Monday, November 24, 2008

Strength Training...

Sorry to have been away so long again but I have been undergoing some "strength training" in different areas of my life.

Some of it I have brought on myself and some of it I haven't. Either way it has been a tough few weeks and at times I feel like a boxer in the ring, not sure where the next blow is going to come from.

Much of my "strength training" has occurred at the obvious place - The Gym. I have continued to visit "Cruella's" classes, and have even come to appreciate and actually like her very much (even if she does seem to enjoy torturing me, lol). The result of continuing to push myself is paying off and I am definitely feeling stronger! I can lift more weight, do more reps and not feel quite so sore the next day!

The other "strength training" I am undergoing is much more personal. It is strengthening as a Mom and in myself as a Christian woman. As I am stepping out to serve the Lord and teach at CBS I am watching my personal life come under attack like never before! Satan knows exactly how to push my buttons and I have definitely been feeling it recently.

I know that raising children is a challenge (and the fact that I have more children than most means I should probably expect more challenges than most) but it doesn't make it any easier when you are facing an attitude of rebellion. Rebellion that runs so deep as to say, "I want to behave this way and if you try to punish me I will hate you forever."

And as if that rebellion weren't enough to deal with, there are phone calls from the school regarding another teenager (Skipped classes, failing grades....) Of course there are the younger kids (field trip money due, programs to attend, schedules to keep...) and the older ones (do you ever stop worrying about your children???....) and even my husband (working late again, not listening, disagreements over how to handle just about everything....). Worst of all there is someone close to me who continues to disrespect me and speak derogatorily behind my back.

Yeah, Satan is pushing my buttons big-time! And, just like when my muscles are pushed to the limit by Cruella at the gym, it is at this point in my "training" that I want to give up. I want to say:

"God, I can't do it! It is too hard and it isn't worth it!"
"You can do it!"
"But it HURTS! I am not strong enough!"
"Find your strength in Me!"

So I press on and I can honestly say that whatever strength I have comes directly from the Lord: I must trust my children and their future to Him, I need to choose to let Him defend me against those who criticize and gossip behind my back, and I must not let Satan use those attacks to deter me from what God has called me to do. It hurts and it isn't easy but it does strengthen my faith.

As hard as a "strength training" class at the gym is, I love the feeling when it is over. I feel weak but I also feel strong and invigorated. It is very much the same as I go through this "strength training" with God. At times I may feel raw and vulnerable but I know that I am HIS and the more I depend on Him the stronger I feel!

I don't know why I am in this valley right now. Perhaps it is because God knows I need to have "thicker skin"; maybe I need some lessons in dealing with conflict; or it could be because I need to pass this lesson on to someone else. Whatever it is, I can be sure that there IS a good reason behind it and God will not let these lessons be wasted.

26 comments:

Amy said...

Amen!

I have felt (and do feel) this way so many times in my life. It is so hard to understand why God lets us go through all of the trials that we face in life, but the one thing we can KNOW for sure is that He will ALWAYS work it all for our good.

And you are right when you say, it won't be wasted. God never wastes our pain. I will say a prayer for you, Kelley.

God Bless,
Amy:)

Debbie said...

What a good analogy ...strength training! Even though it's tough to physically get in shape and work out, I know I feel so much better when I do it. But as I go through difficult times, my spiritual muscles are being built up. I'm also in a very challenging place at this time in my life, but for different reasons. But I appreciate how you've openly written on this topic so honestly. It helps me to know that other Christians go through trials and maybe we can each offer support and encouragement to one another.

I try to keep my eyes on the Lord and to trust Him in the midst of it all. I do believe He will give us His strength and wisdom to get us through and that in the end, He will get the glory. May God bless you.

Leah in Iowa said...

God must be doing an awesome thing in you for satan to be bombarding you so mercilessly! I will pray that He'll provide exactly what you need, when you need it. God is faithful!! =)

Jennifer said...

Your doing what HE wants....leaning on HIM. Continue to find your strength in HIM and HE will never leave you. I know it can be tough....going through some trials myself at this very time but in no way am I trying to carry it all. Our kids....always...give us some challenges don't they? Will keep you and your family in my prayers! Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, together.

Yolanda said...

Kelley,

I am praying for you, at this very moment. The tears came to the surface as I can relate in my own little way, as a Step-Mother. Making poor choices of my own, and being a recipient of someone else's poor choices as well....but knowing God is in control, He has His best for me, and He loves me so much...well it just can't get much better.

You are the apple of His eye!

Love,
Yolanda

Lelia Chealey said...

We WILL make it through these years sister! And when I'm empty nesting & you're still going through them since you have a baseball team, then I will pray even harder for you. Prayed for you this morning. Continue to lean on our God for without Him we would just be a heap of babbling crazy women!
You know I love you!
Lelia

Joyful said...

So glad to see you relying on God. Praying you will continue to let go and let God. Even among Christian circles, relying totally on God is often considered 'risky', but it's exhausting carrying the eternal - our burdens belong to God.

I'll be praying and I can't encourage you enough to continue in prayer. When our physical resources are low (emotions, strength etc...) we must make sure our spiritual resources are high. My Pastor shared on Sunday that prayer is the symbol of God-reliance.

I think of words from an old hymn:
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

2.Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

3.Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

Love & hugs,
Joy

luvmy4sons said...

Hugs to you first off. The training, though wonderful when it is done, can be so grueling while going through it. Glad to know you are leaning on Jesus...we can do nothing apart from Him and all things through Him. Amen.

Laurie Ann said...

Kelley, I'm praying for you as you go through this valley of strength training. God is so faithful and is right there with you, every step of the way. He feels the same hurts you feel and knows your heart. Stay strong in Him. *Hugs*

Chatty Kelly said...

I'm sorry you are having this tough time. Obviously you are disturbing Satan with your bible training, so he is trying to disturb you right back. Just remember, if God is for you, who can be against you! Go Kelley!

Pat said...

Kelli,
I love your strength training concept. How true this is!!
I just wanted to encourage you to hang in there, God is doing a big thing that you can't see right now.
You are a big blessing!!
Much Love,
Pat

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

In the midst of it all, your heart seems to be in the right place. You will be stronger because of it all. I'll be praying for you, friend!

LynnSC said...

Oh Kelley,
I hate to hear that you are going through such a struggle... but I can relate. It seems that we have some of the same battles going on ... rebellion, school trouble, even a little bit of a disgruntled husband... BUT GOD...

Is able to use each situation to grow me into the person that He desires for me to be. Painful during the time... but stronger in the end.

Thanks so much for the example of your gym training... I am NOT in that battle with you. As much as I need to be... Hold on Sister!
Lynn

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I just posted this quote today..
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the Creator calls a butterfly." He works His majesty through these times of difficulty, and in the end...it will be a masterpiece.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

All I know is, you are a huge encouragement and inspiration to me. You are the genuine article, the real deal. I feel like your feet are in the fire a lot and that you continually seek to respond the way the Father would want you to. I'm so proud to be your friend. Blessings to you and your beautiful fam, even the stinkers, on this Thanksgiving!

Cindy said...

Kelli,
What a super analogy of God strengthening you spiritually as a wife and mom. We all need that kind of training at times.
Yes, we do stop worrying about our kids but only when we truly turn them over to God. Mine are 23 and 27 and it has taken lots of prayer to be able to trust God with their lives. I still fail every now and then ~ just ask my boys.
I will be praying that God gives you wisdom as to how to communicate with each of your children and hubs also.
Bless you, Cindy

Edge of Design said...

Sometimes I don't know whether I'm going through "strength-training", a refining fire or growing pains. Perhaps it's all three at times. All I know is that I can trust God with the outcome and I know that some way, some how, the understanding will come as long as I persevere.

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

We do go through valleys....and it can get very discouraging too. But we just have to hang in there! And believe that someday you'll be back on the mountaintop and you persevered! And you are stronger for it!

Christina said...

I have something to say about the kid thing and the people speaking behind your back. I have 7 and it always amazes me that if one of the kids messes up (I had one who was extremely rebellious at 16, in fact she had to leave the house, but is now the one I am closest to at 24, and also the most amazing, respectful woman I could of imagined,) that everyone will talk about how that kid and then about the mom or the parents seemingly to forget about the rest of the kids (who may even look like angels at the time.) Like I always say to people when they are praising me on my daughter who is the missionary, remember the other kid who ran away, got drunk, had too many boyfriends, (SAME PARENTS). How quickly they forget. So don't be too hard on yourself. Every child has to walk his own path no matter what we do, but in the end it mostly works out well. Like the Lord says "for I know the plans I have for you."

Kathy S. said...

Kelley, I am praying for you and your family.

I too have been feeling a little hard-pressed lately, realizing I am feeling responsible for too many things and not leaning on the Lord (tasks/obligations). Reading the lyrics to the song that Julie posted here was the reminder that I needed.

I am also reminded of hearing (regarding raising kids) that God is the Perfect parent and look at all His kids!!!!!!

May the Lord bless and encourage you and lift you up in His arms!

Kathy S. said...

oops, not Julie, Joyful...

Susan said...

Hey Sweet Kelly,

Stopping by real quick to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm so grateful for you and our friendship.

Keep pressing on~

marilyn4him said...

Thanks Kelley for sharing your "Strength Training". I have 3 sons 21, 19 and 16. My 19 year old has a rebellious spirit. It has challenged me to continue to take Him to the Lord. I believe God has great things in store for him. I am praying for you.

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

You are not alone in this Kelley. I am committed to praying for unity within my own family, and continue to pray God will capture their hearts. Prayer is the best thing we can do...and keeping focused on Him!

You are in my prayers!

In His Graces~Pamela

Rhonda said...

Been there.

Good for you Kelley for sticking with it.

Private Rentenversicherung said...

Wow. This is really good. Great choice of title! Challenges that head our way never stop coming, but remember that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!