Sunday, March 30, 2008

Expectations

It’s been a month now since my husband and I took “the trip” into our daughter’s land. She and her husband have been serving for a year in a sensitive field, and have completed their first year of language and cultural studies in a local university there. Unlike many “M’s” they are the students, not the teachers, and their long term plan is to plant seeds of faith and hope while working with some of the poorest and least educated in their country by creating businesses to supplement their meager farming incomes. That plan is down the road and for now, they focus on learning one of the most difficult languages on earth for our English tongues; a tonal language that is challenging their eyes and ears.

The original plan was for us not to venture their way until the year after they had returned from their first furlough. This way we would not distract them from their learning and immersion in the culture, and when we did go, we would get to see their first real home and the community they would be in for several years. Our ways are not always HIS ways, and I was really surprised when my husband suggested that I plan on taking this trip to see them.

Not surprisingly, the timing of his thought was at Christmas, when our emotions were running low and the thought of a trip was a great distraction. My first thoughts were along the lines of, “Why waste the money? As soon as I get back home I’ll miss them as much as I did to start off with!” Shortly after verbalizing that thought, my daughter’s mother in law reminded me of how defeatist a thought that was. I’d never make the trip, certainly not alone, yet soon God placed in my heart the desire to make the journey. My prayer for the season became “more of Jesus, less of me,” and I set off to pray about this great opportunity.

Financial limitations were carving the plan for me to make the trip alone, but a surprise cash gift from my mother-in-law to cover the cost of my husband’s airfare quickly changed OUR plan. This set the path for my next life lesson: Get rid of all your expectations.

We had overheard this teaching during a training session when Mark and I were cooking for the summer interns with a missionary sending agency last summer. I never thought that it would be a lesson I would need to put into practice, but it was so fitting for my life now that I couldn’t pass it up. Had I not taken this to heart the whole trip would have been a disappointment. This not only allowed us to live in the minute, but to fully enjoy each and every aspect of the surprising journey!

If not for this wise teaching, things on the trip would have been very different. The start of the trip would have been overshadowed by the horror that our last leg of flight was cancelled, something that we discovered the morning that we began our 3 day journey to get there. If that had not happened, we would not have seen the hand of God move us, at lightning speed, across an airport from terminal to terminal by an English speaking employee in a completely foreign land. We would not have found out that “squatty potties” are much easier to use than we anticipated.

Perhaps the most amazing expectation I had is that I would have come home with some sort of stomach ailment that would have kept me tied to a toilet while we were there! Never would I have wished that, but I had accepted that expectation to ruin my trip! We ate the most amazing food, cooked in the worst of conditions, and not once got sick!! I never ate anything “special” (thankfully, this culture serves many things all at one time and you can pick and choose what you want), and I never went hungry. If there was something I tried and didn’t like, I simply left it on my plate and didn’t get more. There were plenty of things I DID like to make up for it, and I didn’t lose a pound on the trip.

All of my exercising to prepare to go was used….and then some. I knew that we would be walking a lot, so I had started to use the treadmill to walk a few miles each day. I warned the rest of them though, all the training in the world would not make my legs longer, but I could catch up with them eventually. What I didn’t know was that I also should have been doing bleacher runs too! We ran into so many stairs, or walking uphill roads in their town. I survived though, and pushed myself in physical ways I did not expect to. I think I was more surprised than anyone!

I knew that we were going to see our children, whom we love very much, and might have missed the opportunity to fall in love with so many more people. Knowing that there is a small community of believers there that are all from different backgrounds, from places all over the world, reminded us that they are not alone. Their jobs are all different, but their goal is all the same; to bring Jesus to the lost. Some of the people we met had been there for close to 20 years! What peace it brings to me that our daughter and son in law have that wisdom to draw from. It was also fun to see them assist other new comers to the community, to share what they have learned in their first year there. For them to explain the culture and native community to these “newbies” helped us to understand some of the challenges that they faced when they first arrived. To see them thriving in society as a foreigner was amazing. They embraced their language skills, local customs, and day to day life with flair and ease. When issues arose it was not terrifying or horrendous, it was just life. This allowed us to confirm in our hearts how God had prepared them for this field and this field for them.

The hardest expectation to let go of was leaving them. I would have expected to have a few days of crying, carving memories of our final, tearful, good-byes at the airport. In actuality letting go of this expectation allowed me to fully enjoy each minute of our time together. Instead of tears, there were a few sighs. There was no long sobbing embraces at the airport, as we opted to say good-bye at the curb and handle the check in on our own.
My daughter, a bit surprised, asked if it was enough “closure” for us to leave this way. It caught me off guard. I had not thought of needing closure from our visit. Another time, another place, it would have left me sobbing good-byes. I could have gone to that emotional place very easily….I have been there many times. Remembering that I was allowing “more of Jesus, less of me,” I chose not to go there. I wanted this trip to lay the foundation for future travel there. I didn’t want them to be a burden on them, making them feel relieved that we had left. I also wanted MY memories to be good and positive, and not an emotional drain on me.

This has proven important as we’ve been home, learning not only did we go there on this great trip, but that we brought some of that place home with us. Not a day goes by that I haven’t thought of some aspect of their home, good or bad; the people stopping us to take photos with them, the delicious food we ate, lack of personal space, pollution and smells of the environment, crowded busses with curious stares and smiling children, the colors of fresh foods in the marketplace. If I had attached sadness to each of these memories, the last month would have been spent in a daze of depression. My sleep schedule is not back on track, the weather is wrecking havoc with allergies, my husband has had a cold, but depression has not seeped into this home.

I miss my daughter, her husband, and the joy that they brought into our daily lives when we lived together, but I have a new found joy in sharing a passion for this place that they now call home. This too, was something I had not expected.

copywrited by Marina Bromley March 29, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

this morning

I woke up this morning with a song in my heart...one we sang in E. Asia just a few weeks ago, and had sung fairly often when Caitlin was leading worship with us in Cassville...don't know if the Christian Community family knows it or not, but I was singing it none the less....

The Lord is gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger, rich in love
The Lord is gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger, rich in love

As far as the east is from the west
That's how far He has removed our transgressions from us
As far as the east is from the west
That's how far He has removed our transgressions from us

Praise the Lord, oh my soul, praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, oh my soul, praise the Lord!

There's a lot on my plate today, but it will be done in a prayerful way, and with a spirit of worship....
It was a long time ago, but I had heard in an interview with Rich Mullins once that he viewed "spiritual acts of worship" in the little things we do day to day as much as the huge mountain top events....so some of the things that mattered and showed spiritual discipline to him were the simple things like the folding of clothes, washing of dishes, etc. That's how today will be for me. Quiet. Peaceful. Worship.

in His grace...
marina

Monday, March 24, 2008

Proverbs 23/24 and all that jazz....

I was moved by the start of 23....the references to food and overeating and how people can use food to trick us....never really noticed that before.
I had to giggle towards the end of 23....the references to hanging out in taverns, trying new kinds of drinks". I'm sure it is a translational thing (I'm reading the NLT) but it was actually putting truth in really current words/actions. It painted a good word picture for me.

"29 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? 30 It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. 31 Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. 32 For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. 33 You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. 34 You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. 35 And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?”

There is SO much wisdom in 24....I really would post the whole chapter here with notes on how so much of it impacts me. Read it! It's great! I do love how it ends though....a real long time favorite:
"30 I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. 31 I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. 32 Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: 33 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 34 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber."

I'm back tracking a bit here, but thought these were TOO good not to post:
" 26 An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship."
" 10 If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. " (a good T-shirt slogan) Sometimes I feel like I THRIVE under pressure....it's the day to day that kills me!!
and:
" 11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. 12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve."
That last section is a staple in the pro-life movement...and it is so true. Of course, there are others around the world who are "unjustly sentenced to die" as well, and we need to be aware and intervene in those situations too....as God leads.

Galatians 1

WOW! I had done a bit of reading of some of the "newer" Christian authors last fall, sort of seeking wisdom as to why some churches are booming while others are faltering, and ran across some pretty questionable ideas (comparing to the Bible). These verses seem to hit our nation right squarely:
" 6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ."
and this is good too:
'10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant." I get caught up in that sometimes...the people pleasing person that I am....sigh....
And I loved when he tells us in v15 how he was chosen before he was born....such a good reminder that even the crummy stuff in our lives before we knew Jesus, it was still all in God's hands. I love the fact that when we surrender our deepest, dirtiest, places to Him, that He will turn it into our greatest ministry opportunities and blessings. Satan can't get a hold of that once we've trusted it to Jesus....as long as we continue to be open and honest about it. Growth happens. Amazing.

Galatians 2
It's all interesting, how he scolds those that are acting stupid towards others. My most impacting part though, is the ending of the chapter:

"16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” 17 But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! 18 Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die."

What precious words. I need to write them on my heart...

~m

Friday, March 21, 2008

Catching up....

It's Good Friday....never understood that name for all that it means, but it's A good Friday, none the less....

Catching up on life today...I lost Wed. to volunteering, and yesterday to working ON the computer (not just working with the computer) and now that things are updated and back on track (we hope), I'm back to this blog.

I love this:
Pro. 20:
3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.
Boy, it took me a LONG time to learn that....consider that my family "nick-name" as an adolescent was "Philadelphia Lawyer" as I'd argue ANY point for the sake of an argument. It's no wonder I despise arguing now....nothing to be gained.

24 The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
I'm trying to learn this now...STILL. I am really trying to wait on Him, for Him to show the next step in my life, and don't understand WHY I don't see the plan, but DO trust Him to handle it.

Pro. 21:
3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
SO true!

9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
HOW VERY TRUE!! I've tried hard not to be quarrelsome, since our home now is lovely....

19 It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
And this too...

23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
(A harder lesson for me to remember...LOL)

And I can't remember what book we went to next...Miss J, I need your help there.... :D
I think that I'll work on the new memory verse for small group (is there a tune for this one too?) and I have to run to the store...I know it's beautiful out, but I'm so draggy for some reason. I could lay down and take a nap right now!! sigh. If it were just a bit warmer out, I could be a cat and take a nap in the sunshine!

~ m


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mean LOL's (YOU know what they are...)

In light of our recent chat (Jami), I loved the first few verses of our Proverb for today:
1 Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.
2 Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
3 Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
Doesn't that fit in with my dealings with those Mean LOL's??? Even in dealing with loving those that hate/are indifferent/ignore/gossip about/etc in small towns....this makes so much sense (and still makes me sooooo sad!). sigh.

14 The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit? (I often wonder this!)

24 There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
I'm so GLAD I have a handful of REAL FRIENDS....not just friends who are "real", but who are willing to be REAL with me....and who I can be REAL with....GENUINE....that's a better word.

Thank you Jesus, for my genuine friends, really. :)

In Galatians:
7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
I get this....but what about a workaholic?? is that overboard? Do I need to be more patient and "let them" work with enthusiasm?? This distresses me a bit....a current thorn in my side....

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (love this)

OH, and the "spiritual armor" stuff has always been a needed favorite in my life....just recently I was at the site for Good Characters ( http://goodcharacters.com/evangelists/armor.html ) and saw this "Armor" T-shirt.....very cool. We gave J/J the "love" t's years ago, and I love the new "truth" t too....it is on my "wish list" :) Give lots of business there if you buy stuff on line....good, loving, Christian, FRIENDLY, people. Not too many of those in the world!

ok....thundering again.....time to shut it down (and do the cake, the popcorn, then???pictures?...I'm all out of sinc here.....).

LOVE!!
marina

Monday, March 17, 2008

Proverbs 16 and 17....

There's SO much good stuff in here, I couldn't pull a favorite verse if I tried to...not even a handful of them....too much good stuff.

True too in Ephesians 4 and 5.....SO much good stuff. Stuff that encourages me, convicts me, moves me and wants me to change things in my life. I never love enough....and lately I've found anger in my heart by the end of the day (too tired? spiritual battles?). Then too, I'm glad that we 've been able to talk about a few of these things before letting them get to a point of anger....God is good.

I confess, I haven't read too much (or at all) the past few days in COD....I'll try to today though. Maybe while I'm on the treadmill.

~marina

Friday, March 14, 2008

WOW....love this....

Ephesians 3 "14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." (NLT)

WOW. A favorite prayer of mine....so nourishing for my bones today. For my soul too...

Not much else to say...(surprise).....

~marina

Thursday, March 13, 2008

3/13/08 - devo

After reading in COD yesterday, I didn't have much to say...re-reading the introduction and back through my "old" highlighted spots....my heart doesn't question any of the things that moved me back then...especially on pg xiv, in the middle, where he writes " It hardly mattered who I read in those days - Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God, Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, John Woolman's Journal, A.W. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy - they knew God in ways far beyond anything I had ever experienced. Or even wanted to experience! But as I continued to soak in the stories of these women and men who were aflame with the fire of divine love, I began desiring this kind of life for myself. And desiring led to seeking and seeking led to finding. And what I found settled me, deepened me, thickened me."

This really resonated with my heart, and reminded me of so many times that I have (or still am) drawn to what I see as "spiritual giants" who just live the life....and realize that spending time with them (or reading about them) will usually draw me closer to God in great ways.

Then, this morning, to open up (well, to "bring up") Proverbs 13, and read: "20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble." and THAT fit right in. OK, so am striving to "walk with the wise" whether it is in physical "walking" in the flesh, or spending time with on line, or even the media that I expose myself to (i.e.; tv, radio, computer web sites).

Does this mean that I won't ever come in contact with "foolish" people...not really....but I believe that the more time I spend with wise people, the better prepared I am to spend time with the foolish ones. I need that solid foundation.

I've also been re-learning the lesson that "just because it's Christian (or honorable, or legal), doesn't mean that it's good." An addiction to work (or food, or tv, or computers, or unhealthy friendships in church) can be just as harmful as one to drugs (or alcohol, or porn). Giving my heart and mind over to anything in excess is unhealthy....physically, spiritually, and all places between. To keep God at the head of my life, and other things mindfully put in places below, is where I am now....sorting through all those things under God...

This is good timing to relearn this, as I've been struggling with my place in life. Perhaps it's a normal "empty nester" thing, but it's taken a year and a half for it to hit me. I had a great job when I married Mark, and have had a few jobs that I've enjoyed in our 24 years of marriage, but nothing that's hit me as "career material". Mark's always "allowed" or "encouraged" me to try new things....the years I did Pampered Chef, working as a pre-school teacher, librarian, volunteering, or just being home and teaching the kids, or playing "parental support" roles. Now I have lots of time on my hands, but don't know what to do with it. We are not as involved in church as we used to be (however, we are as COMMITTED as ever!) and part of that is from being farther away (it takes a bit over an hour to get there). I'm not cooking for youth group, or church activities, or on the side for other groups....and I don't know that I want to right now. I like the freedom to be able to be home when Mark is home, and he has said that his work projects are going to get crazy this spring, so I'm not sure how that will affect me at home.

I tend to be a loner here....I live in a place where I know a lot of people, a lot of people know me, but I don't have any friends. Oh, if there was a tragedy, I think people would come to help out, but no one calls to say "let's do lunch" or just to hang out. It's always been sort of superficial that way here....and it's always driven me nuts...so I've withdrawn from society here.

I DO have great friendships though, with people all over the world!! Some of my closest friends are people that have spent time in this area (and experienced the same superficial society) and have gotten to move on....some are my friends from where we go to church now....some are friends from where we have lived before...GA, AR, CA....those are my oldest friendships...the women that know me best...and love me anyways.

SO....I have this time, and not really any goals or plans (besides hosting a mini-family reunion this summer in honor of my dad's 80'th, which was in Jan., and maybe getting to sneak to PA to visit my daughter and her family). Mark's told me that I can work, go to school, volunteer, do whatever....but nothing hits me as "worthy" to do....I LOVE learning...but know that education is expensive and don't want to put time and money into something that I don't KNOW I'll do for the next 30 years. I have a LOT of interests...from cooking, photography, computers, acupressure, kids....I can list things for a day and not be done.....but not all of those things are good career choices. I enjoy working with people....am pretty good at sales...and can catch on to just about anything.....but if I got a job it would mean making a commitment to NOT spending time with Mark when he is "available"....and that's something I need BADLY. I thought that volunteering at the hospital would be good again, but I was looking for one day a week, that would be pretty regular, but it's already been changed to 2 days a month (that are not even the same day...). So that's not as I had hoped...or planned...which is ok....

I want, more than anything, to be in God's will. To KNOW that when I get up each day, I am going to be doing things that bring honor to Him....representing Him to people that don't know Him, sharing my HIStory to those that don't know all that He has done in me, and hopefully planting seeds that will encourage others to want to be a follower of Jesus too. I don't see that happening so much when I'm parked at home alone.

So, that's my prayer....to see God open a door (or 2) that will clearly show His leading, directing, building my faith and encouraging others. I want a strong marriage, to be available to help/serve others, to be there for my kids (when needed). I want to be defined somehow, but not restricted...if that makes sense. I am not quite sure how to describe it. Of course, at the core, I want to be doing Kingdom work....and believe that any job can be a mission's field...but I don't know where that field is for me right now. sigh.

OK...back to the Word....
Ephesians 2......this is what hit me.....
"1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

OK....that was my point all along...I need to know (want to know) what good things he planned for me long ago to do....so I can do them now...... :) sigh

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thanks....getting back to life...


Thanks to my friend who chatted last night, who, while looking for accountability in her life was actually encouraging me to get it back into mine. I confess, this past winter I've slacked, and I feel it in my bones! It's not funny how when we allow our spiritual life to relax, the rest of our life follows....so I'm looking forward to getting solidly back in the Word, having accountability in MY life, and expecting it to spread into other areas of my life too (namely, eating and exercise!).


So, my friend and I are reading a Proverb a day (the old standby), a NT chapter a day (Ephesians first), and a chapter (or so) a month of a favorite HEAVY book, A Celebration of Discipline. Not much more serious than that! It is good motivation, but we both agreed that it takes time to soak it in....not a book to skim through and read lightly.


I'll be posting my thoughts on here (sorry for you light readers) to help with my accountability...for those of you intrigued, come along on the journey!! I promise you'll be refreshed!!


So...reading for today....(I read the NLT translation, and actually read from http://www.biblegateway.com/ since I prefer sitting at the computer to the couch), RIGHT OFF THE BAT, *BOOM*! "Proverbs 12:1 To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction." How much more plain can it be??


In the reading in Ephesians, I LOVE how he encourages the church at the end of the chapter: "15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself."


For ME, it encourages me to keep Jesus in the center of my life....and to remember that He is aware of all things going on in the world....even things I don't get to vote on (and things I do get to vote on!). I also want to continue to grow in my knowledge of God (this IS a journey, not a destination), and to have that passion for the Word that would be a sign of the "confident hope" that I should be understanding....I would hope. : } I also love that he recognizes that as a part of believing, they have a "LOVE for God's people everywhere".....we are ALL "God's people"...whether we believe in Him, or choose to follow Him, we that DO believe and follow need to still LOVE. Pretty amazing.


I haven't loved very much lately. I've lost passion for the people here, believers and non, after living for 17 years in a community of apathetic faith. Although I CHOOSE to not fellowship here, I still need to love them. It's hard to love people who see past you, through you, superficially, and could care less about the nuts and bolts of my life. But it's not about me....it's about God...so I'm praying (now) that He would give me a passion for those that He loves....even in my own backyard. sigh.


I AM excited about the lands beyond....whether they are down the road, or around the world...it's easy for me to love people who have not heard of His GREAT Love for them. I can be passionate about that. :)


Well, I suppose I will need to get into the COD book now....and some good prayer time...praying for passion for the Word, passion for His people, passion for the lost.


I'm so grateful for friends....near and far...who do not mind being "real" with me, and love me, warts and all (ok, no warts, but moles....). He is SO good.....


marina




Monday, March 10, 2008

My other site...

It's been busy around here...I've been....sleeping! The trip overseas left me with the worst case of jet lag, and it is taking me the longest time to get over it. You can read about the adventure at the blogger site for MnMgo2 where it tells all about our great adventure. There are also extensive pics at the picasa site of the same name.

Otherwise, I'm falling behind in life. Although we walked miles each day while traveling, I can barely muster enough get-to-it-ness to get my clean clothes put away (bless Mark's heart for washing it all!!). We've got things that need to be mailed out, and I've been to the post office once last week, and need to go again today now that some things are ready to be mailed. I will make an honest attempt to get the rest of the things together and packed up too (I'd love to not have to go to town again this week!).

I also have a task to do...putting pics in albums! I've opted to play "artist" and not hassle the embellishing of the photos....really....and let them stand on the beauty of the photos themselves. There should be nothing to distract from the subject matter on these. I'm surprised too that in going through the photos I took, only a handful of them are of US...most are of the people and places we traveled too (and a lot of them are blurry too...since we were on the move so much!). It's an actual reminder of the trip....all in a blur. We hardly rested at all, except on the long plane flights that monopolized our bodies so badly.

Otherwise, life is good. The sun is shining (although it's still soooo cool outside) and I know that spring is just around the corner. I'm grateful to be getting into SOME semblance of normalcy again...it will just take a little more time...a few more naps...and a lot of discipline. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me....Phil. 4:13

marina