christianity, family, Uncategorized

Abalone Shells and Sand Dollars

When I was a little girl I used to think what if all the glistening sand on the beach was my money? I would be one wealthy little girl! Oh, what I would do with all that cash!

Today my husband and I went on a walk at our local beach, here in Mexico. It was a beautiful warm afternoon. I smiled as I looked down at my sandy toes and saw the gold colored sand twinkling on the path before us. I suddenly remembered my thoughts as a little girl and thinking about the sand being money.I laughed as my thoughts on money have changed quite drastically as an adult.

As we continued on down the beach, we noticed some small sand dollars. They were so unique and each one a little different. We walked farther and came across an abalone shell which was even more glorious as it’s rainbow of color shone in the sun.

After looking at these treasures I, again, thought of things that I used to think as important or precious (house, car, a good hair day, cool jeans, etc.) and what I see as treasures to me now. Quite a different list.

Today my treasure was spending time with my husband, holding his hand on the beach, talking about life. Seeing the sand dollars and the abalone shell and being reminded that God put those along our path for my pleasure. It gave me joy to see such small things that were God created, not man created.

What is your treasure today? What are you thankful for?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

christianity, marriage

Day 14 Prayer: Fear

We all have a fear of some kind. Some fears are bigger than others. I have a friend who is deathly afraid of airplanes. I actually love airplanes and airplane crash movies! Airplanes are not my fear.

For me, I would lay awake at night wondering if I was a good enough wife, mom, and homeschool teacher.

I would find myself comparing my teaching style to other moms who seemed to have it all together.

One day I realized that no school is perfect. I have gaps in my education where the school system failed. What a revelation to realize I am going to make mistakes, but God is bigger than my mistakes! Immediately my fear was gone and I was able to teach my children without comparison.

What about a bigger fear? Fear of love or being hurt. I love the verse “There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.” 1 John 4:18

Perfect love can only come from God. God is perfect and God is love. If we are abiding in Him, He fills us and we are able to love – perfectly.

Day 14 Prayer: Fear

Our prayer for today is that fear would not rule in your home. Pray that God would replace the fears this world has to offer with a healthy fear of God.

Pray that the Lord would show His love to you and your family.

“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

christianity, marriage, Uncategorized

Day 13 Prayer: Our Speech

“Indeed we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every way.” James 3:2 NLT

How many of us have said things we regret and wish we could take our words back? I try to be careful with my words and my response to others. But, all too often I find myself wishing I could go back in time and respond differently to something someone said.

Whether it’s talking face to face, writing on social media, or talking about someone when they aren’t there, our speech can either speak life or death.

James chapter 3 has a great deal to say about the tongue. Verse 9 says “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.”

Wow! We need to really think before we speak. Are we building each other up or tearing one another down due to jealousy and envy? Are we letting anger and frustration rule our emotions instead of taking a moment to stop and take a breath to let the Holy Spirit have control?

Day 13 Prayer: Our Speech

Thank God for His wisdom and mercy.

Thank Him that by drawing closer to Him we can speak life and show love to those close to us.

Pray that you and your family would be able to be gentle at all times, willing to yield to others, and be merciful even in the most difficult circumstances.

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 NLT

christianity, marriage

Day 11 Prayer: Obedience

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word obedience lately. This past week, its come up a few times with the students at the school in Mexico.

Is it true obedience when we do what we are asked, but with grumbling and complaining? In our discussion at school, the students decided it’s not true obedience when our heart isn’t in the correct place.

In 1 Samuel 15:22 it says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.”

Ouch! I haven’t met one person who isn’t stubborn in some way or another. Tenacity is a good thing especially when you have to push through something really difficult. But, when we rebel and are stubborn “just because,” we have a more serious problem on our hands.

Obedience happens when we obey with a humble heart and a right spirit. God often asks me to do things that I bulk at. I have to check my heart and my reasons for not wanting to obey. When I realize the bigger picture and trust God, I gladly do whatever HE is asking if me.

When we love God, we obey Him. As I grow closer to God, the more I desire to do what He asks, without complaining. (Including submission to an imperfect husband!)

Day 11 Prayer for Obedience

Thank God that He gives us the ability to obey.

If you have disobedience in your life, pray that He would reveal it to you and give you the desire to obey. If you struggle with fear of trusting God completely, pray that your focus wouldn’t be in the “what if”, but the “I am.”

Pray for your spouse and children to obey God with a pure and loving heart, without grumbling or complaining. If rebellion is happening, pray that they would have a heart that desires to do God’s will, instead of their own will.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup from me. Yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

christianity, homesteading, Missions

Selfless Love

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9

My daughter, Storm, recently moved into the house right next door to us in Mexico. The whole thing is crazy to think about. What are the odds that the house next to us would come up for rent?

God’s timing is amazing. We are currently in a two bedroom home and our girls were having to share a room. This wasn’t a big deal and they have shared a room most of their life. However, we knew that we were either going to build a Casita on our current property or look for something to rent, as we have guests on a regular basis and it would allow for our oldest daughter to have her own place.

We had been praying about what to do. We knew building a Casita would cost some money and it would take a great amount of labor.

We had been getting to know our neighbors next door to us and had given their children some crayons, snacks, and other things that we knew they could use. We were sharing Christ whenever we could and sometimes sang worship songs to them playing the guitar.

One day we noticed their house was pretty quiet, but didn’t think much of it. A few more days passed and we still hadn’t seen anyone coming to or from their home. We began to wonder if they had moved. We were sad at the thought of not seeing them anymore, but wondered if this was the answer to our prayers.

Eventually, we saw a man whom we had never seen before doing some cleaning and taking many things out of the house. We asked a friend of ours if she could translate for us and find out if the house was available to rent. Sure enough, the home was for rent and the owner turned out to be the uncle of our dear friend! Long story short, we were able to rent the house!

When we received the keys and the lease was signed, we began work on it right away. It is a two bedroom, one bath home, which is perfect. Storm gets her room and we have a guest room where people can stay. Our daughter loves the Hispanic colors and wanted everything bright and cheery. The landlord gave us permission to paint it any color she wanted.

Our whole family has been pitching in. I have been helping the most with painting, which is not an easy task. I don’t like heights and getting up on a ladder is not my idea of fun. Especially when you are on it for a few minutes then have to get down, move it, and climb back up, and do this over and over again.

The thing that kept pushing me through was knowing that my daughter would be so happy to see the finished project. I knew she would have a smile that would radiate the whole house. I knew she would be so grateful and appreciative that I took time out of my busy life to spend it with her and to help wherever and whenever I could.

This made me think of Jesus and how He was so willing to come to this earth and die a horrible death so that we could be with Him forever. He is the example of selfless love that I want to be for Him and for all the people in my life.

In the Bible I see how busy Jesus was. He was surrounded by people. Some truly interested in what He was teaching, others just wanted to be fed or experience miracles. Yet, He took time out to be alone with the Father each morning. He had to be filled before He could minister to others. This is a good reminder for me. I need to seek God and spend restful time with Him before I can even hope to love on others.

The house is almost finished! We are doing little odds and ends to finish it up and with the help of some generous friends, Storm has furniture and dishes to go inside her home! God is so good!

Photo of her dining room/kitchen wall. She painted a neat vine to separate the colors.

christianity

Deep Roots

“…He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season…” Psalm 1:3

I just finished the book Through the Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. I have heard the Jim Elliot story many times especially being a homeschool mom. We tend to make it a point to study missionaries to encourage us in our own journeys. 

At this time in my life and living in Mexico as a missionary myself, I thought it would be great to dive a little deeper and read about the people who truly lived out what they believed. Thus the reason for reading Elisabeth Elliot’s story and where it all began. 

Her husband along with four other men were killed by a local tribe of natives in South America. They were trying to make missionary contact and to spread the gospel of Christ. It is a remarkable story of dying to self for all those involved.

I sit in awe at the widows’ response. Barbara Youderian wrote: “I want to be free of self pity. It is a tool of Satan to rot away a life..the lord has closed our hearts to grief and hysteria, and filled in with His perfect peace.”

So often self pity is our go to response and here we see a woman who clearly has every fleshly right to have self pity, yet she wants nothing to do with it. Amazing! 

I want to have deep roots like these women did. I don’t want to be tossed to and fro by the waves of this life. Elisabeth wrote: “God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.” 

I was encouraged to keep fighting the fight…even when it’s difficult. To keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. He will direct me and if I get off course He loves me so much He will redirect me to His perfect will if I allow Him to.

Yes, trials will come. Yes, we will have conflict. But, He is bigger than all of those things and it’s through those trials that we become refined, shining Christ light for all to see!

christianity

Obedience in All Things

We made it to our destination in Mexico! It had been a long four day trip to move down here. We have all of what was left of our belongings with us in two trucks, a Ford Expedition, and a work trailer. Most of our things had been either sold, given away, or taken to the dump. It’s amazing how much you can accumulate in six years.

We prayed for an uneventful trip in our travels. We didn’t want any car problems, sickness, or accidents. All of which was kept at bay, thanks to the many people who had been praying for us and to our friends who helped get our cars in good working order. 

As I drove up the long dirt road to our house on the hill, I had flashbacks to twelve years ago driving up to our little cabin in the woods, where God would forever change my life. Now, I am further south and in a new country, with people that I can’t understand because I don’t speak their language. What will this journey entail?

Already God is showing me obedience. Obedience in the midst of being in a strange land. Obedience in obeying God even when others think we are crazy. Growing in understanding that it’s not complete obedience if we kick and scream along the way.

In looking at Jesus’ obedience to death on the cross, I am reminded that obedience comes with a heart that is pure and wants to obey out of love. Again, it’s the dying to self and putting other people’s needs above my own and doing what God desires most.

My prayer is that Mark and I, and even our girls will trust That God has something great in store for us in La Mision. I know there will be trials along the way. I understand that it won’t always be easy, but nothing worth fighting for ever is.

So, what are we fighting for? We are fighting a war against good and evil. Against the lies Satan has sold us and the truth that will set us free. Whether we are in America or Mexico, the lies are the same. Satan doesn’t use new tactics depending on where we live. He has come to steal, kill, and destroy. But, we rejoice because Christ has come to give us life and life to the fullest! (John 10:10) that, my friend, makes me want to rejoice and obey all the more!

Sunrise in La Mision