The Big Climb

Yesterday I participated in The Big Climb, an event that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).  For months ahead of time we raise money for LLS, train for the ascent up the Columbia Tower, and nervously await the day.  It is really amazing being a part of this team and this effort!

The day finally arrived and I had so much nervous energy I could barely sit still.  I had managed to remain calm leading up to the event, but the day of was a whole different story.  I kept asking Justin questions about what it would be like, what I should eat before, how long did he think it would take me, and many more.  I finally just told myself I could do it.  I can do anything if I put my mind to it and really my only goal was to get to the top.  I didn’t care how long it took me; I would just make it to the top.

At 4pm we lined up in nervous anticipation of the climb up 69 floors, 1,311 steps and 788 feet of vertical elevation.  I have been a daily exerciser for a little over a year now, have lost almost 70 pounds, and completely overhauled my lifestyle.  So when the opportunity to join my husband in this event came I jumped at the chance to get in on the action.  I was sure all the hard work I had been doing would make this a piece of cake.  Okay, okay, not a piece of cake, but I knew I could at least make it all the way to the top.

So there I was playlist ready to go, tennies on, full of so much energy and anticipation I thought I would burst.  And then they said go.  I was off in a nervous whirl of jogging and walking and trying to get my playlist going and stick to the plan I had made in my head.  It all went out the window as soon as I got on those stairs.  It wasn’t what I was imagining, it got hard quicker than I ever thought it would and my perfectly timed order of songs was on shuffle so my groove was a bit off.  I just kept hearing Justin in my head telling me just don’t stop.  Slow down if you have to, but don’t stop.  So that is what I did, I kept moving.  Sometimes two steps at a time, sometimes one, with lungs slowly starting to burn, water bottle in hand once we reached the first water stop (which I was so grateful for).  At about floor 21 I remember thinking what have I gotten myself in to?  What was I thinking?  Why did I ever think this was something I could do?  But I kept pushing forward with every bit of strength I had.  My lungs ached starting around floor 15 and it just kept getting worse until I got to the top.  I knew I had the strength I just needed to let my brain know that I did.

As I climbed every flight and saw pictures hung on the walls in memory of those who have fought cancer, those still fighting, and those doctors/researchers working hard to make a cancer free world I felt so encouraged to keep moving.   I read each name and look at each of their faces.  Their battle is so much harder than what I was doing in that moment and if they could do it so could I.  I pushed harder each floor, not just wanting to be rid of this ache in my lungs, but to be rid of cancer.  To push forward in making a cancer free world; because I would give anything to have my grandma still alive and vibrant in this world.  She battled cancer beautifully and although she ultimately lost that battle, her resilience through it all was truly amazing.  And she left quite the legacy behind her.  A legacy of family and love and strength and of course a great spread of comida Española.

So before I knew it the strength of those cancer fighters and of course my Grandma propelled me to the top.  Each step felt worst than the last, my lungs gasping for more oxygen, my entire body covered in sweat, but I made it.  I don’t think I looked pretty when I reached the top, but man did I feel strong and inspired.  I had conquered the climb!  And in 15 minutes and 24 seconds!  I might even say I kicked more butt than I thought I would.

I want to thank everyone that donated to this amazing cause!  I appreciate your help in getting us closer to a cancer free world.  There is still two more weeks to raise money too!  You can visit my page to donate.  http://www.llswa.org/goto/emilyrose  And our team is always looking for new recruits so if you feel like you might want to climb 69 floors next year shoot me an email.  Our team captain wants our team to keep growing so that we can get the word out about this amazing cause!  Plus it is a killer workout, not literally though, all team members made it to the top safe and sound.  Proof can be found in the picture below.

IMG_6584

Our team at the top…The Prom Kings!

A Month of Gratefulness

So, I am a little late to the game, but I figured it being the month of Thanksgiving I should jump on the band wagon and start counting my blessings.  I will catch up to yesterday and hopefully post daily for the rest of the month, but maybe it will just be a weekly update.  Who knows?!

One of my favorite sayings is There is always something to be grateful for.  It reminds me how sometimes in the midst of life I forget to count my blessings.  I am blessed with so much, yet I too often focus on the negative and what I don’t have that I want. So, here is my written reminder to myself of all that I am thankful for/blessed with during the month of November 2014.

November 1st – On this day I was thankful for Justin’s family.  Getting to know Justin’s mom’s side of the family has been a long time coming, but over the past several months I have had many opportunities to be with them, get to know them, share life with them, work alongside them, etc.  I haven’t had the best of luck (that is how I am nicely putting it) with some of my in laws, so being accepted into this family has meant the world to me.  We spent all day moving his grandparents from Port Orchard to Mount Vernon and although it was physically exhausting I had a blast and am so thankful for it.

November 2nd – Justin worked overtime this day and I man alive am I thankful for that.  Justin and my dad have been working on a lot of remodeling projects over the last several months, including rewiring the basement, adding electricity to the garage, etc. and although the end result is beyond exciting the money it takes to get there tends to add up.  I am beyond grateful that Justin has an amazing job that he loves and one where he can work a lot of overtime to pay for all those home improvement projects he dreams up.

November 3rd – I woke up this morning to a completely empty living room and dining room all in preparation for the drywallers coming to put up a new ceiling.  Although my dad and Justin are rock stars at getting things done, sometimes they need an extra hand, and that hand came from our good friend Jake Doty the night before.  He came over after work to help Justin move all the big furniture into the garage.  Jake has helped up with countless projects around the house and for that I am very grateful.  Jake is a friend that Justin and I have shared so much of our life with and we are both so grateful for him.

November 4th – Today I was thankful for my grandma.  Normally on Tuesday nights we would head over to her house to have dinner, but on this Tuesday with multiple contractors at our house at the same time, having to work a full day, and just generally being overwhelmed the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner just to drive it over to someone else’s house to eat it.  So, my grandma, being as amazing as she is, agreed to come over to our semi torn apart house to have dinner there so I didn’t have to pack everything up and haul it over.  She is absolutely the best!

November 5th – #wednesdaysaremyfavorite  This is a day of the week I am always thankful for because it is the day that Alissa comes over for dinner, drinks, tv, talking, or just whatever we feel like doing.  I look forward to it every week and I am forever grateful that I have developed this relationship with her.  When we were little I never would have guessed we would be this close, but I was happily mistaken and can’t image living life with without her.  She is absolutely the best too!

November 6th – So, the 5th and the 6th kind of ran right into each other, as I didn’t even go to bed until about 3 am.  My Auntie Mari who was in Mexico for work had a 12 hour layover in Seattle before she headed back home to Singapore.  So, we all stayed up late to pick her up from the airport and have a late night/early morning meal with her.  Despite being long ready for bed we all had a great meal at 13 Coins at around 12:30 am only to wake up again to get her back to the airport at 9 am.  It was crazy, but fun and I am so thankful that despite being half way across the world Mari still tries to see us as much as possible!

November 7th – On this day I was thankful for my dog, Bella, and her “iron gut.”  This pup has eaten everything from Krispy Kreme donuts to the stuffing inside of her play toys.  If it is within her reach she will eat it (although she has never eaten any shoes which I thought was a common dog thing – weird!).  Much to my dismay Miss Bella had found the bag of chocolate I left on the nightstand and decided to help herself, not the whole bag so she must have some self control.  Needless to say the amount of chocolate she had eaten coupled with the massive guilt I felt for having left it there gave me an insane amount of anxiety. Thankfully she really does have an “iron gut” and after getting her to throw up what she had on her stomach she seemed to be fine. Crisis averted, thank goodness!

November 8th – Today was quiet as no contractors showed up for the drywall.  That was a little irritating, but it gave me the day to read my book (Gone Girl – which is amazing by the way and if I had unlimited time to read I would definitely not put it down) and take a much needed nap.  So, in a way I am thankful that my house is torn up because there is no sense in doing my normal cleaning and the only thing I could actually do was relax.

November 9th – The day went much the same as the day before.  If you can’t really do anything around the house you are forced just to relax.  So, Justin and I slept in (which after many days of working Justin was so happy about), drank coffee and talked, and even watched some of our tv shows together in the middle of the day (what???? I didn’t even know that was possible).  Yep, it was one lazy Sunday and after the last week of craziness I was so thankful for every minute of it!

Reblog: Three Ways to Not Hate Your Husband

Good read!  The part of this that hit me the most was the end:

“You may have noticed that these things have everything to do with my heart and nothing to do with his. Somewhere along the line I realized I can’t change or control him. I can change and control me.”

This didn’t speak to me necessarily about Justin as I haven’t yet had the desire to smother him with a pillow (although we are only two years in so I make no promises).  This spoke to me because it is so applicable to your relationships with everyone in life….with family, with husbands, with kids, with coworkers, with friends.  For some reason, I am sure because we are human, our instant reaction is to blame the other person; I am beyond guilty of this.  Yet we can’t control/change other people, but we can change ourselves, our own hearts.  That hit me hard this morning and got me thinking!

Three Ways to Not Hate Your Husband.

To the best papa I know

I don’t get to spend Father’s Day with my dad today because he headed to Boston for work this morning. He is not the traveling businessman type usually, but he is starting to take on bigger challenges at work. So, it is different to have him leave every once in a while, especially when he has to miss days like today. But that got me thinking that for me I appreciate my dad everyday not just once a year. Yeah I probably don’t show it to him every day (I can still be a little stinker sometimes even as an adult), but I really do appreciate my dad everyday of the year. He has taught me so much, been a shining example of a father and husband, been there for me no matter what, has cheered me on in every path I have chosen to follow, loves me unconditionally, and always keeps me laughing. He is the best Papa I know and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. So, happy Father’s Day Papa…I love you!!

Oh and a special shout out to my dads better half (hee hee), my Mama, the woman who I choose daily to be just like because I would be crazy not to follow the best example of a mom in the world. Plus, I can’t talk about one parent without talking about the other because the reason they are both uniquely awesome is that they work together as a team in everything. Love you!

Quotes

I love quotes…they help inspire me during difficult times, sum up my own thoughts and feelings, and make me feel all warm and snuggly inside.  

Justin and I watched Tears of the Sun the other night (which was great, thought provoking, but a little tough to get through without tears).  At the end of the movie they put a quote up on the screen.  I had never heard it before and it really hit me. 

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

Sometimes it feels that evil triumphs all on its own and there is nothing you can do to thwart the pain and anguish that it causes.  However, this quote reminded me that despite it feeling to be a hopeless situation it doesn’t mean we should stop trying.  It is difficult fighting against evil, especially the kind we can’t see, but if the good guys stop fighting they are only giving in to what evil wants.  We have to stand up for what we believe in, fight for good, and as summed up in another of my favorite quotes, we must speak the truth even if our voice shakes.  

The Rose Life (November through December)

I keep thinking that life will slow down enough for me to start writing on the blog.  You know the feeling. “If I just get through Thanksgiving I won’t be so busy….if I can just get through Christmas life will slow down…”  And so on and so forth.  Life just doesn’t slow down and I have had to realize that if I want to do something I need to make time for it.

So I am finally sitting down and writing.  It does feel good because I love to write.  I mean, duh, I am an English major, clearly I love to write whether it is a well thought out essay or just a random compilation of thoughts.  I wish I could remember that when I am feeling like I don’t want to compose anything for the blog.  Maybe I put too much pressure on myself to have it be deep and heartfelt.  Who really knows.  Anyway, since I don’t feel like composing a thoughtful and eloquent post for each of the special events in the last several monthsI will just catch you up quickly with a list.

So here goes, below are the little (and big) tidbits of the Rose LIfe – November through February…

  • Lee, Scott, and Jax moved back to Oregon from Arizona…yippee!!  We did a kamikaze trip down there to surprise them on their first weekend back in Pacific Northwest.  We were just a little happy that they live close enough for us to drive to them.
  • My grandma took a spill and broke her wrist.  Several days of doctor and hospital visits, mingled with quick trips to visit the top of the Columbia Tower and get her hair done.  She handled it all like a trooper (seriously, she is so strong…I want to be just like her when I grow up) and is now doing great and is all healed up.
  • Justin and my dad finally put the finishing touches on the kitchen upstairs.  Let’s just say that it was worth all the work because it is absolutely gorgeous!
  • In a strange twist of events, we went to Arizona for Thanksgiving.  The original plan was to visit Lee, Scott, and Jax, but several weeks after booking our non-refundable trip Scott got a new job in Oregon and they would be moved back before Thanksgiving.  Thankfully Justin’s grandparents on the Rose side live down there so it wasn’t a completely wasted trip.  I am going to save this part of the trip for its own blog post.  It deserves so many more words.  We arrived home on Saturday night and drove up north to a tree farm the next day so Justin could cut down his very first Christmas tree.
  • The weekend after Thanksgiving we had a belated turkey dinner…complete with a turkey killed by Justin.  That same weekend we threw a kitchen completion/Christmas party.  It was a busy weekend to say the least, but completely worth it!  Oh and Mari came home from Singapore for a month long visit.  Yay!
  • We headed to Portland the next weekend to visit the fam and doing a little tax free shopping.  Visiting a couple famous Portlandia restaurants, doing a kamikaze downtown Portland tour for the newest visitor, Nick, shopping the day away at Woodburn outlet malls, were just a few of the many things we crammed into a weekend.
  • A weekend later the troops started to arrive at our house for what became a fun-filled, loud, busy, and absolutely fabulous family adventure.  A night at Great Wolf Lodge with the whole family (minus a couple who were greatly missed) started our week together.  It was non-stop water park fun for twenty four hours.  Auntie Mari even rented a cabana for the second day.  So much fun!  The best part is we got to be there together and even my Uncle Lemmy, who prefers to have fun outdoors, couldn’t help get into the spirit of Great Wolf.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas day were cram packed full of visits from family, huge meals, lots of games.
  • The fun didn’t stop after Christmas.  Jax got a poker set as a present and every night the family, including the little ones, gathered around the dining room table for a friendly game of poker.
  • Auntie Mari took Lauren and I to high tea at the Queen Mary.  It was Lauren (and Monchichi’s first time) and it was absolutely fabulous.  Mari took me there many times when I was growing up and it was fun to be able to start that tradition with Lauren.
  • The next day was the boys adventure.  Auntie Mari took the boys to EMP, followed by a jaunt at Pike Place, and then met up with the rest of the fam for a tour through Zoo Lights.
  • After many days with a house full of people, everyone went back to their own homes and our house was once again quiet.  As much as the chaos drives me a bit crazy when everyone is around I miss it almost immediately when everyone is gone.
  • New Years Eve was a quiet one for us.  We conquered home made churros and drank champagne at midnight.
  • On January 6th Justin and I went on the first of the 13 dates of 2014.  That was my Christmas gift to Justin, a collection of pre-planned dates every month during 2014.  So, far we have relived our first date at Bamboo Bar and Grill, gone to a glassblowing class, did a little tasting/tour at 2bar Spirits, and our next date is a weekend away.
  • We had a little Super Bowl party and were awfully excited when the Seahawks won.  Justin and my mom took a shot every time the Seahawks scored…unfortunately we didn’t know the Seahawks would kill the Broncos so lets just say that Justin slept really well that night.  Hee hee!
  • Justin and his crew met up with my dad downtown and watched the Seahawks victory parade.  I watch from work and lived vicariously through them.
  • The little bit of snow we got was a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, my mom and I were shopping up in Marysville and within in minutes of us heading home the snow started coming down and we were stuck going 15 miles an hour most of the way home.  We got home safe and sound, but it was quite the trek.  I could have taken a few more days of it, but I am just happy it snowed at all!
  • Justin made me a homemade Valentines day dinner.  It was very yummy!  He was super clever and checked the meals I had pinned on Pinterest and used one for the dinner.  How did I get such a smart one?
  • Mom, dad, Justin, and I went to see Spamalot the next day.  I must admit, as a non-fan of Monty Python (I know, I’m weird, but I just don’t find it funny), I was a little nervous that it would bore me.  I was happily surprised at how much I liked it.  It kept me laughing the whole time and it made Monty Python humor understandable to someone like me.  I would recommend it to everyone!

So, that is it, the low down on everything we have done for the past several months.  Justin and I are heading out tonight for a weekend away and in 12 days we will hop a plane to Singapore to visit Auntie Mari for two weeks.  Yikes, the nervousness and excitement are mingled together!  This is the biggest trip Justin and I have ever been on and no matter how old we get we still get a little nervous being that far from home.  It should be a ton of fun and clearly it is a once in lifetime experience that we won’t ever regret.  Singapore here we come!

Love Always Wins

I’m sitting here on the chair in my room waiting for my nails to dry and I am looking up at the words painted above our bed…love always wins.

I love this saying. My mom first heard it and now it has become something like a mantra in our home. It is true that love always does win. Sometimes it seems an impossible truth, but despite the turmoil or curveballs the world throws at us love is always winning in our lives, even in the simplest of ways.

On this day that is all about love…I am so grateful for all the loves of my life…my incredible husband, fantastic parents, great friends, and the rest of my crazy and awesome family. So, happy valentines day to the loves of my life…thanks for showing me that love really always does win!

20140214-161719.jpg

Two of My Favorite Monkeys

Our special visits with Keelan (and now Lauren too) have become quite the tradition with us.  Every year the kids get to spend a week, or sometimes two, by themselves with us in Seattle.  Actually, this summer we got a special bonus couple of weeks where we had both the kids at the same time while their parents were painting the house.

IMG_5805

These weeks are sacred to my parents, Justin, and I.  We not only count down the days until they arrive, but in some cases we busily prepare for their arrival with room remodels (decorated especially for Lauren) and planning events/trips for their time with us.  I am so thankful that my Uncle Lem and Aunt Chantay (their parents) make a point of planning these visits every year.  We were all sad when they made the decision to move eight hours away, but I think we see them more now than we ever have.  Our family relationships clearly have not suffered because of the distance and for that I am forever thankful.

All that being said, the special visits are cram packed full of fun stuff and adventures and I have a ton of pictures to prove it.

This past summer was Lauren’s third trip to Seattle and it was by far the best yet.  This little girl, and her overly pinkalicious wardrobe, has snuck into my heart and set up camp.  I have to admit that I never thought I could have the same special relationship I have with her big brother (I know, I know, I am a terrible cousin).  We have jokingly called her a cat and her brother a dog, so naturally it was a little hard to crack the surface of this little one, but boy was I wrong.  Once she opens up she is the sweetest little “monkey” and, although she maintains her own unique personality, she is a lot like her brother.  We have seriously bonded during her trips (and especially during our recent Disneyland vacation) and she has a special place in my heart.  I love her a lot and I am so thankful to have formed this special relationship with her, just like her brother.

IMG_4791 IMG_4744

I am not even sure what number trip this is for Keelan; he has been here so many times I have lost count.  Basically, he has been around us so much he just slips into our lives like he has always been there.  Keelan, or “Bubba” as I like to call him, is a very special little boy.  I enjoy being around him and his little heart is so full of love for everyone and everything.  The relationship he and Justin have formed is incredible.  Justin went from being a little nervous around Keelan to being super at ease with him.  And I will tell you this, some of the things that Keelan has said to Justin about his family situation have been like salve on his broken and aching heart.  Keelan is unlike any nine year old I have ever met; his huge heart is always on his sleeve and his constant love and attention to you is a special quality that I pray he never loses.

IMG_4909 IMG_6119

I guess by now you can probably tell that these two little kids have stolen our hearts and we all could not imagine our lives without them.  Thanks again Lem and Chantay for creating these awesome little turdlets and for allowing us to have this special relationship with them!

A Local Farm Feeding Local People (who aren’t always veggie/fruit savvy)

My experiment in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) has gone well so far.  I have been forced, in a good way, to learn about new fruits and veggies and what to do with them.  Everything in my boxes has been fresh and delicious!  I must say that we have eaten more vegetables in the last couple of weeks than we normally do because we are trying to use up everything before our next box comes.  I guess overall it has been a really good thing.  Thanks to my friend Aubrey for always instagramming pictures of the beautiful veggies that came in your box…it made taking the leap into the unknown much easier!

I have to tell you the one funny story related to our CSA box because it had my mom and I rolling with laughter the other night.  There are some veggies in the box that I don’t recognize at all and sometimes have never actually heard of it.  There is a list of what could be in the box, so using that and google image search I can usually determine what everything is.  This technique failed me slightly when cutting up the veggies for pisto (a Spanish veggie stew) I cracked open the “squash” and started cutting it into chunks, all the while realizing that this “squash” smelled an awful lot like a honeydew.  After my mom questioned the smell as well I suddenly realized I may not be cutting up a squash, but actually cutting up a melon which I originally thought wasn’t a part of our box.  The taste test confirmed my suspicion and the laughter exploded.  That was a hilarious mistake and one I will definitely not forget!

Here is what I thought all melons looked like…

melon

Here is what my “squash” which was actually a melon looked like…

ME5

It resembles a squash a little, right?  Oh the joys of CSA!  

Relying on God

Within the last several weeks stresses have been high, pressure has been on, and it seems that the worries just keep piling on.  It has felt all too much at times and living in community with my husband and my parents has felt overwhelming and nearly impossible.

I say all of that because it has been in those moments, where hopelessness and depression meet, that God has been the most present.  I understand that He is always present, but I am the worst at letting Him in to those moments.  For me, when life gets hard, I spring into action and pull myself up by the bootstraps.  Relying on others, especially God, is not my strong suit.  However, in these last few weeks it has been extremely evident that I cannot run this race alone.  Not only do I need to improve this with those around me, but God has been teaching me that when I rely on Him he shows me, with great immediacy, that He is always there and desires for me to seek Him.

Today, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, if you know what I mean.  It was one of those mornings where after intensely dreaming about Justin’s family situation (lets just say the dream was slightly more like a nightmare) coupled with the fact that getting through this past weekend was like riding an emotional roller coaster for 48 hours straight, I awoke with a heavy heart and anger bubbling inside.  Knowing that I couldn’t start the day out with a bad attitude I tried to ignore the feelings and get on with my day.  Like usual it didn’t work all that well and the anger was now bubbling over into something that was clearly going to ruin my day.   I sat down to check my email and decided to open the daily devotional I get while silently asking God for his help with these feelings.  Let’s just say this is not something I would usually do, so to read the following was, to me, an immediate answer to prayer and affirmation that relying on God is always the best choice.

I thought I would share the devotional because it impacted me so much…

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Roman 12:19 (NIV)

Not too long ago there was a bust on a major interstate. Authorities discovered teens as young as 14 being held against their wills. The trucking industry was being used as a way to force these victims into modern-day slavery.

This not only makes my heart hurt, it makes me angry. I know without a doubt that God calls these precious girls beloved and worthy-not products to be sold.

This bust is a reminder that evil exists around the world. We see it in news-grabbing ways like terrorism and mass shootings, but it’s also hidden behind closed doors. It’s on every continent and in our own neighborhoods.

My emotional response to these types of evil is strong. But what about our Heavenly Father? Does He see it? Does He care?

Without a doubt, the answer is yes. Scripture tells us evil is the result of sin showing up in human nature. So how does God respond to our sin?

The Bible shows us God’s heart is to forgive. When we seek forgiveness with a repentant heart, He grants it. Not only that, but God asks us to forgive bad behavior of others. His love in us gives us the ability to pardon flawed humanity with humility and compassion.

Although God is ready to forgive us, the tone changes when Scripture talks about the evil one, Satan. Jesus described him in John 10:10 as “the thief [who] comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”

All sin grieves God’s heart, but He displays a righteous anger over unrepentant, premeditated acts that attempt to steal, kill, or destroy His beloved. The Bible tells us God will demand justice. As Romans 12:19 says,“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

You may think it is up to you to make someone pay for the wrong they have done. You long to let go of the anger and live again, but you feel chained to the past, chained to unforgiveness. It feels wrong to forgive what seems unforgiveable. When evil comes to your front door, or impacts those you love, you may struggle with feeling angry and secretly wanting revenge. You may think it’s up to you.

That’s when God’s righteous anger steps in to make us whole. When we realize God is angry for us, it removes a burden we aren’t big enough to carry. His righteous anger overshadows our anger as we let it go, and He scoops it from our hearts.

Does God care? The answer is yes. And the reason He’s asking you to forgive is not to absolve another person’s sin against you or to say that it was okay. It’s so that you, His precious daughter, can live free.

The enemy thinks he can steal dignity and peace from you, but as you release your anger to God, you keep your self-worth and calm instead.

The enemy wants to kill your spirit, but you can find renewed life as find freedom in forgiveness.

The enemy means to destroy you and your future, but God’s redemptive power is released as you let God handle the burden of anger for you. With His help, you can forgive the unforgivable.

It felt like God was talking right to me and showing me that my anger is a burden and He wants to carry it for me.  What really hit me is the part where it says that choosing to forgive doesn’t mean what they did was okay, but it is so I can live free.  I hold onto that anger because it feels, at times, that if I let it go it will somehow let the people I am angry with off the hook.  However, over the last week or so my own anger and sadness at watching my husband suffer as well has weighed so heavily on me.  This devotional was just what I needed and helped me even in the last six hours to give my burden to the Lord and let Him help me.

Another instant answer to prayer came about a month ago.  Tensions were high with the remodeling of the kitchen, there was a huge problem needing to be dealt with at Grandma’s house, Justin and I were at each other, I was thoroughly overwhelmed, made very evident by the abundance of tears flowing from me, and to top it all off I needed to buy Justin new suit pants for the wedding we were going to that evening (it’s always the little things that send me over the edge).  I sat on my unmade bed, in my dirty house, full of tension and anger, and prayed.  I prayed hard, with tears flowing, and asked for God’s help.  I didn’t know exactly what to ask for, but I just kept telling the Lord that this was too much and I needed him to step in and help.  As the tears subsided and I felt that I rambled at God long enough, I walked out of my room and sat down on the couch to talk to Justin.  After another attempt at dealing with the issues, more tears, a little resolution with Justin and with my parents, and some peace about everything (although the sense of being overwhelmed still remained), there was a knock on the door that could only be from one person.  She walked in needing support from us only to find that we needed something from her too.  So, we sat for over an hour, talking, laughing, digging into the issues we were all facing, and it felt good, really good.  I may not be the best person at living in community, but these are the times that God reminds me why it is so important to do so.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that this was my answer to prayer.  God really is great and letting Him in to help is always the best decision, but all too often I don’t.

I am thankful for these immediate answers to prayer because it has been a constant reminder to me, over the last month, to let Him in all the time, but especially in those moments where life gets tough.