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Archive for the ‘Grief’ Category

Listening

This year has been about learning to listen.  I don’t mean hearing something or someone but not making it a part of the situation or a part of your life.  Listening is first about caring enough for the other person that you are willing to put aside you!

This year I have been learning how to listen to God. It took a small tic to get me to slow down enough truly listen to what he has been saying to me.  His priorities for my life had been put on the back burner as I stayed busy with people and with stuff. Then I got sick. The world stopped. My hubby cancelled trips to be by my side. My dad sat with me for hours talking about life.  My world shifted. And then….God spoke.

Time is precious and I had been wasting it.  My focus has to be on the mission he has given to me, to us all. The mission to promote Him, His values, His desire and will for His children. In my life it needs to be a focus on the areas of influence He has given me.

First: Marriage. Marriage defined by Him and then marriages that need to keep seeking to get closer to Him.  A husband willing to cancel trips because a wife needs him. A wife willing to learn how to be his cheerleader because he needs her to believe in him. A team that puts God first…. together. Years of habits that need to be changed, but a willingness to work at the changes because it is what God wants. Be willing to sacrifice self to be a part of something more than self.

The only way for us to be a part of God’s plan is to be open to listen but also open to asking hard questions. Open to putting up boundaries when we are trying harder than the couple sitting across from us want to try. Open to being hurt. God can only use me if I am open to His leading and listening to His word.

Second: Grief work. I don’t like grief. I don’t like talking about grief. But like it or not I have been given a front row seat to grief. I can’t fix the problems that grief brings but I can listen. I can hear a mom who just wants to say her child’s name out loud and have some one hear her. I can listen when tears come up in the middle of a sunny day.  I can use my gifts to be the tech geek on a website that shares the hope of tomorrow! In the midst of this I can learn a new language. The language of grief.

Then God uses both of these areas and merges them together. Because marriage can be filled with grief. The grief of not being loved, not being heard, dreams and expectations dying.  Everyone has loss in their life. The question is what do you do about it?

Back to the beginning….you (and I) have to learn how to listen. God is speaking. Can you hear Him?

 

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Ministry direction

Wow! We have been so crazy busy! This isn’t unusual but we have been on the very fast track.  As we pause and reflect, I am looking at the direction that God is asking us to be proactive in.  Our passion together is for marriages!  If God changes a marriage, He changes a legacy.  Generations will be on a new path.  Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren will be given a new vision for their futures. This is what drives us. As we continue to walk out this mission in our life we are choosing how to expand our sphere of influence.  Our sphere of influence starts at home then moves outward. Our church family, the friends of our church family and so on.  Meeting new people in all areas of Richmond is our expanding ministry. We are getting involved with other churches through our volunteer time with Family Life.  Our marriage team in Richmond is amazing. The heart for helping other people is one that we are all passionate about!

As time goes on, the sphere of influence also includes the women I have met through Umbrella Ministries.  How I wish I could have met these families before the death of their child. What a blessing that would have been. But God has been using the death of our daughter, Tonia, to increase His kingdom. This sphere of influence holds such a special place in my heart.  To hear the stories of loss and struggles in their marriages breaks my heart! What a joy it has been to share some ideas and tools to strengthen their marriage and their walk with God.

Every day brings a new dimension to our life.  Our biggest challenge is knowing when to say no!  We have to keep reminding ourselves that we are not doing this on our own strength but through the power of God!

What is your mission field? Who is in your sphere of influence? Let me know!