Change Changes Everything!

Everything always changes, doesn’t? I mean no matter what we do or how we try to keep things going the same, something will always change somehow.

So many times change can be great! I loved when I changed from a girlfriend to a fianceĀ  to and to a wife! A couple of weeks ago Sweets and I had the chance to get back to the States and Canada for some great family visiting. I was FINALLY able to change my name! I LOVED that change!

But while we were there, a number of other things also changed. Some not so good, some not so bad and some we are still unsure about!

Sweets’ wonderful grandfather was diagnosed with cancer the day – actually the MOMENT we arrived. (Literally we walked in the door the second the phone rang and the hospital CALLED to tell him he had cancer – I still can’t believe they did that over the phone!) Many things will have to change now.

About 5 days later Sweets was asked to go to Iowa to see about a job opportunity. (We were in MO, so it was about a 7 hour drive to IA) We were kind of in shock! This was not in the plan! We were set to stay in Japan 18 more months, save as much money as possible and THEN start looking for work for him closer to his home/family when we could pay cash for a car and closer to 50% down on a home. Leaving Japan now we will only have about 1/3 of the savings we hoped to have before leaving.

Needless to say we drove the 7 hours to IA, had a very intense interview for a pretty niche job opportunity and then we drove another 7 hours back discussing Gods hand in all of this and what He could possibly be up to!

Let me tell you I was glad to have those 7 hours! šŸ™‚

So here we are, in a very difficult situation emotionally for both of us as we try to figure out the best steps to take next. Sweets has accepted the job offer and will be moving to IA right after Christmas. I on the other hand find myself in a VERY difficult situation that needs much prayer and only direction from the Lord.

Should I stay and fulfill my contract til March or leave with Sweets and be with my husband as he takes on this new responsibility in January?

To make it easier/further complicate matters I am Canadian and therefore need to wait for immigration clearance before I can move. This helps me to know that if it doesn’t happen before January then I can stay in Japan until it does. But then there’s the being apart for so long…

Alternatively I can go to IA with him for a month or two, then fly to Canada and stay with my family until the immigration process is cleared. This way its easier/cheaper for us to visit 1-2 times a month on weekends as we wait out the immigration. In Japan this will not be possible.

I go back and forth almost everyday! I love my students, and my work but I also want to be by the side of my husband at this very stressful/amazing time in his life. I want to be there when he comes home from work and help him get settled into the new life for at least a month or two before living apart…. I just really do not know whats best. Sometimes I think it is more selfish for me to stay in Japan and leave my husband. But other times when I think of the students, and the promises I made to them, their parents and my boss. Not to mention I do not think it is a good witness to break contract. I sometimes feel more selfish wanting to be with my husband rather than honour my word to complete the work when it gets hard because I miss my man….

Both sides are totally valid and depending on the view both would be honouring to the Lord and Biblically obedient!

So no matter how much I tried to keep our life the same (and I have been trying!) one call changed it all! Despite the trying I am in the process of life changes, but all the while learning that God is also in the process of changing ME.

In Sweets taking this new job, I am forced to face a lot of things about me that I know God has been pointing to, but I have been conveniently ignoring and rather working on the things I THINK I should work on first! (you know, the easier stuff!)

Change: For the good, the bad and the Glory of God! Bring it on!

-Bree

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Every Morning is Christmas Morning!

Sweets has encouraged me to Journal/ record my thoughts and feelings at this early stage in our union so that in later years if I ever need to, I can look back and remember what we are doing this all for and how it all started.

I have been struggling to sleep next to him still. Just not used to another body in the bed! Its taking longer than I thought it would to get used to and this is something I had not heard before! I assumed that I would just LOVE sleeping next to him so much that I would instantly fall into blissful sleep. Not so! He breathes and makes noises, sometimes he moves even! and I don’t know if this is normal and just something I never was told before/came across in all my readings – but guys (well my guy anyhow!) also have their own smell.

No, really! He has his very own scent. I am not sure what it is, but its 100% natural and it’s not a BO smell or anything like that. It’s not even bad or odour-y but it’s there, and its noticeable when I climb into bed and try to sleep. I am just not used to it yet. I know in time I wont even notice it but until then…I lay awake smelling him over and over again. I can’t get enough! I enjoy it! It’s just another thing that tells me BREE YOU ARE MARRIED!!! ha-ha It makes me so happy ( even though I am tired all day). I wonder if other people experienced this their first days together?

These days I wake up early, around 5:30 has been the trend. I get up real quiet and tip-toe around the apartment (our apartment here in Japan has NO DOORS! that means our bedroom is right open to the kitchen and living-dining room) Sweets sleeping is about 5 footsteps away from the kitchen table and I try my best to be real quiet, drink a cup of tea, pray and read for a while, it’s very lovely!

But then at about 7am or so I get anxious. I want to talk to him!! I just can’t wait till he wakes up! It feels like when I was a kid on Christmas morning. In our house we couldn’t wake my parents until 7am so until then it was just waiting and waiting excited and anxious and getting more impatient minute by minute!

Usually sweets wakes up between 7 and 8am so it’s very exciting!! As soon as he says good morning its like I just opened my Christmas present! I jump on the bed to kiss him and we spend a good time talking about our sleep, our dreams we remember and the plan for the day. It’s so nice!!! I am just so content and enjoying our time together. It makes the day feel BEAUTIFUL no matter what and it so far has been the best way for me to start my day!!!

I am sure in time, I will get used to him and everything wont be so amazing or keep me awestruck. I mourn that day šŸ˜¦

But isn’t that the special thing about marriage? Where we can be in awe and amazed at what God has done in our lives if we just take the time to look and appreciate the person God designed for us and us for them? I hope so and I plan to! I am making it my own goal to continue to appreciate and enjoy every minute while I can. This is the good advice I am choosing to take. And it’s not too late, no matter how long you or anyone has been married I think choosing this way can breathe new life into an established and comfortable union as well.Ā  Let us all live like every morning is Christmas morning! How fulfilling marriage should be!

God is a Matchmaker lesson 2

God is a Matchmaker lesson 1

I must have read this book over a dozen times in the couple of months that I had it.

Romans 12:1 says to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God. Surrender makes our bodies holy, the altar makes the sacrifice holy (Matthew 23:19). This therefore applies to your whole body when it is placed on the altar of surrender. Therefore I can be set apart for God and made Holy.

Romans 12:2 God will renew your mind. God will not reveal His secrets or open His treasures toĀ  a mind at enmity with Him. But when your mind is renewed you will begin to discover all that God has planned.

Life Lesson: Do not make my own decisions from now on. I find out God’s decisions and make them mine! God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.

Appreciation and thankfulness to God for what He’s done, doing, and going to do! Appreciation is the inward reaction to Gods goodness. Thankfulness is the out ward expression of that appreciation. Be thankful and say so! (Ps. 100:4)

It’s impossible to be selfish and self-centered when you’re giving thanks to God for what only He can do. Get your mind off yourself and on to Him and the hope that you have for a future, a mate, love and marriage will seem strangely dim next to the Glory of the Father shining in your life.

Guidelines:

1. Obeying Gods Word. Psalm 119:105 reminds us that obedience to Gods word will keep us on the path that is leading to Gods plans for my life.

2. Walking in fellowship. 1 John 1:7 lets us know that doing so will allow the blood of Christ to cleanse us from sin. The right kind of fellowship is what God has in mind for our benefit, growth and relationships. (2 Corinthians 6:14-15, Psalm 119:63)

3. Being led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14. Total Dependence on the Holy Spirit, seek His direction in all things big and small. Sensitive ears must be tuned to Him. “Lord help me to be always in the right place at the right time. I pray in the knowledge that only the Holy Spirit can make this happen”. I must be sensitive to Him and how He guides.

4. Guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23) First discover the mate that God has approved of. Then, release your emotions toward that person to God. That way you wont need to recall the flood if it gets too intense. Avoid fantasy or day dreaming about who this mate may be. It puts God in a box and may not match what He has in mind. (Don’t IĀ  know it!)

5. Waiting on God. (Is 64:4) Waiting tests our faith – only faith that passes the test is accepted by God as genuine. Waiting purifies our motives: (Gods Will or my own?) Waiting also builds character to maturity. A person who has learned to wait is no longer at the mercy of fluctuation moods and emotions.

6. Planning for resurrection John 12:24. The relationship that you believe God for may have to pass through death and resurrection before it is ready to be cultivated.

7. Seeking Godly counsel from those older in years and faith. There is great value in Godly counsel and much can be learned, avoided and rectified by the wisdom provided from trusting servants of the Lord. proverbs 12:15, 15:5

8. Seeking Gods Favour. Proverbs 19:14, 18:22. Gods satisfaction must be your highest ambition. Approach everything with what will please the Lord. ps. 37:4 He will implantĀ  the desires and then fulfill them!

For me number 5 and 8 are the most precious lesson that can be learned. And maturing in these areas will not only bring the best harvest of fruit to our lives, but also prepare us the greatest for being Godly woman and wives for our beloved husbands (to be).

 

God is a Matchmaker lesson 1

God is a Matchmaker

I read this book over the summer before sweets and I started spending time together. I sincerely think it may have been the reason I was ready for him when the opportunity presented itself…..again! Up until I read this book I was still closed to what God may have had in mind and simply kept to my own vision and plans.

After reading this book my whole thoughts on marriage began to change.Ā  I started to pray for Gods will instead and asked Him to open me up to His plan. Once I prayed that, with my whole heart in sincerity, God answered that very prayer and I saw sweets as a totally different man standing before me.

The seven basic principles that Derek Prince describes in his book: (my notes are in green)

1. God initiated marriage at the beginning – not Adam and Eve Note that God was the one who said a suitable helper for Adam could not be found (Genesis 2:20)

2. Decision to marry is from God not man God was the one who caused the deep sleep to fall upon Adam. (Genesis 2:21)

3. God knew the kind of helper man needed – not man God knew a beast was not the best helper for Adam but one made bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. (Genesis 2:23)

4. God prepared the woman for the man God took the rib from Adam and made he woman. (Genesis 2:21) A woman’s timeĀ  as a single should be spent preparing for Godliness and marriage, not searching, worrying or moping around.

5. God presented the woman to the man and brought her unto the man. (Genesis 2:22) God set the whole thing up. He prepared the woman, and when she was ready God Himself placed her in the right place at the right time for the two of them to meet. When Adam looked at Gods choice all he could say was “Wow man!” He was pleased!

6. God ordained the purpose of their lifeĀ  – which is unity and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24) God had a purpose in uniting Adam and Eve. He has a purpose still in all He does. God is not bored and He is not wasteful of anything or anyone. He will always have a purpose in the things He does. God will still have a purpose in the marriages of today.

7. Jesus upheld God’s original plan for marriage as binding on all those who follow him.Ā  It is still enforced today. Jesus reminds them that Gods Word in Genesis is still the marriage standard to live by. (Matthew 19:4-6) God has not changed His mind! He still has this ideal in mind to unite and join together into one Flesh. For earth to represent the heavenly union between Christ and His bride. (Ephesians 5:32)

Once I began to understand this and meditate on the Gods words in regards to the creation of man and woman; I clearly could see that my reasons for wanting to marry had nothing to do with what would Glorify the Lord the most, but only what I wanted and what I thought I needed to be happy.

I was running around trying to find my mate instead of allowing God to both prepare me and present me to the one who is in need of my help.

I believe this is why so much of the time we can see couples marrying mates that hold strengths where their mate holds weakness. God is all about balance and unity.

When Paul talks about being yoked it paints the picture of working together with a common goal or purpose. That helps me understand how I am to work with my husband for the common goal and purpose that the Lord has for us to do while we are here. (Ephesians 2:10)

*For more thoughts on Ephesians 2:10*

God is a Matchmaker lesson 2