A discipline

MaddyChristine Hope Photography-0700This morning I really need my time with God.  I slept little last night.  My night was filled with tormenting dreams yet again. The dreams make a whole lot of sense, I am processing emotions that are within. Getting up like this is very very hard.  I am tired, I feel exhausted and the day just doesn’t seem bright.  The day feels like a task.  There is no joy.  
I haven’t slept well for weeks on end (I should probably say months on end.)  There was an entire month I was without sleep.  Lately I get some hours here and there.  Ever been without sleep?  Well, it’ll change your outlook on life.
So I got up and decided to climb behind the computer and read some blog posts of some dear internet friends of mine (Vicky and Holley for instance).  The posts I ran into were all about making a conscious choice about focusing on beauty and blessings.  I tell you, that is HARD when you get up in the morning the way I do, with little to no sleep.  That is why I went to the computer in the first place.  It was hard to go sit on that beloved porch and seek God.  But the posts I read awakened some needed discipline.  If I want a shot at this day… it’ll start right there on that porch and no where else.   
Like Vicky wrote: “It takes effort to turn our thoughts back to blessings.
It really does!  But it really is very important.  I have done everything I can to change my sleeping problems, and other issues I am dealing with for that matter.  I have taken melatonin.  I exercise.  I eat healthy.  I take other supplements.  I get counsel if I need it.  I pray.  Tim and I battle this in prayer like never before.  I sit with God.  I plead with God.  And there is nothing more I can do.  I rest my case.  And it brings me to God.  Apparently I can’t change this problem in my life.  Apparently it is not up to me to do so.  It is time to sit with God.  Plain and simple but oh so very hard to do.  And so when it is dark, when joy is no where to be found, when I am just really begging God to take of the oppression off of me… I need to look at other things. Not at my current status but at the past and where I have come from, I need to look at the future and see all that God can do, and I AM in the now, I see the beauty and I count my blessings.
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This was also shared at Holley’s Coffee For Your Heart.  To read more personal stories or get encouraged, go HERE !


As Good Friday is getting close, I prepare myself. Of all celebrations of the Christian faith, this, to me, is the biggest one. And it’s not about chocolate and Easter baskets, it’s not even about food and a family get together, although I do enjoy a family gathering. Frankly, I don’t like the name Easter for this Holy day. And it is something much more silent and within.
I would dislike for Good Friday to come and go and then to find myself in church on Sunday celebrating a miracle. To me the miracle begins on Friday. And I want to prepare myself for that. I want to be conscious about the gift given TO ME. I have been doing this for some years now and every year this gift is hard to fathom. It is FOR ME!
As of Monday I am withdrawing a bit from the world. I realize how addicted I am to my computer and phone as I choose to spend less time with them. I also do not go out to meet friends, do fun stuff, or spend time in stores and such. Lastly, I withdrew from food. I know we are not always to talk about when we fast but I am breaking that rule. I fast to get weak. When I fast I can’t move as fast. I lose strength, and that is the perfect place to be for this week as I contemplate Good Friday and an amazing resurrection FOR ME on Sunday. And while I withdraw, I give my time to the Lord. I just want to be still, I want to meditate, think of, reflect upon and take in Jesus. So I pray. I praise. I read in the Word. I worship.

I Love Valentine’s Day

Yesterday or any day before I would not have said I love Valentine’s Day. I feel it is a commercialized day which lots of people going crazy with money and the only people who benefit are store owners. Yes, that is truly how I felt. I don’t like to do things that have lost the true reason for the season (or day). Maybe it’s because I was single all those years. Maybe because I had no one to share deep love with that made Valentine’s Day meaningless. But even as Valentine’s Day came closer and closer my feelings didn’t change. I didn’t want Tim to feel he had to spend money on gifts and such. I wanted to express my love for him, but in a Maddy way which was probably with home made things like baking love heart cookies or something.
I started writing this blog post yesterday and see there is not much love for Valentine’s Day: Since last year Valentine’s Day became actually special. Still, I would say I am not crazy about this day. I refuse to spend much money, that is NOT what this day is about. I refuse! But I couldn’t help to think about ways I could let Tim know he is special to me. But Tim’s love language is not ‘words’ so writing him a card is not the way. 🙁 This is sad to me because I am all about the written word.
And now a day later, the day after Valentine’s Day I would say it is an amazing day. A wonderful day. A Lovely day. It is a day where love is spread and communicated in sweet ways. Tim is amazing at it! And I would be crazy to not embrace that. So yes, it was probably my singleness that gave no meaning to this day. Because now, now I get it!
I felt so joyous. I felt such love from Tim and for Tim. Tim really gave the day meaning and in the best (and inexpensive) of ways showed me love. I felt it all very deep in my heart.
Without discussing the day much we both found sweet ways to love on each other. Tim had asked me weeks ago if it would be okay if we celebrated Valentine’s Day with friends and I thought it was a great idea. Tim knows I love surprises and so that is all I knew about it. This in and of itself blessed me. Tim knew keeping things a secret would bless my heart.
In the morning my tea and OJ were accompanied by love heart straws. Such a simple and cheap way for him to show me his love and it spoke volumes of “I think of you today in special ways. You matter!” Then I walked downstairs and I stumbled upon this gigantic card. I had seen those cards in the store (remember, in my pre-Valentine’s Day attitude) and I thought: “Yeah right, 6 dollars for a mega card like that, that will have no place in the home in the end.” Well the card HAS a place in our home for now. Even though Tim’s love language isn’t words, he lacked no creativity when he wrote this card. And this, this made my day.
We spend a lovely day together, me still getting over me being sick. We went for a little walk in Longwood Gardens where Tim was very patient with me when I wanted to take photos (of him). Another way he shows me love. Patience communicates love people!
When we got home I found this by our door:
I was amazed Tim had more in store for me. I was fully satisfied with the straws, and the card. This just blew my mind. I had not expected it and Tim really did an awesome job of being my husband and showering me with his love. He got me Dutch tulips! With a card that had a sentence from his vows to me. How precious and meaningful. Thought through, through and through. You can imagine my change of heart right?
And I knew what I had up my sleeve for later. I was going to make a love heart trail to our decorated bedroom where he would find a romantic scene with champagne, love heart brownies and our vows in frames.
Altogether it was a sweet day. A day that changed my look on Valentine’s Day. 
I did think of my single friends and family and felt for them. I know for many of them it is an awkward day. You try to focus on God, knowing His will is best, but that can be hard on a day like this. So I prayed for you girls. Know that!
Melissa was extremely happy for me yesterday, my first Valentine’s day with Tim and she wrote me this: “Ido feel like this day is a gift to me as far as your life story goes. I always felt so burdened to try to make it special for you– and to let you know how loved you were (are!). But now I know that will be MORE than taken care of by the BEST person possible.”
And she is right… Melissa did think of me, her single friend, on Valentine’s Day. Now I will take on that burden for my single loved ones…
Our plans got changed last night. Our friend Kristin was sick and so the romantic plans Jason made felt through. We ended up hanging with awesome Joe and Joy. That is always good fun!
Love is in the air with these two…
I remember last year… Last year, 9 days before Valentine’s Day, I walked into who would soon be my husband. Being an ocean apart, he sent me flowers and the most meaningful card, having selected his words carefully.
This year, we were together, as husband and wife, for the very first time. Valentine’s Day, in a way, I hope is a day like any other. The effort we make today, I hope we make every day.