Monday, November 17, 2014

Celebrating Community

we're four months in. we've already got a two year term under our belts. we made friends that first term {amazing friends} some of whom are still here. and so when we returned we knew people, we were coming back home. so why was I feeling so lost?

goodbye lunch with Vanessa 2013
remember that time I met my BFF online {my side of the story here} {and her side}? and we ended up spending every Thursday together for the first year? and how even now from Canada to Uganda our hearts still beat to the same rhythm? we knew her term was only two years.  i knew she wasn't going to be here when we got back. goodbyes stink, even when you do them well. but it was still sad to face reality on this side. she was the one i would text in the middle of the day when my kids did something hilarious. or the one I could call late at night when I needed prayer. and I miss her.

and so in some ways I felt like I was starting all over. and then as I thought about it God brought to mind all the lovelies who are still here and the new friends I am beginning to make. and God reminded me- if He was able to do it once, He can do it again. He has friends in mind for me. and He also reminded me that loneliness is ok if I allow it to push me closer to His heart. and that He is here. always.

Oasis ladies, new teammate, old friend, new friends
and then there was the moment I heard BIG NEWS that this lady was moving from Indonesia to Kampala! and i wondered if we would become friends. and we met for coffee. our boys played. and then we decided to start meeting for weekly Bible study with two other ladies who were new to Kampala. and friendship began to blossom. we meet at our favorite pizza place for Ladies Night Out {with kids, when any one of our husbands are traveling}. and our boys say "That was the funnest night I ever had" and "I never laughed so hard I couldn't breathe before" and "I really like that family".

but it's still hovering around the surface til that one day we got real and discussed our core issues and it tumbles out that we. need. each. other. and walls come down. and text messages start flying. and we discover we may have just found what we are looking for.

Two great posts that have really encouraged me lately:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Celebrate {in}dependence

I'm over here joining the party at The Grove. Waving my flag... can you see it? It's the one in the middle. Yep. The white one.

I'm celebrating freedom this week. Not the independence type of freedom, but the upside-kingdom type of freedom... freedom {in} dependence on Him!  And it is such a relief.

He has been extending me {and you} an invitation to the promised land- a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of security, a land of peace and joy... this is what sanctification looks like: a life wholly possessed by God.  He longs for us to cease striving, to give up our independence, to surrender all. He is calling us to just breathe and live in love with Him, right here.  All that He asks is for us to love Him, to walk in obedience to Him and to hold fast to His hand.  He does all the rest! He even causes us to desire Him and gives the ability to obey!  It's all Him!  Hallelujah!

A few truths I'm learning to celebrate since attending Thrive Retreat:

  • Truth #1: He just wants me to walk with Him in love, holding fast to His hand- to do the things I see Him doing, to heed the small prompts of His Spirit, and to only take up what He lays upon me each day. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.
  • Truth #2: I am His temple, the place He has chosen His name to abide, His dwelling place. And so all that I do in this body can be my offering. I can rejoice in all to which I put my hand.
  • Truth #3: He wants to enlarge my borders- He is the God of freedom! Within His walls I am absolutely free to do whatever I please, because He is within me. My delight in His gifts brings joy to His heart.  Even my care for this "temple" {self-care, rest, exercise, healthy eating, getting a shower} ministers to Him.
  • Truth #4: Service then becomes overflow of the heart. I want to please Him, because I adore Him and enjoy Him. He fills and fills as I allow Him to take care of me and then my cup runneth over! Pure gift.
  • Truth #5: Since it's all Him, I can ask for help. I need Him and I need others. Dependence is good for me and good for community.

I'm overwhelmed today by His grace and goodness. And kicking myself for making this Christian life harder than He ever intended. Let's get this party started!

{The Scriptures inspiring these thoughts come from our daily reading in the Autumn Harvest Challenge. Deuteronomy 10:8, Deuteronomy 11:22-24, Deuteronomy 12:5-7, Psalm  44:8}

Stay tuned tomorrow for Celebrating Community!

What are you celebrating today? Leave a comment!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Solo Mama Survival Planner {free printable}

We shared this quote HERE years ago- but it is relevant now as Josh is traveling more often for ministry.  Pray with us while he is away- here is why:
"But why was this frustration of sickness allowed?  One cannot always discern the reason for these things, but two are plain to us: (1) We learned that when one member of the party was thrusting out into Satan's territory, it was also necessary to put a prayer guard over those who stayed at home.  We were all praying for John and his party as they pressed into the demon-plagues territory of Goomoo.  Those prayers cleared the party's way (they were much blessed there) so Satan, in furious spite, struck at the unprotected home base.  Both those who go down to battle and those who stay by the stuff need prayer-coverage.  We have never forgotten this lesson." -Isobel Kuhn, In the Arena 

Pray for me and our kids, and Lillian as our men thrust out into Satan's territory.  If you will stand guard over these who stay home- please leave a comment!

One of the precious reasons I stay home :)
And as I stay home I've got plans in place to stay well!  If you're a mama who finds herself home while your husband travels- I pray that this little planner will help you stay well!

Download Solo Mama Survival Planner HERE 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


"I am always so glad when you  bring visitors from America to see what we're doing here with the University Discipleship Movement.  I get to share our history, and I, myself, am reminded of how the Lord has brought us from three men meeting in a dorm room for Bible study to where we are today. And it helps renew my passion for this ministry." -Kennedy to Josh the other day.

Kennedy has discovered a powerful biblical principle that has been popping up everywhere in my current Bible reading plan (check out the Autumn Harvest Bible Challenge here). Remember. Just one simple word. One powerful tool in the hands of the righteous.

Deuteronomy begins with Moses recounting for God's people all the ways He has led them, remembering for himself all that God has done for them.  The Israelites are finally about to enter the promised land, and Moses knows the dangers they will face- not the dangers of enemies, or famine... but of prosperity. He wants them to remember how God led them through the wilderness for forty years, how He provided for their every need, how He rescued them from Egypt... so that they continue to rely on God instead of bowing to idols of self and ease.
"When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgements, and His statutes which I command you today..." -Deuteronomy 8:10-11

 Keys to Remembering

  • Tell the stories of God's provision, faithfulness and answers to prayer often.
  • Write them down.  Keep a gratitude journal. 
  • Pass them on to the next generation. Don't just remember alone. 
  • Don't leave out the dark parts, that's where God shines brightest!
  • Start anchoring yourself to a promise during the dark times now, so you can declare His faithfulness in the future. 
May those who come after us echo the Psalmist who said, 
"We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, the deeds You did in their days, in days of old: You drove out the nations with Your hand, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out. For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them." -Psalm 44:1-3 

And may they know God as their very own, not just with second-hand faith.  

Would you remember a piece of your story here in the comments?  Would love to hear how He has shown Himself mighty and faithful in your life!
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