Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Frightened Man

God uses a variety of ways to speak to his children; the closer I get to him, the easier it is for me to hear his voice. I've been finding him speaking to me in reading the Bible and devotionals, and even whispering Scripture to my heart when I need it. Those are all ways that are easy for me to understand and to handle, but when he sends me a message in my dreams, it's much harder for me to cope.

I think he's probably used dreams as a form of communication with me for years, long before I recognized him as my Lord or understood what my strange dreams meant. I've always had a very vivid dream life, my mom actually wrote down one of them when I was three or so about a man on a surfboard. In the last few years, most of my dreams have been fairly mundane, but last night I had two that shook me to my core.

I have no idea yet what God was telling me with the first one, and they are honestly too personal to share either of them. The second one has haunted me since I woke up this morning. It wasn't a dream with a message of love or comfort; it was the equivalent of a slap across my face. The message: I've been taking my husband for granted, and not just a little either. I have been praying for God to show us where we need to be working on our marriage, but I meant for him to tell Jesse to straighten up, certainly not tell me that I'm the problem! LOL

Jesse and I have been reworking our marriage to make it fit the Christian model for the last several months, and I've been trying to submit, and while it isn't easy, I thought I was getting better at it. However, when it comes down to it, I'm still a nag and no one's idea of a good wife. Don't feel bad about wincing while you're reading, I'm wincing while I'm writing it! But truth is truth, and I'm doing no one any favors by pretending to be something I'm not. I might say the right things and pick him up little gifts now and then, but my attitude has sucked. I may have submitted outwardly, but inwardly I was still holding on to my point of view as the only right one. I wasn't loving or respecting my husband the way the Bible tells me to, and God called me out on the carpet about it. I have been thoroughly convicted. My heart is broken for how I have failed to be the wife I should be. I apologized to Jesse today and did tell him about the dream. My attitude has changed, and I'm going to be a better wife the way God wants me to be and the way my husband deserves.

Sometimes I have good intentions to follow through on personal changes, but I don't necessarily follow through. While I hope I feel better tomorrow and not so broken, I do want to hold on to just a fragment of this ache inside so that I will never again forget what a blessing God has given me in Jesse. I'm also making this public confession of sin and profession of conviction to keep my accountable. Take a little time while reading this and think about your relationship with your spouse (if you have one). Are you taking them for granted? Is there a message God wants you to hear? If so, act on it now; don't wait for a nightmare!

The Frightened Man
by Kenneth Cameron is the first in a possible series about American former military man Denton now living in London at the end of the 19th century. Denton has become well-known as a writer, but when a man comes to his door claiming knowledge about the decade old crimes of Jack the Ripper, he dismisses the terrified man as a crackpot. When the morning's newspapers gives details about the brutal murder of a young prostitute, Denton can't help wonder if it is connected to his visitor and begins to investigate, much to the detriment of his health and his finances. I adore Victorian murder mysteries, and when you throw in a tie to Jack the Ripper, I was quickly sold on the concept of this book. I did, however, have a hard time initially getting into the story. The reader is flung into Denton's personal life, and it takes some time for the story to find its feet. Once Denton started his investigation the story quickly picked up and was difficult to put down. Cameron doesn't fall prey to the standard cliches of this genre, and the story really begins to shine when Denton's foil Janet Striker comes on the scene. The dark past of the protagonist haunts the investigation and will provide fodder for plenty of sequels.

I am running a book contest this week for Julie Lyon's Holy Roller. Lyons is a journalist who went into the ghettos to get to the truth behind miraculous healings from drug addictions. This is the story of what the Holy Spirit is doing and how everyone touched by it has been changed. To sign up for the contest, just send me an email before 10 pm on Thursday July 16th. I'll announce the winner and post my review here on Friday. Good luck!

This was Molly mowing the lawn on Sunday. I think I'm actually a little glad that we weren't able to get her temps yet. This picture makes me more than a little nervous!