Sunday, January 20, 2013

It really has been a LONG time since my last post!  Things are really kicking in gear for Italy and I wanted to make sure that I posted the blessings that are happening so that later I can come back and be reminded of them in case things get a bit harder and I forget.  God has been so amazing!!!  It seems strange to think that I might forget the last week and all of HIS goodness, but how am I any different than the Israelites?  They saw miracles and still would fall away and begin complaining and grumbling again soon after.  So...knowing I am the same, I will try to chronicle what has happened.

1.  Knowing that we need more support to be able to live in Italy (it's a bunch more expensive over there), God keeps providing us with others who want to join with us.  :)

2.  There is a missionary family in Genoa that is moving back to the States permanently and we have been in talks with them about buying their household goods.  I received an email from them the other day and they felt like God was telling them to GIVE us their stuff!  Can you imagine?  I am talking a house full of stuff:  pots/pans, towels, sheets, hair dryers, toaster, dining tables, chairs, etc.  Woke up with other morning to that info and knew once again that God is wanting us in Italy!!!

3.  Our friends in Italy had originally thought they were coming back to the States in the summer.  Because of that, we would not be able to get there until later in the summer.  (they really wanted to be there when we arrived!)  Well....the day after we got the email about #2 above, I received work from our friends that they aren't coming back this summer!  That really opened up the possibilities for us.

4.  The day after #3 above, God provided the way for us to take a Disney cruise over to Italy!!!!!  We are so privileged and blessed to be able to take a 14 day cruise leaving out of Galveston and ending in Barcelona.  We are then going to either take the ferry or the overnight train to Chiavari.  Bonus:  the cruise is cheaper in the long run than plane tickets and the food, etc that we would need for 14 days!  How cool is that?!

How do I explain the grace of God in our lives?  How do I wrap my head around the blessings HE has poured out upon us?  How do I stay composed in the midst of it all?  The answer:  I don't!  

I don't know why God chooses to bless us in such a wonderful way.  I don't know why God's grace is in abundance.  And I don't know how to stay composed in the midst of it all.  I find myself crying quite often!  It is overwhelming.

I will keep posting during this process.  Though you might not be interested in the least, it helps me to recount it all.  :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's been a long time since my last post and I can hardly wait to tell of all the changes in our life!  As you know, God has us headed to Italy next summer to work as church planters.  That one, seemingly insignificant sentence....of 13 little words....words so easy a first grader could read them...well...that sentence is making big changes in our lives!  Huge changes!  Changes of phenomenal proportions!

Change #1:
We are selling all of our crap  stuff  blessings.  Over the 25 years that Ben and I have been married, we have accumulated a lot of "blessings".  The things really have been blessings, but some of those turn into just "stuff" at some point.  Don't you find that at your place as well?  Well, when you have 25 years of married life of things, and then 5 children worth of things...that's a lot of things. 

I am feeling lighter as each item moves along out of my home.  It is freeing to share our items with others.  I am loving the empty spaces I have as I walk back into my home after sending another lovely off with someone else to love.  Space is nice.

I feel tremendously blessed to have so many items.  They all represent a moment in time.  A holiday, a special trip, a surprise, a just because, a need.  I can remember just about all of it as I look at the things.  But the lovely thing is that I still remember it even after that thing is gone! 

Change #2:
We have enrolled our children in public school.  I'm not sure that most can understand how big of a transition this is for us.  We have homeschooled for 17 years!  Our four youngest have not even been in a school (maybe to pick up a cousin now that I think about it...but that would be the extent of it), let alone enrolled for the whole day. 

When we move to Italy, we are enrolling them in public school there.  I  mean Italian, only speak Italian, all books are in Italian, will have to actually look the the pics on the bathroom doors to see which looks more like you...Italian!  No Italian as a second language/dual language classes.  Just plain Italian all day.  We thought (I'm quite sure God put this thought in my head.  Not clever enough to think it on my own) that school here would at least be a baby step to help with the transition next school year in the ALL ITALIAN school.

So far things are going pretty well.  Positives and negatives...but we had those in our homeschool as well.  God has shown us in small ways that He is there with us, with our kids.  I have had a couple rough days, but I can't explain adequately enough how present God has been and the peace the only He could wash over me. 

Change #3:
How we spend our money....especially as Christmas approaches.  Our family goes over the top, to say the least, at Christmas.  No apologies from us about that, either!  :)  We love it!  But this year, anything we buy either has to be able to be taken over (which is extremely limited), totally consumed, or has lived out its life span by July (played with as much as it can and able to be thrown away or broken, etc).  This really changes our thoughts on what to get.  The three older girls can understand the changes and can have a bit more of a delayed gratification idea (saving things now to get some new things in Italy)....but the boys have a bit of a harder time getting that.

Not impossible.  And Christmas will come and go and be amazing in the DeBusk home as usual...but changes nonetheless.

We are excited for the changes....we are nervous for the changes...we welcome the changes....and we curse the changes.  Just a few of the emotions that flit around any minute of the day around here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's the ONE that's driving me crazy!

It shouldn't be this way, but it is.  Trust me, I am working on it.  I am begging God to help me with this. 

Do you remember the story of the Garden of Eden?  Remember how Adam and Eve could have, touch, eat, enjoy from ANY of the Garden?  ANY....except that one in the middle.  Just one that was not allowed, but every other one was fair game!

Which one did they focus on?  Which one was dwelt upon?  The hundreds or thousands that were ok?  The many that were "on limits"?  The plethera that were excellent to have?  NO!  Those two turned their minds to the only one that was not ok.  The solitary one that was "off limits".  The measly lone tree that was dangerous and not allowed.

I have always thought they were crazy.  I have always considered them weak.  I have always deemed them ridiculous.

Well....I find myself in that exact situation....and if I am honest, I have been here before many times.  It is just recently that I have identified with those first two people.  It pains me to do so, but truth is truth.

I find that I have many things about me, provided for me, and surrounding me that are good, ok, excellent, on-limits.  They are fabulous and provided by God for my enjoyment.  But what I am finding is that I am focusing on the one thing that is none of those things.  Actually, so you don't get the wrong is good, ok,'s just off-limits from me.  So why don't I concentrate upon the millions of things that are worthy?

I dare say that most of us do the same thing.  Have you ever been part of setting something up, organizing an event, part of leading a group?  I bet, like me, that when you have done so, you have received 100's of compliments!  So many people willing to come up to you and pat you on the back for your efforts.  Lives changed as a result of what you have helped with.  But, I also bet, like me, that you have had one person say something negative.  Something you could have done better.  If only you had.....

Do you, like me, find yourself concentrating upon the ONE negative and push the 100's of positive comments?  Why do we do that?  I think it's the same Adam and Eve syndrome.  So many other, positive, great things to concentrate on....and we pick the one that we can't really change, isn't helpful, is actually dangerous to us.

But we dwell there nonetheless.  I am praying for a changed heart.  A changed thought process.  I don't want to live among the negative.  I don't want to abide with the unhealthy and the off-limits.  I want to stay with the excellent, the praise worthy, the true, the right, the noble.....the on-limits.....being exceedingly grateful for them being part of my life!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times. .... The beginning to a great book, but also, it seems, like the story of my mind right now.  I feel divided.  I feel split in two. 

With our move next summer to Italy, we are beginning to fill out paperwork, pay for passports, look at housing online, sell our stuff, etc. We are in the best of times....the time of anticipation.  The time of expectation.  The time when anything can still happen.  The time we see God working so clearly to guide our steps in this way.  We are in the worst of times....the time of mess.  The time of busy-ness beyond our normal.  The time of anxiety and fear of the unknown.

But, while we are preparing for our move, we are still actually living here.  We are involved in life, activities, organizations.  We are servers, leaders, and participaters.  We are in the best of times...the time of support.  The time of encouragers.  The time of being involved in what God has led us to.  We are in the worst of times....the time of being too busy with the future to adequately give resources to the now.  The time of impending good-byes.  The time of not being either here or there.

We are split minded, which is how it always is before a move.  It's a great place to be.  It's a difficult place to be.  But it's where God has us right now and that is an amazing place!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Once again, I cried.

16 years ago, Ben and I began raising support to become missionaries with Cru.  It was a humbling and miraculous experience.  Humbling to ask.  Miraculous to see God work so clearly.  I cried a lot back then as God would show us definitively that He was the one who was making it all happen.

God has been exceedingly gracious to us over the years as we have continued to live on support for all these years.  The crying has happened periodically.

Three years ago, we again, had to raise some more support.  Once again, God showed up and showed us His great and mighty power in our lives.  He made it abundantly clear that the road we were on, was right where we were to be.  The crying occurred a lot then.

God has shown us that next year, we are to move to Italy and work as church planters.  We are to work alongside our old friends from way back in the day with Cru.  (cool how God was preparing for this moment even back then)  So, we are once again working on raising a bit more support to be able to live and function in Europe.  Once again, I am crying as He demonstrates His love toward us.

It is still humbling and miraculous to be in the middle of God's plan.  I am so very grateful that God loves me enough to work in my life.  To show his ways to me.  To bend me to His will and then to provide for that very thing.

Once again, I cried.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Calgon, take me away!".....Have you ever felt that way?  I have!  And today was one of those days....just for a few minutes.

I have been in the position a few times in my life where I am the one to have to say the hard thing.  When a childhood friend of mine called to gain my support for her divorce, I had to tell her the truth that I couldn't support her decision.  I had to remind her that she had three children.  I had to tell her what God says on divorce.  She got a divorce anyway, for which I was deeply sad, but I  knew  that I had spoken truth to her.

Then there was the time that a friend of one of my children confided in that child that he was considering suicide.  My child came to me to ask for help and I had to make the call to the other one's parent.  Talk about a difficult conversation to have!  The child did not commit suicide for which I am forever deeply happy.

Then there was this morning.  I had to call a friend and say something.  I didn't want to say it.  I didn't want to pick up the phone.  I wanted to run!  I wanted to avoid the whole thing.  But alas, I could not.  I felt God speaking to me to make the call.  I could only do one thing.  I could only pray, and then pick up the phone, and talk to my friend.  Yes, it was difficult.  Yes, it was awkward.  But I am deeply grateful to have one more time that I have obeyed.  I have one more bond with my friend as our friendship will be stronger now.  I have one more time of knowing that when doing the hard things, I have seen Jesus come through in His faithfulness and lift me.

So, in the end Calgon did not take me away.  I was left to do the hard thing.  And I am deeply in love with my Savior for teaching me another lesson.