Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Today I am reflecting on seasons. No...not "fall" or "winter" aka "summer" in Tejas. The kind of seasons that relate to what we are walking through. We have big seasons in life: high school, dating, college, falling in love, being broke, being pregnant, being up all night with kids, fighting kids, pooping kids, screaming kids. You get the point. We have these little intervals of life when things are different. Phases when things are hard and then phases when things are even harder. Blah blah blah. We have all heard this. The reason I am reflecting this today is because I am in the early stages of studying Esther and the word cherished came up today. I love this word so much. Matt Carter used this word a lot at family camp in describing how he wanted his wife to feel. Cherish means to care about DEEPLY. Admire, adore, appreciate. I am thinking of times that I have CHERISHED different things.
There have been times (namely when we didnt have kids yet) that I absolutely cherished everything about my husband. I got butterflies at the mention of his name. Don't get me wrong, I love that guy's guts...but you know how it is after 8 years. We sometimes find ourselves on a merry go round of this thing called life and all those butterflies get shuffled around in the mix a bit. I get the butterflies still and Lord willing I will get butterflies around Justin for the next 80 years, but let's face it. I do not get them at the mere mention of his name.
There was a time that I CHERISHED my mom more than anything. I valued her opinion over any others. I sought her approval daily. I wanted to please her at all times. I think we are all like this when we are young, but then I lost my mom and I didn't know how to feel like I was doing things right. She was the one who built me up and encouraged me. When she was gone I wasn't sure who would acknowledge my strengths and forgive my weaknesses.
There have been many times that I have CHERISHED friendships. From a very young age I always thought the more the merrier was the way to go! I never went anywhere without 15 of my favorite people. I was an only child, but for some reason being alone was never comfortable to me. I brought this idea into my adulthood and slowly God showed me that quality heavily outweighs quantity. I have learned that people pleasing gets you into more trouble than it could ever be worth. Helping turns into manipulation and honesty turns you into a moving target. Being the girl "that likes everyone" can leave you feeling very lonely. It has taken a lot of prayer, tears and frustration for me to come to place where I realize that LESS is MORE. I wish I would have learned this 15 years ago! I have made so so so so so so so so soooooooo many mistakes as a friend (and as a mom and wife and daughter too!).  I am so flawed. I am so sinful. I am so so many things. I am able to see the long journey that I have been on and this time of reflection when things are so clear is when the Lord has brought me a core of sisters that cannot be beat. Perfect timing. Why am I surprised by this?
You see, there have been times where I CHERISHED lots of things more than I CHERISHED my Father. Through the years I have been stripped down to a whole new me. A me that CHERISHES Him above all others. Above my husband, children and friendships. It has taken losing a lot to realize what I have gained. A real and precious relationship with Christ, a deep and meaningful relationship with my husband and friendships that are based on love and truth and honor. 
I cannot have butterflies with my husband and I cannot feel adored and forgiven if I have not put Him first. It just doesnt work. I know this because I learned it the hard way.
And because my God is a God of all that is good and beautiful and amazing and redeeming...I walk through my most difficult time of life with this little nugget of info in my pocket: HE CHERISHES ME. More than I will ever ever know.

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