By Wednesday, October 7, 2015 0 0

It’s still possible that we will make our 85% goal by October 26. I still have great hope and God has done it for us like that before. I’m sorry I’m not writing every day. This is the busiest season I’ve ever had.

In the midst of the busyness, I got really stressed out and it started to show itself in my health, which I had been caring for quite well. I did a Whole 30, I’ve been a teeeeeensy bit more active, and I am seeing a holistic chiropractor for ear/jaw/neck pain I’ve experienced since early this year. But I was so mad at God that it seems impossible we will reach our goal, so anxious about the deadline, the tasks, and what it looks like to other people that we appear to be failing our mission {hello honesty}.

God is so faithful, though. I didn’t want to, but I had to spend time in the word and in prayer because of my BSF responsibilities. In the middle of that, God answered prayers for spiritual maturity that I’ve prayed for many years. You know, the ongoing kind where I ask God to grow my faithfulness to him and help me to seek him even when I don’t want to. So even though I would have liked to just hang up the phone, I prayed that God would speak to me through my study of Revelation. I didn’t really want him to, but I asked him to, knowing that he could.

And maybe even that he would.

He did. He sustained me. He drew me close and He is so good. So many blessings. My feelings about the circumstances are mostly the same, but my feelings toward my good Heavenly Father are different.

And then He gave us a tangible reminder of His control and His good plan.

There was a time, years ago, that we presented our ministry to a church we imagined was a shoe-in. It wasn’t, and we didn’t understand why. We thought a relationship with this church would be so valuable, reliable, and mutually beneficial. They went a different direction and that was that and we were very disappointed.

Recently the church went through some hard things and it looks very different now. We realized that we probably would not have made the cut in a variety of changes they’ll undergo over the next few months. It was neat to remember that God knew about these forthcoming hard circumstances even when we were meeting with the church. He knows why we didn’t make the 12 to 18 month time frame missionaries aim for these days. He knows, and He controls.

For now, we will continue to raise ebenezers when we see how God uses our time on prefield to equip us for foreign missions, prepare us for ministry in Spain, make us more like Jesus.

Will you join us in prayer (or in person!) on Saturday evening? We are hosting a Night in Spain (Facebook invite) – Spanish appetizers, our new video, a time of sharing and an invitation to participate in what God is doing in Spain.


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 // theduryees.com

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.