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.

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Go into all the World…

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

A few months back I wrote a blog post called, “Send Me.” Little did I know just what those wordsTraditional-Mexican-Food-Recipes-2 would mean in the short time to follow. I meant what I said with all my heart, “Lord, send me.”

However, I did not think that it would happen so suddenly. My husband and I met a man recently that God has used to change the course of our lives. This man came to one of our home fellowships and really hit it off with my husband. Over the next few months, we have had several meetings with him, fellow-shipping and breaking bread together. He is in the Navy, but on his down time, he does short mission trips to Mexico.

One evening after spending several hours talking about our life living off-grid and discussing this gentleman’s mission trips, he asked my husband and I if we would pray about moving to Mexico permanently to be caregivers of a mission house. We were stunned. We had been feeling like change was on the horizon, but didn’t know when, and most assuredly didn’t know what we would be doing.

We prayed that evening together and as we were laying in bed I said to my husband, “I feel like if they asked us to go tomorrow, I could.” I had a peace wash over me. Mark replied, “I feel the same way!” So the past few weeks, we have been preparing and letting family members know. God is opening the door wide! (Revelations 3:7 & 8) God is going before us. He has already had funding come in and the house is being prepared as I write this.

Our two daughters will be coming with us and our son will be staying in Washington. He is almost 20 and has a good job. He feels like God is telling him to stay behind. As we prepare, the Lord has shown us more and more what we would be doing in Mexico.

Some of the other missionaries found out that I homeschool and have asked me to teach their kids! I am so excited about this. I thought my years of teaching would be coming to an end soon and here, God has made it clear that this could be just the beginning. My husband will be teaching Bible, doing building projects, marital counseling, and much more. All of us will be helping out at the orphanages, medical clinic, and churches in the area.

Although this has been a shock, we are all very excited. I have moments when worry and fear can consume me, but in the end, I know that God will take care of us. I understand it will not always be easy but I can see how God’s hand is on this journey and I believe our days of living off-grid has prepared us “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)

 

Let there be Light

I will never forget the day when we got light switches installed in our little cabin. We had been using kerosene lanterns to light our dark nights with. Which, was romantic for awhile but soon the small light that the lanterns enabled us to see by were not enough. Especially if we had just had a long day in town and came home to a cold, dark house. Having to use a flashlight to find the matches to light up the kerosene lanterns was a chore all in itself and with the glass lamps not giving off much light and moving them from one place to another, we risked them breaking or spilling the oil and causing a bigger problem.

Finally we decided it was time to set up our electricity. My husband had been working all day with the electrical wiring and I couldn’t wait to be able to see if the lights were actually going to work. Our son, Aaron had been watching him intently and my husband was explaining the process with him. Showing him the negative, positive, and neutral wires.

At last the task was done and we fired up the generator. Mark (my husband) called me over and said, “Christine, check out your new lights!” He pointed to the switch and indicated that he wanted me to be the first one to turn the light switch on. I quickly flipped the switch and low and behold we had light! No fumbling for a flashlight. No worrying about batteries being drained. No risk of knocking over a lamp of oil. Just a perfect switch that gave off light immediately.

I spent the next few moments in awe…flicking the switch on and off. Amazed that the light worked properly each time. Appreciative that we had a way to light up our humble home. It was such a small blessing, but it was huge in my eyes.

I imagined God when He created the universe and created light. The Bible says, “The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep…Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light! And God saw the light, that it was good. – Genesis 1:2,3

Light is good…very, very good.

To read more about our off-grid living please order my book, Beautiful Dependence at our website.sunlight

 

Threshing Floor

Being refined when you don’t like confrontation.

(Taken from my book, Beautiful Dependence)

…As we drove up the long, winding dirt road to the small cabin, I wondered how our lives would change. I knew this move would provide change in all of us for sure, but what I didn’t know was that I would be threshed like the threshing of wheat and, that our trials would be numerous. However, it would be through those various trials that I would become the clay jar with a great treasure in it shining Christ for all to see (2 Corinthians 4:7).

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Thinking back to the first time we drove up to our small cabin in the woods I remember being so excited about the adventure ahead of us. The first year was our hardest year physically. We had to completely change our way of life and learn to do things in a much different way than our 21st century lives taught us. However, I learned that life, even though work was harder, was more simple.

I was being squeezed spiritually and emotionally. Now, I am not one that likes confrontation. I try to avoid it at all costs. Sometimes this is a good thing. It helps to diffuse trivial arguments. However, confrontation is sometimes needed. When I look at Jesus’s life, he didn’t go looking for confrontation, but he didn’t shy away from it either. He spoke truth when truth needed to be spoken, knowing the truth would be a blessing to those who would listen.

As we were living in this simple way of life, I was realizing that I had some big issues that I needed to deal with. I was seeing how negative I could be even in the midst of blessing, I was afraid of being hurt, I was pulling away from my husband in hopes that I wouldn’t have to confront my issues.

God loves me too much to leave me where I was. When I thought about the woman caught in adultery, He said to her, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) He confronted the sin, but encouraged her to no longer live in sin. God had begun the refining process. With my husband’s help and after finally crying out, the process started. There was nothing left to do but get into the word daily. I had to. It was the only thing that gave me peace. Slowly, I saw changes happening in my attitude toward life.

The threshing floor is a process of beating the wheat to receive a harvest of grain. Without the beating and hammering of the wheat there is no harvest. I am now experiencing the harvest!

Thank you Father, for refining me. I am free of worries and fears because you took the time to thresh me. I can see each day as a gift and every sunrise and sunset put before me is a present that I enjoy you unwrapping for all to see.

(To read exactly how I became free please order the book, Beautiful Dependence.)

 

Rite of Passage

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:17

This weekend we got the pleasure of blessing our only son with a “Rite of Passage.” In our American culture we don’t have a ritual that brings a boy into a man. Having a son and, seeing the need to make a statement that, “He is now a man.” my husband and I started thinking of a way that we could have a meaningful celebration for our 19 year-old son. stream

We decided it would be great if we could take him into the woods for three days and two nights with a tent, some water and firewood, and have the godly men in his life bring him the food he needs one meal at a time.  The thought was to have seven different mentors (one at a time), bring him seven different meals and not only give him a meal, but give him encouraging words along with words of wisdom, and a verse from the Bible to hold onto. We wanted the men to discuss what it means to be a godly man in our world today.

We have been so overwhelmed with the response! My son has been blessed beyond our wildest dreams! But, not only our son, the reply from the men involved has been amazing. Each one of them has told us that they had a great time sitting and sharing a meal with our son, Aaron. The verse “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) comes to mind. Sitting and talking about the trials and troubles this world has in it, but being encouraged because we have each others back and we are not alone in this life is such a wonderful thing.

Tonight my husband will bring all the men together and speak a blessing over Aaron. They will share one last meal as a whole group. I couldn’t be more pleased that the Lord put this on our hearts to do for our son. God is in the details!

Beautiful Dependence

Have you ever wanted to learn to fly with Jesus? Have you ever wanted to go deeper with Christ? Have you ever wanted to tear down your walls and taste freedom?

Well, I am happy to say, my book Beautiful Dependence is now published as an Ebook and is FREE on amazon.com for Kindle Unlimited customers or $2.99 for regular customers! It is my personal story of moving to the mountains of eastern Washington and living off-grid (no power). It is the story of surrendering to Jesus, and letting Him tear down my walls, and set me free, and teaching me to fly higher each day! It is also about the affect that this freedom had on my marriage and the raising and homeschooling of three beautiful kids.

It is finally finished!

We have been hearing from so many of you who have read the book and how it has touched your lives, and left you with a desire to go deeper with Christ. Two of the most common reactions are, “I couldn’t put it down!” and “I’m reading it again, because there was just so much there.”

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Dependence-Off-Grid-Journey-Freedom-ebook/dp/B01M21SRMS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476463299&sr=8-1&keywords=beautiful+dependence+ebook

Email, and text your friends.

In a world that tells you Independence  is  beautiful, our hope is to get the message out of just how Beautiful Dependence is! We long for every one to surrender to Jesus and let Him have His way with them.

Beautiful Dependence is Christine’s story of  Surrender;  of falling into the arms of God and learning to Fly – daily!

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Hiding Place

Here is the story of how we ended up at our 20 acres of land…

Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordon. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 1 Kings 17:3, 4

I had been in a car accident two years before the Lord showed my husband this verse. I had received a settlement from the accident and we were trying to decide what to do with the money. We prayed about it and felt like God was telling us to buy some land. We weren’t sure where or, how we were going to do this. We kept praying. We knew the Lord would show us what to do in His time.

We had just moved from California to Washington state and had a peace about looking in Eastern Washington for land. I had grown up in Washington and I was not looking forward to being in the rainy state once again. However, I knew that the eastern part of Washington state was much sunnier than other parts and it is known for its fruit orchards. We started to do our real estate search and found a few pieces of property that intrigued us. We took some time to look at the different properties but nothing looked promising.

The last day that we were on our mini vacation looking for real estate my husband, Mark explained that he had two more properties he wanted to see. I wasn’t hopeful as the last few properties were not what we wanted and we didn’t have a peace about any of them. We finally headed out from our motel room and went for a drive up a long, winding road up into the mountains. We drove for what seemed like a lifetime and finally came to a dirt road. As we drove up the last part of three long, rock infested hills, we came to a tiny, cute hunter’s cabin. We all got out of our small car, turned around and saw one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. At that moment we knew this was the property for us.

Eventually we bought the property and we were now on a journey that would forever change my life. Little did I know how much the above verse would play in our everyday life. We had a natural spring that ran on the property. This is where we would get our daily water. We learned to hide in God’s presence here. We called our land Cherith Brook because it was so full of peace and provision.

Is God asking you to do something that seems impossible in your own eyes? Cry out to the Lord and seek His face. Ask Him to direct and lead you.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your provisions and for taking me on a lifelong journey of trusting you. I ask forgiveness for my doubts that seem to creep in. Help me to abide in you at all times. Remind me that You are continually working in my life to make me more Christ-like. Thank you for your love. In Jesus name…Amen.