August 29, 2010

My Feet Are in a Spacious Place

As I typed out this title, I wondered how many people would be confused by it and perhaps decide not to read it. But I know if it were me, I would HAVE to click it. Curiosity is a weakness. So for you who clicked...thanks for engaging my cryptic and yet (I think) brilliantly poetic title. :)

I just inhaled deeply. That deep breath you take before you begin talking.  Actually, it is more like unloading YOUR LOAD OF WOE.  The load you carry and feel bogged down by burden.  But I don't feel bogged down. It's more like I feel attacked and beaten.  This week has been such spiritual battle for me but there is a reason that God assures us we are more than conquerors.

Let me back up a bit.  First off, you have to understand that we have been in a whirlwind of just good old fashioned STUFF.  House stuff, remodeling, getting ready for school, and running around doing things causing me to wonder what exactly I am accomplishing besides repeating the same cycle the following week.  You know.  Wash clothes, feed children, drive to Point A.  Then to Point B.  Then home.  Then eat.  Then sleep.  Then shower on the 3rd day.  It all takes on this beautiful sense of NORMAL.  And then WHAM!

Job loss.  

Then another WHAM!

I am sick.


Girls spike high fevers and become infected with boilsOh, I wish I were kidding. I started asking my husband if we were being plagued in a magnificent, biblical, prophetic kind of way.

He said no but I am still not convinced.

The boils thing is something we have dealt with for years and I am ashamed to even blog about it and put it out there.  It is this kind of situation that makes me doubt myself as a mother.  We have seen several doctors, even infectious disease control, but we have no conclusive answers.  It is 3 times a year. And for those who know me I am a clean freak to the point that boiling toothbrushes and combs would be a trait I would admire in a person. As in, you are not weird because I would like detailed instructions to follow suit.

But when it happens,  it always discourages me deeply and as I bleach everything in my house once again, I question my worth. Am I bad mom? Do I keep things TOO clean? Not enough clean? Blah, blah, blah. Though I know this is often a lie, I believe it anyway.  I actually suspect something in our water or pipes but I can't be sure.  The other day I was scrubbing my bath tub and when I turned on the water, this is what came out...

I thought I was seeing things but that water was straight up brown.  I freaked.  So I tried again after 5 minutes and this what came out...

Clear! I thought I imagined the whole thing and at this point my sanity was in total question.  When we first moved in we had to empty the hot water heater due to all the sediment in the bottom.  But it ran clear after about a week.  This came out of nowhere. And still, the girls have struggled with this issue before we moved here.  But we have not been able to figure it out.  We use special cleansers.  We don't reuse towels. I dress them in haz mat suits, etc.  But I am veering off point as usual.

Then there is my oldest daughter who has decided to become...shall I say...difficult. TRIPLE WHAM! Cati must have drank the Koolaid from a sect called  Babies Torturing Mothers.  She has learned strategies that would rival the cunning ways of a CIA agent to make me question my diligent quest for motherhood.  As I tap away she is making squealing sounds from her bed because we have made the unfortunate decision of not giving her attention though she was supposed to be in the REM state of sleep 55 minutes ago.

Then there is my husband who has many job leads and yet no actual possibilities.  Oddly, I am totally confident that God is working. The small stuff lays me out like right hooks to the head.  The big stuff I roll with. Go figure.

I got one of those chain letter emails today that makes you fear for your life if you don't send it to 10 people.  The email actually says that if I am too busy to send it to 10 people that perhaps Jesus is to busy to write my name in the book of life.

True story.

Oh, how I want to start my own chain letter to reference this wayward and alarmingly false theology but I shall take the high road and just look at all the pretty pictures that accompanies the email.  But at the top, in all its blinky form, it said something that struck me...

"When God is about to reposition your life, know that the devil will begin to attack."

Oh, how true.  And I am most vulnerable when my feet are in a spacious place.  When nothing seems to be happening. It was in college or just after, I heard a pastor preach on this verse in Psalm 31 that had significant impact on me. I will share the verse that precedes it to give it some context...

"I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place." Psalm 31:7-8

This pastor said something I have never forgotten in all these years since I was a fairly new Christian when I heard them.  He referenced that last verse and I scribbled the words he said in the margin of my bible.
Do not mistake the Lord's inactivity for absence.

The times I have needed this truth are countless.  And this is one of those times.  As we eagerly wait for Brandon's new job, there is ZERO THINGS HAPPENING ON THE JOB RADAR. Even as I try to figure out my specific purpose on this earth to build God's kingdom. There seems to be heavenly crickets singing our Lord's praises in that area.Even as I spend much too much time considering paint colors for my laundry room and currently non existent master bath that we have stopped remodeling.  Since, you know.  What was once to be my bathtub may now have to take the form of Ramen noodles for dinner or the assurance that a light bulb will still turn to the on position. In all of this, God may not seem to be doing anything for the moment...but He has not left us.  What a comfort!  And as you read through David's anguished words in this psalm, you reach verses 14 and 15...

"But I trust in you, O Lord: I say, 'You are my God.  My times are in your hands...'"

So currently my feet are in a spacious place.  God has not left us though it feels nothing is happening...YET. And there is something so lovely about that YET. I am excited to post about what is YET to come.

And by the way. Thank you for all your prayers, sweet comments, and emails. I go back through them often marveling that I have friends across the nation and world. You all astound me at your thoughtfulness and friendship.

And I leave you with this truth that I live moment to moment during this trial that can only end in triumph.

Though He slay me,  YET will I hope in Him.  Job 13:15 

P.S.  The squealing sounds from Cati were apparently due to her frog night light moving within the electric socket. SHE SAID IT WAS MOVING! This is obviously terrifying to a 4 year old and rightly so since it terrifies me. We have removed said frog and it will not be returning to wreak it's late night havoc.  Thank you and good night.


  1. I'm so sorry for the burdens you have right now! I love your perspective. You have such a gift for lifting others even though you are struggling with worries yourself. Thank you! And, I hope everyone gets better quickly!!

  2. Jess, your family will be lead to another more wonderful place because of these trials. I have experienced it over and over and over again. Keep standing on your verse and believing it. Please let me know if there is anything I can do!

  3. I am so sorry about your struggles right now. When it rains it pours. If God can get you too it, he can get you though it. I will be praying for ya!

    We have been through a similar time, and as I look back I am thankful for it. Even though it was so flippin' hard at the time we made it though.


  4. It hurts my heart to read of the struggles you are now enduring. But, it is so reassuring to know that, even though life is hard, you have complete faith in God and His will for your life! That faith will be your saving grace :)

    I love the statement you have written in your Bible and plan to write it down as a reminder to myself! It is so easy to think that God has left us, especially when nothing seems to be heading in the right direction, but a strong faith has to be our reassurance no matter how hard it is to find that faith!

    I will continue to lift your family in my prayers and I am sure God has an amazing plan for your lives...He is just waiting on that perfect moment to spring it on you :)

    About the you have a well? We have well water and when it rains, our water turns brownish because of the mud.

  5. awwww Jess, I'm sorry :( That is a good verse, and I like what you wrote, God's inactivity does not mean absence. I always make the mistake of doing it on my own, since God is "inactive" and I make everything worse! It is so hard not to let your mind wander concerning your children being ill. I have those same thoughts:
    am I to clean? or not clean enough? I'VE RUINED THEM, RUINED MY KIDS!! You are not alone.
    I just read that verse the other day...
    I forget where it's found. Satan roams about like a lion seeking whom he may devour. And I confess, I have walked right up to him lately and said here I am devour me!! I have had little strength to fight. Anyway you are the one who needs encouragement but you have given it to me. As usual! Keep doing what your doing which is looking to God first, hang in there, it has absolutely GOT TO GET BETTER! and SOON!
    I wish I could take you to Starbucks and buy you a coffee and you could vent and cry on my shoulder... hugs.

  6. We're still prayin Jessica. I think of you often.

  7. So the e-mail I just wrote you? Totally answered by this. : )

  8. Finally! I was wondering if you were ever going to write anything anymore! love you as always,

    Read this:
    "The furnance may be hot, but...I trust the hand that lights the fire; I have the assurance the fire will not consume but only refine. And when the refining process is complete, not a moment too soon or too late, " I will come forth as gold" (Job 23). ~LB Cowman

    Just think how bright and shiny gold you will be eventually! We will look like some fancy jewelry, huh?!!?! xxoo

  9. Oh girl. Thank you for sharing all of this. Your faith and witness through the trials of your life shines light on those who are struggling as well. Hoping the YET comes sooner rather than later.

  10. Just want you to know that I sent you that email today before I read this post. I laughed that we both used the word "stuff" to describe "life" right now. So, no need to respond to my email. Now I know how you're doing and how I shall be praying! Love you!

  11. What a wonderful post. Not the part about your trials but the whole rest of it. You are wonderful! You family is in our prayers and thanks for your sweet comment about my teacup clock

    love your guts

  12. thank you for those thoughts, my sweet girl needed them. Blessings to you, may our Lord bless, keep, comfort and guide you today.

  13. I'm not going to try and explain any of it because you have the Lord on your side. Thank you for the explanation of Psalm 31. I'll keep that one myself if you won't mind.

  14. You were on my mind alot yesterday since I haven't been on the comp much & I was wondering about you guys...that kool-aid Kati drank must be sold up here too...Annie has had quite the sassy mouth for the last few weeks :) Maybe it is just so that we don't have such a hard time sending them off to school! No...who am I kidding...i will still get big juicy tears when I am driving away! And you are on for the first pics race:) -Kati's first year! That actually might be one reason she is a little tougher lately...just maybe thinking about going to school. But yep, it'll be a tough day for Mama's everywhere! I hope you guys can enjoy your last day today before your lives change tomorrow! (okay if that won't stress you out more!) No, it will be good! & I can't wait to hear about it!

    Thanks for sharing those verses today too! I am pretty sure I underlined them during my last Beth Moore study INHERITENCE & I am excited because next week we start REVALATIONS. I need it to get me back in my bible more!!

    Hope you are all feeling well now! Give those girls some hugs!

    P.S. I wish I had your cleaning disease :)

  15. Jess ~ I am still praying. Love you, little sister!

  16. God... this reminds me of the time I lost my job & came back home totally, totally crushed. I remember lying on the bed with a heavy rock crushing my chest, with my heart bleeding, and there was one way to look (Up), and One protector to run to (God). I asked Him, only Him, from the deepest depths of my heart to rescue me - for I couldn't see before me; how will I pay my bills, I was totally lost. I slept like a child who has gotten beaten up real bad. I was aching all over, mostly in my heart... and in my dream I saw angels in the sky, made of light, giving me a shower, an internal shower, they poured water into my heart to cleanse it, and kept on pouring cycles of water inside my whole being until the dark heaviness went away (I never knew what a "whole being" was up until I saw that dream). I woke up a new person (which made me believe further that what I saw was a vision, not just a dream), as if I wasn't crushed, totally healed. I saw life with new eyes, the dark shades I had on were gone, and my life never stayed the same from that day onwards. Everything changed... and I mean everything. My "belief" in God was a bit not too rooted before that specific trial, afterwards, I seemed to grow stronger towards Him, with steadier feet, more rooted.
    They say the purist gold comes out of the hottest furnace.
    And I am grateful!
    The things you told yourself, as described in your two posts about this trial, are almost the same as what I have told myself.
    I believe strongly that you are a Light among your people & community. And that is because you have walked the walk, the way He designed it.
    When you pray to God, please remember me, and pray for me next time you do! Thanks.


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