Friday, November 15, 2013

My Thoughts in Song Lyrics

Sometimes I can't find the word to express how I am feeling or what I am thinking.  Now would be one of those times.  To put into words all I saw and experienced is really hard.  Then to express my feelings and thoughts about those things are even harder.  The Lord has been using song lyrics to help me sort out my thoughts.  I thought I would just share a few of them with you...

"We go a thousand miles an hour, and we don't look back.  We go a thousand miles an hour and never stop to look around.  This is life.  This is love.  This is breath filling my lungs.  I've never felt this way about life, until I saw your love with my eyes.  There has to be much more to life than just these hands spinning round.  If our time is spent inside the lines we'll be alone standing 'round.  This is life. This is love. This is breath filling my lungs.  I've never felt this way about life, until I saw love with my eyes.  I want a live, I want to breath like it's my last before I leave.  I want to sing. I want to dance with your symphony.  If there's no pain in the offering than how can I say I lived.  When sacrifice is just daily life then joy and peace will be mine."  ~Carrollton Band

Okay...I am going to tell you a crazy story about this song.  When we got back from Mexico I heard it on a local radio station.  I immediately LOVED it.  I searched for the band and could not find it.  I figured they had to be local or something.  I heard the song like 2 more times over a couple weeks.  I almost called the radio station to see how I could get a copy of this song...I love it that much.   When I hear it, I think that my love...the breath in my lungs that he sings loving the orphan child, that it is serving my Lord in another country.  Ok...back to the story.  So we went to Africa, got back and a few weeks later we went to a Digital Age concert.  We walked in and one of the bands opening up for Digital Age was the Carrollton Band.  I seriously about started jumping up and down.  Of course I bought the CD!  Turns out they are a local band and used to be called Mosteller.  Recently they changed their name and got a record deal.  That must be why I had trouble finding them.  Now that I have the CD I listen to it ALL THE TIME!  Seriously...they kids beg me to turn it off.  If you want to hear it live go won't regret it.

Back to the lyrics.

This is has been a song I pray...
"Burn bright in my life.  Burn away the things I hold tight.  Give me, Eyes to see,  Your kingdom the way you want it to be.  What can be worse, more than you?  What do I have I wouldn't lose?  If it means you and I look more alike that's what I choose.  I'd give up the world to find my soul.  Pour out my life, give you control.  I just want to be what you want me to be.  I just want a heart's that true, a heart like you.  
As your waves, take shape.  All my guilt start to fade.  And your love, takes their place.  I become a well of your grace, your grace. I'd give up the world to find my soul.  Pour out my life, give you control.  I just want to be what you want me to be.  I just want a heart's that true, a heart like you.  I don't mind the price it costs. When this fades away what's true remains.What can be worse, more than you?  What do I have I wouldn't lose?    I'd give up the world to find my soul.  Pour out my life, give you control.  I just want to be what you want me to be.  I just want a heart's that true, a heart like you." 
~Love and the Outcome

This is just two of the songs God has been using to help me sort through all this.  However, there are more...maybe I will post those another day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

This is Not My Home

This is a hard place to be...stuck between worlds.

Let me make something very is not about Africa.  It isn't even about orphans.

It is about the Lord and must always remain about the Lord.  The second it becomes about Africa or orphans is the second it becomes an idol.  It is easy to focus on orphan care, the Bible tells us to care for the orphan.  It is easy to focus on the next trip, the Bible tells us to go into all the world and make disciples.  But, the Lord must always stay at the front of our mission, our calling, our purpose.  And that is hard.

God uses Africa daily to remind me that I long to be in a different place...a place that is my home.  And it is not Africa that I long to be in.  I long to be in Heaven with my Father.  I long to be in a place I was created for.  The Bible says we are aliens in this world.  I have never really felt that way or understood that.  But I do now.  I look at all the hurt, hunger and heartache and know the only thing that can fix that is the Lord's return.  I may feel stuck between Africa and here, but the truth is, I am stuck between here and Heaven.  My earthly goggles have been removed and I long to be with my Lord and Savior in a new way.

When I am feeling frustrated or angry about what I saw and can not fix, 
my Lord whispers..."this is not your home."  

When I long to hug those sweet babies I can only look at in pictures, 
my Lord whispers..."this is not your home."  

 When I feel like I can't do anything to help those I love, 
my Lord whispers..."this is not your home." 

God continues to use this place...this remind me,
"this is not my home."

 And then my heart aches to be HOME.  
I longs to be with the one I was created to worship...Jesus Christ, my Lord.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What I Would Have Missed

I almost didn't Uganda.

My initial answer was no.

When I think about that, I get sad.

When Rob and I found out about the trip in May we talked and considered it up until the deadline to sign up, which was in June.  Then we just decided the details weren't working out and we said we couldn't go.

To be honest, it wasn't just about the details.  I was afraid.
(If you know me this should be no shock to you.)

It was a dream of mine to go to day.  I just never dreamt it would be so soon.  I came up with all these excuses of why I couldn't go.  But God kept putting things in front of me saying I want you to go. There were a few things that happened that kept prompting us to entertain the idea of going. One of them was listening to this sermon that I came across on Facebook.  Listening to this was just the beginning of letting go of some of my fears.  (If you have about 30 minutes and struggle with fear listen to it.  It is great.)  It is based on Matthew 5:10 "Blessed are those who suffer for doing what is right. The kingdom of God belongs to them." Now I know what you are thinking, suffer?  Did you really suffer?  Not really, but something  Kyle said convicted me to my core, "That we have a comfort zone, but what is that right outside of our comfort zone is God's blessing."  Whoa!  My comfort zone is here, with my family.  In the "safety" of my home, my community.  My comfort zone is where I have "control" of my surroundings.  Then Kyle says, "but many of us don't experience that blessing because we want to be safe and secure and comfortable."  That is so much how I feel most of the time.  I am worried about what will happen outside of my comfort zone.  After listening to that message and really seeking what the Lord wanted, I had this thought...what if I stay in my comfort zone.  And then that thought became even more scary than leaving my comfort zone.

For many years I have been a slave to fear.  I am the girl that stays up past midnight to keep an eye on the weather to make sure we aren't going to have tornadoes.  I am the girl that panics if my kid's bus doesn't pull up right at the time it is supposed to.  I am the girl that freaks when I call Rob and he doesn't answer the phone while he is at work.  So the thought of flying on a plane for 16+ hours and landing on the other side of the world without my kids, in another country, was terrifying.  I just kept feeling God say, "go."  And it got to a point where I said to Rob, "If I don't go, I am being disobedient to what God is asking of me."  After we bought the plane tickets I really felt a peace.  I know, you have heard people say that before and it sounds cheesy, but it is the truth.  I felt at total peace.

I don't want to be dishonest...
Was it hard to leave my kids for 12 days? yes.
Was it difficult to coordinate who was watching them? yes.
Was it completely scary to think about flying over the ocean? yes.
Was it uncomfortable being surrounded by a different culture? yes
But then God laid this verse in front of me, "See I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you."  (Exodus 23:20)  And every time I would start to get a little worried God would remind me of this.  He still reminds me of this.

When I think that I said no first, I think of all the blessing I would have missed out on.  I think of all those beautiful eyes I looked into.  I think of all the beautiful smiles I saw.  I think of all the hugs I received from those children.  I think of how God proved Himself as faithful time and again.  I think of how serving with my husband has deepened our marriage and purpose.  I think of the friends that I have made that I will forever have a bond with.  I think of how He patiently nudged me out of my comfort zone and took me to a place where blessings overflowed.