thoughts of future hopes and dreams have been filling my mind lately...
i usually come up with my new years resolutions and i am ready to jump in head first on january 1... this year, it has taken me a little longer...
honestly, i know that this year is going to be packed with CHANGE. a word that used to send me running to hide... but a big deep breath of change is sometimes just what we need... to push us into our calling or make us more of the person that we were meant to become.
when ray and i got married
we knew that we just didn't want
to settle down and live with our God
in a box.
but barrett came, jobs changed,
finances were tight, and the dreams that
used to fill our minds slowly drifted
of coarse, loving Jesus, growing in grace, caring for my husband, raising our son, and being a compassionate nurse are at the top of my list for what i am living for... but something in my heart, His whisper, tells me there is more... more to live for... not more to things to add to my plate or more legalistic rituals to do... but,
people are hurting
children are dying
families are homeless
women are sold
sickness, cancer, & death
are all to close to home
i have been reading the book, Radical, and God has been opening my eyes to the nations... and to His call on each of our lives.
after returning from Africa (medical mission trip in 2009), i remember telling ray, you have to see this... it will change your life... and i guess it really did change mine, because i still can't get the images that i saw out of my mind... and i believe that is God's precious grace in my life. as much as i would like to forget most of what i saw... i can't. those are His children...
"Now, we know that each of us has different gifts, different skills, different passions, and different callings from God. God has gifted you and me in different ways. This was undoubtedly the case with the disciples. Peter and Paul had different callings. James and John had different callings. However, each follower of Christ in the New Testament, regardless of his or her calling, was intended to take up the mantle of proclaiming the gospel to the ends of the earth. That's the reason why he gave each of them his Spirit and why he gave them all the same plan: make disciples of all nations." (Radical, 73)
again, we're not all missionaries, we're not all pastors, we're not all businessmen... but we are all called to PROCLAIM HIS NAME TO THE WORLD...
so for us, for our family,
we have to decided where that
calling lies. where to put our
passions. where God is directing us.
what that will look like, and how it all will play out is unknown to us... but our hearts are full of faith... and we are ready. like one of my favorite worship songs by Chris Tomlin says, "Where you go I'll go, where you stay I'll stay, when you move I'll move. I will follow you."
what i love is that God is with us, He is for us, and He has much to accomplish through us... not because of us, but because of His great love for us! how can we just sit and watch our lives pass by... having the newest car, prettiest outfit, best behaved kids, perfect marriage, nice facebook quotes and pictures, and having the most pins on our pinterest boards with hopeful decorations for our home. i'm guilty of it all!! i spend so much of my life with this inner tug... but Lord, i want all the newest things! i want the most beautiful house! i want people to think our marriage is perfect! etc... but the truth is, do i really want all that?? can i really relate to my friends that are struggling in their marriage if God hadn't taken us through difficult times? how easily would my heart be filled up with idols if i really had everything i wanted? what are His dreams for our family?
we all have to ask ourselves these questions.
we all will struggle, because we are human
and our hearts are idol factories.
and we are drawn to living the American Dream...
where does our satisfaction come?
how are we fulfilling His purpose right where we are?
are we proclaiming the gospel... to the nations?
all that to say, we are heading to Dallas, Texas to visit Christ for the Nations Institute next week. over the past 9 months, the Lord has been opening our hearts to His call and opening doors for us to walk through in this direction. this is kind of the final door... to see Dallas, to see the school, to meet people, look at job opportunities, and get a sense from the Holy Spirit if this is where the Lord is moving us. please keep us in your prayers as you think of it... we are wanting more of Jesus... and needing Him so desperately to lead us...
David Platt says in his book, Radical, "After spending a week around precious children who eat a small cup of porridge a day, the question I have come back to Birmingham asking God is why he has blessed me when others have so little. And this is what He has shown me: 'I have blessed you for my glory. Not so you will have a comfortable life with a big house and a nice car. Not so you can spend lots of money on vacations, education, or clothing. Those aren't bad things, but I've blessed you so that the nations will know me and see my glory.'"
so whether we end up in Dallas or Africa....
Let the Adventure begin :)