Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Under the Covers

I know all of you have sat in the chair I am sitting in this morning. No, it might not be a black leather office chair. it might not be in my bedroom in Santiago, Dominican Republic. You might not be able to see beautiful white clouds, in a blue sky, over a mountain setting-and you might not have a brand new air conditioner that a pastor so kindly bought for you. Nonetheless, I am sure you have sat in my chair.

You see, as I sit in this comfortable leather chair, I am contemplating. What, you say? Jessica, contemplating? Can't be possible. Most of you know that I am a contemplative, and I dissect most things beyond dissection.

I look back at this month that has passed behind me. I wonder, how can one single human being have accomplished as much as I did last month. Then I think to myself, I must have been crazy. Then again, craziness must run in my blood, since every month is the exact same. Just different services, different churches, and different towns.

I sit here and think, wow, I'm 32. (Yes, all of you precious friends wished me the Happiest of Birthdays. Thank you.) I look back to Sunday Morning when my husband asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday. The beach? No, thank you. The mall? No. The capitol? No Out on the town? No Lunch at the new Italian restaurant? No The spa? No, thank you. What would you like to do, he asks? With a sheepish grin, I respond, "Can I just stay in bed all day long in my pajamas, reading, relaxing, and enjoy our new air-conditioned room?"

Does this mean that I'm OLD? It seems like I have waited all of my life to finally be OLD. Friends, I think it crept up on me....

My gorgeous husband looked at me, somewhat perplexed..(this isn't the Jess he knows. the Jess he knows would be bouncing off the walls, ready to celebrate her birthday in a BIG way..) Then comes the barrage of questions..."are you sick? NO are you okay? yes you're not depressed? now, why would I be depressed? are you SURE you're okay? YES"

He brought me a big mac for lunch (one of my favorite burgers) Bought me donuts for breakfast. Stuck his head in the room every few minutes to make sure I was really okay. Snuck in when he thought I wasn't watching to sit and stare at me. I started to wonder if maybe I had 3 heads or something. I think I really threw him for a loop...crazy, fun, outrageous, spontaneous Jess wanted to stay in BED for her birthday...

This really made me think. How many of us are leaders, mentors, pastors wives, assistant pastors wives, missionary wives, youth pastors wives, the list could go on and on.

We jump into the fray, ready to do battle with the enemy, ready to hold the fort, lead the march, preach and teach until we turn blue, with people following us, ready to charge when we yell the cry...

Time passes, years go by, and we are still in the forefront, doing our best for His kingdom..but then the day comes when sometimes out of necessity, we ask, "can I just crawl under my covers and REST." PLEASE, someone, anyone, just let me sit and take a deep breath...

Then come the people who follow...they peek in, ask the questions, make sure you are fine, sit perplexed, wondering..and it finally occurs to them that you are...*GASP* HUMAN...

So, my dear friends, as I sit in my leather bound chair, I say to you, (and yes, this is coming from the person that some call the energizer bunny), it's okay to crawl under your covers sometimes, just be sure to COME BACK OUT!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So, it's been a long time since I've sat to even try to blog-since February....that makes it 7 months. I'm pretty sure I had quite a lot to say...maybe I just didn't want to say it. That's probably a good thing.

God has really brought us a long way in the last 3 years (remember I'm contemplating)...and I'm not talking about mileage...if we did that count, it'd be from Mexico to the states (for deputation), back to Mexico to pack up our things, back to the states to ship it out to Costa Rica, back to the states for medical leave, back to Costa Rica to pack up our things again, and on to the Dominican Republic. (That's not counting all the side trips either). It also does not count all the times I have been in the hospital, in 3 of those countries.

So in the midst of my contemplation, and my lack of understanding of how God works...I sit back and smile. Smile, you ask? You must think I'm crazy. No one in their right mind would smile after so much moving, turmoil, duress, and illness.

Yet I smile. I smile because I KNOW who has been in control of our lives. I think back to my friend Job. (not Job Marquez, but Job from the Bible) He thought he was living the good life. He had everything he ever wanted or needed (kind of how I had been feeling)...He loved his kids, loved his wife, had a nice home, had enough money to live comfortably, had food on his table...and I can imagine him leaning back, saying "this is what life is all about"...

Then out of nowhere, there comes that sneaky devil, trying to get Job to curse God and move on with his life. I can imagine Job's despair...with nowhere to turn..YET he trusted in his God.

That's been me since late last year. I had been trusting in my God. I knew He had His hand on our lives...(though I am not saying that through the process I did not have my doubts and fears)...

So my smile comes from the fact that we are now in the place where the process had been leading. I smile because I am happy. I smile because I am content. I smile because my heart is full of love for my God and for His people.

So in the midst of my contemplation this morning....the hardships are a dull memory. My heart rejoices in the process of growth, wisdom, and knowledge. For without trials and tribulations, we would just be a shell of what God has called us to be...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I have been broken and broken and broken, Praise God

Today, this is my devotion..I take it as the utmost privilege to be able to read from the writings of Smith Wigglesworth. After you read what was my devotion for today, I will write my own thoughts...

Paul spoke of two classes of Christians, the obedient and the disobedient. The obedient always obey God when he first speaks. It is these people whom God will use to make the world know Him.

You cannot talk about things that you have never experienced. God has a process of training us. You cannot take people into the depths of God unless you have been broken yourself. I have been broken and broken and broken. Praise God for "the Lord is near to those who have a broken heart" (Psalms 34:18) You must have a brokenness to get into the depths of God.

There is a rest of faith that rests in confidence in God. God's promises never fail. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17). The word of God can create an irresistible faith, a faith that is never daunted, a faith that never gives up, that never fails. We fail to realize the largeness of our Father's supply. We forget that that He has a supply that cannot be exhausted. It pleases Him when we ask for much. "If you the, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE, will your Father, who is in heaven, give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11) It is the "MUCH MORE" that God shows me.

There are times when a stone wall seems to be in front of us. There are times when there are no feelings, when everything seems as black as midnight, and there is nothing left but confidence in God. What you must do is have the devotion and confidence to believe that HE WILL NOT FAIL and CANNOT FAIL. You will never get anywhere if you depend on your own feelings. There is something a thousand times better than feelings, and it is the powerful word of God.

My thoughts...

I have been broken and broken and broken...Praise God...There are times that come into our lives that we feel that we cannot take anymore. We want to throw the towel in, go back to the place where we came from, turn around...and leave the will of God for our lives to the side. It may be because we did not know it was going to be so hard. We did not know that the trials and difficulties would affect our health, or maybe in other cases, your family life and marriage. Things seem to overwhelming, and we feel desperate, not knowing where to turn and who to ask advice for.

But dear friend. Brokenness is beauty. At this certain moment in time, it may seem unexplainable. Your dreams and visions may have been shot down at every turn. But it just SEEMS that way. Ultimately, the LORD is in control.....

So when you say, but I have been through the grinder, and I have been through it all...REMEMBER...though you may have been broken and broken and broken (as I have been) give glory to God...He sees the big picture...and you are just being put through the process of training...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Broke Free

Okay...I know one is supposed to be so super serious about being in the hospital. (And really, folks, I have been..) I mean, my head was wrapped like an ancient mummy for 2 days. Was having all of those seizures, (up to 7 a day), and was pretty freaked out. After having my head mummified, or making it look like a person who had been in a severe car accident....I realized...I was connected to a machine that was NOT going to allow me to go to the bathroom during this time frame.

This is when I decided to pitch a fit.

Now, you person, who are reading this blog, if you say you would not pitch a fit about said event, you would be COMPLETELY lying. My nice little nurse, who by the way, was named Baby, goes, "Mrs. Marquez, you can use the bedpan." I told her, "um, nurse baby, do I look like a 95 year old man who is going to use a bedpan to go to the bathroom? I THINK NOT. We are going to have to find some other way to resolve this situation."

Needless to say, an arrangement was made, and peace fell upon the third floor of the least for that day.....I'm not a bad patient. PROMISE. In between seizures, and when I was not just plain wore out, I was my normal, jovial self. Even had one of my Nigerian nurses want to dance a jig with me, although I don't know how I could have accomplished that.

I do thank God for one thing. I did not spiral into a black hole of self pity. (at least not too much)...even when my brother told me that the wires sticking out of the top of my head (from the mummified wrap) made me look like Joe Dirt with his new hairstyle... (who is Joe Dirt anyway? it just SOUNDED offensive, especially the way he started laughing and laughing and laughing...)