Sunday, March 22, 2015

Joy... Even here.

It's Sunday night. For the first time ever I'm posting this blog from my phone. Not because I think it's nifty. But because my husband is laying in a hospital bed 4 feet from me.

Friday morning we experienced a total shock. Al had not been feeling well for a little over a day, so he went to his doctor. An hour or so later he was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital.

We now know the feeling "unwell" for days was from a heart attack.
My funny, strong, stud of a husband had a blockage of his left anterior descending artery. You may not know what that is. I sure didn't. But I'll leave the finding of that to you. Just google "widow maker."
Thankfully he got here to the hospital and straight into a lab to get a stent and clear the block.

We were told we would probably go home today. But today has come, and as many plans do, this one hasn't panned out.
Currently we are waiting and watching for some things to improve a bit more.
So here we sit.
Tired. Living in a little bit of uncertainty as we wait to find out what our next steps are.

And as I sit here, even with everything, I'm finding my joy.
Joy. Because life is uncertain but life is still here. He is breathing and that's a miracle.
Joy. Because so many things happened just exactly in the right order to get us here.
Joy. Because I'm learning that the delays of my plans were certainly, with no doubts, God's protection.
Joy. Because I don't have answers yet... But know He does.
Joy. That every minute of my waiting lifestyle prepared me for here.

2015 hasn't gone like I wanted in many ways. But it's still my year of Joy and I'm glad to be living it.

Please pray my friends. God has this.

We need rest. Answers. Easier breathing. Appetite and an end to nausea.
Sweet hubs to wake up feeling much improved tomorrow.
Thanks friends.

Gina.

Friday, February 13, 2015

It's Just This Thing That You Don't Talk About

This blog has often been a place to process through things for me. But it has also been a place where other people can come and say “Oh me too,” “I feel that too” when the hard stuff in life hits.
The last year or so I’ve been mostly absent here.
I’ve alluded to some things happening in our lives. I’ve put statuses on social media that have probably tipped a lot of you off to what has been going on. But I’ve never come out and just said it.
But now, with the permission of my husband, I’m going to lay my heart (really our hearts… which is why I asked first) out here in cyber-land.

When we got married we knew we wanted to have children.  We’d talked about it in the way that most engaged couples do – when we’re ready, we will start a family.
The thing that so few people mention in that lead up is that some people don’t get to choose their “ready.”

We are one of the millions of couples (1 in 8) that want to have children but, so far, cannot.

I will not go into the nitty-gritty details of what our issues are.  I know a lot of people blog their specific issues.  But for me, just for me… in OUR case that will not be happening.
This is such a personal deal. But it’s also so isolating. And that isolation is why I felt the need to blog it in the first place.
What you can know, if you’ve read it online somewhere or your grandmother’s cousin tried it (and it worked for them), we’ve also read it, heard it, and probably tried it. I’m not asking for anyone to tell me about their herbal supplement, their doctor, or their “sure thing.” Everyone is different. People have amazing success stories under impossible circumstances. 
What we can do, we have done/are doing. We’ve been to/are going to experts for our situation.  We’ve prayed.  
We’ve had others pray.  
We’ve begged God.
And here we sit.
I believe that God has a plan for our family. 
I believe that we will have children – the how is a completely shrouded thing to me – but I believe it.

What you can do?  
Pray: If you think about us at all, pray - right then and there. The last few months have been especially hard on us. But the prayers of many and the grace of God have kept us afloat.
 
Understand: I love your children. I am truly happy for you if you have/had/are going to/ just announced that you are expecting. But some days, I just cannot take it.  So if I can't be at your baby shower/birthday party/whatever please don't take it personally. Some days are just tougher than others. Some days I will (thanks super-hormones) cry over nothing. And those days I will usually wall-off a bit. Let me. I will come back around.

Listen: If you're one of my 3D people and I'm around on one of those uber bad days, I may just need someone to 'sit with me in the suck.'  Some days I may need a kick in the spiritual tail, but most days are NOT those days.  I promise I don't hate God. I'm not really mad at Him. But I am processing.  And the processing is messy.  Pray me through it. Walk me through it. But you cannot talk me out of it.  We're just not there.

If you've made it this far.  Thanks.  I love my people who still come here and read. I know blogs aren't the thing they once were. But I still read and therefore I will still write.

Stand with me friend.
We really do believe that the best is yet to come... it's just taking it's flipping time.  :)


-Gina

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Deciding that it is going to be OK.

Somewhere a long time ago I ran across the phrase:
Everything is ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end.

Little did I know that this would become a mantra in my life.  :)

I've led a charmed life. I really have. Sure, I've taken the long road to everything I've gotten.
Years to finish college.
Years to find Al.
Years to date Al before marrying. (Worth every minute of every second of every one....)

In reality, my life is just awesome.

However, it's not perfect.
Is anyone's life perfect?  I know I can answer that for you.
No. No one has the perfect life.
We all have struggle. We all have sleepless nights. We all have angst ridden moments.
We all have cliffs that we feel just about ready to topple over at any minute.

Life.  It can kinda seem sucky at a moment's notice.

Life.  We cannot control it.

But we can decide that it is going to be OK. If there is one thing that I know with unwavering certainty it is that you have gone through a rough patch. You're either there, coming up for air, or going there. 
That is reality.
But no matter where you are in that path, you can know that it is going to be OK.
Why?
Because even pain must someday end.  The worst of tragedy cannot last forever.  Every single earthly pain will someday be completely erased.
Lamentations 3
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Struck down, but not consumed.
Knocked down, but not out.
Hurt, but not destroyed.

If you wake up tomorrow breathing, but not OK, that is OK!  It's not the end. Draw that breath. Get up. Keep fighting.

Down, but not out.
Hobbled, but not broken.
Broken, but not dead.

Keep fighting.

This is not the end. You are still here.

Keep fighting.

-Gina

Monday, January 19, 2015

Faith and Joy

We've already established that my word for 2015 is joy.  The funny thing about joy is that people often mush it together with "happy."
Joy and happy can be in the same room together.
But they can also exist on their own.
Joy, despite happy, is what I want to talk about today.
There is a joy that deepens through pain.
It is an emotion that is difficult to hold. It is almost impossible to describe.
But it is deep. It is a well that I want to drop down in and live with for this whole year.
Why?
Because I cannot control happiness. I cannot control what may, or may not happen in 2015.
But joy... I can reach for that.
We have a lot happening in our lives right now that we just can't get into on social media - not even with my blog people.
What I can say is "I am choosing joy." 
In the end of it all, I believe that God is still good.
I believe that He can work in painful situations and use them for His glory.

I believe that every moment, every breath, and every thing are known by Him.
From the moment of conception to the last molecule of air we draw in, our times are in His hands.
The bigger revelation for me in this season:
Even in pain - He is still good.
Nothing that I can go through can wipe away His worthiness of my praise.
He is good.

There may be tears.... but there will also definitely be J-O-Y.

-Gina

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Joy - 2015

So a couple of things right off the bat that I should just say:
It's been a crazy-long time since I wrote here.  There are a couple of good reasons for that... which aren't shareable yet.  :)
So there.

But I'm here just in time to give you a preview for where we are headed in 2015 via my word for next year.  This is actually a repeat word for me (2009). I've never done that before. But it just won't let me go as what I need to focus myself on.  So here goes nothing.

Joy

J-O-Y

I have no idea what the next 12 months will actually bring.  I know what I am desperate for though. I am desperate for the joy that comes only from living life fully present and fully surrendered. I am looking for the life that God has mapped out for me.
And I am looking for joy.

So here goes nothing 2015.  Let's do this. The best is yet to come.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

This is Your Moment



I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the moment just before.

There is a moment in every big situation that is just before God steps in.

It is Job, looking over the graves of his family and his life.
It is Moses, standing between an endless sea and a mighty army.
It is Daniel in front of drooling, hungry lions.
It is Stephen, just before the first stone fell.
It is Jesus’ friends and family on the night of that second day.
It is the hopeless soul just before he finds Hope.

There is a moment. It always seems to come with heart-wrenching sobs. It seems to be right before the soul is crushed.

There is a moment that is just before God reveals what He has planned to reveal all along.

Renewal of life
The sea parting
Deliverance
Homecoming
Resurrection
Salvation

But it seems to always be a dark moment.

And someone, even tonight, is right there.

Oh please, don’t give up in your moment.

He is coming. He is faithful. He has not forgotten you. He is here even in your moment. He will deliver. He will provide. He will be your safe place. He will do what He said He will do.

This moment may be your toughest hour. It may seem completely impossible. But this is your moment.

Stand. Fight.
Wait. Listen.

He is coming.

Your moment is almost over.
The sun is about to rise on your new life.

The wait is almost over.

I can hear the rustling of the waters stirring. Can you hear it?

This is it.  It is here.

Hope

I believe.

-Gina

Exodus 14:13-14
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oh yeah, More Waiting

Last time we were here together I talked about letting go. And, in theory, it's a good thing.
In reality, I am finding it difficult.
Can we just be honest here?
Letting go of some things is easy.
Oh, I'll never win the lottery. I'm ok with that. I've let that go. Could be something about me never buying tickets but whatever.  :)

It's the big things in life that are hard to really let go of fully.

- Bringing a mate
- Bringing healing
- Bringing children
- Healing Relationships

Meanwhile I've clearly trusted Him with the biggest thing ever - my eternity.
The drastic contrast... well it's hitting me hard today.
I am coming to the reality that I'm guilty of not trusting more than trusting.

We sang a song in worship today that we have sang a few times recently and it slammed into me.
It actually took my breath away for a moment.  I'll link it below, but here is the lyric that messed me up.

As I wait, heart of God
Satisfy and sustain
As I hear, voice of God
Lead me on, be my guide
Be my guide


As I wait... satisfy and sustain.
I seem to wait a lot for things.  It always seemed like other people got their stuff earlier, faster. Husband, jobs, house, kids = everything... quickly.
Meanwhile, God had me on the 10-20 year plan.
In hindsight, I'm ok with pretty much every minute I ended up waiting for all the things because I realize that God had a purpose. I realize that He had a plan.

But in the middle of the wait it can be nearly impossible to find that resting place of satisfaction.
As we wait we must listen and we must hear.
To be sustained, we must listen, we must hear, and we must be led.

I cannot wait happily on my own.
There are somethings that I cannot MAKE happen.
Trust me on this people. I have tried. If there is a shortcut I would have found it. If there was a magical waiting end-er I would have that bad boy. It doesn't exist.

So if you are in the wait with me, sit down for a few minutes and let this one sink in.

Christ, be all around me.


-Waiting. Finally Still
Gina