Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Story. Their Story. God’s Story: Part 6

I’m heeding the nudge of the Spirit to chronicle My husband and my and now OUR family’s story of calling.

I am choosing this for Tuesdays because of some of the special women at Jen’s (Jen, of course, and especially Amy) that I have been getting to know, and I feel that you and any other consistent readers (especially dear Cherry, who is a co-laborer and beloved bloggy friend) might be the most blessed to hear this story.

But, truly, I know I need to do this for myself and my God as we continue this unique journey that will, prayerfully, land me in Budapest, Hungary as a long-term missionary within the year.

Trusting all who read be blessed with a touch of Him…

He is Worthy of ALL of our lives!

My Story. His Story. God’s Story: Part 1

My Story. His Story. God’s Story: Part 2

My Story. His Story. God’s Story: Part 3

Our Story. God’s Story: Part 4

Our Story. Their Story. God’s Story: Part 5

35And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples,

 "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Matthew 9:35-38

Can I really be at Part 6?  And feel like there’s so much more to say?  Isn’t there always? 

Well, before I begin today, I have such an incredible video to share with you.  It features Hungary, with a catchy title from a clip from ‘Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader?’ when a young woman asks, ‘that’s a country?!’ but then launches into the story of what God is doing through Youth at the Threshold of Life abbreviated YTL in English and FEK in Hungarian.  It also features Zach who I’ve shared about that is heading up this new initiative.

Warning! There is graphic content when it walks through the Contrast (Kontraszt) Exhibit.  It will probably be graphic for you, but I DEFINITELY wouldn’t want any young eyes to fall on it.Winking smile 

But it is SO worth the watching!!!  Please Do!!!

This spotlights our good friend, Zach, and the ministry we are preparing to join!!!

And would you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE join us in praying earnestly that the LORD OF THE HARVEST WOULD SEND US TO THIS HARVEST?  We’d LOVE to be there when this exhibit hits Budapest in September, 2011!  (Yes, very soon…but we BELIEVE HE CAN DO IT!)

Now to the next chapter in the story:

I will talk about one group of girls, especially two sisters, that made my STINT year and since!  Here’s a picture of them and me:

Csilliberc 016

from left to right: Meli, Eszti (Esti), Nori, Me, Anita (On-nita)

This story begins with Anita who I would say has ‘the gift of faith’.  She found herself at the Speakout English Camp in the summer of 2005—right before we came for STINT.  During her week long camp experience, the Gospel was shared with her in a variety of ways (as it is with all of the campers) primarily through an English-speaking tutor (most are from the U.S.).  There comes a point when each camper is asked if they are ready to trust Christ as their only hope of salvation.  THIS IS WHAT ANITA DID! 

Now, here’s where I come in.  One of the reasons that we love this ministry is how intentional it is.  When we arrived for STINT and got settled, one of the first ministry things that we did was to gather as staff, STINT team and student leaders.  We prayed for blessing and were each given stacks of the evaluation forms that each camper filled out during Speakout as well as their tutors filled out for each of them.  This included their contact information and the tutors’ assessment of where they were spiritually through their one-on-one time with them.

On my stack…you guessed it, ANITA!!!  We were to call or sms (texting in Europe is called this and I mostSpeak Out 387 definitely needed a tutorial and PRAISED GOD for this amazing invention to communicate across language barriers!…IT WAS 5.5 YEARS AGO!) Anita was the first to respond positively and WANTED TO MEET WITH ME!  Then, along came Nori, her sister!

During this first visit, my teammate and I went through the Gospel very clearly with her to make sure she understood and did indeed place her faith in Christ.  We were confident she did and had the bonus that Nori, who barely spoke a word of English at the time and wasn’t at Speakout in the summer, could hear the Gospel too!  Much of it translated through her sister who was then expressing her own new found faith.

We continued to meet weekly with these sisters and at some point Meli and Eszti on the left joined.  Meli was Anita’s classmate (meaning they had the same form class at their high school which becomes a very close group doing activities and having many classes together) and Eszti her best friend.  So, often with my teammate Stephanie, I taught foundational elements of lifelong faith in Christ such as assurance, sanctification, the work of the Holy Spirit to English learners and seekers. We got very creative and often employed charades in some form to make certain that there was understanding.

Speak Out 386Every time I would pose the question to Nori if she had made the decision to trust Christ?  At some point in November she said that she had!  Anita didn’t even know it! Honestly, with the language barrier, I was unsure, but I am very happy to say that she has taken amazing faith steps and was a Hungarian staff for Speakout one summer—sharing her faith daily!  When she came for a week this summer, she went out every day in the afternoon to share her faith with other student leaders!  Isn’t God amazing?

By the end of the year, Meli and Eszti had also trusted Christ! Meli’sSpeak Out 391 dad was dying of cancer that year and so with what I had gone through with my mom, I was able to minister to her…though being quite private people, I didn’t feel like I did very much, but I gave her the best I could and the joy that comes from Him even in the darkest places during my time with her. Meli is living as a prodigal now, please pray that she comes back to the Lord and this life that I believe she truly found in Him.

Speak Out 390

I prayed for these girls every day after I came home and still do…though not as oftenSad smile

They are each very special, but it is definitely with Anita and Nori that God has knit my hearts to theirs.  They are my little sisters, spiritual daughters and family.  We left STINT believing God would call us back, but even if not, I KNEW these two young women would always be a key part of my life. 

With the exception of one faithful great-grandmother who has since passed away, they have no blood relatives (other than each otherSmile) who believe.  Their story is so common.  Their original family broken while they were young and secondary families full of confusion and amorality, a culture where. anything. goes. they are a part of a vast sea of crowds on whom He has compassion and sent us to care for the harvest of their lives.

It is amazing where they have come in five years.  Originally timid and secretive with their faith, they have gained great boldness both within their families and with their classmates and peers.  Anita heard clearly just this past fall from the Holy Spirit to share about her faith in a speech she gave in a university class!  She also believes the Lord is calling her to be staff at Speakout English Camp which I am praying fervently happens, will you?  Nori has a well-used Bible and has strong friendships with the Hungarian student leaders—mature believers that encourage her deeply.  

We serve an amazing God, don’t we?  He is faithful and loves this whole wide world and shepherdless sheep in a small nation that some have never heard of…but He has! and He sends us (and we pray more, many more!) to this harvest that remains abundant! 

God has been renewing my heart through His love alive in me that flows into His heart for these young people. this nation. I wrote this poem prayer that I would love you to read if you didn’t already:

Till the Lighted Song Rises

Be blessed SDG Sisters…you are a BLESSING TO ME!  Thank you for the gift of sharing in this story.  Our Story.  Their Story.  God’s Story. 

Thank you Jen the hostess with the mostest!  Come join us if you haven’t yet!

SoloDeoGloriaSisterhood

And newly linking to Laura’s ‘Playdates with God’

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heart stirrings

walking in sunset and moon 005

I wrote my heart out hereif you can, click over and read (if you haven’t already)…it’s a poem ‘till the lighted song rises’…it won’t take long.

Strong have been the stirrings and as hard as it is to have a heart that carries pain for others…it is worth the journey.

after all, isn’t that what He walked?

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
   and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

Isaiah 53: 4-5

(read the whole chapter…)

doesn’t he call me to be like Him in this world?

1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Philippians 2:1-2

(read the whole chapter)

I used to always say that I need a regular washing over of my heart--an overwhelming of His Great Love.  For me, yes, I must see.  But, if I see that how can it not overflow to the lost in this world gone wrong?

This Flame MUST BE Fanned regularly that my love NOT grow cold…

So, Thank You, Lord, Thank You, Thank You…

-for the OVERWHELMING nature of your love that necessarily spills out to this lost world

-THESE are the days, the last days,

-that you have blessed us with a call

-that if you would be coming back tomorrow, we wouldn’t be doing another thing

-that Your Love is greater than comprehension

-that it reaches to the deepest depths of human despair

-that you are looking for those to bear your love

-that you simply ask that we pray, seek, follow step by step

-that Jesus’ blood is enough to cover every person on this earth, EVERY PERSON…

-that you call us to care for the orphans

-that you give us eyes to see them

-that it will take all of Your church rising to meet this need

-that you have placed Your People in the world to do just that

-that I can pray and YOU WILL ACT

-that you love Hungarian lost young people enough to send us to them

-that you love the generation here enough to send workers to THIS harvest

-that you call everyone to be a part…pray, send, go

for all of the little things

-gorgeous Florida weather (I know y’all…a GIFT)

-walks and play in the back yard every day

-sun setting through the trees and lake

-Sea World passes and a RELAXING time there together

-a daughter who says ‘SHAMU’ at 16 months old

-a son who talks to all of the animals…’bye dolphins’, ‘hi Shamu!’

-that each moment is a gift

-for the bread of now

-for messy houses meaning life is lived

-for clutter!

-for smudgy mirrors that kids love to play at

-for a Keurig coffee machine (can’t take it over, but I have it now!)

-for bathrooms to clean extra b/c he’s potty-trainedWinking smile

-for his putting salty wilted spinach on a hamburger and loving it!

-for how son makes daughter laughSmile

-for Jesus Calling that hubby loves now too!

-for a bed I LOVE…we can ship it!

#641-675

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

till the lighted song rises

3604613292_ef90d08ec6_o
but a drop of water
to the average eye
they fall headlong from
the blackened sky

once stars shining
innocence illumined
black holes absorbing
heavenlies diminished

now lost in invisible
sea waters crying
tears of the orphan
heart’s flame dying

within His children
Holy Spirit pleads
make me Father to
all this naked need

and I hear His voice
rising in homes
bringing in the abused
embracing the lone

but the invisible sea
is not silent yet
myriad of lost stars
given to fallen debt

she roars and screams
and her healing comes
not in blanket of white
love once given done

but in reddened groans
that bleed from deep
and call each of His
people to rise and meet

His heart infinite
and ears attuned
to the raging ebbing
with power embued

and I ask for this
love the journey long
till orphaned generations
rise in lighted song.

AWA 1/30/2011


photo credit: flickr creative commons


Written for thehighcalling.org’s Random Act of Poetry: Mistaken Identity
Here’s the prompt: For this week’s Random Acts of Poetry, write a poem to, or in honor of, an orphan, someone you know who has adopted one, or your own adopter.


This was a hard prompt for me.  I know so many beautiful ones that have adopted and want to be optimistic in what I write and there are too many beautiful families to count that I could have written solely about.  We still hope to have our own adoption story one day...

I love Compassion and Gospel for Asia and others and our kids have two brothers and a sister through these ministries. 

But my heart went to another place…I was so gripped by the invisible orphans…amidst the people God is calling us to live among long bereft of hope and children isolated in homes even though mother and father be there.  But, often they aren’t and physical presence is just that and spirits lay darkened and I thought of this people and their neighbors and how they represent this generation the world over…so many in an invisible sea of orphans.  Then the generation in our schools in the U.S. that we will leave behind to follow the call to another people.  We have lived among them and we have seen their orphaned souls that manifest all that it means to be fatherless and without guide in a world gone wrong.  And I weep and pound the table and I know of this invisible sea hearing its screams and I plead that we as His people never stop but ever grow in the caring for the orphan in all that that entails…this poem comes from that prayer.


also sharing with Imperfect Prose @ Emily’s…since this breaks and bleeds me, there’s nothing else I really want to share…for a little while at least…
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coming or going?

are you coming or going?

seeking or fleeing the knowing?

raised high or sunk low?

doubtful or sure where you go?

desiring sea behind or before?

ears deaf to or full of roar?

are your steps slow or quick?

heart layers thin or thick?

wonder far or near?

steeped in faith or fear?

are you coming or going?

seeking or fleeing the knowing?

AWA 1/30/11

shared with One Stop Poetry’s One Shoot Sunday

photo credit to Iquanyin Moon

To learn more about Iquanyin, check out the following links:
Twitter: @iquanyin

Flick: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iquanyinmoon


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Friday, January 28, 2011

All Around Me

This post goes with Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday Prompt…’The Women’

This is the tiniest of glimpses into the ocean of heart and life that is my co-laborers as women and I relished the morning spent in thanksgiving and sharing heart and prayer.  The tiniest of glimpses…

Start

We sit and share the bread of thanks.  First the easy and then we put in the hard.

I say it and then I listen.  I marvel at the stories I hear.  I marvel at the women He is writing these stories over.

They are beautiful and unique and if I could in five minutes give but a glimpse…

Only in her generation—so uniquely gifted and full of exquisite beauty within and without that I plead she sees for all of its glory. His glory.

Mama with sweet son who was a ten plus year journey.  Seeking the face of God in all things…given back a life after a long-term coma. Wise and wonderful and His.

Mama of three so close who speaks with Him as by her side.  Mary Magdalene of modern day…many years redeemed and given back.  Her live full of wisdom and courage beyond her years.  And Glory, marvelous, glorious light.  Light in the darkness around her.

Youngest of all but so, so old in the experiences of youth and becoming the parent robbed of the opportunity to be child.  She is a woman of grace that surrenders the mama that is a mix of personalities and loves unreservedly in the hardest of broken places.

All together breaking thanks’ bread and pleading for the generations of littles in our homes and this generation in our schools.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

on years restored…

Outside and 1000 gifts 022

In these days

we receive the gift

of the years the

locust ate

renewed. remade.

 

The last days

the prophet

Joel sees when

men AND women

pour His Spirit.

 

Autumn rains

redeeming that

which has been

torn apart

soaked dry.

 

Breaking the

bread of now

and holding

high in thanks

then to lips.

 

Eating what is

fresh and full

nourished by

the Eternal

Unchanging One.

 

We march into

tomorrow come

what may He

is good and we

testify.

 

Do you have eyes

to see with me

these are the

days turned

years restored?

Outside and 1000 gifts 011

Through Chapter 7 of Ann’s book 1000 gifts…this is what I see.

Words of hope, fellow broken ones at Emily’s 

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Our Story. Their Story. God’s Story: Part 5

I’m heeding the nudge of the Spirit to chronicle My husband and my and now OUR family’s story of calling.

I am choosing this for Tuesdays because of some of the special women at Jen’s (Jen, of course, and especially Amy) that I have been getting to know, and I feel that you and any other consistent readers (especially dear Cherry, who is a co-laborer and beloved bloggy friend) might be the most blessed to hear this story.

But, truly, I know I need to do this for myself and my God as we continue this unique journey that will, prayerfully, land me in Budapest, Hungary as a long-term missionary within the year.

Trusting all who read be blessed with a touch of Him…

He is Worthy of ALL of our lives!

My Story. His Story. God’s Story: Part 1

My Story. His Story. God’s Story: Part 2

My Story. His Story. God’s Story: Part 3

Our Story. God’s Story: Part 4 

(re-created)  I did lose it.  So I re-created it.  All of the wonderful comments helped…and I’m still working on it (THE PICTURES!) and a couple of things added!

I wanted to start out where I left off in Part 4 in which I begin our journey the year, our STINT year in Hungary:

It was not long into the year that I centered squarely upon the joy and assurance that this was exactly where we were supposed to be. Furthermore, as I observed my husband, working alongside of him, I was filled with an understanding that I was seeing him do what he was born to do.  It was as if he’d been freed up from the strain that it was to be on other paths and was experiencing the glorious joy of coming to life.  I knew, before God, that I as his co-journeying wife could not do anything but open wide this way for him and encourage him from my very depths to only step deeper into this calling.

It is a rare and wonderful privilege to be able to see first hand your husband in the light and glory of his calling in this world.  One that, by His grace, I want to hold in the deep places of my heart as the gem that it is, and when I am called to sacrifice, as we continue this journey, to see this glorious bigger picture. 

Now, where Our Story meets Their Story and We find God’s Story Together:

We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.’

~1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NIV c1984)

This verse was often quoted by our leader Dan…oh, what a verse!  This beats so deep in our hearts when we think of the ministry relationships, both with co-laborers and with the students, that we had/have from our STINT year.

l think I will definitely be spending more than one week talking about these dear ones.

Winner Take All 027

Here is our STINT team and Zach and Julie celebrating Jeremy’s birthday at one of our favorite places, Iguana’s, the Mexican restaurant right near Parliament by the Danube in Budapest (Bp).  It was good Mexican food, but made WONDERFUL due to the fact that it is difficult to find this food even to make at home.

Clockwise from left:  Jillian, Stephanie, Sara, Julie, Zach, Jeremy, Pete, Jared and meSmile 

Jeremy has returned and I am THRILLED that he and Jared will be working together again.  We joked often that they are ‘brothers from another mother’.  And, yes, I will always love my STINT sisters, Jillian, Stephanie and Sara.  Julie quickly became my sister too.  People often say we look like sisters.

Winner Take All 032Winner Take All 033GirlsPicTeam day and Budapest pics 025

Stint Girls with Bethany (university STINT) and Andras (Hungarian national being crazy) & Dan

FEK and Marta 011

Here I am with a team of high school staff from Albania.  Csaba (Chaba) was leading their team and was a Hungarian staff.  They came up to spend the week with our team and went around the city with us.  All of these women are Albanian committed to reaching the virtually unreached high school students in their country.  For the past three summers, during the Speakout English Camp in Hungary, a mission team of Hungarian students and leaders go for a week to Albania to meet and share with Albanian students.

This was at our weekly, Friday night meeting.  It is really neat how all of the high school (and college) students come to this Kavezo (Coffeehouse) in the basement/bottom floor of a former Soviet movie theater that is now a church meeting place.  (several churches were former Soviet theaters/movie theaters…becoming a popular place for churches to meet here, too)  This was the night that I shared my testimony through a translator. 

The weekly meetings were always translated so that students who didn’t have good English skills would understand.  Often, the music was English.  Pete (on STINT team, pictured above) led a FEK (said like ‘fake’ and the name of the high school ministry in Hungary) band that was only around that year:  SHOESHINE.  It was a huge hit with quite the followingWinking smile

These meetings were the highlights of my and many of the students’ weeks.  I am an extrovert!  Who loves to write…hmmm…thinking blogging is a good choice for me?  So, I would always be so energized meeting/greeting the students that we had met in the English classes and they ACTUALLY CAME!  And after the meeting, there was coffee, hot chocolate (yum)  and plenty of conversation…often many Gospel conversations happened these nights.  Also, decisions to trust Christ!!!!  PTL!!!

FEK and Marta 013

Meet Albert.  (said All-bayert)  Jared met him one day that he was pretty tired from a full day but hadn’t talked to anyone about Jesus yet.  He decided to give it a try and went to a local square where he met Albert skateboarding.  He and Albert had many conversations about the person of Christ and, while Albert was open, to our knowledge he still hasn’t become a follower of Christ—though he knows the Gospel through and through.  He has, however, continued with skateboarding and competes on a professional level.  We pray, every time we remember, that he comes to Jesus.

 

Picture below: Clockwise from left: Albert, Jared, FEK and Marta 015Balazs (ball-age as in gar-age) and Adam/Adi.  Jared met Balazs one Sunday morning at church.  He was an exchange student in Indiana and his host family led him to Christ!  They had a connection to the church where we were going and that’s how he was there.  He and Jared still have a special relationship.  They went out into the city many times to share the Gospel with students.  He continues to grow in his faith and has been a leader in the movement.  Makes you think about hosting an exchange student, doesn’t it?

FEK and Marta 019

 

 

Left to right: meSmile, MARTA, Sara and Stephanie.  (As a side note…haven’t been this pale since I moved to FL! Better get used to it!!) Sara and I had met Marta at a McDonald’s.  She was a little older than the college student age that was our general upper limit to talk with, however, we certainly believe the Lord led us to approach her.  She worked/works on cruise ships so she’s out for about 3 months and then in for two months or so.  She was very interested and asked if we had a regular study.  Well, we didn’t have one that fit ‘her’ so we started one and invited others, but she was the only one who came (if I remember correctly).  We did a four part series on the claims of Christ.  Before we had finished she couldn’t figure out a good reason to NOT believe Jesus was who He said he was and trusted CHRIST!  It was sad when she had to go back to the ship, but we sent her with a Bible and all of the beginning booklets for new believers.  These ships are hard even if your faith is STRONG, so, we stayed in contact and she had a roommate when she went back to the ship who was a believer!  PTL!  However, the BIG DISTRACTOR happened in that she met a guy who took a lot of her affections and I don’t think he was a believer.  I am going to e-mail her before I go to bed!  it has been WAY TOO LONG!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m just sitting here knowing I need to stop BUT NOT WANTING TO!!!  It is so amazing to remember ‘the works of the LORD’.  This is not me wistfully remembering people I was with and places I visited, but the seeds of the Gospel, wonder of wonders, He used broken me to plant in a foreign land.  And one, that touched our hearts and He is calling us back there…What a God we serve!  How amazing to be a part of what He is doing…ONLY ETERNITY WILL TELL!

More stories next week and possibly I’ll start to talk about Speakout English Camp.

I love you Soli Deo Gloria Sisters…So thankful for Jen and her link-up!

SoloDeoGloriaSisterhood


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One Thousand Gifts…A Must Read!

 

Outside and 1000 gifts 025

I know many of you who will read this are already reading, have ordered and are waiting, or are planning to buy Ann Voskamp’s  book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.  (#4 in Amazon’s Hot New Releases and #12 in their Bestseller list!  How about this one ending up on the New York Times Bestseller list?  Wouldn’t that be amazing???!!!)

But, if you are reading this and don’t know about this book, well, you simply must read it!  I DARE you to read it and let me know if it doesn’t change you and fill you and draw you deeper into the Father’s Heart and what it is to touch eternity HERE.

You can join me and many others at Bloom (In) Courage Book Club, when we officially start reading this book together on February 6th.  Each week there will be interviews (chats) with Ann sharing about each chapter.  Doesn’t that sound like so much fun??!!

Here’s the book trailer on YouTube…so, so good!

You can read the entire first chapter here!

Also read the reviews at Amazon to get many insights into the book and how it affects…truly changes…you.

My counting this week…Thank You Lord of Beauty and Grace and All that IS…

-For my understanding husband (about his 20+ appearance on the list)

-For One Thousand Gifts…delivered to my door

-For being sick and needing to ‘rest’ and readSmile

-For a son who says ‘I love you’ often

-For a daughter who loves life

-For the clear teaching in Scripture about worry

-For the Grace for today…this moment…alone

-For being ALIVE

-For good/promising news regarding cancer for our dear friends/mentors

-For sun to come inside and shadows to dance when I can’t get out

-For thick glass tiled window that refracts light beautifully

-For my mother-in-law loving ‘Jesus Calling’ that I got her

-For my brother-in-law making a good, hard decision that requires faith and confidence

-For the chance to talk/catch up with a dear friend and college roommate

-For the reminder that time marches on

-For being able to help my friend when she was sick

-For her husband being able to come home early from a work trip

-For how His Word covers us and MAKES.US.STRONG.

-For a hunger to know Him in these days

-For the hard eucharisteo and how it changes you

-For my Father who gave it long before his heart felt it

-For a Mama whose Homecoming was Precious in the Saviour’s eyes

-For a deep sense of His abiding Presence in these days of uncertainty

-For not riding the waves of emotions as far as how I’m doing

-For the ‘better part’ of sitting at His feet, hearing from Him that always brings PEACE

-For a quiet Sunday morning, while sick, and much time with Him

-For ‘the Prodigal God’ book coming in the mail

-For the reality that He is ‘the Prodigal God

-For the gaze of a soul upon a saving God

-For an opportunity to live it today!!

#611-640

Joining with Ann’s One Thousand Gifts’ Listers…

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Friday, January 21, 2011

As of Late

Lately, I’ve been realizing how little I truly love.  (doing Loving Well by Beth Moore with my wonderful small group from church.  suffices to stay started with a bit of pride, asked Him to show me my heart…and He very much did.)

Lately, I’ve been seeking to love better by receiving His love and not settling for ‘no’ as it regards if I will love another.  I must love…and not in indifference or numbness but in thought, word and deed.

Lately, I haven’t been enjoying my kids as I know is the life-giving path I need.  I’m praying to BE HERE.Christmas '10 Before After During 236 PRESENT. AND LOVE THEM BY SIMPLY BEING WITH THEM.

Lately, I’ve been learning about homeschooling through the homeschool pre-school my friend, Anita, and I have been doing.

Lately, I’ve been saved by beauty, in particular sunsets and glorious moons, but I’m praying it grows to seeing the beauty in the four walls where I live.

Lately, I’ve started writing a Twin Book with my…TWIN!  Very early and we may poke at it for years, but we’ve started and were raised, ‘you start something. you finish it!’  It will be a wonderful keeper of us as we move to being an ocean apart.

Lately, I’ve had the chance to bless my best friend and neighbor, Anita.  She has blessed me immeasurably since I moved to Florida…become family.  Been everything a friend (or sister) could be…I was able to nominate her and she won ‘Woman of the Week’ for our Christian radio station(funny aside, they announced it this morning, but played the pre-recorded message of another winner! oops! first time it’s happened.  They recorded me yesterday morning and I knew they’d have to edit, but joked, ‘it really was bad! they had to use someone else’s!’…they’ll run it next week, Thursday morning at 7:20amSmile)

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed with our overseas transition.

Lately, I’ve wondered if I should just let go of ‘order’ in this year of transition…

Lately, I’ve been so encouraged to walk more intimately with my husband as he’s joined the blogging worldSmile He’s my hero and I cannot wait to follow as he shares more intentionally the conversations he has with others about the Gospel.

Lately, I’ve been stressed about money/finances and been breathing in and out and feeding on Philippians 4:4-8 in particular.

Lately, I’ve been so blessed by these free sermons of Tim Keller’s that are all from the Story of the Prodigal Son and go with his book, ‘The Prodigal God’.

Lately, I’ve been seeing how inconveniences are preparing me for when I will not have some of things I have here…over there…in Eastern Europe.

Christmas '10 Before After During 207Lately, I’ve been wondering what life will look like this same time next year.  Colder (for sure)…and so much more…different.

Lately, I’ve been carrying a beloved couple in my heart (our hearts) and tears have been close and praying Romans 8:26-39 for them as times are uncertain and the extent of cancer unknown…

Lately, I’ve wondered almost constantly if I’m a good mom.  I always feel like I’m falling short and this certainly doesn’t get me anywhere better.  The Gospel is hard to receive when you realize your failures are affecting little impressionable people.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my Dad and have written several posts that include something about him, like how he has prayed with a Papa heart for me (and my husband, kids, siblings, spouses, and kids and many more) every day since either of us can rememberSmile

Lately, I’ve been wondering about my two blogs.  The one is my ‘family and ministry blog’, though very much just the family side and I’ve been posting less and missing more of bringing our friends and family far away into the life we live where we are. That’s because I noticed that a fire was so lost inside of me I was forgetting who I was in the doing and then watching (i.e. tv, movies, to ‘relax’ etc.) because I was tired and all of these thoughts of something more were there, I just didn’t do something about it until I started my ‘writing blog’.  But, lately, I’ve been longing to bring the two together. somehow.  Or at least feel like the friends and family I’ve lived near and we’ve shared life that are my reason for keeping up the family blog can share life as my new and dear bloggy friends do even though we’ve never met.  And, vice versa.  I want my blog friends to share more of my family’s life.

So, lately, I decided to make this my first post that I am posting exactly the same in both of my blogs.  Family and friends, I would love if we connected not only here, but there.  And blog/writing friends, I would love if we shared more of the daily stuff that I post here (with some of you, we do!)  And maybe someday I’ll figure out a way to have it all come together in one place. 

What have you been up to lately?

So thankful to find out about this monthly link up, ‘As of Late’, hosted by Christy at CrittyJoy, through my blog friends Natalie and Jen.

Also with Michelle at Lost in the Prairies for Caffeinated Randomness on Fridays

Join us?


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the best I can offer

 

walking in sunset and moon 013

Each night we pray for their hearts and souls and plead with Heaven that they would be of the Father.  Born in Zion.  All of their fountains in Him.

We pray that they would be strong and fearless and rise up and be counted in their generation. 

We pray that they will shine as the stars in the Heavens.

We pray, as we have since newborn days, that the Lord will shepherd them.  and as we end ‘and surely goodness and mercy shall follow YOU, (name inserted), ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE AND YOU WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER…’

We plead, ‘Yes, Lord, make it so.’

Does anything else really matter? 

We pray that He breathe life into these prayers and that in heart of hearts they yet recognize their need for HIM.  That they not step one foot in the ‘far country’ and live all of their days in service to the Great King and Father evermore.

We pray in humility for grace to love and parent them even then knowing that we mess up.  We have messed up and we. need. Him.  We have no love that is His love for them unless He gives it to us.  We pray for them and they lead us to Him by their need.  our need reflected.  and we are all kept all of our days.

I have been kept all of my days.

Since wee babe until the day my husband came into my life, my knee bent all-heart praying father pleadedwalking in sunset and moon 007 with God for a man with ‘a heart for God and a heart for me.’ 

Long seasons and years I spent in foolishness and would have settled for so much less than fervent prayers of my papa asked.  But, he never stopped.  I am convinced that the doors to paths that would have wrecked were slammed shut through the might of those prayers.

My papa failed as papas go.  There was never another option than that he would be imperfect, human and mess up. But he daily knelt in victory and lined my life with the greatest gift showered in multitudes and manifolds that a human can give another.  The gift of too-many-to-count heartfelt, daddy heartfelt, prayers.

And I walk a hallowed way of uncertainty missing the heart and wisdom of a mama already in Heaven when I became a mama myself.  And I walk in reverence and line the lives of my own children with the best gift I know to give.  Prayer.

And I plead as I write here that I will have the grace when He answers.  When they rise up and are counted and fearlessly walk to unknown lands and places to be mighty for Him.  When they embrace with all they’ve got the love that will not let go and take Him at His Word and surrender all that they are to Him. 

And for all of the days and seasons when I am prone to discouragement that these prayers will never rise up, I persist as my papa.  I believe that the wisdom of prayer will measure and level off the foolishness of youth and that in the Great Papa Above’s perfect timing He will bring to completion the work that He has begun until that Great Day.

Perhaps this is how they will come Home forever.  Ushered into that Great Day in zeal for His Kingdom in a world gone recklessly wrong and the stars that shine from within their lives will be lifted into the skies when Heaven and Earth meet and all becomes new.  Old passes away.  And prayers in humility by those stretched to nothing to a God who receives all The Glory will reign.

Yes, Lord, make it so.

This is the heart habit that wrapped my life tight and spills out all of the pride of anything I’ve done.

This is the best I can offer to these wee ones.

Yes, Lord make it so.

walkwithhimwednesdays2

word-filled wednesday


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

and it was beauty

walking in sunset and moon 016All tattered and bruised

gathering the shambles

and seeking to pound

out hot tears and plead

perspective.

and it was beauty that

awaited to save.

 

 

 

walking in sunset and moon 017

A sun that rose in

stunning defiance now

kissing goodbye in the

setting working wonder

swept up the pieces.

and it was beauty that

embraced to save.

 

 

 

walking in sunset and moon 030As night cupped day

and pushed forth its

presence a complete

reflection encircled

white promise.

and it was beauty that

stayed to save.

 

 

 

walking in sunset and moon 026

The clinging shreds of

anger, resentment,

disappointment fled

under dual assault

of heavenly glow.

and it was beauty that

filled to save.

 

 

 

walking in sunset and moon 032With sun at rest

moon’s torch

shone brighter

and stretched long

a path of hope.

and it was beauty that

was made to save.

AWA 1/18/2011

 

 

 

 

walking in sunset and moon 034

 

Inspired by

"Beauty will save the world"

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)

and the glorious sunset and rising moon

that overwhelm me with the wildness of Divine love…

 

Shared with One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry 

and the broken friends and working it out together at Emily’s

impproseblog button

and just linked with Dawn’s My Home Sweet Home on Day 20 of her {31} Days of Encouragement Series


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