August 28, 2012

Exciting News!!!

So, for the last month or so a thought has been brewing in my mind.  I have been praying about and thinking about how we can be more intentionally missional as a family, not as an "extra-curricular" kind of thing, but as a lifestyle.  I was really convicted that we needed to find something that, as a family, we could make or do as a family to sell and use that money to support some form of mission work.  Of course, being the stubborn person that I am, I hadn't really talked it over with Kevin much, feeling like I could come up with a plan all on my own.  However, that just wasn't happening.  So, I finally sat down with Kevin and told him what I was thinking and hoped he might be able to come up with some idea of what we could do.  As soon as I told him what I was thinking, he immediately had the answer (isn't that just like God?  When we finally "give in" and "shut our mouths and know our role" and submit to the way God intended things to be, things seem to work out!)  As most of you probably know, Kevin really enjoys building furniture.  What you may not know is that he has really been wanting to do more of it.  So, as soon as I told him what I felt we needed to do as a family, he said, "We can build furniture and sell it and use the money for missions." (OK, that may not be exactly what he said, but it was the general idea!)  I was thrilled!  It was just the answer I was looking for.  Each piece that he has built all four of us have helped to build, in some part of the process.  Now, we aren't quite ready to start taking orders, but I can't wait to be able to do this as a family and be able to give to missions, as a family, on a fairly regular basis.  Stay tuned for when we're ready to start and for pics of things Kevin has already built!  Thanks for sharing in our life and mission!!!!

PS--Sophie and I will probably also be making and selling no sew tu-tus and hair clips.

August 24, 2012

Joyfully Heartbroken

Is that even a real phrase?  Well, it may not be, but that's kind of how I feel in just about every area of life right now!  Joy and heartbreak mingle beautifully together as our family and others take steps of faith and obedience. 

  • Joyfully Heartbroken about friends moving on to new places.  Joyful because God is guiding each and every step and leading them to serve others in areas where He has given them a passion.  Heartbroken because it means he's moving them on from here.  I spent much of my childhood as a preacher's kid, so moving around and moving on are no foreign concept to me.  But, I am beginning to realize, it's a whole different ball game when you are the one being left behind rather than the one leaving.  Not sure that one is harder than the other, just very different!  But, God honors obedience and His hand is all over this situation so I know I can rest in Him for our future and that of my sweet friends!
  • Joyfully Heartbroken that God has not asked us to join our sweet friends in this journey.  Heartbroken because it means letting them go and no longer living life with people that are such an encouragement and blessing to our lives.  Joyful because it allows me to stay with other friends and continue living life with them.  Joyful because we have been able to clearly see God's hand of provision in our obedience to remain where we are. 
  • Joyfully Heartbroken over changes that God is slowly making in my heart.  Joyful because I can't wait to see where God leads me and our family as He makes change after change.  Heartbroken because I know that it will mean letting go of a lot of things to which I have been clinging (though I know it will be for the best in the end!)
  • Joyfully Heartbroken for all that I feel God will do in our church and church family.  Joyful because I think God will be drawing us nearer to Him and helping us to lead our families in joyful obedience to Him.  Joyful because I feel that service and worship are about to meld into one and become a lifestyle rather than an extracurricular.  Heartbroken because I know God will not lead all of us on this journey and there will be more goodbyes in the future.
Lord, thank You for the changes going on all around me, even when I don't understand them or like them.  Lord, continue to mold and shape me and my family as we seek You and all that You would have us do to show You to this amazing world You have created!  Move, mold and shape!!!!

August 12, 2012

Going Two Speeds at Once...?

Have you ever felt like life was speeding by, everyone is speeding past, and you are left behind, yet, like life is moving in slow motion all around you and you just wish that you could speed up your own life and those around you to get where you know God wants you to be?  Do I have you completely confused?  Well, that's where I feel I've been for the last month or so.

God has been doing some marvelous things in the lives of several friends...but those things include moving them to another state.  Though I know that God has been working this out in their hearts and lives for over a year, the actual work of it happening and becoming real has happened incredibly fast! (Well, at least to this little human mind!)  Things are moving along and I feel like a bystander who can't seem to catch up and make sense of it fast enough.  The tears flow on a regular basis and for no reason at all, it seems.  They are tears of joy for God answering the prayers of dear friends and tears of grief for losing 2 families we've been living life with, almost daily, for about 2 years.  These families have stood beside us and behind us in many decisions, from homeschooling to discipline to how to worship as a family in our own homes.  Many days I just want to pack up and go with them, ready to start a new life with a great new adventure.  But, everyday I know that is not where God has called us...and I would then miss the many friends I would be leaving behind just as much as I miss the two who are going!  No, we must remain and carry on the work that God has called us to right where we are.

Which, of course, is the part that leads me to feeling like everything is in slow motion when I just want to speed it up!  My heart so yearns and feels God calling us to make our family one who has a lifestyle of praise and sacrifice for His name.  We so desperately don't want giving to the poor and needy, helping out with mission projects, and serving others to be merely an extracurricular activity that we do in order to mark it off of some list.  No, we want it to be our lifestyle, our heart, our very breath.  But, I feel so overwhelmed as to where to start.  Everything seems so small and insignificant and just not enough.  Part of me just wants to pack up the family and move to a third world country just so we, as a family, can see true need, true hunger, true fear of not making it through another day.  I want us to feel a true need and dependence on Christ that it seems so hard to have here in America.  I want to just have the answers to how God wants us to make this happen and just go and do it...but the answers aren't there, yet, probably because we, as a whole family, aren't there, yet. 

Oh, Father, help me to rejoice in the friends You have given me, near and far.  Help me to rejoice when they rejoice and mourn when they mourn.  Meld our hearts and lives together for Your Kingdom, whether we live in the same town or not.  Lord, show Kevin and I how you would transform our family, not so that others could look to us as a model, but so we can truly live lives sold out to You, which would in turn lead our children and others to Your throne.  Show us how to love the poor, the orphan, and the widow in a way that would bring honor and glory to You alone.  Fill us with You and empty us of ourselves each and every day!