Absence

 

I haven’t written a post here for months.  Not because I haven’t had inspiration.  No, I’ve had lots of that, but I felt a caution from the Lord about writing each time inspiration struck because often the inspiration for sharing here would have come out as frustration, anger, confusion, and negativity. I’ve started to write and then deleted the entry multiple times because I don’t want this to be a place to vent.  I don’t want it to be a place to ‘air dirty laundry’.  I want it to be a place where those of you who read it can gain some insight into our hearts and lives *and* be encouraged in your own life if that would be possible.

We have been asked so many times what life is like here.  How is it different?  What does our day to day look like?  In many ways it is very different.  Everything looks very different.  People live behind bars and walls with broken glass and nails on top, or high fences with razor wire.  The places to buy things here are highly specialized.  If you need glass for a window or a picture frame, you go to the glass store.  If you need a trash can or tupperware(ish) items, you go to the plastic store.  There are hundreds of people on the roads.  I’ve never experienced so much foot traffic in my life. And animals, gracious at the animals everywhere.  It can be overwhelming sometimes, but I’m growing accustomed to it.   Car traffic is crazy.  I am convinced that the taxi drivers and motorcyclists all have death wishes.  Driving here is sort of like a game of pinball, it seems completely chaotic but after awhile you realize that there is order, it is just not the kind I’m used to in the U.S.  There is trash everywhere.  I. Mean. EVERYWHERE.  There are no “Keep Honduras Beautiful” brigades out picking up trash on the sides of the roads.  If you are eating or drinking, when you are done you just toss your trash down where you stand and keep walking.  That is hard to get used to and we are working hard to make sure the children don’t pick up that habit.  Electricity is mostly functional, but it goes out from time to time.  They have scheduled ‘black out days’ here where the electricity is out for the entire day and unless you listen to the local radio you never know when that will be. Sometimes it just randomly goes out for a couple of hours or 30 minutes.  It has been interesting to see that when the lights flicker, it just isn’t that big of a deal to us anymore.  It just is how it is.

There are definitely differences but what has most struck me, is what is the same.

While the peripherals have changed, at the heart of everything, life here is exactly the same as it always has been for us.  We are daily in need of reminding ourselves of our identity.  We are children of the Most High God dearly loved and bought at a very high price. That may not sound all encompassing, but it is.  Life is life and it doesn’t matter where you live it, the point is the same.  To honor and glorify God and to know that (if you are a Christian) your identity is in Christ.  Your identity isn’t in how well you do this or that, or what your specific giftings are.  It isn’t in your paycheck.  It isn’t in what someone else says it is. It isn’t in your family ancestry.  It isn’t in your nationality or your patriotism.  It isn’t on your voter registration card.  Your identity isn’t in your marital status or whether or not you have children, it is in Christ.  When you know that, none of the other stuff has as much power to throw you off course.  It is solid and unchanging, and it is life and perspective altering.  Knowing where your identity lies is so freeing.  Everything can be changed and you are still secure in Him.

So, that is where we are now.  So much *has changed, but everything has stayed the same.

Below are some fun photos.

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4 months in

It has been awhile since I’ve updated here.   It isn’t for lack of things to talk about.  We hit the ground running on May 26th and today it is October 5th!  We’ve been living here in Honduras for 4 months now and we are already forever changed.

We started language school in mid-June and it has been a ride!  We are learning steadily how to communicate with the people here and the more we are able to talk to people, the more we are able to build relationships and start to integrate into the society here.  We are humbled and honored at the incredible opportunity we have here to learn a whole new language.  It is very difficult to balance learning with maintaining our family as well as other demands on our time here.  I have a new found respect for all you parents who have families that also go to school full time!  God gives grace though, and we are praying that He will give us a supernatural ability to learn while we have this opportunity.  We had our first review since starting a few days ago and Jacob is at the “intermediate low” level and I am at “Beginner advanced high” level. We still have so much to learn, but honestly to see any progress at all is very encouraging!

The girls are also in language school 2 days a week and are learning so quickly!  The little boys don’t go because they aren’t quite old enough yet but even they are beginning to speak some Spanish.  What a cool thing to witness.  I was able to video a little of Gwyneth interviewing someone in Spanish.  The sound quality is poor, but hopefully you will be able to hear a little of her vocabulary.

The girls pronunciation is incredible.  They don’t struggle the way Jake and I do with getting our mouths and tongues to behave properly enough to form the new sounds.  We are slightly jealous of this…  😉  We love the girls’ teacher, Yaraley.  She is so good with them and is very patient.  Last week, the girls learned how to make tortillas too.  I was able to snap a shot of Eva practicing her newly acquired skill in our kitchen over the weekend.

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Yaraley with the girls

We have been able to experience some fun cultural things here in our short time thus far.  One morning at 5am we were awakened by what we thought was a very loud radio just outside our window.  When it kept playing, I got up to look out of the window to see who on earth was playing such loud music that early in the morning to discover a mariachi band serenading the young lady who lived in the apartment below us!  It was a fun way to start the day, even if it was a little early for my taste.  🙂  That is normal here.  On peoples birthdays or other special occasions, it is typical for loved ones to hire mariachi bands and to explode fireworks outside their windows sometimes as early as 4:00 in the morning!  I was fortunate to get this particular incidence on video. (it is poor quality, sorry… It WAS 5am and I just woke from a dead sleep)

We also experienced what is called “El diá del niño”, which we affectionately refer to as “The day of the niño”.  It is the day that children are celebrated.  It is bigger than birthdays or Christmas as far as gift giving and parties for the kiddos is concerned. It is a day when fun and sugar freely flow all. day. long.  We attended a party at the HOPE coffee shop.  There was a jumpy castle, face painting, burned cotton candy, and free popcorn.  The kids had a good time, and I had a minor anxiety attack. (Things tend to be …chaotic… here)  All in all it was a good time. 
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We recently had a team retreat here with the other members of our missions team and one of the activities was the climbing wall where we all got to practice our Spidey skills.  It was fun.  Jake made it to the top, (of course) and so did Eva!  All the rest of us gave it our best shot.  In the end our faces were smiling, our hearts were happy, and our arms were rubber bands.

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In other news, we have a dog.  Her name is Schnazzy and she is a sweetheart.  We received her from another missionary family who had to leave the country and couldn’t take her with them.  We love her!  She is full of spunk and personality and she fits our family so well.  I will leave you all with a photo of her!

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So, in a nutshell, this is a little of what our life has looked like over the past 4 months.  We’ve also been fortunate to be able to do some very unexpected but very welcome ministry type things and I will share those in the next few days.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

I was talking with one of my daughters recently. She had asked me a very grown up question.

“Mom, how do I get thoughts (about romance) that are too old for me out of my head?”

I was faced suddenly with a teachable moment. It was unexpected and it was imperative that I answered wisely. In answering, I knew that I would be beginning to shape the way my daughter sees life, love, romance, Christ, and the Gospel. Through no qualification of my own, God graced me with the wisdom to see through her question to the deeper issue at hand. She longs. She is beginning to feel a deep seated desire for love, acceptance, and a constant companion. For a sweet relationship that will satisfy the deepest longings of her heart.

“Is it normal?” She asked. “Yes, sweetie it is normal and it was designed by God.”

It is normal isn’t it, don’t we all feel that way? Don’t we all long at the core of our beings for something that will satisfy us. I do. I do

It’s on purpose that we all have that emptiness, and it is an emptiness that will eat away at us our entire lives until we find the satisfaction that we crave. We will try to fill it with marriage; ‘Once I find a husband/wife, THEN I will be satisfied’, We will try to fill it with children; ‘Once I no longer struggle with infertility, THEN I will be happy’, We will try to fill it with ministry; ‘When I serve enough in the church or win enough souls or (fill in the blank), THEN I will be fulfilled.’ We will try to fill the emptiness with less reputable idols too (because, given total control over the state of our hearts ALL things really are idols, aren’t they?) Idols like pornography, fear, prescription and nonprescription drug use, worry, alcohol abuse, anger and rage, self-righteousness, pride, and even bitterness. We will try to fill our longings, the ones given to us by God, with all sorts of things.

None of them will satisfy us. Not even the ones that are praiseworthy.

They will all leave us feeling emptier than when we started and onto the next disappointing fix. The only satisfaction that is lasting is in Christ. He made the longing and His desire is to fill it for us. He really is a giver of good gifts. He is the maker of romance. Can’t He woo us better than any other? He is the designer of the family. Isn’t He able to enlarge our tents and provide a heritage in any way He chooses? He is the creator of great sex. Shouldn’t we think He probably knows the best way for it to enrich our lives?

There is a satisfaction that will never disappoint us. Once we are filled with the life-giving Spirit of God we will never be empty. And God isn’t a begrudging giver! He doesn’t give us just enough to fill us, He gives and gives and keeps on giving until we are overflowing with His good and perfect gifts so that others will benefit from them also and be drawn into His presence so that they too, can be filled.

What is your longing?

“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” John 4:13-15

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Tis the season?

We have made it a whole week in Honduras!  Woohoo!

We arrived safely in Honduras on May 26th after a long but relatively uneventful travel day.  We didn’t lose any of the children in the Atlanta airport (yay us!), no one was injured or maimed (seriously anyhow) and we got to meet our team the same day, they’re awesome, and they like us! (Or they’ve missed their true calling on the big screen)

Lots of things are the same here as in the States and lots of things are different.  One thing that is the same is that they have flying insects by the thousands that infiltrate homes during certain times of the year.  In Florida, we have “love bug” season.  Here and now, it seems to be termites.  So that’s a little different.  🙂

If anyone is familiar with love bug season, you know that those little buggers will fly all up in your grill without breaking a sweat.  And, it isn’t all that gross really.  I mean, they are annoying but they’re LOVE bugs for crying out loud.  What a sweet little name!  Obviously they are harmless, so you just gently shoo them away with a gentle brush of your hand, or swoosh in the air at them and waft them into a different direction. Termites on the other hand… ahem…

They can devour an entire wooden structure and bring it to its knees.  That antique wooden armoire that you love?  Breakfast.  Your great-grandmothers table that has been passed down through generations?  The one that your Grandma ate supper at growing up and that your Mom learned how to bake your favorite sugar cookies at?  Second breakfast.  Don’t even ask about elevensies.  (Are you shaking yet?)

Yeah so THESE little guys are ferocious flying woodeaters!  And right now, they are EVERYWHERE!  And they are cunning.  For real.  They have these big long fluttery wings that carry them to their intended target.  Then they lose the wings and continue on their dastardly course by foot.  And let me tell you, they can really book it.  I think they may be distantly related to cats somehow, because they seem to have at least 9 lives.    Like earlier when I had several crawling on me it took about 10 swats just to get them off of me much less kill them.  And while the kids were in the shower and they had termites crawling on them, trying to drown them was a joke.  I understand now why all of the homes and buildings are made of concrete and rebar here rather than wooden frames.

Now to figure out how to sleep without these guys crawling in my ear at 3am.

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Bittersweet

We are entering the last week of our 6 week stint here at CIT in Union Mills, NC.  I am feeling “at capacity” as far as information input goes and am looking forward to completing this step of the process in our long list of things to be done before we can leave for Honduras.  The quality of education here is so much more than I expected, even the kids program.  We have all been prepared well, I feel.  The information is stellar, and it challenges not only the intellect, but the heart.  It invites us to go deeper than we ever imagined into culture and the heart of Christ and there is no doubt in my mind that we have all been well equipped not just for ministry anywhere in the world, but also for our lives with Jesus.  It will be good to move forward into the next step that God has for us on this journey.

I am also dreading next Friday, when classes end.  I have been with a handful of these people for 6 solid weeks and have grown to love them.  Actually…  For 4 weeks, I’ve been with others and love them too.  Actually…  I am dreading saying goodbye to some of the most amazing, mature, kind, God honoring, and courageous people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.  I am not looking forward to leaving knowing that I will most likely never see these precious friends again for the rest of my life here on earth.  It may seem strange to think that I could bond so deeply with people I have only briefly been with, but this has been community like I’ve only known with the oldest of friends before, and the depth of openness and relationship has been a beautiful picture of what God must want all of His children to live daily.  There are so many things shared with these amazing individuals that have never even had to be uttered.  We all just understand each other, and it has been very safe and very sweet.  Some of these friends will stay here in Union Mills, NC and continue on with CIT sharing their wisdom and hearts with others who come through, and some of will be leaving in days or weeks to go multiple nations around the planet to bring with them the most precious thing in existence (the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) to those who most desperately need it.  Many will go into nations where it is a danger to share the love of Christ, and they go boldly and full of joy.  I am humbled and in awe.

Its cheesy to say, but a part of me stays and goes with them.  I will pray for them and remember them and their kids. I will hopefully be able to keep up with them through email and newsletter, maybe Facebook if it is safe enough and even if I never see them face to face again this side of eternity, I will look forward to rejoicing with them in heaven and praising our God together again at that time.

My heart is full and I am honored to have had this most precious opportunity.

K.I.T.

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Man, tons has happened since my last post here.  I mean, it was 8 months ago.  Ahem… Sorry about that.  There have been many things that I could have written about but for whatever reason I haven’t felt like it was very high up on my list of things to do and so it just never happened.  Most of you get either our print or email newsletter or both, so I won’t go back 8 months and catch you up.  If you’d like to be caught up, feel free to comment here and I can make that happen for you.  Otherwise, I’ll just start with two weeks ago.

We arrived at CIT in Union Mills, North Carolina in early January and began our cultural integration training here which consists of 2 weeks of Language Acquisition during which we learned skills that will help us learn our target language (Spanish) as well as so much more about how language and culture mesh together than we could have ever imagined.  The next 4 weeks (which started today) we will be delving into the Equipping portion of our time here and tackling topics like spiritual warfare, sexual purity, transitioning, “third culture kids” (missionary kids), and other fun stuff like that… It’s actually pretty heavy stuff.

I’ve wept most days since we arrived two weeks ago.  In fact, on the third day I flat out hit the wall.  It was baaaad, y’all.  Have you ever seen the movie with Eddie Murphy, Bowfinger?  (I’m not saying you should, I can’t remember if it has bad stuff in it because I saw it so many years ago) Anyway, in the movie **spoiler alert** the character played by Eddie Murphy is being chased by this guy who is filming a movie about aliens with him as the star, only he doesn’t know he is in the movie and all these strange things are happening and he begins to think he is going crazy.  He keeps saying “Keep it together”, “Keep it together”, “Keep it together”, “K.I.T.”, “Keep it together”.  Yeah, that was me sans the aliens.  I kept saying that in my head all morning long and it just. wasn’t. working.  *I* know I’m crazy but I didn’t particularly want all the new people around me to be let in on it just yet, and ugly crying during every session of class might just tip them off.  After lunch, in the precious few minutes before we had to drop the children off in their respective classes, I collapsed on the floor of our apartment in a heap of sobs and tears.  That was the third day…  K.I.T.

I guess it was a breaking point of sorts for me.  There have been a lot of thoughts and emotions and experiences over the past almost two years that we’ve been pursuing moving to Honduras that I haven’t been able to properly express and being around people who have been experiencing the same struggles and joys kind of just pushed the tears up and over the edge for me.  I didn’t have to be strong or positive or anything I wasn’t.  And I didn’t have to explain what I was feeling because all the others here have been feeling exactly the same things.  In a way it was a great relief for me and the pressure built up over the past two years just spilled out onto the apartment floor.  Jake, wise husband that he is, just sat in silence next to me on the bed and rubbed my back as I did not K.I.T.  So, I had a good cry and was able to sob out a quick but very genuine prayer to God for strength and then went back to class.  I didn’t cry for the rest of the day.  🙂

That hasn’t been the end of the tears though…  At the end of the two week class on Language, some of the people who were with us and were not taking the Equipping portion left.  It was heart wrenching for me.  I grieved the loss of potential relationships with these amazing people whom I had just spent two weeks with in community.  Talk about a basket case… And then there are the people we’ve connected with that didn’t leave, that we love and our kids love too.  And we will have to say goodbye to them in 3 weeks and 6 days.  Maybe never to see them again this side of eternity.  I’m tearing up now writing the words, and thats barely scratching the surface.  This speaks nothing of leaving family, some of whom I may or may not ever see again, or taking our children away from their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  It doesn’t speak to the friendships. Deep, close, precious relationships that are many years long that have been and will be affected by this path our family is on.  We talked today in class about transitioning and what that can look and feel like, and I wept.  Saying goodbye is hard and it will be hard and it will hurt, and we will all say it over and over and over again.  Our kids will grow up saying goodbye too.  That’s hard.  There, I’ve said it… This. Is. Hard.  Its hard not having words for those dearest to me to explain what life is like these days or how I’m feeling and why I’m not around and why I don’t text or call as often as I used to.  It isn’t that they aren’t loved, cherished, or thought about on a daily basis, it’s just that this is transition for our family.  We are moving out of one thing and into another and change has fallout, and that’s hard.  For everyone we touch, not just us.

Lest this become too much of a downer, let me say that we are also SO excited about all that God has in store.  We are honored and humbled that we get to do what we are going to do.  We are honored to share in some of the same sufferings that Jesus experienced and to do it in order to make His name great and to share the hope of His gospel with the Honduran people.  What an amazing privilege, one that we are not worthy of.  And we are hopeful too!  We are so very full of hope for the future.  It’s just all a jumble for now I guess.  A blend of hopeful happy hurt.

I’m going to try really hard to update more often here now that momentum seems to be building.  In the meantime, K.I.T.

Starving Myself

I was cooking lunch for myself yesterday afternoon.  I had already prepared the children’s food and they were happily munching away at the dining room table.  As I was dicing onion and shredding cabbage to add to the cast iron pan, it suddenly occurred to me that I. Was. Famished….  The “hangry” kind of famished.  The kind that induces sharp tongues and angry eyes and inevitably wounds little hearts and breaks fellowship with those dearest to me.  The fridge and cupboards had been low on supplies for about a week and although I had *just* been to the grocery store the previous day, I was still operating as though everything needed to be rationed and thus not really eating enough to keep my mind and body running properly.  

Adding the ground beef, sesame oil, and rice vinegar to the mixture I considered my current “hangry” state and began to dissect the why’s and how’s of it and quickly realized that it was self-induced.  Unintentional, but none-the-less my own doing.  And that’s when He spoke.  Clear as a bell, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said “Why do you starve yourself of my Spirit?”  Why?  Why indeed!  There is a table prepared for me by God Himself, laden with the richest and most lavish fare in all eternity and I operate in a near starved state most of the time.  Rationing, I run on fumes when I could be fueled by a fire burning hotter than flame, producing life.  LIFE.  Living, breathing, laughing, joyous, intense, God honoring LIFE. 

Our world has a way about it.  A way of siphoning the life right out of it.  As a child of God, though, I am not a slave anymore to this worlds antics.  I have been bought with a price and redeemed.  I have been made *new*. I have been raised with Christ. 

*That* is truth that translates.  It moves flawlessly from the page of scripture into my life as wife, momma, disciple.  Or, at least it is meant to. But the demands of life are really great at causing spiritual amnesia.  How easily I forget that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus and fall back into the world’s trap.  Busyness.  Worry.  Irritability.  It is then that I don’t commune.  I stop feasting on His lavish provision.  I start rationing.  I spend more and more of myself trying to keep up with the demands that are relentless and important and less and less of myself on Him, and it is a spiral headed downward into defeat and despair.  

So, it’s all there and it is ours for the asking.  The table is laid ready and I’m going to feast.  Are you? 

Why Honduras?

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We’ve been asked several times why we have chosen Honduras to live and minister in.  The answer is that it sort of feels like Honduras has chosen us, or more rightly, God has chosen for us.  That is the short answer anyway.  The long answer is this:

Back in 2008, Jacob was made aware of an opportunity to go on a 10 day mission trip to a little town in Honduras called Campamento. (I was not able to go because I had just given birth to our 2nd born 8 weeks prior) The year before, a bridge was begun there and it was scheduled to be finished up by a team of short-term missionaries. The people in that area had to cross a river on foot in order to go between communities for trade and church.  It wasn’t that big of a deal during the dry seasons, but when the rainy season came it would become much more difficult and perilous to cross and the foot bridge was built as a way to serve the people by meeting a real need while at the same time opening a door to share the love of Jesus in a very practical way.

I remember that we had received a rather large tax refund that year and had saved up to put central heat and air in our 66 year old home.  We live in Florida, and our home stays hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  Anyway, we had all the money we needed to run duct work and get a unit,  we even had a quote from a local company.  We thought it was going to be a cool summer and warm winter that year inside out little house.  We were wrong.

When the opportunity came up for Jacob to go to Honduras, we were faced with a choice.  A. Use the tax money to pay for the trip for him to go serve the poor and share the gospel.  Or B. Proceed with our plan to put central heating and air in our house.  After praying about it we both felt like the right choice was for him to go and so we bought the ticket and he boarded the plane.

It was rough on me the 10 days he was gone.  He was out in the middle of nowhere and I had very little contact with him. I was worried and I had a newborn and a 2 year old all alone and my 2 year old missed him terribly and was pretty grouchy because of it.  (As a side note, I have the highest admiration for women whose husbands are deployed for long periods of time and for single mommas.  If you fall into either of those categories, you sweet woman, are cut from a very STRONG piece of cloth.)  While there, Jake worked on the bridge, helped to put concrete floors in mud houses, helped to put on strong roofs that would keep rain out, and met some incredible people that changed his heart and mind down to his core.  He calls the experience ‘life altering’ and ‘paradigm shifting’.  Life altering, indeed.

Over the course of several years we would make crazy talk, like we like to do sometimes, about selling everything and buying a used RV so we could pack up all the kids and travel the US; or selling everything and moving to Alaska or Wyoming; or selling everything and moving to Honduras. But we just kept on working, growing babies, and living our life not ever really making a move but desperately desiring change.  Then in 2011, we got a phone call from our friend, Jennifer, who was looking for a place for the missionary family that Jacob served with in Honduras in 2008 to stay, while they were visiting Florida.  We were kind of a last ditch effort for our friend, who had asked literally everyone she knew and just couldn’t come up with anyplace for this family of 5 to stay.  We were happy to be able to serve them, even though we didn’t really know them all that well, and offered our home to them if they could handle the company of us and our 3 littles.

It was such a pleasant visit and we knew when they left that we had made friends.  We asked them all about life in Honduras and what they were doing there.  We learned all about Camino Global, the mission organization they were with. It all seemed so awesome.  For them.  🙂  We had no aspirations to be missionaries and I’d like to add that they didn’t try to sell us on it either, but we were greatly encouraged by their company and by getting an idea of what God was doing in Honduras and worldwide.  We were also pricked with that familiar discontentment with the status quo that we had become so used to feeling over the years.

Roughly one year later, we decided to do something.  We were going to close our business and Jacob was going to go to school to be a gunsmith. He applied, tested, and was accepted and was put on a 2 year waiting list for enrollment. We set a move date to Troy, North Carolina for October 2013, that would put us in the state long enough before school started for him to get in-state tuition.  We weren’t sure how we were going to eat or live, but we were just going to go for it.  We were looking at houses to purchase that came with at least a 5 acre parcel of land.  Remember all that crazy talk I mentioned earlier?  Well there has been a common thread in all of the ideas we’ve had, homesteading.  We are all about growing our own food, slowing our pace of life, raising and slaughtering (if need be) our own animals for food, and the like.  Moving to North Carolina seemed like the perfect path for us.  I could even live in my dream house maybe, which is an old 2 story farm-house with a wrap around porch with rocking chairs and a big yard, we’d have to renovate but we like that sort of thing.

In February of 2013, we had contact with our friends who live in Honduras, Mark and Michelle Fittz.  I had casually mentioned that we were in transition and were unsure just where we were going to end up.  Half jokingly, Michelle said “why don’t you come here?”  Hmmm…  ‘Why don’t we come there?’, I thought.  I shared with Jacob about our short conversation over Facebook and he kind of wondered the same thing.  Oh, I left something out.  I had been in a christian bookstore and randomly picked up David Platt’s book “Follow Me”.  Jacob and I had both read it and were challenged by the questions it posed.  Questions like, “Who are you living for?”  “Are your choices serving yourself or your God?”  We were faced with the fact that our wanting a simpler life and moving to North Carolina were more for our own benefit and security than for the sake of glorifying God.  Let me say this, we can glorify God wherever and whatever we are doing and if we had chosen to move to North Carolina, I don’t think that we would have been in sin and I don’t think that we would have disappointed God in some way.  We just felt convicted that we hadn’t really involved God much in our decision to move there.  Rather than asking God what He wanted for us and waiting for His response, we were sort of just asking Him to come along side of our plans and bless them.

After a lot of prayer and careful consideration of all of the obstacles, effects, and implications, we felt a pull towards moving to Honduras to help in whatever way we could there.  We had realized that we aren’t doctors, or teachers and we aren’t theologians or church planters; but we love Jesus and want more than anything to glorify His name and share His gospel, we are pretty handy, we are lifelong learners, and we were willing to go, which we though might count for something.  It was a long shot, we thought, and we had no clue what it would really look like for us, but we offered our plans and our lives to God for him to give a once over.  If He wanted us to pack up our family and head to Honduras, and provided along the way for us to to so, we’d go.

We were going to pursue moving to Honduras as missionaries.  We resolved to take it one step at a time, hold this plan with open hands, and walk through each open door as we came to it.  We contacted Mark and Michelle and told them what we were thinking and they suggested coming for a visit so we could really see what day to day life is like there as a missionary.  We had a little money in savings and we used it to purchase 2 tickets to Honduras in May of 2013.  After we got back we still weren’t totally sure what we were supposed to do.  A couple of weeks after we got back, inexplicably, Jacob woke up one morning and couldn’t walk.  I mean, full on, cannot put both feet on the floor without excruciating pain couldn’t walk.  I took the children to church without him and our pastors’ wife prayed for him.  While she was praying for Jacob, I suddenly KNEW that God intended for us to go to Honduras.  *That* was his perfect plan for our family.  I also knew that I wasn’t free to discuss that with Jacob.  I held that in my  heart for a week or two without uttering a single syllable about it to my very best friend who I share everything I hold most dear with.  Then it happened, we were sitting in the living room one evening after the children were all in bed and it came up.  Jacob asked me point blank what I thought about moving to Honduras as missionaries, and I felt free to tell him what the Lord had spoken to my heart.  He had also felt the same, for quite some time, but didn’t feel free to tell me either.  Neither of us wanted to sway the other one for fear that we’d get down there and face difficulty only to blame the other for our ‘missing God’.  We needed to KNOW that it was the Lord’s leading and not our own romantic notions.  So, the Lord, in His kindness revealed to both of us separately that this was indeed His plan for us.

We contacted Camino Global, filled our very lengthy applications out, were deemed just crazy enough and approved, packed up and headed to Dallas, Texas in August 2013  for a week long orientation, and now we are a part of that family. So, that brings us up to today and hopefully gave you so much more of an answer to “Why Honduras?” than you could have ever asked for.  Believe it or not, I even left some details out!  Oh, and we still don’t have central heat and air!  Ha!

Choices

We are faced with a myriad of them day in and day out.  ‘What’s for breakfast?, How should I wear my hair?, Should I take the interstate?, Should I answer the phone?’ Some choices are benign and some carry with them weight and consequence that ought to be considered. It can be difficult to tell, sometimes, which choices are ones that won’t affect life greatly and which are the ones that will.  There is a portion of scripture that I roll over in my head and heart from time to time.

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Proverbs 14:1

In keeping with my desire to be wise and follow wisdom, as a woman, this declaration must be considered.  It isn’t a command, just an observation.  The wise woman builds her house and the foolish one tears hers down with her hands.  Seems easy enough to grasp.  So, I would want to build mine rather than tear it down, right?.  What does that look like though, the building vs the tearing down? It has occurred to me that it looks a lot like making choices.  Day in and day out.  Are my choices building or tearing down?  What is my ‘house’?  

I think the answers to these questions will look different for every woman on the planet.  We don’t all have the same gifts, callings, struggles, families, hopes, fears, etc… and I am in no way condemning or comparing myself with any other woman here.  I have to examine my own ideas of what this might mean for my life though, and since this is an online diary I may as well do it here. 🙂

My house is my marriage.  My children.  My relationships.  My soul.  

In marriage, I can choose to build my house  by investing time and energy into loving and preferring my husbands needs over my own.  I can tear it down with my own hands by being self-centered, easily offended, and inconsiderate of him.  

With my children, I can choose to build my house by sitting with them and listening to their jokes (and then laughing hysterically at them even though they don’t make any sense at all), by hugging them first and not being the first one to let go, by letting the dishes sit in the sink and the laundry go unfolded and reading them a book instead of doing chores, by looking them in the eye when they speak and actually watching their tricks when they say “Mom, look at me!”  I can successfully tear my house down with my own hands by making sure my house is clean and tidy at the expense of time spent nurturing my babies little hearts, by pushing my kids to work harder and faster to finish the school schedule in the allotted time regardless of their tears and frustration, and by having all my goals met at the end of the day at the expense of joy and fun.  

In my relationships, I can build my house by calling that friend or sending a quick text or *gasp* a card in the mail, just to let them know that I am thinking of them, by speaking the truth even if it may be painful to hear, by praying for the people around me consistently.  

In my soul, I can build my house by using that 10 minutes that I find with nothing else to do to talk to my God and read His word, rather than check Facebook, blogs, or the news, by praying and spending time quietly listening for His still small voice and obeying when the Holy Spirit speaks and convicts without digging in my heels first, and by taking the time to worship not on a Sunday.   

Choices.  It all comes down to choices.  They are small though, easily missed, too easily dismissed.  My prayer is that I would be wise enough to make the little choices day to day that will sow good things into hearts and nurture souls, my own included, in the hope that the harvest reaped will be a house well built with a strong foundation and a sturdy frame, that will withstand when shaking comes.