Friday, April 28, 2017

What Are You Not Telling Your Spouse?

Don't tell my husband!
Don't tell my wife!

What they don't know, won't hurt them!

So..........
this is my personal opinion and 
I know a lot of people that don't feel the same way as I do.

Couples use these phrases all the time.
Anytime I hear someone saying them it really bothers me.

It can be something simple like:
A wife buys some new clothes or a coffee in the morning and says, "Don't tell my husband".
A husband purchases a new tool or gets a muffin on the way to work 
and says, "Don't tell my wife."

I have heard this phrase so many times over some really silly things 
and sometimes it's more serious.

I have heard it from family members, friends, and
posts on Facebook.
I have even heard it from pastors.
They are teaching and jokingly say something about their wives
 then say, "Don't tell my wife."
I have heard it from people teaching in bible studies.
I have even heard of a pastor that got a little road rage with his kids in the car so he took them for ice cream to bribe them not to tell their mom.

Yes, most of it is on trivial things.
But, does that really matter?
Should we be keeping things from our spouses?
What are we teaching our children?
It's not really a lie, is it?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about big lies. 
(that's for a whole other blog)
I'm talking about those little things.
The one where the one spouse is hiding a sugar addiction, smoking, purchases that you try to hide (yes, just like all those Facebook posts about hoping the UPS man comes when your husband is away), saying things that they don't want their husband or wife to know about. 
The small lies that we tell ourselves aren't really lies. 

I worked for a while in a small market in my town and while I was there I saw this a lot.
I had this one particular husband that would come in all the time when his wife was out of town.
He would come in, buy cigarettes and two gallons of ice cream.
He would say jokingly that his wife didn't allow those so he took advantage of the luxuries when she was away.

It is lying.

When we keep trivial things from our spouses so easily,
 it can lead to keeping more serious circumstances easily too.


It's true that those trivial things won't always turn into something worse.
But it could.
Are you willing to risk it?

On top of that, you are being disrespectful to your spouse.
How would you feel if you husband or wife could hear you. 
Or walked in the room right when you said that.

They would feel terrible, right?

I would hate that my husband felt he needed to hide things from me.
I would feel terrible that he was saying things about me that he felt I shouldn't know.
It would put a hint of doubt in part of our relationship.

If you can't say it, or do it in front of your spouse then it shouldn't be done.
Period.

Are secrets okay to keep?
By keeping secrets are you seeking the highest and best of God's gift of marriage?

God gave us a partner. A friend. A lover. 
Don't push them away by the small things. 
Strive to tell each other everything.
Strive to be honest at all chances.


Proverbs 12:19
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Speak Love!

Sticks and Stones may Break my Bones,
But words will never hurt me!

This childhood chant is all wrong. 
We grow up believing that this will protect us from the words of our peers. 
Hurtful words actually have the opposite effect.
They can cause pain for a lifetime.

In elementary school I was not part of the cool crowd.
I was a chubby girl with freckles.
My mom didn't have very much money raising 3 kids on her own.
Most of our clothes were hand me downs.
So, let's just say I was easy pickings.

I remember a boy in elementary school that was very cruel to me.
His name still brings on a tinge of anger.
We were in the same classes all the way through 8th grade.
UGH...

I had an older boyfriend in high school that was a very cruel, abusive person.
The things he told me still ring in my head 
when I'm feeling down about myself.

There are those comments and the people from your past
 that will sometimes pop back into your head throughout your life.
Sometimes you can blow them off as a childhood memory and
sometimes they will still devastate you
 and you will relive those comments.

Then there are the people close to you now. 
Your friends and family.
Those seem to be the comments that hurt the most
and have the most lasting effect. 

My husband and I have said so many things that we regret during arguments.
I can't get most of those things out of my head.
When I'm upset or down on myself, 
those comments are the things that pop back into my head.
They are the most hurtful.
Some of those comments will never be erased from my memory.
Some of those comments will hurt every time they are remembered.
The same goes for my husband.
He has told me some comments that I have said when I was upset that still hurt him.
I have to live with that. 
I have to live with the fact that I was careless with my words and
I hurt the person I love most.

This happens so often with our kids too.
Sometimes we say things we don't mean to our kids.
Or we get upset at our kids before thinking about how we are reacting.
They remember all of those things.
We work so hard to protect our children from pain.
If someone was making fun of your child or causing pain to your child, 
how would you react?
Do we want to be the people to cause them to hurt?
Do we want our children to remember us as angry or having harsh words?

Words can be devastating. 
Words are powerful beyond our imagination.
Words can be life changing.
They can be life changing in a bad or a good way.
We can use our words to bring life to one another.
To lift each other up.
Every time we open our mouths we can choose to give life or to take it.

That's why it's so important for us to raise our children to love one another.
To care for how others feel. 
There are always going to be cruel people in the world.
But, we can change the world by raising our children to be kind and loving.

Do you remember a kind word that was spoken in just the right moment?
Something that uplifted you for the day?
A comment that changed your perspective?
A person that spoke life giving words?

I have so many of these that it would be hard to list. 
So many people in my life have tried to speak life giving words.
Sometimes those words hit me right away and 
sometimes those words hit later in my life.

I try to speak life giving words to all the people in my life.
I'm not always good at it but I try.
I try to give encouragement at any chance I get to those around me.
I try to listen and think before talking to my children.
I try to speak kindly to my husband so I don't have words that I regret later.

As much as I have those painful words in my mind, 
I also have those loving words in my heart.

Words that my husband has given me will often keep me going.
Positive things that others say to me can give me a really wonderful day.

If you think something good, say it.
Don't pass by the opportunity to say something wonderful to or about someone.
If it comes to mind, say it right then. 
Don't wait.
Most of the time if you wait then another opportunity won't arise

Especially when it comes to your husband or wife. 
I have been trying to say things that I think right away.
Sometimes I think something wonderful and I forget to say it. 
Then my husband never knows.
 What a blessing it is that we can encourage the ones we love the most.
How wonderful is it that we can say the amazing things we think about our spouses
 and put them on cloud 9.
We can do that.
Why not use what we are thinking to bless our loved ones?
You can never give too much encouragement.

Never rob someone of an unspoken treasure.

This is also true with the words we speak to ourselves.
I struggle here for sure.
If you tell yourself your not beautiful, then you will believe it.
If you tell yourself that you hate your job, then you will hate it.
If you tell yourself that you aren't worth it, then you will believe you aren't worth it.

What we say to ourselves is what we will believe and it will shape our future.
We might not do something amazing because of the things we have said to ourselves.
We need to speak life to ourselves as well. 

God created us.
We are beautiful creatures.
He knit each of us together in our mother's womb.
God has a plan for our lives.
Don't tell yourself things that are untrue and hinder his plans for your life.
Remember the truths from God.
Remember that you are beautiful.
Remember that you can do all things with Christ. 

At all times say life giving words.
Your words matter.
Speak Life!
Speak Love!


Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Friday, April 7, 2017

LOVE

I have to say I'm one of the lucky ones.
I have an amazing marriage.

If you have read any of my blogs in the past then I tell bits and pieces of our marriage.
We have had so many difficulties in our short marriage.

We recently went through our third miscarriage. 
This is just one of our current struggles. 
I keep praying and asking God why.
Why do things keep happening to us?
Can we please just get a break?

You see, I want a break from the difficulties and heart ache
but God is growing us through these.

God's plan is always better,
even when we don't see it.

There are a few things that we have gone through that hurt so deeply.
 Most people would want that hurt to disappear. 
Most people would want it to never have happened. 
Most people would've ran.

Not me. 
It hurts to look back.
It's painful.
But..... I wouldn't change it.

God has used our pain to help us to bloom into who he has planned.
Our marriage wouldn't be where it is without that pain.

I now have a husband that is attentive to my needs.
He can tell how I am feeling just by looking at me.
We talk about everything.
He is ALWAYS willing to listen and understand.
But it's deeper than that.
It's like he feels my pain by just looking into my eyes.
We have a connection that God has given to us that wouldn't have been there if we didn't go through this pain together. 

Sometimes I can be difficult. 
I'm emotional.
He just flows smoothly through it with me. 
He encourages me, he guides me and when I'm upset he wraps me up in his arms and holds me.
I don't even think he knew how great of a husband he could be. 
I don't think he knows how great of a husband he is. 

As I was sitting in church last week I was struggling.
I've been struggling a lot lately.
I keep going back and forth on asking God why and knowing that what he has planned will be so much greater. 

I have asked why before and God was right.
This is much more than I could ever have thought.
He has blessed us in ways that I couldn't imagine. 

So as we are in this difficult time,
I'm held together by LOVE.
LOVE of God.
LOVE of my Husband.
LOVE of my Children.
LOVE of my Family.
LOVE of my Friends 
and 
LOVE of my Church Family. 

And we will always have that LOVE.

God has an amazing plan for our life.
God has an amazing plan for YOUR life.
Rest in him.
Give him your pain
and watch his plan unfold.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Letter to My Church Family

 Two weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to get up in front of my church and bare my heart. 
This was the scariest and most amazing experience. 
This is what I said.......


Hi, My name is Becca.
Some of you don’t know me and maybe you’re wondering why I’m standing up here. There are others of you that do know me but don’t know my past.
Then there are those of you that I have hurt and disappointed.

God calls us to confess our sins to one another and then we will be healed.
I know God has forgiven me already but I’m ready to be completely healed.

For those of you that don’t know me I will tell you a bit of my story.

I moved up to Lake Almanor about 8 years ago. I was a wife and a homeschooling mother of 2.
I fell in love with LACC. I started getting involved.

Then one Sunday Paul came and asked if I would be interested in helping out with our church Youth Group.
I was shocked because nobody had ever asked me anything like that.
I threw at him all the reasons that I shouldn't.
I told him that I have so much in my past and messed up so much in my life that I wouldn't be a good influence.
He said that was a perfect reason to be involved and that I can use those situations to help those young people that might be going through the same issues.
I also told him I was super shy and didn't like talking in front of people so I'm not sure I could be a leader.
So he asked me to just stop by and see what it's all about.

I experienced life with all of them for 3 years.
They ALL changed my life.
I felt like they all became my friends.
Yes, I was the adult but they were still my friends.
During those amazing 3 years I was able to be part of the most incredible experiences.
From Winter Camp, Hume, Kickback and a mission trip to Costa Rica.
Our Youth Pastor at the time now our Lead Pastor was able to push me to do things I would never have thought possible. (Like this. lol)
I got to watch these amazing young people grow.
I got to watch them walk through the some of the most difficult days in their young lives.
I was able to share the experiences and mistakes that I made with hope to help them not make the same mistakes.

Those Monday evenings, the camps and the mission trip weren’t just for all of them to change their lives but mine as well.
 I grew in my relationship with God immensely during that time. 
He brought me out of my comfort zone through all of them.
I feel like it's hard to put into words my feelings for all of them and what they mean to me.

Then, I did something that changed everything.

You all trusted me with your kids.
You trusted me to guide them down the right path but I didn’t
For years I had one piece of my life that I didn’t want to talk about.
My marriage.

I had been thinking about divorce for so long and I had just been hoping God would work on that part of my life as well.
That maybe God would bring me some kind of magic solution to make me love my marriage.
Yea
Years and years passed and it didn't come.
I was breaking down in that part of my life a little every day.
Nobody would know because I kept it inside.
I didn't want to be a bad influence or hurt my children.
But I ended up doing both of those things anyways.
No matter how hard I thought I tried, I just couldn't get past it.

By being around people that showed me that a divorce was okay I started believing it and I left.
I didn't just leave my husband but I left;
my life, my children, my family, my friends, my youth group and my church.
I changed everything that I did love all because I gave up.
Sometimes we think things are so difficult, that it's time to give up.
Don't ever give up.
God will always get you through eventually. 

From there I went to hanging out with a new crowd.
 I surrounded myself with people that agreed with me so I didn't have to feel bad for what I had done.
I fell.....
I fell from God....
In a way I got what I wanted but I lost so much more.

Then, shortly after that the Lord blessed me with Justin.
Yes, it was shortly after. 
Yes, it was a blessing.
Who knows where I would've gone without meeting him when I did.
Yes, I met him in the wrong way and at the wrong time, but I believe God knew what I needed. God saved me by bringing me an amazing man before I ruined my life even more. 

I walked away and made so many bad decisions. 
I was embarrassed.
I stopped coming to church because I didn’t want to be around people that would tell me that what I was doing was wrong.
The friends that cared about me.


To all the parents:
I was in leadership of all of your children.
God gave me an incredible position to do his work 
and I failed him.
I was leading them, some of them were stepping where I stepped.
 I influenced their lives and I drew them down the wrong path.
The one thing that hurts me most is that I might have led some of them astray.
I'm so sorry for disappointing you.
You entrusted your kids to me.
I had one of the most important jobs with your teenagers.
I'm sorry for hurting your kids.
I hope we can all look to the future that God has prepared.


Paul has heard this before but I added it anyways…….

To Paul: 
I'm so sorry. You believed in me.
You trusted that I would be a good influence.
I failed you.
Then, I left you to answer the questions that you didn't have the answers to. 
I didn't even have the courage to come back and tell them all myself.
Thank you for believing in me and still believing in me.
Thank you for praying for me.
Thank you for forgiving me.


To my two oldest children:
I never wanted this life for you.
I never wanted to hurt you.
I was selfish.
I don’t want you to have to share your holidays.
I don’t want you to have to carry your things back and forth in a suitcase every week because you want your favorite toys or clothes the next week.
I didn’t want you to be torn.
I have made your lives so much harder
And I am so very sorry.
There is nothing I can ever do to take back the pain I have caused you.


To my littlest toddler:
You are too young to understand any of this but,
I’m sorry your Sissy and Bubby are gone every other week.
I’m sorry that you have to ask for them to come home because you miss them so much.

To my amazing husband:
Thank you for being there for me.
You have had to walk a hard road with me.
We have had to walk a hard road.
Nothing has been easy for us.
Thank you for putting a smile on my face every day
 but especially on the hard days.
Thank you for being by my side.


 Lastly to my church family and friends:
I just wanted to say that I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for disappointing you.
I’m sorry for walking away from God and I’m sorry for walking away from you.
I hurt many of you and I can never take that back.
I’m sorry.


Even as adults we mess up.
Sometimes those mess ups can be life changing.
They can be embarrassing. 
We will sometimes be ashamed of our past.

But, there is always time to change your life.
There is always time to come back to God,
to let him take over your life.

God has blessed me in so many ways in the last couple of years since then.
I look back and I see him standing by me through all the difficulties.
He helped me along the way and directed my path even after I walked away.
He has always brought me back.
Let God direct your lives and your life will be better off.
Your life will be beautiful.

Some of you might say that it worked out for me so it can work out for you too.
Yes, it worked out for me.
I have been forgiven.
Yes, God will bless your life.
Yes, God will forgive you when you come back to him.
You still have to deal with the consequences of your choices.
The longer you are away from God the more consequences you will have.
I don’t want to be the person that someone looks at and says, that I did it and I’m happy, so they can too.
That may be true. I am happy. But it has come with a very difficult road.


I have been punishing myself for a very long time.
I thought God would never be able to use me again.
I have been a failure.

Paul has encouraged me many times with the story of David. He made many mistakes and was still called, “A man after God’s own heart.”
I desire to be a woman after God’s own heart.

Through my bad decisions God has given me a heart for marriage.
We have to fight for our marriages.
They are the most important work that we can do for God.
I believe that if our marriages are whole the rest of our lives will fall into place.


Whatever your carrying around today,
God wants to take the weight off your back,
so give it to him.

  
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

The whole sermon was absolutely amazing and I urge you to listen to it and I do come in towards the end. If you want to listen you can click here. 
http://lacconline.sermon.net/main/main/20876035

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Apologies To the Youth Group of My Heart

I want to start by saying that you all know who you are
 and you are all held deeply in my heart.
I have been wanting to write this for some time,
 but I didn't know where to start.
I have also thought about writing a personal message to each of you,
but I don't have all of you on my Facebook any longer.

I remember back to the day when Paul came to me in church and asked if I would be interested in helping out with our church Youth Group.
I was shocked because nobody had ever asked me anything like that.
I threw at him all the reasons that I shouldn't.
I told him that I have so much in my past and messed up so much in my life that I wouldn't be a good influence.
He said that was a perfect reason to be involved and that I can use those situations to help those young people that might be going through the same issues.
I also told him I was super shy and didn't like talking in front of people so I'm not sure I could be a leader.
So he asked me to just stop by and see what it's all about.

I remember that Monday night so clearly. 
That is the night that I fell in love with working with our Youth.
I remember one young lady(You know who you are :) ) running up to me and taking me on a tour. Taking me around to meet everyone and just sticking by my side.
I mean I'm the adult and she stepped out to make me feel comfortable. She made such an impact on my life right there from the start.

After that I was invited to help with the upcoming Winter Camp.
That set me in place, as if I wasn't already in at that point. That Winter Camp changed my life.
I became part of an amazing group of young people.

I kept coming and helping with youth. 
I remember how my shyness would kick in every week before heading to Youth.
I worried about saying something wrong. 
I worried about talking in front of people.
I remember how afraid I was when I knew we broke up into small groups.
I never led a small group before and I doubted myself.
I spent most of the day on Monday praying.
I just wanted God to work through me
I felt like Moses. I needed an interpreter to say what I wanted to, since I just didn't know how.

I felt like you all were my friends. 
I connected in with so many of you.
Yes, I was the adult but you were still my friends.
I experience life with all of you for 3 years.
The best 3 years.
You ALL changed my life.

Our Youth Pastor was really the one to pull me out of my cocoon.
Paul, is able to break the ice with anyone.
He is able to ask the right questions to get people talking and how to make people feel comfortable.
He was able to push me to do things I would never have thought possible.
It's just one of those many gifts that God has given him.

During those beautiful 3 years I was able to be part of the most incredible experiences.
From Winter Camp, to Hume, to Kickback and to a mission trip to Costa Rica.
I got to watch you amazing young people grow.
I got to watch you walk through the some of the most difficult days in your young lives.
I was able to help you with my ability to not hold back my past.
I was able to share the experiences and mistakes that I made with hope to help you not make the same mistakes.
I was able to be part of the Youth band and lead you in worship which is something else I wouldn't have ever done on my own.
Every week I looked forward to Monday so I could see all my favorite young people.
Those Monday evenings, the camps and the mission trip wasn't just for all of you to change your life but mine as well.
 I grew in my relationship with God immensely during that time. 
He brought me out of my comfort zone through all of you.
I feel like it's hard to put into words my feelings for all of you and what you mean to me.
I have never been around or seen a more amazing group of young men and women.

Then, I did something that changed everything.

I broke a piece of your hearts where you kept me.
For years I had one piece of my life that I was unhappy in. 
One piece that I didn't want to talk to you all about.
My marriage....

I remember so many times when one of you would mention marriage and I would try to change the subject. 
I would give you the most basic answer that I could just to get by.
How could I talk about something that I didn't fully believe in. 
Which was being married forever.
I had been thinking about divorce for so long and I had just been hoping God would work on that part of my life as well.
That maybe God would bring me some kind of magic solution to make me love my marriage.
Years and years and it didn't come.
I was breaking down in that part of my life a little every day.
Nobody would know because I kept it inside.
I didn't want to be a bad influence or hurt my children.
But I ended up doing both of those things anyways.
No matter how hard I thought I tried, I just couldn't get past it.

By being around people that showed me that a divorce was okay I started believing it and I left.
I didn't just leave my husband but I left;
my life, my children, my family, my friends, my youth group and my church.
I changed everything that I did love all because I gave up.
Sometimes we think things are so difficult, that it's time to give up.
Don't ever give up.
God will always get you through eventually. 

From there I went to hanging out with a new crowd.
 I surrounded myself with people that agreed with me so I didn't have to feel bad for what I had done.
I fell.....
I fell from God....
In a way I got what I wanted but I lost so much more.

Then, shortly after that the Lord blessed me with Justin.
Yes, it was shortly after. 
Yes, it was a blessing.
Who knows where I would've gone without meeting him when I did.
Yes, I met him in the wrong way and at the wrong time, but I believe God knew what I needed. God saved me by bringing me an amazing man before I ruined my life even more. 

I walked away and made so many bad decisions. 
I was embarrassed.
There were so many times in the time after
 that I would see some of you in public and walk the other way.
I didn't want to see you.
Not because of you, but because I was embarrassed.
I was supposed to be a good example for you.
I was your mentor
and I failed.

Paul just gave a message on leadership this last Sunday.
Those types of verses and sermons always bother me.
I was in leadership of all of you.
God gave me an incredible position to do his work 
and I failed him.
I was leading you, some of you were stepping where I stepped.
 I influenced your lives and I drew you down the wrong path.

The one thing that hurts me most is that I might have led some of you astray.
Just like those people that I surrounded myself with telling me that divorce was okay.

I want to say that I'm sorry. 
I'm sorry for making you believe that what I did was okay.
That living that life was okay.
That walking away from God was okay.
I'm sorry for leaving all of you.
I'm sorry for being a bad influence.
Please, will you forgive me?

To Paul: 
I'm so sorry. You believed in me.
You trusted that I would be a good influence.
I failed you.
Then, I left you to answer the questions that you didn't have the answers to. 
I didn't even come back to tell them all myself.
Thank you for believing in me and still believing in me.
Thank you for praying for me.
I know you have forgiven me already but I have never asked for it.
Can you please forgive me?

To the Parents:
I'm so sorry for disappointing you.
You intrusted your kids to me.
I had one of the most important jobs with your teenagers.
I hope I didn't lead them down the wrong path.
I'm sorry for hurting your kids.
I hope we can all look to the future that God has prepared.
Please, will you all forgive me?

The decisions that I have made in my life has made my life so much more difficult.
We all have to deal with the consequences of our decisions and those consequences vary.
Even as adults we mess up.
Your parents will mess up, your family members will mess up, your teachers will mess up and the other adults in your life will mess up.
Sometimes those mess ups can be life changing.
They can be embarrassing. 
We will be ashamed.

But, there is always time to change your life.
There is always time to come back to God.
To let him take over your life.
God has blessed me in so many ways in the last couple of years since then.
I look back and I see him standing by me through all the difficulties.
He helped me along the way and directed my path even after I walked away.
He has always brought me back.
Let God direct your lives and your life will be better off.
Your life will be beautiful.

Some of you might say that it worked out for me so it can work out for you too.
Yes, it worked out for me.
I have been forgiven.
Yes, God will bless your life.
Yes, God will forgive you when you come back to him.
But, like I said before, you still have to deal with the consequences of your choices.
The longer you are away the more consequences you will have.
Depending on your lifestyle either stay close to God and don't stray or come back to him.
Whatever situation you are in hand it over to God.
Let him bless your life.
Let him use you.

I have had those few of you that have been extra kind to me still. 
Thank you for that, it means a lot.
I know that it's hard in these situations.
You don't really know how to respond or if you should say hi.

I just want to say thank you for letting me be part of your lives.
Thank you for changing mine and you ALL will never leave my heart.


1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.