Preparation?

How do you prepare for some place you’ve never been?

Google? Word of mouth? Books? Magazines?

I now often think of the missionaries who went to other nations before the internet. Now those were the brave ones. Imagine having no inkling of what beholds you?

I’m pretty sure I’ve read every blog, forum and website I could find online. I’ve seen pictures, YouTube videos, I even saw the neighborhoods up close on Google earth! I feel like I’m so familiar with this nation that I’ve never been to, but that’s probably actually only 20% of what’s to come and experience. I have so much info circulating my brain that someone actually asked me if I had been there already! Ha! People ask all the time, “Do you know where you’re gonna live when you get there?” Nope. “Do you know what hotel you’re gonna stay at when you get there?” Um, nope. Sooo… What are you gonna do? I guess we’ll play eenie, meenie, miney moe? Lol…jk. We’ll pray, we’ll get God involved, we’ll ask Him to guide us, to strategically place us where we need to be. The best plan we can come up with is to completely trust God. Now that’s something God has prepared us for!

Melody

God Speaks

Recently, I was having some mind battles. This particular day I was busy and I heard a song and it stopped me. I sat down and listened to the lyrics. Now, in our house we’re big music lovers. There is always music playing. I had heard this song hundreds of times but today it sang to my heart. I felt God’s presence as I listened. He spoke to me and comforted me. He did all this during a 3 minute song…He is truly amazing. Lol! Have you ever heard a song and it spoke to your heart so intensely? Or read a quote that gave you chills? It usually happens to me when I’m going through something. That’s when I hear God’s voice the loudest.
It’s amazing when you’re at your most vulnerable how everything seems like the voice of God. A song, a verse, a situation, a chapter, a comment, the BIRDS, and it goes on. I believe God is always speaking but WE hear more clearly when we’re hurting or struggling.  I thank God that during our trials our emotions allow us this privilege of becoming so sensitive, so accessible to His presence. He is truly omni-present during those times. He is more relevant, more loving, more understanding, more powerful. He makes those trials bearable.
When I’m able to realize this, during the hard times, I have such an appreciation for my heavenly Father. I really feel His arms wrapped around me telling me it’s gonna be ok. Sometimes we lose that when things are going good. We don’t pray as often, our emotional side isn’t as in tuned to God’s mercies. We don’t, dare I say, need Him as much. I finally felt like a “grown up” christian when I was honestly, truly able to thank God for my trial.  When I was able to see and be thankful for what He was doing in me through the trial.
Tonight I spoke with a friend of mine who is going through A LOT. She inspired,  or inspires, me.  She talked about how she’s done stressing and is putting everything in God’s hands. This is no small trial we’re talking about here, yet she says it with such conviction and certainty. I can truly see God’s grace and power through her. God speaks to me as I hear her talk,  speaks to me as I write this, I pray I’m always vulnerable enough to hear His voice.  I pray I can be thankful during my trial and I WILL listen because God speaks.

It’s Just Stuff

Ah… my first blog post. I wasn’t actually gonna blog. I don’t think I’ll be good at it, don’t think I’ll keep up with it, don’t think my thoughts are interesting enough, and so on. I did figure I’d start one just to show pictures of what’s going on in Brazil.
However, I’m conflicted and wanna share my pain. Jk, it’s not that bad…. Or is it?
Most of you reading this know we were called as missionaries to Brazil. Needless to say, it was an exciting conference for us. To find out this was God’s will for OUR lives was humbling and exciting. We came home and jumped into getting our passports, shots, pricing for international furniture moving companies, etc.
That’s when I realized that it is waaaaay to difficult and expensive to ship our “stuff” soooo… we’ve decided to sell everything! What?! Come again?! Yep, that’s right! This just got a lil harder. I’ve been trying to convince myself that selling everything and starting over isn’t a big deal. It is and it isn’t.
Everyone seems to be divided on this subject.
Some brag that they’re not “attached to their stuff”. Some say, “Well, it’s a sacrifice. What did you expect? ” We also get the infamous, “It’s just stuff”.
This is what I’ve been hearing a lot of lately. Not just from people, but in my own head as well. But….is it “just stuff”?
One definition of stuff, said “worthless things or matter”. Another said, ” personal possessions generally”. I like the latter much better. Personal, there’s the key word. These are MY personal possessions.
Am I carnal for struggling with this? Is God unhappy with me? Does He understand my struggle?
I thought maybe it’s because I literally came into church as teenager with nothing of my own. Not even much of a family. Everything I have is from memories I built with my husband as we dated God’s way and raised our kids as He would have us. I look around and see God’s provision and blessing. I see a gift I was given by our church when my husband lost his job right before Christmas years ago. I see the dining table I JUST received for my 34th birthday. I could go on and on and on…
I’ve been praying for the heart of “it’s just stuff” but God has given me something better. He’s forced me to focus on us. My husband, my 11 yr old, 9 yr old and myself. We love each other and we love to be around each other. Does my legacy lie in my memorabilia…? I guess it could. Or does it lie in us? In my kids? In our grand-kids because we’ve broken curses? In time they’ll look at their lives and see the blessings passed down because we followed God’s will. Of course, we’ll store the most important things here with family, but the majority goes. It’s strange watching strangers walk away with things you don’t wanna part with but, then again, it’s just stuff.