Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Leaving Israel Behind and Moving Forward

As I leave Israel behind, I strive to move forward with all that the Lord has let me experience and taught me:
Leading Worship at the Jordan River before baptisms. There were hundreds of flies buzzing around and they kept getting in my mouth, nose and eyes. My wonderful husband kept trying to shoo them off me while I just kept on singing and praising Jesus. I was really honored and blessed to be able to lead worship in Israel before baptisms.
Baptisms at the Jordan River

My lovely in the cable car on our way up a mountain to overlook Jericho.

A look out the other window of our cable car.

Covered in mud at the Dead Sea. It is so therapeutic and a great natural spa to cover yourself in the mud and then wash off in the mineral dense Dead Sea! My skin was SO soft after this I didn't want to shower :)

My feet in one of the many falls at the beautiful En Gedi.

My husband and I had a great time climbing by ourselves for a while and just relaxing by the falls at En Gedi

Some of the group that met up together at En Gedi at David's Falls.

The Western Wall is an awesome place to grasp the religiousness of Isreal. I remember last time I came here I was thrilled by the hustle and bustle of things. However, this time around, I was grieved! How these people set their lives on religion and are still awaiting the relationship with the Messiah whom they missed 2000 years ago! 
My husband and I with the Old City of Jerusalem behind us.

THE BEST burger I have ever had in my life was at this restaurant in Jerusalem called Zuni's. I will crave this burger everyday for the rest of my life.

At the temple institute my husband was the menorah (candle holder).

This was an awesome Bedouin family that we became really close with in the Old City of Jerusalem.  They are a family of 14 brothers and sisters who run this shop. I believe next to me is Joseph and then Amen. This is where I bought the majority of my gifts from Israel. 

So if I had to sum up the whole trip to Israel this time around I would say that God revealed to me how I really don't have it all together. You see, to be completely honest, my husband and I were hoping that this two-week trip would be one of romancing each other and just having a really great time togehter. Truth is, we fought and had quite a bit of tension from a week or two before we left almost all the way through the trip. We would pray together and repent of our bad attitudes, but the next morning would fall back into frustration again. 

The Lord was showing us some patterns that had embedded themselves into our marriage. And I will only talk about what the Lord had revealed to me: I have great expectations and I have a lack of trust in the Lord first, and in turn, my husband. I have my view of how my husband should treat me, treat the kids, manage the finances, manage his time, do ministry, handle business... the list is sickening and unending... :(

Not only do I have these expectations, but if my husband doesn't meet them, I sure do let him know! Either that or I take control of things myself (because after all my way is the best way) and totally step over my boundaries as a helpmate and a wife. 

I am so grieved at this evil in my heart! 

We had a 11 1/2 hour flight to New Work, where we had a 4 1/2 hour lay-over before our 3 1/2 hour flight to Minneapolis. After our flights we literately got in the car and drove a 6 hour drive to Beloit to pick up ours kids from the Douglas' house. I am so thankful that we did this though. We sat down with them and talked openly and honestly about what was going on in our marriage and we couldn't figure out why things had gotten to the point they had. Without anyone even telling me, as I was explaining things I just knew that the majority of it was my fault because of my expectations. 

So there is the biggest thing that the Lord is working out in my heart and life personally.

The second thing that the Lord was teaching us was just how ministry worked. He revealed sides of all the pastors and their wives who came on the trip that we had never seen before, or just gave us more clarity as to why they are the way they are. I am truly blessed and amazed at my pastor and his wife! They love their flock and watch out for their flock in more ways then even I know! I also see how ungrateful the flock is and how quick to complain we are (me too!!). It reminds me of the Israelites who followed Moses and complained about the food they ate. 

Those of you who read this post, I really hope you are blessed and encouraged. Especially the wives and mothers. Having expectations. Man it's hard to change that when you have practiced it for so long! 

Lord, forgive me and make me more like you. Destroy my expectations and destroy my terrible habits that I have developed! Only You can change my heart and do the work in me. Restore what I have torn down! Remind me and burrow this verse deep within my heart:

"My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be moved." Psalm 62:5-6

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