Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pedicures and Pep Talks

Today started off great. I was able to rise early and start my day with seeking God. After yesterday's post I felt a little weary maybe even unsure. However, I am more settled than ever that when God gives us something to say that will edify Himself and others (even if you have to swallow your pride) you better say it. Check out Sally Clarkson's post today, "Your Message Defines You". God continues to use the WHOLEHEART Ministry to equip me to minister to others.

Well if it is possible to linger too long over your Bible and a pot of coffee I succeeded. Before I knew it I was late getting the kids up for school, forgot to pack lunches, couldn't find Masie's school shoes (which are part of her uniform), made boiled eggs for breakfast that they had to eat on the way and stunk up my car, spilled grape juice and coffee on my white pants after I was far from home, had to ask forgiveness a thousand times between 7:30 and 9:00! I had to stop mid-morning and buy a new pair shoes...the heels had worn off my favorite shoes and every time I took a step I "clinked" down long hospital hallways...bought another pair of pants while I was at it so I wasn't covered in evidence that I'd had better mornings. My afternoon wasn't much better but I will spare you my tears....

After picking the girls up from a sweet friend, Masie wanted it to be girls night and have pancakes, pedicures and pajama night. Do you think I felt like having a girls night or was I fantasizing my children fast asleep ASAP so I could finally chill???

May 1st I was invite to give a talk at a Mug and Muffin at Community Bible Church. When I asked what they wanted me to talk about she said, "Positive Parenting". I almost choked! Do you not know that the grandparents of my children have removed every wooden spoon in my home:) As I hesitated, God whispered, "positive parenting not perfect parenting". Shortly after saying yes, I was in the garden and God gave me a few "positive parenting points that all start with "P". Tonight as I was about to unleash the not so positive-everybody get in bed now-parenting, I realized what Masie requested all started with the letter "p". Sounds silly but I felt the calming of God's presence.

So, I lite candles for my 7 and my 3 yr old, put on Joel Clarkson's Piano CD, and filled my jacuzzi tub to the top! You would have thought it was Christmas. I let Masie carry out her idea of pajamas and pedicures...she laid out my pj's, went through the trouble of setting the pedicure station with a nice towel and all my pedicure stuff (that is usually off limits) and used a very grown up voice to announce, "Mrs. Buck, welcome to Masie's Magic Salon". She gave Katelyn the job of rubbing lotion on my hands and feet while Masie trimmed my fingernails and scrubbed my heels (she said they really need it:). In the middle of their excitement to serve me, I was overwhelmed how God was using these little girls to calm my weary soul. I honestly was having a hard time shaking something I was fretting about in my mind and Masie said, "Mom, if there is anything you want to share with me I will listen." Wow! I shared a bite size piece of my issue and she gave profound advise.

When you give you get. I thought I was ''SACRIFICING" my CHILL time to do something for the girls when the reality is, they went out of their way to serve me. I know for sure that you can never be too young to be used by God!

When I tucked the girls in (at 9:00), they were yelling from their beds - you are the best mom ever, I love you, this was the best night of my life.

Instead of getting on the computer, I opened my Bible. I prayed- hit me with Your best shot - I am looking for You. I opened to the following Scripture: Psalm 141:8-10 For my eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me DEFENSELESS. Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, and from the snares of those who do iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, WHILE I PASS BY SAFELY.

Pedicures and a Pep-talk
I love that you prompted me not to balk
Bless the hands that rubbed my feet
I tucked her tightly under the sheet
Bless the little girl who took such delight
In turning my mood from heavy to light
Bless You Lord for the "pep-talk"
You encouraged me to keep my eyes on You,
You promised that You would defend me and see me through
You assured me that plans against me would fall against them
And safely I will pass as I cling to Your hem.

How blessed I am to be "positively parented by THE perfect parent".

Monday, April 12, 2010


Before you read the "Wayward Wife" post, let me be clear. I am not a Wayward Wife - yet it is clear to me that I can't take credit for that. I am born a sinner. It is easier for me to be selfish than it is to serve. It is easier for me to get angry than it is for me to calm down and choose peace. Scripture says, An understanding wife is a gift from the Lord - not Oprah, not yo mamma or your girlfriends. It is in God alone that I give credit to my pursuit to live a life pleasing to Him first - all the while my guy gets the benefit.

However, I would be a FOOL and so would you if you thought you could casually walk through this life -unarmed- and not take some hits. As our pastor said this weekend, so many people say, "I don't know how I ended up 50k in debt" or "I don't know how I got to be 75 lbs overweight" or "I don't know how the affair happened". His answer is - YES YOU DO! We have a protective Heavenly Father who is faithful to send warning signs that danger is ahead. That is all the "Wayward Wife" post is in my life. Red flags that danger is ahead... I could stubbornly keep going or STOP-heed the warnings and take another route.

Before I ever posted, Ryan and I sat down and read through it together. He was in full agreement that those warning signs are not just for our marriage but maybe for yours too. So those of you who think I am a saint, without struggle or fault, you are wrong. I crave being right with God. So without a doubt, shame or apology I share my thoughts and deep conviction regarding the Wayward Wife. Knowing that it is by walking with Him that my chances of ending up as one lessen.

In the words of Dr. Suess in "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" the following excerpt expresses my philosophy the best.

"You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care. About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there." With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street."

My 7 yr old daughter after reading that page says, "That reminds me of Jesus. Some streets in my life are His and some streets belong to Satan. I have the Holy Spirit and He gets to help me choose the streets that belong to Jesus".

Join me in being fiercely protective of your marriage. Put together a game plan as to how you are going to this. Wake up! Choose this day to acknowledge that NO ONE is going to fight for your marriage but you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wayward Wife...

As I sit to write
I beg You for more insight
Days of pondering -
Has lead to weeks of wondering
Are the Ways of the Wayward Wife
Able to disrupt and ruin my God fulfilling life?
Desperate I come, at break neck pace I run.
Requesting wisdom to be not
Wayward but Wise...You are my only shot.
Use me Lord, to bring this topic to light
To all who read bless them Lord with a path of life
May they delight in being a FAR from wayward wife
Hold on readers, the following is going to be a little painful but true
His eye is on His sparrow - His love for us will walk us through

Proverbs 2:16 Wisdom will save you from the adulteress, from the WAYWARD WIFE with her seductive WORDS, who has left the partner of her YOUTH, and ignored the covenant she made before God.
Wayward- Given to or marked by willful, often perverse deviation from what is desired, expected, or required in order to gratify one's own impulses or inclinations

With fear and trembling I read this verse in my quiet time several weeks ago. I have yet to meet a bride on their wedding day, who envisions herself as the soon to be "wayward wife" - given to willful, often perverse deviation from what is desired or expected.

For the last seven years, I have been happily protected within the four walls of my castle raising our little family and wholeheartedly serving my prince. My primary role in our family was manager of our time with my husband Ryan. With his crazy schedule, I chose to drop it all when "daddy" was home. I did not answer the phone, play dates were scheduled on other days and the housework waited. I remember during this time, my husband was in school. I was proud to get up before him, fix breakfast tacos to take on the road and fix a "man"wich for his lunch. One wife told me, I am so sick of hearing about the huge sandwiches you fix for your dude; It brought me great pleasure to serve this man, to make him feel loved publicly without being physically at his side, for him to know that he was the center of our kingdom and his returning to the castle was the highlight of all our lives.

Last Summer, Ryan was sharing with me some of his career goals and his hopes for our family. In the short term, Ryan was going to take a paycut and not work so much in his VERY stressful, under-appreciated current position. I told him I was willing to help financially and support him in any way I could. On my way to an interview with my old boss, I was terrified. It was crossing my mind that I am selling out on my family. I begged God to show me that this was right for us. The Lord whispered to me that He was at work in our lives. I can trust Him. In this season, "helper" to Ryan just looks different. I asked Him to blow the door open or slam it shut! When I asked if they were open to having me part time as a Hospice Community Liaison, they completely embraced the idea. When they shared the salary and commission structure with me it was way above and beyond what Ryan and I discussed. So life as a working mother and wife began in September.

In the fortified walls of my castle, immersed in children's stories, teaching my children the yes maam's and no maam's of life and wiping the precious tears of my babies - I was blissfully blind that there was a world out there that wanted my family. A world that was envious and bent on taking from us what 13 years of dedication and devotion built. I will try to explain...

In the last 8 months, I have had to look and look again at the woman who looks me in the mirror every morning. I am in a field that I believe in and have lots of opportunities to share my faith with others. I get to use my love for communication daily. I get to wear lipstick and high heels - what more could a woman ask for?? Looking back, lipstick and high heels have been the beginning of a dangerous journey. Girlfriends - don't get mad at me-I am not saying to not wear lipstick and high heels! It is just that for the first time in a long time, I started spending a lot more time planning what I am going to wear (new suits, new shoes, new haircut, new color, new accessories). I remember returning from my interview and calling my mom with great excitement....what am I going to wear???? This really irritated Ryan. He could not express it in words but he expressed it in silence. He did not complement, he did not ask - he just sighed. Not that appearance did not matter as a stay at home mom but their wasn't a stage to walk on every morning and a multitude to be seen by. Am I really saying this?? So the dress rehearsal and time in the mirror continued.

Another thing that I have discovered about myself is that I, like dynamite, do not burn half way. I am all or nothing and always have been. A sleeping dragon of drive woke within me. The desire to be recognized by hard work and be rewarded because of it began to overstep it's part-time limitations. Again, Ryan did not compliment this, he did not ask-the quieter he got, the louder his disapproval became. Yet, I continued to say yes world, you can count on me. School Valentines parties can wait, the dinner table can have one less chair filled cause I have one more account to make.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.

The most humbling experience of my life thus far, is that I can not be in the world and not of it apart from God. My love language is words of encouragement. As food nourishes our bodies, as water dismisses the wilting of a plant - a positive word spoken into my life fuels my soul. I love the comment section of my blog- I can't tell you how many times I have come to my blog with the intention to write but spend my time rereading the comments left by many of you instead. They are not why I write but oh how you have blessed me with your response. I was so bummed last night when I happened to see a new comment on an old post and it was in another language! God has such a sense of humor. I have a feeling, the Lord is cleaning this house of mine and knows praise of any kind in this season will only fuel the dragon of my pride. In 13 years of marriage, the only praise from a man regarding appearance has been my husband. He is a man of few words - so with every compliment he has paid me I have treasured them. They are in no way cheap words of appeasement. It's funny, the times I least suspect a praise (in the garden, dirt under my fingernails, no makeup, grungy work clothes) are the moments that have taken his breath away. I believe that God and my husband are not the only ones who know how to fill this love tank of mine. As I checked into why a few comments were unreadable with symbols or foreign text - they were really spam (sites that led to horrific places). Point proven-when God is at work expect an enemy to be alive and active as well.

You and I have an enemy who is not powerful but strategic in his plan to destroy us and all we love. The Bible refers to him as a roaring lion - why are we surprised at his appetite? It is not enough for him to nibble on our big toe-he is not satisfied until he has devoured through division all we care about. In the last 8 months he has used the praises of men to throw up on me and feed me at the same time. Risky conversations, compromising situations and ungodly chatter threaten my very existence. It is no wonder at reading this particular verse that I sat in fear of the Lord and have not moved since then...

Prov. 2:16 Wisdom will save you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.

"Wisdom will save you"... Because God is the parent He is, He has counseled me with wisdom - Given me a way out of a wayward route!
The Way of Wisdom: salvation from the adulteress or from becoming one:

1. Start with the mirror. I will choose to wear modest, professional clothing. Attire that honors God and pleases my husband. Ask myself, "Would this cause guy or girl to look at me in a less than sisterly way?"

2. Be all or nothing for the Kingdom of God not the reputation and promotion of Stacy! Pride is dangerous. The more you feed it the more you need it. My company hired me part-time. They embraced my family and the significant irreplaceable role I play in the life of my home. Even as an employee, there is no reason why I can not make the king of the castle top priority in my life. It worked for 13 years in building an amazing marriage - if it ain't broke don't fix it! There is something to breathing life in your home with your presence. This will go a long way in building trust with my husband that my heart is not divided between work and home...because I love my husband home, I work (a small number of hrs a week-nothing more).

3. "the wayward wife with her seductive WORDS"...a wise woman is known by her gentle and godly speech. I will limit my personal conversations with men other than my husband. EVERY woman I have counseled in the last ten years that has ended up on the wayward side started with an "innocent" conversation that led to intimate friendship, that led to devastated places. This my friend is why in our household we are not on "facebook" and other networking sites. We share our email address and have a joint checking account. Open policy is our policy. There are some forgiven doors in my life that are not meant to be opened - EVER. Sure I don't have to accept someone as a "friend" - I can deny access to these networking sites - but will I? Curiosity is a cute crippling little thing that I choose to not contend with. I "bet the farm" that God can increase my "networking" with out uninvited guests in my home. Again, I will use my words to encourage one another, lift the downhearted and breathe life into the people God brings my way.

4. Wayward Path is usually not walked alone. I will continue to not have professional lunches or meetings that require me to be in "private" alone settings. If I have an appointment with a man it will be in the presence of many. I have seen God give me lots of opportunities to live out this standard. On the other hand, unfortunately, there have been a few situations that have caught me off guard. If the military knew where every IED roadside bomb was hidden, there would not be soldiers' lives gone or limbs missing. If they had an area where they suspected these destructive devices they would not choose to go that road without a plan or go down it at all. There are a few "known" danger zones that have "shady" characters that I will "bet the farm" that I do not have to visit in order to succeed in my job. Thank you to my professional mentors, jr and kb, who coach me through these zones and are helping me find balance with work and family and to my spiritual mentors (ll, super d, gm) that love me enough to speak the truth, allow me to be honest in a safe setting and constantly direct me to the loving arms of Jesus. Proverbs "Victory is won in the presence of many counselors".
5. "who has left the husband of her youth..." those are the saddest words I have ever read! Ryan IS the husband of my youth literally. I met him this month 14 yrs ago as a senior in high school. I will never forget the first day I met him. I walked into a youth group (waiting for lightening to strike) and was introduced to a total STUD - bleached hair, earrings, buff, cool and a Christian. If that is what Christians look like than I will come back next week. Weeks turned into months and one night my life changed forever. I was invited to the youth pastor's home with a few others and in walks Ryan. I tried to play off the fact that my face turned bright red, my heart was pounding. At the end of the night trying to be cool - I was asked, "if tonight were my last night here on earth do I know where I would spend eternity?" I remember thinking (maybe even saying) if they knew half the things I had done there is no way they would have let me in the house much less sit next to me! If God knows everything then what would He want with a chic like me??? That night I was sold on Christianity because of a verse, "If any man was in Christ he is a NEW creation - the old is gone and the new has come 2 Cor 5:17". My "coolness" cover was blown. I was desperate to be forgiven -to be given a new start. With Ryan at my side, God picked me up and set me apart that night. He used Ryan to live out this scripture - not once in 14 yrs has he asked about my past. He believes in miracles and on that spring precious evening, God created a new heart in a young girl. Ryan mentored me. He had a list of characteristics he wanted in a wife in his wallet. Every once in a while during high school and college he pulled that list out and prayed for her. Amazing that before he knew my name he prayed me through the darkest years of my life. He believed in me from the very beginning that God had a plan for my life that we would be used in a MIGHTY way for the Kingdom of God. I had just turned 19 when I said "I do" to this man. He gave the following scripture to me shortly after we were married, "Do not say, I am a youth, because everywhere I send you , you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak Jeremiah 1:7" At 32, I still hold tightly to that verse. I am incredibly attracted to this God seeking, hard working, melt over his children man. I do not crave his words but linger on them. He is the husband of my youth and will be the husband of my old age. I cannot fathom life with out him - but the enemy is always on the prowl.

It is not just enough to have the "intention" of remaining faithful to your spouse and your children. You have to decide -day by day, temptation by temptation to love someone other than "Self."

Our pastor confirmed everything the Lord was doing in my life with the following:

Proverbs 3:5-7
TRUST (give the benefit of the doubt) in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways (wayward or not) acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and TURN (RUN) away from evil.

The choices you make today lead to paths that always have predictable endings.

May the Lord use my heading the "danger ahead warnings" for a divine destiny of intervention in the lives of many.

SOLD OUT for Him -