wife, mom, & missionary
Can you believe it's 2015 already? My husband told me that I either need to keep up with this blog, or delete it. HAHA! So here I am.
Sometimes I wish that time could stand still. And sometimes I wish it would fly by. When it comes to my children, I wish it would slow down so that I could have more time with them. When it comes to deputation, I wish it would fly by so that we can begin our ministry in Argentina. The truth of the matter is God's timing is perfect. Deputation is a process, to which I believe is a necessary process, but it is a process.
For those of you reading who don't know what deputation is, here's the gist: it's the process of traveling around the United States, visiting Baptist churches, asking them to support us on a monthly basis. The hardest part? Asking for money. Someone once told us that God already has the churches lined out who will support us. Our responsibility is to ask God to show them to us, and then make the call, asking them to allow us to share our ministry with them. This takes time! And time takes patience. But God knows us, and knows us well. He has not ever asked us to do something that he will not equip us to do. So we remain faithful to him, and he remains faithful to us.
My purpose in telling you this is not to make you feel sorry for us...and I hope this isn't coming across as complaining either... but for you see the greater plan and purpose of God. God has a plan for each one of us, but it is up to us to decide if we are going to follow that plan, or if we are going to be like Jonah, and run the other direction. Aaron and I have decided that we are going to follow God's plan, no matter what it takes, no matter how hard it is, no matter how trying and uncertain it is...NO MATTER WHAT! So my question to you is this: what is God's purpose for you? Have you even asked God what he wants of you? If so, are you doing what he asked you to do?
God gave me a verse, and I want to share it with you. It is Deuteronomy 31:7-8. It says, "And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."
God has given us the city of Mendoza...we know without a doubt that God wants us there...and he is the one who goes before us. We are not fearful or afraid because we trust him and his word. You don't have to be afraid either. Step out in faith and do what He has asked you to do.
As I sit here on Christmas Eve morning, in the quietness of the day, while my children are still in their beds sleeping, I can't help but wonder what was going on in Mary's mind as she anticipated the arrival of her son. Was she scared? anxious? excited? Was she wondering how good of a mother she would be? Was she concerned with what others were thinking of her? Was she worried about the delivery process that would take place in a stable?
As a mother of a son, I'm sure Mary had the same feelings I had when my son was born. I was born the youngest of three girls, so I had absolutely no idea how a boy acted, let alone how to raise a boy...BUT...the first time I looked into my son's eyes, I was in awe and in love with this beautiful baby boy. I had no idea that I could love someone so much. I had such high expectations and hopes for this little guy.
As Trey began to grow, I immediately learned how different boys are than girls. He was an energetic, inquisitive, full-of-wonder, amazing little boy. He was so easy going and fun to be around yet into everything. He was a sponge, soaking everything up. He asked SO many questions. He was always very obedient and listened when told to do something. It didn't take him long to learn the word "no" and, for the most part, he stopped doing whatever he was being told not to do. He never really went through the "terrible twos." He was always such a good, easy-going little boy.
As I look at him now, having just turned 16, he is still energetic, inquisitive, full-of-wonder, and amazing. He is still easy going and fun to be around. He is still discovering his world and taking everything in. He is so very smart and knows a lot of information that most people don't care to know about...cars, history, science, video games, basketball, baseball, you name it, if he's read about it, he can tell you all about it. What makes it harder these days, for me, is that I have to let go of the reigns and let him discover. I have to let him make his own decisions and mistakes. I enjoy that he is independent and doesn't need me 24 hours a day, but sometimes I miss being "needed." I don't want to let go. I want him to still be my little boy.
I am so very proud of the young man he is becoming. He is tenderhearted and loves people...he knows no stranger. He is giving of himself and his things for those he loves. When he is passionate about something, he puts all his energy into that thing. He wants to be grown, yet still wants to be a boy. He wants to discover his world, yet still needs to be sheltered. He makes me laugh, yet makes me cry. I am so blessed that God chose me to be his mom. I know that I have made and will continue to make mistakes as a mother, but I am so grateful that God looks beyond those, and gives me the grace to admit when I've messed up, and then my son the mercy to accept my apologies.
When I think of all the things my son means to me, I can't even imagine what Mary felt as her son grew up. Knowing that he would ultimately die on a cross...knowing he would sacrifice himself for people who despised and hated him...knowing he would be tormented and brutally beaten...knowing that he lived a sinless life yet he was paying a sinful punishment...knowing there was nothing she could do to protect him. I don't think I would be able to do that...in fact...I KNOW I wouldn't be able to do that. But Mary did...and for that...I am truly thankful.
As you contemplate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, don't forget what you have been given...don't forget what you have been delivered from...don't forget that God loves you so much that he was willing to sacrifice his baby boy for you...don't forget about the true meaning of Christmas. From our house to yours, have a Merry Christmas!!!!
It is our senior year and, for me, "senioritis" has set in. I knew it was bound to happen but I didn't know it would happen this early in the school year. As I look towards the future and all that God has for us as workers in His ministry, I am filled with excitement and anticipation. I want it to happen right now that I lose sight of the "right now."
I am doing a Priscilla Shirer Bible study about Gideon and am learning so much about myself that I wanted to share it with you. Gideon was a timid, shy, "comfortable" man whose world was turned upside-down when God asked him to lead the Israelites in a battle against the Midianites. God told him from the beginning that he would win, yet Gideon questioned God...not once, but twice. Wow! Boy, do I do that! Are you sure, God that you want me to be a missionary? Remember me, the shy, timid, weak woman? The one who messes up? The one who questions you?
When these doubts and questions come, the Holy Spirit immediately says It's not about you, it's about ME! When you are weak, I am strong.
If any of you reading this are feeling insecure, unqualified, weak, scared, or any other title, know this...God is in control and He knows how you feel. Isaiah 41:10 says that God will help you and give you strength. You just have to trust that what you are going through is part of His plan to help you rely on Him and not on yourself. This is a difficult lesson that God is teaching me. I tend to be hard-headed and like to be in control so God has extra work He has to do to get my attention. I still have my moments when God has to teach me, yet again, but I am certainly growing in this area.
Something else that God is teaching me through Gideon's story is waiting. As I said earlier, I am anxious to get school done so that I can move on to the next thing. The problem with doing that is, if I'm not careful, I could miss out on what God is trying to teach me right now. Gideon did the same thing. After God told him that he would defeat the Midianites, Gideon completely trusted God. But, then he began making his own decisions instead of waiting for God to give him instructions for the next assignment.
Is anyone else guilty of following their own plan instead of waiting on God's direction? I certainly am. Before God called us to be missionaries, I had my own agenda: my dream home with a big yard and nice landscape; my kids had room to play and great friends to enjoy. Then one day, it was gone. We moved into an apartment with no yard and all the friends were back at the old house. At first, I was not happy. I still reminisce about the house and all the plans I had, but I know that I am right where God wants me even in this little apartment. I am in His Will and being there out weighs all other "plans" I ever had for my life.
In closing, I would like to leave you with this verse:
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-29,31
School has begun for all members of the family! The kids are getting adjusted to their new curriculum and they started the first day of Co-op yesterday. We've had a few bumps but we are working through them. Thank you to all who prayed for us to be able to afford the curriculum. This is the fifth year we've homeschooled, and every year God reconfirms that we are to continue homeschooling because every summer we wonder how we're going to get the money for curriculum and God continues to provide.
We would appreciate your continued prayers for us as we both are feeling the pressure of trying to keep up with school, ministry, and family. Last week we received paperwork from BBC that we had to fill out regarding graduation. It really made us realize...this is it...we are really graduating in May. It seems like the last three years were so long, but in reality they flew by so quickly.
We are excited about what God is doing in our lives. Thank you for being a part of it!
Aaron and I had the awesome privilege of taking a group of middle schoolers to camp this year. This was our fourth and best year yet. We were able to go the same week the high schoolers went and there was only one other church with us, so, basically, we had the entire camp facility to ourselves. Long before the week began, we could see that Satan was not happy with our decision to do this...it seems like this happens every year...however, GOD WAS VICTORIOUS!!!
The one event that happened that the devil really attacked us with was a bus crash that happened about 8 miles from our destination. Although this could have ended terribly, God took it and turned it into good. Romans 8:28 says that God works ALL things together for our good. God had already begun softening the hearts of the students before they even set foot on the camp...sometimes this doesn't happen until day 2 or 3 of camp. God had protected all that were on the bus...only minor bruises and scrapes to a number of students but no broken bones or serious injuries. God showed the students that no matter what happens in life, He is still good all the time...the students were able to personally witness and give testimony to this. God showed the counselors that they can still learn from middle/high schoolers...we witnessed reactions from the students that showed such strong faith and trust in God...this was truly remarkable...I wish all of you could have witnessed this. When the high schoolers first learned that the middle schoolers were going the same week, they were not very happy, but the accident opened the eyes of all of us and we were able to go through this adversity as a united group which brought us all closer together.
Although this is not how I would have chosen to begin our week of what was supposed to be the best week of the year (which it still ended up being), I am grateful for the experience and the lessons I learned as well as was able to teach to our students. Thank you to those who were praying for us! We know your prayers were heard because numerous students made decisions to recommit their lives to Christ and decisions to give up things that the Holy Spirit convicted them about. We also saw one young man (that I know of) receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Praise God! He is still at work in the lives of young people.
Today was a fabulous day to be in God's house! We have an awesome opportunity every week to work with the middle school children but this week was a little different. Aaron was a guest speaker for an adult class. He was a little nervous going into the class. After he got started, I could tell he was beginning to feel more comfortable. He poured his heart out and was able to share what God has been doing since we surrendered to full-time ministry work in 2009 as well as what our future plans look like. I am so proud of how God is using us and my prayer is that others see God through us and that they boast in Him and not us. Thank you for those who prayed for this day! We feel them everyday!
A lot has happened since we began our journey. Here is a recap...In October 2009, God called us to be missionaries to the country of Argentina, sent out from High Street Baptist Church in Springfield, MO. Since that time, Aaron and I enrolled in Baptist Bible College to get the training necessary for mission and pastoral work; we sold our home so we could move closer to the college and live in something more affordable; Aaron resigned his management job and took a part-time job with the same company; Aaron began a part-time position as Middle School Pastor at High Street; and we began living ministry lives.
At this point in our lives, we will continue to homeschool the children this coming fall as well as begin our last year as Baptist Bible College students. Aaron quit his part-time corporate job (a company which he had worked for for 18 years) and began his full-time internship at High Street this past June.
Lord willing, in August, we will begin our final year of college with our plan to graduate and be approved as BBFI missionaries in May of 2014. This is an undertaking that will take commitment and perseverance on our part as well as understanding and patience on the part of our children. These changes have not been easy for them, but we know God's grace has been and will continue to be sufficient through it all (2 Cor. 12:9). "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). We are clinging to this promise as we continue down this path.