Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quick Update from Ethiopia

Click the link below to follow David's trip. This will be my only communication with him as well for the next 10 days so we will be reading along together. Keep praying for him and selfishly I ask for prayers for me. I have never gone even 1 day without talking to him so this is already hard. I am thinking about him constantly and wishing by the grace of God that an email or random text would just appear from him. But, at the same time, I don't want him thinking about me or how to figure out a way to reach me...I want him to be too busy changing the world for Jesus!!!!

Ordinary Hero Blog: New OH Team Off To Ethiopia!!: I am soooo excited to announce that this OH Mission Team left yesterday for Ethiopia. This was not a team we publicized to get people to j...

Monday, August 29, 2011

He's Off.

Yesterday morning the kids and I took David to the airport to meet up with the rest of the team that is traveling to Ethiopia. It was like the exhale to a deep breath that I had been holding for a few months. I'm still amazed. I stand in awe of the One who provided this opportunity for David and I stand proud of my man for being obedient and having such a willing heart and spirit. He will be missing about 10-12 days of work which includes the ever-so-important inventory and profits/loss paperwork. Normally, we have planned every single trip around the end of the months so he wouldn't have to miss these things, but without hesitation he just taught the general manager how to do it all and left CONFIDENT that all would be fine. That is God's grace!

Anyways, we spent Saturday night packing, repacking, and checking/rechecking the packing list I had made for him. We weighed luggage at least a million times to make sure NOTHING would stop us from getting the supplies on board that plane. We enjoyed spending this special time together. When I was a traveling nurse almost 10 years ago, I learned how to pack a car with all of my belongings so as to be able to travel to wherever I would be working for the next 3 months. I think that came in handy while we were packing as you would not believe how much i got into a small duffel bag and back pack. I'm talking rain boots, 6 days worth of clothes, toiletries,  etc... It was a tight fit, but a fit nonetheless! As I was getting him all packed up, I was slightly envious that I was not going to be going with him this time, and then the Lord clearly showed me that I am David's helpmate and that is huge. While I may not be going with him, I am making sure that he gets off without a hitch. And I could not be more honored to take care of my man like this!

I did hear from him last night. He flew out of Nashville, to Atlanta, then up to Washington DC. All flights were on time (thank you Jesus for commanding Hurricane Irene to back off and move on). The team checked into a hotel in DC last night and had a HUGE protein meal as it's likely this will be the last bit of protein they will get for a while. They are set to leave for Ethiopia this morning and that will be a LOOONG 13 hour non-stop flight. As I type, they are checking bags and getting ready to go through security so pray that all of that goes smoothly again today. They will arrive in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia at 7:45 tomorrow morning. That would be midnight tonight central time.
Pray that they get there safely, that they get through customs without any problems. We've been told that if the customs officers choose to go through the bags and see all of the things we have brought to leave there, that they may make them get a work visa, they make charge an insanely amount of bag tax, and they may even take things out of the bags and keep them. The team plans to go through customs seperately so as not to look like a huge group.

I will keep updating as I get updates so check back often.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Update on Ethiopia

By the grace of God and your generosity, we have been fully funded for the trip to Ethiopia! It has been absolutely amazing to sit and watch God work all of this out and bring the Ephesians 3:20 scripture alive right before our very eyes. And not only that, but we have gotten 80 soccer jerseys and 20 soccer balls donated to us. I am literally blown away at the generosity and the hearts that people have for the people of Ethiopia. Too bad this stuff isn't what is being reported on the 6:00 news, huh?
As the days draw near for departure...we are down to just 9 days...I ask that everyone who reads this to put David and the mission team in your prayers. I truly believe their worlds are going to be rocked and changed as much as the people they will be serving. Pray for their safety, their physical strength and mental/emotional well being. They will be in the heart of a third world country that is currently experiencing a famine and while they will be desperate to help everyone, the truth of the matter is that they just won't be able to. I know how this will affect them. Imagine for just one minute that your own child (or niece, nephew, grandchild) was living in a trash dump, or an orphange looking for food, begging to get even just a morsel of something, and continually wondering when their next bite of food would be coming to them. I can't hardly think about it without tearing up. I can't imagine Chloe and Brody being in those circumstances. So, this will be hard for the team to see, process, and understand.
Also focus your prayers please on the families that they will be coming into contact with. Pray that their physical needs will begin to be met and that their eyes and hearts would be open to see the love of Jesus through our team. Pray for the time that our team is with them that they can just put aside the worries they have and enjoy what our team has in store for them.

More updates in a week or so. And again,  thank you so much for your kind and generous donations. We are humbled, we are grateful, and we are blessed!

*just a side note...I say "we" a lot through this post like I am going too, but I am not. I just feel so much a part of this trip that I can't help but say it like I am going to :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This is Becoming So Real Feeling...

The book I mean. The publishing company that I am almost sure I am going to go with just keeps coming at me in various ways. Could it be God giving me some not-so-subtle- hints? What do you think? Since I wrote my last post, every single time I have been on the internet checking email or just searching whatever, this company's logo comes up. NEVER HAS HAPPENED BEFORE! I contacted my pastor about the book he published and the process he had to go through, and it turned out that he published with the same company. Another friend of mine is writing a book and she emailed to tell me that she too has chosen that company.
I am getting more and more excited over this opportunity and have already written 22 pages. Believe me when I say that I know that it doesn't sound like a lot, but I've only covered about 1 month of my story so it really is. I know how I want the layout of the book and each chapter to look, journal entries will be included as will some of the personal emails I received. Today it also crossed my mind to not forget to include the adorable things that Chloe would say or ask during those crazy two years also.
I don't know what I will end up doing for now. But I do know that I am going to keep writing when I have time and keep praying until I am 100% sure of what God would have me to do.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Writing A Book

So, a while back I contacted a publishing company very well known in the Christian Book world...Thomas Nelson. Their books line the shelves of LifeWay. I just wanted some information on writing a book about my 2 year struggle through breast cancer and all that comes with the diagnosis...including God's provision. After I sent the email though, I never really thought too much about it except when random people would say, "you should write a book." Honestly, I love to write and always have! It's very therapeutic for me and I also like having a written record of specific seasons in my life and how God has always been there for me even when I couldn't feel Him.
Anyways,  a little over a week ago, I submitted just a couple of pages of the book I have been working on to a guy at Thomas Nelson. And...last week I got a call from him encouraging me to keep writing as there is a definite need for non-medical breast cancer books for young women (under 40). And I totally agree with that because almost every breast cancer book on the shelf is written by a doctor, or by a woman with grown children and possibly even grandchildren. There wasn't one book that I could find written by a gal who had babies at home to take care of and all of the responsibilities that come with mother-hood all while having surgeries, lots of chemo, and daily radiation. Just the logistics of it all is enough to drive anyone coo-koo!  I wish there had been a book that I could have picked up and read so that I would not have felt so alone at times and wondering how to do this season of life. Something I could have read to say, "oh, it IS normal when your toddler asks about cancer everyday and dying and heaven..."
So, I am writing my book, and praying about what to do with it as I get further into it. I just know that the Thomas Nelson company told me that if I partnered with them that I could have a book on the shelves by Christmas. Oooh, it's exciting, but I am praying through what to do with my book as I continue writing it. Regardless of what I do with it, I am writing it and at the very least, it will be something that I will have for my family to read for generations to come and they will be able to see God's amazing provision in the big details right down to the tiniest of them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

REST (aka Sabbath)

So a few months ago one of my closest friends, EW, and I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to the Deeper Still conference. While there, we were privileged to sit under the teachings of Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore. And to be led into the presence of God by the amazing Travis Cottrell. This has been a dream of mine for years so for me to be in the presence of such Godly women was a complete blessing.
I have to say that at first,  I was most excited to hear Beth Moore because she is the one who I have studied under the most as far as Bible studies go. HOWEVER...when Priscilla Shirer got up to teach, I was captivated and still to this day am remembering things randomly that she said and really trying to put them into practice in my own life. So, what did she speak on? Are you wondering? Well, I can tell you that at first you may think you know everything there is to know about this topic, but I can promise you she brought a new understanding of it for me... and I think you should keep reading because it may impact you as much as it did me. So, without further ado, the topic was SABBATH!
Seems easy, huh? Rest on Sunday. Rest on the 7th day as God did. Isn't that what you automatically think of when you hear that word? I do...or I did. So, let's get on with it. Priscilla started with some questions. Think on them and evaluate yourself. I'll put my answers in red so you can see what I struggle with as you evaluate your own struggles.
1. Am I so addicted to chaos that I can't even enjoy a rest or a break? YES!!! I love the crazy busyness that I have in my life...or I thought I did.
2. What do I OVER-DO in my life? material things for the kids, exercise, dessert, buying tons of books - I LOVE LOVE LOVE non-fiction and anything from Lifeway.
3. What is taking up so much space in my life that I can't even enjoy it? (and it can even be good things!) my day to day life and what all I have planned for the children
4. Is there breathing room in my home? not really; there are too many books, toys, magazines
5. What frustrates me? that my kids feel entitled to things now, that I am a totally all or none kinda girl when it comes to food and exercise
6. What has become distasteful to me? that I am not able to ENJOY my children because of our schedules
7. What are my priorities? quiet time with God, my family, keeping the house cleaned and the family fed, doctor appointments to keep my health in check, meeting with my Godly girlfriends periodically to check in and share struggles and "God-stories."
8. Am I anxious when my calendar isn't full? YES!!!! Can I live in the white space of the calendar?  I am learning how to do so. 
9. What am I enslaved to now? the voice of the enemy telling me that for my sanity I need to keep the calendar full of activities
10. What do I have a hard time saying "no" to? play-dates, outings, shopping, anything sweet, my kids

So, did you answer them? Good! Now, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! Over-doing it will transfer into every area of your life making it all distasteful and foul...just like in Exodus 16. Moses told the Israelites that could gather food each day for 6 days, but on the 6th day they needed to gather a double portion because they were not allowed to gather food on the Sabbath. What did they do instead? They tried to gather enough for leftovers on the other days also and it ended up becoming full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Kind of like when we over-do it...things turn into a mess real quick with our attitudes, physical space, health etc...

Learning how to rest is essential to our well-being. It is ordered by the Lord. He tells us in Psalm to "be still..." He says in Deuteronomy, "you shall not do any work." There must be a time when we stop ALL things and say NO to something.
Now, does that mean we have to say no to everything on one day of the week? On Sunday to be more specific? NO!!! That is NOT what the Sabbath truly means. As a matter of fact, the Sabbath, by true definition, is when we stop to remember that we were enslaved to something and were in bondage to a yoke of sin. It is a time to remember God's provision and how he rescued us from that enslavement, and then remember the promises he has given us. What the Sabbath is, is a principle to guard against becoming enslaved to anything again. It is a margin of time to remember...not necessarily a day. Wouldn't it be more effective to take a Sabbath EVERY day instead of just one day/week, or never (gasp!)?

So, since this conference, I have cleared the calendar and have enjoyed my time so much more with my family. I haven't felt the pressure of being places with them at certain times and then getting frustrated with them when they were moving slow. I've been able to enjoy watching their little imaginations run wild instead of having them in structured activities all of the time. And when I feel the urge to say "yes" to something...even the good things...I am learning to stop, pray, and then do what God says.

Now I will leave you with a little food for thought...
Living as an enslaved person will have you hoarding what you are given and then thinking you never have enough. But living as a free person will have you giving and then knowing that God will miraculously provide for you.