A change of seasons

Friends,

I have thought of you so many times in the last months. And yet, my heart is still. I have often considered coming to write, but there are no words left at this point. I don’t know what the future holds, but I truly believe that, for this season, I have offered up all I can in this space. I will be disabling comments in the next few days, and while I will leave this blog space up for others to come, I won’t be posting anything new.

It’s a change of seasons, and I must be faithful to the season I am in.

I have loved sharing this space with you.
It has been a joy and an honor.

May the Lord clearly lead you.
May you be found faithful.
May your marriages be found glorifying to Him.

With greatest love,

Annabel

Edited to add: 

Based on a very sweet comment left by a reader, I wanted to clarify something. I am no longer writing here because I truly believe it is my obedience to the Lord. He has done great things in my heart and marriage, and I leave more whole and healed and full of joy and life than I have had in the last decade. I am well, and God is, indeed, so good.

Home

Dear long-lost friends,

I have found home. It is a beautiful place – full of the glorious longing of things to come, and gratitude for things past. I have so, so many stories for you. They are good stories. Stories of hope, stories of truth, stories of redemption and healing. My husband and I are together – stronger and braver and truer than we have ever been.

I can’t wait to fill this space again with quiet conversations with you again. You are my “great congregation” – the friends I will be faithful to tell of the Lord’s wondrous deeds.

Do not grow faint of heart, dear sisters.
The Lord is mighty. The Lord is sovereign. The Lord is loving.
And He is moving…

Psalm 40: 1-4, 9-11

My Help and My Deliverer

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes

the Lord his trust,

who does not turn to the proud,

to those who go astray after a lie!

I have told the glad news of deliverance

in the great congregation;

behold, I have not restrained my lips,

as you know, O Lord.

10  I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation.

11  As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain

your mercy from me;

your steadfast love and your faithfulness will

ever preserve me!

I have missed you –

Annabel

When silence heals

Dear friends,

I have been silent. And it is not without reason. Situations within my family have asked me to withdraw and focus my energy and heart on my very real here. I have been overwhelmed and blessed, however, by your words of love and concern. The emails and comments have helped me in dark places, and I can’t begin to express my thanks for words of life and prayers spoken on my behalf.
This space will lie idle for a while. I promise to keep praying for you, for your marriages, for your hearts to turn towards Christ and see Him more and more clearly.

The words of Thomas Merton seem most appropriate here:
“The mind that is hyperactive seems to itself to be awake and productive, but it is dreaming, driven by fantasy and doubt. Only in silence and solitude, in the quiet of worship, the reverent peace of prayer, the adoration in which the entire ego-self silences and abases itself in the presence of the Invisible God to receive His one Word of Love; only in these “activities” which are “non-actions” the the spirit truly wake from the dream of a multifarious, confused, and agitated existence…
Only when our activity proceeds out of the ground in which we have consented to be dissolved does it have the divine fruitfulness of love and grace. Only then does it really reach others in true communion. Often our need for others is not love at all, but only the need to be sustained in our illusions, even as we sustain others in theirs. But when we have renounced these illusions, then we can certainly go out to others in true compassion. It is in solitude that illusions dissolve. But one must work hard to see that they do not reshape themselves in some worse form, peopling our solitude with devils disguised as angels of light. Love, simplicity and compassion protect us against this. Whoever is truly alone finds in himself the heart of compassion with which to love not only this person or that, but all people. He sees them all in the One who is the Word of God, the perfect manifestation of God’s Love, Jesus Christ.”

Hidden in Him,

Annabel

On life right now

Hello dear friends,

I just wanted to give you a quick update. Over the past few months I have tried to post three times a week, and it has been a wonderful challenge for me. As time has passed, however, I have felt more and more pressure to become one of the (amazing) bloggers who posts regularly and always has something amazing to say. This pressure weighs on me almost continually right now, and I have decided that it’s just silly. I started this blog to be a voice where there was no voice. I wanted to connect with other women and find a place of community. I wrote because I couldn’t talk, and I wrote because I really wanted to be having coffee with you amazing ladies. I have no real aspirations to be the next “big” marriage blogger. God will do what He will do with this little space. But I am letting go of the pressure to always have something amazing to say. My heart desires to write, and I know that the discipline of it can be a good thing. But I have two sweet little children who need me too, and of course the husband I am always writing so often about! I will still be here, and still be writing, but it may not be quite as often as before. Also, I always read the comments and my emails, but please give me some time to reply – I promise to, it just may take me a while.

The best way to know when I have written (rather than just randomly coming to check), is to follow me on Twitter or by RSS feed. You can also sign up to get emailed updates – just enter your email address under the “Follow Blog Via Email” on the sidebar to the right of the blog.

I want you all to know how much you are in my prayers and my heart. Your marriages are often on my mind, and I pray those of you whose names I know and many of you who I just know by story. I pray grace over you. I pray peace for your hearts. I pray miracles for your marriages. More than anything, I pray you would know Christ’s love and find yourself more engaged by His glory every day.
Please continue to pray for me too. My little family is in the middle of quite a few life changes, which are wonderful, but busy and time-consuming. We need wisdom and grace to approach the days ahead.

Finally, if there are any burning questions or topics you would like me to blog about, will you let me know?

Here’s to many good days ahead, Annabel

Merry Christmas

My conviction is that the better you know the supremacy of Christ, the more sacred and satisfying and Christ-exalting your sexuality will be. I have a picture in my mind of the majesty of Christ like the sun at the center of the solar system of your life. The massive sun, 333,000 times the mass of the earth, holds all the planets in orbit, even little Pluto, 3.6 billions miles away. So it is with the supremacy of Christ in your life. All the planets of your life – your sexuality and desires, your commitments and beliefs, your aspirations and dreams, you attitudes and convictions, your habits and disciplines, your solitude and relationships, your labor and leisure, your thinking and feeling – all the plants of your life are held in orbit by the greatness and gravity and blazing brightness of the supremacy of Jesus Christ at the center of your life. If he ceases to be the bright, blazing, satisfying beauty at the center of your life, the planets will fly into confusion, a hundred things will be out of control, and sooner or later they will crash into destruction.

We were made to know Christ as he really is…We were created to comprehend-as much as any creature can-the supremacy of Christ…We were made to see and savor with everlasting satisfaction the supremacy of Christ. Our sexuality points to this, and our sexuality is purified by this.

– John Piper in “Sex and Supremacy of Christ”

**

Good morning, dear friends. I am praying for you today, as we celebrate the reality and joy of Christ’s birth. I am praying that He would become, indeed, the great sun at the center of our lives. May we see Him for who He truly is. May we be astounded and humbled that our great God came to us as a baby. May we rejoice in the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ.

I love you today, ladies.

Annabel

P.S. I won’t be blogging again until Friday, December 28th. I am taking a little break to be with people I love and celebrate Christ’s birth. See you Friday!

A quiet day

Hello friends,

I have LOVED having coffee chat with you guys this weekend. I cannot tell you how much of my weekend I spent checking comments, thinking about what you guys had written, and formulating my thoughts about what good & right expectations look like. So thank you from my heart for being a part.

Today I am fighting a little bug, so it’s a quiet day. I am working, however, on a review of Sheila Wray Gregoire’s ebook “31 Days to Great Sex” from the perspective of a high drive wife. I will be posting those thoughts tomorrow, along with a giveaway of her book.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful season. Praying for you today, wonderful friends.

Annabel

The lure of comparision

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, as many call it. And I can’t help but pondering this idea of thankfulness just a little bit more. Today I was thinking about how easy it is to count someone else’s blessings. We do it all the time, don’t we? We see someone else and compare ourselves. Always figuring out where we rank with those around us.
One of the greatest problems with this is that when you count someone else’s blessings, it is often impossible to count their heartaches. Because blessings can be so external, but heartache is, well, of the heart – it is private.

Here are a few real life examples from women I have known:
– the woman who is beautiful, married to a good-looking man and successful on their church staff, but who has miscarried multiple times
– the woman who is wealthy, has adorable children, and a quick laugh, but whose husband refuses her in bed
– the woman who has the perfect hair and body, a great husband, and the platform to speak to others, but whose parents are undergoing a heart-wrenching marital situation

If you were to meet any of these women today, you would only see the things in their life that are happy. You would see the success. The beauty. The wealth. You would not see the heartache, the tears, the brokeness.

Today I know there are many of you who are in challenging marriages. I know there are many who wish things were different in your own lives. You often look at others and see the happy things, the things we count as our blessings. I am sure you have heard the quote that says, “Be kind – for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  You may be one of those ones in a hard battle. But I urge you not to compare. Because comparision is so close to coveting. And when we covet someone else’s life, or husband, or marriage, or children, or wealth – we tell God that ours is not enough. We say that He is not good enough. Not wise enough. Not sovereign enough.

I am praying for you today. Praying you would have His eyes to see how many blessings you have, indeed. Praying for a humble heart that would not compare your lot in life to others. Please pray for me too. This post came out of my own struggles today – comparing my situation and events to others, and wishing. I am on my own journey of gratitude. So pray for me too.

Annabel