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Showing posts from January, 2013

sometimes the music says it all

This weekend we went to Shawn's cousin's church.  It also happens to be David Platt's church, so it was quite an experience for us, since we have never attended a church that size!  Aaron Keyes lead worship, and one of the songs that we sang really hit me.  The words are as follows:

There is strength within the sorrow,
There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning,
With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting,
Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding,
You're teaching us to trust

Your plans are still to prosper,
You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever,
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

You are wisdom unimagined,
Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens,
Reaching down in endless grace
You are the Lifter of the lowly,
Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me,
Your promises are my delight

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good,
You turn it for our …


When we first cam back from Africa in 2008 I remember having conversations with many friends about the abundance of things that the church (as a whole in America) was lacking.  I was bruised and limping, and angry about being back in the States, so my views on things were more than a little warped.  Though I enjoyed visiting people and churches that we had missed while gone, I felt such an emptiness.  (That is not meant to be a reflection necessarily on those churches, but rather my state of mind at the time!)

As we got to Troy and settled in to the business that is involved in church redevelopment, that view stuck around for a while.  I had a hard time connecting, and easily found fault with church rather than taking time to see the good things. I was tired and angry, and wanted to be in a big church where I could hide and get whatever I though I wanted and needed, yet God decided to place me in a small, struggling church with a handful of people who were probably even more tired t…

My Dad is an artist!

Before starting this trip south I had a lot of emotions happening - anger, frustration, excitement, grief, anxiety.  I felt overwhelmed with all of that, and so I focused on what I could control - the packing, organizing of school, getting the schedule straight, and so forth.  The problem is, that while I really did enjoy the first couple of weeks on this trip, I knew something was wrong inside.  It was as if instead of facing many of those feelings that had been hitting me like a constant barrage, I just didn't feel at all.   No low points.  No high points.  But not in a good "I'm not being swayed by my emotions and totally focusing on God" way.  Just a void.

I didn't even realize it.  I mean, I knew something was wrong - but I couldn't put my finger on what it was.  I didn't even know how to pray.  My prayers have consisted of, "Protect my kids, guard their hearts and minds," "Please, please, please provide the funding we need to go to …

emotional chaos

So, I kind of had a breakdown today.

We are getting ready to road trip for a little over two months to do some support raising for our missions work in South Sudan.  We have a lot of parties planned with people and places that we need to be at certain times.  We had someone give us a van, and we really appreciate that.  However, that van came from Ohio, and there is no inspection in Ohio.  There is, however, inspection in NY.  And apparently, after 13 counts against us, said van is going to be about $1800 just to get us to code.  And we can't leave tomorrow as planned because it will be in the shop all day.  Sigh...not exactly as we planned.

However, as inconvenient as it feels, it is not melt down worthy.

So I was sitting and crying and feeling inexplicable angry at God.  Then Shawn mentioned something to me that became clear.  None of these feelings are about the van or the inconvenience, or even the money that we have to spend.  It's about good-byes.  And denial.  And en…


Hope  - Merriam Webster defines it as "To cherish a desire with anticipation"; "To expect with confidence"; and "To desire with the expectation of obtainment."  There is a lof of expectation and anticipation in those definitions.

Each year I ask God for a word or phrase to help direct me to something that he wants to show me or have me learn more.  The last two years have been thankfulness (I guess I had a lot to learn, since he didn't give me a different word last year!)  Of course, that carries over.  Thankfulness is the key to victory in our Christian walk, I firmly believe.  But this year I am adding to that "hope."

If I'm being honest, I'm a little nervous how he is going to teach me.  I mean, being hopeless is a catastrophe.  It leads to so many terrible and toxic thoughts and actions.  Recently I was watching the interaction of some kids, all junior high or younger.  They live in an area in our city that is filled with drugs…