Today my sister and I had a nice talk and she reminded me to enjoy this time because pregnancy flies by and i'll miss it! I love chatting with her and being her little sister. Melissa and I didn't get along great growing up but she is one of my best friends and knows everything about me and still loves me! She's seen me at my very worst and very best and still talks to me, i'm lucky! It's a blessing to have two sisters that i can go to and feel safe and who always refresh me!
I miss my husband so much lately. Last night i had a wonderful dream that he was home and we were eating chicken wings that HE brought home and we were talking and laughing and catching up, it was so much fun. (i was craving chicken wings before bed ha) When i woke up and realized that Darren was across the ocean still, i could have cried! But I'm filled with a lot of hope since this deployment began. I have been able to spend a lot of time growing and learning and i wouldn't trade that! God had a better plan and has used this time apart from my husband to rebuild and strengthen me. He doesn't allow me to have pity on the situation i find myself in. He has placed so much love into my heart and shows me too much to be thankful for that there is not much room left to feel sorry for myself! This is a blessing :)
I want to share with you how God has worked through a gift given to me last week. It opened my heart to things i wasn't expecting.
This past week my sister in law Ej sent a halfway box, since it's now over halfway through this deployment, yay! She was thoughtful with each gift in there and proved how well she knew me! I couldn't believe how much she'd done for me. There was even a note and picture in there from Darren. It was fun to dig through the box and marvel over each thing and think, she is the best! Then after i'd set it aside i thought well what can i do for her? I need to repay her somehow. Don't lose that thought it's key for later!
Then i was presented another gift this past week that was a big financial gift from someone close to me. Immediately i could not think of accepting because it seemed to be too much. I talked to my dad afterwards about this and he told me i needed to accept it and i thought immediately how can i repay him for all this person has been doing?
Then i was laying in bed and feeling wide awake the other night. I couldn't stop thinking about Jesus and what He'd done for me. I started thinking how horrible I am at accepting gifts from people. It has nothing to do with not being grateful, but i feel very undeserving! Anyways it led me to think about how Jesus DIED, gave His life for me. This is something that i believe down to the very core of my being, no doubt in my mind. A man named Jesus took my place and was killed. As i was a sinner, Christ died for me. This gift is beyond anything i've ever been given. It entails eternal life with my God that i wouldn't have had if not for Jesus being perfect and being a savior to me. I'm always humbled by these thoughts but that night it hit me especially hard as i was faced with a question directly from my God. 'Laura, have you accepted this gift in your heart of my acceptance of you?'
Of course i have accepted that i thought! But then the next thought was, if i truly had accepted it, would i stop trying to earn my way into heaven? I realized there's nothing i can do to repay what Christ has done for me.
A prayer i prayed weeks ago was answered! I asked God what was i missing about our relationship...and he answered in a way i never expected. To accept the gift of grace and Mercy that comes with the cross, isn't easy because it's nothing that i've done but said yes to Christ. He loves me, regardless of the choices i've made.
I have and will fail, miserably! But God's measure of me is not by what i've done, but by what Christ has done for me. He covers me with the very blood that was shed for all of us. I've never been good at accepting gifts so this particular gift that someone died in my place is especially hard to swallow. But i'm loving how God is working in my heart and strengthening my faith.
I was given a few gifts this week that i'm now able to appreciate more and be excited about! I'm sure there will be opportunities down the road to show my appreciation for each of these people that have given to me...but for the time being i'm accepting!
Never thought i'd be learning how to accept gifts but that's where i find myself this past week :). How i perceive myself isn't always great but this was challenged this week. If i can understand more how God sees me, there will be much freedom in how i live my life. Pray for me as this is not an overnight change! I'm taking each step i can to let go of insecurities and move forward in God's grace.
Awana this past week was wonderful with the cubbies! There were four little girls that have found a special place in my heart already. This one in particular makes me laugh with everything that comes out of her mouth. To hold a smile the whole night because of one small child is amazing to me! She was really touching my heart with her questions and constant flow of 'whys'. 'Why you wanta hava babaayyy' 'You-a missa youra babaayy' Like i said, she was funny. I needed that laughter though! It was very refreshing and i'm looking forward to spending this next Wednesday with them singing songs, talking about girly things, hearing stories about Jesus, and hearing the verses they're memorizing.
Tomorrow is the second week of our ladies bible study and already it's been a blessing! I enjoyed getting to know a few ladies i've not talked to and this week am getting together with a new friend for coffee and other fun things we have yet to plan! We're going through the book of Ruth which is an incredible story, but that's for another time. It's good to dig apart God's word and learn from it though.
Alright well i am going to get back to my hot chocolate and book :) I hope you've been having a great weekend! I sure have church was awesome, the colts won, and tomorrow the packers play!.