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My latest book, "Snapshots" is back up, please feel free to download and read (see right side bar to access your e-copy)! However, other Documents are still temporarily off-line as we continue recovery after the major hacking of our secondary site. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, in-article free download documents will be back up soon.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Traveling Missions Life


A few weeks ago, over at LisaJoBaker.com, 5 minute Friday was kicking in gear with the theme, "Rhythm" and the following Friday, again, with "In-between".  I could have wrote for miles more than 5 minutes on both these words but instead I wrote for 0.  "0" because I have been "in-between" and trying to find the "rhythm"!

Rhythm, a metric undertone that moves our day through ebbs and flows.....
In-between, the place I feel has become my new place of residency as I can't see before me and I can barely see behind me.


Where are we without these elements gauging our day?  How do we walk, do, be... as women, mothers, wives, even homeschoolers...without it's measure to mark out the spots where we need to step.

Maybe you are someone who is GREAT at shooting from the hip.  Maybe rhythm is clatter to you.  I praise you, for you are much more pliable than I for the life that God has called me to live!

Missions - Motherhood
Missions - Housewife
Missions - Doting wife
Missions - Teaching
Missions - Missions

I am the type of person that bounces when I walk... sways when I sing... taps when I wait.  Rhythm underscores my very heart.  And at the places in-between, when God calls us from point-to-point-to-point, I loose track of the rhythm... the jumbled movement creates clatter and the motion is near chaos.

 
 
 

They don't tell you this when you read books on God's Work.  You don't see it in videos about serving in the field.... smiling or crying faces, holding babies, praying for the lost, ministering to the broken.  You just see the work.

But those are PEOPLE.  God's chosen to walk among the weary when we ourselves are weary.  To speak to the hearts when our own cries out for a voice.  To love on the unloved while our own loved ones need our attention.  To teach the dailies while our own dailies cry for completion.  Helping others when we ourselves ache for help.

I'm not trying to scare anyone from missional living, making daily sacrifices and reaching beyond self for the Kingdom's Call.  Nor am I trying to detour anyone from outreach treks in this nation or another, truly stepping outside 'comfort' in order to comfort the lost or help the church.  But as I reflect on my time as a traveling missionary around this great nation we call the United States, seeing what I never could have thought or  knew could exist in such contrast through just one country.... I want to be REAL.


Missions life is not a cake walk... but it is the icing on the cake of hope and fulfillment of kingdom work in our hearts.


Missions life as a mother is a juggling act... but the motion is an exercise of ever expanding love.

 Missions life as a housewife swings the comfortable, typical rhythm of daily to-dos into a free-fall of sometimes daily re-adjusting what is suppose to look like a schedule so all physical and health needs are properly attended...but in the free-fall others are often ruptured up into our presence and relieved to see WE ARE REAL TOO! We cry and hurt and bleed.... we work, and scrape and manage... and they can too.


Missions life as a wife is a challenge to the design of a biblical marriage, warfare seems to hit hardest when the enemy knows a united couple is disaster for his divisive plans... but the challenge calls us to rise to new heights and dig to greater depths to find true unity as we encourage unity in others.

 
 

Missions life as a teacher of my children is often marked by outside-the-box learning... but outside the box we find so much more to learn and, ultimately, end up teaching others also!


Missions life as a missionary called to live and serve radically in the states and beyond pushes and stretches understanding, often leaves me tiered and regularly rocks the plans of every.single.aspect of my life as a woman... but life any other way is foreign.

I have grown in the stretching... and I know I will continue to,
I have drawn up from the most vital Source of Strength when I am deeply weary,
I have made buildings out of rock-slides... some are lopsided but most are strong!

Matthew 11:28

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 11:28 Or who work to exhaustion
 (Bible Gateway.com)


The next time you open your planner, or nestle into your rhythm, or bask in the moments of destination... pray for a missionary who can't steady a planner, or is struggling with clatter in the search for rhythm, or is needing to learn how to dance in the hallway in-between as they give their lives over to the service of the Lord!  And don't be afraid to step out with them!


Next week I will try to share HOW I capture moments of rhythm in this crazy life I lovingly know as Missions!

Blessings to you!
 
  


 Also linking up with some of these


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Traveling Errand Day

It is (past-due) time for another installment of the Traveling series!  If you have missed My Traveling Kitchen and My Traveling Laundry Day you can view those articles by clicking on the in-text links!

Today I wanted to answer my 4th most asked question, "How do you run errands".  Yes, I know, I skipped the third (which is, "How do you shower?").  But last time I wrote I promised to explain the cart and errands!  The errand question is asked less because many assume we can just drive the RV to do errands, which, hypothetically, we can.  It is usually after someone realizes that a) driving a big RV around (and fuel economy) is not quite so easy -or- b) while in Phoenix we didn't think we would even make it anywhere... then the questions come out.

Yes, that was one of the HUGE miracles of making it back into Montana.  After RV troubles in Tennessee and professional diagnoses we knew it was a miracle when we made it to Phoenix let alone back North.  We were nervous to drive anywhere in Phoenix because we were told we had carburetor issues that would need to be addressed or we would find ourselves broke down again (issues were never addressed and God worked a miracle so we could make it 1400 more miles... and it is still running strong!)

Add to the dilemma that "parked" mode is much different then "driving" mode when everything needs to be buckled down inside lest it falls all over the place as you take corners and hit bumps!  Then there is setting up and taking down stabilizing jacks.  It is a few hour process whenever we venture out! We are getting to be pretty pro at this though!

So.... while in Phoenix, God blessed us with a GREAT location only half a mile from a grocery store, library, Dollar General, Post office, etc.  Walking was a breeze!


We started by just hitting feet to the pavement.  We quickly realized this wasn't the best way to grocery shop though.  Even if all of us went and carried a few bags back.... groceries can be heavy and carrying bags so far is exhaustive!

I lamented how it would be nice to have one of those upright carts you see in big cities... the kind older ladies often pull along with their groceries in them and are easy for getting off-and-on buses with.  But the budget wouldn't allow such a purchase so we went for second best:


a pull-along suitcase that had been given to us just before we left Tennessee!  It worked great for putting groceries in and strapping on top of.  Add to the mix a back-pack on each of our backs and we could easily walk a week's worth of groceries back from the store.

The down-side, even for kids, was the back-ache of it all... literally!  I suffer from chronic pain and it was taxing me physically also. 

Enter the cart.

Yes, I mentioned it last week.  I fought it at first.  Locals had abandoned it and two others on the church property.  We confiscated this one from neighborhood kids who were using it as a battering-ram against the church doors!  My husband insisted we go 'bag-lady' style.  And I would be lying if I said I wasn't embarrassed at first... because I was.  As a matter of fact, I had Brenden push it that first day because I couldn't bring myself to.

Then, I was ashamed for my embarrassment.  The fact is, sometimes we have to do - what we have to do.  I recognized I needed to stuff pride, strap on humility, and open myself up to new experiences.  And what a world and so many new faces opened before my eyes when I did.

As the weeks passed and we continued to use the cart weekly (and all our backs thanked us for shifting the load of groceries and library books to the cart) I found more ease in this form of "transportation".  As a matter of fact, we passed others on the street equal to our age who were also pushing carts to carry their wears on errand day!  And it came in especially handy when we finally began running to the laundromat just around the corner.

Where we are now does not have such convenient proximity to our needs.  We are blessed with the use of cars and rides to obtain groceries and wash laundry.  But I will not soon forget our time in Arizona, living in the RV strapped to one spot and finding my humility pushing a shopping cart a mile + round-trip to accomplish errands and tasks I once took for granted behind the wheel of a car!  Sometimes I even miss that cart and the noisy street, cool sites and new faces!
 

Where are you fighting humility?  Where are you nervous to step out?  I think often of how much God opened me up to others when I finally submitted to pushing a grocery cart down the road in a big city.  The people I was able to talk to and try to reach out to all because of something so simple.  It is funny how the simple things have the biggest impact when we ourselves assume it takes the BIG things to make a difference!

I pray you are able to say no to pride today and embrace humility for the sake of Christ and the experiences and interactions He is calling you to!

Blessings,
 
  


 
 
 Also linking up with some of these