Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh these valleys....

I know they are necessary to grow as Christians.  
I know I am not alone when I am in the deepest darkest part.  
I know that no matter the outcome God is in control and know's my needs and just how much I can handle. 
It's the moments like these that I find myself listening a little more, leaning in a little closer, looking up for the Lord to lead me.  
I know in these moments God is molding and making me.  
I know He is trying to teach me something, that only He can
I know I have to not be frustrated but willing to learn
I know I must have a teachable spirit
I know that it won't be easy.  As Dr. Tom Malone Sr. Said "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it"
I know I must be tried and tested
I know through this all I am to be a Light for Him
and just like the saying goes "knowing it is easy, doing it is the hard part"

I wish my flesh wasn't so strong
I wish I wouldnt fail Him daily
I wish I saw the world through His eyes

I can wish all I want, it won't change my heart unless...

I am thankful for His unending Love
I am thankful for the Word of God that I can hold freely and read daily
I am thankful to be able to go to my Father and talk with Him at any time, any moment with out hesitation
I am thankful for a Church with a great Pastor
I am thankful for a Husband who wants nothing more than to serve the Lord

I just need to remember that these valley's are necessary and that I shouldn't focus on self, but on Him who is leading me! 

When this valley turns into a mountain top, when the storm passes by I will still serve Him!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A preachers wife....

Thats what I am...a preachers wife....I never imagined in a million years that this is what I would be.  It's an honor that God would give me this position.  I am thankful that He has a place for me and to know that He could "use" me to fulfill part of His plan. It is just unthinkable for me!

Though this is exciting, it is terrifying all at the same time!  For 16 years I have been involved in church.  I have been involved in the ministry for about 12 years.  I have been married for 9 years.  At the beginning of my marriage I was very selfish, self centered, and would start or be involved in drama.  I didn't know what I was doing was ruining my marriage, killing my testimony, and hurting my service for Him.  It wasn't until we moved back to Michigan (it will be two years in November!) that God really got ahold of my heart.  The last 4 to 5 years I honestly started to see my self destruction.  Thankfully God gave my husband unbelievable patience and understanding to help me through this valley.  It wasn't until I started thinking about how my actions affect others, how my words make others feel, and how my decisions impact my husband and his ministry that my life changed.  I shouldn't say "it wasn't until "I" started..." I should say....When God finally got a hold of my HEART and I LISTENED.  I am still learning, this is very new for me.  At times I find myself slipping back into the "old" Ann and that is when I am miserable.  It is more often but I am thankful God grieves my heart and shows me that I need to seek HIM. 

I look at other marriages (don't get me wrong I do not judge in anyway other marriages because mine is far from perfect) and see the roles that each partner plays and I realize that if a woman is not submissive, caring, loving, selfless, willing, encouraging, creating a safe haven, and most of all, in a close realationship with the Lord, she will ruin her husbands ministry.  Most women do not realize that WE are the cause of most of the pain or hurt.  If we are doing all the things we are COMMANDED to do, I believe our Marriage, our Husband and our Home's would be at peace.  There is the daily attacks of Satan but if we are unified in those three areas I believe God gives you the power to overcome Satan and His attacks. 

God commanded us to submit Colossians 3:18  "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.".  I know the world makes the word "submit" into something totally different than what God intended it to be in this verse but it is true.  Submission to your husband is a gift that only YOU can give. This world has corrupted our way of thinking so much that we are self centered.  Its what I want or what I feel that matters.  I am reminded of this often.  I realize that when I have done wrong, or when I have upset my husband it was mostly because I was being selfish.  I know my husband isn't perfect but I will admit he is one of the most tender hearted, caring and loving personI know.  He is always making sure I am ok and comfortable.  He is always taking care of my needs and he shows how much he loves me on a daily basis.  It just amazes me that God knew just what I needed in a husband.  Obviously God knew better than I did because he gave me far more than I ever deserved.  I am ashamed of how selfish I can be at times to a man who does everything in his power to try and please me.  Just today we were in the car, on our way home from church.  We were talking about a few of the students and I was just really at a loss as to how we deal with their individual issues.  I was telling him how I feel as if we are losing control.  Tim reminded me that they won't change until we change.  I asked him what he meant and he explained that until we draw close to the Lord and we set limits, standards and such for our own lives and keep to them then how do we expect the students to do the same thing?  I didn't really say anything as he was talking but my mind was going a million miles a minute. I was thinking "they just need to obey the rules and not worry about what we do".  The minute I thought that I could have cried.  I know its my flesh, but it was an honest feeling.  I don't want to be that type of Christian.

Over the last year God has put us in a position of authority over a dormitory.  The beginning was easy, the last semester was difficult. I realize now that it was because I was doing it all in self and not relying on God or His strength.  This is my biggest struggle.  I know I need to seek God and my walk needs to be more consistent.  My prayer life needs to be revived and my compassion to be renewed.  I feel the Lord moving in my life, preparing me for what He has next.  I want to feel His love, compassion, understanding.  I want to see the world through his eyes...

I go back to the day that I stood in front of the church with my husband as he answered his called to preach.  The pastor stood in the pulpit looked down at us and gave us words of encouragement.  He then said "We need to pray for Ann because the devil will attack her because she is the weaker vessel..." I just smiled with tears in my eyes and never realized how true that statement was.  Women, we are the weaker vessel, we are emotional beings that wear our hearts on our sleeves.  If we don't get a hold of our emotions, focus on our walk with the Lord and see the world through God's eyes, the devil will use us to ruin our husbands ministry....

I wrote this so I can go back and be reminded of where God has brought me and where he is taking me.  I wrote this because I know I'm not alone....I wrote this because my heart is heavy and I needed to remind myself that it is not I who is control but HIM....

My life verse...Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

I pray that God will continue to use me, to use my husband, to use those around me....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

9 years ago today....

I awoke around 4:30am with butterflies in my stomach.  I remember I sat straight up in bed and said "I'm getting married today".  I wish I could say my morning went smoothly but it didn't.  Between the phone ringing off the hook and everything possible going wrong it was a very stressful morning! But we trudged through it and did so knowing what the end result was.  I remember getting to the church and sitting in the limo.  Waiting for the moment that I was to walk down the aisle.  I was so excited, I just couldn't wait.  Then, Rich Zawadzki, Tim's best man and one of our greatest friends, came out to tell me the piano play, aunt Jenny, was lost and wanted to know if I wanted to start without music.  Before I could make the decision she showed her pretty face! I remember standing at the doors of the oldest church in Southern Maryland, arm in arm with my father, on one of the hottest days of the year, waiting for the doors to open and for me to finally walk the aisle to my future husband.  I remember feeling bashful that everyone was looking at me.  I would sneak peaks at the crowd, I remember my Youth Pastors wife stood there with her hands over her mouth and tears in her eyes I could see her smile.  I remember seeing Monica and Aunt Carol.  The moment that mattered most though was seeing Tim, standing there in his tux, with a grin on his face.  I knew from that moment everything would be fine, even if it wasn't, I was right where I needed to be.  We exchanged our vows and kissed and from that moment it truly is a blurr.  We were being ushered here and there for pictures, and then we had a 45 minute ride to the banquet hall, we both kept saying 'I can't believe we are married...We are MARRIED" we were so excited.  From that moment on, though life has dealt us some major trials and troubles, most probably brought on by our own actions, I can honestly say, I am more in love today than I was 9 years ago.  I wouldn't change a thing! Our marriage is strong, and though often tested, we have a deeper love that won't give up. 
Today, I want to thank you, Tim Lee, for asking me to be your wife, for vowing til death do us part.  You are my best friend, my love, my soulmate.  I know I haven't made it easy but thank you for being strong and for loving me for who I am.  You make me feel like the most beautiful woman on earth, you let me know daily how important I am to you and I just couldn't have asked for a more godly Husband.  You make me laugh often and smile all the time.  Your words are sweet and your laugh, you know the one i'm talking about, gets me everytime.  I can't imagine my life without you.  Happy Anniversary Honey, I love you more than words can say (and thats more than you could love me *wink*)
9 years ago today, I married my best friend, my love....