Packing .. yet again .. yuck!

on Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well, we are in the thick of things. We have to be out of our house by midnight tomorrow so the new renters can move in on the first of January. Oh my goodness, boxes everywhere, a room full of give aways, a room full of "store this", a garage full of "move to the barn" and "take to the dump". My feet and back hurt and I am sooooo tired. I worked really hard yesterday, but truly moped around a lot feeling stressed by all that needs to happen in such a short space of time. Honestly, I'm feeling a little irresponsible and disappointed in myself too. Once again I am feeling the consequences of procrastination. And if that isn't stressful enough, Ben is only now feeling the weight of the fact that we are leaving again. I'm frustrated with the fact that I am so busy and there is so little time to just be there for him and make him feel safe. Pray for me that God will give me peace and that I will have the wisdom to know how to transfer that to my kids. Grandma is coming over today to visit while we pack. I'm hoping she can play some games with the kids and they can just enjoy her. I think that will give them some peace. I know the pace we are keeping the last few days is enough to stress out the most laid back.

We were encouraged yesterday with some conversations with Ben George. He's leading the initial team to Managua for the conference that we are helping with. We were supposed to pay a fair sum of money in order to stay at the resort, but it turns out that the resort is overbooked due to the overwhelming attendance of locals to this conference, so the team is having to be put up at the Pastor's home where Graeme and I have already arranged to stay. This means that we have our sleeping arrangements covered for the conference with our agreement with this pastor. The only thing we need to pay for now is gas for the outreaches and food. Yay God!

This pastor is Ricardo Hernandez. He has offered to rent our family 2 rooms and the full use of his home and laundry facilities including utilities and internet for $700/mo. We will only have to buy and prepare our own food and probably figure out a local cell phone or something. God has been so faithful in our preparations. Living in 2 rooms with another family is not what we would have normally chosen, but our heart is to influence and impact and what better way than to live with the pastor of an influential church in Nica. The church is called Verbo. There is lots on the web about them if you want to google them.

This update will have to be short and sweet. I have to get back to packing and cleaning.

Here are a few details and prayer points:

- Peace in our house and efficiency so we can be out of our house on time and leave it in great shape for new renters.
- For the kids hearts, that they would not be afraid of this move, but look forward to it. That this journey would be an adventure not a drudgery.
- For our road trip to California, we leave on January 2nd, for safety, clear roads, favour at the border, fuel economy :)
- For our flights, on January 8th out of SanFran at 8:30am - leg room please Jesus :) No problems with checking in all of our baggage!

Trying to get pumped about going, but my mind is in other places.

A little Christmas info with pics.

on Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Christmas picture this year. Christmas in Kelowna with friends and family. Great times. It's only a week til we head out to Nicaragua. There is going to be a lot of work this week, but we are excited and things are coming together. God's provision has been miraculous and the generosity of friends and family a true blessing.
Caleb had fun this Christmas, time spent hanging out with his cousin Eric, playing some of his new video games and reluctantly taking many spare moments to work with his sister on spanish. He and Bailey are doing so well at memorizing vocabulary.
The older two, with one of Bailey's BFFs, Sarah, had fun at New Life youth group this year. They went to a formal Christmas party as the last youth night before Christmas and were disappointed to find that there would be no more youth before we left for Nica.
Bailey was thrilled with some fun clothes that are warm weather appropriate for Christmas. She says she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. I'm thinking I should invest in a small sewing machine one of these days so she can figure out if this is really what she wants to do. She's a little nervous these days about making new friends in Nica, but still a little excited for the trip. She is looking forward to visiting friends in Redding on the way, but sad about having to say goodbye to the cat and friends and family in Kelowna.
Ben has discovered his love of rhythm this year. Some friends gave us a set of drums and he found himself drumming on almost everything but! He would play them at times, but he's so social that he didn't want to be in his room alone to play them. He got these portable electric drum sticks. He can go anywhere in the house and listen to his music and his drumming through ear phones or share the rhythm with us on occasion through the computer. He's also feeling a little anxious about making friends, but still a little excited for the trip. I think they will be happy when we are settled in there. He has no problems making friends. I don't think even a language barrier will hinder his friendliness.

Getting Ready to Move

on Saturday, December 26, 2009

Looking forward to tomorrow morning. I was hoping to be prayed for and sort of sent out by the church we are attending right now as we prepare for our trip to Nicaragua in a week, but we really don't know many people who are leaders in the church and didn't see it happening, but God knows my heart and my desire to be covered and connect so last Sunday when I was speaking with a friend, Wendy, after church, her friend from the missions department stopped to talk to her. Wendy introduced us and then without a moment of hesitation or even knowing my heart, asked this lady if they could do something about praying for us or sending us out. As a result I got connected and the church will call us up tomorrow to pray for us. I'm so thankful for the prayer covering and for the way that God takes care of my heart.

I'm a little stressed by all that has to happen in the next week, but all it's really only a lot of hard work. It won't kill us, just make us stronger :) We have to get rid of some stuff, pack some for storage and move some to friend's and family's homes. I love how some things that you keep forever have just naturally started to run out or quit on us. Like running out of the enormous box of dishwasher detergent and using up all the food in the pantry and the freezer, oversized electronics like tvs and monitors dying or huge bottles of body wash being used up. Just makes it feel like ... "yep, it's time to move on and do so with less stuff once again." Little things like that actually give me a lot of joy, getting rid of dead weight I mean. Like I tossed a broken food chopper and hand blender last month, I forgot a platter at a friends and decided to leave it there and I keep finding things to pawn off or give away. Some things will be harder. Like our lovely cat, Sam, that we have inherited. He is such a friendly and cuddly cat that gives all of us so much joy. I never thought I could like a cat this much. And then there is the kitchen aide :( But for everything I have to give up God is on the other side making a way, providing for our every need. When I was Christmas shopping last week, I kept finding things on sale that I had forgotten I was going to buy for our trip like a portable water filter and a more practical purse for travelling and carrying things like travellers cheques or passports. I was so blessed to find them along the way and for a good price.

We were so blessed the past month with financial gifts and encouragement. Between the gifts and some generous compensation for a little work that I did, Graeme and I have been given exactly what it cost us to book our plane tickets. Just another confirmation that we are headed in the right direction. I kept seeing 222 and 2222 the other day and upon some research found the scripture in Isaiah that reminded me that when God opens a door, when he places a call on your life and you choose to obey, no one can close that door to you. We are so confident of God's call on us to go to Nicaragua in this season and He is faithful to hold the doors open to us. I know that we will not be ashamed for following His voice because He is going to make this so good! It also gives me peace in our considerations and discussions about crossing into the USA again. We have had so many problems there in the past, but this time I know that the Father has opened a door and that this time no man will close it to us.

At times I am feeling a little inadequate for the job, in Nica I mean. I need to spend some more time with Jesus to remember who He is and what He's placed in me. I have been so busy and preoccupied and life just does such a good job of making you feel totally human and insufficient. Getting in touch with His grace is just what I need, it's sufficient and will make me so.

I am so thankful for the time that I have had at home in Canada. I loved my time in Redding. It was such a stretching and growing time. I learned a lot about my Father and myself, but it was a very busy time. I left feeling like I want to save the world and started to realize when no one else was there to encourage my children that they were feeling a little left out. Our time in Canada has been an awesome time of learning what message I bring and how that fits with meeting my kids needs and raising them up. I forgot how much I enjoy just being a mom and a friend to moms. I still want to teach and impact a nation, but God has been teaching me how to change the world one conversation at a time. He's asked me time and again. "Would you do it for the one?" I used to think that the only way I would change the world is to preach to thousands, but I love the fact that every time my realization of the Father's heart changes someone's heart for someone else or affects the way they relate to the Father that I am changing the world. Impacting one person for eternity can change the course of history. Ben and I studied the woman at the well this fall in his Bible study. Jesus had one conversation with a woman and she went home and told her city of Jesus and how He prophesied over her. Many came to hear His words and believed. One conversation can reverberate through hundreds or even just stick in the heart of one who will come to a place of influence and change a school, a church or a nation. Wow!! We forget the power of the tongue and prayer and the Holy Spirit at work in us.

Once again, it's very late and I have to be up early. I love this blogging thing. It gives me a chance to see what's in my heart as I put my thoughts to words. Merry Boxing week and Happy New Year if I don't blog before.

What fills my heart and hence will likely fill this blog over time.

on Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm catching myself all the time. Worried about money, circumstances that aren't working out, scared I made a wrong choice, missed God's voice, leaving myself out on a limb outside of God's grace and mercy where the favour of God can no longer bless my life. Maybe I've made choices that drew my life out of the hand of God, just beyond His reach and now I will be at the mercy of sewing and reaping, natural consequences ........ Than Holy Spirit gives my head a shake ... and reminds me .... "Didn't you ask me to keep you in the center of my will?" ...... "Didn't you surrender to my plan for your life?" ...... "Don't you remember my words?" .... "I will never leave you or forsake you." .... "Those who trust in me will never be put to shame." ..... "God judges the heart." .... "Perfect love will cast out all your fear and I am here now to confirm that perfect love to you." I could never fall from His grace because the cross was all sufficient. It covers a multitude of sins? how about ignorance, blatant disregard? His blood paid for it all and now all the decisions made for my life are made by the father looking at me through rose coloured glasses. Stained by the blood. It's like I can do no wrong and the father wants nothing more than to lead me and guide me in peace and righteousness upheld by His grace and mercy that will never run out.

That constant struggle between a pauper and prince mentality. I am not a poor man begging for bread or mercy. I am an heir to the kingdom, a child of God, I wear his signet ring (the Holy Spirit) and that means I have great authority. I have spent the last couple years sitting under the ministry of Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton in Redding, California hearing sermon after sermon, teaching after teaching on my identity in Christ. The fact that I am Jesus glorious inheritance. That I am seated at the right hand of the father and I have my Daddy's ear. I am chosen and loved by the creator of the universe ... and still I fear. Wow, this is a big lesson and I fear it may take my whole life and beyond to truly grasp how great the father's love for us, vast beyond all measure, to know and understand what my identity entitles me to and I have allowed the enemy to steal from me like taking candy from a baby.

I was pondering this last week, while signing Christmas cards, what it would look like to truly survey the fullness of God's love in our lives. I am reminded of an old Amy Grant song called "Angels watching over me" and how it talked about a reckless car that ran out of gas before it ran my way. I'm reminded too of pulling up to a restaurant and sitting in my car feeling really cold and asking God for a parking spot close to the door so I don't have to walk too far and before I have a chance to finish the thought/prayer someone is pulling out of the spot in front of me. Little ideas of the fullness of His love that follow me everyday. But I know I have not even seen the tip of this iceberg. Psalm 139 says that in the secret place he knew me, he knit me together in my mother's womb, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. This speaks to me of the beginning of time, when Adam was formed out of the dust of the earth. He knew me the day He made Adam and before that when he created the earth itself. It also says in Psalm 139 : all the days ordained for me were written before one of them came to be. What good works have gone on in my life, in my parents lives, in their parents lives that have established my life with such favour? I am so thankful to live in this moment and sit in such a seat of privilege. I pray for each of us ... that in this season ... we might taste and see for a moment, for a month, for the rest of our lives how good our God is and how full is the love that He has so freely poured out on us from the beginning of time.

In light of this love, I must choose each day to think princely thoughts. I don't even always know what that is meant to look like. When I am in fear I need to remind myself of the fulness of His love. I might need to ask Him for a different perspective on my situations because looking for His love and goodness in the midst of the storm isn't always the most natural of responses. Well ... it was for Jesus ... when he slept in the belly of the boat being tossed about by the wind and waves. I think I have many a lesson to learn from this Jesus, Prince of Peace. I want to know Him more.