Mom on a Mission

Mom on a Mission

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cellie Joy Turns "2"


It is my baby's birthday today.  She turned 2.
I remember praying for fresh joy in my life, and God delivered this little slice of 
"Pie".
That is her nick name,  as we were so hoping she would be born on Pi day, 3-14-15,
but her name is
Cellie Joy,
and she brings Joy everywhere she goes and to everyone she meets.
This was not the joy I was thinking of when I was praying, but this is so much better and sweeter and fuller than anything I could have thought or imagined.  A baby was the last thing I was thinking of when I was praying that prayer, but God knew what would truly bring Joy, I thank Him everyday.







Cellie is such a reminder to me that God gives good gifts, and loves to surprise His children with JOY!  

We have had a fun day of celebrating this little love and we are glad that she is officially 2 because she has been practicing for this age for quite some time.

Psalm 32:10-11

10 
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
    but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
    and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Derailed - Wrecked by Grace

Grace wrecked my life a few years ago.  I’ve been a Christian since I can remember, and I’ve also been a 
“good girl,"
 (as far as most knew, for the most part) 
because I have always been a natural people pleaser.  I never wanted people to be unhappy with anything I did or didn't do.  
The natural response to that, is to live life, but not too much and not too little.
  Don’t make waves too big, that way, nobody really notices you.
 This works good for my personality.


THEN!!!! 
 I got wrecked.
Not physically, but in my heart.
 My heart woke up.
 I realized the GRACE I had been given in my life.  I understood more fully what God had done for me and for the world.
He gave me my life, and then He gave me His life. 
It kills me! 
I was a sinner and have a perfect
 Savior- Redeemer-God
Jesus Christ my Lord
 who exchanged His life for mine.
This is GRACE.
 This isn’t me, or anything I’ve done right or wrong.
  It’s GRACE!
So I began to live in that GRACE filled place and my heart went wild. 
Wild for Jesus.
Wild for Jesus, in the way that I felt a love for Him that I had never felt, and in spite of my non-wave making personality, the LOVE and excitement overwhelmed me and made me
do things that weren’t always pleasing to people.  
I began taking risks that were out of character and I began speaking up and making some waves.
I went off the rails of who people thought I was and off the rails of what people knew me to do and I LIVED
 for the first time.

Then, somehow in the last few years I have slipped into old habits of trying to please people and conform to what people thought I should do, or who they thought I should be.
I became so confused and felt guilt instead of freedom.
I felt striving, instead of peace.
Everything felt heavy and wrong and dead.

2 Corinthians 3:16-17

16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Jesus had not left me and I had not walked away from God, I just paid way more attention to what I was doing and who I wasn't, then who God is and what He has done. 
I forgot to enjoy and live in GRACE.
I wanted to jump on a train and head the right direction and not screw up anything or anyone. 
I didn’t trust GRACE to keep me IN-LINE.
 The freedom in GRACE felt free and  unpredictable and wonderful and risky.
I missed it, but didn’t know how I had gotten back on the train, I just thought it was like losing that
 “lovin feelin’.
  I thought maybe it's just a rush and then it’s all grit from there.

I would have a GRACE thrill here and there, but would quickly retreat to safer territory.
This is such a sad look at GRACE…it’s like saying it’s all a feeling and it’s only temporary and it runs out or at the very least it gets dry and boring and hard and rigid.
This is not grace. 
GRACE is full and ALIVE and never ENDING.  It only increases as we walk in it.
It gets deeper and wider with each step.


I think that’s one of the things that I love about going to Uganda….I feel that GRACE, I know I stand out, and I know I’m an idiot to their “culture”, so I don’t try to to find the rails…I can only find the GRACE and the FREEDOM so I just OWN it and I operate in it. 
And my heart comes to life, it breaks like a dam and it flows with a fresh rush of
 GRACE.
 
I can feel my heart waking up and I am once again wrecked by

GRACE.
I pray I never retreat, that I walk into the deep of it all and feel the peace and flow and thrill of 
GRACE!

Before you think....OH DEAR GOD...what is she gonna do?  
It's not about what I do or don't do....it's about what Jesus already did for me.
I pray He has Kingdom work for me to DO, 
and no matter what I'm doing,
 I am a daughter to the King of Kings, God is my FATHER,
and I am being LOVED by the CREATOR and giver of LIFE.


*So. Are. You!*
 I dare you to grasp THAT and not be WRECKED by the power of it all.*

Colossians 1:9-12

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Birthday Mikiyas!

This weekend we went to the beach and celebrated Mik!  
He had a basketball tournament and it was his birthday, so we figured there was no better way to celebrate him then go and cheer like a bunch of freaks and eat cupcakes with his team. 
 It's a ready made party weekend with lots of entertainment!  


 Mik plays with a team of guys that have played basketball together for several years.  It is a little team with a lot of diversity, and a whole bunch of puberty hormones, and feelings and attitudes and fun, and good hard life lessons all wearing the same jersey.
Coach deserves a trophy for taking on this group like he has.  He deals with a lot of "stuff" that doesn't have anything to do with basketball, but has a whole bunch to do with some messy teen life.  These guys aren't your run of the mill teens (if there is such a thing), they are super diverse from the inside, and on the outside.

It's amazing the power of sweat though, it's refreshing to see these guys work hard together and sweat it out as a team. 
 Many times when they bring it all together, it's really exciting to watch and cheer them on.
  

Mik is a gift to this family.  I have watched the Gospel  take root in his heart and see the power of forgiveness at work in his life.
 He has truly learned to receive and give grace. Mik knows what it is like to be treated unfairly by circumstances and people, and yet he knows the power of love and trust and he is growing in both of those, as much and as fast as he is growing in his body.

Mik got Student of the Month Award at school in December.  This is just one huge example of how well Mik is doing.  Mik has also worked hard to be in Honor Society this year. 

Mik is smart and he is kind.

Mik can make me crazy (and not the good kind, if there is such a thing), and turn it around really fast and make me crazy proud of him.
I know that God gave us Mik for so many reasons and I also know that we could have missed this amazing kid by not taking a crazy quick leap of faith.
We needed Mik as much as Mik needed a family and neither one of us knew it at the time.
He will always be a reminder to me, that God gives good gifts and blessings, but sometimes it looks and feels scary for everyone, but it's worth the risk.


 Mik has a funky "lump in his throat" that the Dr. is keeping an eye on. 
We are praying big prayers with big lumps in our own throats, that God heals this and it's not another "issue"
 that Mik has to work through.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sweet 16 Esther!



 Happy Sweet 16
 Mirembe Esther Brewer.


Esther is one of the strongest people I know.  She is strong in body, mind, and spirit.  It is her strength that has made her a survivor and a conqueror.  She has endured many hardships and crazy blessings in her short 16 years.  Esther's life and experiences can explain how she can feel so low and then so high in a short time frame.  She has experienced some desperate lows and some elating highs in her short life.  


 Esther, in the Bible was a strong orphan girl, that against all odds became a queen and ended up saving her people by standing for what was true.  She rose to the challenge and did the hard thing in spite of the fear and risk when she was faced with adversity. 
 I believe Esther was named providentially, she is a princess for sure and she is strong and can do hard things and come out on top.  She has a way with people, that draws them in,  and as she grows and matures she will be used by God in more beautiful and powerful ways.

This daughter of mine has challenged me in many ways, I have learned things about myself through my relationship with Esther, in my faith and in my parenting, and I am so grateful to God for giving me Esther as a daughter and a gift to all our lives.
  We do the hard work together to learn and grow and bond, and we both have learned to love so much better. 
 Esther's life has  taught me so much about my adoption in Jesus. 


 Esther is a daughter and a sister and an auntie and a friend. 
 Esther is funny and playful.

 

Esther is also deep in her thoughts and in her heart.  She can be hard to break through the surface, but man, when you dig deep with her and hang in there with her, there is a treasure so beautiful that it's worth every single bit of the digging.



Charlie and Esther have a very special bond.  He and her connected before I knew anything about her, and he went back to Uganda and brought her home when it was time. 
She is the kid that Charlie was in charge of the "delivery" and he did an amazing job, it was a true labor of love.
 
Esther is Cellie's absolute favorite person in the whole world. 
 You can't fool Cellie, she knows true love and Esther is all
 "her's".

Saturday, February 18, 2017



The words that I felt like God just speaking to me for the year 2017 is:
 REMEMBER and TIMING.

Remember who God is and what He has done, and His timing which usually translates as
WAITING.

My mind and fb page has been flooded with memories lately.

The two big memories that I am camped on right now are when Lashae was a senior in high school, in 2010.  She told us that she had missions BIG on her heart.  She had no idea where or what or even why, but she knew she felt urgent about it!  
 I was soooooooo fine-ish with it, once she just finished high school with the honors that she had worked for all her student life, and had her college career well under way, and had saved all the money needed, and had the perfect opportunity, with the perfect safety measures, with a the perfect experience of 5,000 people around her, and the perfect suitcase and clothes and hair style and 
blah blah blah.

Then, my lovely brother-in-law, Justin, decided to answer God's call and throw together a mission team and go to Uganda and have it just a few weeks before my first born valedictorian daughter  graduated.
(It wasn't actually "thrown" together, there was a lot of planning and prayer that went into it, but to ME, the MOTHER, it felt THROWN together.)
 

  She was positive this was an opportunity that God was giving her.   I was positive it wasn't God at all,  and if it was, He must have forgotten He made me the mother.
  I reminded God, that He gave me a job to raise her and I was doing a pretty fantastic job until He came along and took over her heart, before she was even 18 of all things. 
 I mean I wanted her to love Jesus, but not do anything out of order, she could sing songs and pray and go to a few Bible studies and then, when her life was in order, and she was an adult, she could do something that He laid on her heart. 
 His timing seemed so wrong.


As it turned out....she went, and Charlie got to go,  and God messed him up too.  Charlie spent the whole time NOT watching our daughter, which is what he was SENT for 
(according to me.)
  He was too busy crying and dealing with His own heart that was being changed and lit on fire for Jesus.
  Charlie came back with a passion for Jesus that I had never seen in him, and he was listening to the Holy Spirit and responding in a way that is still effecting lives.

  God's timing messed with me! 
 As my husband was NOT watching our daughter, but falling in deep crazy love with Jesus and sponsoring kids and committing to adopting our daughter, I was at home getting served papers on the foreclosure of our house. 

A few weeks after Lashae and Charlie returned from their first trip, they were at a church sharing about their Uganda trip; it was at that service, Charlie announced that we were going to pursue adopting Esther, as I  was in the car having a wrestling match with God over it.
  I explained to Him that I had a heart for adoption, and I could tell this was our girl by Charlie's love for her, but I reminded Him that we were in a financial hardship and I would be happy to follow His lead just as soon as he straightened out our mess.  God, thankfully did not listen to my plan and timing, He faithfully led us thru the adoption process at the same time that we were dealing with a financial mess.  This was 7 years ago, and  our daughter has been home for almost 6 years now, and our house situation is still not fixed.  God has been faithful and generous to provide, above and beyond everything we need and ask for. 
 He has taught us a lot about  REMEMBERING to trust Him and His TIMING.
  He has taught us to obey even when it makes no sense to us or anyone else at the time.  

 

There have been several things that God has lead us into, without any doubt, that I thought we would be right in that place for a long time.....and it ended up being a short season.
Then there are situations that I'm sure He is going to resolve and fix or get us out of very quickly and we remain right there for a looooooooooooooong time.

I don't get it, and I don't like it,
but I have learned to TRUST Him
(more.)
 It may not look pretty and I can't hear the angels singing, but I can REMEMBER where we were and WHO we are following and it's all worth it.

Following Jesus, and His leading in our lives, is messier than I ever thought it could be, and more beautiful than I can see with my eyes, 
 it's harder than I ever imagined and more wonderful than I ever knew possible.
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Staying High!

I remember as a kid going to church camp every year and experiencing a new closeness with the Lord and with the people I had been to camp with.  I remember coming home from that "high" and getting kinda
 "down".

I remember feeling changed and excited to only come home and feel a let down when I got back to my normal life, normal chores, normal family.
I didn't know what to do with it all.......
I experience the same sort of high and low when I come home from a mission trip.



Sometimes the things I have experienced are too hard and too wonderful to convey or process.

You see things, that you don't understand, let alone can explain, and you experience things that are too glorious to put into words, so it all just stirs in my heart. 
 If I'm not careful it can stir up stuff like resentment and depression because I just don't know where to go with it all.  This time I experienced the "high" like none other and I could feel that stirring in my heart.  I asked the Lord to stir up my heart and let it be used for Him, not turned into a low.



Don't get me wrong.  I love my normal life, my normal chores, and people.  I was pumped to come home and see my people, my little girls, my big girls and my grands and my man!!  And then I got to travel home home and see the rest of the peeps.  I had missed them all so much.  I had never been away as long as I was this time.   But even all that gave me a bit of a low, because I had to leave my big girls and my grands to come home, and then I was only home for a few days and Kole headed out.
 My heart has felt like a revolving door of hello and goodbyes. 
 I suck at goodbyes.

Early in 2016 I began praying:
 "TURN UP THE GLORY DIAL.". 

I was memorizing,

2 Corinthians 3:17-18(ESV)

17 Now the Lord[a] is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
and it led me to pray,
TURN UP THE GLORY DIAL. 
 I'm needing to see some faster glory transformation, because what I'm seeing is more wrinkles and gray hair than glory on this 'ole girl.

As I started DOWN that road of the LOW, I remembered who is on HIGH.

Isaiah 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
 

Maybe the glory dial looks like a big whirlwind in the heart.
Jesus is stirring some things in my heart and this time I set some action to it, because I've been down this road before, when He gives a good stirring  and then, within about 24 hours I have talked myself right out of  it and it turns to that low.  


JESUS, STIR ME IN A WAY THAT BRINGS ME CLOSER TO YOU AND BRINGS GLORY TO YOUR NAME!!!

Psalm 61:1-3

61 Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.



I'm staying 
 HIGH!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sweet Jesus!





The best way to sum up this trip to Uganda is to describe the fruit. 
 The fruit was sweet and plentiful and so
 REFRESHING.



Psalm 34:1-8
34 I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!




 The fruit that we ate was fantastic, but even sweeter than the fruit that we ate, was the fruit in the relationships that we have with so many beautiful people there. 

People that have given their lives to sharing the Gospel and living for Jesus are sweet and beautiful to be around and we were surrounded.

 

My body might be tired and jet-lagged, but my heart is full and refreshed!
There is no better way to be refreshed than to pour out to others; Jesus always fills us with fresh and living water.
  The more we pour out the more we are filled.


We have had the amazing privilege of pouring into some beautiful lives in Uganda over the last 6 1/2 years.  
We have seen the ups and downs of ministry, of people supporting and cheering for one another as well as criticizing and discouraging.  
 The thing that was on repeat throughout our time there, was the faithfulness of God.
 He works with all us broken and messy people, and even when we make a mess of things...He is faithful to heal us and clean us and use us.
He is God and He is good and He doesn't depend on us, we depend on Him.
PRAISE GOD FOR BEING GOD
all over the world for all of time!!!
 
He doesn't depend on us to do anything, He invites us into what He is doing and we can either taste and see the fruit of HIS faithfulness, or we can miss out. 

On this particular trip He just allowed me taste and see the fruit
 and it was amazing.
 The thing about fruit, is it isn't produced over night. 
 We have seen beauty developing over the years, and we have been encouraged, but for me, this was the trip of harvest season.
Sweet and plentiful!
 
 
                                    2 Timothy 2:10-14

 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:If we have died with him, we will also live with him;12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;if we deny him, he also will deny us;13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.


He showed me that when we stay the course and follow Jesus, through the ups and downs of life and trust in His faithfulness even in the midst of trials, He is working and producing something sweet.

  It's not about what we get done or how we do anything, it's just not about us, it's about how faithful He is, even when we are not faithful
 HE STILL IS.  

Colossians 1:3-8 

Thanksgiving and Prayer

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.



I realize that God is at work all over the world and we don't have to go to Uganda to experience His faithfulness, but I want to thank God for allowing me to experience the extra sweetness of the fruit being produced on the other side of the world and letting me enjoy it.

The relationships we have over there are too sweet to describe in words.
 There is a heart connection that is only a gift from God.
 We have such limited time together but God makes it so powerful that it lasts.


My heart is refreshed and full and ready to GO again, here at home, and God-willing back to Uganda. 
 

 
We got to crash these beautiful ladies trip for a few days.  They are gorgeous women and they work their beautiful heads clean off.  They are mamas, and they know how to get a home in order.  Redeemer House is now in order. 
 Boom! 
 Done beautifully.