The Struggle

Before I start, I must say that I’m alright… alright in the sense that I’m better than 6 months ago. Until now, I’ve been pure ashamed and embarrassed to come right out and say, “My husband left us for another woman.” I’m sure this happens more than we wish to think and I know I’m not the only one in this same struggle right now.

It just doesn’t seem fair that he gets to move her into his bed (at his mother’s home, at that) and gets to be happy with that while I’m here in an almost empty home with our two-and-a-half year old daughter. As much as I begged and pleaded with him in the beginning of the end to stay to work it out and pave a path to forgiveness, he was just not willing. He gave me reasons such as I was a lazy woman, that I didn’t keep a spotless house, that I never wanted to go out and do anything, that I refused to learn to drive his manual transmission Jeep, and that he hated coming home and having responsibilities. While I don’t claim that he is entirely at fault for the failure of our relationship, there were choices made on his end that just didn’t have to happen.

So, now I lay in bed alone most nights and think about what in the world is so wrong with me to cause this. I know good and well that there was nothing about me that made him go out and find another woman, but that doesn’t stop your brain from thinking in circles. Maybe if I had done this or hadn’t done that… just maybe… then you realize there was nothing you could have done differently. He meet her, fell into temptation (with at least once being in our own bed), and enjoyed it so much he decided to leave a loyal and devoted family to be with her. All the sneaking around, the leaving for work early and getting home really late from work, mystery food purchases at sit-down restaurants, explosive arguments over nothing, sudden attention to personal hygiene, going to the bar to drink socially with co-workers, some nights not coming home at all… all started to make sense once he finally admitted having an affair.

It was like a burning, ripping fire that consumed my heart once he finally came out and said it. There’s nothing to describe it. You literally can’t breathe, you can’t even cry, your body just automatically implodes upon itself and you ball up on the floor as he stands over you emotionless… you’re in complete shock even though you had suspicion. That woman’s intuition.

And then as the days go by, the questions come.

“Where did Da-da go?”

“Is Da-da at work?”

“There’s a red Jeep like Da-da’s! Da-da?”

And you try super hard not to start to hate love. You fall on your face to pray at the church altar, in the shower, in the truck driving some place, even in your Grandpa Bill’s callused hands and just can’t even find the words to pray.

Then comes Valentine’s Day and you get flowers. What an insult. Then, just 3 days later, a notification of a civil suit for division of assets for separation and divorce. Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence issues, Court, lawyers. Then, also child custody issues. Who gets her what days and at what time and where to meet to exchange the child like she’s a possession instead of a person. You worry that this other woman is teaching her to call her “mama” when the child is with them, along with a long list of other concerns. Such as, what if your child gets attached to this woman and then she leaves? 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so over this man. I was betrayed by him and his family, who I believe knew about her well before I did and didn’t bother to tell me. And he’s still wearing his wedding band and making people believe that I’m the reason why he left. I’m not a bitter woman, really I’m not. Just very, very hurt. Especially when he was your first and only love. I don’t hate him either, but boy have I learned from this. When I look at his face, I feel nothing. He’s a complete stranger to me.

I know God has my person out there for me, getting him ready for me and getting me ready for him. Until then, I need to chill out and be patient. But, I’m SO ready for him, like right now. I’m not being very patient. However, I’m trusting God’s timing for He knows the plans He has for me.  “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2

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THANK YOU, LORD for this experience. I praise You because You know the plans you have for me and my daughter. I thank you for your loving hand on our situation. Dear Father, today was one of those days – You know the ones. When life just doesn’t make sense. When the world seems so unfair. I need you, I need you. I need you to wrap your arms around me and help me understand that it is a good thing that I don’t understand everything. How can my human mind possibly comprehend Your perfect plan? You are God. I am not. You spoke this world into existence and shaped humans from the dust. Only you can create beauty from the ashes. Prepare me to be a Godly wife to the person you have just for me. Help me anticipate the perfect work of Your hands to transform my nothing into Your everything. Amen.

 

To the Ladies (and Gentlemen, too)

Is he a “Christian Guy” or a “Man of God”? Is there a difference?

I believe so… I know so. As a matter of fact, there’s a huge difference.

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A Christian Guy will say he loves you, but a Man of God will love God more than you.

A Christian Guy will text you meaningful Bible verses, send you inspirational quotes on Facebook, or have a tattoo of scripture or a cross, but Man of God will live out those verses and have them written on his heart.

A Christian Guy may attend church, but a Man of God will see it as his highest calling to serve Christ and give Him glory.

A Christian Guy may accidentally-on-purpose compromise your virtue as a lady, but a Man of God will protect it above all else.

A Christian Guy may be really attractive and say all the right things, but a Man of God will have a beautiful heart regardless of his appearance.

A Christian Guy may talk to several ladies at the same time, but a Man of God is faithful and will cherish and respect you.

A Christian Guy may take you out, but a Man of God will hold you up in his prayers.

So, don’t just settle for a random “Christian Guy.”

And long to be the Woman of God, after God’s own heart, who will attract a Man of God… the one God created just for you.

 

A Little Slip Stitch

When working with crochet stitches, the little slip stitch tends to get many of us crafters in a tizzy. It’s just a tiny place marker stitch of little significance, right? It’s not the most impressive, outstandingly beautiful, or most impressive stitch to learn to create, but it has great significance.

Generally speaking, slip stitches are most commonly used to connect two ends of a row/round when making something like a hat, for example. To make slip stitch (abbreviated “sl st” in patterns):

With a loop on your hook, insert your hook into the next stitch, pull up a loop, and then pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. Little sl st created.

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If this stitch is so small, why even use it? Why do you need it at all? Why not use a fancier stitch like a double crochet or even, oh, the popcorn stitch? Well, even though they are tiny and don’t seem to serve much of a purpose upon first observation, they are rather versatile little guys. As I mentioned previously, the main objective to using a sl st is to join one side of your work to another. Think of it as a little bridge. Without it, the two sides of your work just don’t go together and you’ll be left with an unattractive hole in your work.

Slip stitches can also be used to “sew” several pieces of work together, such as squares to make up a small baby blanket right on up to a King bed size afghan. Without the humble sl st, the pieces would just be small squares that wouldn’t be a very much use nor would they keep you very warm.

The most impressive, yet still humble, use for the sl st is as a design element. Since a sl st is the smallest stitch used, it lets the larger, more extravagant stitches shine. With the sl st nestled between the fancy stitches, it is not as likely to be noticed in comparison to the other stitches unless you look closely. You may have to even pull the other stitches apart to find the sl st happily hiding in the shadows.

 The last project I completed required a lot of slip stitches. As I was working on this particular piece, I was reminded of the Biblical story of David and Goliath. The account of the great battle between the Israelites and the Philistines can be found in 1 Samuel, Chapter 17. The Philistines were proud of their giant warrior, Goliath, which the Bible describes as being “six cubits and a span” tall with “bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.” Goliath was an impressive chunk of man flesh standing approximately 9 foot tall, clad in heavy armor that weighed about 175 pounds combined, and with an arrogant attitude… and the Israelites were terrified.

Goliath demanded that the Israelites choose just one man to fight him. “If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us,” Goliath shouted. This went on for 40 long days and nights. Goliath was just too big, too impressive, too strong.

Now, comes young David. He had brothers fighting on the Israelite side and Jesse, their father, sent David with some food (“ten cheeses”) to the commander and to check on this brothers “and bring back assurance from them.” David got up that morning and left their flock of sheep in the care of a shepherd, loaded up the food, and set out to check on his brothers. When he arrived, the two sides were facing each other, weapons drawn. David left his supplies and ran to the battle line to see about his brothers. “As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.”

That’s when the youth David, stepped up and said, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

Whoa! Hold the phone, David! This giant Goliath has been trained to be a warrior since he was young. David, you are just a young boy!

That’s when David told Saul of the Israelite army that “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,  I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Imagine that kind of faith. Saul felt it, too. He helped David prepare for battle by dressing him in a typical battle attire – a suit of armor, a bronze helmet, and a heavy sword. The armor was so heavy, that David couldn’t walk around in the armor. Instead, he took it all off and asked for 5 smooth stones from the river.

So, David stood before Goliath “glowing with health and handsome” with a stick and a handful of rocks and Goliath was offended and despised David. Goliath yelled at him that he was going to give David’s flesh to the birds and wild animals. David stood and proclaimed, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

David ran towards Goliath, taking a stone, placing it into his sling, and let it fly. Could you imagine the breathless moments as the stone flew through the air and them landed with a thud into Goliath’s giant forehead… and then as 9 foot tall Goliath fell face first into the dusty ground.

Goliath was an impressive beast. David, the slip stitch.

There are so many lessons to be learned from this story, but the one I want to make is that no matter how insignificant or lowly you seem and feel, just remember the little slip stitch and David. You don’t have to be a fancy stitch, just a faithful small stitch will do.