Saturday, November 8, 2014

Living Life Together

In a recent conversation I was reminded that our girls are pretty awesome! It's encouraging to me to see how they've matured into their own right and become women young women that other people see and respect. Another woman made a comment in hopes that her girls could spend time with my girls, to perhaps allow them to have some effect on them. I think about raising my girls often and so I gave her my little bits of wisdom... so I thought I'd share with you.

Of note, the primary thing that we've done with the girls which was possibly unique (to our culture) is  basically what I would call living life together.  If we are involved in something like serving or visiting somewhere or helping somebody we bring our girls with us. Our girls are part of the family so they're part of what we're doing.  I know a lot of people who are in ministry whose ministry is separate from their children,… I don't quite know if I could've done that. I didn't do it and I and I never wanted to... In fact, I was confronted at one point by the fact that the kids were working with me in a ministry that I was doing as their presence was a potential distraction for someone else. So rather than find a sitter or some other resource for them I simply stopped participating in that ministry. Jake does things independently of us, and I will go to meetings by myself, but in those ways that it is possible, we serve together as a family.

Having a brother in prison, it would be very easy to keep the girls sheltered from that world, but we chose not to; they have been in maximum security settings right along with me. It would have been easy not to follow the Lord into short term missions, especially to third world countries, but we live in peace not fear, and so we have all gone. Living in a small town, it would be easy to shelter the kids from a lot of things. But, as I've mentioned in years past, we chose to intentionally visit the city of Portland so that they could learn such things as "how to cross a street" and "how to walk on a sidewalk" and "how not to be a rude jerk when you see someone different than yourself." We've gone to different churches, visited different types of people, and heard different stories - all the while living life together.

There's a passage in the Old Testament that I've kept in mind; I should probably just tattoo it on myself because I love it so much and I'm looking forward to a new tattoo:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."  Deuteronomy 6:4-99

I've always loved this passage because it is exactly how Jesus taught his disciples; he had them with him and did ministry with them, he taught them as they went and he shared with them as they went. He didn't just speak. In the living of life he taught them the way to live. It's a beautiful picture of the family!

(this passage is actually what prompted the idea for my tattoo on my wrist as a reminder not to concern myself with the things of this world but rather with pursuing the Lord -- Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26)

I'm a repetitive being, but as I look at my girls preparing for adulthood, I am really thankful that I was able to live life with them fully.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Haiti - Final Countdown!

The first half of our team leaves today, and Rachel and I leave in just seven short days! Time has just flown by yet we are truly feeling prepared and at peace to go :)

Thanks to the Lord for his incredible provision! At this time we are over half funded, and Rachel has a couple prepaid babysitting jobs to do when she is back. We were able to get our immunizations and anti-malaria prescriptions last weekend, thanks to a great local nurse who provides affordable missions travel vaccines at the Good News Clinic in Rockwood.

The team has a blog! I'm the blogger while we are in Jacmel, but there will be updates from the team heading to Carrefour as well, if you are curious:

Ways to pray NOW:
Rachel is wrapping up drivers ed in the days to come. She has to take her finals early due to our trip, so please keep her in your prayers Wednesday and Thursday evening from 5-8pm. (her sister Emily will be doing the presentation portion of their final alone on Monday the 17th, and as long as that goes well, and Rachel passes her other finals, she will have passed drives ed!) Rachel also has classes to prepare to miss the week we are out, which  means the pressure really is on her!

I have found the Lord to be quite a teacher to me in these past weeks; learning much about dependence and trust in Him through car troubles and physical challenges. I am suffering from increased numbness in my right arm due to disc compression in my neck - it had been almost completely alleviated through massage/pt/chiro, but has returned with a vengeance. I saw a neurosurgeon and we are awaiting a new MRI to see what we are dealing with. I have confidence that this will not cause any issues in Haiti; it seems to be an issue primarily when sitting (at a desk or in my car) and in Haiti we will be doing everything but sit! You can pray that Providence (my insurance provider) will have mercy and grant me a second MRI this year! Other than that, I'm able to adjust myself as needed to keep the muscle spasms at bay, and I'm practicing the things I've learned through physical therapy. Work is going well and I believe everything will be just fine in my absence. At home, the rest of our family is prepared to take care of things (it does help to have three teenagers and a willing husband, along with a terrific extended family and friends!) My brother (Nick) is at peace about our trip (he is an inmate at CRCI) and we will be spending time with my mom Ellen this weekend (she turns 60 while we are gone!)

We have some last minute things to pickup and anti-malaria meds to take on Sunday, but otherwise, we are just readying our hearts and minds for the ways the Lord will use us specifically while we are in Haiti. May we be so available to His service home and away,