Nassau & News

Wow, i can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since I last wrote…I’ve got to get better at this!

Tomorrow I leave for Nassau, Bahamas.  For nine days I’ll be basking in the beautiful Bahamian sun while spreading sharing my faith with the Bahamians.  Part of my assignment is to help facilitate and organize an evangelism explosion called Cruise with a Cause.  (check it out by clicking HERE).  Last year proved to be an amazing, life-changing experience as I saw 2000 people exit a cruise ship with one goal – to spread the love of Christ.  Through street evangelism, school programs, and a woman’s conference, thousands of people were reached with God’s Gospel.  At the end of the evening we sat back and enjoyed a free music festival where over 15,000 Bahamians came and heard our worship to our Lord.   SOS, the organization I am a missionary with, helps put on this event each year, and I’m excited to be a part of it again. You can check out some of the photos from last year’s trip by clicking on the “Bahamas 2007″ link in the right column of this page.

I will have internet access, so I will post often with updates and prayer requests.

In other news…

Today I cycled almost 30 miles around White Rock Lake.  Other than a few bouts of zapped energy, I pushed through and made it without a scratch or without passing out…which you might have read about several weeks ago.  If not, you can read that scary experience by clicking HERE.  I did have a small scare that included a large grass mower – the huge monster looking machines that are used only for wide areas.  The woman decided to do a U-turn on the path.  I didn’t see her as I was turning the corner, and with a water bottle in my hand I couldn’t brake.  Finally, I just threw the water bottle down on the path in order to slam the brakes, barely escaping what could’ve been a really nasty collision.  Note to self:  buy a camel pack.

And, I did see a squatting man go to the bathroom in a sewage drain next to the trail…definitely wish I hadn’t seen that!  But, when you gotta go, I guess you go…

Reflections on Psalm 139: 1-6

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Many people would freak out if someone was watching & scrutinizing their every thought, action, and word.  It portrays a creepy stalker who lurks around, breaking all bounds of privacy, but I have different picture; an image of a young boy enamored by a creature behind a glass cage.  As the creature moves, the boy presses his nose against the glass in awe-struck wonder.  He listens closely for sounds and analyzes every movement.  The boy loves the creature and desires to know everything there is to know about it.  It’s with that love and awe that God watches us – but His love is deeper & he already understands all, for He created us with the utmost thought and care.

God has joy in watching us grow & delights in our lives, but he is not an inactive observer.  He guides and protects, as the verses reveal.  Hedge means to completely enclose or surround.  As I read this, I imagine a perfect protective shield surrounding me, an impenetrable barrier made of diamonds – the strongest stone, beautiful & priceless to match the true jewel of worth that it protects.  A glorious light shimmers off these walls as a warning that I, a Child of God, cannot be touched.  But, the most important protection, that which guards my head, is God’s own hand.  It hovers above me, guarding my thoughts, my eyes, my ears.    And each time I see his Hand, I am reminded that it was He who created me into the person that I am today.  It is He who guides me, teaches me, molds me.  It is He who has called me wonderful, even when I cannot see it for myself.


working from home

On Monday, i began my work-from-home job, which I label as “administration & communications” for my Missions organization, Sons of Salvation.  I consider myself still as a full-time missionary, but now, instead of working on the field in a foreign country, I minister behind the scenes doing office stuff, like answering phones (although, besides my director, i’ve only received three phone calls all week – and none wanted to talk to me).  The best tasks so far have been all the travel research – booking flights and planning excursions.  I love, love, love to travel and experience the world, so even if I can’t go to places like Namibia, Africa or Washington D.C. at least I can dream about it while i plan the trips for others.   Hmm…since traveling to lead groups is part of my job responsibilities, maybe I can convince my director that he needs me on these trips.

I’ve been excited about this job.  But it definitely has its ups and downs.

Up:  There is nothing like rolling out of bed at 8:30 and still being on time for a job that starts at 9:00.  Plus, i can work in lounge pants and tank tops while walking around barefoot.

Down:  Lounging around in such comfortable clothing also makes me a little lazy.

Up:  I can get tons of work done – cleaning, laundry, bills, etc.

Down:  I have so much down time procastination becomes all too easy.

Up:  My hours are flexible.  If I need to run errands, I just shoot headquarters an email and then go.  I take lunch when I want, and for however long I want.  If I accidentally oversleep, no problem.

Down:  When I don’t have a set schedule, it’s easy for me to lose focus.

I’ve read many articles that say to treat work-from-home jobs like any normal job:  wake up early and do all your morning routines as if you worked out of the home, set up an office, and give yourself a schedule.  I think I’ll try this…next week ;)

Love letter

Josh surprised me with a love letter today.  Before we were married, and early into our marriage, I received love letters all the time.  Lately, they’ve been only given in the inside page of birthday or anniversary cards.

I told him I was going to write the whole thing for you…but it’s too special to do that.  I will give you a taste though…

It’s difficult to put my love into words, but you captured my heart a long time ago and still do.

He continues with 2 pages of putting his love into words…poetry, really.

Yes, my husband is amazing.

The dreaded question

Josh posted about something we are currently dealing with.  You can read it by clicking HERE.

When Josh and I first were married, we often heard the question, “when are you having children?” I usually responded with a smile, “oh, not for a while.”  As the years passed, my answer changed to, “whenever God sees best.”  Although that is still my same answer, not many people ask the question anymore.   Most of the time, when new friends or acquaintences ask the dreaded question and hear my response, they are polite and respectful of my answer and then move on to other subjects.  I’ve found that that phrase fits best and is the absolute truth; no one can question or debate it.

A little over a week ago I met a woman who responded as no one has ever responded before.  She brought up feelings that I’ve not experienced before and left me irritated for days, and even now I get a bit emotional over the whole thing.  Our conversation went something like this:

“How long have you been married?” she asked.

“8 years.”

“Do you have children?”

great.  she asked the dreaded question. “No, we don’t.”

“When do you think you’ll want to start?”

Stick with ole faithful. “When God sees best.”

“Oh, huh.  Well, so-and-so got married the same year you did and they waited a long time to have kids – about 6 years.”

She kept babbling on about different couples who had waited a “long” time to have children.  Long, to her, seemed to begin at about 4 years after marriage.  Most of what she said after that is now a blur because I was so frustrated.  She did not come straight out and blast me for not having kids, but her tone and her stories made me feel as if I was a failure because I didn’t have children yet.  Or that I was a bad woman because I was not yet a mother. All I could do was just sit there and pretend to be interested in her stories of women who waited, or didn’t wait but couldn’t get pregnant.

I know I shouldn’t let her get to me, but it infuriates me that she would sit there in judgement of me because I don’t have children.  She doesn’t know me.  She knows nothing of who I am or things I’ve gone through.  She didn’t know whether I’ve chosen to wait to have kids or if there is a medical issue. Either way it doesn’t matter…I just don’t get how someone can be so insensitive.  I’m sure she was just trying to make conversation and that conisted of hashing out stories of people she’s known.

The weirdest thing for me has been my emotional reaction to it.  I’m usually one who is not effected by inconsiderate remarks, especially if the speaker is not fully knowledgable.  I know my negative feelings toward this woman do nothing but make me more frustrated…she’s not affected in the least.

So, now that I’ve shared…I know what I have to do…forgive her and just move on.

Couch thoughts

Have you ever been in that place where the couch feels like the most comfortable place in the world?  Where nothing sounds more appealing than cuddling up all day against the sofa’s arm rest surrounded by everything you need – snacks, tv remote, laptop, and magazines?  That’s how I’ve felt for the last few days.  Of course, it didn’t turn out that way; i still had to take care of everyday things like laundry, cooking, and grocery shopping, but most of my free time has me folded up on my big, blue comfy couch.

I don’t really need the rest.  All i’ve had is time to relax.  But this abundance of relaxing “down” time has resulted in boredom and an unmotivational attitude.  I hate being apathetic.  I’m not an apathetic person (except with politics, and during my Senior year, my HS choir teacher once called me apathetic towards singing – yeah, whatever).  However, I am unmotivated at the moment.

The weather tonight was perfect for cycling, but I watched a movie instead.  There’s a stack of new books by my bed that I want to read, but I’d rather do something that requires a little less concentration.  I’ve started eating unhealthy after really making an effort not to, but the cake called my name and now I feel sick to my stomach.

Yet, the one area that I hate being unmotivated the most in is with the basic Spiritual disciplines – reading and meditating on the Scriptures, praying, worshiping.  I admit that I’m not doing them like I should.  In no way am I pulling back from my Lord, but I’m in a dry spell.  I”m still passionate about following Him, but I’m struggling to open my Bible. My return back to Texas has still left me with many confusing thoughts and unanswered questions.  Even if i never fully understand this situation, It’s in his presence that I’m going to find true peace.  That’s why I KNOW i need to push through; to persevere until these things can be worked out in me even if I don’t feel like doing it.

I need to think practically, also.  To make a plan and stick to it.  When I worked outside of the home, I made sure to give myself at least 30 minutes to read the Word and pray.  Every morning, during my breakfast I would meditate on Scripture.  By the time I finished eating and reading, I still had time to pray.  Since my days started out this way, I was able to meditate on the Scriptures for the rest of my day, worshiping him through those verses or allowing Him to mold me.  Now my days start with sleeping in, checking my emails, maybe eat breakfast depending on the time,  jumping into all my chores or errands because I slept late, and then ‘relaxing’ on the sofa.  And, honestly, it doesn’t help that Josh is here…he’s a distraction (in a good way), but his presence makes it more difficult for me to go before my Lord uninhibited like I used to do.  I’m not putting the blame on him, and it’s probably a lame excuse, but it’s a factor in my mindset.

The awesome thing about God is that He’s always there.  When I finally decide to get up off the couch and start afresh, He’ll graciously draw me right back into Him.

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