Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Strength in weakness

I don't feel I'm very good at expressing myself about serious, deeper issues in life, so I typically choose to keep things light and fluffy and fun, with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure.
But recently I've really been chewing on some things, from past experiences combined with recent events and conversations with women far wiser than myself. So here goes what I've been thinking about, as best as I can say it.

Our world, and especially our American culture has taught us that weakness is shameful and awful, and is certainly something to be hidden and tucked away in darkness where no one else is able to see or find it.

I now know and am convinced more and more through examples from my own life and from others, that this is not only a false belief and world view, but that it is much more serious: it is a lie from Satan. And along with this, I'm beginning to believe that it is one of the biggest, most harmful and destructive lies we can choose to accept.

Our church did something called card board testimonies last weekend, and I was once again amazed at the raw power, glory, and truth attributed to God, as well as the comfort and emotional healing our entire congregation experienced from these testimonies/confessions. People who experienced addictions, abuse, death, loss, doubt and fear, and all kinds of bondage came forward and testified that Jesus Christ set them free. It was one of the most powerful things I've ever experienced. These brave people blessed literally thousands of people by stepping forward in truth. But what really struck me was the fact that they weren't always at this wonderful, rejoicing point of life; they weren't always out on the other side, testifying. At some point, they were lost, alone, crippled by fear, or beaten down and torn apart by the enemy. And God rescued and redeemed them all. But if they hadn't been honest and hadn't stepped into the light, there would be no testimony to give, and most likely no help to be had in a lot of their situations.

I believe more and more that honesty and openness about our weaknesses and struggles is key to truly bonding and growing deeper in Christ, and in spurring each other on toward the goal. Otherwise, we're fluffy, shiny Christians that stand for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and not much else - otherwise known as "American Christians."

My own personal healing and the healing of my family only came from honesty and bringing things out of the darkness and into the light, asking for help, not being ashamed of the truth of the way things were, and pursuing God's will in our lives. I don't say this to say "Go, me!" because God knows that had I stepped out in truth years earlier, so much pain could have been avoided and that many more people could've been helped, and He alone knows how He miraculously healed us, but I'm amazed, absolutely amazed, at how many other people I've been able to encourage and give strength to, not because I have a lot of wisdom to offer, or because I've got it all together (ha!), but because God makes me strong, and my weaknesses, failures and pain can be a testimony and a source of perseverance for others.

I think it's so important that I know that God can fill me with purpose and a new ministry to others when I've dealt with my own hang-ups and problems.
Being honest and bringing things to light does the opposite of what the enemy lies and tells us it does. It doesn't bring shame and hurt, isolation and rejection. It brings acceptance, encouragement, freedom, and great joy in the knowledge that God is using us to help others.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


It's been a while friends, but yours truly has been busier than one person should be allowed. I've got three pieces of news to share, each following piece bigger than the previous goes.

1. NEWS -- This just out...Mr. B. is officially the CUTEST clown ever known.

I couldn't keep his hat on long enough :(

The peeps at church dressed the kiddos up on their last summer day, keeping in with the circus theme they've had going. This is what I found when I went to pick him up (minus the sad/annoyed expressions that inevitably come when he sees a camera). Plus they had a bag of goodies and B. babbled on and on about the bounce house they got to play in when I asked him about it. So thanks Mindy and all the ladies who made it such a great experience for our little ones!

2. BIGGER NEWS -- You may have wondered in the past, "Who are the most wonderful, giving, selfless, hard-working people in the whole wide world?" I mean, who cannot possibly be topped? Oh friends, I have the answer. Their names are Micah and Lori. You read me right, and I'll tell you why. I took in upon myself recently to strip, texture, and repaint our master bathroom (see wallpaper picture below and you'll understand why), but I myself did not texture...oh, no, two angels from heaven came to do this for me. I was going to simply borrow a texturing machine (called a hopper - who knew?!) from Micah, which was wonderful in and of itself, when they were like, hey, why don't we just come do it for you? So they brought their sweet Annalee over for Bennett to play with, and we spent about 4 hours prepping, papering, texturing, and smoothing my bathroom walls. Michael was out of town, so Micah had to do all the nasty stuff (like removing our toilet - gross with a capital G) and stuffing his hand down the glop-ridden hopper, and skating on toilet water (don't ask). You won't find two more kind-hearted, giving people. I couldn't believe they spent their whole Saturday morning doing this for us and helping me out with my "small project." THANK YOU BOTH!!
The pictures I've included are befores, the work process, and afters.

hideous, I know..ALL OVER the walls

our prep work - we had to do this to the WHOLE bathroom, and around the CEILING..argh

Micah and the hopper

How they had to travel to the back yard to hose off so they'd prevent hoppered floors :)

still debating the wood doors..but the walls are beautiful!

pretty bathroom :)

4. BIGGEST NEWS -- Campbell Baby #2 is ON THE WAY, predicted to make an appearance around March 26, 2009!! This is yet another answer to prayer for us. This baby was in the works in our hearts and minds, and not really what we were going to actively try for for another couple of months, but God knew our hearts and what our family needed, so here he/she comes and we are THRILLED, PUMPED, and whatever other all caps words that equal excitement you can think of! We absolutely believe this is a direct blessing from God for our family and we are so thankful for the ease and wonder of it all. We'd appreciate your thoughts and prayers for our sweet one and our family as we change and grow.

(And if anyone has an AWESOME doctor they'd like to recommend, please e-mail me or facebook me or something to let me know, because I wasn't real satisfied with my last one, and have yet to find another one that I feel good about).