how to deal

In July, when Josh announced that he was ready to return to Texas for good, I knew that I was in for some emotionally hard times.  I had my dream in my grasp, and then it was suddenly threatened to be taken from me.

This experience was not my first.  It happened once before in 2001.  After attending a missionary training school in the Czech Republic, Josh and I returned home to begin pursuing full-time mission work in Ukraine.  After looking into it a bit more, Josh decided that the timing was not yet right for us to go do full-time work.  I was devastated…so much so that I allowed myself to listen to Satan’s lies about worthlessness and discontentment.  I didn’t have a career or a plan of what I was going to do.  I became bitter and angry towards my husband for taking away my dream.  I felt like a horrible person and hated myself, my marriage, and my situation in life to the point that I became suicidal.

So when Josh mentioned that he wanted to come back home to Texas this summer, after only 4 months in Ukraine, I remembered all that I had gone through 7 years before and knew there was only one thing for me to do if I was going to survive this 2nd heartbreak – run to the throne of God and allow him to carry me through this fire.

As Josh was contemplating the move, I drowned myself in scripture, worship, and prayer.  From those moments with my Lord, I received 2 very distinct and profound words:

1.  Proverbs 14:1 – The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her own hands. This verse has hit me harder than any other verse.  Through it I came to realize that no matter what decision Josh makes (at the time, whether to stay in Ukraine or return to Texas), success will ultimately be on MY shoulders.  If I want my “house” – my marriage, my relationship with God, my ministry – to stay strong and thriving, then it is completely, 100% my responsibility to see that it stays strong.  It is MY actions, MY words, and MY attitudes that will determine the outcome of any situation.  As the head of the household, Josh is to make the decisions that he sees best.  But it is my response to his decisions that make or break my “house”.

I really had two reactions to Josh’s decision to come home:  fight it with all my might to stay in Ukraine, or submit to his decision and return quietly.  Which one would build my house and which would tear it down?  I chose to quietly follow.

2.  No matter what I pray concerning the entire exodus back to Texas, I hear one phrase over and over again, “It’s going to be okay.”

And it has.

National Blogging Month – a little late

November is national blogging month, which means that bloggers are to try and post something everyday. I know, I know…I’m 14 days behind.  I almost didn’t do this, but I really need something to motivate me to write everyday; so I thought I would try to finish out the last 16 days with some writing.

It seems that the only thing I’ve really been posting are updates…I’ll go a week or two without saying anything, and then I’ll just write down what’s happened in my life.  My goal is not to just bore you with mundane everyday details of my life back here in Texas, unlike when I lived in Ukraine and mundane, everyday life wasn’t so boring.  But, now that i’m here you really don’t want to hear about my trip to the local grocery store because, well, you all have the same experiences.  I hope to get back to the place where my writings have some benefit…where I’ve learned a lesson or am questioning something or had a unique experience.

I’ve probably had a few of those experiences lately, but i haven’t really been contemplating them.  My life is so full of unanswered questions and foggy confusion that I’ve really just been focused on getting up in the mornings and making it through the day.  It’s not a deep depression where I’m struggling with my existence, it’s more that I have big life-altering decisions to make, and I don’t know what directions to choose. Over the next 16 days I’m sure you’ll hear more about what I’m facing.

I’m so thankful that I’m surrounded with amazing friends and a patient, supportive husband.  I really don’t know how I would be making it through without them to encourage me and keep me level headed.

(In)Credible News

I’m still thinking about this issue…informing you on it as well.

Abortion Survivor

I have seen Gianna Jessen on a CNN interview, but never really heard her speak.

Amanda, blogger of Following an Unknown Path, posted this 2-part speech that Gianna gave in Australia.  It’s a moving and inspiring video.  Together it’s about 15 minutes, well worth your time.  Further thoughts are posted after the videos.

I don’t usually go political on this blog, but I have to make a statement concerning abortion and this year’s Presidential elections.  Gianna mentioned that it wasn’t until 2002 that government placed a protection act on babies born alive who were meant to die through abortion.  The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act guarantees that every infant born alive enjoys full legal rights under federal law, regardless of his or her stage of development or whether the live birth occured during an abortion. As Ms. Jessen states, before this Act became effective, children who survived abortions were quickly killed through suffocation, strangulation, or simply ignored and left to die.

Do you know that Obama opposed the Born-Alive Infants protection Act?

And there’s more.  I found this statement from Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson: (emphasis mine)

But Obama’s record on abortion is extreme. He opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion — a practice a fellow Democrat, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once called “too close to infanticide.” Obama strongly criticized the Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth ban. In the Illinois state Senate, he opposed a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion. And now Obama has oddly claimed that he would not want his daughters to be “punished with a baby” because of a crisis pregnancy — hardly a welcoming attitude toward new life.

And if you don’t know the horrific, murderous practice of Partial-birth abortions, find out by clicking HERE. One form of abortion that’s not banned, but just as horrific is Dilation & Evacuation Abortions  Click HERE to see how these children are disposed of.

That’s right.  Obama supports murder.

Hey, Hey, Hey…What’s goin’ on?

1.  Adapting to working from home has not been easy.  The complete freedom with my time originally started with lots of rest, which morphed into a lack of motivation and laziness.  Sinful, I know.  I finally got tired of feeling unproductive, so I forced myself to start some kind of schedule.  It’s not yet finalized or perfected but I’m on my way.  The office work with SOS starts at 1:00 pm each day, which leaves my mornings for volunteer work, time with friends, housechores, and, ahem, sleeping in late.  Mondays are devoted to working at the Church, Wednesdays are spent at the Friendship House ( a local ministry that offers food, clothing, furniture, and financial help to the people in our community), and Fridays will be devoted to another ministry I’ve yet to choose.  Things are starting to look up.

2.  Some new friends of mine are personal trainers and run their own fitness boot camp.  And, although I don’t understand why anyone would pay to be tortured with yells of “give me 20 more pushups”, I’ve always wanted to try it.  So, I signed myself up.  I just finished workout #3 and let me just say, I feel like I’ve been tossed around inside the barrel of a cement truck.  Woo hoo!  Of course, I need something to help soothe the burning in my body…and the ice cream works perfectly….

3.  I love sunsets.  The golden skies keep me going as I do those 20 pushups in East Texas country.

4.  One of my biggest dreams growing up was to be on broadway.  Last weekend after attending “The Color Purple” at Fair Park I saw a woman sitting at a picnic table outside by the stage entrance door.  I went over and began talking to her.  Turns out, she is one of the lead dancers and backup singers for the play.  As I sat there and talked with her, I realized that in order to fulfill her dream, she has to continually give up on other parts of her life.  She’s been touring for 16 months now with no break.  Come Christmas, she will return home to Harlem and to her husband, who she has not seen in all these months.  Looking on my life now, would I be willing to forsake family to pursue a life dream?  absolutely not.  Do I still dream?  yes…and I’m the #1 broadway star in my shower.

Bahamafest

Bright blue skies hovered above the green fields of Clifford Park.  Scattered groups of vendors scurried to set up their products while DecembeRadio checked the stage’s sound.  My team and I strategized on the best plan for passing out 2000 school supplies and busied ourselves with setting up the safety barriers.

As I worked, I reflected on the week.  Satan had tried so hard to discourage us and distract us from what God was doing.  But despite our stolen items, assaults from homeless men, and car crashes, God, as always, proved Himself to be faithful and mighty.

This day of Evangelism explosion began with a few hitches – some last minute school cancellations, but after a few phone calls everything was set in place.  2000 people filed off the cruise ship, boarded their buses and arrived at their destination school.

Arriving at T.G. Glover Primary School, the group of 20 Americans that I lead and I heard a chorus of small voices from within the school:

I am a promise. I am a possibilty

I am a promise with a capital P

I am a great big bundle of Potentiality

And I am learnin’ to hear God’s voice

And I am tryin’ to make the right choice

I am a promise to be anything God wants to me to be.

My heart filled with joy listening to the children sing.  What an incredible message to hear…even as an adult I still need to be reminded of who I am with God in my life.  My next thought was, “Wow – this is a public school, and they’re learning the Word of God!”

Back at the festival later in the evening, I saw between 25,000 – 30,000 Bahamians come together for one purpose – to worship God.  Well, maybe some came for the free school supplies or just because it was a free concert – but no matter why they were there, they still heard the Gospel message and participated in worshiping our God.

(click on a picture to see a larger version)

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…

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