet to beg for bread. However, that doesn't mean that we still have fears and insecurities about those things that we desire for our family. While we appreciate this time of struggle materially, we do have needs and desires that we have placed on the altar before the Lord. This post last year was of a different nature than this time last year, but is exactly what I needed to reinvigorate my faith this year. I just wanted to share and I hope that it is a blessing to some one. Be blessed and have a wonderful weekend.

Previously Posted on SingleMomForGod
I would like to share with you what has been on my mind heavily the past few days. I feel at peace sharing my most intimate thoughts with my readers, this helps me stay focused. It keeps me accountable, and I ask for your prayers that I will grow stronger in this area of my life.
As women, I believe there are times when then enemy tests our faith. Not our faith in the things we desire or ask of God, but our faith in ourselves. We have these nipping insecurities that will rob us of our joy and peace. Mine is a battle of self doubt. With this being said we have to constantly remember that we are daughters of the highest lineage and when we keep his commandments and prove him to be true to his word,then we are deserving of all the blessings he gives us.
I find it so odd that when we are growing up, we place so many unnecessary expectations and time lines on ourselves and our lives. If not careful we let society dictate where we should be in our lives at a certain time in our lives. When we start to reach those self imposed time-lines we want to panic if we are not close to our goals. This all happens simply because in our planning stage we planned, we planned and not God! Hence the anxiousness and undue burdens some women carry about daily. (myself included)There are certain things that I have been before God about, and now that I am seeing that he is proving himself to me, I find myself battling fear. Fear of unworthiness, fear that I simply am not prepared to receive the gift I have asked for. Fear of my current place in my life and all those unreached goals, and just plain old fear of the unknown. I battle fear that I should be at a certain place in my life in comparison to others who's situations are not even close to being similar to mine.
The funny thing is that this is all me measuring myself, and not how God sees me. I feel strong in my heart that He is pleased with me, so why the fear? Well I guess the fear is there because the enemy needed to clock in to work today. The enemy keeps showing me all the ways that I am not prepared in relation to my measurements. However, God is so faithful, that he will not leave us or forsake us and he will give us victory over our fears and allow us to grow into his blessings. I don't believe one bit that he blesses us before we are ready and able to appreciate, and accept what he gives us.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Love Please!!

No, I don't have Obama-mania, but I will admit that over the past couple of years I have been inspired in love with the way they openly show their love and admiration for each other. As a former loather of all things PDA, I have had a change of heart. Maybe it's because I am newly married, or maybe it's because I am finally glad to be able to see un-staged, unscripted, healthy, vibrant love on display for the world to see, by a young couple with kids. I now think it's a beautiful and healthy thing that the world needs to see more of.
Now I don't really agree with the mainstream media, who have already given them the task of restoring a positive image of "black love". I actually kinda resent it being tied just to one race. However, after much observation ( over the past couple of years) I will admit it's something I believe could be on display more openly in the Christian arena.

I mean we talk and post about all these things we need to do behind closed doors to spice up our martial relations, but publicly it just seems as though its more business as usual. I see Christian couples out together, out spending time with the kids and all that stuff but I don't see much of the flirting, the sparkling looks in the eyes, the playful looks that can only be understood by the couple but felt by anyone within close proximity.

mark and I on our last night of our honeymoon.

Mark and I get tons of heat from some, even family about how "all up under each other" we always are. We get lovingly teased in church because we sit so close that we read from one bible. We hold hands while we drive and when we are out eating, we always sit at a booth and next to each other. I mean, it's not tasteless making out, but we do sit close, we walk close, we are engaged in each other when we are out and the girls think we are romantic. After we came under heavy fire during the holidays from a close relative it hit me finally that the world is not used to seeing the effects that Godly love between a husband and wife portrays. He gets called hen pecked, whipped, nose wide open and other such crazy things, and while the criticism may hurt a little, we both know we were not being vain, but humble about how we feel about each other.

Sadly, many of my friends and relatives outside of my church peers aren't used to seeing me or with someone who is attentive to me, who never leaves the room without asking all if there is something he can get them while he's up. They aren't used to seeing true chivalry. The chivalry that is alive in my husband is only because it is a virtue that God put in his heart. He doesn't try to make the other guys look bad, I don't try to make the other women look like I am "oh so holy", but we revel in how God has ordained for us to treat one another; and while it would seem more tempting to retreat and fall victim to the lie that we are causing an offense, we have just purposed that we will continue to bask in the miracle of the love that was made and given from God. Truly of ourselves we are not deserving, but God gave us a testimony and we will share it as humbly as possible and stay true to ourselves. We are in love, and the world doesn't want us to show that openly.

I think about Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. In my mind this applies to not only how I conduct myself as a Christian, but how I advertise my marriage.With all the superficial filth and the demoralization of love in our culture today, true and blessed love from God between two people needs to be displayed openly. I'm not talking about only a "yes dear, submissive, obligatory love, I mean constant aura of courtship and bliss. I also don't mean that we need to compete with the overly sexed make out sessions, and walking around with our hands stuffed down each others britches, groping and falling all over each other displays of affection. But there needs to be something that isn't always seen as so serious or starch collar.

We don't need to walk around looking as though we love each other out of obligation as if we sleep in the same room in separate beds with wool night gowns donned with stocking caps either.We want this world to once again embrace the sanctity of marriage, the beauty of biblical courtships,and the true grit of sticking it out and weathering the storms. We want women to embrace biblical femininity, loving submission, and to turn away from the detrimental viewpoints of our feminist counterparts. We want more men to be strong, biblical, loving heads desirers of all things lovely,well who exactly do we think is going to advertise this? Certainly not this mainstream, anti-family culture! Not Hollywood or the music industry with its carefree love and overly sex crazed ideology of the perfect life. Yes, we have books, but really and truly they often begin with good intentions and then dwindle away once one's attention span has been distracted by "other things".

People are more drawn to the images they see. They are more drawn to love in action versus love in words. Christian couples are the dwindling light that is becoming overshadowed by the darkness of lust, divorce, fornication, and all things contradictory to the word of God.So with that being said, I encourage us all to try a little harder to show the world outside of blogging and writing about how happy we are, and how much better having a strong marriage is than the alternative the world has to offer. Maybe we need to outwardly show that we have happy, loving, fun and flirtatious marriages a little bit more. I believe that a couple can be together so long that they just fall into a routine lockstep and really aren't aware of our presentation or lack there of of our contentment vs complacency.

We can compete with them, I believe we do out number them. Why? Well we all believe that love conquers all and according to Scripture love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never fails.

edited to add: I added photos' of VP Biden and his wife Jill, because I love them too! They are the coolest granparents and a cute mature couple!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Lady Thoughts and Baby Update

May I always look at my husband with this much pride, love, assurance and awe! I am so thrilled to have such a wonderful model and example in our new First Lady and Mom-In- Chief.
The way she supports her husband so full of grace has always inspired me. When I saw this photo I felt it captured a time-less view of her love and admiration for her man.

On a different note, a quick little pregnancy update. The family and I went to my ob visit for my ultra-sound. Earlier I said we were praying for a boy, well we're not 100% sure but it looks like another little woman in the house. I will admit, there was a brief moment of disappointment, the girls immediately broke out in tears, they were so praying for a "baby brother" and my hubs who is excited that we are having a healthy baby tried to hide his temporary let down of the male desire to father a son. I must admit I shed a tear or two. I had a strong desire to give my husband a son, but I am glad to be giving him a child at all. We sucked it up and my soon to be middle child ended the note with " It's okay mommy, as long as we have a healthy and very pretty baby sister, we'll be fine!" So, we are fine!

I am in the beginning of my third trimester and feeling pretty good. I am just trying to get my body ready for the birthing process and fuel up so that I can breast feed with no avail. After reading Anna's birthing story, I have been searching out Douala's in my area so that we can sit down and come up with a good birth plan. To this day I still feel the after effects of my epidural ( migraines, black-outs, constant pack pain due to the injection site not closing as fast as it should which resulted in my leaking spinal fluid) and I am really leaning to investing in a birthing ball, and to try to labor as much as home as possible before going to the hospital.

I have had the unfortunate experience of having both my water broken and my labor induced and I have no desire to travel that road again. I won't swear to a natural birth, but I want it to be as natural as possible meaning no induction or labor or forced breaking of my water. Time is winding down and my excitement is growing. We welcome advice here, so feel to pass your stories along!

Monday, January 19, 2009

This Moment in History

I have sat and thought a lot about today, tomorrow and my true feelings about it all. During the election I sometimes felt as an outsider by the anti-abortionists, anti-socialists and the other anti- Obamanites. I supported Barack Obama although I didn't agree with his stances that directly went against my Christian beliefs. As much as I searched in my heart, my support for him was like having to choose between the lesser of two evils.Yet still, I hid my enthusiastic pride from my blog on Nov 4th when he was elected the first African American President of the U.S.
I honestly tried and was successful in removing race from the forefront during the election year, but then again, how could I honestly remove all my racial ties from a candidate who for the first time in history was more like me than the other guy?? Truth is, I couldn't remove it 100%. The parts of me that have spent all my life fighting racism was pulling for him. That part of me was rooting for him, not as a savior to my race, but as a history maker that defied the odds. So many times I read blogs and try to remain neutral even when I sometimes wonder if certain assumptions are made based on stereotypical data. I am a Christian wife and mother, an avid follower of Jesus Christ but before people see that, they see my color. Not always in a negative way, but still the honest fact is that as a human race we cannot remove color from our daily lives and I just refuse to pretend that it's non-existent all together in the land of Christianity.
You see, for my daughters this week is a monumental event for them. Sydnee, my eldest has met former President Bill Clinton twice in her 9 year life time. Once when she was only 6months, and once last month when her school was chosen to hear him speak. She was excited to have him autograph the picture taken with him when she was a baby, he was very willing to oblige her request. While that was a "cool" moment for her, her wishes now are to meet President Obama. People sometimes tell her she favors his oldest Malia, so she is now fascinated about the "two black girls who get a chance to live in the White House"
That statement alone resonated with me. From my mother's generation of living through the civil rights movement here down south, and living through de-segregation (she was one of the first students to go to her high school after it was de-segregated) and now my daughter some 40yrs later talking candidly about the two black girls who get to live in the White House really means something. My mom and my daughter can now take part of a compare and contrast conversation about two equally important events that happened within their lifetime.
My mom who when at my daughter's age didn't have quality text books versus my daughter who can write a book report on the first African American First Family. It's history, it's beautiful, and it's something that I refuse not to acknowledge because I didn't grow up in my mom's history. I refuse to dis-engage myself from this precious moments because society ( even black society) now feels that racism is over and my generation has disgraced the Civil Rights era. I won't pretend that this isn't a proud moment for me because people think we have played "the race card" so many times. I believe that my God in heaven would want me to be proud. I believe that He allowed this moment in history to happen for a reason. I won't sit back and wait for him to fail because that would not reflect the attitude of my Father. I will be proud for him and his family, I will be proud to live in this moment in history, I will embrace this moment and I will not be ashamed. We have come very far as a nation and as a race, we are still healing, but we still have so much farther to go.
photo taken from www.democraticstuff.com