Saturday, July 25, 2015

What do you do when life changes?

Ok, so a lot has happened since my last post!

I mean, it is as if we are living a completely different life since January 12!

Which leads me to ask the question, "What do you do when life changes?"

After re-reading my last two posts, I am (but shouldn't be) astonished at how God puts to test what you say.

For example, 5 days after my post about giving God the glory no matter what happens, our vehicle was stolen. Yeah, so God really put me to the test and I had to live out my own words. I don't believe in the "name it, claim it" philosophy. But I do believe what the Word of God says, in Prov. 18:21…"Death and life are in the power of the tongue…" How was I going to respond to a situation that I had to walk the talk?  I had said it, but was I willing to live it?

Recently, I was talking to Micah about his dreams of playing soccer professionally and I told him that God wants him to give all of his dreams to Him, lay them at His feet and put Jesus first. If God chooses to give those dreams back to him, then he can know that God is going to use those dreams for His glory in and through Micah's life. But God wants Micah (and all of us) to want Him first. What I stressed to him is that it is easy to SAY that we are giving everything to God, but LIVING out what we say is another thing altogether.

When I look back at my January 12 post, I see someone who was in the midst of a huge stress moment, yet hesitantly willing to give it all back for the better. It reminds me of the picture below…

I love this picture because it perfectly describes our lives and our unwillingness to part with our little for the bigger and better that Jesus has for us, only because we can't see it yet.

Stepping into the unknown of missions life is hard, the not-knowing is not my favorite thing. The struggles along the way...the giving up of tangible things, the letting-go of hurts, the loneliness, the doubts, the fears and all that can't be named...are all very real and can't always be explained.

But Jesus has something so much greater in store. I wrote this on January 5...

But what I want most is to remember that…
whatever comes our way this year…
whether our plans work out the way we planned or not…
in the midst of the hard and the easy…
if we don't know what is next…

FROM Him are ALL things

TO Him are ALL things

He Deserves the Glory!

I still believe every word, but when I look back at what I wrote then and what I have experienced so far this year…I wonder if I really wrote that or did Jesus write that through me?

Because there is no way that I could have known that…
...our vehicle would be stolen 5 days later,
...we would have to leave Venezuela 4 months early because of new Visa regulations,
…our lives would be in limbo as we wait for answers concerning many things, one of which is the granting of our Visas.

We recently shared this in our July monthly update…

Moriah introduced us to the song, "Trust In You" by Lauren Daigle. You can listen here
The words of the song spoke volumes to our family and the ups and downs of missionary life. 

God doesn't always work things out like we want Him to, 
yet we trust Him.
He doesn't always allow us to follow the dreams we originally planned for ourselves, 
yet we trust Him.
And just like the lyrics to the song say...

Even when He doesn't move the mountains we need Him to move...
Even when He doesn't part the waters we wish we could have walked through...
Even when He doesn't give the answers as we cry out to Him...

We will trust...We will trust...We will trust in Him!!

Because there is not a day ahead, that He has not seen 
or a place where we will go, that He has not already stood!

Apparently, God loves to use songs to teach us life lessons. :D

And He obviously has a lot to teach us this year. Just like the fireworks they shoot off all over the city of Caracas on New Year's, He started our year out with a bang! ;D

Whatever God has in mind for my life and yours, He is teaching us valuable lessons along the way.

TRUST is one of the hardest, but one of the most rewarding, if we are willing to give Him our desires, dreams and plans for His bigger and better ones.

Oh, and if you are wondering, Jesus did give us a bigger and better vehicle in less than a month after the first one was stolen! :D

Monday, January 12, 2015

My First Ring

I was in the first grade.

I had received my first real gold ring with my birthstone in it from my aunt.

I wore it to school one day and a friend asked to wear it and I agreed.

Later, I asked for it back and she asked to wear it longer.

After recess that day, I again asked for it back and she told me that she had lost it on the playground.

I went home that day heartbroken.

My special ring was gone.

My mom told me something that I have always remembered:

"Sometimes God gives you things that He only allows you to keep for a season.
If He gives them back, then Thank Him. If not, Thank Him for the time He allowed you to keep them."

I Thanked Him for my ring and the time He had allowed me to keep it.

Several weeks later, I went to put my new backpack on its hook at school.

My old backpack, the one with holes all in the bottom of it, was still hanging there…empty.

I opened it and looked inside.

At the bottom, in the midst of all the holes, lay my ring.

I still have it to this day…as a remembrance of God allowing me to have my ring back.

…as a remembrance of God showing me His faithful love for a first grader.

…as a remembrance that God heard and answered my prayer.

…as a remembrance that God does miracles.

During my lifetime, not everything has been given back.

And when they were, it was definitely not as memorable.

It is just a reminder to me that ALL things are From Him, To Him and He deserves the Glory!

On Saturday, January 10, 2015, our Toyota Land Cruiser was stolen.

Just like my ring, we Thank Him for the time He allowed us to have and use it.

That truck was From Him and we give it back To Him and now…
…whatever happens
…whether we recover it or not
…whether God gives us something different in its place

…Jesus deserves all the Glory!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Three simple remembrances

With every new year comes new thoughts, ideas and sometimes, even...resolutions. ;D

As we rolled into 2015 (sometimes I feel like I did that literally with all the good food I have been eating over the holidays), I began to think about what I want this year to be representative of…

…better health
…ministry expansion

I could go on and on and while I want this year to represent all those things, I feel like God gave me something special for our family to live out this year...

For months, we have been singing a song at church that has quickly become my favorite. Although I understood its meaning in Spanish, I had never heard it in English, until Moriah came running up to me one day a few weeks back, shouting, "I found our song in English!"

Now, at different times around the house you can hear different ones singing this song in English or Spanish or both. :D

You may think I am crazy and way behind the times, but we aren't always able to keep up with what is current in the Christian music scene down here in South America, so this song could be old news to you.

The song is…Worthy of it All...

All the saints and angels bow before Your throne 
All the elders cast their crowns before the Lamb of God and sing

You are worthy of it all, You are worthy of it all 
For from You are all things, and to You are all things, You deserve the glory

Day and night, night and day, let incense arise

Coming home from the farm last week, I felt like the Lord was speaking to my heart about simplifying my life, not in the amount of things we do, but in our reactions to those things and life in general.

From this song came...Three simple remembrances…

FROM Him are ALL things

TO Him are ALL things

He Deserves the Glory

I believe that Jesus wants me to stop focusing so much on all the details, and instead remember to react to life around me with the attitude that everything comes from Him, everything belongs to Him and He deserves the glory for all those things. 

This year will bring lots of 
 - transition and we begin a new ministry here in Caracas.
 - we finish paperwork and receive approvals for our move from Associate to Career Missionary along with our move back to the States for itineration in the fall.

We will also need and want health and peace and the Presence of Jesus as this year progresses.

But what I want most is to remember that…
whatever comes our way this year…
whether our plans work out the way we planned or not…
in the midst of the hard and the easy…
if we don't know what is next…

FROM Him are ALL things

TO Him are ALL things

He Deserves the Glory!

To hear Worthy of it All, click here.