Friday, April 30, 2010

Home Sweet Electronically-Connected Home


I just returned from three days at a beautiful conference center near Raymond, WA. My husband was leading a retreat for mission pastors. Great people, delicious food, lovely rooms, beautiful views . . . all only two hours from our home in Seattle. But it felt like we were out in the middle of no-where. And it was not just the cows. THERE WAS NO INTERNET.



How did this happen? During college, I used to wait two weeks for letters from my parents to arrive from Viet Nam to Box #165 at Biola. And all the letters and postcards Dave sent from Europe to our home in Spokane in the early years of ministry travel, before the girls and I went along. Much waiting for my friend ~ the postman. I have written hundreds and hundreds of letters, knowing that in a week or two they would reach my family around the world. And now, I feel lost because I had an idea and could not connect to http://gg-notesonthejourney.blogspot.com/. What is a blogging girl to do . . . well, I read the autobiography of Carol Burnett, worked on my Bible study, started my book on shame, prepared snacks for all the hungry pastors and even went to bed at 9:00 one night. It was a wonderful change of pace. But I have to be honest . . . I really missed blogging. 



photo credits: members.shaw.ca and sgfl.org.uk

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hh is for horse (just for fun!)


If you are journeying (slowly but surely) through the alphabet blog posts with me, you learned in Gg is for Glenda, that I did not meet my in.laws until three days before our wedding. Dave's parents and his youngest sister and brother, John and Sara, drove out for the big event. But I didn't get to meet Peggy, Sue and Roger until almost another year.

It was an exciting day when we had saved enough to purchase airline tickets. I was finally going to see where Dave grew up (the track records at his high school), visit his dad's church (the pianist got sick and I got to play), meet the siblings (I had been waiting a long time), visit Grandpa and Grandma Childers' beautiful farm, go to Six Flags Over Mid-America, and actually get further east then the state of Montana. I was going to the Midwest. But no one warned me about the horse . . .

We got to spend time in the homes of Dave's sisters that were married. Peggy had purchased a one room school house and she and her husband had been remodeling it. We went to Sue's home for lunch. (I still remember the delicious homemade lasagne.) But it was here that the dreaded question arose ~ "do you want to go see my new horse?"

OK, I don't like animals. I never have. And truthfully, if they are bigger than say, a spider, I am scared of them. And a horse is way bigger than a spider.

But my darling sister.in.law, who I had just met, was obviously excited about this new beast. I did not want her to think her brother had married a wimp, or a freak, or a person who was afraid of animals. Those things were all true . . . but I was trying to make a good impression here.

So, with a whisper in my ear from Dave, "just stand close to me," I bravely said, "Sure, I would love to see your new horse."

Out to the field we go . . . carefully watching our steps, me walking unnaturally close to my husband . . . until I am standing in the middle of the field, BY A HORSE!

             

I often exaggerate to make a point, but you need to know, there is no exaggeration here. The horse walked right over to me . .  leaned in . .  and bit me on the thigh (and it was hot and humid Illinois - so I was wearing shorts.)

     me: (whispering in Dave's ear)
          "The horse bit me."

     Dave: (whispering in my ear)
          "Horses do not just walk up and 
          bite you."  
                 
     me: (whispering in Dave's ear)
          "But, the horse just bit me."

     Dave: (whispering in my ear)
          "But really, Glenda, horses don't  
           just walk up and bite people."

Believe me, he changed his tune the next morning, when I woke up with a deep dark bruise the size of a dinner plate, wrapped around my leg. (So you do not feel too badly, I bruise easily.)

But I survived, had a wonderful visit and cried at the airport when we had to say goodbye. I wanted to be neighbors with all of Dave's family.

Postscript: I found out later that after we left, someone asked Roger what he thought of me, his big brother's wife. "Glenda is pretty cool for a city girl," was his response. I guess he never heard that I was afraid of horses.

photo credit: mel-o-dee stables

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hh is for heart (part two)


Did you enjoy the beautiful heart garland I showed you yesterday? I have been intentionally paying attention to my heart. Dave and I have been enjoying long walks at Coulon Park, having delicious protein/fruit smoothies for breakfast, consuming much less sugar (except for last Saturday when Dave made Pioneer Woman's  delicious cinnamon rolls. I made him promise to never make them again, unless we had a houseful of people.), drinking green tea, watching our portions etc.

I also care about my emotional and spiritual heart. Intentionally restoring this part of my heart matters, too. This week that has looked like this:
  •  blogging (remember it makes my heart happy)

  • having an adventure to visit Pioneer Woman with good friends, Wes and Cathie
  • video skyping with our daughters in Chicago (I felt like I was in their kitchen with them. So cool.)
  • spending time on my patio in my new banana yellow Adirondack chair, drinking good coffee, listening to favorite worship music, looking at the lake
  •  having our do - life - together friends for dinner (welcome home, Gene and Anne)
  • enjoying the lovely  Thursday Girls as we process and pray together
  • scheduling time for quiet reflection, reading the Bible and listening (no music, no tv, no computer)
  • doing an all day creative project with Anne, turning a sunroom that was being used mostly as a store room into a lovely garden themed reading room (to bless Gary and Helen)
                

How is your heart doing these days? Maybe you need the encouragement of  Psalm 27:14 ~ "Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord."

I would love to hear from you, if I can assist you in your "heart stuff" in any way.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hh is for heart (part one)

Blogging makes my heart happy. . . both writing posts for Gg: Notes on the Journey and reading other blogs. Blogging is now a part of the routine of my week and blog posts pop into my mind through out the day and night. Sometimes a complete post shows up and almost writes itself. Other times an idea morphs as I mill and pray and go about my life.

Today's post has been visiting my brain for a long time. Last February, as I began to read other blogs, I discovered a favorite, A Pocket Full of Posies. Jill blogs to combine her "love of an artful life with her deep love of family." These are two things that I also care about and her ideas are simple,beautiful and practical. (I have a strong aversion to things that are not practical.)

Jill wrote a post called "Heartstrings" that I instantly loved. Her beautiful heart garland drew me in. When I began my alphabet series, I knew I wanted to use her idea and that Hh would be for heart. I e.mailed Jill to ask permission and she wrote back a lovely note welcoming me to the world of blogging and graciously granting me permission to use anything from her site. (I knew I liked Jill.)

So compliments of A Pocket Full of Posies . . .


cut small hearts from felt


use embroidery floss to string them together


hang and enjoy

Doesn't that look easy and lovely and romantic and whimsical and just plain fun. Jill also has an etsy shop.




Thanks, Jill, for your generosity. You can find her blog at http://jmdesignandco.blogspot.com/. More heart thoughts tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge? (book review)

                                                         

Elisabeth Elliot, missionary stateswoman, prolific writer and wife of the famous martyred Jim Elliot, has a very special place in my heart. When I was in the first grade, she came to our school to speak. I have often wondered if she thought that day, "oh bother, I have to speak to the elementary students." Well, she told her story and she shared the gospel (which means good news) of Jesus Christ. At the end of her talk, I went up and prayed with her, beginning my journey as a follower of Jesus. I was six years old.

While I have never seen her since that day, over 50 years ago ~ gulp :-), I have read many of her books. But I had not even heard of These Strange Ashes: Is God Still in Charge? until I visited our daughters in Chicago a few months ago. They always have a stack of books ready for me to read during my visit. On the top was this Elisabeth Elliot book. They knew how excited I would be at their recent discovery.


This is the story of Elisabeth's first year as a single missionary to the Colorado Indians in Ecuador. She describes four experiences that she called her "kindergarten lessons in faith," that God used to prepare her for a lifetime of ministry.


Here is a small taste: (page 145)


"To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss. The great symbol of Christianity means sacrifice and no one who calls himself a Christian can evade this stark fact. It is not by any means an easy thing to recognize, within a given instance of personal loss, the opportunity it affords for participation in Christ's own loss. What, we ask ourselves, can this possibly have to do with that? We are not by nature inclined to speak spiritually. We are ready to assign almost any other explanation to the things that happen to us. There is a certain reticense to infer that our little troubles may actually be the vehicles to bring us to God. Most of us simply grin and bear them, knowing they are the lot of human beings, and our memories being marvelously selective, we simply cancel them out, not the better for the lesson we might have learned."

WOW!

Linking up 5/9/2011 to Jen and her sweet Soli Sisters.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mountain Woman meets Pioneer Woman

                                        my first blog

Two years ago, my daughters called from Chicago, "Mom, you have got to read this blog, Pioneer Woman. You will absolutely love her." After giving me an over the phone tutorial on how to access a blog, I became a regular reader.

                cathie's first blog

A few months ago, Cathie wasn't feeling well, so to cheer her during her recovery, I phoned her, "Cathie, you have got to read this blog, Pioneer Woman. You will absolutely love her." Cathie e.mailed me the next morning to tell me that she had stayed up most of the night reading her love story. Cathie now reads PW's blog and mine. (Yes, I now have a blog, too, just like Pioneer Woman ~ only she gets one million hits a month and I get 50 hits a day.)

          cathie returns the favor





Cathie has a wonderful, huge collection of cookbooks, so she was probably the first one on the block to own, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl (and her cookbook is already well stained and well loved.) She called Dave to recommend he purchase the cookbook for me for Christmas. Yeah, now I own the cookbook. (I have made the yummy pot roast twice and Cinnamon Rolls are next on our list.) 

                    a field trip planned


Cathie (party planner extraordinaire) planned our outing to meet Pioneer Woman. We would take our husbands (who are great friends) along, too. And Wes' sweet mom. We all needed a good adventure. We would go meet PW, get our books signed and have dinner at The Blue Moon, listed in the top ten hamburger spots in Seattle and recommended by Cathie's daughter.

                    but first, the first autograph




Yesterday afternoon, my husband signed my cookbook first. Hoping that Ree would read it, he wrote . . . "YOU are my pioneer woman. And you are a much better cook. And more creative. And funnier. And a better writer. And cuter than her."

                    the golden ticket


                           

Cathie (party planner extraordinaire) thought of everything. She called Third Place Books to get tickets for the signing. We got a coveted "B" ticket. Each lettered ticket represented 50 fans of Pioneer Woman, who would cheerfully wait in line to meet her. When we arrived, Terry, the thoughtful employee who had held our tickets, told us," You were the last ones to get tickets over the phone. We got so many calls, we had to change our website to say that tickets were available in person only." Now, Ree, we would have happily driven the 20 miles to Lake Forest Park to get tickets, but Terry saved us a lot of hassle. We felt like we had won the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

                    our adventure begins

Last night was simply delightful. We arrived at Third Place Books to a long line of women (sprinkled with a few men), all holding the cute orange cookbook, waiting to meet PW. The line moved slowly, but people chatted . . . what is your favorite recipe?, how long have you been reading The Pioneer Woman? etc.
One woman behind us had cooked a special treat to bring as a gift to PW, but sadly it had not turned out properly. She had stopped on the way to purchase salted caramels, because she knew Ree like a sweet and savory combination. (Pioneer Woman has loyal and faithful fans.)

                    Numbers 98 and 99

Because of traffic, we arrived 30 minutes after the signing began, but they were still in group B. (Thank you, Terry.) We ended up being fan # 98 and fan #99. Excitement grew as we got closer and closer, winding our way through the shelves of books. We knew we were almost there when we could see the constant flashing of cameras. We rounded the final corner and there she was . . . Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman!

the mountain woman and her friend meet the adorable pioneer woman



                                      
        



It was my turn, mountain woman, #98, holder of a  "B" ticket and a wonderful orange cookbook, had made it to the front of the line. TIME SLOWED DOWN . . . The first thing I noticed was Pioneer Woman's pretty red hair (because all of us faithful readers know that for her first cookbook tour she had trouble getting the color just right.), then her cute blue shirt and how straight she sat in the chair.  Ree was beautiful, sweet and charming. Despite the long lines, she took time for each guest to chat and joke and take photos.

Pioneer Woman also had her famous camera along and she took a picture of Wes, after he took pictures of us. As we left she thanked us for coming, hoped we were doing something fun on the way home and called out to Wes, "I can't promise you won't show up in my blog next week." So watch for Wes.


                             
                                           
                     #99 and 98

As we gathered our things and prepared to leave Third Place Books, we stopped to take a quick excited glance at our cookbooks. Alas and alack, the cute employee at the front of the line (who looked like she could have been Ree's sister), had switched our books. My wonderful copy said "love to Cathie" and Cathie's cookbook said "love to Glenda." Back to our go-to employee, Terry and back to the front of the line. PW sweetly offered us new copies, but no, we are sentimentally attached to our cookbooks . . . so she signed them AGAIN.


                       

Thanks, Ree, for coming to beautiful Seattle and for a wonderful adventure!

P.S. A little note to Third Place Books ~ Thanks for bringing Pioneer Woman to Seattle. We really appreciate it.

P.P.S. A second little note to Third Place Books ~ I was surprised when I noticed that no water had been provided for PW as she chatted with over 700 fans. An idea for next time ~ provide an employee as a hostess to tend to our friend, the Pioneer Woman, during her long hours of signing our books. Thanks.



Update: Here is Ree's take on the evening ~


Friday, April 16, 2010

As easy as pie (sour cream apple)

I am married to an amazing man. Just one of the many things I love about Dave, is his continual hunt for a great recipe, which then goes into his cookbook and is made many times. This pie recipe was so good it made it into Dave's book. It is easy to make because you do not have to peel the apples.

DAVE'S SOUR CREAM APPLE PIE

2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups apples, diced (don't peel)
9" pie shell

Mix flour, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. Mix egg, sour cream and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir in apples. Put this in pie shell.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Then 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While pie is cooking, make the following topping.

Topping: 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/3 cup flour, 2 tablespoons butter

After placing the topping on the pie, bake a final 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

We can't end pie week, without acknowledging an important question ~DO YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR OWN PIE CRUST OR BUY THE GREAT ONES AT THE STORE? My mom always bought Pillsbury pie crusts and her pies were delicious. I personally enjoy making my own. The choice is yours. This is the crust recipe from Martha Stewart that I have used for many years.

MARTHA STEWART'S PIE CRUST

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks cold butter, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup ice water (sometimes a bit more)

Put dry ingredients and cubed butter in the food processor. Blend 10 seconds. Slowly pour in ice water. (Don't mix more than 30 seconds.) Roll out the dough on a floured surface. This makes enough for a top and bottom crust, or two single crust pies.

What is YOUR favorite pie?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

As easy as pie (peanut butter)

My sister-in-law, Holly is a gracious hostess. I love going to her home because she is always doing something new and creative. (She just turned her rarely used dinning room into an amazing study/library.) She is also creative in the kitchen and this delicious recipe comes from her.

HOLLY'S PEANUT BUTTER PIE

Mix together: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 8 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla

Add: 1 cup of whipped cream that you have whipped

Put in graham cracker crust. Chill overnight. Cover with a thin layer of chocolate or hot fudge before serving.

Years ago, we hosted Robin Mark and his band in our home. (Robin is a worship leader from Ireland.) I carefully planned menus I thought they would enjoy. I had dessert (which they called pudding) every night, because I had been to Ireland and know they like their sweets.

 One night, I served Holly's Peanut Butter pie. Well . . . they raved about my tea ~ Glenda, you must be the only woman in America who knows how to make a "proper cuppa tea." But later they told me they do not really eat peanut butter in Ireland and they thought it was kinda strange. But they loved the espresso cookies (biscuits) that Dave made. The pie must not have been too bad, because they came and stayed with us again the next year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

As easy as pie (strawberry)

Are you enjoying pie week?  We are not. My husband just got a "your cholesterol is too high" chat from his doctor. No pie at our house. But I hope you can enjoy . . .

RUTH'S STRAWBERRY PIE

Pie shell: 1 cup flour, 1 cube butter, 3 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Press into pie pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Filling: 1 cup sugar, 3 1/2 tablespoons corn starch, 3 tablespoons white karo syrup, 1 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 4 tablespoons dry jello. Cool. (Note: use strawberry jello if you are making a strawberry pie and raspberry jello if you make a raspberry pie.)

Place berries in shell, add filling when luke warm.

Serve with whipped cream.

Ruth Brakefield was a classy lady, who was also amazing in the kitchen.

 When our second daughter was born, Ruth joined me for months in praying that my baby would be born on Ruth's birthday. This was because my husband was speaking out of town the day Jenny was due. (You know those decisions you make, sure honey, accept that speaking engagment, our babies come late. And then later you wonder what you were thinking.) Dave arrived home in the wee hours of the morning on Ruth's birthday . . . Jenny was born around 8 pm that night.

I made this pie for Dave several times before we were married . . . say no more!

*If you are joining pie week midstream, the photos are a pie I made for Easter. Didn't want you to be confused, thinking this is strawberry pie.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As easy as pie (ice cream)


Pie week continues . . . and the picture here is the pie I made this year for Easter. But todays is

MELIA'S ICE CREAM PIE

1 pint ice cream (any flavor you love)
2 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup butter (1/2 cube)
2 cups rice krispies

Melt butter and 1 1/2 squares of the chocolate together. Mix with rice krispies  and pat into pie plate. Put it in the freezer until firm. Pat softened ice cream over the rice krispie crust. Use 1/2 square shaved chocolate on top. Put back in freezer.(I usually double this recipe and make it in a 9x13 inch pan.) This is delicious with whipped cream on top.

Melia and I have travelled the world together in ministry with our families. We have eaten in many fun restaurants, but we both love a good homecooked meal. Melia doesn't love cooking every single day but she has many specialities that I love.

This ice cream pie is a favorite of our family and we make it every year for Christmas day. It works so well for us, because Jenny is allergic to wheat and she can have this crust. She is also allergic to sugar, so I make a special one for her with sugarfree icecream.

Monday, April 12, 2010

As easy as pie (pumpkin)

We are going to take a break this week from our journey through the alphabet and instead spend the week dreaming of pie. Let's begin with pumpkin.

GRANDMA CECIL'S PUMPKIN PIE                (makes 2 pies)

4 cups pumpkin (the large can)
4 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 cups milk

Mix well and pour into pie shells. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees and 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

My grandma Cecil (maternal grandmother) was the original Martha Stewart. She cooked in several restaurants and I love all of her recipes. She died  before our girls were born, but my oh my, would they have loved her craft room.

KAE'S WALNUT CRUNCH TOPPING

1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter

Mix and spoon over cooked and cooled pumpkin pie. Broil 3 minutes about 5-7 inches from heat until topping is golden and sugar is dissolved. (Keep your eye on this, it goes from perfect to burned very quickly.) Cool and serve with whipped cream.

My ministry partner, prayer partner and friend of many years, Kae, is also a great cook. Eating at her house is always a treat to the taste buds and her table is beautifully prepared, as well.

On Thanksgiving, I always make two pumpkin pies and one has Kae's topping. If it was only about me, both pies would.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Transcripts R not us



 Yesterday, I sent a facebook message to a friend Lee Bintz, to congratulate her on her new book. I mentioned that I surely could have used her book when we homeschooled. I would have avoided the transcript nightmare that I am about to describe.


We began homeschooling when Christy finished third grade, when she missed 60 days of school, because of our ministry travels. Jenny went to kindergarten and then joined her sister at home for her schooling.

We were what I called a "serious/fun homeschool family." I took my job seriously, did hours of research to choose the best curriculum and prepared well most weeks. I also believed that learning should be fun and we had lots of great times together. (Except Math, which I hated.)


But I had what could have been considered a fatal flaw. I did lesson plans each week, but I don't like clutter, so I threw them away when the work was completed. I didn't do report cards or make a porfolio. I just did a good job of teaching my girls. I lived in denial that I would ever need to prove that we actually did the work.

Fast forward to the day of our transcript nightmare. Minnesota has a great program called Post Secondary Education Option, which allows high school students to attend college and the state pays for it.

On the very day that applications were due, Jenny decided that she really wanted to go for the PSEO program. No problem with the application, finding people who would love giving Jenny a great recommendation, or showing how Jenny did lots of things to help the community. But my heart skipped a beat when I read three little words . . . INCLUDE A TRANSCRIPT. We had no transcript and I panicked and I cried. All this hard work and I have ruined my daughters chance to go to college.

Enter my husband . . . who ignored my tears, fired up his computer and said, "You were a great homeschooling mom and Jenny is a fantastic student. We can do this. No one leaves this room until we have a transcript in hand."

We brainstormed . . . we reminisced . . . we scoured homeschool catalogues to help us remember . . . we looked at transcript samples on line. Three hours later we emerged from my husband's office with a transcript we felt represented with integrity, Jenny's schooling from 7th - 10th grades. I am still not sure why it was such an emotional moment for me, as I fought tears the entire three hours. I needed Lee's book, for sure.

Jenny got accepted to Normandale Community College and later transferred to Moody Bible Institute, where she graduated with honors. Jenny and I have often looked back at that funny day, and thanked God for Dave. Without him, there would have been no wonderful college career.

May I recommend instead to purchase Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships. It will spare you one rotten, emotional afternoon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Heart My Bible Study Peeps




love, love, love these women!

Gg is for go on a mission trip (part two)


I told you yesterday, about how hard it was for me to set aside my fear and say yes to a mission trip to Moldova. What an incredible trip I ended up having, as God met me every step of the way. I loved Moldova and the amazing opportunities to serve. I did three things:

1.  We put on a two day pastor's conference. While our senior pastor and my husband taught the pastor's, our senior pastor's wife and I taught the women. It was my first time to speak through a translator and I really loved it. These dear ladies had all travelled in from their villages where they serve. On the second afternoon, we did a craft together and taught them how to make chocolate chip cookies, which they devoured. Our church women, made amazing gift bags for each pastor's wife. Here are a few of the lovely ladies.

2.  My friend, Cathie, had been to Moldova before and had a passion to do something for the hard working village women. They work from early morning to dusk out in the hot fields, to provide food for their families, even women in their 80's.

We put on evangelistic tea parties for the village women. Each tea was so fun and amazing. Our team women each shared stories of God's faithfulness to us and I had the joy of sharing the Gospel. We had a small gift for each woman.

I have a sweet memory of an older woman closing her eyes and savoring a pastry we had brought from the big capital city. For each one she ate, she put one in her pocket, to savor the next day. Here are a few of the beautiful village women.

3. I also enjoyed the fun children in the villages. A little of the "first grade teacher Glenda" came out, as we put on Bible classes. Our church had meticulously saved every left over craft activity for years, and these kids loved every one of them. Again, we shared the Gospel through translators and showed the children's version of The Jesus Film, in Russian.

Dave and I have a favorite memory of watching 6 young boys on their haunches as they watched the movie. They were glued to the screen and barely moved a muscle. Their eyes got huge when Jesus healed the blind man. Those same eyes filled with tears, when Jesus was crucified.

I believe God used the pastor's conference, the teas and the Bible times with children, but I can't say exactly what God did. One thing I know for sure though, God certainly honored my obedience and every day He gave me strength, courage and creative ideas. I am so glad I went! Thanks to the wonderful Belev family for hosting our team.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gg is for go on a missions trip ~ even when the timing is crazy (part one)

Have you ever found God's timing to be . . . well, should we say, FAITH STRETCHING. Two years ago, in the midst of a crazy month that began with a car accident and was to end (because of the sudden sale of our home), with putting 80 percent of our possessions into storage and moving into the lake house, God called us to go on a mission trip.


I do not know about you, but I would have liked the four weeks to prepare to move, especially when I was stiff and sore and busy with chiropractor, physical therapy and massage appointments. This is where the faith stretch came in. Dave was asked to lead a team from our church to Moldova ~ right in the middle of that month. When I asked God if I should go, He answered by providing all of my financial support for the trip through some dear friends. We were going to Moldova and moving one week after our return.

Sometimes I feel like much of my life has been a gigantic missions trip. I grew up in Viet Nam, where my parents were missionaries. And for 23 years, Dave and I served with Reign Ministries/Royal Servants and took hundreds of students on short term mission trips. You would think this trip would be a piece of cake for me (oh, minus the car accident and moving into a new house when we returned.)

But in reality, I was scared. In many ways, THIS WOULD BE MY FIRST MISSIONS TRIP . . . I would be a fully functioning member of the team. (I was no longer a mom travelling with small children.)

     *What if it got too hot? (It did, it was 100 degrees and humid.)

     *What if I got sick? (I rarely get sick, but I was sick almost the entire two weeks.)

     *What if our host family didn't speak any English?(They didn't, and we communicated by combining the game of pictionary and charades. Every meal was great fun.)

     *What if I got too tired or overwhelmed? (I got both.)

My list went on and on . . .

But after prayer and studying God's Word, I made a commitment before I left, that every day I would give 100% and hold nothing back. I would trust God to meet my needs. And He did! Everyday, God gave me what I needed to stay present and to do creative ministry. I am so glad I did not let my fear keep me from an amazing experience.

P.S. One week after our return, we were settled in our new home. This was because of the help of dozens of family and friends.

Is God asking you to do something hard right now, or something where the timing seems totally crazy?


3/16/2011 ~ I am linking today to the lovely Tiffini and Word Women Wednesday.
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