Monday, October 26, 2015

Faith shaken and refilled

This mothering business sometimes makes me feel like I am in a fog... Some days I just push on to bed time... others I feel completely in control and love just being with my kids. The days really are long, but the years are short... so I don't want to stay in the fog, just putting one foot in front of the other. I wanted to pull myself out of it, so I started making more to do lists and strict schedule, and I found that helped some, but something was just not quite right. Then the Lord shocked us with a big thing that requires full trust in him. I found that instead of my normal, ready for change self, I was {slightly} freaking out and felt like the bottom of my world fell out from under me. It required me to see that my trust had not been on the Lord, but on my plans and abilities. I thought I could schedule my life so well that He would be pleased and bless me because my children were well behaved (most of the time) or my house is finally organized and clean (for the most part) and I was sharing stories of truth with people (when it was convenient). Without me even noticing, I had scheduled faith right out my life. Then when the earth shook, I saw my lack of faith when the walls of my own efforts fell like sand castles on the shore and I felt alone and empty. What a loving God we serve that he does not grade us by our lack of faith and let us sit there alone in our failings, but he teaches us to walk by faith and gives us what we lack in our trust.

I feel like I toddle between wanting to give my children the stability that I had growing up and wanting to be willing to go at any point where ever He leads us. I loved (and hated) living in the same town most all my life, and I knew Daddy would be home at the same time everyday, and we would go on a vacation in the car once a summer and drive to grandma's for holidays. With a big backyard, there were endless hours of playing and I never once knew if my parents struggled with anything. Fast forward to my life today, and my kids already have lived in several places, some days Daddy is home all day and some days he is out working til past their bed time. We fly and travel often, but rarely get to see family. Our "backyard" is a garden shared by everyone in our building, but it is closed most of the afternoon. I worry that I show my struggles to my kids by not being in control of my emotions in front of them (i.e. crying when I miss family back home or getting frustrated at my lack of understanding a foreign system of 'such and such') But this is the Life to which we were called. To be willing to go, or to stay, whenever he calls. And trust each day, not just in the ones that trust becomes my every breath...

So here I stand in one of the moments that I am hanging on desperately to nothing but my faith in Him. He sometimes needs to shake our little comfortable life to remind us what is most important, and the best thing is that He refills us with more faith and peace than we had before. I write this to remind myself to not get settled in my comfortable life without walking by faith. And to ask you to pray that as many others are walking a road that is completely unknown and scary that we will trust in Him. That we will be willing to do whatever it is that the Lord has for us. That we will know that we are not alone, but that he is listening, and even if he does not move the mountain standing in our way or part the seas we want to walk through, He is in control and the only thing we can cling to. This song speaks exactly what my heart cries out today... leaving my dreams for what I wanted my life to be down at His feet. He knows what our tomorrows hold, and I want what He wants and nothing less. He is the rock on which I stand, and no place I'll go He's not already stood. I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

For the sake of...?

I sit here with the A.C. cranked up to a whopping 21 Degrees Celsius... and I almost feel a bit chilly and can't wait for the tea kettle to whistle so I can have some apple cider tea! It is the start of the October HEAT here in our section of South Asia. I love the seasons change, and here its more like Rainy and Not Rainy. I don't know if its just my memories of amazing cool, crisp evenings with leaves crunching and pumpkin spice lattes... or maybe I spent a few too many minutes on facebook being jealous of all the FALL IS HERE posts, but I started to feel sorry for myself. It is the second hottest month of the year, and lots of places (like our church) do not have AC. I sweated all day long. It is so hot and the humidity makes me feel like a limp wet towel! I love life here most of the time and I know that I am called to live here for this season, but when you are hot and tired, your brain becomes selective in its memories. Anyway, I started to believe a little lie... one that says, "If you don't get your kids photos at a pumpkin patch, then you are a bad mother"  And another started, "Its too hard here, and you are missing out on the best things in life".  For a split second (or maybe a few minutes) I doubted that October would be a good month... with the heat here and lack of football games and color changing leaves. We have Starbucks but no seasonal drinks. (wow, as I write it, I feel aware of my ridiculousness!)

So the only way I have found to remove a lie from my head is to cover that lie up with truth! My boys will NOT CARE ONE BIT if they have a picture in pumpkin patch. They probably will never ever bring up it or think that I deprived them by having them grow up in South Asia! What they will have is lots of memories of crazy and somewhat exotic vacations to Thailand and New Zealand. They will have memories of Daddy leading trainings and Momma serving lots of chai and telling stories of truth. And some days, it is hard here, but it could be SO much worse! We actually live in a comfortable place and I know people that are struggling with water shortages who are not complaining, and we have not even had water cuts yet, and I get to take the boys swimming everyday, and since its not getting colder, we will get to keep swimming for months. I know the best things in life are not simply Fall... even though I LOVE fall...the best things in life are those you can't buy at Walmart or find in a pumpkin patch. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Currently my best things are early morning time alone with my savior, two bundle of energy 3 year olds, and a husband who will not stop loving me even when I am at my worst. Its finding a person with which to share a story of truth with, and encouraging others to go out and do the same. Its being content in my season of life and finding that the things that I thought would make me happy are just dim reflections of the one who created all beauty.

As I cleaned the kitchen and had all these lies and truths, the song that came to my mind was For the Sake of the Call (I love SCC's music)  "We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call"
This is why I stay. This is why I struggle. This is why I LOVE. No other reason at all. Would I leave behind the calling on my life for the sake of a pumpkin spice latte? Would I abandon my saviors beckoning to go to the lost for the sake of living in a place with four seasons? I pray that I always find truth to cover the lies in my head quickly so that I don't give in to them. It would never be worth to give up intimacy with God for comforts of this life. So I am thankful for my struggles. I embrace them instead of bemoaning them. (I might regret saying that tomorrow when something new comes along or when the sun is blazing the temps up to 95 again) But I want to leave behind all my earthly desires, and as we sang today in the "warm" church hall, "I surrender All." Let it be true of me.