The weather has been so beautiful here lately. Hot, in the 100's some days (still gorgeous), and today in the 80's and extremely comfortable. We have been running and running for about 4 weeks now, but thankful for the many opportunities the Lord has given us.
We took a retreat with Church of Blessing group, which is the place where John preaches once a month. It was a wonderful time of fun and relaxation for the two older children and John. I spent the 3 days taking care of Gabriel and Moriah who were sick. There has been a sick bug around our home for 11 weeks now, thankfully this is the first few days where everyone has been well. And, I am very grateful! Praise the Lord!! John has travelled to a village church about 5 hours away and really enjoyed seeing the people in love with Jesus there. He begins teaching English at the army base tomorrow. We will also begin a cell group meeting with the church plant on Wednesday.
Moriah turned one on the 24th and we took a day trip to the zoo and the swimming park with 3 of the children's thai friends. Everyone enjoyed themselves! It is so hard for me to believe it has already been a year since Moriah was born. I have been reflecting on the past year this week, because I remember soooo vividly the night that she came into this world. God has truly used her in my life to teach me so much!
Moriah means 'God is my Teacher' and literally, every month of this year I can look back in my journal and tell you the things He has taught me! The moment she was entering into the world He spoke, 'Do not be afraid, I am her teacher and will teach her how to enter into this world'. To hear those words, brought immediate peace. If you are unfamiliar with the birthing story...please email me and I will tell of the miraculous! I am sitting here trying to think of the most profound thing He has taught me, but...it has all been so revelatory and so neccessary for my walk with Him.
Right now, I am feeling the unending, never-failing, love of God. He knows, understands, accepts, and loves who I am. He knows the mistakes I am going to make even before I make them. The short fuse I have with the children, the smart tone of voice, the lack of gentle understanding...and He loves me and is there to encourage me, not discourage me. He sees my heart and is always waiting on me, before I even go to Him. He desires me more than I could possibly desire Him! This leads me to our children.
Shouldn't we always be encouraging to them...even in the midst of difficult circumstances...you know, the time when the milk is spilled all over the floor, the baby has a stinky, the toddler is crying because the wheel broke on the truck, the 7 year old is cleaning the milk with a towel :/, and the oldest is in a deep conversation about the teeth of the baleen whale...and my brain/flesh says, 'AHHHHHH'! And, I feel like yelling it, and I do...too much! The Lord is always there to encourage me and keep me from getting down on myself. Lord, help us to encourage our children during these times and not discourage them by our own responses. They are 'raw' flesh as my friend put it...their minds have not been renewed yet. Help us to treat them as the Lord treats us after we lose our tone or our control! He is there with open arms.
Days and days go by, and I long for the relationships I have with friends and family in America. Some days I cannot believe that I haven't talked to 'so-and-so' in a year...or gone with her to wherever...It is hard to believe somedays, that I LIVE here, I am not going anywhere. And, on those days, that are forever long...I am forced even more to press into God. HE is all I have!! I have learned even more to trust in Him, to lean on Him, to rely on Him! And, if it took me living on the other side of the world, to be so lonely at times that I don't have anyone but Him to turn to...then it is worth it. This is how our love for God, our relationship with Him, is suppose to be! We are to be TOTALLY abandoned to Him!! And, well, sometimes if there are distractions all around you, then you don't always turn to Him.
So, I encourage myself and you, to TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS>>>GET ALONE WITH YOUR PRINCE>>>And find out what He is saying to you. He always brings that perfect peace that we are looking for. And, I am so VERY THANKFUL TO YOU JESUS!! You are truly the greatest love!!
Love you all and miss you dearly!
--That the FIRE of God would remain kindled in our lives
--Strengthening of our marriage
--Our family to continue to thrive here and that JOY would abound in our home!
--Greater burden for the thai people
--John's language and preaching abilities in Thai to sky-rocket
--Church plant and cell group
--Converts to come out of relationships built
--$1,000 more monthly support