Monday, April 29, 2013

Math

I don't like math. 
I don't 'get' math. 

If you don't believe me, just come and spy on 7th grade math class in our schoolroom. You'll see the teacher (me) scurrying to learn the student's lesson, right before she tries to teach it! 

Algebra, geometry, angles, equations....Aaagghhhh. Not my thing.

I don't get God's math either.
But, I do like it.

I was thinking about God's math today, and feeling perplexed. 

"God, are you sure that  Belinda + Homeschooling = God's Will? Are you sure you didn't make a mistake somewhere? Are you sure the equation shouldn't say Belinda + Making-art-and-drinking-coffee-all-day = God's Will? Or maybe we can change the first variable:
Lindsey + Homeschooling = God's Will! She's so much smarter! 
Or Bethany + Homeschooling = God's Will! She's so much more capable! 
Or maybe Liz + Homeschooling = God's Will! She's so much more patient!"

But then, Beth Moore (Bible Teacher and Spiritual Math Tutor) clarified for me that God's math makes perfect sense (to him), and we just need to accept, by faith, that there are no mistakes in his equations.

After all, 

David + Smelly Shepherd = KING!

Mary + Teen Mom = Mother to the SAVIOR of the world!

Rahab + Prostitute = Israel's help and victory!

Paul + Murderer = Greatest Missionary EVER!

The problem is that I often leave out one of the variables. 

I leave out God himself. 

The truth is, Belinda + Homeschooling will never equal God's Will, not without God himself in the equation. 

So, I'm learning. I'm sloooooooowly learning that ME + ANY TASK + GOD = VICTORY! Or to make it more 'mathy' m+a+g=v

 Psalm 18:31- 36 

 Who is God but the LORD? Who is a rock except our God? 
God arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 
He makes my feet like those of a deer and gives me sure footing on high places. 
He trains my hands for battle so that my arms can bend an archer's bow of bronze.   
You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your right hand supports me
Your gentleness makes me great.  
You make a wide path for me to walk on so that my feet do not slip.

 

 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blessed
 
 Psalm 115:15  May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth!

 I am indeed blessed by the Lord who made heaven and earth. I am blessed by God himself. I am blessed through studying his Bible. But lately, blessed by the people he has put in my life.

A favorite passage is 2 Corinthians 7:5-6:

       "When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. 
We faced conflict from every direction, 
with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. 
BUT GOD, 
who encourages those are discouraged, encouraged us by sending........"

I left the last part blank on purpose. He of course was talking about Titus, but I like to fill in that last part with my own names. 

Like, 'He encouraged us (me) by sending.....Abigail.' My friend who gave me a rose bush years ago. It's been planted and uprooted and replanted quite a few times now, but it just keeps on blooming. Abigail's far away now, but her gift keeps encouraging me! 



Or, 'He encouraged us (me) by sending....a bouquet from Helen.' A friend stopping by with a bundle of flowers is a blessing from the Lord!


God isn't limited to flowers. He also encouraged me by sending.....curly-friendly conditioner from Ros. It's a blessing to know that even when my friend is grocery shopping, she's still thinking about me!


Creative friends are another way God blesses me. 'He encouraged us (me) by sending....a homemade chalkboard from Liz'. Her original message has been smudged off and erased in a series of moves, but God's messages of hope still remind me each day of what a blessing her friendship is!


As a missionary, God uses our amazing supporters to CONSTANTLY bless us. 'BUT GOD who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by sending....a whole bunch of boxes of goodies from the Potter's House!!!!!!!' Who wouldn't be blessed by the contents of this box. But that still wasn't the biggest blessing.


This was. A stack of notes tucked away inside, between the coffee and the kitchen utensils. Notes of love and blessing and encouragement. Notes that brought tears to my eyes and JOY to my heart.


I am truly blessed.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Art
 
I love art.
I love everything about it. 
The creativity, the texture, the colors, the originality, the beauty.
If I were a mouse, I would live in a museum. 
 
Well, my God also loves art. He's an artist himself. The best one ever, in fact. And, in addition to being an artist, he is also a generous giver of good gifts. (That's for you, Bethany)
 
As you know, our little family has recently moved to a new town, new language, new culture. It's been a bit of 'bumpy' move. But, God has a way of smoothing out the bumps with blessings.
 
A few weeks ago Josh says to me, 'Did you know that there's a sign across the street that says 'Free Art Lessons'?' 
 
Turns out we have a lovely neighbor who has spent his life as an artist. And he just so happens to live next door. And he just so happens to give free art lessons. Ha. I love how God works.
 
So, for the last month or so, the girls and I have spent every Saturday afternoon with Sir Florante, painting beautiful, Filipino scenes!
 
 
Ally paints still life fruit.

Daisy paints rice harvesters.

The gorgeous finished products.

Monday, April 08, 2013

 Home Again, Home Again...

I love my husband. 
Nothing in the world would make me want to ever leave him.

Except home renovations.

After living in a construction zone for three weeks, the kids and I surrendered. There was just no way we could continue to do school/life/sanity with a constant hum of power tools, banging of hammers, construction dudes, and an endless supply of sawdust coating everything in the house.

So, we left.
  
Goodbye to the worker mixing cement in my front yard.

Goodbye to the men painting my filthy living room.

Hello peaceful, quiet, CLEAN mission guest home!

Hello daily routine, completed schoolwork, and daily coffee dates with my Savior.

The thing is, I have two needs. One, I need my house to be fixed up, repaired, and even beautified. God knew that, and he used our precious supporters to send the funds, and he used some talented carpenters and painters here to do the job. 

But, God also knew my heart needed some quiet, calm, peace. So, he made both things happen. He's good that way. He's not intimidated by our needs list....no matter how long it might be. He's God. He can handle it.

And He even sprinkled in some little, extra blessing along the way....
 
Four pounds of jelly bellies from one of our awesome supporting churches!

A huge tree chopped down and made into a 'horse' (which kept Neo occupied for DAYS!).

A new kitty.

And the story has a happy ending....

Now we're back home. It's beautiful, and functional, and clean, and bright. And we're a family again. A thankful, thankful family.