All Things Come Together

August 27, 2009

I can’t believe that I only have a little over a week before I leave.  It is amazing to me all of the things that I needed to get done are getting done.  My car is sold, my will is written, my supplies are bought (however, not yet packed 🙂 ), and so many other things have just been taken care of.  It turns out that all of the little details that I worried about getting done, I really did not need to worry about.  Hmm, now that brings to mind a specific verse…Phil 4:6.  The Lord does know what he’s talking about.

Even things that I hoped to get done but didn’t really need to be done are coming together.  For example, I finally finished the scrapbook of my first trip to Ethiopia that I started 3 years ago (just in time to go again).  I was looking back at a goal I had written, and I had originally hoped to finish it within 6 months.  I had to laugh.  For those of you who know about it, you know it has been an overwhelming project that has turned into 2 very full scrapbooks.  That’s right, over 800 pictures finally put into something I can look back on and enjoy.  I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ll scrapbook this next 2 years.  🙂

Over the last several weeks I’ve been able to fly out to Denver and spend a few days with friends, go to a friend’s wedding, visit friends in KC, go camping one last time, have a reunion with some of my roommates from MCC, spend some good time with my family, and just enjoy some down time with the Lord.  I have not been rushed during this transition, and I am so grateful.  I am reminded of the verse that I came across several months ago.  Isaiah 52:12 “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”  I realize that Isaiah was not speaking this directly to me, but God’s character remains true and the truth of this in my own situation has been a blessing.  The Lord is so gracious, even indulgent.

Tear Down the Walls

August 20, 2009

I have been listening to Hillsong’s “Across the Earth” album, and I’ve been loving this song:

Tear down the walls see the world

Is there something we have missed

Turn from ourselves, look beyond

There is so much more than this 

 

And I don’t need to see it to believe it

I don’t need to see it to believe it 

Cause I can’t shake this fire deep inside my heart

 

Look to the skies hope arise 

See His majesty revealed

More than this life, there is love 

There is hope and this is real 

 

This life is Yours and hope is rising 

As Your glory floods our hearts 

Let love tear down these walls 

That all creation would come back to you

It’s all for You

 

Your Name is glorious, glorious 

Your love is changing us, calling us

To worship in spirit and in truth 

As all creation returns to You  

 

Oh for all the sons and daughters

Who are walking in the darkness 

You are calling us to lead them back to You 

We will see Your Spirit rising 

As the lost come out of hiding 

Every heart will see this hope we have in You

Thankfulness in the Desert

August 17, 2009

Initially, this season of being at home before heading to Ethiopia was a hard thing for me to get used to.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and I am blessed to be able to spend this time with them before I leave.  But, it is not the community nor the life that I have been used to for the past 3 years.  There have been some times of loneliness, and it has been a bit of a “desert” if you will.

After about a week of figuring out that my times of loneliness could be turned into times of solitude with the Lord, I was reminded of the Israelites during their time in the desert.  I started reading about how they were in the desert, and the Lord was leading them toward something bigger.  Each day He would provide manna for them to eat, yet they began to grumble and complain.  They wanted something different.  They wanted meat.  The Lord told them that He would give them meat, but because they rejected Him, He would give them so much meat that they would loathe it.  I thought, “Lord, I do not want to be like the Israelites by not being satisfied by You and how You are providing for me.  I want to recognize how you are providing for me each day.”  It has been amazing to see how He has provided in so many ways.  Something that I have been needing is community, and community is what He has been providing.  It may not look the way I think it should or what it has looked like in the past, but it has been there each day. 

Then, I read on about how the Lord told the Moses to send men to explore the Promised Land that He had for them.  They went, and came back in unbelief and fear.  Thinking they did not have the capability of taking over this land.  They began weeping and thinking the Lord had failed them because of their fears.  Because of their unbelief, they ended up staying in the desert (all but 2 of them died in the desert).  Again, I thought “I do not want to live in unbelief and fear.  I trust that the Lord is who He says He is, I am who He says I am, and He can do what He says He will do.  I will not be in this season forever.”

About a week later, I came across the passage about Jesus being led by the Spirit into the desert for 40 days where He was tempted by Satan.  I thought the timing of me reading it was interesting, considering my previous thoughts about being in the desert.  Then, I decided to look at my calendar….I will be at home for 42 days total before leaving for Ethiopia.  Crazy.  I also thought it was interesting that Jesus’ time in the desert occurred right before He began His ministry.  I prayed, “Lord, You are not asking me to do something that You have not already been through.  And, I believe that this is for a season and for a purpose.  I know You are drawing me near to You and calling me to rely on You for all things.  This is such good preparation for where You are taking me next.”

Through all of this, I have been challenged to keep my attitude in check.  I could dwell on the things that are hard, or I can respond to the Lord’s faithfulness with a thankful heart.  I am so thankful for how He has continually provided and taken care of me.  I am so thankful for this season He has me in.  He is teaching me so much, and really drawing me near to His heart.  I have been reminded of many who have gone before in hardships.  Specifically Job who said “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”  (Job 2:10), and Paul who said “…for Christ’s sake, I DELIGHT in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Cor 12:10).  May the Lord’s strength be displayed in my life.  He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides!

It’s Official!

August 13, 2009

So, it’s finally official.  I will be leaving for Ethiopia on Friday September 4th at 11am.  I will have a total of about 23 1/2 hours of travel time and will end up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at 6:20 pm Ethiopian time (10:20 am CST) on the 5th.  Let the countdown begin!

Welcome To My Blog

August 5, 2009

Well, I am officially part of the blog world now.  I wanted to start this for anyone who would like to hear more about what is going on with me as I prepare for and go to Ethiopia.  I hope to update this a little more than the monthly prayer updates that I send out to my supporters.  So, if you’re interested, check back periodically and see what’s up.