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It’s really easy to say, “If I knew then what I know now ___ ,” and well fill in the blank on about almost anything. Like the famous saying goes, it seems Hinds Sight is 20/20. But life is the learning curve … we are richer people because of our journeys and the lessons we’ve learned. Some lessons in life are learned by watching the mistakes of others and trying not to repeat them. While other lessons are learned, well … the “hard way”.

Awww … the hard way. That’s what this (after 12 years of marriage which seems like so little and yet so long) mini blog series is all about! Things I laugh about now but seemed utterly traumatizing then. And seriously go ahead, learn from my mistakes and it’s ok, you can laugh at me too!

This blog series (Part 1, 2 and 3) will contain my top 5 things I would have done differently,

If I knew then what I know now …

1.) I would have let my husband go to sleep!

You see when we got married we were zealous Christian idealists (well maybe that was just me :) ) who had just recently graduated Bible College. We had heard so many teachings and sermons on marriage we thought we were well equipped with scripture and knowledge to get us through anything that came our way. Except you are never quite ready to realize that anything includes battles with your own pride and selfishness, not so much what you know or think you know, no matter how zealous you are! How many of us have heard this scripture?

“In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4; 26-27

In my first two years of marriage I totally misinterpreted this scripture!  If my husband and I had a disagreement around 10pm-ish, I was like (in my best short fiery women voice) … “We are not going to bed angry! We are going to work this thing out because I say ‘Heck No!’ to any Devil footholds!” And then I would keep him up talking and talking until our eyes were heavy and our brains were confused about what we started talking about anyway. There would be little resolve as I crawled into bed and lay stiff on my side, because I’m telling you, not even his toe better touch me. :)

It took a few years but I did finally learn that the scripture in Ephesians was addressing my anger and that I have the ability to deal with that in my own heart, surrendering it to God before I close my eyes. It’s NOT about me judging whether or not my husband has dealt with his anger or that we have accomplished resolve as couple. I am accountable for my heart first. I have to own my anger and submit it to the Lord regardless if my husband does and then I need to move on and pick love. Easier said then done you may think … of course! How else would character be built or true love perfected?  Rest assure after 12 years in the school of marriage my husband sleeps better now.

If I knew then what I know now …

2.) I’d know being right is NOT worth being wrong!

Have you ever heard that saying usually while someone is throwing his or her hand in the air, “That was sooo wrong!” Ya, that’s the wrong I’m taking about, behavior that is wrong not the position in a debate or the documenting of facts on paper.

Wrong actions and responses demean your ability to be heard even if you’re right. Which is what I thought I was most of the time and prided myself on saying I was wrong when I was, which was rarely (sarcasm intended 😉 ).

I confessed to my husband early on that I had a certain weakness; that I thought I was right more than I thought I was wrong. I then continued to tell him I couldn’t help it if it was true that I was usually … right. Cringe or laugh at me now, pain only followed.

You see there where so many times I was so right but my actions were sooo WRONG … it didn’t matter if I was right because I had failed at what love and relationships are really about. I chose to wound my spouse with my words and attitude. I pushed his heart away with my pride and ultimately it hurt me because we are a team and I had one man down, what was worse is I had done it.

Learning humility in marriage … wow … that can be a doozy! In order for humility to be cultivated pride has to die and, I’ll tell you what, he doesn’t like going down easy. Insert encouragement here; it is possible to harness the beast of pride. Praise God there was still hope for me!

I had to learn to take it to Jesus and then take him (pride) down. You see Jesus is a good listener and when I went to him he didn’t mind me going on and on about how right I was even until I was out of breath and tears. He would usually gently say, “Are you done now? because it’s time to choose love.” Choosing love is a loaded statement. It means choosing to believe the best. (1 Corin. 13:3-5) It’s not keeping a record of wrong. It’s not being prideful or boastful.  It’s kind and not easily angered. It does lay down it’s life … It’s Jesus … in us.

The ultimate question is … Can I be Jesus to my husband when I’m right? Can I say less and listen more? Can I run to my closet and throw my fit there, inviting Jesus into my pain or anger, and then choose my words wisely?

I don’t want anyone to get disillusioned or place what I’ve shared on any kind of pedestal; let it be known I can still throw a pretty good fit! The lesson I’ve learned is not how not to throw a fit or never get “upset” for the less dramatic …  it’s about where I throw my fit. If I take it to Jesus, he helps me take pride down before I say something or take actions that would make any hand fly while saying, “That is Sooo wrong!” :)

End of Part 1

I will post Part 2 on Monday 1/3/11

… Marriage takes a teachable spirit and the heart of a warrior! Love is worth fighting for, even if both warriors have been wounded by the past. God’s love in us is bigger!

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We are so excited to announce (no we are NOT pregnant!) we ARE finally a potty -trained family!!! (Insert “We are the Champions!,” “Hip Hip Hooray!” and “We Have Overcome!” here ☺) Our final Star boy has accomplished this great feat this year and we are thrilled to be out of diapers! All silly aside we pray this letter finds you and your family well and full of the true meaning of Christmas.

Each year we start off asking the Lord for direction, a word, a place to position our purpose. Getting ready for our annual Christmas letter always allows us to look back and see His much bigger purposes for us as individuals and for our family. This year we went on a faith adventure with the Lord concerning our children. The Lord spoke to us last April that He had made a place for Colsen (our second) in first grade at the public school in our neighborhood. Initially that freaked this Mama out (after years of home-schooling), but trusting the Lord we began praying for his teacher and friends. We trained our eyes to look for God sightings of His faithfulness. Colsen started in the Fall and this season has been full of God confirming His plan to us. We are thankful for God connecting Colsen with a teacher that loves the Lord and loves him. We are seeing his confidence grow and it is a gift that is priceless. Colsen is now 7 years old, he has taken up hip-hop dance classes and loves riding bikes through our neighborhood.

Hudson started Kindergarten at the same school, has a very warm-hearted teacher and loves his friends. Hudson is now five and full of questions and comedy. He has declared he is “5” and holding thanks to a Grandma that says she is “39” and holding ☺. He has let us know that he is famous because he holds high scores on video games and he says his secret talent is eating. He played soccer in the fall and our family enjoyed rallying behind him each game, and well who doesn’t like watching five-year olds play soccer while calling out, “turn around the goal is the other way!” ☺

Davis “our baby” just turned four years old! I would like to say it is sad to see Davis leave behind everything baby but Davis has always refused to be babied and only desires to keep up with the older boys. And that he does! He even rides his lil’ scooter down the big boys’ bike ramps! The child is fearless and loves Batman!

Our oldest son Caleb turned nine this year and has turned me into a walking fact checker. He has a tremendous love of learning and is quite inquisitive. He knows when we don’t know what we’re talking about, which keeps us in a close relationship with Google ☺. He loves mountain biking with his Dad and is a big Narnia series fan.

As for Yuri and me, we are going on 12 years of marriage this December! This year we had the opportunity to do some fun ministry projects together and we both felt it was a blast growing together in this new way! We are excited about going into 2011 purposefully sowing into our family and continuing to do everything the Lord has called us to do. I’ve loved serving as a director for www.destinyinbloom.com (a women’s online magazine). We just became a non-profit organization and I’m excited to see it grow as the Lord gives us greater vision.

We want you to know we love you and are blessed by all the amazing people that surround us! Although there are some of you that we don’t get to see often we remain grateful for every connection and pray you are blessed in the year to come and always!

Great Love, The Star Family

Treasure

Nov
2010
08

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It’s an article day for me at Destiny in Bloom and today I’ve posted something a little different. Today my article was of the visual kind, it’s mini documentary which my heart was to keep raw and real. I think it’s what this generation is looking for. I know I am.

Looking for those who walk with Jesus authentically … those who’ve dared to abandon the classic christian mask that makes them feel like they have to show the world that everything  is great all the time because we have Jesus. The truth is we do have Jesus, not to make everything great but to hold our hands and lead us to truth when everything is not OK! He gives us hope and we respond with faith. He shows us real love and in turn we show the world a passion for them to know Him in a way they understand how much He loves them and runs to them before they knew who He even was.

That’s the heart of this video my husband and I worked on together. Real life. Real People. Sharing the gospel message. I pray more to come and hope to share other people’s stories as well.

I’ve had this project on my heart for awhile but it took the pressure of a leadership group I participated in to squeeze it out by putting a deadline on the things in my heart 😉 And for that I extend a special thank you to Pastor Jan Greenwood and Pastor Lynda Grove of Gateway Church. Thanks for putting the squeeze on us ladies to get the Jesus in us out, I will look back on our class together with great fondness! I want to thank my husband Yuri Star for running hard after truth with me … for courageously going with me with honesty into tough places of the heart to share God’s hope and love with the world. Thanks for holding my hand during the healing that took place making this video. You are more than my best friend and I love you! One last thank you to my sons for being willing to go on this journey with us … you little movie naturals! :)

So with out further delays … here is the visual testimony called treasure. A more formal version and article intro at Destiny in Bloom today and tomorrow.