Friday, March 22, 2013

Still

'Still'
On our 2nd term as missionaries, and 9 years into our life in Asia, and I find myself baffled by my 'still needy' -ness. Why are the same aspects of this culture still annoying me? Why do I still fear? Why do I still struggle to have peace and joy in my heart? Why do the same ol' things still stress me out?  


Shouldn't I be more mature than this by now?
Shouldn't I be more acclimated to this country by now?
Shouldn't I be a better mom and a more loving wife by now?
Shouldn't life's inconveniences be more humorous by now?
Shouldn't life's heartaches be easier to bear by now?




Another missionary was telling me about  her own '2nd term' experience today. She said, 'The day that we both got into a motorcycle accident, and our house flooded, was the day I realized I still needed God's help to live in this country. I still needed our supporters' prayers.'

Me too.
 


I still sin.
Therefore, I still need my Savior.
I still hurt.
Therefore, I still need a Comforter.
I still struggle.
Therefore, I still need God's help.
I still fail.
Therefore, I still need Forgiveness.
I still feel Loneliness.
Therefore, I still need Others.


I am still on earth and still just a sinner saved by God's amazing grace. Life still hurts sometimes, and will continue to until heaven. So, in the middle of all of my 'stills' I can just...

BE STILL.
 


 Be still and know that;

God is good.
(even if I'm not)
God is love.
(and he loves ME)
God is strong.
(and never threatened by my weakness)
God is able.
(I can do all things through Him)
God sees and cares.
(I can come boldly before his throne of grace and receive the mercy I so desperately need)
God forgives.
(no more condemnation)
God knows.
 

He knows when I'm still having a hard time. 
He knows my heart still struggles to be still.
He knows that where I am, and what I'm going through is JUST what I need to learn to 
Still trust him,
Still worship him,
and Still rely on him.   

Be Still.


Monday, March 18, 2013

 Livin'

Preachin' and

Swingin' and

 Fryin' and

Eatin' and

Package-openin' and

Super-man-in' and

Studyin'

Just livin'!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Beggars Bug Me
 
Isn't that a horrible thing for a missionary to say?!
 
When I was a young, 20-something, imagining my life as the next Mother Theresa - I never dreamed that I would ever think (much less SAY) things like that.
 
I had visions of myself walking down the streets of a developing country, with the pockets of my homemade jumper bulging with candy for the sweet-faced children who would flock around me. I would smile lovingly at them as I filled their grimy hands with sugary symbols of Jesus' love. 
 
I never thought that the day would come when a beggar would make me want to roll my eyes and stomp off in a 'western rage'. 
 
I never thought that growing up in a 'work-oriented' society would wreak such havoc on my desire to love the 'least of these'. 
 
I never dreamed that convictions about 'Don't work = Don't eat' would drown out the truth I know about loving the little children. 
 
It never occurred to me that I would be the ugly American.
 
Yesterday, I was buying myself a donut at a small donut stand. Right before I paid, two little kids came up and started asking me for money. 
 
Right away I went into my 'Do they qualify for my charity' routine. One quick glance told me: in the 'brittle/orange hair' department, they qualified. However, I would have to deduct points for the chubby upper arms. I wasn't able to see any adults hiding around the corner, so that gave them a few extra points. However, my annoyance level was telling me to shoo them away and just enjoy my donut. 
 
All of a sudden, though, I was disgusted at myself. 
 
All of a sudden, I thought, 'WHO CARES????'
 
All of a sudden I remembered that if I bought these two kiddos a few donuts, the world would not stop spinning, they would not jump to the conclusion that they should then never have to work another day in their lives, and I would not be condoning laziness. 
 
All of a sudden I realized that sometimes when the white lady buys two kids two donuts, that's it. That's all. There are simply two happy kids and one satisfied missionary. 
 
Sometimes I need to stop over-thinking things and just buy a donut or two. 

I didn't deserve the salvation that I asked for, but Jesus purchased it for me anyways.
 
I don't know if I'll buy the next lot of beggars donuts, but this time I did. And it was nice.    
     

Friday, March 01, 2013

Proud of my Princesses

I have three wonderful kids. One awesome prince, and two amazing princesses. Well, my princesses have been planning a tea party for the little-girl missionary kids here in town. They've spent THREE weeks planning it. I did NOTHING, they did it all. 

They planned games, drew posters, planned the menu, made the food, made and distributed the invitations, etc. I am just in awe of their mad party-planning skills (which they must have inherited from their aunt Bethany, because they sho' nuff didn't get it from me!).

Today was the big day. For over a week I've been getting texts from mommies saying, 'My girls can't WAIT for the tea party.' After two hours of preparing last night, and another 3 hours this morning, my girls were ready for their royal guests!

Chopping fruit and arranging flowers!

Games all set up and ready to go. (Yes, they drew that cute little frog!)

A tea cup ready for a little princess.

The princesses arrive!

'Rapunzel' letting down her hair, to retrieve a lollipop!

Enjoying watching her friend have to 'kiss the frog'!

Fun games!

'I will play this game, but I will NOT kiss that frog!' 

Come on, it's 2013, princesses aren't exactly sending telegrams anymore!

Anyone know where to get crowns re-sized?

Queen Ally giving instructions.

Beautiful in blue.

Pinning the tiara on the princess helped her recover from the trauma of her daddy dropping her off late. "He took me to the middle of the countryside!"

Lunch time!

Tea time!

Such lovely little ladies.

Being VERY careful.

Her ladyship. Doesn't she look like a natural!

Twirling and swirling.

Dancing and giggling.

A very successful tea party.







I assigned myself the task of being 'the maid'. My favorite part was hanging back in the kitchen and listening to their table talk. Here are some of my favorite snippets:

"I think my face is hot from drinking too much of this stuff."

"My mom and dad kiss on the lips."

"My dad taught me how to drink coffee."

"Look at her, that's not how you drink tea!"

"The bestest queen of all the world is....God!"

"God's a boy, boys are kings!"