Uncategorized Archives - Catherine Nelson

IMG_6099

Keeping Secrets

By | Agape Love, Uncategorized | No Comments

I cannot keep a secret and it makes me crazy when someone keeps a secret from me. There have been plenty of occasions in my marriage when secret keeping has been a launching pad for hurt feelings and petty arguments. To be clear, the secret keeping isn’t sneaky or deceptive; it is keeping confidences and not sharing things pledged behind closed doors. Even though I am the most important person in his life, my husband doesn’t need to let me know every important detail in his life.

As I have wrestled with secret keeping, I researched Christian articles and commentaries on secrets in a marriage. I couldn’t find a single article that advocated keeping secrets. Most preached that there should never be any secrets in a marriage. The authors of these articles are all wiser than I am, and most of their positions can be summed up in this quote:

“Having a secret in your marriage is open segregation, encouraging separation, exclusion, defiance and an open insult to the husband. There is absolutely nothing that is too personal in a marriage.”

I understand and appreciate this position. At the same time, I think that 100% disclosure 100% of the time isn’t healthy for my marriage. How can I show my husband that I trust him if I demand to know every detail of his day? Why would I want him to compromise vows of confidence he makes with other men? He took vows on our wedding day to cherish and protect me; how can he do that effectively if I demand to know all the nuances and aspects of his existence? I made vows to respect him; isn’t it a testimony of respect when I give him the freedom to choose what he deems appropriate to disclose?

In marriage, we bear each other’s burdens. When my husband cannot share his burdens with me, I get to practice cherishing him through prayer. He takes his vow of protecting me seriously. He shows he cherishes me by being a man of character. When he keeps a confidence and doesn’t share it with me, he is leading with integrity and that adds value to our relationship.

When I can’t be included in the secret, prayer isn’t the consolation prize. Praying for my husband is the most effective tool for my healthy heart and our healthy marriage. Prayer is the ultimate way to honor and cherish my husband.

One of the most beautiful marriages in the Bible is the one between Ruth and Boaz. Ruth was a strong, loyal, prayerful woman of integrity. She trusted the Lord and trusted her husband. Boaz was a successful and honorable man and He cherished his role as Ruth’s protector. He didn’t include her in every detail. There were things she didn’t need to know. His lack of disclosure didn’t dishonor her… it honored her and showed how highly Boaz valued her. (See Ruth 2:15-16)

As women, it is natural to want to know every detail and every secret. We feel if we have all the information, we can control and fix things. This natural inclination is rooted in the curse Eve received in Genesis 3:

“And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 (NLT)

Don’t lose heart or freak out in frustration. Our sin nature leaves us bruised, but Christ came to destroy sin and through His death and resurrection, He crushed the head of Satan and Satan’s curse. Our marriages are opportunities to glorify the Lord and enjoy Him. Bathe your marriage in prayer. Let your marriage be a reflection of the precious way God loves and protects you. Enjoy the gift of promised protection and celebrate it when all you can contribute is prayer.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

 

 

 

 

mount-ararat-k-01

Floodwaters

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you feel like you are drowning? Waves of heartaches, frustrations and disappointments keep crashing one on top of the other. It has been one of those weeks in our house. We have been soaked with insecurities and poor performance, the flu, bad grades, missed business opportunities and nasty locker notes. We have been aggravated by busted pipes and Internet failure. There have been more than a couple arguments and misunderstandings. In a house where the men are uncomfortable around tears, the Nelson men should be epically pitied.

Twice this week, I have had the opportunity to counsel a couple of my children with this verse:

“I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH the Lord is my strength and my song.” Isaiah 12:2 (NKJV)

The tears and fears come when we find our strength in something other than the Lord. I have beautiful, smart and talented kids and it is so easy for them to feel that their value lies in beauty or good grades or performance. I am guilty of misplaced confidence too. I often find my value in reputation and relationships. When we don’t preform up to par, or our worth feels worthless, we crumble. As I wiped away one of my daughters’ tears of rejection, I asked her to tell me who Jesus says she is. We listed His truths of how she is loved and beautiful and worth dying for and precious and perfect. This, dear friends, is where we find our strength. It can be easy to forget where our strength comes from when we are singing about how great all the other stuff is. That stuff is fluff and won’t hold up when the floods come.

This morning, I was reading in Genesis 8. Noah and his family had been on the ark for 150 days. They were safe because Noah had followed God’s boat building directions to the jot and tittle. They knew that “Yah the Lord” was their strength, but they were still surrounded by the ravaging flood. The rainy season that the Nelsons went through this week doesn’t come close to the trials Noah’s family was going through. I can hardly imagine the smells and noise and tears and arguments and fear that were wafting through the ark.

“But God remembered Noah… and the floodwaters began to recede.” Genesis 8:1 (NKJV)

The floodwaters didn’t recede all at once, but they did effectively and thoroughly all dry up. The ark eventually came to rest on top of Mount Ararat and not long after that, Noah and his family walked out of the ark singing a new song. Noah built an altar and praised the Lord for His faithfulness and He rested in the strength of God’s promises to him.

If this is a rainy season for you, hold on to this: the floodwaters will eventually recede. You are safe if your trust is in the Lord. He put you on this boat and He is not surprised by the chaos in it or all around it. He alone is your strength and your song, and He will become your salvation.

As the floodwaters continued to recede, the ark came to rest on top of Mount Ararat (Genesis 1:4) The Mountain that we have to look forward to resting on is better than Mt Ararat. When the last drop of our floodwaters recede, we will, like Moses, stand on our “Mt. Nebo” with the beautiful view of the Promised Land. When YAH is our strength and song and the one we trust for our salvation, we are promised eternity with Jesus.

The raging waters are all around us, but we are most certainly safe. As long as we are on this earth, the waters of pain and persecution will ebb and flow. Looking for our safety in other relationships, reputation or performance will leave us drenched with exhaustion and insecurity. Trust in the Lord. YAH remembers you too. The waters will eventually recede.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

“I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH the Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

 

“Onward ye people, strive for the Light!

The light that The Lord has given us for our guide;

Who through murk and darkness of night

Hath led us safely unto our reward.”

“And the heavenly choir doth ring from Mount Nebo

Piercing the blue like a living light.

Onward ye peoples.

Onward, Amen!

Onward ye people.

Strive for the Light.

Salem!”

Jean Sibelius “Onward Ye Peoples” 1922

_DSC8086-3250914079-O

Ready, Set, Launch!

By | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Today is the day. I have so many emotions tied up in this project. I have been pushed and I have pushed back. I have been encouraged by many and discouraged by a few too, but I am going to let this baby launch, because of the truth that I really only have an audience of 1. I am humbled that our generous Lord has given me a love for Him and the words and platform to write about it. There have been so many times that I have prayed for forgiveness, because I have willingly and purposefully disobeyed God. As I grow in humility and love for Him, I don’t want disobedience to be a pattern in my life. I believe that not moving forward in this would be disobedient, and so I move on.

God’s grace in my life is so huge. On my own, I am a mess, and many of you are witnesses to my messiness. The Amazing grace of God has cleaned up the mess that I am and because He knows all of it and adores me, I am flattened. That grace has taught me to fear Him, and to see that He is the only one I need to fear. Because, I am certain of who He is and how much He loves me and how big his grace is, the little fears of rejection and slander are relieved.

It is my sincere hope that you will visit my new site and be encouraged. I pray that I will remain humble and open to God’s plan here and that you and I will be able to grow and learn together. He is so faithful to teach me through His word and through the lessons He allows me to learn as a wife and mom and sister and daughter and friend. I love learning and I have so much more learning to do. If you are inclined to do so, please pray that I will be attentive to God’s teaching and vulnerable enough to let Him use me as an example. Thank you all for your love and support.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
 And grace my fears relieved; 
How precious did that grace appear, 
The hour I first believed! – John Newton, 1779.

“Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!” 1 Cor. 9:16 (NLT)