Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lord, you move me.

In kindness done by strangers.
In sunsets.
In the hugs of the friends of my heart.

In your provision, protection and direction.
You never leave me alone.

Your hand that heals in Africa
Counsels in America
And transforms people in South America.

You are awesome.

You move me.  Where else can I go?

Worthy. Holy. Altogether Lovely.

My Jesus.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Making Things New

When I started to write this post 3 days ago, I titled it Grieving. 

But God. :)

After what was a really super long, hard week full of hard conversations and tearful goodbyes, I had nothing left.  Ash and were saying that it felt like a terrible grief.  Like someone died.  But leading up to the trip to Nica and during, I was also feeling an odd expectation.  The HS saying we weren't done yet.  And I didn't know why.  And I kept looking for it while we were there, and not finding it.  Or maybe a better way to say it is, I was perhaps seeing it, but not understanding it in the moment.

Dave spoke this Sunday about Sarah and Magoli's stories.  Listening to him share them, who they are, where they've been, it just felt wrong again.  Like, no.  NO.  Walking away from them isn't IT.  It's not 100% right.  As I was reflecting on the conversations we had with Sarah and with Patricia, I was thinking about how they both said their spiritual head was in jail.  And how they are like little sheep without a shepherd. 


Last night we went to dinner with our friends Jack & Lynn.  As we were eating salad and rolls I was trying to explain to Jack about the men's trip to Nica coming up this spring where they are going to work in a small group setting like Engage. ( As I was explaining to him all of this, I referenced the previous time Dave and some other guy had gone and done the same thing...haha.  The other guy being Jack.  I'm such a stinkin blond.)   And in that moment, it clicked.  My heart had eyes to see.  I'm a shepherd of women.  I work in women's ministry.  I teach.  I lead.  I disciple.  Doggone it, I'm part of a team and a church that do that every single day of the week.  Why can't we go and disciple, teach and pray for these cell groups?  The women leaders?  Do a retreat for them?  Do it several times this year? 

So this is my thought.  And my prayer.  Because it will take time and resources.  I have to ask the Mission's team and the elders what they think.  If they would bless it.  If they think it's wise. 

I want this, if this is it, to be moved and breathed by God so that it's effective.  And makes a difference.  A real, measurable difference in lives. 

Pray with me friends. 

In conclusion, here are some pictures from the trip, and an amazing Jesus story or two.  And oh, yes, note the title of this post now. :)

We were able to attend Tuesday morning and see the Color's Party.  It's each small group coming together to celebrate and worship at the end of the year.  

Many of the girls in the dorm have run away or left recently with all the turmoil.  Ash told Shea and I when we got there, that Yosi and Marcia had left and told people they weren't returning.  So Shea and I went to Tuesday with no expectation of seeing them or being able to give them the gifts and love we had brought to pour over them. I have always felt something deep for Yosi.  She was brought to the HOH a week before our first trip and so we've built a relationship over the years.  I love her like a little sister.  So as we were sitting in the meeting Tuesday, suddenly a little face runs around the corner and right into my arms.  I'm getting emotional just remembering.  It was such a gift to see her again.  To hug her.  To talk to her.  Yosi had gotten up early and taken the bus on her own to get back because her family had expressed no interest in helping her or taking her back.  I just felt the grace of God near and over us in that moment. 

Jesus also prepared a place for Alma to stay, she returned as well to the HOH, and a local woman took her in.  Be praying for her and for her new foster mom. 

Ash introduced us to a great pizza place with an amazing view. Love this.

I also love the people God has placed in my life as a result of Nicaragua and the trips we've taken together.  He knit together my heart with Shea Foster, who is one of the most amazing and beautiful women I have the privilege to call friend. 

We had lunch at one of our favorite local buffets and ended up talking to a university student who was super interested in being a photographer and wanted to try my camera out.

 Yup.  We're gonna go ahead and call that a fail.  He got the hang of it after a couple tries though.  Frank was super happy to pose it up. :)


And here's your friendly photog: 

We got to bring our Ashley home.  Love this friend so very much and so proud of the woman God is making her to be.  Also, I like to call her Tomate now and know that it will make sense to no one else;)

I'll just end with this, guys.  My heart and what I think is God's heart for the women in Nicaragua that we've been blessed to meet and have woven into the fabric of our lives.  Pray with me, as we take this one step at a time. 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Underground Children

Tonight I watched a documentary called Underground Children before I went to bed.  It was a very bad idea. I do not recommend it because it is 12:30 am and I can't sleep. 

My heart has been crying out to God.  Where are you in this?  These people have no hope, never even been given a chance.  Broken from birth. 

I've been thinking about going back to Nica this week too.  Although I know that there has to be an ending to the current situation my heart cries out against leaving those women and girls.  Allowing the only place of refuge to fail.  I can't speak Romanian, but I can speak Spanish.  I can't help or heal the broken in Romania, but I can do something about what has been given to me. 

And so, God.  Where are you in this?  In this week?  Bend me, break me, make me into what you require.  I want to do your will. 

I have been going into this with self righteousness and pride over wrongs that have been done.  I have wanted righteous retribution. 

I went into teaching last week in Crash with a prideful attitude too.  Thought I had it together.  Teaching had come naturally and been easy up to this point.  So I got up there and promptly forgot every last thing I wanted to say.  I sputtered for 8 really god awful long minutes and then threw to Andy as soon as possible. 

And it occured to me afterward that perhaps the confidence I need most when teaching is not confidence in my abilities, but confidence that comes from obeying what God has told me to do. 

Confidence through obedience.  Based not on the circumstances or talents within and around me, but based on the character of God and what he has required of me. 

And I think that is exactly where God is taking my heart for this coming week.  Confidence through obedience.  Wherever he leads me.  Whatever he says to do.  In every circumstance. 

Randomly, I've also been thinking this week about artists and mediums.  Is the artist defined by the medium?  Or does the artist do the defining no matter what the medium is?

I believe a real artist is an artist whether you give them a lump of clay or a camera or a paintbrush. 

The art comes from within.  The medium becomes what the artist bends his will to make it be.  And the real artist will have to create and not be satisfied till something expressive and lovely is born. 

God is not done.  He is still creating his will.  The medium might be changing, but the heart of the Artist is not.  I will trust His hand and dwell in confidence. 

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
    and streams in the wasteland.

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