Friday, April 27, 2012


Post #3 in a week. I'm on a roll now! ;D

I've been thinking about something I heard last fall at our District Women's Conference. The special speaker shared a statement that has been bouncing around in my head for over 6 months now.

She said..."We are only limited by our willingness to be inconvenienced."

Are we willing to be inconvenienced by the Holy Spirit? Are we willing to take time out of our day to do what He is leading us to do? Are we willing to listen and obey?

We have had this opportunity presented twice in the last week.

The first time was on Sunday, after a wonderful church service and delicious pot-luck with the church family.

We were heading down the mountain still dressed in our Sunday clothes and we passed an older couple with their three grandchildren stopped on the side of the mountain attempting to change a tire.

Scott quickly turned around and we headed back to help them. They had tried to call AAA, but could get no service that high on the mountain.

The older gentleman was having trouble finding the jack and once Scott began trying to loosen the lug nuts, we both realized this gentleman would have never been able to loosen them on his own. Scott was fighting with them pretty hard.

Within 15 minutes, Scott was done and we were preparing to head on down the mountain. Before we could leave, they insisted we take money from them. It was such a sweet surprise as we expected nothing in return.

It was one of those moments when God spoke to Scott's heart and in obedience he responded...yes.

Yesterday, we experienced the second opportunity. We were sitting in a Wendy's in Asheville eating a late lunch and as we sat there, I observed a young woman sitting by herself alternating between texting and making calls on her phone. Eventually she moved to the counter, and I listened as she asked where the closest bus stop was located. The ladies told her it was downtown. And to top it off, it was pouring rain.

I began feeling the Holy Spirit's tug on my heart, the whispered words of..."Are you willing to be inconvenienced?"

If that were not enough, Christian music was playing throughout the restaurant and at that very moment one of my favorites, Francesca Battistelli's "It's Your Life" began to play.

The lyrics pounded in my head as I sat there weighing my options, knowing there was only one.

This is the moment
It’s on the line
Which way you gonna fall?
In the middle between
Wrong and right
But you know after all

It’s your life
What you gonna do?
The world is watching you
Every day the choices you make
Say what you are and who
Your heart beats for
It’s an open door
It’s your life

Are you who you always said you would be?
With a sinking feeling in your chest
Always waiting for someone else to fix you
Tell me when did you forget

To live the way that you believe
This is your opportunity
To let your life be one that lights the way

What else could we do? So I looked at Scott and said, "Find out if she needs a ride."
He immediately knew what was going on inside of me and walked over to her. She did need a ride to the bus station and we were ready when she was. 

The ironic thing was...two other people came up and offered her a ride during this time.

It reminded me of the Scripture in Esther where she is facing life or death as she prepares to go before the king. Mordecai simply reminds her...

"For if you remain silent at this time, 
relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, 
but you and your father’s family will perish
And who knows but that you have come to royal position 
for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14

Had I not been obedient, God had a plan in place to take care of this young woman, but He wanted to use me and He wanted my obedience.

We drove her the few miles to the bus station and told her just a little about our family as she shared about her little girl and showed us her beautiful picture. 

We gave her our prayer card and told her to keep in touch. She promised she would and while I was typing this blog, not 3 hours later, she emailed us.

She thanked us for the ride, wished us well on our journey to Venezuela, told us of how she would like to come and visit our church one day, and requested our prayers for her and her family.

Of course, we will pray for her! 

God asked us to be a part of an opportunity that He presented to bless another and we said yes. 

I am ashamed to say we haven't always said yes. I'm not really sure how many times God has spoken to our hearts and we have either not heard him, or worse, ignored His promptings.

I don't share these two stories to pat ourselves on the back or brag about what we are "doing for God."

I share because I can't help but tell you what God is teaching on this journey. 

The moments where we can be "Jesus with skin on" to someone in need are all around us. 

Are we willing to open our eyes to those be blessed beyond measure when we see how God can use us to minister to others?

The first couple was able to bless us back, the second young lady...well, we got to bless her without strings attached. And in the process, God blessed us with the the knowledge that...this time, we listened to His still small voice and were willing to be inconvenienced for Him!

“Then the King will say to those on his right, 

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; 

take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you 

since the creation of the world. 
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, 
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, 
I was a stranger and you invited me in, 
I needed clothes and you clothed me, 
I was sick and you looked after me, 
I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
   “Then the righteous will answer him, 
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, 
or thirsty and give you something to drink? 
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, 
or needing clothes and clothe you? 
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, 
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, 
you did for me.’
Matthew 25:34-40

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pride & Dependence

I know you are all shocked that I wrote another post so soon, but if I am ever going to get into a habit of doing this, it is now or never.

So I have injured myself while up here in the mountains. I made several mistakes which led to my ultimate downfall, pun intended.

First, I walked down the stairs in the dark.

Second, I was carrying my computer and Scott's iPad.

Third, I wasn't clearly watching where I was stepping.

Finally, I apparently got ahead of myself and stepped down two steps instead of just the one and turned my ankle completely over.

I heard a loud pop and went straight down to the floor. I didn't drop the computers, Woo Hoo! But at the cost of my ankle being the size of an orange or some other type of fruit.

I added a picture of both my feet so you can see the difference. After only one day, the bruising has begun, but the swelling has gone down.

I will live, but of course, my pride took a direct hit.

The Bible clearly tells us, 

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." 
Proverbs 16:18

Now I know that it is not necessarily referring to a literal fall and I can't say that I was being haughty as I came down the stairs, but my pride was hurt when I fell and I was very happy no one saw me.

I do believe that my pride has taken quite a few hits lately.

Not that getting my pride adjusted is a bad thing, but it concerns me that I have let it get out of control enough for my Heavenly Father to step in and bring a little humility to my flesh!

Not only have I had to deal with my pride, but my dependence on others. I am pretty self-sufficient and can do most things by myself. I really don't prefer people doing for me what I can do for myself.

And I am always dealing with that "I can do it better myself" mentality.

Maybe that is what the Lord is trying to teach me during this stage of our journey. That I depend too much on myself, letting my pride get the best of me, instead of laying matters at His feet and in humility allow Him to direct my steps...our steps on this walk of faith.

I thought it was interesting when I looked up the verse above to find in the same chapter, verses that God has been placing upon my heart over and over just recently.

It is almost as if He needed to stop me in my tracks long enough for me to look up this verse and realize all the others He has been trying to, not only show me, but get deep in my spirit.

Verses from Proverbs 16 like...

verse 1,
"To man belongs the plans of the heart, 
but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue."

and verse 3,
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, 
and your plans will succeed."

and even verse 7,
"When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, 
He makes even his enemies live at peace with him."

and lastly, but by far my favorite and the one God keeps bringing to my heart, verse 9,

"In his heart a man plans his course, 
but the LORD determines his steps."

Although, I know God didn't make me fall down the stairs, He certainly is using these moments of physical dependence on others to teach me spiritual dependence on Him...

for our physical well-being...

for our financial needs...

for our dog, Smokey, to have a good home that we can come back and visit him at when we are in the US...

for our house to sell to the right family at the right price at the right time...

for our monthly support to come in His timing and through His sources...

but mostly for our complete obedience to His will, in His way, and allowing Him to determine our steps.

Friday, April 20, 2012

16 Years of Togetherness!

I almost did it again!

I have procrastinated and almost waited another 5 months to update our blog!

It has, in actuality, been 4 months and 13 days. So I didn't wait quite as long.

But I would really prefer if I would write new posts more often.

Oh well, maybe one day I will get my ducks in a row, but until then, I will continue to write when the urge (or guilt ;D) hits me.

So, I am writing today, mainly because we are traveling and it is just easier to blog as we ride. And also, because I don't feel like I am neglecting some other more important task that I should be doing instead of sitting down typing on my computer. Since I have to sit for hours at a time in the truck, why not blog?!

In honor of today, April 20th, our 16th wedding anniversary, I would like to share about being together!

You see, one of the things we will have to get used to on the mission field is being together 24-7-365.
There will be times when Scott is gone on a trip or working in an area that is not as safe for the entire family and we won't be together, but for the most part, we will be with each other ALL the time.

What a rude awakening that could be to go from the every day; Scott goes to work, Charity stays home and teaches the togetherness all the time.

But God, in His wisdom, has already been preparing us for that part of the plan.

Scott has been unemployed for this entire itineration, not by his choice, not by AGWM's choice, but by unforeseen circumstances that our enemy meant for our detriment, but God meant to use for our growth.

We have learned to... more, knowing that He will provide for our needs.

...depend less, on ourselves and our abilities to get things done in our own way and time. flexible with one another, learning how to live with each other like we never have before.

It is so much easier to learn to be together all the time here in the US than it will be to do the same with all the new stresses that only being in a new culture, speaking a different language can bring.

God, in His sovereignty, knew that and began preparing us almost 2 years ago.

Allowing my husband to continually be, in what has always been, 'my domain' was very hard at first. And there are still days when he can sense I need a break, and so he finds something to do elsewhere, even if it is just taking the trash to the dump. And when he doesn't sense it, then I sometimes have to convince him. ;D

But overall, God has used this time to stretch us in ways we could never have imagined. We are learning how to help one another with schooling our children, making it easier to serve together as a family once we are on the field.

We have more time to pray together, making it a habit to walk and pray together when it is easy and even more so, when it is not.

Our marriage is that much stronger because of our togetherness. Although there are days that we don't seem so happy with each other and we want to be in separate places for a little while, those times pass and we grow ever stronger in our resolve to be together forever.

Our children need to see a 'real' marriage. They need to see that even when we aren't happy with one another (because kids sense these things, even when we don't let them see us argue), we still love each other completely. They know that we are faithfully committed to our Savior, to one another, to each one of them and to the ministry that God is calling us to in Venezuela.

So, on this special day, I am thankful for the lessons that God has taught both of us during this time that Scott has been unemployed, lessons that only He could teach for His glory!

Happy Anniversary to my honey!

And to many, many years serving in missions...TOGETHER!