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Just a quick note to let you know I've moved my blog to the following address:

http://www.michellebenthamcreates.com

Please visit me at REDEEMED...RESTORED...RELEASED: One Woman's Story of Living Free to read more about what God is doing in my life and how He is working those things to set me free. Thanks so much for following, visiting, reading all about it and supporting me as you have done so many times these last few years. If you follow my other blogs, the posts from all three of my blogs are going to be transferred to the new digs for one big blog about our journey to restoration and freedom in Christ.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Our Year In Review

2009 might well be known as the year of facing down my fears...

This was one of the last pictures taken of Scott and I in 2008. And, quite frankly, as you may recall we were just in the throws of our most difficult time as a married couple. Praise God He is a redeemer and a teacher... And, that when we hold onto His promises He sees us through the darkness. For me the ending of 2008 was an awakening to how horrible I had been to my husband in our ten years of marriage, how much of him I had taken for granted, and how much I had set him up to fail me in so many ways. SABOTAGE was my middle name. And, over the last twelve months I have finally been able to lay aside my primary fear about my husband: That He couldn't possibly love or want to be married to Someone Like Me... [CHECK] Left that fear in the Throne Room as God has walked me through the most trying time of my married life. He has opened Scott's heart up to me in new and unexpected ways and allowed me to see my husband in a whole new light... His Light.


Around mid-January we added a brand new family member: POGO! Oh, my goodness! I never knew a dog could capture your heart but this little dark-haired, bearded Mister has stolen ours - flat out! I bought him a dog-bone for Christmas and let him eat it on the carpet for crying out loud. You have never seen a group of otherwise composed people fall out for a dog the way the four of us have since this little guy came into our life. He's our "Sweet Potata..." To quote Brittany who had an incurrable aversion to dogs prior to Pogo's introduction. Thank you Lord for Pogo... Fear of a Dog who would chew up all our belongings and might just bite my knee caps (long traumatic story from childhood) [Check] Left that with Pogo. He's our dog! I love my Granpup!
Then there was vacation! Breathtaking views... Time just for us balanced with time with our family. We had an amazing time as I told it right here on the blog. Then upon our return I would begin a job I truly love. A job that is not just a job --- but an opportunity to see God's glory come down every single day.
We had such a good time. Perhaps the best time was driving through the mountains up to Eureka Springs and the Passion Play. MY LORD! He put it on top of a Mountain He did. I had to learn to trust the Lord and my husband's driving in whole new ways. We came through laughing and terrified all at the same time. "Fear of Rolling Down the Mountain" - [CHECK] No longer an issue. Left it in Arkansas.

The Summer left us not only transistioning further into our roles as parents to adult children - we have three that officially have crossed the threshhold. It found us trusting God for Home Ownership. It didn't seem plausible or even possible a year ago today. We could barely pay our rent and keep our one family vehicle on the roadways...


Still, Travis graduated, Brittany made plans to move out on her own and three of our children became licensed to drive during our Summer months in 2009. That is another fear to check off the list: FEAR OF CHILDREN DRIVING [CHECK] Left it at the Department of Public Safety.

Then there was Scott's detour through Virginia in September and October that afforded us the purchase of our very own home. Okay... So the fall introduced a whole littany of fears too numerous to name. Fear that the distance physically between Scott and I might be more than I could bear - it was, but I survived! Fear of credit applications and the mortgage process... HOWEVER... We have a mortgage... Two Car Loans ... mostly because our one family car finally bit the dust in October. We have not had new Credit since 2004 ya'll. We actually had a ZERO Credit Score - I'm sure that would make Dave Ramsey proud. :)

Fear of applying for new credit... [Check] Left that at the bank.


Another fear I have had in my life was that Scott and I would always been walking different paths with God. When he was saved in 2000, I just knew we walk out this wonderful, glorious God-filled journey with some great ministry we could do together attached. But, somewhere over the years I lost that dream. I let it get buried in manipulation, doubt, fear, and well the stuff of a fallen existence. What God could not persuade my man to do for Him... I would push, pull, drag and kick to get. I lived by the motto: "It is better to ask forgiveness than permission." I was a woman on a mission and it certainly was not from God. To my own detriment and at the expense of my husband's sincere devotion both to me and God.

Fear of never walking a journey in the center of God's Will with Scott - [Check] Left that one with my husband. We have a common dream and are each doing what God has put before us to do. It is a really sweet place to live - Surrender where it depends not on persuasion but on purpose and the Lord's power to change and grow us as He wills. Scott's story is one for him to tell when he is ready, but as for me... I am grateful God changed my heart and changed my life by changing my marriage by His Love.

Still not so sure about all that lay ahead for us. God is working that out for us just fine. But, what I do know is we are blessed not only to be in such a wonderful church, surrounded by wonderful people... Not only because we have a new home and new cars and I have a new job I love... Not only because our marriage survived, but because we have each other - and we know what that means to us today. A year ago, I could not have said that. But, today - I can say that we are a house serving the Lord and I am thankful He held us together when many of us were ready to fly the coop.

So... That my friends is our year in review. For me I guess my take-away is I'm not what I usd to be - Thank God. Freedom is not free - it bears a price and often that price means giving up what we think we need for something far more valuable. Thank you God for teaching me gentle.

Oh, and as a bonus. There was snow, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in North Central Texas for the first time in some 80 odd years... GLORIES never cease. A Christmas Present for Us From God. We are so blessed. And for the grand finally my daughter's photo masterpiece from Christmas EVE.... I'm sharing the "Audrey" Impersonation over the Mrs. Clause look.

That stick in my mouth - Oh Yeah... A Candy Cane Tootsy Pop. You must try one. They are dangerously good.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Blog Friends.










5 comments:

Kay said...

Happy new year to you too! I loved reading your year in review. We've been to the chapel you show a pic of too. Downright glorious! : )

luvmy4sons said...

Thanks for stopping by my place. Haven't heard from you in awhile. Great testimony here...as always appreciate your honesty!

Lisa said...

Michelle, it sounds like a good year, and one where God was working in your life in a mighty way. Thank you for sharing - I may not read often, but I'm always inspired when I do. May God bless you and your family in the new year!

Lora said...

Blessings to you in the new year Michelle! You are beautiful dear one! I see Christ shining through you!

Love you and miss you! Hoping to see you in Houston!

JHS. said...

I thought I was the only person on the planet with a credit score of zero! Nice to meet you! :-)

Like you, I bought a new house in 2009 & moved in on September 5th. Like you, I had not used credit since I sold my other house in 2003. Like you, I wondered if the mortgage would go through but, as it turned out, it sailed without any problems at all. Now I have to make the payments (groan), but I love love love my new house.

Best to you in 2010 for more success, more miracles, more love in your life!

JHS
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