Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Joy of reading

I distinctly remember the first time I ever read through a book. I was about 5. My mom kept me home.  She taught me some but mostly it was about learning about what was around me.

I remember picking up a Dick and Jane book, and devouring it.  I just wanted to read more.

This became the "mantra" of my life.  Books are something I love. They are a "friend" when I'm lonely. They help me wind down from a long day. They instruct me.  They open me up to a new way of life.  I have glasses because of my desire to read.  I would sit by our nightlight and read until I fell asleep

Since we've been in PA I have again realized how much I missed the access to books.  Wow! I exclaim to myself as I observe rows and rows of nice like new books in our local library.  Nathanael had to pull me out of our local homeschool used book sale.  I tried hard to only buy books I thought we would use and not all of the ones that delighted me.

Delight!  That is the word I would use to describe how I feel about reading.  While we were on our vacation, Nathanael insisted I try the blue fish pedicure.  He captured a few pictures of what it was like for me.  The first sensation I felt was ticklish. I just couldn't stop laughing.  

I have been reading through a series of books where the author imagines what it would be like if Jesus was physically with us.  Each person Jesus is with he takes absolute delight in.  I think to myself I would like to capture that, to come to a greater undersanding of how much he delights in me. It may look like how I feel about books or that feeling I had with the fish, I couldn't withhold my laughter.  I am going to continue to read, and to continue to find delight in the world around me.

Monday, June 20, 2016

We can't do it all!

We are about to fully step into the next portion of our journey.  As we get back from Belize, Nathanael and I both will be walking right into two things.. jobs and fundraising!

We have differing opinions about what we feel about dropping into both of these things so quickly. I can say we are quite thankful that EMM requires missionaries to take a vacation, and that we took ours before jumping right into everything in in "the States"

I am going to take a moment to admit something I've been "hiding" since we have been in Belize.. I have a "house helper"  I have hesitated to admit it.  This is mostly because I think there is a stigma that we are somehow "on vacation" since we lived in a tropical country, this adding to our luxury.

The truth of the matter is that everything took me longer.  Getting drinking water involved loading it onto a bike, walking 1/4 of a mile and returning with full (heavy) 5 gallon containers of water.  Not having a dryer meant every single item of dirty clothes had to be carried up to our washer to get washed, then down the steps, hung up to dry, then folded and put away.  EMM actually has "house helper" in the budget.  When our house helper had her mother die, and was unable to come for 8 weeks, I fell apart. The task of keeping a house was overwhelming.

A few weeks ago, I was reading our old Skype messages.  A friend of ours had sent Nathanael messages in April.  He was talking to us about the fact that many missionaries he knows have had similar trials during fundraising. He reminded us that it is first a spiritual battle.

Our last Sunday school lesson was about how every piece of the armor of God is important.  You can't just depend on one.  The same is true with us.  We have been blessed by living in Belize for a year, serving and working among the Deaf.  We feel called to continue this journey, but we again are unable to do it alone.

In the process of reading the Skype message, I realized that before we even step into fundraising, we need to be asking for prayer. We need to be covering our steps spiritually. We can't go with our armor half on.  We need to expect that the devil will be against the plans of the Lord.  We can't do it alone!

We ask that as we step into this next monumental part of our journey, that you would be praying with and for us.  We are indebted to the prayers of the saints and we covet them!  Thank you so much.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Saying Goodbye

I told Nathanael I'm not myself today. I supposed it's good intuition to know that this is the truth. We have spent the past two weeks or so saying goodbye, sometimes more than once.  In the midst of raising children, packing, maintaining a house in a developing hot country, we are facing our transition.

I am a reader. I've been immersing myself in books.  I had finished the Lord of the Rings series at 3am one day. As someone who KNOWS what will happen it was driving me nuts. Couldn't we just get to the exciting part and throw the ring into the mountain?  When do they get to be heroes? Frodo and Sam discussed this as well. Frodo specifically talked about how we weren't meant to know what will happen.

I returned one of my kindle unlimited books.  I was just getting to the exciting part. It was a mystery and I was finding out the "what" of the story that kept being implied.  Yet as it got interesting, I returned the book.  You see I hate mysteries. The day I returned the book, I realized why.  I find great security in knowing what will happen.  Stepping into the unknown is scary for me, even if it's a better place.

Jesus Deaf Church had a goodbye party for us on Friday. (thus the pictures)We are so thankful to Nancy for giving us such a lovely send off. Even I cried and I am a "after griever". It is wonderful to feel like you made an impact. I spent the last weekend cuddling kids I'll miss in Sunday school and divvying out presents for them, using up the rest of our treasures from the US.

We are saying goodbye.  Although we "knew" this for a while, we really have no clue what returning will look like. Sure we're coming "home".  We realize that we are irrevocably changed, as are you.  A year changes a person!  We may not "fit in" to the way we pictured and our friends may have changed.

And so we face the goodbyes, and hello's.  We are thankful for both. We are thankful for a knowing, not just in our heads but in our hearts and visibly that we are loved. We continue to face the unknowns and tread forward, on the path God has for us. We are slowly discovering the journey is what has value, and to love just being a part of it.

As I can't seem to get this song out of my head I'll share it here: