Friday, August 14, 2009


That’s how many years we have been married, as of today.
August 14th 1992 - two lives became one …

The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength,” said the loud voice on my clock radio this morning. I keep my alarm set with the radio option instead of the annoying buzz option, because, waking up at 5:30 in the morning after going to sleep at 1:00 in the morning is annoying enough, if you ask me. I like to keep my radio programmed to our local Christian station because I enjoy spiritually uplifting radio talk shows and music. When your spirit is hungry for more than this world has to offer, there is nothing like waking up first thing in the morning and taking in the nourishment of God’s word.

Usually the alarm goes off in the middle of a song or radio host conversation, and usually, I hit the snooze button. But this morning was different. I was literally startled out of a sound sleep by the loud words, “The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength!” followed by a long pause, then, about a five minute conversation between the two radio hosts on the subject of finding your joy and strength in the Lord. My eyes suddenly filled with tears. Tears of joy - for this was a valuable reminder to my worried little soul. I went to bed last night with a heavy heart. So heavy, I didn’t even remember that today was our anniversary. A little recent history: The last year has been a very trying time for us. The husband’s business has been feeling the pinch in the economy. No, that’s an understatement. The uncertain economy has been choking us. We’ve been stressing over matters that we haven’t stressed over in a long time. Plus, some of you know that yesterday was Stephen’s first day of high school ... High School!!! We walked him to his classroom, told him we'd see him in a few hours and watched him walk away hand in hand with a new classroom aide he'd never met before. There we stood, and all we could do was trust that all was going to be okay. So much stress!
Stress has a way of robbing us of our joy -- If we let it.

Joy. Real, genuine joy. We all long for it. Few of us find it. Why is that? Maybe it’s because we are searching for joy in all the wrong places. Some of us seek joy through outside influences. Such as our careers, our bank accounts, material possessions, or, sometimes, in other people and our relationships with them. At least, that’s my story. I was a hopeless romantic all my life. From a young age, I expected my love life to be one big Jane Austen novel. One filled with drama, but a happy ending. Well, I got the drama I was expecting. Or, should I say … I brought on the drama? Yeah, most definitely, that’s what I should say. Happy ending? Well, it hasn’t ended yet, but so far, the ending is looking pretty good. Because I found Mr. Right? Uh, no. Because I finally found joy. After an overabundance of self-inflicted pain and unreal expectations, searching for happiness outside of myself, I finally looked within and allowed God to awaken my spirit and fill me with real, genuine joy only He can give. And the good news is, it’s true, what the bible says In Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” My “love life” is happily-content, finally. Not because “my husband” makes me happy per se, but because God is working in each of us, changing us into His ideal plan for marriage. We’re not there yet, but with His help, we’re becoming what I hoped for and talked about in this entry here - five years ago.

Over the last few months, I've felt led to start writing my testimony, and the truth is, I've been resisting because I don't feel comfortable yet. At the risk of being totally vulnerable, I will tell you more.

… In my next entry.


kelly said...

Well first Happy Anniversary... I love reading your entries.. true and spoken from the heart.. I know it is hard enough sending your child off to school.. your situation is even harder.. I hope he is able to adjust to his new surroundings..I wish you and yours the best..

Michelle said...

Happy anniversary! 17 years is a true accomplishment in todays world....

So, how did Stephen do after his first day. You were probably more scared than he was. : (

Hugs and HUGE congrats to you all...

Bridgett said...

Happy anniversary to you!

I can't believe Stephen is in high school. Where has the time gone?

But I empathize. Although Parker is talking now, I still freak out at the start of every school year.

Can't wait for the next entry! :)

Warren Baldwin said...

I linked here from a comment you made on Tara's site. This was a good post. We sing a song at church based on this verse - The joy of the Lord.

It was touching to read this post and trying to imagine how you felt when Stephen walked off. And then you mentioned writing your testimony. I can't imagine the challenge it would be, but I think it would be an inspiration to a lot of people.

You three are already an inspiration from my short time here. God bless.