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.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life is phenomenal!....I do want to clarify that.  I was told today that my posts have been angst-filled of late, and though I don't completely agree, I can see where that might be perceived.

My posts have been real.  What I have been thinking about lately.  Questions I have had.  Little things I am going through or feeling.  But I must highlight the word "little".  The things that cross my mind are not issues.  They are not crucial.  They are just things. 

Some are nusances.  Some are gnats buzzing around my ears.  Some are bigger.  But my God is bigger still.  My blessings overflow.  My life is amazingly wonderful.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My brain is  Many days I am actually able to say that.  There are moments that it dawns on me that I am not thinking anything.

Today is not that day and this moment is not that moment!  Many thoughts are swimming around in my head.  Swirling as though pieces of dust seen in a ray of light.  Forever coming and going and never settling in one spot.

Marriage, the ability to be "real" with someone, devotion to the wrong things, ability (or inability) to do what God has called me to do, exhaustion, menopause, flab, homeschooling, fear of disappointing people, thinking I had worked so hard to change only to discover that it my change isn't showing to others.......

These are just a few of the pieces of dust floating and swirling around within me lately.  There are so many others!

I think I prefer to have more empty days.  :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So many things happening here lately!  We are not ones to let too much grass grow under our feet...ok...the actual yard doesn't count!  We have a hard time getting that grass mowed.  :)  But in general, we stay busy, moving from one activity to another with the speed I don't think even a hummingbird could compete. 

For Italy:  we have had to order all of our certificates (birth and marriage) in their long forms.  We have gotten those back from the four states that we need to deal with, only to send them right back out to each Secretary of State office for the four states to get apostilled.  The apostille is a government piece of paper saying that the certificate is official.  Seems a bit like overkill, but it is required so there you are.

We just received our first apostilled document back in the mail yesterday!  It was pretty exciting for me to see that come in.  Because of Ben's seminary work, I have been tasked to take care of all paperwork relating to our move and relocation.  I am learning a ton in the process.  Mostly, I am learning about God's grace for me.  Now for 7 more documents and that part will be over.

After they all come back, I will send them to  gal in town who is on the consulate list of approved translators.  All of our documents need to be translated into Italian. 

For Family:  Kally just celebrated her 11th birthday!  It seems like just yesterday she was born and added to our family making us a family of 5 instead of 4.  She is a joy...never tiring of trying to get things right.  She is always trying to make people happy with her gifts, talents, and abilities. 

Also...the day after Kally's birthday, Ben and I celebrated our 25th anniversary.  The day we married, I don't know that I could have imagined how quickly this day would get here.  I think I would have expected more fanfare, trumpets blowing, parades, balloons, etc...But in reality, the day was just as we live...steady, calm, quiet, and peaceful.  After several years of watching and hearing about so many friends giving up on their marriages, a peaceful day was a blessing, knowing that we haven't and won't give up.  We want to finish well.

And so, life goes on.  There is a saying in Italy, "the sweetness of doing nothing"....I am anxious to try that out.  :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

I am awkward...just getting it out there (as one of my sweet daughters says). 

When I look back on my life and then see where I am now, the awkward level hasn't changed.  Still up there, pretty close to the top!

Most days that's ok with me.  I drift through life blissfully unaware of my state of awkwardness; and sometimes can even fool myself into thinking that I am much lower on the awkward totem pole.  But when I get those rose-colored glasses off, I see clearly where and what I am. 

I rarely feel awkward at home, with my own immediate family.  But when I walk through my front doors heading into the world, it falls upon me like a fine layer of  mist.  Covers me all over from head to toe...front to back...sideways and longways.

I have had 5 periods of time when I didn't feel awkward.  They all revolve around when God has provided a best friend for me.  I can picture each of those 5 as clearly as though they were sitting right in front of me.  They are 5 beautiful pictures of grace, loving kindness, and mercy.

Currently, God has not provided a best friend for me.  Oh, don't get me wrong, HE has provided great people who smile when they see me, who embrace me with love, and who care about me.  But a best friend....who, in their presence, I don't feel  This was, once again, proven to me last night at a get together with women I love and enjoy dearly, but the awkward mist was swirling around at maximum speed.  Of course, it didn't help that I let my mouth run away a bit and when I finished, there were six eyes staring at me, and three mouths gaping just a bit.  Two seconds later, the mist left it's swirling and once again, just settled back on me.

And that's ok!  As I have gotten older, I have been shown that most of the things I have felt are exactly the same things that other women feel.  They just seem to be much better at handling it.  :)  I will continue to walk through life in a blissful state of not-acknowledging-my-awkwardness and, for the most part, be perfectly fine with that.