By Sunday, October 4, 2015 0 0

I am so grateful for the family God has given me. When I thank God for my husband and children, my extended family and in-laws, my church, my network of friends who belong to God’s family, and the church around the world, I try hard not to be trite, not to take it for granted. This thankfulness has been, and I believe, will be, the most transformative thing I do in all my roles: wife, parent, daughter, friend, missionary…

I want to teach my children that God is involved in their lives. I really believe that faith in this simple but profound truth will enable them to face any worldview contrary to scripture with confidence and joy. And so Chris and I have begun sharing appreciation stories very intentionally. Appreciation stories are more than gratitudes, although that is very important as well. When we share an appreciation story, we simply tell our two and four year olds how we felt God’s presence, how He provided for us, how we knew God was looking out for us or them in certain situations, and how it made us feel.

The day after we prepared our October budget, we received two unexpected checks in the mail. Both were from medical bills that had been overpaid, like a co-pay we didn’t actually owe. The total amount was not the exact amount we over budgeted or anything like that (though that sort of thing has happened to us before!), but it was such a gift. We’d had a few fights, some budget-related stress, and forgotten to take our needs to the Lord. When those checks arrived, I felt a jolt of relief, thanksgiving and happiness. God had reminded me in a most practical way that He knew our needs, our fears. I felt warm inside, like all was right in our world and I no longer needed to worry. I have recounted this special story to myself and even to Chris, over the last few weeks, as God has been working on my heart regarding a different need.

Later, I shared the abbreviated version with Susanna: how God surprised us with extra money when we needed it, and I felt like God was so happy to give me a little surprise, and that it was a reminder of how He provides for the smallest needs.

This is how our family will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

How do you empower your family to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus?

For October’s #write30days, I’m doing as many free writes as I can – hopefully one every day but more likely just a few a week. I’m using the prompts from the Five Minute Friday linkup.


By Thursday, October 1, 2015 0 0

Of course the word would be “calling” today, such a rich and meaningful word for a girl chasing after her own calling; and of course the writer’s block would persist.

I persist too.

I’ve been in a battle lately, but God is faithful. He is faithful to give me a role and a duty as a discussion leader at BSF so that I do not neglect time with him, which I have been tempted to do because I don’t want to hear from Him if it is not my will (petulant, I know), and He is faithful to speak to me through that study anyway. His call is a whisper, right now.

Set aside your insecurities, and remember Who I Am.

It is a slow process, this time, but I am familiar with slow processes.

Paul wrote, in one of the most confusing chapters in all of scripture (in my opinion), [from the Amplified Bible]

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call].

This is a promise I hold on to. I love that word, irrevocable. The image it conjures in my mind is a very formal document marked with an official seal of approval. All God’s gifts and promises and my call to share the Gospel in Spain written with swoopy letters and flowery language, and an enormaous blood (literally) red wax stamp.

Sorry, Satan. It’s irrevocable.

I’ll Be Writing Here

By Monday, September 28, 2015 0 0

Next month is Write 31 Days, a challenge for bloggers to write every day for 31 days. Considering I hardly write once every 31 days, I’m a bit apprehensive. Nevertheless, I’m going to attempt to find a hidden well in the desert of my creative life.

I don’t have a topic in mind, like I did in previous writing challenges.

31 Stories of Preparing for the Mission Field at Seasoned with Salt //

Instead, I think I’ll do some 5 minute free writes each day, with the list of prompts from Kate Motaung, who hosts Five Minute Fridays. If any of these free writes result in better writing or bigger blog posts, I’ll follow the Lord’s lead.

As always, I hope to inspire and entertain my readers to a deeper walk with Jesus by sharing what He is teaching me.

Prefield Ministry is Missions {part 1}

By Monday, September 14, 2015 0 0
PDub book signing

Photo taken by my friend Isabelle.

A few years ago, I met a woman at a book signing by the Pioneer Woman. She had her camera, and I asked if we could share emails so she could take my photo with Ree and send it to me. We really hit it off chatting about food and Europe and we were excited to discover we didn’t live far from each other. That summer we hung out a few times and Isabelle was curious about the Bible. She read the book of John and then we did a study together of 20 Old and 20 New Testament stories and how they point to Jesus.

These are some of my prayers for her that I journaled.

“Lord Jesus, thank you for clearing my super busy schedule to meet with Isabelle every other Sunday. Thank you for her availability and the hard work she puts into her lessons each week. Please help her see and be blessed by the encouragement she is to me. I pray that you would continue to protect our schedules so we can keep meeting. Do not allow Satan to gain any stronghold in either of our lives so that we can meet again and again until we finish the story of hope and isabelle meets you.”

“…please continue to soften her heart, Lord. Only you can do it. I can’t do it, and she can’t do it on her own, Lord, but you can. Please just make her malleable and open to the amazing change the Holy Spirit will work in her when she receives you. I saw last night that she truly desires to receive you but she doesn’t yet know how. In less than 6 weeks, we’ll get to the New Testament (Lord, direct our schedules and make every meeting possible!) and she’ll meet Jesus. Help her be ready, Lord.”

“Oh, how I pray that Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection would be GOOD NEWS to her.”

“…that she would meet a friend like me in her new home, who will invite her to a good, Bible-believing church…”

“She is such a dear friend to me. I want her to meet Jesus, and grow in him. For salvation, of course. But also for her comfort, peace and purpose…”

In 2011, just before Susanna was born, Isabelle moved to Florida and then South Carolina because of her husband’s job with the Coast Guard, so once we finished the Story of Hope, I had to send her off and pray from afar.

On the day after Christmas last year, Isabelle called me to tell me that put her trust in Christ for salvation on Christmas Eve. That she had a friend like me who had shared the Gospel with her and connected her to a Bible believing church and she was so excited to begin reading the Bible over the next year.

Today, Isabelle and I can share Bible verse images on YouVersion, and I am thrilled when I see that she is making daily progress reading through the Bible in a year with her church. It is a joy to be able to pray now for growth, sanctification, and that God would knit their family together in His name, for His glory.

What Does 75 percent Mean, Anyway?

By Thursday, July 30, 2015 0 0

75After the last prayer letter we sent, it was brought to my attention that the numbers we share are sometimes a bit confusing. Our prayer warriors and financial partners are happy we’re moving along, but perhaps don’t totally know what we’re lacking in support for which deadline, and whether that’s a monthly or a one time amount we lack.

So, thanks for your grace! I hope this explanation will clear things up.

The most important number for us is 100 percent of our monthly support. When we are fully supported, we can register for language school, pack our bags and plan our shipping container. 100 percent comprises what we need to live and do ministry in Spain. Currently, we have 75 percent of that total in committed gifts, and most people are fulfilling their commitments. We really appreciate that! We currently draw on this support for prefield ministry expenses, including travel.

Our monthly support “shortage” is just over $1500.

In the meantime, we need to reach 85 percent to attend Field Prep Seminar. That’s just another $600.

What we don’t currently draw from our support account builds up, and can be used to fund our Outfit & Passage, a one-time amount we have to raise to get to the field and set up. It covers some language school expenses, travel, housing set up, a new car, visa fees, etc. We’ll share more about that need as we get closer.

If this helped you understand our financial needs a bit more, perhaps you will pray about how you can help? We would love to see you be a part of our team in Spain through financial partnership. Take a look at the following graphic – when we fill in all the orange bunches, we’ll receive financial clearance!

Last 25 percent