I’m still trying to wrap my brain around everything that happened this weekend.

How did I end up on a runway in Trump International Hotel wearing a couture gown made by designer Andre Soriano?!

The glitz and glamour of which little girls dream about materialized in the blink of an eye and here I am looking like Jessica Rabbit mingling with people this lowly trailer park girl was never supposed to hang with.

But God!

I knew He was in the thick of it right from the beginning.

My childhood friend Katherine called me and asked to meet because she felt the Lord prompting her to reach out. We bonded like never before. Weeks later she called she with this opportunity and I ran out the door in high heels to get fitted for a dress!

When I arrived I noticed a beautiful women quietly standing to the side. She had a presence about her that was even more pleasant than her appearance.

She introduced herself as Maria Magdalena. Given my relation to this biblical figure I was surprised and pleased at her boldness. I would meet Maria once again at the networking function on Saturday.

Katherine and I arrived a bit late to the function but right on time for what the Lord had planned. We chatted and made introductions.

One woman spontaneously began to pray for me and it set my course for the rest of the weekend.

I prayed for her as well.

“It is servitude without boundary that bestows true splendor.”

Nearby, Katherine was discussing her massage therapy business and demonstrated a hand massage for one woman. This women, poised and elegant, began to pour out her heart about a recent loss she had experienced.

I watched Katherine’s face change as she grasped for the appropriate response but alas there was none. I leaned in and hugged the woman.

She shared more about her grief and I asked if I could pray for her. “Yes, please!”

Before we could begin Maria Magdalena approached and said, “are you praying without me?”

“We are going to pray and lay hands on this women, would you like to join us?” I responded.

There in the middle of the cocktail party the three of us encompassed this women and prayed aloud, each as the Lord prompted.

It was magnificent! True splendor!

Following that event I was able to pray for yet another women. Morgan Murtaugh will be the youngest woman elected to Congress and I intend to pray this young lady all the way through. I say “will” because I believe in her and what she stands for. When I asked her how I can pray for her she said, “guidance.”

Right before the fashion show Morgan sought me out and asked me to pray for her once more. This girl is a gem, y’all! I am so honored to be a part of her journey!

So that is what the fashion show turned into for me. Same thing as always…

Ministry, but with makeup and hair!

The dressing up part was so much fun! I got to live out the Cinderella story for a day, but it’s like I tell my daughter Evelyn who is obsessed with princesses…

The thing that made Cinderella so beautiful was her heart.

It is servitude without boundary that bestows true splendor.

Sure, I looked amazing because I was wearing couture and had my hair and makeup styled. But I felt amazing because my heart was overflowing.

I am amazing because of the Holy Spirit and I got to remind people of that each time they complimented me!

The following day I was back to sweeping up crumbs and dirty dishes. I get to serve the little disciples we are raising instead of high powered fashion designers and congressmen and women.

But I left a glass slipper…

Only it is the example of servitude instead of a shoe, and it only fits on those who can squeeze their ego into it.

May your ego be small today and your service remarkable!

Your sister,

Monica

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Our second daughter, Evelyn, was sent home sick from school yesterday.

When I arrived to pick her up the nurse informed me she was sleeping. However, when I peeked around the curtain I saw Evelyn smiling and rolling over at the sound of my voice. She didn’t seem sick at all with that grin on her face, but I was told that she had gotten physically ill after lunch and barely made it to the trash can.

You wouldn’t know it to look at her lying there full of hope for a day home with mom.

The nurse also informed me that she would be unable to come to school to following day because she has to be 24 hours without a repeat occurrence. I loaded Evelyn up into the truck and we headed home.

I had a hundred things to do including writing a final I had lost the instructions for, laundry, church responsibilities, and all the normal mom stuff.

This morning she came to me with my notepad from the refrigerator requesting to use it. She wanted to make a list of all the things we could do or what we can get from the store “ifwe go,” she said.

The tone of her voice led me to believe she was already convinced that we would be going to said store and purchasing these things she was hoping for.

The cautious mom in me turned to her ready to speak unintentional words of death. Words that would slowly kill off her hopeful spirit over the years to come…

“Don’t get your hopes up.”

I cringe now as I recount my overuse of that phrase throughout the years. Why on earth have I been attempting to convince my children to be less hopeful?!

Perhaps this is why depression is so pervasive in our country. For decades we have been hearing and repeating, “Don’t get your hopes up!”

Can we pretend any longer to be surprised that 3 MILLION people a YEAR struggle with hopelessness, when THESE are the words we choose for our children? Why are the cases happening to younger and younger people?

We blame the schools, the pressures to achieve, bullying… the list goes on. Could it be that we are overlooking the most fundamental aspect of fighting depression?

Hope.

We have lost it and we have been demanding our children lose it as well.

We convince them to leave behind their high, unrealistic hopes and move forward with reason to attainable goals.

Ones that won’t crush their hopes.

The problem is that every goal needs some degree of hope to be achieved. It is not that the pressures of academic achievement are too high but that we are expecting the achievement while depriving our children of vital resources to get there.

I know a fifteen year old who is about to take college courses! She is the norm in her family. I have told her mother I think their basement looks like an academic sweatshop. (It does)

And yet, this girl and her family are some of the most joyful, undepressed people I know.

They smile. ALL. THE. TIME. It’s kind of creepy at first because it’s so odd for our society to see… but it’s really just a heavy dose of (you guessed it),

HOPE!

I have told these young ladies that I am grateful they are a part of our lives and great role models for our young girls. They are the most God-fearing, creative, intelligent, bold young women I have ever met.

I want our kids to be like that!

So, little Eve… dream on about your grocery store trip and whether you will purchase Mad-Libs or a journal if I drag you out of the house in the rain today.

Dream whatever dreams God has put in your heart today!

I promise not to crush them with my logic and desire to keep you safe. Then when you are grown and pursuing your own calling people will not have to tell you to “be yourself” and “dream big“.

You’ll already be doing it in the childlike way God desires for you.

This is my greatest hope for you… That you keep HIGH hopes and ignore the naysayings, even when the person closest to you is speaking death over your dreams.

May we all increase in hope today. May we be hope filled and hope speaking children of the Lord.

Your sister,

Monica

Waiting for us at the end of my husband’s year long deployment was a loving reunion embroidered with hints of tears, fears and relief.

It was also the beginning of the season of transition. A transition I had been uneasy about since I began hearing stories of other women who had husbands in military service.

The anticipation kept me awake at night wondering what might be on the horizon.

Would he adjust well?

Quickly or slowly?

How much space do I give him?

How will the kids adapt?

What will I do when I no longer have time to blog as often or I have to leave for school when I would rather be home?

What about all the things I picked up to fill my time? My book? Serving at church? How would my relationship with my kids change? What will people think when they get to know my husband? I’ve built an entirely new social life while he was away…

I was warned that there may be a power struggle between us.

We had some real issues before he left. Would it be like starting from scratch or would we carry the past hurt after all this time?

Surprisingly, the power struggle that so often accompanies military homecomings has occurred less during this transition than it had before his deployment. I still like to have my way and stomp my feet mind you, but I am more quickly inclined to pass the reigns to my hubby than I had ever been before.

Being concerned that your loved one may get blown up by a bomb on any given day tends to make the dirty socks under the dining room table look like not such a big deal.

I have a healthier perception of what is important, necessary, and considered an emergency. My patience has grown because of this.

I was more than happy to pass the leadership baton to Peter upon re-entry. He walked in saying that he wanted to sit back and ease slowly into my program. He did just the opposite.

He started leading!

Thank the Lord! Hallelujah! I have been praying for this for so long!

(Prior to now, however, I was holding the reins tightly in my own hands while screaming at him to take them)

In his absence I began to see the imbalance caused within a home when the father is not present. I saw this growing up in my own home but a child tends to block it out rather than consider the deeper effects of his absence.

I have now witnessed, as a wife and mother, the lack of direction that exists when the head of the home is away. The lack of obedience.

I give my children plenty of directions. I have plenty of vision which I share with them. I say the things that he says in the EXACT… SAME… WAY. Still, their response to him is different.

There is something about a father’s voice that in and of itself is a call to action.

Something I am incapable of reproducing.

(Which is why I don’t believe men or women should lead the church but the Father through them; only the Father has authority and we must learn His voice.)

There was a point in time where I would become very frustrated and even angry about this.

“Why don’t they listen to me?!”

I would cry out around the house as the children disobeyed and ignored me. Some days I would drop to the ground and pray, hoping to find some peace so that my complaining wouldn’t do anymore damage. As some of you know I’ve had quite a struggle with complaining and yelling. (you can also read about that here and here)

That too has come to rest. I’ve got my leader back and I know I can trust him.

It’s easier to let go of control when you have a trustworthy leader.

When Peter looks at me squarely and says “we’re not going to yell in this house,” I know that even though I still struggle I have support in this endeavor.

We are in agreement.

Sameness of vision and is necessary for anyone to grow. My husband has also decided to drop the curse-words (a thing he has always leaned on for expressing himself.) He has decided to subject himself to a similar measure of control in that regard. No more cursing. We will support each other in this and we have been for the last several weeks.

As a team we have already come farther than was ever possible as the two unique entities we kept trying to be.

I battled constantly to control my mouth during our separation over this last year. I prayed. I talked about it. I wrote about it. I did my best to exercise self-control… But absolutely none of these things were sufficient when I was lacking accountability; when I was lacking a leader who I had chosen to follow and trust.

Perhaps the Lord gives us these leaders (our men) because we need them? Following Jesus in singleness is one thing, but when we enter into family with all the messiness and crazy good insanity it brings, we need a physical leader we can see and be accountable to help build us up in Christ. (this goes both ways of course)

So I am more than glad to share with you, my friends, that the missing piece to overcoming my struggle at home has finally returned. I can, and now do, more effectively keep myself from using my words as daggers and my attitude in a controlling way.

I can “let go and let God” more readily knowing my husband is here to support me in that.

I want to encourage all of you today to look to your spouse as the possible missing piece in your battle armor. We’ve got spiritual armor for sure and YES, put that on daily! But for the everyday struggle against flesh, even if it seems to be your spouse (hint: it’s often not them) we have an underutilized resource in our significant other.

Let yourself be led in humility in your marriage, regardless of your gender, so that you may be built up in your walk with Christ.

I have found this to be very pertinent factor in my own sanctification. I pray you do as well.

Your sister,

Monica

There is little more humbling than to acquire a platform and then have nothing to say.

This is the great fear of everyone who has ever spoken in public, with the exception of narcissists who think they always have something important to say.

I have never had this problem.

I have the opposite dilemma. Though I am not fooled into believing everything I say has meaning and importance, I DO find myself talking too much.

It’s really hard for me to control my mouth.

I LOVE to talk! Matter fact, I’m talking right now! I don’t even write these blogs half the time, I just speak them using the voice feature on my phone or some other device!

But there are times when I really do need to just shut up.

On two occasions now I have decided to fast from unnecessary speech. The tongue is the most difficult thing to control, but I cannot relent. I know in my heart that I would benefit from shutting my mouth. Of course this is far more difficult to implement than to say. Usually, about two days in, I start complaining again.

I hate being a complainer!

I grew up in an environment where complaining was considered “expression” right along with curse-words. In a house of four daughters and one often exhausted single-mother, whoever spoke the loudest (or screamed rather) was the one who was heard.

Being loud was a survival mechanism.

It has taken me 33 years of my life to come to the realization that this is not only unhealthy, but that I am behaving in a rather infantile manner when I shout and complain. There are plenty of other maladaptive, manipulative behaviors we humans exhibit, these are just the ones I struggle with.

Anyhow, revelation of this maladaptive behavior I still carry has not aided me any in correcting it.

I still yell. Occasionally I hit something.

I try to make that something a half rack of weights rather than a door or wall (it’s not people anymore these days, thank God), but my lifestyle does not afford me that flexibility every time I need it.

So… After hearing for years from my husband that I am:

1) a little crazy and

2) I need to be quiet (yes we are still married)

I have now heard the same thingfrom my mentor. The good news is I finally got a mentor! The bad news is, he basically just told me that I’m crazy and I need to shut up more!

Now I have to go back to my husband and tell him that I have heard the exact words he has been telling me for years and yet now they finally struck a chord (facepalm).

*in my defense, it is always easier to take correction from someone who is not I am not emotionally tied to… which is why everyone should have a mentor.

Nevertheless, here I stand. Responsible for my own actions.

After all of my frustration and rumination over the past and how I grew up in my home, on the streets, and in the clubs all that matters is self control.

I don’t get a pass because I got dealt a crappy hand.

There is no magical prayer that is going to cause God to get me to shut my mouth from complaining or ranting on my children. (I tried that and it worked but only for a little while.)

The hard cold reality is that I need to stop it. I need to exercise self-control.

I have a choice to make every single time that maladaptive, frightened, angry, toddler Monica decides to show her ugly face. I have a choice to look that person I used to be squarely in the eye and tell her that she doesn’t live here anymore.

And the only way to get my point across clearly is by saying nothing.

I’m going to let that little tyrant stomp her feet and scream until her face turns blue and not open my mouth or share a word of what she is thinking.

I will wait for the chaos in my mind to dissipate.

When that childish, has-been, shadow of me passes out like a toddler on the floor with no more energy left, I’m going to sing and dance around my house with the victory of Christ!

I will have come one step closer to shaping my home into the home it was always meant to be and I have always wanted it to be. I will truly be able to say with each passing day “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

I will lead the way!

I will embrace the influence I have in my home as a woman of God. Just because something is bubbling up inside of me, doesn’t mean I have to speak it into this world! It may not be the right time, context, or in the right spirit.

Discernment is my best friend, but my ride or die is Silence. She’s got my back when nobody else does… even myself.

For all of you fellow crazies out there I just wanted to let you know I love you with all my heart with the love of Christ and you are (still) not alone.

Don’t ever change for anyone but the Lord. All else is vanity.

He knows your heart because He gave it to you and it is His own. You, we, will overcome. Till next time.

Your sister,

Monica

Last night I shared something with my husband that had been weighing on my heart.

Something that choked me up as I spoke it aloud;

“Thank you so much for what you do for our family!” I stammered as warm tears poured down my cheeks.

You see, it had dawned on me that I live quite a privileged life. Not only because of the favor of the Lord we enjoy, but also because my husband works really hard in response to that favor.

I basically get to sit at home in the presence of Jesus all day, reflecting on His goodness and then write about it whenever I feel so inspired (which is often). It has it drawbacks like anything else, but there are many wonderful things that I enjoy. For one, I don’t have to miss time with my children to go to work. I can be here for all the incredible, frustrating, and incredibly frustrating moments that bind a family together over the years.

None of this is without struggle, on my husband’s part or mine, but I want to focus here on his sacrifice. His selfless sacrifice.

Peter doesn’t work out of selfish ambition. When I thanked him for all he is doing (presently, it entails being away on deployment for long periods of time), his response was simply, “I asked God for a big family and I got it. Of course I’m going to take care of you.” All his hard work is a response to the grace of God shown in an answer to prayer that my husband had prayed since childhood.

Now… the backstory on why his dedication is so moving for me:

I have been without a provider.

I have been without protection.

I have been a young girl without a father.

I have been a mother without a father for my own children.

I have been a mother with a father for my children, but that man was actually relying on me to provide and he was happy to remain unemployed as I toiled in the strip club several nights a week.

I always thought there was something better. A better quality of man out there. A better way to run a family.

Then I met Peter…

This man has done nothing short of everything in his power to ensure the financial security of our home. It has never been for the purpose of being affluent or achieving some lofty, social status. It is all done in and for love. My wildest dreams are coming true, in large part, because of him. On top of being the breadwinner, Peter has been the iron that sharpens me and the embrace that comforts me. The voice that holds me accountable and stands by to soothe the delicate part of me when I finally breakthrough my pride, and my anger turns to tears.

This is what a Godly man looks like.

He is not perfect. But he is my leader.

I struggled for a long time, trying to shape Peter into the man I thought he ought to be if he were going to lead our home. If he were going to lead me. I’m not going to follow just anybody, you know. You had better know where you are going, because I sure do!

I wasn’t so sure he should be leading me.

Every so often, he was right about some important things, but Peter didn’t seem to have the adequate vigor for the Lord that I deemed necessary. He didn’t measure up to my standard of leadership. He didn’t qualify.

Then I reread this scripture:

“Wives, submit to your own husband as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.”

Ephesians 5:22-24

The verb “is” became the game changer for how I treated my husband. Embracing this truth is the very thing that allowed me to shift from a nagging wife who accused her husband of trying to control her, to being a woman who cries in overflow of gratitude for the sacrifice that he makes.

The truth is, Peter IS the head of our home.

“Is” is considered a verb is because it “expresses existence or a state of being.” The Lord didn’t say that he could lead if he was a good leader, deemed worthy by me on any given day… He said that my husband IS the leader.

Leader is his state of being, not a thing I decide for him.

My willingness to walk in submission to my husband ultimately became an issue of my willingness to submit to the Word. And while I can argue with my husband all day, often getting my own way after wearing him down… you won’t ever find me arguing with the Word of God.

It was in this place of surrender that my marriage began to find true peace.

I could write on this all day (and I will again soon, I am sure of it), but for today I will leave you with this:

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church… but wives, if he does not do this, he IS still your leader and you should honor him as such. The Word does not return void. Apply it without prejudice to your own life and watch it transform everything!

I have seen this myself, that even in our hopelessness, the Lord is faithful and just to fulfill His promises.

Love each other well and without selfish ambition, my brothers and sisters. You are the reflection of the living God who has created us. The world is looking to you, to us, for example of how our Father loves. What will they think of Him if we tear each other to pieces while claiming victory in Christ?

Follow Him, follow His Word, without reservation. That is the only way to bring about true revival that we long for.

Until next time, may the Lord keep you in His perfect peace and in harmony with one another.

Your sister,

Monica

*This is not a disclaimer where I will advise you to leave if you are in an abusive relationship. God can heal that too. If you don’t believe He can, however, you should leave because He probably won’t. If you do believe He can bring healing, you need to seek counsel immediately and ensure your continued safety while your spouse begins a process of healing and restoration in the Lord.

 

Today could have been a horrible day for me.

It could have been a horrible day for my family.

My husband has been deployed in Afghanistan since March. This opportunity has been a huge blessing in many ways, however the lack of his presence is felt and grieved by us all. It is especially interesting for me to realize today that Thanksgiving has never been the most wonderful day for me.

At best, it has been a day to prepare and eat some food, try not to get stressed out, and start again tomorrow trying to accomplish all of the normal things I put off in order to “celebrate”.

Today was different. It was different because I decided that it would be different. I decided to remember not only what I am thankful for, but Who I am thankful to.

There are two other Thanksgivings I recall with impeccable detail. Days that I was alone. Days that I felt abandoned, betrayed, and hopeless.

About 12 years ago, my Thanksgiving was spent riding the metro into DC for my shift at Archibald’s. It never occurred to me that the strip club I worked at would not be open yet. I just figured since I had no family that wanted to be with me I would head in early. The club wasn’t open yet. Being quite hungry at this point, I walked for 10 blocks up 14th St. to find a 24-hour CVS. There I purchased a protein bar and a bottle of water for my Thanksgiving dinner.

As I walked past homeless men and women sitting on the sides of the street eating their meals on paper plates, I longed for what they had.

The longing wasn’t so much that my stomach was hungry, but that my soul was hungry… for someone to care enough to want to feed me. But no one could have me around. I don’t blame them. I was that toxic person who would inevitably ruin the event to which I was invited. So I stopped getting invited.

I had never learned how to be proper. How to be sober. How to be “normal.”

My lack of stability was linked to the other Thanksgiving I recall so well. And so many like it. So many years that echoed the solitude of the holidays.

As a teenager, holidays were never enjoyable in my home. I don’t mean “never” as though I had experienced no happiness ever, but rather to say that actual joy was lacking. There is a cosmic difference between a moment of happiness and experiencing real joy. My mother was fabulous at curating happy moments.

Joy however, being a thing that one cannot create or arrange, was difficult to come by in our home.

Thus, I began looking for it elsewhere. I’m not really sure what took place the Thanksgiving after I turned 15. I only recall that I could not be in my home for a moment longer. There may have been nothing actually wrong on the surface. It could have been a regular day. But there was a void. A void in my home. A void inside of me… so I just left.

I went for quite a long walk that day. It was about 2 miles to the grocery store nearest our home. I walked all the way. When I got there nothing was open. I turned around and started walking back. I was not far from my neighborhood when I approached the entrance to another community where a friend of mine lived.

Lacking in social etiquette, I decided it would be a good time to go and visit.

When I arrived, Nicole’s parents welcomed me in. I sat down to dinner with them. This wasn’t the first time I had intruded. They always welcomed me. Still, I can only imagine what they were thinking when I showed up on a holiday that people are usually with their families, being only a child myself.

I loved that house. That family.

The environment smelled like fresh food. Fresh food that had not been burnt or cooked ahead of time and then donated. I learned how to wash and dry lettuce. I heard people laugh and saw them hug. I witnessed parents discipline their children in a way that didn’t break them. When we sat down to eat we sat at the table instead of in front of the TV. We held hands and prayed. No one argued at dinner.

I had always hated when everyone finished their food. I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to go “home.”

Reminiscing on all of this today has brought me to a place of peace and gratitude.

The addictions and the sin that once bound me (and left me more destitute than someone who was homeless) have been broken and forgiven by Jesus. My God has changed not only my life but my heart.

That home I found comfort in as a child has now become my home.

I am married to a man who works hard to provide so that my children do not have to rely on strangers coming to bring them food on holidays. We get to be the people who bless others today!

My daughter and I made homemade mayonnaise together this Thanksgiving.

When my children cried today or became frustrated, I had the privilege of praying with them and correcting them in love when necessary.

We sat at the table together instead of in front of the TV.

We held hands and said grace.

No one argued at dinner.

When it was all said and done, we visited with a neighbor who had invited us to eat with her family. My children sat at a different table than the adults. When I walked over to be sure they were settled, I saw that they had all been patiently waiting for me to come and pray with them.

My neighbor is not really the prayerful type. She’s not really into the Lord like I am.

She didn’t see any of this… but we prayed for her home and her family. We thanked the Lord for her hospitality and asked that He bless her and bring joy into her home. There is no lack of happy moments there. But because I have found the joy I have sought after, I could not help but pray that for her as well.

The greatest joy I have found, the deepest gratitude, is in the fact that our family gets to do this. We are privileged to be part of an eternal Kingdom that brings purpose to lives and joy into homes.

My prayer is that you also have experienced joy today. As much as you have longed for fulfillment, may it be granted to you today by our Lord Jesus.

When you find it in Him, because you will when you seek Him, pour it out on everyone around you and bask in the new level of joy that comes with being a vessel.

I love you all and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Your sister,

Monica

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I’m not the type of person that people tend to get loud with. Maybe there’s something in my eyes left over from a life of survival, or maybe I just know how to dodge ignorant people like Neo dodges bullets. It’s probably a little bit of both. Yet, I found myself in an interesting situation today. As I knelt on the floor to clean up after my boss she stood there yelling over top of me. I laughed to myself in a slightly maniacal manner and told God how dissatisfied I was with my current occupation. As I went on cleaning, the exhausted tyrant (who had skipped her nap) grew louder. She fussed as multi-colored candy sprinkles fell from her mouth and onto the floor where I was still collecting them. She had gotten into something she shouldn’t have and I was stuck cleaning the mess while she cried about what I would not let her have. Do I even need to make a cleverly worded mention of how this parallels the way we treat God?

Time and again I jump into things I have no business meddling in. Time and again I let my fleshly cravings dictate what piece of the world I will conquer next on my quest for satisfaction. Time and time again, He is there to pick up the pieces and show me how He is the answer to the void I feel. I stomp my feet and scream. I scream at Him sometimes when the pain is too intense. There are appropriate times for this type of prayer. It can be difficult to decipher between healthy and unhealthy complaining. I have gained some wisdom in this by trial and error. When I screamed and begged for Him to change something, it was often in vain. But when I cried out and begged Him to change me, well…that is a prayer He has never failed to say “yes” to.

There is always something God wants to do inside me when the tension becomes unbearable.

Today as my toddler cried out at me, I cried out at God. Then I cried out to Him. That’s when my perspective shifted and the world righted once more. Monica Jr was still cranky and sleepy and I still had a ton of chores to do. I still didn’t want to do any of them. But with my heart softened, I went through the motions and decided to see things His way. Suddenly, instead of being trapped in a kitchen as an indentured servant, I was transported to the best training ground for leadership this world has ever known: Christ-like motherhood. If I could handle this little monster screaming at me then I could do anything!

Nothing incredible happened on the surface. I apologized to my husband for my brief crankiness and he stated that he hadn’t even noticed. I’m still undecided if this is a win on the part of my self-control or a setback in our communication, but I’m going to go with the former for now. Point being, I was not crying out at my husband either. I used to do that often. His recent deployment has brought things out of me I knew were there but didn’t feel like accessing so long as I could get “help” by complaining. Where our marriage used to be bound with angst (concocted by yours truly), it is now almost too good to be true. I have grown in my walk with the Lord and stopped (almost completely) treating my husband like it is his job to fulfill all my needs. If “happy wife, happy life” holds any truth, then I’ll just keep drawing near to the Lord for the sake of my husband as well as myself.

My true joy and peace is in Him.

He is the One who notices when I cry and curse under my breath while I am scrubbing floors. He is the One whispering, “I have a good purpose for you”. His voice calls me to higher thoughts than negativity and hopelessness. He is the One who is there with me when I sprint to my prayer room, lock the door, and crank out a quick praise because without awareness of His presence I am basically a train wreck. He is the One who gave me each of these words as my uneventful, very long day finally came to a close. Jesus is the One I will someday hear saying “well done”… but if I listen hard enough, if I draw closely and still my soul… I can hear Him already. He is pleased with me today.

And you? If you are trudging this same road, or any road where you choose Christ-likeness amid chaos. If no one told you… He is pleased with you as well. Well done my brothers and sisters. Well done.

Until next time…

Your sister,

Monica