Saturday, October 30, 2010

Giving Up (By Lowell)

I am giving up.  I have held on too long.  I don't have the strength by myself any more.  That is it.

Read the rest of the story on our other blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On the Verge...

Verge.  What a strange word.  According to my favorite online dictionary it means:

1.  the edge, rim, or margin of something.
2.  the limit or point beyond which something begins or occurs; brink
3.  a limiting belt, strip, or border of something

There are actually another 10 definitions for "verge" (inluding "a palletlike lever formerly used in inexpensive pendulum clocks".  Huh.  Who knew?) (I know...  who cares?)

Ummm, I thought I was on the verge of saying something meaningful...  Let's see...

These days I feel like I'm on the verge of many things.  On the verge of catching up with my studies... (I was for a while, anyway.)  On the verge of tears...  On the verge of being in the US...  (We are living only a few miles from the US/Canada border.)  Pretty soon we'll be on the verge of finishing our training.  Probably most significantly, we're on the verge of having an official missions assignment.  In the next few weeks, we'll know where MBMSI is going to send us!  (Assuming, that is, that they still want us on their team...!)  This stirs up a lot of mixed feelings.  It's exciting, but also a bit intimidating.  We've never done this before!

I am so grateful for how God sends me courage just when I need it.  I'm so thankful that He has been showing me over the last weeks that HE is the initiator in His kingdom and my job is just to RESPOND.  I don't need to overthink all of this.  It would be really easy for God to tell us not to do this.  (God has stopped us from doing lots of other things through the years).  On the other hand, there has been nothing easy about getting us to this point!!!  : )

It's actually been quite a climb.  And we're on the verge of seeing what's over the horizon.  Wow.  It's not often in life that I am so keenly aware that I am in the middle of a life changing season.  Maybe I'm on the verge of being over-dramatic here, but this really feels like a big deal.  Bigger than I can wrap my head around.  

So I think I'll stop trying to stretch my brain big enough to grasp the "big-ness" of what's going on and just keep on keeping my eyes on Christ.  He's doing so many really important things in my heart and mind these days.  I'm learning so much.  God is such a good teacher.  : )  

(And, by the way...  I am saying "I" a lot in this, even though Lowell and I are obviously in this together.  But my husband, as strong as he might be, isn't strong enough to drag me along if I haven't made up my mind.  We choose together, but we have to choose on our own as well.)

Anyway, it goes back to being a Responder.  Back in April, the day before we came up to Canada for the first real step of our interview process, I wrote this (almost) song:

It is written that I am the clay and You are the Potter
My life is yours to mold, shape and guide
Through the fire... But Lord, You are so much more
To this one who depends on You
To lead me through this life
I want to live for You

I am the clay, You are the Potter
I am the arrow, You are the Archer
With Your hand on my heart, guiding my path
You are my Shepherd, I'm Your little lamb
I might be the singer, but You are the song
I'm a tool in your hand as You build the Kingdom
I'm a branch, but You are the Vine,
The Gardener and the Life flowing in me

If I am a soldier, You're my Commander
If I am a pen, You are the Writer
If I have a story, it's Yours to author and tell
I am Your child, You are my Father
Fulfill your plans and destiny for me Lord
If You have a mission, I'll be Your missionary...

You have a dream...
I'll dream it with You...
Use me Lord.

God is issuing me a grand invitation to a whole new life serving in His Kingdom.  All I have to do is RSVP.  "Répondez s'il vous plaît."  Respond, if you please...

Wherever, whenever, Lord.  I trust You.  I'll be there.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cave Dwellers

Did I mention that my husband wrote a lovely post on our other blog about our latest adventure crawling around in caves?  No?  I didn't think so.  Except that I just did, so I guess now the answer is yes.  : )  If you haven't read it, you really should.  There's a picture in there of me that will make you claustrophobic just by looking at it.  You're gonna love it.  : )  Or you'll feel sorry for me.  Don't worry though...  I'm fine.  You will be too.

OK...  1, 2, 3...  Go!  (Or click...  or whatever.)

In the Depths of  Mountain


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Confessions of a People Person

"People...  People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world..."

Can you hear Barbra Streisand singing that lonely song?  Back in August when we were trying to pack up and clean up our house and yard, that line from that song ran through my head a lot.  We were people who needed people.  A lot of people.  To clean with us, move our stuff, help pack it, care for our kids, make us food, deal with our yard, pray for us, encourage us...  We needed people.  

But, I confess that I didn't really like all of that needing.

It was uncomfortable.  Needing help is always uncomfortable for me.  I wished that God and Lowell and I could have gotten it together enough that we wouldn't be so obviously needing SO MANY other people to come save us so that we could actually drive out of town on Sept. 1.  The Thursday before we left, in the middle of all of the boxes and furniture waiting to be moved on Saturday and trying to pack for a looooong trip, I was angry at myself for still having so much to do.

But as usual, God wasn't angry at me like I was.  He knew that it was actually good.  It was good that I needed people.  IT WAS GOOD THAT I NEEDED THE BODY OF CHRIST.  He helped me realize that the fact that we really needed help meant that PEOPLE GOT TO HELP.  I might seem presumptuous here, but I hope and pray somehow it was actually a blessing to people that they got to be a part of sending us out into missions training because that was part of sending us out into the mission field.  And they got to be a part of that.  They got to bless us.  We were not just fine without them.  WE NEEDED THEM.

"People...  People who need people..."

So now here I am.  Far enough away from all of those people that I don't know what they're going through this week because I haven't connected with them since I left.  We've sent some prayer emails and a newsletter, but that's not like connecting in a personal way.  Not like a phone call.  Not like a long personal email.  And I know they want to know how we're doing, but I haven't known how to find the time to connect.    So, Jenni, to answer your question, it has definitely been quite hard to go from being a stay-at-home mom to a full-time trainee.  A couple of weeks ago, I would have said that was the hardest thing.  I'm still not quite used to getting up in the morning and having to GO somewhere instead of shooing everyone else (except Timo) out the door.  I miss having more wide-open time to spend with God.  Not that I didn't have stuff to do, because I was almost overwhelmed most of the time, but it was easier to find time to pray.  I could talk to someone on the cordless phone while I was doing laundry or the dishes.  I could connect with Annette at school and Paula when she picked up my kids.  I could call people during the day easily if I needed them to pray for me.  My mom could come by and help out for an hour, bringing with her whatever yummy food my dad had been cooking up that day.  My in-laws could stop by on their way home from the gym.

My stay-at-home-mom life was filled with people.

Edd, you asked about the retreat at Williams Lake.  Getting to spend a weekend several hours north of here at the church of our good friends Jeremy (he's the pastor there now) and Kara are was really special.  The retreat was powerful, but I was really wrestling by the end of it with how disconnected I felt.  God finally showed me that I was grieving.  Grieving the loss of my old church especially, because I was in a church setting.  It hurt a lot.  

I'm still grieving.

In some ways it's premature.  We're going to be back "home" for most of next year.  I know that.  But I also know that after that we'll be even further away.  So just like you start grieving the loss of someone who is dying long before they actually die, I'm grieving the temporary and the more long-term loss of relationships that we'll be facing in the sort of near future.  I was crying about it again this week...  feeling the pain of separation from people I love who love me and KNOW me.  And in the middle of it, God showed me something beautiful.

He reminded me of a lesson He's been teaching me this year about worship...  that worship in the Bible is so often connected to sacrifice.  Even in the New Testament (Romans 12:1) we're exhorted to offer our bodies as living sacrifices as a holy act of worship.  So what He showed me the other night was that when I'm feeling the sacrifice of leaving, I can offer it to Him as an act of worship.  I can worship Him with it.

And that can make even the pain beautiful.

To answer a couple of other questions my friends on Facebook asked, the kids are adjusting well.  Mik and Toby love their school and Timothy is happy going to school along with them.  We're learning so much every week and being challenged in so many ways.  God is doing transforming work in us and it's been harder than we expected in many ways, but more amazing than we expected as well.  And the lesson right now that I'm learning is that I need people.  Barbra would say that makes me one of the lucky ones.  I just know I need the Body of Christ.  And I always will.

And that is good.