If I could give you all hugs that were THIS BIG, I would.
Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to read my posts yesterday - readership was at an all time high, While I don't write to see my page views climb, it was awesome to see so many of you were reading and I value every single one of you!
So, to keep you interested and provide you with a little bit of humor on this sweltering hot (so hot, you can actually SEE it) manic Monday - I would like to share something I found completely amusing.
Stardoll.com is one of my girls favorite websites. Think old fashion paper dolls meets the beauty of the digital age. Countless dolls with outstanding wardrobes, all onscreen and minus those really annoying paper tabs. They have all kinds of celebs to dress up - from Miley Cirus to Lady Gaga. From Kim Kardashian to Brittney Spears - they are all there. We usually just do the random star and imagine the giggles, confusion and fun I had when I came upon this.... I was like, "Whaaaaaat?" and then had to dress him despite Raegan's pleas to skip to someone more fun.
I've written a few things here where I admitted that I found myself to be a "Jesus Girl" but not a "Church Girl". For many years, I argued that you didn't have to attend church to be considered a Christian, and I was just as much of a Christian as those who attended multiple times a week.
I didn't always feel that way though, and that certainly wasn't what my Grandparents instilled in me. He was a life long, well respected Pastor, and my Grandmother served right beside him and loved Jesus with her whole heart.
From infancy to age 14, we attended church regularly. My father was a youth pastor, and my mother served in the Children's Ministry. I accepted God's salvation through His son, Jesus when I was 10 years old. I loved, valued, and treasured my church family and my extended family who worshiped at the same church. My happiest childhood memories are from that time.
And then, one day...
Everything - Church, Family, Devotions - all of it.
It has since remained one of the most painful, deeply buried, most detrimental things of my youth.
From that point on, I would always get very defensive when someone would say that I couldn't be a Christian if I did not attend a church. To be honest, I thought that was ridiculous. Even from a very early age, I knew that relationships with God were very personal, intimate, and constant. God still loved me, listened to my prayers and forgave me of my sins by the blood of His Son. That defensiveness grew and grew and grew until I had a very angst filled opinion of such establishments.
I also held some very bitter feelings to what I deemed as "Church People". Having abruptly lost all of the church family I held dear with very little explanation, I started to buy the hype that it was their fault that all of that was taken from me. As a child, that loss was traumatic, and I held on to those warped ideas for a very long time.
Very Recently - Something Wonderful happened.
God exercised His Power, and Jesus poured out his love on my family. Wil and I realized that the only way we are going to make it in this world, is to return and never leave the arms of our loving Heavenly Father. He doesn't hand over the "Easy Button", but He does promise to guide us every step of the way.
Then, I had a realization - an epiphany - if you will.
Come close, I'll tell you. Here is the deal on church:
You go to church because you love Jesus and when you really love him - you want to go. You want to worship. You want to learn. You want to grow. You want to honor him. Church helps you do that. You can't leave that part out of it, not because it "makes" you a Christian, but because if you love Jesus, why wouldn't you go?
It's not easy for me - the social side to church overwhelms me (to put it lightly), and the enemy hurls accusations, insults and apprehensions with all his might as I walk through those doors. . But, the moment we sit down, I know that I am there to honor my Lord, and the King of all Kings and that with time, God will heal all of those wounds.
For the first time in 17 years, I want to be known as a "Church Girl" not only a "Jesus Girl".
Wil and I had this 'awakening', if you will, a month or so ago. Since then we have identified ways to better our family, our marriage and our lives. The number one way, and the most significant, is a total family focus, faith based, love driven dependence on God. That's the biggie; I'll get to that in a few.
Aside from that, there are many things that I can do personally to better our current relationship and family dynamic. I, ahem, am not perfect. Shocking, for me too, let me tell you.
One of those prime areas is being conscience of the time I spend on the Internet. You see, I love me some information super highway time. Remember when you were in 3rd grade and you said, "Man, I love Ketchup!", or "Man, I Love OSU!" or, "Man, I love NKOTB!" and your friends would say, "Well, if you love it so much, why don't you marry it??". Yeah, that kinda love. Except for the fact that I am actually married. To a fellow. A Real life one, no less.
It is very easy for me to lose track of time while I read my well written, often inspiring list of Mommy Blogs. I can joke and chat with long lost friends and laugh at the absurdity of Facebook until I realize that I've talked more online to people I never see, than I have with my lady neighbor friends. I can fill an hour with the often amusing junk on textsfromlastnight.com, and fml.com. I can also spend more time reading online devotionals (which I do value, treasure and enjoy) than I have in my own actual bible.
Now, all this Internet face time is A-OK if you have nothing else to occupy your time. But, that's just it. I *always* have something else available to fill my time. Their names are Jakob, Abby, Raegan, John and my beloved Wilo. It's called parenting, caring for this household, strengthening my marriage, flirting with my husband and cultivating my relationship with Jesus.
I am not at all saying the Internet is bad news (though several faucets of it, certainly fit that description) but I am saying for me, I have to limit it and focus more on the world around me. And you know what, after the initial twitches wore off, I find that actually enjoy being off the computer and Wil and I can actually talk to each other!
Though, I need to get better at finding a balance and cut out some time to write daily. I do enjoy it so.
I have been clinging to this song when mistakes of my past creep up and attack me out of nowhere. My favorite words are the last two lines - "When I don't measure up too much in this life, I am a treasure in the arms of Christ....".
Forgiven - Sanctus Real
Well the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I’m reminded of the wrong
That I have said and done
And that devil just wont let me forget
In this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
Cause I’m forgiven
My mistakes are running through my mind
And I’ll relive my days, in the middle of the night
When I struggle with my pain, wrestle with my pride
Sometimes I feel alone, and I cry
In this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am
[back to chorus]
When I don't fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ ‘cause
Returning to writing after a long hiatus is much like seeing a long term, valued friend after spending some time spent apart. Without saying a word, the friend can usually tell how life has been treating you. Smiles and bright eyes give way the emotion of joy, troubled eyes and forced expressions tell of a rough spot in this life journey.
My expression exclaims both as of late.
And, trust me.
I want to write about it all very badly. However, it's not just about ME!, so I must refrain at the moment. As we progress through this, and it becomes part of our story, I DO plan on sharing our experience.
All I can tell you is that God turned a tragic situation into something beautiful. I hear He does that often, should you pray, trust and obey. He can do that for you too, should you turn to him. He's there - knocking on your heart, waiting to help. He is a gentleman though; he won't enter by force, you must invite him in.... He will meet you wherever you are - and it's NEVER too late to make him part of your life or to give more of yourself to Him.
Crazy changes around this Hunziker House - and they are all to the credit of Jesus and all for the best.
Thank you very much to all of you who have prayed for my family the past several weeks. You know who you are - and I will forever be grateful. Your prayers, encouragement and faith made a HUGE difference in this situation.
Anyways - I am hoping to catch back up on blogging and picture taking. I haven't taken a single picture since I have had to confront this storm, and I look forward to remedying that.