Category Archives: Lessons

Let me brag a bit

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I just need to take a few moments to praise my husband.  He has been phenomenal lately.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s pretty much a stud, always.  But lately he has been a tireless supporter of making our house a home.  I cannot express just how thankful I am for his go get ’em attitude.   Here is a list of things he’s accomplished lately:

  • Coordinated and completed the roof replacement, siding replacement and  house painting projects.
  • Completely cleaned out the office to make room for nursery plans.
  • Scoured Craigslist and found a great deal on several nursery items.
  • Scoured the sales items on various websites and found a great rocker for the nursery from Urban Outfitters.
  • Vacuumed and straightened up several rooms upstairs for the anticipated arrival of our house guests.
  • Reseeded some bare areas in our lawn and has faithfully watered the lawn morning and night.
  • Raked the lawn to keep the new grass from dying.
  • Is putting the final touches on our kitchen table project (it’s almost done!).
  • Mulched the news plants that Sally (my MIL) planted for us along the sides of the house.
  • Planted a boxwood in a planter.
  • Fully organized, de-cluttered and cleaned the garage.
  • Found a storage solution for our bikes in the garage.
  • Faithfully leads and shepherds the youth in our church.
  • Encourages me to be in the Word daily and to grow spiritually and challenges me with thought-provoking questions.
  • And the list goes on…

Thank you, Brian for being such a diligent husband and for not being lazy or complain-y.  You really are the team leader of our family and you make it easy for me to follow you wholeheartedly.  I know I’m not the easiest person to live with or to get motivated, so thank you for your patience.  Looking forward to this next stage of life with you and a little one!  You’re going to be an amazing dad!

Love,

Your Wife

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Things Don’t Always Go As Planned…

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Hey everyone! Well, we made it to Africa!  But there has been a slight delay in our travels and we are learning to take things in stride.  Traveling abroad is definitely different than traveling state-side!

One major truth we have been reminding one another of is that God is sovereign. Over all things.  He is not surprised that we missed a flight. He is not surprised at the timing of things. He is in control. His plans cannot be thwarted!

Brian mentioned today that this has already been a period of faith stretching–here, we are utterly dependent on God.  We are, moment by moment, brought face to face with that reality.  Not knowing the language, our way around town, the workings of the way of things here leaves us completely dependent on our trust and faith in the Lord.

We are confident that the Lord has brought each of us here to be a part of a great work he has prepared in advance for us.  It may not be in the way we thought or imagined it to be, but one thing is for sure–God is not wasting this opportunity to teach us valuable lessons, stretch our faith, and deepen our dependence on Him alone!

Please continue to pray for our team. Pray we would be able to reach our final destination quickly and safely tomorrow, so we can dive into ministry!

You might be wondering how I am updating this blog…well, missing your flight affords you a night in a pretty nice, western-style hotel with free internet access :)

Team spirits are up. We just finished a nice meal at the hotel where Brian & Julie had steak and Jason & I had beef wok (like beef stir fry).  We are feeling well rested.  We got to watch some English movies with Arabic subtitles :) and we are enjoying the air conditioning while we can!

Thanks again, everyone for covering us in prayer!  You are loved!!

PS: please excuse any typing or grammar errors…typing on a French keyboard (I didn’t know they had such a thing!) :)

Ready or not…

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Here we go!!!!

Bags packed. Ready to go!

Africa awaits.  We are all packed and ready to go.  It is still sometimes surreal to think that one morning you can be in the USA and later that day you can be almost halfway around the world on a completely different continent in a strange and new culture.

While we have no idea what all is in store for us during our few short days in country, we are confident the Lord has and is going before us preparing the way for the good news of his Son to be shared with people who have never had the opportunity to hear it.  Romans 10 sums up this trip for us:

Our prayer:

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”  And, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved… For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Our mission:

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,’How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”

Run with those beautiful feet!

Prayer requests for the week:

The Team:

  • That the team’s focus and purpose will be Christ-centered and exalting
  • That we will go hard after Christ everyday sensing the urgency and the limited time we get to share truth about God with these people
  • That our love and compassion for this people group would grow in our hearts beyond what we ever imagined it could be
  • That we would daily consider how to stir up one another to love and good works
  • That we would not be a distraction to the gospel but be vessels used mightily by God
  • That we would be free from illness which would hinder our ability to work hard for Christ

The People:

  • That the believers would be strengthened and established in their faith and that they we would be able to strongly encourage and teach them more about following Christ
  • That the Holy Spirit would be opening eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to believe the One true God
  • That the Lord would lead us to the divine appointments he has already prepared
  • That the 27 women, that asked the first team to pray that the truth they had heard would grow in their hearts so they could believe, can be met with again and this time they will be ready to surrender to Christ
  • That the people would recognize Christ as the final sacrifice for their sins and be freed from the bondage of daily sacrifice to false gods
  • That God would build his church among this people group and would raise them up to reach surrounding people groups
  • That we would know our stories well and be able to speak them boldly to everyone we meet

I am sure I am forgetting things to pray for, so pray as the Spirit leads you!  We are so appreciative of the love and support of family and friends and our church family!  We can’t wait to see what God is going to do and we look forward to giving Him the praise when we share it with you all on our return.

You are loved!

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It’s been an interesting week leading up to our trip.  I’ve consistently asked God over the last couple of weeks to provide a stress-free week at work so that I can be mentally & emotionally prepared to go to Africa.  What has my week been like thus far?  Crisis after crisis.

I had a mini break down last night and today at work dealing with a difficult situation.  I began to question God, even going so far as to say, “I feel like God is mocking me.”  How could he be so unkind as to allow various “trials” in my life when I’m so desperate to be “all there” for this trip?

Poor Brian has had quite the time speaking truth into my life and trying to help me trust God with what’s going on instead of shaking my fist at him.  As hard as it is for me to want to believe this, I truly think that through all these “crises” God is reminding me to, “Stop striving.  Wait on Me.  Trust My plan.  Seek My wisdom in everything. Consider the times and how fleeting it is and do not be anxious for anything.”  Sooo, so hard to do.

Thanks to the hubs for encouraging me with the following: 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen

Why Africa?

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I remember one time, while living in Central Asia, talking to my teammates about Africa.  I distinctly remember stating, “I don’t think I’ll ever go to Africa…I just don’t feel called there, nor does it interest me all that much.”

Wow, really?  I said that?  But thinking back, I believe the heart behind my comment was based more on the fact that when talking about missions most people tend to immediately picture the starving children of Africa as the neediest people to take the light of Christ to.  At the time I made the above comment, I was living in a very difficult place, surrounded by darkness and spiritual oppression.  I was serving on a team that had barely got enough volunteers to even proceed with the trip.  I could see that people were not beating down the door to go the Central Asia.

That was years ago.  And God has really worked in my life and in my heart to help me recognize that missions isn’t just going to some faraway place that no one else is going to.  It involves, as I was recently reminded in a sermon at my church, coming and seeing AND going and telling.  My life should be such that people that don’t follow Christ can come and see in me a difference.  A difference in my priorities, a difference in my speech, a difference in the way I live my life, serve my husband, love others. And desire that.  Come and see how Christ has changed my life, healed my marriage, strengthened my resolve to not live for myself.  Sharing Christ is an everyday effort of loving my coworkers, even when it’s difficult; it’s not being ashamed of the gospel; it’s serving and putting others first even when I’m tired, needy, selfish.

And it is also, Go and Tell.  I used to think that in order to go you had to be “called”.  But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.  My attitude is more, “I’m ready to go and Lord, if you don’t want me to, then please close the door and make it obvious.”

So, why Africa?  Because.  Our church has partnered with an unreached/unengaged people group in a country in Western Africa.  This people group is something like 0.06% reached.  Pretty significant.  So, because our church has partnered with them I (and Brian) see this as a great opportunity to go.  We are willing to sacrifice our time, talents, treasures ($), etc. to further the light of Christ.  We’re a part of team 2 and we leave in 8 days!

I know this is a pretty short explanation of why we’re going.  But it really just boils down to, “Why not Africa?”  In the words of Lecrae, “Send me, I’ll go, lemme go, lemme go!”

Watch your Mouth

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First, have you ever been so overwhelmed by clutter that it sort of paralyzes you?  For example, my desk looked like this moments ago:

As you can see, papers everywhere no room to even really put my arms to type except on top of the mess.  I was beginning to feel frantic.  So what did I do?

I shoved it all in a pile.  See, that’s how I have to operate.  One thing at a time.  I’m actually not very good at multitasking.  I am easily distracted and forget to go back to project A and finish it if I’ve been distracted by project B or C or etc.

Ahh, I feel like I can finally knock out my pile of stuff to do now that i have to look at only the top item.  And no, it’s not in any particular order.  So if I get to something I can’t immediately attend to or finish it’s going to the bottom of the stack.

Today has been one of the most frustrating work days I’ve had in a long time.  Instead of trumpeting my complaints here, let’s just suffice it to say that customer service is hard work–hence the reason for my blog title.  And now I’m going to remind myself of truth.

Proverbs 29:11 “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”
Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.”
If you’re the praying type, join with me in praying that these truths will be seared on my heart.  Because out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks!

*UPDATE* the moment I hit “publish” on this post my phone rang.  A Board Member was calling to just tell me what a good job I was doing and to hang in there and not let anyone drag me down!  First of all, in our industry praise is a very rare occurrence. Secondly, the timing of that is too perfect to be called a coincidence, thank you Father for your kindness to me.  Isn’t our God good!?

Things are Happening

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After quite a lull in home improvements, Brian and I are back on the decorating/updating train.  We’re in the process of making some changes to our living room and we finally found a new lamp to replace the broken lamp in our guest room.
I’ll post pictures soon.  The next two weeks are a bit crazy with work stuff.  I’m honestly glad for the change of pace.  You can only surf the internet for so long during a slow workday before you begin to hate it.
I’m reminded, though, not to put my identity in what my house looks like or the things that fill it.  B & I are thankful for the resources to make our house comfortable and hopefully a place where people feel welcome and can find rest.  But we’re also mindful that we are but stewards of the great things God has provided us.  We want to make sure we’re using them for His glory, not ours!
Good reminders here (shorter) and here (longer).