Thursday, September 27, 2012

Update from Alabama!

At base of a ROCKET at I65 rest stop just inside Alabama

Hello blogging world... I have not forgotten about y'all!  Trying on my southern 'twang' as I post from Alabama.

Life has been happening since we left Montana.  The stories I have scribbled in my journal are mounting but the time to share them has been dwindling.  The sum up?

6 days of driving across this great nation.  TONS of great field-experience for kids in Science and History as we traveled through Yellowstone, Wyoming in general, the Oregon Trail, Gateway Arch, New Madrid fault line and on.... !

Tons of learning in family history as we re-connect with long-lost relatives over 5 days of visiting in Tennessee.

Ministry experience not just for mom and dad... but for kids too as we stepped our feet into our called-to (5 months in waiting) Alabama.  5 days in Thorsby where they were blessed with an opportunity to speak to the youth group, a week in Oak Mountain state park where I spent time "praying without ceasing" that all of the reputable snakes would stay hidden!!!  And everywhere-every interaction between being blessed with opportunities to witness and encourage.

We have been here-there-and 'yonder' and all the time finding ways to serve, listen to the Lord, and step in directions mostly unfamiliar. 

Currently we are living out of our van, praying an RV trade might be possible and setting our sites on continuing to learn and serve for the time we have left in this region.  It hasn't always been easy but it has been consistently rewarding.  I look forward to regular Internet access again... and regular posts again, reconnecting with all of YOU. 

Playing softball with a youth group in Nebraska!

In the mean time, know I pray for my bloggy friends both known and un-known.  Remember, when it looks like life is throwing you curve balls, you just need to learn how to swing (hint: prayer is essential!)!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Who Am I?

I sat in a soft arm chair crying, trying not to sob, Kleenex in hand, surrounded by beauty in a room not my own.  My husband, criss-cross on the plush carpeted floor at my feet, looked up to my brimming eyes and pleaded me to share.

So I did.

My heart gushing out in tears and whispers.  I couldn't understand it myself, but somehow the Lord quieted my chatty husband and opened his ears.  He sat, patiently listening, not judging.

My heart ached as I poured and the more I poured, the clearer things became.  What was making no sense in the fuzz and haze of a woman's heart-ache, began to take form and in understanding calm could work its way in.

It boiled down to identity.  As a woman, more than 23 years 'independant', how do I let go; not have control, not have a stake, not have a home-a place to call my own... not have anything except a servant attitude.  I've always had a servant attitude... but on my terms and in my spaces... never in complete humility and service under someone else.  Who am I if I am not in control of almost anything anymore?

But should it be that different?  After all, I have always been in service to the Lord... is loving and serving others outside MY element any different then loving and serving the Lord in every element he exists?  Have I ever been fully in control when the One who holds the world has had his hand on my life all along?

My heart is healing, though I still feel a bit on the verge of weepy.  The Lord has blessed us with such wonderful hospitality/hosts on this journey.  It is difficult to be discouraged long when I can just SEE God moving all around us.  I will persevere through my self-inflicted trials and, I pray, in the end I might be more humble, more ready in loving servant hood, and a little more like Him.

Praying YOU see Him in all the elements of your life today... that your identity is fulfilled in knowing Him.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Unexpected Views

It doesn't look like the top of the world... but it was near it.  And up there was this pond full of Lilly pads.  I shouldn't be surprised, though, this past month I have been consistently amazed at the beauty in the places we can't normally see.  Whether it is a pond at 8200 feet...

Or the tops of trees from fires past... and fires raging present (look closely at the middle 'cloud')...

... it could even be the birds-eye view of lakes in their simple yet breath-taking expanse.  Life is full of mystery in the unseen, just when we think we know what to expect and see.

I am always inspired by what I see (and often don't see) and the correlations God chooses to reveal.  Like the mysteries of all I invest as a mother and wife and the wonder of 'do they really listen', 'does it really make a difference'?

It does... in those unseen places of our children's/husband's hearts.  The spots only seen when God chooses to reveal a vista of their hearts and bless me with signs of his planting of a particular message.

This past week and a half we have traveled thousands of miles and seen many wonders across this great country.  But the greatest wonder, perhaps, has been the blessing of love and patience and relationship our family has enjoyed among each other.  Crammed in a small van for 10-12 hours straight, six days in a row, we have lived in peace... a glimpse of those vistas in their actions and hearts... the reward of blessing in knowing, yes, they hear.  Whether me or Him... they hear and I love Him all the more.

Don't loose heart, my dear friends, as you ask your son for the one-hundredth time to put his puzzle away or plead with your daughter to keep to the pureness of her heart.  Don't loose heart when you take a cup of  coffee to your husband with little acknowledgement or reward.  They hear, they see.  In the hidden places of their hearts, God stores up your love with His love and the days DO come when the vistas will be breath-taking.

Many Blessings,