Tuesday, October 30, 2012

loss

As I sit here the first full day after Sandy made her way through the Northeast, I am stunned at the amount of damage she left behind.   Pictures of NYC and the Jersey shore made me hurt for people that live there and have lost everything - even to the extent of their lives.  It is reminiscent of so many disasters all over the world.  This blog is basically me processing, so sorry for my rambling!

I have been thinking about loss a lot today.  There are so many different ways to experience this - and none of them are easy.  Losing my mom at such a young age was - and still is - a big hit.  Having to leave Malawi - a place where I felt at home for the first time - left a hole.  Letting go of things that I think "should have been" in my life and actually allowing myself to heal when sometimes I would rather wallow.  Moving around so much in our lives has meant loss of those daily friendships with people that I have loved.  Yes, we have been blessed to have friends that will remain as close as family - but that makes it even harder to not have time with them more often than once a year.  It feels as though we are in a perpetual state of getting ready to say goodbye to someone or something - whether it be a person, a hope or an idea.  I know this is true of missionary life - but it is true for all people.

Watching the people in the news today look at what used to be their houses broke my heart.  I have never had to deal with loss of physical things to such an extent.  We have never owned a home, and the houses that we have lived in were never really ours.

But then, I guess nothing really is, is it?

James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows."  It is given to us, for a time, for his glory.  But if or when he chooses to take it away, blessed be his name.  This means everything.  For me right now it means my kids, my plans, my desires, my time.  I am working through a few things right now in my life that I continually have to remember to hold lightly - and it really stinks, if I am being honest.  Yet he continues to refine me and grow me.

That doesn't take away the pain of loss.  I can't wait until heaven.  Come, Lord Jesus! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

good things

We are settled into our new house in Waterford, and enjoying the goodness of all the things God has given us recently.  This church (Grace Episcopal Church) has been more than generous to us as they bring us food, meals, and encouragement - along with a free house!  We enjoyed worshiping with them this week.

Other things that we are thankful for in the past few weeks:

*It's missions conference at Compelled and we are having the International worker stay with us.  He is from Mali, Africa, and listening to his stories of life there for the past 34 years is fun, encouraging, and heart-breaking (as they are retiring after so long there!)

*A few days away at Silver Bay where pastors and their families can stay for free.  Though it was chilly, the kids played in Lake George, we played tennis (in jeans and winter jackets!), and rested and enjoyed each other for a few nights.  The best thing about this place is that I don't have to cook or clean up!  Whoo hoo!

*Celebrating Anna's birthday a week early with her cousins.  Anytime they can be together is fun and memory making.  We realize these times are precious.

*Rocking out at compelled with the amazing worship team I play with - and watching John grow and thrive in that setting.  Yes, I am a proud mama!

*Game and movie night at our house with the compelled family - laughing together and eating chocolate.  Enough said!

*Worshiping at a few different churches that we had not had a chance to be a part of before :  St. Thomas in Tupper Lake (what a welcoming family!), Clearview CMA Church in Schodack (We were loved on immensely), and Grace Church (as mentioned above!)  This weekend we will be heading to the CMA church in Hoosick Falls!  Looking forward to it!

*Chatting with friends from all over the world.  I love cell phones and facebook and skype and all that "technology!"

*Seeing new names on our weekly reports for fun raising!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

*Eating Turkey Dinner at compelled - yummmmmmy

*We have had some really good school days this year so far.  Thank you, Lord.  I needed it after last year!  haha! Apparently Geometry is easier for John than Algebra - just like me!

*Getting to know Andy and Beverly more as they prepare to take over at Compelled.  What a wonderful couple.  I am excited for what God is going to do in and through them.

*A bonfire at a friend's house!  And God held off the rain for the most part!  :)

*Visiting the RPI Observatory and catching a glimpse of a satellite.  The second time, Andrew even got to see Jupiter and 4 of it's moons!

Thank you, Jesus.  You are good.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I'm not quite sure what that phrase even means, sometimes!  In the 16+ years we have been married, we have moved 17 times.  And we stayed in one house in Kinsman for 4.5 years!  I guess not owning a home means that rent prices go up and all that good stuff.  When we were in Malawi we moved three times before being able to settle in the mission housing of some Southern Baptist friends, because the Malawian landlords thought they could get a good price from the Americans!  But that's neither here nor there....

Welcome to our new place!
 The Grace Episcopal Church of Waterford, NY has graciously let us live in their empty rectory free of charge while we are raising support to go to South Sudan!  And I have to say - it's good to be back in the Troy, NY area!  It takes only 10 minutes to get to Compelled, and we are actually able to do school at home, eat all our meals, and still go to church Wednesday night instead of packing up and spending the day there!  And we can hang out with some of the friends that we have not been able to spend much time with, while still being close enough to our Schenectady friends that we can get together.  It's all good.

It has also freed us up to be able to do some all-out support raising! We talked with Michael and Karen Masso today (our team leaders in SS) and it was good.  We are all ready to have us there, and feeling a bit impatient with God's timing of things, but it was nice to talk with them and get their perspective on things.  They will be leaving at the end of the summer 2013 for a few month for home assignment, so we are now really praying that we can get there at the beginning of the year to have a few months with them there before they leave! Would you pray that with us?

The call made the kids antsy to go as well, as they heard the voices of Gaby and Liana, and started imagining what it would be like there to do school and hang out with them!  Even John said, "Every time we talk to them I get excited again!"

Thanks for your prayers, support, and encouragement!  Please pray that we would be patient with God's timing!