aiming for a quiet life...

here is where i collect my thoughts and count my blessings.

Monday, December 20, 2010

thankful for the season




126. an evening at the Christmas tree lighting in our new city.

127. ballerinas who aren't quite sure of the routine

128. a phone call from a friend inviting me out to see a Christmas event.

129.  eating candy canes late at night

and
 
130. Nativity scenes found in grocery stores

 Each day as the celebration of the birth of my Lord and Savior draws near I am filled with gratitude by the simplest of things. I just posted over at  Blackpurl's Knitpickings about our experience Sunday.  We went to our first Belizean funeral.  And I am still pondering all of the things God is teaching me this year. I am sure that more lessons are yet to come.

Monday, November 29, 2010

simply giving thanks...

holy experience

121. taking walks with Tom to discover our new neighborhood.

122. the joy of wondering where a road will take us

123. ceiling fans that keep us cooled off in this heat even though it is raining outside.

124. the fun of making tortillas

125. the sense of accomplishment I feel when they are ready for us to eat!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

something to ponder

Delight in God has a transforming power and lifts a man above the gross desire of our fallen nature.
~Charles H. Spurgeon


Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; Trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:4-6

Delight.  Commit.  Trust.

Each day I pray that we will  learn more about how to delight ourselves in the Lord.  I commit myself and our marriage anew to Him each morning.  I trust in Him and Him alone to be Lord of my life and of our home.

We have learned to live without owning much in the past five years.  Even more so these past few months here in Belize.  We have minimal furniture; 6 chairs, a table and a futon to sleep on ...all borrowed. We only have the clothes that were in our suitcases. Our boxes are on their way here from Russia but we have no idea how long it will take for them to arrive.   We are still waiting for payments to come through from the sale of our apartment.

All we have is God and each other. 

That is enough. 

Don't get me wrong... we both would love to have a real bed.  Waking up each morning with pain wracked bodies from a flimsy futon mattress is not something we take delight in.  We would love to have a car so that we could explore more of this beautiful new land that God has called us to. But all of those things will come in time.

We have committed ourselves to serving Him.  We trust in Him.  He truly is our source of delight. 





So Followed Saturday

Monday, November 22, 2010

1000 Gifts

Somewhere along the way since the move I neglected to keep up with writing out my 1000 gifts. So here I am getting back to it.

120. finding a house to rent here in Belmopan for a reasonable price.

Tom and I are excited about making memories here in Belize.



holy experience

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Something to ponder

We are in a hurry; the vision of the blessings excites our desire and hastens our longings; but the Lord will keep His appointments. He is never before His time; He is never behind. ~Charles Spurgeon

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
Habakkuk 2:3 NIV



Maybe this comparison will sound a little silly. For me it fits. The other day as I waited for my bread dough to rise I wondered if it would happen or not. I began to question " did I do something to kill the yeast?", "is this day too humid or perhaps too dry?", "how long has it been?" I tried to occupy myself with other thoughts. However, I caved and set up a steam bath for the bowl of rising dough to stand in. And then resorted to peeking under the towel every 15 minutes or so to see how much further it had to go.

I am human. I worry. I fret. And sometimes I even make attempts at manipulating the outcome.

However, God is faithful.

God is punctual.

If He said it He will do it.

Waiting may not be my favorite thing to do but some things, events, and people are worth waiting for.

God is always worth the wait.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

your turn...

Each time I go through a new phase of life I look for someone to model after.

The slogan Each One Teach One comes to mind. While reading my Bible I came across this verse:

And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 1Thess 1:7

Each one of us has a something to offer. Even if we are just one step ahead... we become the model for someone else.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

leaning on Him


As I was sitting in church last Sunday looking at this drum I was grateful to see this scripture.  I am leaning heavily on Christ's strength right now.  Getting used to this new country we live in and its culture can be stressful some days. 

I am thankful for the promises that I can look to in God's word... His word never fails!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Point of Grace

 I love Point of Grace... and this song has been on my heart and I feel blessed each time I sing along.


I have no doubt
Sometimes I don't know where I'm going
Where the road this leading me
Life can be full of so many changes
So many uncertainties
But there's one thing that's constant in this heart of mine
It's knowing that You're gonna love me, come rain or shine

(Chorus)
I have no doubt
That you will never leave me
That You'll be there to keep me safe and warm
I have no doubt
No matter where you take me
That nothing can separate me from You, Lord

I don't know what You've planned for tomorrow
Or what lies up ahead for me
Pleasure, pain, worry or sorrow
Today is as far as I can see
You may see fit to take me through the valley, Lord
Or on the mountain
It makes no difference where I go

(Bridge) 1
I wanna run away
From that voice that I hear calling
But I'll be quick to answer and obey

(Chorus)
Nothing could separate me
Nothing could ever separate me

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Matthew 7:24-29

Father,
I am so grateful that our marriage, our family and our lives are built on the Rock.  No matter what storms come our way we will stand and continue to stand.

I praise You, O Rock, You are the reason we can handle whatever life has to offer us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

food, feelings and beliefs

I just finished reading the book Women, Food and God. While there were some passages that resonated with me there were also passages that just made me feel like even the author didn't fully get the link between our thoughts and associations with food and our relationship to and beliefs about God.  Maybe it was just a theological difference in how the author sees God and how I see God. 

I wanted to find Christ in the book and not a generic perception of a spiritual wonderment that is encompassed in all of life.

In Russia I used food to console myself when life was hectic, to reward myself when things were good and to make others happy when we were doing ministry.  So many of my emotions and beliefs about myself are tied to food. 

Next week we will be going through our debriefing time at the Missionary Training Institute in Colorado. I am ready to process my feelings about life in Russia, life without my kids in the house and what lies ahead in Belize.
So here I sit... thinking about food, feelings and cultural attitudes about both and wondering what God wants me to do with it all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

joyfully counting my blessings

holy experience


106.  A warm Texas Welcome!

107. Time with my youngest brother and our parents!


108. Seeing the spunk in my 73 year old mom


109. Time to be silly


110. Gifts from Nathan!

111. Spending time with Nathan for the first time in 2 years.

112.  This time of refreshing and renewal here in America.
113.  Hearing the Word preached in English and attending services with family.
114.  Finding out that Spencer was accepted at University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii.
115.  Being able to talk on the phone with my oldest brother on his birthday.
116.  Arriving at my in laws house and finding a care package from my dear friend Erin.
117.  New clothes at great prices!
118.  Being able to enjoy the sound of my guys laughing together.
119. Going to see the movie Despicable Me as a family!



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

grateful

I am so grateful.

Grateful for the five years we were allowed to live in Russia. We made a home there. We had a life there. We have some very dear friends there. Looking back I can say that it was hard. Unbearably so at times. But we did it. I did it.

Being the only black woman in our region meant that I was a spectacle. Everyday I was stared at, photographed and questioned. I was never treated rudely. I was not harassed or harmed. Just annoyed.

Now we are here in America and there are lots of women of color around and I feel normal again. I didn't realize the joy I would feel at being ordinary.

I am indeed grateful.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

and so it begins

I am not one to complain.

I am normally one of those glass half full kind of people.

But, I have to admit that we are entering into a season of life that I dread.  When we get on the plane Monday morning at 6 am we will be 'homeless'.  Homeless in the sense that we won't have a place to call ours until we get to Belmopan.  Our apartment here in Russia has been sold.  

For the next two and a half months we will be staying with friends and family... dependent on the kindness and hospitality of others.  Is this a bad thing?  No.  I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to use their gifts to bless others, even if those others are us.  (smile)

Knowing that I have a Father who never wastes a hurt, experience or trial but uses them all for His glory, I believe that this time will enrich our lives.  I believe that there will be bright spots over the next few months.   One of which will be seeing my mother and getting a hug from her for the first time in 3  years, another will be spending time with our oldest son whom we have not seen for 2 years.

However, I also have to acknowledge my sadness over leaving this apartment, selling our furniture and appliances, and leaving behind friends and church family.

My sons became men here.  My husband and I grew closer and became partners in ministry here.  I grew up spiritually here.  Letting go is never easy. 

I don't know how long it will take me to feel at home again once we reach Belize. 

I do know that it may take a while, a season, for me to let go of the feeling that Russia is home.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience


I feel at a loss for words right now. I write this list today out of discipline. Yes, I truly am grateful for each one of these gifts and yet I am also grieving the losses and finding it harder and harder each day to face the fact that our time here in Russia has indeed come to an end.


101. goodbye party with coworkers featuring great food, lots of laughs and a few tears...



102. tasty treats for dessert


103. Hedgehog birthday cakes for a 5 year old


104. cherry trees that tempt the neighborhood children to climb them and the view we have of it all for our apartment on the fourth floor!


105. watching a couple become an instant family through adopting siblings!





Saturday, June 12, 2010

something to ponder

While reading an old issue of Discipleship Journal from 2002 I came across this story:

The famed 19th-century evangelist D.L. Moody was once asked if he was filled with the Spirit. "Yes," said Moody, "but I leak."

Several paragraphs later it goes on to explain:

To speak of "leaking" doesn't mean the Holy Spirit somehow seeps out through our pores; it is an acknowledgment that operating in a fallen world wears on (our) relationship with God.


I can acknowledge that sometimes I leak.  I am so grateful that when I am weak, or leaking, He can make me strong.  Only He can fill the cracks in my armor that come about from daily use. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

multitude monday

holy experience



96. finding the courage to be me.


 97. hearing Tom speak at church

98. flowers just because


99. fresh bread from our favorite bakery

100. feeling loved


Friday, June 4, 2010

Something to ponder...

"Do you think things always have to have an explanation?"
"Yes. I believe that they do. But I think that with our human limitations we're not always able to understand the explanations. But, you see, Meg, just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist."

excerpted from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle


Monday, May 31, 2010

simple treasures are the best

holy experience



86. little reminders like this one that we all need to remember to make do with what we have... no man hole cover? Then put something in the hole so that others will be alerted!


87. seeing my favorite color rose in the garden at church













88. Esther-fest Sundays with Steph & Carre!!  As our time here in Russia winds down a few of us are using these last few weeks together to do Beth Moore's  It's Tough Being a Woman study on the book of Esther.













89. learning to let go and trust in the sovereignty of God.
90. notes from friends telling me how my time here in Russia has made a difference in the lives of those around me.
91. fresh strawberries
92. watching little ones playing with their pet lizards
93. finding glimpses of the Spirit in a work of fiction.
94. worship music in Russian
95. my quiet time corner in our bedroom