Tuesday, December 5

So, we never moved to the campground. It is so comfortable here in Mom and Dad’s driveway… unlimited water, family, and the ability to stay up later than children…. Jeff and I decided that we would stay here another couple of days…. Or weeks?????

I have spent the last week catching up with old friends and neighbors. It has been wonderful. Wherever I go, I seem to get involved in conversations with girlfriends about submission to husband. Everyone seems to want the freedom and experience of being totally reliant on their husband, yet approach it with great trepidation.

My girlfriends are terribly interested in how I can set aside my needs to "control" and willingly follow my husband. I feel as though I have spent the last several days preaching and evangelizing. I wonder am I talking for them or for me? Perhaps this is the mission field God has set before me for this time in my life.

Kurt’s voice is changing. Really. My baby boy is sounding like somebody else, some mannish human. He also has a dark shade across his upper lip. His face looks dirty, but it is just the beginnings of a mustache. Waaaaaaaaa. Each day I watch him, I feel almost as if this is some strange kid set down in the middle of our family.

Kurt has become measured and fairly responsible. He willingly helps (most of the time!) around the house. My boy is big and clumsy, overpowering the younger children with his unaccustomed strength. He seems bemused by his changing physique and maturity. It is amazing to watch. Yet, a piece of me will always want my baby boy to stay a child, this man-child is foreign.

A wonderful thing happened yesterday. In the mail arrived a beautiful glass bead pendant. Suspended in the center was a mustard seed. I am so touched by the thoughtfulness of the woman that mailed it to me. I am reminded that faith is a powerful force, one to be honored and encouraged.

My spirit waxes and wanes here at my childhood home. Some days I feel especially close to Jesus, others… I feel distant and out of touch with His Spirit. I know that the enemy is hard a work here, rebuffing my witness, working against the Fathers plans. I feel like a tide, pulled and drawn back and forth between standing strong for Jesus and backsliding into apathy. I struggle with my spirit. Today I will put the mustard seed around my neck on a chain,

My darling husband is also distant. Sometimes as distant to me as Christ is, almost a parallel experience. Jeff seems sad, angry, afraid… unsure. I know that Orange County is the home to all his perceived failures. Home to his frustrations and problems. I wait silently for him to make a decision over the direction in his life.

He seems distracted… confused.

I love Jeff with all my heart and soul. I want so badly for him to be happy, to be productive and to relish life. I cannot do this for him, he must find his way on his own, or it will not be his own. Still he has not decided on the business. He says God directed him to get out of Sound Pacific nearly a year ago. Still he stays. Does he too struggle with obedience?

Until my lord, my husband, my lover learns obedience to the Father, until Jeff can willingly bend his knee to God’s direction, we will float like this… in a land of uncertainty and without a plan. I can wait for Jeff. I will wait for him. But, my heart aches that he is so lost. My soul longs for the man I married, a man of ambition and direction.

And yet, I am so grateful for the changes God has brought to Jeff. His strength and leadership in the family circle. I truly have a godly man at the center of my life and our family. I praise God for this gift.

And so, I wait. I learn patience and faith. Faith that God will get through to my man, Faith that my love will find his way and lead this family to a bright and prosperous future. I wait and I watch, with love.

Tuesday, December 5

Woo Hooo!!!! My beaded Keepers, eyeglass hangers for the neck, are officially an item at Sunshine Christian Store in Mission Viejo!!! Yeah!!! I spent most of Monday afternoon delivering sixteen of the most beautiful ones I have made!! They are displayed and priced and ready to be sold!!!! Now, I pray that someone purchases one!!

It feels kind of cool to have done something (that could be income producing) for the family. I love making Keepers, it is a creative and thoughtful experience. Wow… now I hope someone besides my girlfriends and family want one!!

Friday, December 8

Well, Kurt and I stopped by Sunshine yesterday to see if any of my Keepers have been sold. Not one. Waaaaaaa. Kurt kept standing next to them and saying to every woman that walked by, "Oh! Aren’t these Keepers beautiful!!" . It was very sweet of him. Mom suggested I take some to the hair salon she patronizes, they might like to carry a few. Hmmmm.

Grace had a wonderful school experience yesterday. She spent the morning at the supermarket with Jeff, shopping for dinner. At home, she spent the entire day cooking a chicken, preparing side dishes and making a pie… from scratch. WOW! She and Jeff also figured out the cost of the meal. Now that is some good homeschooling!

Off this morning to have coffee with my dear friend Kelly. Can’t wait to see her again! This has been so much fun catching up with my dear friends this week. Yet…. I am a little antsy to get back on the road. I miss my peaceful lifestyle, without all these distractions. It is so easy to get caught up in the race.

Monday, December 11

I am really enjoying this time with my dad. He is not so scary and really a funny guy. So many years I spent fearing and disliking him. He is actually a really neat guy. Dad isn’t perfect; he gets angry easily and is frustrated by his rapidly advancing short-term memory loss. But I think once I began to realize that his anger and ugly words are not about me, but are about him, I found room in my heart to enjoy him and love him.

I have a secret dream in my heart.

I want to speak to women, American women, and Christian women. I would so much like to share with them the beauty and freedom of becoming submissive to your husband. I want to share that the Proverbs 31 woman, a woman of power, intellect and influence, was submissive to her husband, would that I could be her. Letting your man lead, what a "backward" thought, but oh so liberating.

Yet.

If I were to pursue (how, I don’t know) this secret dream, and become a conference speaker, how would that be supportive of Jeff? Professionally, he is so lost. I see him struggle with motivation and direction. I patiently wait on him. (Sometimes not so patiently!!) I want him to find his meaning. And, I think I could help the family and other women, by teaching them about the Proverbs 31 woman I am learning to become. How to marry the two.

Yesterday we went to church at Coast Hills Community Church, our "home" church here in California. It was wonderful. Although we don’t know too many people there, having only attended there since January 2000, it felt good to be home. I was so much more comfortable there than I was last winter. I believe I have become pretty good at "settling" into a church… have to with our lifestyle!!

I spoke with the Pastor of Missions, he would like to get together with Jeff and I this week, perhaps this is the way God will lead us to his work on the roads of America. In any event, I am excited to have the opportunity to speak with the Pastor.

Christmas is almost here…. I better get to work wrapping presents.

Monday, December 11

Christmas is on it's way.  We took Eve to see Santa... it was magic! 

Wednesday, December 13

Glad Tidings Indeed!!! God is really teaching me to release to his will this month!! Everything is in his time and his plan…. We have no control over the events of our lives, in most cases.

While home in California for the holidays, Jeff and I decided to get all medical testing and check-ups done… just for safety (after all we are both over …. 40). We did the normal eye checks, annual physical exams, and so on. My exam found me highly anemic, so I got a call:

"Christa, you need a colonoscopy, you are either anemic from your menses or you have colon cancer."

Great!

So off I go, the doctor thinks the anemia is serious enough to warrant an immediate procedure (procedure… what a nice way of putting it!!!). Everything goes fine in the "procedure", on the way home I receive a call from the Breast Center, something is wrong with my mammogram, could I come in for another "procedure". Sure.

And then… prior to the "procedure" from the gastroenterologist, I visit an Orthopedic surgeon to check my shoulder (pain still lingers from the car accident in October). He sees a small mass in my shoulder, hmmmm, doesn’t know what that is... need an MRI.

Okay… I GET IT!! I have no control; God is in charge of this temple… and how.

I worried before the colonoscopy, but what good did it do me? None. So, I choose not to worry now, God will either choose for me to be well or sick, either way, I can’t do a darned thing about the outcome.

Funny, but I feel pretty good, happy and excited. God is really great.

Thursday, December 14

Great News… the second mammogram was negative!! Okay, so now we have ruled out colon cancer, breast cancer and are waiting results regarding endrometrial cancer and "shoulder" cancer. This is sooooo silly. I wonder why all these doctors are only offering the Worst Case Scenario?? Kind of a hoot!

Well, all testing should be done by Saturday. In the meantime, I have LOTS of Christmas shopping to do… MOVE GIRL!!

Friday, December 15

Last night I went to Roundtable (Adult Scout Meeting) for the Saddleback District of the Orange County Council of Boy Scouts of America. (Boy, that’s a mouthful!!) It was wonderful to see old friends; the number of people that took the time to let me know that they read our Website astonished me. It is amazing. I am so thankful for these wonderful people; they make me feel so loved.

These last several days I have been thinking about time. Everywhere I go here in Southern California, I hear my friends talking about their "lack of time". I notice that instead of going to bed with the family at 9:30 or so, I stay up until almost 1:00am. I sit and read or sew or catch up on the news in the world. It is real down time for me.

Most days, I have been RUNNING from place to place. Chauffeuring children, making appointments, seeing Doctors, shopping, cleaning… busy, busy, busy. So, by the time nightfall arrive, I am exhausted and desperate for down time. I find I am less willing to "do" for my family after a day of rushing about… less willing to be the mommy and wife. Hmmmm

However, while on the road, my life is still, quiet, peaceful. It is pleasurable to "do" for my family, day or night. I have personal time in the day to sew or bead, read or catch up on world events. Life is simple.

I have also noticed, as has Jeff... that my time with God has diminished while involved in this life of organized chaos. Neither one of us is taking the time we typically do, while on the road, to read scripture, pray or sit in Gods presence.

Interesting.

In this busy world, so much time is taken up with "stuff" that there is no room to be a godly wife or husband. No room for the peace and joy of the Father to fill our lives, they are already so full of junk. Kind of like Spam. Our lives are Spammed with nonsense so the true messages can’t get through. The real message is there, it is just REALLY hard to see through the Spam.

I have learned that it is greater to just be, than to do.

Sunday, December 17

I am excited. Jeff has agreed to start a business (Gefke Beadworks) through which to sell my keepers. He said that owing several small businesses rather than one big one might be just the way for him to go, to keep his enthusiasm and to provide a living for this family. He actually spent several hours on the internet yesterday researching the business. Yippee!!

I pray that my darling man is finding his season. He seems to be awakening. This is going to be great to watch and love!! 

Thank you God.

Sunday Evening

Santa visited mom and dad’s house this evening. Every year a friend of my brother’s comes over as Santa and all the grandchildren, neighborhood children and our friend’s children, come over to sing songs, listen to stories and of course… sit on Santa’s lap.

I cried. The whole time.

It was magical watching Eve. Her eyes never left Santa. She hugged him and loved him. The beauty of her childlike love and adoring heart were absolutely overwhelming. My heart was so full. This is such a special time for our children; we must adore and revere every moment.

Kurt was a doll; he sat on Santa’s lap and had a great attitude. Grace giggled, and giggled, and giggled.

I love these kids.

Another big moment in my life today. We are official! We have a web site for the Eyeglass Keepers business, thanks to Cory at A Better Hosting Site. Man he is quick, we were just kind of playing around with the idea and he went for it!!! Now, I guess it is really going to happen, I can’t just think/dream about selling my beaded goodies, now we really get to do it….

Still haven’t sold any Keepers over at Sonshine Books. Joanne says I should just be patient… it will catch on, sooner or later!

I am happy staying here with my parents, it has given me a wonderful opportunity to learn about what kind of people they are (great), and to get to know them better… as an adult. It is also giving us a wonderful opportunity to witness our faith to them, just by how we live our lives.

I am so grateful that God gave us this opportunity to live "in the moment". To have freedom from "stuff", to rebuild our family based on the solid rock of Him as our foundation. I can’t wait to get back on the road and share His Good News… My God is an Awesome God. Thanks.

December 27

I feel so very blessed. Christmas was wonderful. It was the most relaxing Christmas EVER in my adult life. I don't know if that is as a result of having no social obligations (other than family), or having done most of my shopping early, or focusing my thoughts and heart on the Jesus - "the reason for the season". Whatever the impetus, it was a marvelous holiday.

We did have one catastrophe. Our computer was infected with a virus and we were "off-line" for nearly ten days. Jeff spent most of that time working until the wee hours of the morning trying to repair the damage. If not for the help of my sister's husband, we would probably still be in outer cyber-space. She married a good man.

My sister and her husband spent the holiday here at Mom's house with us. It has been so good to be sisters again. Giggle at dumb things, roll our eyes at silly thoughts, and generally remember why we love each other so very much. I am grateful for these days with my baby sister.

On an entirely different note, Jeff, Kurt, Grace and I are to be baptized on Sunday.

December 29

Jeff and I are discussing the idea of full-time ministry work. Our thought is to visit congregations on our travels and share our perspective on the practice (and I mean practice) of submission (to husband, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit) in the architecture of marriage. I thought of a title.... "Submission???? Who ME?" It still needs refining and prayer, but at least we are working together to find a direction in our lives for service to God.

I am really itching to get back on the road. I have really enjoyed our time here with Mom and Dad, but feel that we have a mission to get towards. God put us on the road for a purpose....

Grace turned ten last week. We had a little birthday party with a few of her girlfriends from Mission Viejo. The girls all met at ABC Cake Decorating in Orange, learned how to make flowers and decorate cakes. Then we went to Sizzler for dinner. They seemed to have a really good time together. I was amazed at how mature all these girls are, at such a young age. Grace seemed to be a different person with her friends. She was much more outspoken and more of a leader in the group.

So why are we different with our friends, than with our family? It is common behavior for adolescents. And my, how quickly children become "adult-ish" in the world today. As we drove home from the party, Grace and I talked about these things. She is a quick study and figured out what I was driving at pretty early in the conversation.

One thing we discussed was the pressure for young girls to "be" something in a group. Grace had a major melt-down prior to the party regarding her attire. What pressure she must feel, to look a certain way. At least that is the way we discussed the episode. I told her it was either enormous pressure, or she was just a spoiled brat. She didn't like the option of being considered spoiled, so we focused our comments on pressure. It will be interesting to see how she processes this information.

Today I am going to RELAX. The RV is in the shop for repair, the computer is not working again, and we are being baptized on Sunday. I am going to spend some time today in prayer and study. I also want to work on Christmas Cards, Thank you notes, and re-organizing the web-site. Relax.... I can do that! Humpf!

Sunday, December 31

We were baptized today. It was a great experience for all of us. Jeff and I told the congregation a little of our story, as did Kurt and Grace, and then we were immersed into the new life of Jesus Christ together. My girlfriends, Joanne, Katie and Kellie all attended with their children. What wonderful sisters in Christ, to have come to support us is outstanding.

We were "bathtised" (per Eve) at Coast Hills Community Church. The service was recorded and posted on their website . However we don't have a fast internet connection here, so I can't view the event on-line. Joanne did take some pictures for me, I will post them soon.

God is Good.

 

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