Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Precious...

As if it was not crazy enough that suddenly we were on the hunt for a new ministry and a new start, the trails have not ended. Illness, after illness...sinus infections and vomiting, poison ivy and hives. Places to be and people to see (because I feel guilty that I have to take the kids away from their friends so I can't say no to a play date) until a day comes when there is nothing planned and all I can do is sit in the house, just sitting...which is the only thing to do because it has been so crazy hot and humid here that it is just torture to go outside.

The internal turmoil has been extreme while I run from here to there without time to breathe or during the long days of sitting in the house with sick kids and a naughty puppy who just wishes he could go out and play (too hot for him too). I have been fighting the urge to retreat into my head over the last few weeks. To dream of a different time in my life or even a different life that is far less stressful and much more simple and offers satisfaction and fulfillment without pain and sacrifice. It has been a struggle but I have been fighting. The battle came to a peak today.

Tommy sent his resume to a church in Warrenton, OR. I am sure that to most of you that does not mean anything but to me it was the temptation to take my desires for the future and make them my hope. To me it means childhood dreams coming true. It means family reunions and a steady stream of visitors. It means my little precious daydreams, may actually become reality. At least that is the lie I am tempted to cling to because of Warrenton, OR.

Warrenton is a small community on the Oregon coast, just north of where I spent summer days digging in the sand, jumping in the frigid waves, riding bikes, hiking trails, reading Archie comics, playing in tide pools and picking buckets full of blackberries. It is close enough for family, all my family, to visit in a days drive or less. The church is less then a mile from the ocean and a house with beach access is not out of the question in that town.

I have been obsessing since I heard about it. Distracted. Planning and hoping. Exercising my own sovereignty over my life and planning and scheming in my head. I have had trouble sleeping because of it. Why? I am putting my hope in Warrenton, OR and not in Christ. I have refused to pray about the whole thing because I know if I pray about it then I will have to surrender my desire, my precious, to Christs will for me and I just don't want to give up this dream. I have been ignoring his prodding to trust Him, to surrender to Him. I have been pushing away the guilt about not being interested in the people of the community, just the houses. It has been miserable.

So this afternoon while trying to take a nap with another sick child, I tearfully gave in. With the words of Psalm 55 simmering in my heart and mind, "Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved" and Psalm 37 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Trusting the goodness of God as told in Jeremiah 29, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." I confessed my desires, my dreams, my fears, and the lies I was believing and slept.

It was short sleep. Kids coughing and little video games beeping away came floating down the stairs but the peace of God that comes from presenting my requests to God has taken over the fear and anxiety that the future will be too much for me to handle because of how disappointing it is. The cause for anxiety, that He is not good and so what He brings in the future will not be good, has been addressed (for now) and I am confident that the satisfaction in Christ, is enough and His goodness in carrying out His plan for my future will continue to bring Him glory in my life as I face it...trusting and hoping in Him (not my precious!)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Plot twist

I recently saw this on Pinterest. 

This could be handy for stress.
So here I go: "PLOT TWIST!"

At least that is how I feel. I know that God's Word says...
  •  Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Proverbs 16:09 -  The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
  •  Romans 8:28-29 - 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
  • Psalm 121:3, 7-8 -  He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.; The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and forevermore.
therefore, I know that my feelings are deceiving me because nothing in my life has gone wrong. It sure feels like a major plot twist and from my perspective here on the ground, it is a plot twist, but from God's sovereign perspective this is what is happening next. The next step in being "conformed to the image of his Son."

Our sojourn in Roanoke, Virginia is coming to an end. We came knowing that this was a temporary situation. I hoped that it would be different and we were able to stay a year longer then originally expected but now we must move on. 

I am sad. This goes without saying. Ministry is relationships and we have made some of the best relationships here. I have enjoyed so many things about living in Roanoke as well. Aside from the humidity, distance from family, and the lack of ability by drivers here to merge onto the highway this has been my favorite place to live. 

I am anxious. There is time to discover what God has next for us but we are still waiting for God to reveal it and there is a lot that needs to happen before we get from here to there. I have never been very good at being patient and I have made minimal improvement as God has grown me. The announcement was made on Sunday June 23 and Tommy left the next day for youth missions camp...all week! I have spent the time since that Sunday trying to keep busy, distracting myself with projects and baking trying not to gain too much weight and trying not to lock myself in the bathroom just to get away from the kids. 

I am tired. Grief and waiting is so tiring. Especially when you are a family of seven trying to figure out what you are feeling and how to handle it. There have been lots of headaches and early nights, praying for the strength and faith to get through this in a way that honors God!

I am excited. God is working and moving and taking us somewhere good. He has a plan and He is working that plan out and that is a good thing. One of the most encouraging things that has been said to me lately was, "somewhere there is someone, a church, praying for you...praying that God would send you." What a great thought! 

I am thankful. God is so good in His sovereignty. The verses that we have been memorizing with the kids these past few weeks are Philippians 4:6-7 "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It has been a great whenever someone asks how I am and my answer is "anxious" to have these verses remind me what to do with that anxiousness. I have been in constant prayer because of it. 

 I will keep you updated when there is anything to report. Tommy has sent in his application/resume to 8 different churches in Oregon, California, Colorado, Texas, Hawaii, and BC. Please pray with us that we would be encouraged to persevere as we are still here, patient as we wait for what is to come, and that we would glorify Him through the process.