Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Missing the forest for the trees

It is 2:30 on the day of my birth.  I am officially 34 and I am sharing that because I am blessed by what God has done in my life over these  years.  I have earned every age line and grey hair... even though I do my best to keep those from being the main focus.  My main focus these days are to follow God wherever He leads and live intentionally.

As I cannot sleep, I have laid here pondering what I have learned and the areas I can grow in.  I have realized that my heart has been so focused on being the Proverbs 31 woman that I have lost sight on building friendships that may lead to something more.  This is why I have entitled this "missing the forest for the trees".  I have been so adamant building the attributes of "the" godly woman that I overlooked the fact that her main focus was to love God, to be her husband's helpmeet, and provide for her children.

Lately I have received a lot of comments that there is no "one" person... or soulmate.... or perfect man.... and that it is my "choice" just to settle and make it work because love is a choice and an action rather than a feeling.  To some of this I do agree but I have two reponses to this....

1  It is not like I have a myriad of single available Christian men waiting to take me out on a date.  To be honest I cannot think of the last time that I had an eligible bachelor ask me out on a "date".

2.  My God is sovereign and I cannot thwart His plans.  So even if the above mentioned bachelor was in the picture and I was oblivious to his attention... God can still use the situation for my good and His glory.

SO  with all that said... I am single..
...and I am no less of a person or godly woman because of that... nor do I feel I have "missed" my opportunity...  I still believe I was created to be a wife and mommy...  I am living intentionally to build friendships... and ultimately I am content with where God has me for today!

I am not going to waste my time regretting the past or worrying about the future... today I will live intentionally and make each moment matter.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Did God really say???

I have known for quite some time that God has been growing me in the area of trust... trusting others... trusting myself... and ultimately trusting God.  Most days I can trust God because the promises in His word are true and if I need a reminder I have His written promises to turn to.  People, including myself, are a different story all together.  I used to say I was a trusting person... however you trust people that lack integrity enough times and you realize that people can't be trusted... hence the walls and the trust issues.

With that background in place... a few nights ago I was really struggling to trust God's timing and was journaling about it.  Ultimately the age old question kept coming to mind dating back to the garden of Eden... "Did God really say????"  As I have been seeking God concerning the future (past the 9 months in Uganda), there have been some "promises" of sorts that keep coming up in His Word but not sure of the timing so it has made me question my trust in these "promises".  This morning as I was sitting in the ballfield listening to Pastor Waxer teach on HOPE... he shared this verse...

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." 
Romans 15:13

He defined "hope" as the expectation of the coming good.  And if we trust that God is good and His promises are true then...

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28
So... with all that said... when God makes a promise... I can trust that He will follow through and that it will be good.  It will more than likely not happen in my timing or in the way I think but HE is faithful!  My heart is at peace with His plan and blessed that nothing I can do thwarts His plan!  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Great Expectations

Recently a mentor, hanai mom, and dear friend encouraged me to think about my expectations with the upcoming transition.  Expectations that can be hopes (positive expectations) and fears (negative expectations).... expectations put on us by others as well as those put on us by ourselves.  As this dear friend explained transitions are made even more difficult by unmet expectations.  We all have expectations whether we verbalize them or not.  So taking this advice, I started mentally pondering what expectations I have and realized most of my expectations are coming in as fear.... all the unknowns... what if's... and short comings.

For example... I expected this transition to be somewhat difficult but knowing that I would be around for an additional bit of time.... I thought that it would make the transition even smoother.  What I didn't count on was all the emotions of letting go and relinquishing control.  I didn't expect to miss the people of Molokai so much over the month away at grad school which brings up the question... what is this going to be like for 9 months???? 

I guess without going into every expectation... here are a few... I expected my dad to be more on board and my mom more reserved with this whole idea of moving to Uganda and it has been quite opposite.  I expected more "comments" from people on MKK but they have been very supportive.  I expected some tears but SERIOUSLY???? 

Other expectations.... I am expecting God to take care of all my needs according to His plan.  I am expecting lots of "by myself time" and not really looking forward to this.  I am expecting to lose weight as my eating habits will be forced to change.  I am expecting to get a lot of reading done.  At this point I am not sure what is expected of me which is a little unnerving.   I am expecting to make new friends but realizing that many will have no clue the situation I am in.  I am expecting much growth to ultimately make me look more like His image.  I am expecting God to do above and beyond what I can ask or imagine.  I am expecting to have my share of "let-downs" when things happen differently than  what I expected. 

So in a nutshell... these are my expectations... however I know my God has GREAT EXPECTATIONS for me as He has great plans for me!

Monday, July 15, 2013

At a loss for words...

This doesn't happen very often but when it does it normally is because I am so overwhelmed by God's goodness that my heart just can't express it into words.

 At this moment, I am blown away by His provision and how he uses people in my life.  Over the years I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances God puts me in ... whether with much or with little.  In either case... I have never gone without a place to sleep or food to eat.  In the past few months, God has brought people in my life to support me emotionally and spiritually, as well as with financial support and supplies for the ministry in Nabisooto. 

Friends from childhood through college as well as preschool families have sent financial support to ITFM on my behalf.  Colleagues, classmates,  professors, church members, preschool families, and friends have given literally more than a 100 pounds worth of supplies for the school and children of Uganda...(100 pounds were taken down in March) to the point that my bag leaving MKK is full!  (I am only taking 1 bag with me from Molokai to the mainland as I have several stops before I get to Uganda where I will pick up items along the way that have been collected!)  I am not able to take anything else down with me!  A good problem to have, I guess.

And this is not even all of it... from friends in grad school!!!

I was discussing this "problem" with a friend this afternoon trying to come up with a solution.  A couple of solutions that she mentioned were for supporters to send items directly to Uganda in the form of care packages (see Care Package 101), assisting financially, or send items to my Aunt and Uncle in Washington State for them to take down.  Or I guess... you could come visit and bring items then!!! :) Anyway...  She was saying how she desired to assist but now that she knows that no more supplies can be carried she got creative.  She took me to the grocery story and stocked my fridge.  I went in just "needing" greek yogurt, lettuce, and oranges to get me through the week with what I could make do with in my pantry.  I came out with bread, eggs, tortilla chips, ground turkey, yogurt, lettuce, oranges, and a treat of frozen bananas covered in dark chocolate!

I was so blessed beyond belief... came home last night from Oahu to a fairly empty refrigerator... ie a few apples,  carrots, and grape tomatoes.. and a growling stomach.  Had a bag of popcorn for dinner with raisins for a "midnight" snack.  With now being "unemployed" and just coming from graduate school where my savings is depleted from having to pay it all out of pocket until some scholarships come in, I have limited funds to get me through until I am in the field.  This is where good financial stewardship and watching God provide takes place.  I have not worried about it because I do know my God will take care of all my needs according to His riches in glory.  And He has... from friends "treating" me to dinner while in Oahu... or allowing me to stay at their house... or buying supplies... or sending donations... and the list could go on and on!!!

Ultimately I am not writing this to say I am in need (because God will take care of those)... I am writing this to brag on my God and how He uses people!  When God calls you to do something beyond what you think you are capable of... do it anyway... you will ultimately be blessed and God will use others around you to truly be the body of Christ!  God's true design for the church... Sometimes we truly just have to step out... not seeing where the foot might land to truly see how God provides when we step out on FAITH!

Monday, July 8, 2013


As I lay here trying to fall asleep, my mind and heart are filled with a mixture of emotions.  I am writing with the hope that if I bring my fears and feelings out into the light that the darkness will flee and I will sleep peacefully.

For months the process of moving has been tough... the letting go of things that have been so close to my heart for so long.  Most of these emotions stem from preschool but I am pretty sure it is a bit of everything.  I am going to be completely honest... to see other taking over what I have invested in for so long is really hard.  Part of me wants to know what is going on but the other part get so emotional that I no longer am apart of it.  I see the little ones and tears well up... did I do enough???  Questions are asked as to where things are or how this needs to be taken care of and I feel so inadequate... have I done enough?

I try to sleep at night and am bombarded with nightmares of all the unknowns.  I even woke up on Friday with a migraine (which I normally only get with I am super stressed.)  I don't feel stressed and this summer of grad school has been a walk in the park compared to last year.  I try praying and really feel like my prayers are just hitting the ceiling... where is that perfect peace that passes all understanding? 

I am glad people on the outside think I am focused and have it all together because on the inside I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest and broken into a bagazillion pieces.  I am really glad God's word says that He came to bind up the broken hearted and set the captives free because He has quite a lot of pieces to put together.

I have asked for prayer from others... a couple of people have said they will pray but most when I share just a bit of what is going on just tell me "it's normal" or that I am handling things well.  What I really need is a set of strong arms holding me while their voice is praying over me audibly.

So now with tears streaming down my face, I realize that I just want to curl up in Jesus' arms and have him speak to the father on my behalf. 
"Father this ones with me... part of the family... one of the reasons I died on calvary"