Friday, December 28, 2012

The Message

We are getting ready to wrap up another year, and quite frankly, I am ready to close 2012.  

It has been a wild and rocky one for me personally.  Lots of growth, but with that, comes the growing pains.  And for me, this year was marked with loss.  So I will be the first to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

This morning in my quite time, my Bible was in my bedroom, and since I was up earlier than anyone else, I quietly came down stairs.  I have this little copy of The Message.  So I decided to read in it this morning (it was either that or the Spanish Bible, and since I am not being taught Spanish in the King James language, I went with the Message)

It was a beautiful message to a familiar passage, I had to share:

Psalm 40
I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud
He stod me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn't slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this;
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.

Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God,
turn your backs on the World's "sure thing",
ignore what the world worships;
The world's a huge stockpile of God-wonders and God thoughts.
Nothing and no one comes close to You!
I start talking about you, telling what I know,
and quickly run out of words.
Neither numbers nor words account for you.

Doing something for you, bringing something to you-
that's not what you're after,
Being religious, acting pious-
that's not what you're asking for.
You've opened my ears so I can listen.

So I answered, "I'm coming.  I read in your letter what you wrote about me,
And I'm coming to the party you're throwing for me."
That's when God's Word entered my life,
became part of my very being.

I've preached you to the whole congregation,
I've kept back noting, God-you know that.
I didn't keep the news of your ways
a secret, didn't keep it to myself.
I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough.
I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth
For myself alone.  I told it all
let the congregation know the whole story.

Now God don't hold out on me, don't hold back your passion 
Your love and truth are all that keeps me together.

When troubles ganged up on me,
a mob of sins past counting,
I was so swamped by guilt that my heart gave out. . . .

But all who are hunting for you-
oh let them sing and be happy.
Let those who know what you're all about
tell the world you're great and not quitting.
And me? I'm a mess.  I'm nothing and have nothing.
Make something of me. . .
But God, don't put it off.

I love this, and I hope you do to.  
            He made sure I wouldn't slip
                    turn your back on the world's sure thing
                              I quickly ran out of words
                                        I read in your letter what you wrote about me
                                                 your love and truth are all that keeps me together
                                                       and me? I'm a mess

                                                            make something of me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


A friend recently asked about a devotional I had used, and I tried to remember one that I used on here.  So I began looking, and I had actually packed up the book and brought it here, Voices of the Faithful, inspiring stories of courage from Christians serving around the world.  So I had the book out, and flipping through it, Thank you Jesus for your reminding  me to put this in our packed bags.

Anyway, I came across a day that I had underlined, and so I reread it, and boy was the timing perfect.

The title of the page is
"when Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?  You must follow me"" John 21:21-22

The devotional says to write out WITTY in the margins, meaning: (What is that to you?)

It is so human, and super easy to compare ourselves to those around us, instead of focusing on what he has for us, the road he mapped out specifically for us.  

I am going to quote the book from here, because it was perfect.  .  .
God says, FOLLOW ME.  But instead of looking to the Lord.  I sometimes look to the situations and qualities of others.  I use the excuses, "lord, they speak the language better. . . Lord, they are more outgoing than I am . . . Lord, they have more friends than I do. . . Lord, they are having an easier term than I am.  "taking my eyes off God's purpose for me and placing my eyes on someones else's life shows lack of contentment.

You must follow Me.  He does not say if I want to or if it easy;  He says I must follow Him.  God made me the way He did for a purpose.  I am the only one who can follow God the way I can.  You are the only one who can follow God the way you can.  We must follow Him, and we must be content with our role while doing it.  

Now don't think this was written just for missionaries, because it isn't, when I wasn't on the field, I had thoughts like, "Lord they don't understand, they don't have to work night shift, or They have no idea what is like having a hard time getting pregnant, or they have no idea the struggles I am facing, or it is so easy for them to start an IV (remember I am a nurse).

So wherever you find your self, you can find yourself taking your eyes off the Lord.
Where we are in Costa Rica, we are at language school with other rookie missionaries who are in the same place we are.  We are all trying to learn Spanish, we all just came off itineration, we are all giving up our family, friends, and home to answer a call that is greater than we are.

So it is sometimes hard to not look around.  I confess, I am guilty.  I get frustrated when every one around me can roll their R's and I can't, or when they understand reflexive pronouns, and I have no clue what is going on.  I need to remember WITTY.  What is it that to me.  God has a path just for me, one that they are not walking.  Their road, wether it be in Costa Rica, Gastonia, Folsom, or Lusk Wyoming, has been mapped out just for them.

Lord please don't find me with my eyes on my neighbor, discontent with the plan you have for me.  Please keep me from comparing myself to those around me, either at home or on the mission field.

Lord please teach me to be content in who I am in You.

(imagine a really peaceful picture here, but after 2 days of slow internet, forget it :))

Monday, December 10, 2012

I call dibs on that!

We only have 3 more days of class, and I can not find the motivation I need to study. . .

Dave is out with some friends, the girls are fast asleep, and I am trying to understand the differences between saber and conocer, (um hello) but my brain has checked out. . .

So I am reflecting tonight. . .

We have been in our house for a little over a week now, and we are starting to feel like this is home.

Last night, Emma said something to me, that got me thinking. . .

and since I have the time, I thought I would share.

She came up to me, and said,

"mama, I call dibs on the placemats!"

With a thousand and one things running through my head, I was confused.

So I said, "clarify please Emma"

And she said, "when you die, I want the placemats"

What a strange comment, I was thinking. . .

and then I got all teary. . .

Because, during itineration people would ask, "well what are you going to take?" "how many suitcases will you take" etc.

And it was hard, we packed 20 bags, and we each brought a carry on.  So how do you decide what is the most important things to you, things that you will be ok if they are packed up for the next 3 years, and you won't see again, what do you save, what do you throw away, what is so special that it makes it into the 20 precious bags.

This was very hard for me, I gave the girls a lot of leeway, they brought things that I don't think they will ever play with or use.  We left power tools behind and packed my little ponies, thats how important the girls transition was to us.

And now back to Emma's comment.  To me, she wasn't just saying, "I want your placemats when you die" She was saying, "Mama, I love that we have a placemat for every season, when I am old, and have girls of my own (because she doesn't want boys) I want to make my home special and pull out these placemats to remind me of growing up.  Mama, thank you, for taking the space out of the 20 suitcases for these placemats, you made a good decision. "

"Mama, you made this house my home, and I love it."

And that my friends, made my day.
and now I am teary again.