calling

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.

stormy. {day 25}

By Saturday, October 25, 2014 0 0

stormy outside, stormy inside, but peace surrounds.

may you rest in the arms of your savior, dear one. may you be still in the presence of your God. may you walk lightly while your Master shoulders your burdens and may you live bravely even when he calls you to walk in the shadows.

may the beauty of the King amaze you, daughter. might you allow him to sing over you? may you accept the gifts from the throne, princess, and may you love the saints from the overflow.

may the strength of our Lord embolden you, missionary. may you honor him with your words. may you speak of good news and may you celebrate the victory with those who believe.

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

Self Care {Day 24}

By Friday, October 24, 2014 1 0

Little-by-Little

Forgot to breathe today. Took too many steps in the wrong direction, let the weight on my shoulders press too hard, heard so much crying and whining and misplaced the mama filter sometime last week so it rang in my ears even while they slept. When I’m overwhelmed I forget to just take a moment. Even thankfulness, that beautiful soul-saving habit, I didn’t drop it but I didn’t pick it up either so it just flailed like a bug on its back and I flailed too. That tree is so beautiful I can’t listen to this crying any more. Thank you God for this amazing soup and salad dinner and the strength to make it my children have refused food for four days and they keep crying they’re hungry. I am so tired and stressed out and I need a full night’s sleep you have met all my needs today, Lord. 

It goes on. I let the stress build, I battled with my own strength and lost and I was a sore loser. The sickness, the whining, the minutiae, the to-do list, the waiting on God all piled high on a china saucer.

I couldn’t even swallow my spoonful of sugar. Good things, Holy things: my naptime devotion, a marriage video and encouragement in the waiting room, I just couldn’t process. That’s when I wondered if I might not make it through the day and then the kids were done with sleeping way too early and it wasn’t even lunch time and I started stopping breathing.

Girly watched a preview of a new book about marriage on my lap and she asked about a naked distended belly so I told her. I told her that we always have food when she’s hungry. We always eat and we can always feed her good food but not every baby has food. I told her every baby cries when she’s hungry but not every mama has food to give. It hurt in my heart and my belly for those babies but it also hurt the stone in my chest that my little one is constantly asking for food and I let that show a little too.

And then while they played I read the news and there it was: my children are growing up in a world where women might as well not be human beings. Where the powers that be condemn evil actions but don’t do anything to stop them…and I can’t either. How? How can I be American and live here and have all these precious goods while the Islamic State exists and takes all those precious goods? And how can I be mom to this fussy baby when nothing I offer him soothes?

Breath. I tried, here, to get a grip. I offered a little snack to the littlest and a little video to the biggest and I turned on the TV and even though only one channel comes in – we get ONE channel in a world where you can choose the voice of your news based on your political views – I see bodies and headlines because another child shot his classmates at school.

Husband arrives and I am filling the sink with doing but all he can hear is my sobbing because I am done. Done. Undone and totally out of control and on my knees on the dirty kitchen floor whispering His name and I know He’s here with me and with those precious students and with those women in chains but I can’t calm down and I still can’t calm down this crying baby who needs a vocabulary and probably another nap.

Later. The hot water heater closet on our deck is clean and organized, the water table sanitized and winterized, old paint cans prepared to die their slow death and I am breathing again and a sweet friend, who sort of specializes in self care, is picking me up in an hour. She comes and the baby is sleeping and the husband will take care of dinner and I will feel like a human being again.

Later later, I am creating a self-care plan. I’ve been reminded more than once that if I don’t do it here, I won’t do it on the field. Even work. If I don’t serve Jesus here, I won’t serve Him there and then who will I be serving? And if I don’t take care of myself here, I won’t do it there either so I’ve got to figure out how to say “I need some Rosie time” in Spanish too.

{I have taken a class about restoring peace to body and soul, and I have tools for recovering physical, mental and spiritual balance that have changed my life for the better, truly, but this week it just never crossed my mind to engage those tactics. That’s how far gone I was.}

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

The First Time You Ride a Bus It’s Unfamiliar

By Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1 0

It feels like two lifetimes ago that we were in Spain for our survey trip. Since then, we’ve done cross-country trips, vacations, and had two babies. But the memories are imprinted on my mind, and today I was inspired to capture one in writing by my blogging friend, Deidra Riggs.

After our week of serving at the church plant in Madrid, Chris and I spent four days of vacation in the south of Spain – Sevilla and Granada. We tried to pack light for our short stint and left everything in Madrid for our return home except a few outfits and one pair of shoes. For me, a pair of high quality flip flops (ok and a pair of dressy shoes just in case). Our plan included train rides: high-speed to Sevilla and… not-so-high-speed to Granada and back to Madrid. The high-speed to Sevilla was distinctly European: on-time, air-conditioned, and fast. The train to Granada was none of those things. So it was with sore feet from trekking Sevilla in sandals and now sore bums from our Greyhound of a train-ride, we arrived in Granada for the last leg of our amazing trip. And we began to explore, on foot of course. Although we were enjoying Granada’s gelato, its Spanish food with Middle East flair, and the unmatched Alhambra, we were dreading our last, long day that was to end on another “train” ride north. We knew we’d be dead on our feet and our wallets, already checked out of our hotel with nowhere to be.

So we had a brilliant idea. We would take a trip back to the train station to book an earlier train. Eager to save money we didn’t plan to spend on a taxi, we decided to take a bus. Everyone in Granada was taking buses. We could too.

So we grabbed our city map and asked our hotelier to help us get to the train station by bus. We should have known a taxi would be easier by the look on his face, but he outlined the route with a red pen and wrote the bus number down.

We waited at the wrong stop, took the wrong bus which turned out to be the right bus, lost our confidence and got off way too early and walked the long way through the business district to get to the train station, where, in broken Spanish we exchanged our late night tickets – fingers crossed – for ones that left mid-morning the next day. And then we made our way back for a snack and a siesta.

In spite of weariness that set in somewhere between the wrong stop and the long walk, along the way I had looked in Chris’s face and seen our future and I liked what I saw.

Not two days earlier we’d been laying in the world’s squeakiest bed, debriefing after a whirlwind week in Madrid doing missionary work. Now we were making the transition from mission trip to vacation and so we had one thing to discuss: did we want to come back to do this work forever? And if our answers were different, what would the next four days look like? What would the next 40 years look like?

We did, unanimously, passionately, unequivocally. God had spoken to us in Madrid and He used the same words: “come back here. Do my work, build my church. It will be hard (he used a 16 year old mk who told us her parents worked so hard for so little return to remind us of this). It will be so hard; but I will be with you.”

So, standing in an unfamiliar bus in a strange country with a task to accomplish in an unfamiliar tongue, I looked at my husband and I saw many similar events in our future and I was ok with that. Weariness and confusion mix with excitement and passion and God is in it all.

Shoulder Shaking Grace

By Tuesday, September 25, 2012 3 0

My husband steps off the stage in the sanctuary and I see his shoulders drop as the tension lifts. He feels lighter now but the body sags a bit after carrying such a heavy load. All wrapped up in one moment we must share our passion for the people of Spain, express how desperately Spain needs the Gospel, and facilitate true, appropriate worship of the Father on His day. Jesus upholds the universe by the word of His power and we want to uphold that Word in each church.

Exhorting, encouraging God’s people with the truth that Jesus paid it all… sometimes we stumble without even knowing.

But my Father in Heaven doesn’t make mistakes, doesn’t waste mistakes. How do we bear witness to God’s call on our lives? We tell the good things He has done. And so my husband, by way of introduction, before He opens up the Word, opens up our hearts and tells the congregation where I’m from.

I’m from brokenness, from addiction, from mental illness. I’m from second chances and do-overs and parents who thought they were finished with the little years. I’m from grandparents, he reminds them.

And after we’ve shown them a glimpse (a mere shadow!) of the faces of Spain, of the need there and how God might in His grace use us there, and after he’s preached a humble word from God, we greet real people who came seeking the Lord.

Did they find Him? Oh, Father, what a shadow we cast on Your ministry!

One of these hungry people meets me at the door to the sanctuary and she grabs my shoulders and squeezes and shakes a little and she puts her face up to mine and breathes it out, a release: “I am raising my grandson and I thought I was done and he has your life exactly and it. is. hard.”

 

Linking up for the first time with Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.}