Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Getting grace for that...

I'm revisiting a great book called "Loving the Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic because I need a refresher! If you have little people, you should grab this book.

One phrase that has challenged and encouraged me is "...if I am willing to get the grace for it...". So often I look at all my responsibilities, all the people who need me, how much I am pouring out, and I get exasperated, and bitter. But that is only because I'm giving out of my own limited {very limited} resources, instead of out His abundance! If I enter each situation, and answer each request with the grace I've gotten from Him, I am able to do all that is required of me in this season.

Just like I can't fill each cup at the table without first filling the pitcher, I must run to Jesus with every request and ask Him to give me all I need to meet the needs around me. And this doesn't look like an hour-long prayer session! Often it sounds like a fervent cry for help as I rush to get the toddler off the table or nurse the baby for the eleventh time that hour {yes, I'm exaggerating!}.

I don't have much time in the Word these days, but Daily Light is brief and only Scripture around one theme a day! And just the other day I fell on these words: "Therefore, since we have this ministry as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart." -II Corinthians 4:1

I have this ministry of motherhood as I have received mercy- He has given me all I need to do this one job well. He has called me to tend His sheep; I just need to get the grace for that.

It would be so easy to lose heart in this intense season, but if I keep taking all I need from Him I won't run dry.

Monday, August 03, 2015


Rebekah Faith 5 lbs 13 oz, 19 inches on July 5, 2015
"The days are long, but the years are short."

"Go slowly, don't miss these precious memories."

"You will miss these days when they are all grown up."

These are the words being spoken to us in these newborn days.  And it feels like we just. did. this. Feels like yesterday we were snuggling baby Elizabeth in New Jersey... but we have been in Uganda for a year already! And baby Elizabeth is now a 19 month toddler! This post is still so true and such a challenge to me.

This new precious bundle has been filling our days and minutes since Rebekah Faith was born on July 5! And we are trying to go slowly, to savor, to enjoy. Obviously  there are moments we don't completely enjoy- the wee hour wakings, the messy diapers, the fighting siblings- but on the whole we are enjoying.

What a sweet time of recovery and bonding for our family.

Josh has been crazy busy with the family transition and leadership transition within WGM Uganda. He is now the Acting Country Director until Jeff Stanfield returns from medical leave. And I am busy keeping up with Elizabeth and snuggling Rebekah and hanging out with the boys. School starts in less than two weeks and our new normal will shift again!

Scott and Meg have moved out to Kasese, western Uganda. Grandmom Pat has arrived for a one month visit to help with the new baby. The Williams have arrived and Burkes and Mayos come this month. So much change! But He is near. Keep praying for us. Will update as soon as I can. Thank you for grace!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Staying {here}

Farewell to Silja (far left)
Transition. It never gets easier. And it doesn't necessarily have to be you who is leaving in order to feel the effects of transition. Two families on our team are heading back to the states for 6 months, and four families will be arriving/returning in the next two months. We are one of two families on our team who are staying through this summer without getting on an airplane!

Staying means we get to welcome. But staying also means we have to say goodbye.

We just had a farewell brunch for a friend from my Friday Bible study. We have had those moments of exchanging gifts, speaking truth into one another's lives, affirming what God did in our friendship, hugging and praying over her. It has been bittersweet. And as I reflect on the 9 months I've known her, I see God's goodness in bringing the friends I need at just the right time. He knew I would need Silja just as much as she needed me. And He knit our hearts together bit by bit every Friday as we opened the Word and prayed. And now I know if I ever need a place to sleep in Finland I've got one.

Friendship as a missionary is tricky, and hard, and painful. But it is also necessary and beautiful. I need local friends, I need friends back home and I need other expat friends. My life is richer and more beautiful because of these relationships and each one adds a unique dimension to my life. My rag garland (pictured left) is a daily reminder of friends I've said goodbye to, but who have added so much beauty to my life. And as I stay the garland will only get prettier!

Sometimes staying means doing the hard work of building community, even when you would rather curl up in a blanket and read a book. Sometimes staying means saying the hard goodbyes. And sometimes staying means being the welcoming committee (which is, by far, my favorite!).  It is my prayer that I {we} would never grow weary in doing the good work of building relationships, just because it's hard and the goodbyes are painful. I want a tender heart that that loves the people He has placed in my path- whether they are here a week or stay forever.

Sometimes I'm the leaver. Sometimes I'm the stayer. So grateful for the One Who never moves. Watch this.

Linking up at the Grove on the topic of "staying".

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Two Whole Months

Where do you even begin when it's been almost two months since your last blog post?!

Do you try to catch up? Do you share just the highlights? Do you ignore all these things and just pretend that two months is no big deal? Do you give all the reasons why you have been too busy to blog?? Do you stumble all over yourself apologizing and making empty promises to do better this month?

What do you want to read after a blog absence?

The Last Two Months {by the numbers}

  • 1.5 - pounds Baby #4 has gained (generally babies at this stage go from 1 lb to 2 .5 lbs)
  • 5:00- the time Elizabeth has been waking up recently
  • 2- the birthdays our family has celebrated in the past two months
  • 60- the number of people who have come to our house for a meal, a small group, a prayer meeting or coffee.
  • 4- the number of overnight guests we've hosted the past two months.
  • 45x2- the number of lunches I've packed
  • 1- the number of Bible studies I've taught
  • 228- the number of diapers I've changed (low-ball estimate)
  • 48- the number of loads of laundry 
  • 121- the number of times I've read "Are You My Mother?" to Elizabeth
  • 85- the number of beautiful pregnant or new mamas I worshiped with yesterday in the slums

So there you have it. Blogging has just taken a back-burner to life. And that's the way it should be. I'm tending the hearts He has entrusted to me. But have no fear, what He is working into my life will make for some great posts in the future {when I can sit and write uninterrupted, or, you know, when I can think two consecutive thoughts}. 
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