Letting Go…

letting goI am now the mother of a soon to be teenage boy. In a matter of months, my oldest will be 13. It is entirely too hard to believe. Yet it is true.

Since coming to Nepal, my kids have all been troopers. I mean leaving the comforts of America, their friends, their grandparents was not easy. Yet, they have adapted so well, and I am so thankful.

So, when Andrew came home from school with excitement in his eyes, telling us about a school trip.. I had to stop and listen.

The trip was scheduled to leave from Thursday to Saturday. Three days and two nights. I swallowed hard, and my first instinct was a strong no!

I wrestled with this for days, asking my husband to pray that God would give me peace. Sure, school trips are normal, nothing new. Except, we are on the other side of the world, and my son would be going on a 3 day trip with his teachers and classmates to a place I’d never been. Hiking up a mountain to get to the lodge they’d stay the night in.

Finally, the day arrived when we had to inform the school if he was going or not. By this point, I had more peace than before, and we signed the form. Andrew was so excited.

The day before the trip was set to leave, we packed his backpack, bought snacks and I added bandages, neosporin, germex, and mosquito spray to his bag. He rolled his eyes, but said nothing.

Then the day came and wouldn’t you know, we rose up to a dark sky that looked like rain. Really Lord, I thought, can’t it be sunny… this is hard enough. After taking him to school and talking with the teachers, I said my goodbyes and left to walk to the church. As I walked, I prayed asking the Lord to take care of him. And the Lord reminded me that he was His, and that just as He knows the number of stars in the sky, He also knows the number of hairs on Andrew’s head, and could and would care for Him.

As I walked, the rains began, but I had a peace that passed understanding. Yet, this peace was short-lived. For about an hour later, the rains were pouring down, thunders roared, and lightning flashed across the sky.

I had packed Andrew an umbrella, but he didn’t have a raincoat. So I talked my hubby into taking me to the school to let him use, Eric’s raincoat. If we left right then, we’d get there before they left. So off we went, only to arrive and find out that the trip was postponed due to the storm. Though the kids were disappointed, I was reminded that God truly is in control.

Today, we woke up to sunny skies. Andrew hummed through breakfast, ready to get to school to set off on this new adventure. Saying goodbye didn’t prove as hard today. And though I have thought of and prayed for him through out the day. The Lord is helping me to let go and trust Him. Reminding me that nothing can happen to me or my children which isn’t first approved by the Lord.

As I sit here typing, Andrew is up on the mountain, sleeping I’m sure after a five-hour hike. But, I spoke with him on the phone and he’s doing fine. Will I be glad when he is safely back home? Yes! But, I’m glad that we let him go..and that God is teaching me to trust Him on a different level.

So often in life, it is easy to let fears control. To let fears keep us from obedience to the Lord. To let fears keep us from missing out on the “more” God has for us. Yet, this is not what He intends. He desires that we truly learn to let go of the fears, and live life to the fullest. Trusting in His sovereignty and His faithfulness. We serve the One True God. The King of Kings, who holds the world in His hands. May we each learn to let go of worries and fears, and to truly trust and put our faith in the Lord.

When the well runs dry…

water from wellIt seems we have hit the start of the dry season, and we have many more months until the rains begin.

Yet already, our well is dry, and we have to purchase water now to do our wash, cook and to bathe.

About once a month, the big water truck, pulls up out front and with its long hose, it pumps water into our storage tank, so that we can then pump this water up to the roof. To use for household chores.

We have already learned how important water is, how vital it is to have.

And thankfully, as of now, we have no trouble purchasing water once a month, to make do until the rains begin.

Yet, what about a few months from now, when it gets really dry? Time will definitely tell.

The other day it rained unexpectantly. One minute it was sunny, the next the wind was blowing and the rains poured. We were excited, thinking that maybe we would have some water in the well.

So when the electric came on that night, we turned on the pump for the well. And we waited, and waited and waited. But no water came, and we realized for sure that our well was dry.

Today I was reminded of this as I pondered the Christian life.

Sometime our walk with the Lord is fresh and new, like a spring rain. Our love for Him overflows onto everything and everyone.

Then there are times, when our walk seems dry and stale. When it is difficult to feel close to the Lord.

So, what do we do, when our well is dry?

We go to the source!

Just as we have to go the water source to get our water. In our Christian life, we too must go to the source, we must go to the Lord.

And we have to immerse ourselves in His living waters, allowing Him to wash us afresh and anew.

It is then, that we are in need of His reminders. Allowing our hearts to ponder how great and amazing He is.

Often when my walk seems stale, it is because I have begun taking the Lord and His mercies for granted.

I have taken on an I deserve attitude, instead of having a grateful heart.

I have forgotten who I once was, a dead, sinful, evil person. Forgetting what Christ has done, and how He has made me alive.

So when your well has gone dry  go the source.

Get on your knees and cry out to Him.

Remember what He has done and who you once were.

Allow the Living Water to fill and sustain you.

Jesus told the women at the well, to drink from Him and she would never thirst again….

Are you thirsty? Have you stopped drinking from the Living Water?

He alone can satisfy.

May we allow the Lord to be our everything.

Saying Yes to God and No to the Flesh…

dogThis morning our dog got into trouble AGAIN…

She was caught digging in the flower beds once more.

It seems no matter how many times she is caught, no matter how many times she gets into trouble… she still digs.

And I thought to myself… why does she do this, knowing she’ll get into trouble?

It’s in her nature. See, Lab’s are notorious for chewing and digging, it’s what they do. Especially as pups.

So, just because it’s in her nature, does that mean we just let her dig up the yard?

Absolutely not… the only way she will learn is by discipline.

I’ve thought a lot about this today, and been reminded that though certainly not a dog, I have the same tendencies.

Not that I have a bad habit of digging in the yard :-), but I have a bad habit of following my old sin nature.

See, our sin nature naturally leans toward selfishness, jealousy, anger, pride, and more.

Paul had a similar problem. If you remember from the Scriptures, he asked, why do I do the things I don’t want to do?  Romans 7:15

This is the same problem we all have as believers in Christ. Because though we are new creations, though we have been forgiven and redeemed. We still live in a sinful, fleshly body.. that is prone to wonder, prone to sin.

So, do we keep on sinning? Absolutly not!

Just as with the dog, we have to discipline her not to dig.

We too must discipline ourselves not to sin. Not to give into the sinful nature.

Paul said, ” I beat my body into submission (I Cor. 9:27).”

Why would he say this? Because he knew that without discipline, he would fall into sin.

Likewise, as followers of Christ, we too must discipline ourselves.

Sure, we need to pray and ask God for help and for His grace.

But this is not enough. We can’t expect God to just zap us and change us.

Though He could, He won’t.

For He expects us to do our part.

So how can we discipline ourselves?

We can discipline ourselves by not taking that extra helping at dinner. By choosing a day to set aside to fast and pray. We can discipline ourselves by going to bed early so we can get up early. By speaking only what is good and uplifting, and refraining from using words that tear down.

Everyday, we have the choice to discipline ourselves. In the simple act of choosing that which is pleasing to God over that which our flesh says is easy or right.

Lord, we know we can do nothing apart from You. Yet, we come humbly before you today and ask that by your grace and through your strength, that You would help us to say yes to You and no to our flesh. We ask that You would enable us to discipline ourselves, beating our bodies into submission to Your ways, and not our own sinful ways.  Thank you that with You, all things are possible.

What are some ways the Lord has shown you, you can discipline yourself by? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

The Real Enemy

problemsLimited electricity, gas shortages, and dogs that take down the clean clothes, getting them dirty again.

This has been my week.

Add into this, taking a Biblical Interpretation class, three kids, a husband, our own ministry, and did I mention the dog.

And well, you can imagine,what my week has been like.

This past Sunday, my husband preached on spiritual warfare, and how just as God uses people to carry out His work, to encourage, build up and spread His Word.

Satan also uses people to stir up strife, quarrels, and hurt feelings. He uses people and problems to get our eyes off the Lord and ultimately to make us want to quit.

For you pastors wives out there, is it only me, or do you have to experience what your husband preaches about either before or after the event??

It seems for us, this is usually the case.

For though He preached it, and we believe it.

This week, we have had to experience it.

It seems everywhere we have turned this week, problems.

And not just for us, but for others we serve with as well.

It seems the enemy is longing to be a source of grief, and ultimately to do what he does best, steal, kill, and destroy.

As I have reflected on this, the Lord is teaching me how much more I need to be fighting this battle in prayer.

Praying for my husband,my friends,my family, our ministry etc.

I’m also learning that my strength is not sufficient, I must have His strength.

Friends, the battle is real. Every day we as believers face an enemy who longs to defeat, discourage and destroy us.

We carelessly think we can handle it on our own, that our strength is enough.

But it is not.

So how do we fight? How do we resist the enemy?

We pray.

We read and hold fast to God’s Word.

We encourage one another.

And when we have done all that we stand.

For some of you, the problems are intense. You struggle to make it through the day. You don’t know how to keep going.

I encourage you, as the Lord has encouraged me.

To remember your battle is not against flesh and blood, (nor electric shortages or dogs) or whatever problems you have.

Your battle is against Satan and the principalities.

Your brother or sister is not the enemy. Satan is.

Pray, encourage others, hold tight to God’s Word and keep on standing!!!!!!!!!

God Knows, and that’s enough!

god knows bestThis morning as we were rushing about to get out the door on time for school. My daughter came down the stairs asking for the mop. At that moment I was busy getting the dishes from breakfast washed, and cleaning up the kitchen. Therefore I pointed to the corner where the mop was located and continued with my work.

After she left I quickly wondered what she was up to, but to be honest, I figured I was probably best off not knowing. Later I found that she had spilled water on the bathroom floor and was using the mop to clean it up. So it was a good thing.

Later as we were on our way to school, I reflected on this. This truth that sometimes it is best not to know.

And I thought of how so often we long to know the future. We want God to reveal to us next month,next year etc. I thought of how we seek to understand the end times and want to figure out how and when it will all take place. How we just wish for knowledge we do not have.

And I thought to myself, just as I didn’t need to know why Lauren needed the mop, some things are truly better off not knowing.

How many things in our past would we change, if we’d only known.

I’m sure we all  have a long list. Yet, this was all God’s plan.

Had I known that when we went to Korea, we’d only be there two short years, would I have gone? I don’t know.

Had I known that returning from Korea would lead us to spend a year and a half living with my family, would I have wanted to return? I don’t know.

Had I truly known what living day-to-day would be like here in Nepal, would I have come? I don’t know.

The truth is, some things are best that we don’t know.

Because the amazing truth is, GOD DOES KNOW.

And He is always working and orchestrating the details of our lives according to His plans.

He does see tomorrow. He see’s years ahead.

He knows….. and He has it all covered!

If we knew, we would not have need to trust in the Lord or put our faith in Him.

If we knew, we wouldn’t need to rely on the Lord.

Yes, some things are best left unknown.

For the Lord knows what is best for each of us, and we can trust in Him for all the unknowns.