July 2016 Newsletter

Mountain Haven Newsletter- July 2016

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE

Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $7,100.00 , Monthly Revenue Received: $16,557.00- Praise God for His provision!

Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects 1.) Our women’s ministry weekend is happening August 19-21.We have five participants so far. It will be a time of great exploration and growth. Contact us if you are interested.  2.) We had a cabinet builder/installer come out to make the final measurements on the kitchen cabinets for the Mountain Haven. They should be installed at the end of this month. After five years, it is a huge final step to the Mountain Haven ranch. What a blessing.

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month:1.) Our son Brandon, and his wife Emily, bought their first home. It is a duplex/triplex building in Minneapolis and we had the pleasure of helping them paint, and move. It is a splendid place and it was an honor to be part of it. 2.) Our dog Lucy died. She has been slow going in building her relationship with us and had finally come around to being a real pet. She will be missed.

Top Prayer Requests: 1.)Pray for continued support for the couples that are fighting for their marriages but are being torn apart by shame, apathy, and indifference. Your gifts help to fund continued scholarships for these couples. 2.) Pray for Jocelyn, one of Mountain Haven’s newest Psychotherapists. She suffered a debilitating back injury and needs our prayers desparately.

The Role of Uncertainty

There are so many unknowns in this world. Being uncertain feels so uncomfortable and scary. I realize that creating systems, habits, disciplines and schedules are all part of living our lives, but I often wonder how much of what we do, is done to avoid the complex experience of uncertainty. Living in a space of planned out predictability feels secure. But living in a space of “unknowing” and the tension of “both/and” leaves me anxious.

In marriage, as in life, there is a rythym to our interactions with our partner. A hum, if you will. But there are times that you experience erratic, unpredictable, scary, unknown, and unpredictable circumstances with your partner. Whether it is a long lasting mood, a mental illness, a sickness, a collapse of  faith, a lull in your intimacy, a loss of  job, a surprising and unexpected tragedy, or the wear and tear of living; uncertainty will creep in. You can’t be sure what will be next. It is as scary as a slowly sinking ship.

It is during these times that it is easy to fall into despair, to seek comfort elsewhere, to indulge in a coping mechanism, to lose faith and ultimately to disconnect. I can’t tell you how many times I have shut down towards Kevin, and held back connecting with him when I am in a place of uncertainty. Uncertainty is the least forceful of the “questioning” experiences. But after uncertainty comes doubt, and inevitably skepticism. I see no problem with doubt or skepticism, however there is a slippery slope to living in a place of “not being sure” to  absolutely “knowing nothing for sure”. It is a place that can lead to debilitating depression and disconnection in the world if we don’t take stock of our response to uncertainty in our relationship.

There are certain things we have to “know” in marriage. We have to know that our love is faithful, we have to know that our promise is true despite our feelings, we have to know who we are and that our identity is intact and another person’s experience can’t diminish or define us, we have to know that God is faithful even when he appears to be invisible. These things we know can’t protect us from slipping into uncertainty about our marriage or our committment, they can only empower us to choose the path we will walk during those times. There are many times I know that Kevin feels like my tone hasn’t changed, even though he has asked me multiple times to change it. He is not certain that I even heard him or will change, but he can stick to his course. The course he has chosen; to be patient, to be loving, to stay engaged and humble towards me. There are multiple times I have not been certain I would see Kevin change in his anger towards things. I have struggled with uncertainty, and doubt, that he is even hearing me; but I can stay my course to remain connected, to not be withholding, and to continue to show him my vulnerable heart during those times.

There is not a recipe to extinguish uncertainty from our life. A great schedule, a spreadsheet of expenses, an orderly regimented life, a smooth sailing life without surprises, or a disciplined lifestyle can all be great ways to live; but they don’t hold a candle to a contrite and vulnerable heart. A heart that is open and willing to wrestle, a heart that is willing to pause and listen, a heart that will be still, a heart that will allow the story of “what we think we know” be rewritten, and a heart that is willing to humbly forgive; is a start.

Take time to examine where you are feeling uncertain in your marriage. It’s ok, take a breath and pay attention to your heart. Decide where and how you will engage differently with these uncertain places. And until you can decide to do that, decide not to be afraid of uncertainty and know that it is most often a season meant to help you grow, if you let it.

 

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