Redeeming the Year of the Broken-Down

Brokenness

I keep promising things I can’t really deliver.

That is SOOOO not like me!

I’ve always prided myself in my follow-through, but my life continues to be just.too.crowded. I keep thinking of the iconic scene in “I Love Lucy” where Lucy and Ethel were working in a chocolate factory and the speed is just too much to keep up with—causing a backlog {and mouthful/hat-full} of chocolate! I do LOVE chocolate, but seriously, this is a perfect example of too much of a good thing! {Click here to view Youtube clip, if you’d like!}

You see, last week I mentioned that I would share more about my experience at the Emotionally Healthy Conference today, but I’m finding some snags that are delaying this process. What’s new? ha!

So I’m sharing a list of the many ways that this past year has been the “Year of the Broken-down” in my life … {wait for it!} … to highlight a positive purpose!

Just some of the things that have broken or needed to be “fixed” in the last 12 months are …

  1. Flooded basement in our “finished area” {Ugh!} due to our builder cutting corners on concrete tie-rods.
  2. Landscaping in backyard ripped up in order to deal with flooding basement {double Ugh!}.
  3. Broken-down hot water heater had to be replaced.
  4. Broken-down dishwasher had to be replaced.
  5. Broken-down stove had to be repaired.
  6. Broken-down kitchen faucet was replaced.
  7. Two broken-down toilets had to be repaired.
  8. Various and sundry website issues {including, but not limited to a “broken feed” at one point} that continue to plague me and suck up my time.
  9. My hubby’s beloved Charger had a fender-bender! <gasp!>
  10. Broken-down A/C on our other car.
  11. Broken-down vacuum cleaner as well as our carpet cleaner.
  12. Broken-down refrigerator’s water dispenser lever was replaced.
  13. Broken-down refrigerator hinge that’s led to …
  14. Broken-down refrigerator door when I opened it on Saturday {my son’s graduation day of all days! … and yes, that’s it pictured above!}.
  15. Breast cancer {that thankfully was “repaired” and God has blessed me with a great prognosis!}.
  16. Bulging disc in my spine {that is thankfully being addressed very well by my physical therapist and pain doctor!}.

Please hear me that I am not complaining, although I have, at times, wondered if I’m being attacked by Satan!

But most of the time, I feel so very blessed, even in the midst of all of this trouble. And I fully expect that God will continue to take care of all of the incidentals that might break, crack, fall-off and otherwise become a wreck in our lives in the days ahead.

But all of this has me also wondering what God might be up to because of all of these broken-down challenges. I know that He is working to turn my “Year of the Broken-down” into the “Year of Brokenheartedness” for one.

After all, this brokenheartedness is a good thing! It is a purging of broken-down pride and fear. It is repairing of broken-down expectations and cluttered priorities. It is a reminder that …

Sometimes God uses brokenness in our lives like a sieve that sifts out what should stay and what should go!

 

What things have broken-down in your home, life or marriage lately?

 

What do you think God wants you to notice and change because of the “broken” challenges you’re facing?

 

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I love writing and helping here at MM and don’t want to or intend to give it up! But I’m still trying to discern what must stay and what must be sacrificed or purged for the sake of the higher good

In addition to the repairs that need to be addressed in my life, I also feel God tugging at my heart to write books—or get back to the half-written manuscripts that have been shoved to the back burner. One of them will be a free e-book on forgiveness that I’ll be offering someday. But I won’t be able to do any of it, if I don’t make these hard choices and sacrifices.

Signature - Beth Blessings

 

 

 

  • Oh sometimes it’s so hard to choose where to put our time and energy. For every ‘yes, please’ we say means a ‘no, thanks’ we have to say to something else.
    Sigh.
    But a book? 1/2 finished manuscripts? I’m intrigued, Beth! Do tell!!
    ;-}

    • Yes, it is, Linda! Especially since I like to do so many things! I guess you could say I’m an activity and project hoarder! 🙂 And you’re right about that principle. I’ve seen that rule of thumb used with clothing to ensure space in a closet, but our lives are no different!

      Yes, my Messy Marriage manuscript {rough draft} has about 5 chapters out of 8 completed. But I quit working on it last year when I was diagnosed with cancer. Also, I found it hard as I was writing to put all of my “messes” out there for all to see and read. That will be a “demon” I will have to wrestle as I move forward. So I’m focusing on smaller projects in the time being.

  • Mary

    Being broken-down is so hard but it does provide such a cleansing of spirit if we let God enter into those broken places for healing. You are an amazing woman whom I am blessed to know and learn from each week. I will pray for continued discernment for you in your journey toward where God would like you to place your energies. I know I would miss this home and your beautiful encouragement for me but really – it’s not about me but about God! Love you friend!

    • You are such a sweet encourager, Mary! It’s been so great to get to know you even if it is just over the internet. And I feel honored to be a fellow-minister with our blogs–handing out the hope of Christ to those who stop by to visit us.

      I also agree that being broken can cleanse us and allow God to pour His grace through our lives.

      I hope that I can discover what and how God wants me to do with this blog or the ministry surrounding it. I appreciate your prayers for my discernment. That would be a lovely gift you would give me! Thanks so much!

  • EJC

    The last two years I’ve been dealing with a broken down marriage. BUT, I know God is refining me and (hopefully) my husband. After two years of looking at all his faults, I’m starting to humbly look into my own faults, and allow God to deal with my pride, my pain, and my fears. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is sometimes the saddest, most depressed I’ve ever felt. But I praise him. He works all things for the good of those who love him!

    • Yes, He is, my friend! He is refining you and your husband. Sometimes we resist His refinement and that’s usually when we are clinging to our pride. So I’m glad to hear that you are dealing with this and really allowing yourself to see where you’ve contributed. I know that was a huge turningpoint for me in my marriage. And every time I swallow my pride and let Christ’s humility to shine through, I feel grateful. It is not a painless transformation by any means, but it is a blessed one! Praying for you and your hubby!

  • bluecottonmemory

    I am learning to live a one-step forward-two-steps backward life – and He turns it into a dance that some gains ground rather than giving up ground. I’ve been in a season where I am to grow where I am planted – though where I am planted isn’t always where I want to be.

    Sounds like you’ve got some decisions – I want you to know that I enjoy coming, visiting, chatting via words with you – kind of like sharing some savory tea and sharing your heart with a friend who cares – which I think you have become!

    God’s path will so bless you! Cheering you on whatever you decide!
    ~Maryleigh

    • Wow, Maryleigh! Your words so deeply encourage me! I am blessed by your friendship as well. That’s why this is so difficult because I want to continue the connections through comments at your and other’s blogs and here at my own. But I’m feeling like there is just too much to be tended to around here at the moment. I probably will be posting for at least two of the three months of summer, but I will be setting time limits on my “socializing.” I may even go some weeks without it. I appreciate your kindness to me and support of this place. God continues to knit my heart to other like-minded believers! What a blessing!

  • It’s been quite the year for you Beth! I love your perspective through this and this last paragraph “Sometimes God uses brokenness in our lives like a sieve that sifts out what should stay and what should go!” It’s so true!

    I completely feel you on that last block of statement. I have been writing a book the last few months and I’ve been trying ever so hard to balance the work on the blog and book writing – and my other life and it’s been tough! (not trying to discourage you haha) It’s just me who keeps thinking I’ve cut back everything to a bare minimum, but I still don’t get as much done, or as quickly. Ultimatley I am learning that it’s my own expectations that are off – God’s given me the time and the hours of the day – 24, like everyone else 🙂 – and it’s up to me to order my work and hours prudently. Anywayyy (that was a long one!) I am excited to hear about the upcoming books, (esp the one on forgiveness) and can’t wait to read the things Gods laying in your heart – all in His good timing of course! Blessings to you!

    • Yes, I think we are very much in the same places with our ministries, Ngina. God is urging us to trust Him and in order to do that we must let some things we hold dear, go! At least for a season in my life. And you are one that, like so many others, has been such a great support and joy in my blogging experiences. I know God is going to take you and your hubby very far in His ministry to marrieds. I love watching it unfold for you, my friend! Hugs!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Heck of a year for you, Beth. You’re in my prayers.

    A lot of my life has fallen to bits around me, and my health has severely compromised my ability to do more than the bare necessities. It’s hard to sit upright at the computer for any length of time, and the pain management toolbox – meditation and cheap cigars – doesn’t quite do the job. (Prescription narcotics stopped working a while back, and I can’t afford them anyway.)

    And my doctor said that I;m going to die, and it will hurt a lot worse than it does now before I reach the end of this race.

    But there is a blessing in all this, and it’s called Perspective. The issues that plagued my marriage don’t seem to be nearly so important, and the dreams I had have been shown, in large part, to have been empty.

    Compassion and courage are the operative dreams now.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/05/married-to-mercenary.html

    • Your words and experience, Andrew, just put everything in my life in perspective! You are walking through a trial that is beyond anything I can comprehend. I’m so grateful that you don’t hide that struggle from us either. It gives me joy to pray for you and to hear from you. It helps me to see how very, VERY blessed I am. I am thankful to you, Andrew. You are an inspiration and I pray God would HUGELY bless you in the days ahead. Hugs!

      • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

        Beth, thank you – He certainly is blessing me in ways I never thought possible, or could even have imagined.

        This communication is a case in point – I had never put much stock in ‘virtual’ connections…but now that they are nearly the only human contact I have, I see how real and important they are.

        Not only to me, as something of an isolated individual – I’ve seen these friendships grow in online in the writing community through blogs, and have heard of the joy with which these individuals have felt when able to greet one another face to face at conferences, or when travel plans were congruent.

        It’s been an education in humanity, and I probably would have missed it had my circumstances been different.

  • Oh, Beth!! You have been pummeled! But it is beautiful how God is THERE through everything. And you share it all with ALL OF US so faithfully and we are encouraged THROUGH you!

    I have had my share of the broken the last year…hubby has been without work since January, he was self-employed so no unemployment. We have now had to live what we have preached to others for years…trust God!! Even our ministry travels had slowed and we wondered why things were down. We find out on one day that he will not be getting hired back, the company went bankrupt, the next day we find out we are spending our summer in Estonia, substituting for missionaries that need to come to the States. We still don’t have a “job”, not sure what will happen when we come back home, but we are trusting, believing and holding on even when we cannot see what’s behind the curtain. We are thrilled to be able to minister again, and doubly thrilled to be back in Eastern Europe in a couple of weeks. Only HE knows!

    You are a blessing to all of us, whatever you have to let go of we understand…we need you though!! LOL! We are greedy and want to keep you where we can get to you when we need you. 🙂 but God will give you direction and that is WHO we want you to follow. My prayers are with you, faithful friend. ♥

    • Yes, Nannette, He IS there, isnt’ He?! His presence has been so much more palpable in my life through these hard days. But like Andrew’s story, your story puts mine in perspective. It could be SOOO much more worse. I just want to learn to be content in every situation! And I’m deeply encouraged that God has provided what you and your hubby have needed at just the right time. It is always such a blessing to see Him do those kinds of miracles for us. My hubby and I have seen and experienced many of those same kinds of miracles and it strengthened our faith in powerful ways. I feel sorry for new and baby believers, not having that long history with the Lord to see all the times He’s come through for them! God is so good to us, my friend! Isn’t He the best?!! Love ya and congrats on the next chapter for you!