Friday, April 26, 2013

Somewhere Between Two Houses Continued

Christi sighed and went in search of her father and Mandy.

    Erin shook her head and flopped down onto the couch. Was she doing the right thing? Christi was an adult after all. She didn't want to make Christi feel like she was trying to control her, but she felt like she should say something about her decision. Christi was making a horrible mistake. Yes, she had every right to be angry, but shouldn't she be willing to forgive him? Erin hoped Mandy would be more forgiving than her mother is. She stood up and went to see if Andrew had already left. She needed to talk to him before he leaves. On her way out of the living room, she heard a cry and then someone stomping up the stairs. Uh oh... that didn't sound very good. Just as she was leaving the hallway connecting the living room the rest of the house, she saw Andrew slipping through the front door at the end of the hall. She picked up her pace and caught the door before it shut behind him. "Andrew!" When he turned to look at her, she closed the door and stepped off the porch. "Can I talk to you for a sec?"
    "Why?" He sighed and crossed his arms.
    "Because it’s important. Now, are you going to listen to me or do I need to go back inside?"
    "Ok, come and sit in my car and we'll talk." Andrew unlocked his car and slid in, not bothering to wait for a reply. Erin slipped in beside him, trying to find the right words. 'Lord, give me the right words' she silently prayed.
    Andrew crossed his arms and waited. He wasn't sure what this was all about, but he really need to go. The faster he got out of this nightmare the better.
    "You do realize you don't have to go."
    "Yes, I do. Christi wants me to leave and I know I deserve it. I messed up, big time."
    "Christi really doesn't want you to leave, she's just running."
    "I don't blame her. I broke her trust; she has every right to run."
    "She's not running from you, Andrew. She's running from her past."
    "What do I have to do with this?"
    "Everything. Just think about it."
    "What's there to think about? I'm done here, that's that. Whatever she is running from, I'm obviously not helping the situation any. I want her to be happy and if it means me walking out of her life forever, then I'll do it." Andrew looked away from Erin and gritted his teeth. He still loved her and always would. He didn't know how he was going to walk out of her life forever, but he had to.
    Erin studied Andrew while she silently prayed. 'Lord please restore this marriage. It was bound by you and cannot be unbound by man. Make it better than before.' She folded her hands in her lap and waited for him to continue.
    "I have to do this, Erin." He sighed and started the car. "Now if you don't mind, I really need to get going."
    Erin nodded and opened her door. "Where are staying tonight?"
    "I don't know yet."
    When she had said goodbye and went back in the house, Andrew pulled away and drove. He didn't know where he was going or what he was going to do once he got there, but he knew that he needed to leave.

    Once Erin was back the house, she went in search of Christi. She was going to have to deal with the legal side of this rather she wanted to or not. On her way to the living room, she decided to take a detour and go upstairs to talk to Mandy. Just as she was about to know on her door, the door swung open and she was nearly run over by Mandy. She was crying and almost looked hysterical. "Whoa! What's wrong Mandy? Erin caught Mandy in her arms and pulled her around to face her.
    "Why didn't you stop my daddy? Why didn't you tell him to come back?!" She fought to pull herself away, but Erin only held her tighter. Gently leading her into the bedroom and onto the bed, she sat down and pulled Mandy into her arms.
     This was so hard on her, why couldn't Christi see that? Was she so wrapped up in her bitterness that she couldn't see beyond her own needs? Mandy pulled away and she mentally shook herself. Erin knew she needed to be there for Mandy.
    "Is daddy really gone for good?" Mandy asked through her tears.
    "I don't know, honey. That's up to your mother."
    "Why did she send him away? He was always so nice to her. When she needed something, Daddy ways got it for her. If she was sad, Daddy was the first to make her happy again.
   "They just needed some time alone." Knowing Mandy liked to write when she was down or not doing well, she added, "Why don't you write for a little bit and I'll come get you when it's time for the movies, ok?"
    Mandy nodded scooted off the bed. "But you have to leave, first. I can't let anyone see my secret hiding spot."
    "Ok, I love you." Erin got up and headed out the door.
    "Love you too, Grandma." Mandy reached up and gave Erin a hug. "Can you leave now; I really need to get busy." Mandy put her hands on her hips and tapped her foot impatiently. She looked so much like Christi when she was that age. Erin smiled at the thought and backed the rest of the way out of the room. As soon as she was out, Mandy closed the door and she heard feet shuffling. Erin turned to find Christi.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Everything Good -- A Musical Tag

I saw this Musical tag on this blog Sarah, Plain & Average and I just had to do it. If you have time, go on over and check it out.

So here’s how it works:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 20 friends. (Since this is an old tag this doesn't really apply anymore, but if you’re reading this you’re absolutely welcome to do this if you want.)5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.

Here are my results:
If someone says “Are you ok?” You say…
Collide by Skillet… not sure what that means…

What would best describe your personality?
The Blessing by John Waller
I guess I’m a blessingJ lol

How would you describe yourself?
I Burn For You by TobyMac
I definitely burn for Jesus and Jesus only!!

What do you like in a guy?
Brave by Nicole Nordeman

How do you feel today?
Mighty to Save by Hillsong United
I guess I feel powerful! Lol

What is your life’s purpose?
I’m For You by Toby Mac
Right on!

What is your motto?
East is to West by Casting Crowns

What do your friends think of you?
Homesick by MercyMe
Either I make them homesick or they think I’m homesick.. lol

What do your parents think of you?
Call My Name by Third Day
This is so true!! Hahaha

What do you think about very often?
I Will Follow by Chris Tomlin
So trueJ

What is 2+2?
Who Am I by Casting Crowns
…. I guess that means I don’t know lol

What do you think of your best friend?
How He Loves by David Crowder Band

What do you think of the person you like?
My Everything by Gateway Worship
I really don’t have a “like”… umm… lol

What is your life story?
Our God by Chris Tomlin
Absolutely true!!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Can’t Get Over You by Anthem Lights
No idea what this means…..

What do you think when you see the person you like?
The Stand by Hillsong United

What will you do at your wedding?
You Light Up My Life by LeAnn Rimes
I know... it’s a country song, but a very good one

What will they play at your funeral?
Friend of God by the Crabb Family
I want to be known as a friend of God!! :)

What is your hobby/interest?
Holy Spirit Fill This Room by Martha Munizzi
The Holy Spirit is definitely one of my hobbies!

What is your biggest fear?
Walking on the Water by the Crabb Family
That would be scary, but since Jesus is with me, it is VERY possible

What is your biggest secret?
Because of Who You Are by Martha Munzzi
…..ok lol

What do you want right now?
Do You Wanna Be Forgiven by Ernie Hasse
I definitely want to be forgiven!!

What do you think of your friends?
The Hurt and the Healer by MercyMe

What is the worst thing that could happen?
Restore by Chris August
Not sure what this means… lol

What is the one thing you regret?
There is a Way by Newsboys
??? lol

What makes you laugh?
Worthy is the Lamb by Darlene Zchech

What makes you cry?
In Christ Alone
LOVE this song!
Will you ever get married?
Safe by Phil Wickham

What scares you the most?
Stronger my Mandisa

Does anyone like you?
Your Grace is Enough

If you could go back in time, what would you change?
Blessed be Your Name

What hurts right now?
Need You Now (How Many Times) by Plum

What would you say to the person who tagged you (if you were tagged)?
What If We Were Real by Mandisa

What will you name this post?
Everything Good by The Afters

I have to admit, this post had me and my sister cracking up for hours!:) You are welcome to try this and see what you get.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Somewhere Between Two Houses Continued

He found Christi in the kitchen pacing and fuming. Andrew slipped into the kitchen and gently touched her arm.
    Christi spun around and frowned. Quickly wiping her face, she asked, "What do you want?"
    Instinctively, Andrew took a step back. "I was just coming to see if you wanted some help but you obviously don't want my help." He frowned and turned to leave.
    "What is that supposed to mean?" Christi's hands went to her hips. Andrew spun around and gritted his teeth. He didn't need this right now.
    "Nothing, forget about it," He said as calmly as he could.
    "I am NOT going to forget about it! I want to know what you mean by that. I don't appreciate you being rude to me like that. I am so glad you're leaving!"
    "Me being rude to you? You are the one that snapped when I came in here and tried to offer my help. But, since I am apparently such a jerk, you don't want me in your kitchen. In fact, you don't even want me in your life. And you know what? That's fine with me because I can't believe I thought this could work.”
 Christi gritted her teeth and turned to leave. "Oh," she threw over her shoulder, "you better be out of the house before the movies start."
    "Fine, but I don't know how Mandy will take it. She'll want me to be there."
    "With my parents here, she won't even notice you're gone. When she heads upstairs to get ready for bed, just slip out the back door."
    "But I can't leave without saying goodbye, she'll never forgive me!" Andrew tried to keep his voice down, but he couldn't seem to help the fact that both of their voices grew louder with every sentence.
    "What? So you can cheat on your wife without a second thought, but you can't walk out of their lives forever without saying 'goodbye'?" Andrew winced and crossed his arms. "That was uncalled for. That is not how it is and you know it."
    "That's exactly how it is. You know what, just go. I want you out of my house, now."
    "Fine, but you are making a huge mistake!"
    "Maybe I am, but I cannot and I will not live with another lying, cheating, and unfaithful man in my house. So get out!"
    Andrew sighed and gritted his teeth. He was getting nowhere with her. This was one argument he just wasn't going to win. "Ok, I'll leave. But I don't know if I'll still be waiting for you when you come running back. I made a mistake, I know and I'm really sorry. I thought this marriage could work, I really did. I never planned to cheat on you, it just happened. I'm going to ask you one more time to forgive me. Then I'm leaving because I can't live with someone who can't forgive. Christi, will you forgive me? I made a huge mistake, and I apologize. I also promise it will never happen again."
    For a split second, Christi considered forgiving him and letting him stay. Then she thought of the last time she forgave someone and gave them a second chance. It had turned into a disaster. She gritted her teeth, crossing her arms. She had no idea she was going to survive if he left, but he had to go. Marriage never worked out for her, never would. She uncrossed her arms and looked at Andrew.
    "No. You cheated on me, Andrew. I thought you were different, that despite your history, you were different. I took a chance on marrying you, thinking it would work, that you would be honest with me. I thought I could trust you. Apparently I was wrong. So please go. It will be best for everyone. I can go on living and Mandy can grow up without having to witness the fights. You can move on and find someone that will make you happy, satisfy you." Christi willed herself not to cry and turned back to the table.
    "Ok, I'm leaving. Now." She heard him take a deep breath and practically stomp out of the kitchen and into their bedroom. Pausing, she thought she heard a sniffle and shuffling of feet. Putting the stack of plates on the table, she turned toward the doorway into the hall. Standing there was her parents with Mandy wrapped in her mother's arms. How had she not noticed them standing there? From where she had been standing, they were directly in her line of vision. Before she had a chance to say anything, her mom spoke.
    "I think we need to talk, Christi." All she could do was nod. Her mother handed Mandy off to her father and headed toward the living room. Christi swallowed hard and followed her.
    Her mother got right to the point. "Why didn't you tell me?"
    "Because I knew you wouldn't approve."
    "If you know this is wrong, why are you doing it?"
    "Mom, he cheated on me! What I am I supposed to do?"
    "You could forgive him." Her mother raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms.
    "FORGIVE him?? Like that's going to solve everything." Her words were laced in sarcasm.
    "It would solve a lot of your problems."
    "MY problems? Are you saying this is all my fault?!"
    "No, that's not what I'm saying. I said YOUR problems, not his problems. You never forgave Josh, did you?"
    "Josh has nothing to do with this, Mother!!" Christi gritted her teeth and barely managed to keep her voice down.
    "You're right, he doesn't. Why do you keep bringing him into this, then?"
    "I'm not bringing him into this!"
    "You're letting what he did to you control the decisions you're making now."
    "Mom, if you're trying to talk me out of this, then you might as well just stop because I'm not going to change my mind." 
"I'm just trying to make you see what a big mistake you are making. Andrew is your husband, you made a vow- for better or for worse- you need to keep that vow."
    "Why should I keep my vows when he didn't even bother to keep his? Tell me one good reason why I should give him another chance, not that it will do any good."
    "Because it’s the right thing to do."
    "Why do I have to be the one doing the 'right thing'? Isn't the husband supposed to be the leader? He definitely didn't do the 'right thing'."
    "You're right, he didn't. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Just make sure you are doing what is best for Mandy, not just running."
    "I know I'm doing what's best for Mandy."
    "Are you sure?"
    "Yes, mom."
    "Ok, then." Erin stepped forward and wrapped her daughter in her arms. "I love and no matter what decision you make, I will always love you. I may not agree with what you're doing, but I will respect whatever decision you make."
    "I love you too, mom." Christi pulled away and tucked her hair behind her ear. "I better get back out there and explain to Mandy."
    "You know, she's not going to take it very well."
    "I know. I just hope she'll forgive me someday."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Freedom Through Praise

One thing that has always amazed me is the power of praise. We can pray all day, but prayer is really nothing without praise. We find hope, joy and freedom through praise. In Acts 16:25-26 it talks about when Paul and Silas were in prison. In verse 25 it says: "And at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them." Then, in verse 26 it says: "And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's bands were loosed." 
When we shake the foundation of the prison with our praise, chains are broken. And the best part is, when we praise, chains aren't going to be broken tomorrow or in a couple of hours. The Bible says immediately!! 

When you praise, the chains that held you captive, will break!!