Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Question That Saved Our Marriage

Let me preface this post with two clarifications. First, our marriage was "sticking" no matter what. Divorce was never an option. The title of this post could more accurately be "The Question That Brought Greater Joy, Depth and Life to Our Marriage." I just like the other title. More eye-catching, I think. Second, I was inspired by my husband's message tonight. If you want to hear it for yourself, go to The Village Church podcast on iTunes. Wait until Monday though. It won't be on there yet. Sorry. Now that that's out of the way, here we go...

I was the ultimate good girl. Church was my second home; youth group, my perfected extra-curricular activity. I played by the rules. Mostly. Outside of a month of outward rebellion (emphasis on outward) in my junior year of high school, I was the golden child. I'm pretty sure I was what every parent thinks they want in their child. Submissive. Compliant. Polite.

However, no one tells you there are deeply rooted, insufficient cisterns that are hewed out by and inside the good girl. They're deceptively devastating, cloaking themselves in the fabric of lies like "it's the Christian thing to do" or "just stuff the emotion and do it."

Now, put that broken line of thinking into a marriage. That was me.

We had issues, just like every other couple. It was the same argument, the same frustration, the same disappointment, the same resolutions over and over again. It was insanity. Everything would be going along swimmingly for about a month and then something would set it off. We would be thrown into the same whirlpool, trying to cling to some common ground. Eventually, Matt grabbed a life line. He started going to counseling to deal with his hurts and hang-ups. I, on the other hand, continued to swirl round and round in disappointment in myself and in my resolution to "get my act together" and "be the wife I should be."

I just needed to read the Bible more. I just needed to commit to think of and serve Matt selflessly. I just needed to anticipate his needs. I just needed....

I just needed to ask the right question.

Repeat the above six times a year for six years. Yes, SIX years. Picture a night of tossing and turning after a heated discussion. Imagine feeling helpless and nauseated. Envision standing on your back porch asking yourself if this is what life will always look like. Failure. Disappointment. Pure and utter self-centeredness. MY self-centeredness.

I look back on that night and am thankful in two ways: I'm thankful that it happened and I'm thankful that it is in the past and not now! I finally gave up making the list of all my "shoulds." I finally asked the question of God...


Before that night, I thought I knew how. Puffed up in pride, I had pulled out the paper with my presumptuous plan, smoothed the wrinkles and proceeded to read my solutions to the problem. This time, however, I was out of solutions. I had no plan. I could only listen. Listen to my husband's plea for me to hear. Listen to the Lord's plea for me to bow down and humble myself.

I had to admit that I needed help.

The prideful little good girl within me trembled in her pew. Could I possibly confess to being imperfect? Gasp.

The answer to my how came in the Center for Christian Counseling.

How: the question that saved our marriage. I pray that if someone out there reads this and it resonates with you, don't be afraid to ask how. More importantly, don't be afraid to wait for the answer and then obey.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Yes, I know He's the Reason for the Season. I know that these are the HOLYdays. But even so, I tend to get distracted. I don't quite understand what happens, really. All my shopping was done. Most, if not all, of the presents were wrapped and patiently waiting under the tree. No extensive cooking took up my schedule. Just a few Christmas services in which to take part. But nothing in and of itself that I would label "distracting."

Still. Still...

I was distracted. I left God on the back burner. I thought about Him. I talked to Him. But I didn't engage Him. And let me tell you, there is a difference!

Enter...the Accuser.

He's so crafty. He relishes in manipulating my already fallen flesh...the subtle pride-filled part of me that wants to earn it. How can you call yourself His? You completely blew it. You don't deserve to talk or sing about Him now.

Ironically, he's right. But only partly right. You see, I have an Advocate. And, by His blood and His Father's love, I am still His child.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

My New Favorite Movie

For more on this story click here. Make sure your volume is won't want to miss out on the aural atmosphere.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

She's Back

Since you're all wondering...(ha)...I finally got Bianca (my white iBook) fixed! She can actually hold a wireless signal without having to move the screen back and forth or tapping underneath the keyboard rightintheperfectspot. Yay!

On another note, I've included a couple of pictures of our Christmas home decor. Honestly, I was playing with our new camera, trying it out on inanimate objects.

**Two seconds after posting this, I noticed there are two sad little presents underneath the tree. I took this picture a few weeks ago. I promise we have more presents. Even if we didn't, it's not about the presents anyway. Just don't tell Michael Scott that.**

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Firetrucks and Family

For Christmas, Matt and I gave each other a new camera. Yay :) Here are some of the fun shots I've taken.

Last weekend, we visited Santa at the local fire station. Reid loves firetrucks so he was in heaven. Our friends, the Losers (pronounced Low-ser), joined us. Reid thinks Parker (who is Audrey's age) is the greatest thing ever.

This weekend we celebrated Christmas with my brother Jonathan and my sister-in-law Tiffany. It was so good to see them. Audrey and Reid especially loved their presents. We love you Jonathan and Tiffany!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Card Pictures

On Friday, a friend of ours so graciously gave of his time to take our annual family Christmas photo. We had fun. We are so grateful for our wonderfully talented friend and the beautiful pictures. We love you!

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Hope Deferred Revealed

Not long ago, I posted about a hope in my life that was at that time deferred. I wrestled with whether I should reveal the specific hope or not. When sharing with my Bible study girls about it, this verse immediately came to mind...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3 - 4)

So my prayer is that the Father of mercies and God of all comfort would bring comfort to your heart through the comfort I have received. Below is a letter I sent to friends and family earlier this week...

Friends and Family...

Two and a half weeks ago we found out we would be expecting our third child. We had decided to keep it between just a few of us until I told my Wednesday morning bible study group. The Tuesday night before I was to tell my bible study girls, I started to bleed and cramp. I saw my OB the next morning. She did a sonogram and found nothing. She said I was too early in the pregnancy to see anything. They took a blood test that morning to measure my hormone levels. I went in again two days later to have the same test done. If there was a significant increase in the levels, I would still be pregnant. If there was no change or a decrease, it would be likely that I had miscarried. This was somewhat torturous because I had to wait over the weekend. Finally, this morning, my doctor delivered the news that I indeed had miscarried.

Though this situation could have been so much more devastating, I have not escaped the effects of such a loss...even if it was an early loss. My emotions have been everywhere from hopeful to content to frustrated to just sad. However, the Lord has been so sweet in whispering His truth and promises in His Word. Two verses that have been especially meaningful have been 2 Corinthians 1:20 and Romans 8:28. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says "For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. Romans 8:28 says "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

I realize that this is for His glory and our good. My soul utters an Amen (a "let it be") to Him for His glory in this. I am grateful that He uses everything...everything good and everything seemingly point us to a greater glory...His.

Thank you to all who have prayed with us and for those who have sent us letters, flowers and food. Thank you.

We love you all,
Lauren for the Chandlers

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kids' Christmas Program

On Tuesday, Audrey and Reid had their Christmas Program through their Mother's Day Out program. Of course, Audrey was an angel in the manger scene. She sheepishly stepped out on stage, batting her eyelashes with seeming shyness. However, when the music started, she opened her mouth wide and belted, "It came upon a midnight clear..." Priceless! Yes...I cried.

Reid, on the other hand, marched on stage with perfect confidence and then....and then...he spotted Dad. His bastion of bravado quickly caved in. The corners of his mouth slowly sloped downward while his forehead wrinkled in distress. He wanted nothing to do with "Jesus Came" to the melody of "Jingle Bells." The only thing he wanted was Daddy and Mommy. So sweet! Much to our surprise, and delight, he made it through the song without running off stage.