Mom on a Mission

Mom on a Mission

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Vacation or Mission Trip?

This is a mission trip not a vacation,  I heard these words come out of my mouth. It wasn't to anyone in particular, it was an observation that put things in perspective.  Honestly, I've had as much fun on missions as I've ever had on vacation.  The relationships are so rich and full, and it is such a vacation in so many ways, I haven't cooked, or done laundry or even driven a car for over 2 weeks.  VACATION is what I call that my friends.

We even had a spa session.  All toes were looking and feeling fantastic.

 Here's the reality of our lives when we have surrendered them to Jesus, our lives are to be lived on mission everyday wherever we are.  Even when we are on vacation, we vacation with Jesus we work with Jesus we GO everywhere as His.  We parent, and play and eat and sleep with Jesus as the center.  To people who may not know the JOY of the LORD this sounds horrible and boring, but I can promise you it is the most fun and fulfilling life.

These beautiful ladies serve the Lord with such a joy that it is nothing short of amazing. 

 Our vacations look a lot like missions and our missions feel a lot like vacation.

The thing that we can forget so many times, is our lives are not our own, we are bought with a price, and this means everything we do, and everywhere we go is rooted in who we are in Christ and our purpose to live our lives for Him.

Colossians 1:12English Standard Version (ESV)

12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
This trip has been so fun and we have worked and played and laughed and prayed every day all day over everything and everyone we got to encounter.

When you follow Jesus your life will will be lived on mission and it  will be the biggest blast and it's all just a big blur what is missions, what is vacation and what is serving and what is being served.  We went to Uganda to serve, and we left there so filled up, it was clear we had received as much or more than we had given.

The ladies that we had the honor of sharing with at a ladies event called, "A Day To Remember" even had dresses made for us and a shirt for Reece.  We came to bless, and got our socks blessed off.  This is how the Lord works, it is so opposite of how the world works.

We ended the trip on the last day with Reece getting to join in a kid's camp that CSI was having for the children. Reece danced his heart out.  The white boy has a lot of heart and not a lot of rhythm and nobody even cared.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Reece on Mission in Sickness and in Health

I could write pages and pages about how God worked and moved on this trip to Uganda.  I hope to tell some of the amazing highlights very soon, but for some reason the thing that keeps coming to my mind to share first, is the ugly part.  These kinds of stories are usually held pretty private because the good always outweighs the bad and I don’t want to be discouraging but I want people to be encouraged.  But if you have been around me or my blog at all I usually tell all, the good the bad and the ugly……so I will start with the ugly and then flood this blog with the many uplifting stories.

I believe when we share the sick and suffering parts of our lives it makes the beautiful more beautiful, the rainbows more vivid, the victories more celebrated the calm more peaceful, the joy more joy-filled.

Pain and suffering has a way of bringing out the truth of what is really in a person.

On the very first long flight we had on our journey, the 9 1/2 hour flight, Reece and I got sick, sick, sick.
Many puke bags sick.
We had apparently gotten the bug from the little girls after all, and didn’t realize it until we were airborne.
It was a humbling, scary, and miserable experience.
We prayed our hearts out and puked our guts out that whole trip.
At one point I told Reece to be so discreet and to puke so quietly as to not disturb the other passengers, I told him if they knew how sick he was, they may kick him off the flight….he was like, “IN THE AIR?!?!”
Not my best mom moment, but I felt so bad about bringing sickness on a flight, I was trying to keep a low profile and germs and drama to ourselves.

By the time we got to Amsterdam, we were already beginning to feel better, which simply means we felt like we were going to live and we could continue on.
  We hooked up with Teresa and Arianna and continued onto our final destination!
We felt good for a few days and then it hit Reece again.  He got puking sick one morning and by afternoon he had already bounced back again.  That same night I had a relapse as well, so as I was walking around my room trying to figure out what to do to settle the stomach ache, I noticed Reece’s mosquito net was not down properly on one side.  I walked to that side of the bed and stepped right on my double bladed razor. 
Wellllllllll, that’s one way of taking care of stomach pain, by sending all blood and pain sensors to my foot.
Let me just explain the situation…..when you are in Uganda your feet are never clean.  They have the most beautiful red dirt stain to them because their soil is so rich and red.  It’s not the thing you want rubbed into an open would all day for the next 10 days.  

God just took total care of me despite my clumsy negligent self, it healed up just fine. 

The final blow was on Redeemer House moving day, one of our last days in Uganda, Reece woke up vomiting repeatedly non-stop for 2 hours.  After the first hour I got freaked out, I sent out prayer requests and woke up everyone I knew in the hotel and beyond.  I was thinking he needed to go to a clinic.

Teresa and Simon physically ran to another guesthouse where xHope team was staying and got some meds they had for us to try.  By the 3rd dose he had stopped puking and began to rest.

We were relieved and bummed all at the same time.  Relieved he was getting better but bummed we were going to miss moving day.  He was so weak.

Here’s how God works though, we had to stay back from the move that day, so Reece could recover, but the nicest young man who was working at the hotel we were staying at, was so genuinely concerned and kind to Reece.
Him and Reece just hit it off and by the end of the day when Reece was feeling better, he came to our room to freshen it up and we got to visit with him for quite awhile.

The next morning he brought a few gifts to Reece that he had made that night, and we prayed for him and he prayed for Reece.  It was so sweet and unexpected.
Reece decided he wanted to give Jordan something before we left so he decided to give him his Bible.
Reece has a huge study Bible, that I think weighs more than him, and this is the Bible he brought with him.  He needed the biggest Jesus book with him on mission.  

His Bible had his name on the front but the inside pages had never been filled out, so Reece filled them all out to present to Jordan.
Reece bounced back 100% once again, and God even used him in his sick bed to connect with people.

There’s no other explanation than God just had His hand on us every day and even when things got rough they were used for our good and for His glory.

There is plenty more to share that doesn’t revolve around sickness and suffering, but so many times we gloss over it, and it is a part of life that we all have, and if we share in the rough spots together we can celebrate the victories with more zeal.
We remember from where we came!

Psalm 41:1-3

Blessed is the one who considers the poor!  In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.  The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I've been struggling with what to share.....this trip has been amazing and full and needed and confirming and definitely a faith builder.  

We have been everywhere from the roughest slum I have yet to experience in Uganda to ministering to some of the most beautiful women I have ever met in the whole world.  It has been a wide range and broad spectrum of ministering.  The thing that blesses my heart and gives me so much comfort is that the same God is watching us and guiding us everywhere we go from the most beautiful campus to the poorest slum.  We have not stopped at one place without praying and blessing the people and sharing the love of Jesus.  We have been encouraged and challenged.  We have had the opportunity to love on friends and pray for the sick and the poor and the healthy and the prosperous.  It's a crazy feeling to swing from such beauty to so much suffering, literally across the street many times.  I'm thankful that God is my anchor; I have needed to hold tight to that anchor and not get carried away by emotion but trust Him.

Hebrews 6:19-20English Standard Version (ESV)

19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Teresa and Arianna and I had the amazing opportunity to share at a women's event at Christ Sanctuary International, and it was,
 "A Day To Remember."

Malachi 3:16English Standard Version (ESV)

The Book of Remembrance

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.

We prayed and worshiped and dug into the Word of God and took communion and then celebrated with dancing.  It was very special and we felt honored to be a part of such a great event.

We laughed so hard at Reece I thought my face was going to break apart.  He got out there and danced with the ladies and it was hilarious.

Before I came to Uganda I have been discouraged and confused on some things. God has shown me that even as flawed as I am, God can use me.  Discouragement is a waste of time and unproductive and we just need to get over ourselves and quit looking for others approval or non approval and look to Jesus.  He loves messes like me and can use us however wherever He wants.

I had to repent this morning after church because I have let my heart be discouraged and I wasn't following the command to rejoice in the Lord always.  I was letting people and circumstances steal my joy.  To rejoice is to re-joy.  Oh did I need some re-JOY without the pregnant part. (wink).

Philippians 4:4-7(ESV)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness[a] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I got confused between humility and shutting down. God wants us to be humble and bold at the same time.  So I realized I have been wasting time by waiting for people to accept me.  God has given me the green light to live for Him boldly when He saved me.  

God has been so kind to show me fruit on this trip from all the time and resources that we have been blessed to invest here in Uganda.  God is faithful, and when we are faithful to stay the course of what He calls us to do even when it looks hopeless or stupid....He is working and He is faithful and we get to be a part of it and see the fruit of it all in His time.  It's been almost 7 years and many trips since Charlie and Lashae's first trip to Uganda and God has been so so so faithful.

I got to hear more of Simon's testimony on this trip and hear of how the Lord brought Charlie and Simon together for the first time.  I had heard it from Charlie's side many times but never heard it from Simon's end.  Wow!!!!  God works in our lives and is so very personal and I am in awe of how He works in each of our lives for our good and HIS GLORY!!!!

 Charlie keeps telling me to suck it all in and bring it home.  So I'm sucking as much as I can.  I'm pretty good at sucking most times, so for once......I suck in a good way.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Jesus is IN the boat

Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I am a homebody at heart.  I would be happy to spend most of my time within a 10 mile radius of my house.  This may sound crazy because I travel so much, but there's the truth...... I only "go" because I've counted the cost of going vs. staying.  The cost is high for going but the value is priceless. 

Here's another confession of my contradictory ways....I'm usually OVER IT, before I even leave.  I'm homesick before I leave home.  I'm looking forward to coming home before I ever leave the house.  I usually pack in a fit and do a horrible job because I just can't wrap my mind around how this is all going to go so I get "stuck" until it's time to leave and then I throw in a bunch of shirts and no pants or something stupid like that.

This trip is totally worth every every uncomfortable moment and every minute of time and every single red cent.  The value of seeing the grown kids and grands and then heading on to make much of the name of Jesus in Uganda with Reece and seeing all the people that we love in Uganda...

I say all that to say this trip has been very "un-smooth" in some areas so far.  I seem to be constantly going to the Lord for confirmations,
 "I heard you right?  You said, GO, right?"

"You want me to minister to women in Uganda, you want us to continue to love the orphans and visit them and the caregivers at Redeemer House, right?"

"Did you change your mind?"

Now......I know God can guide and direct us and change things up whenever and however he wants...but I also know he doesn't play games with us.
  He is a loving Father and He is steadfast, He doesn't waiver because of my fear, or lack of faith, or hormone fluctuations. 
 He is a  steady ROCK!

So a few days ago I had a MAJOR MELTDOWN DAY.
We had a very perfect day planned to take Luke to the airport, as he was the one big kid that got to help me and the little ones get to Montana.  I try to always take 1, and this time it was Luke's turn.

We loaded up 8 of us in the suburban to take a little road trip to the airport.  It was a very Montana winter kinda day...wind and snow and colder than should ever be.
We got thru the snow drifts in the driveway and made it approximately 15 minutes down the road and Cellie unloaded; the child barfed her guts up.

That was definitely a pull-over kinda puke.  We decided we had left with so much extra time, we could turn around and go home and get cleaned up and start fresh.
We got as far as the snow drifts in the driveway, and got stuck. Stuck. Stuck.
Chaney was home and grabbed a shovel and muck boots and him and Luke dug us out enough to get in the car, he put the pedal to the medal and got us so stuck he couldn't even get the driver door open.  Luke dug the door out and Chaney and him dug some more and Chaney got back in the driver seat and drove like the Montana Man that he is, while we all sat in the car and breathed puke fumes.

We got in the house and changed clothes and grabbed cleaning products (wipes) and headed out once again.

We got in the same area in our travels and Cellie unloaded again.  We pulled over and Reece flew in the back back part of the suburban and started praying and yelling to all that would listen and informing us that he could NOT get sick as he had a trip to Uganda that he HAD to go on no matter WHAT.

We cleaned up as best as you can with 8 people in the car and a box of wipes.  I got on the phone to change Luke's flight.  They basically informed me it will cost me my first born to change Luke's ticket.  

We decided to keep going.  We got 45 minutes further down the road and Cellie pukes again.   SO from there on out, every 20-30 minutes she was barfing, we would pull over and Reece would bale in the back with the bags and make sure we all knew how dangerous these germs were to his very important mission to Uganda.  

We were getting almost immune to the hurling sounds when this time we look back and it's Maezie doing the puking.  I mean that skinny little girl unloaded from clear back to Christmas dinner, I do believe.

We pulled over and tried to handle it and I got on the phone and said I would surrender my first born if they would just change Luke's ticket and get him home before Spring.  They miraculously figured out that there was other options and we turned that puke bucket on wheels around.

We stopped at a gas station to get some more wipes, and bags, and fresh air.  Reece headed into the bathroom and tried to practically bathe in the gas station bathroom sink because he knows he can wash all bad germs off in the nasty gas station sink.  (rolling eyes)

We head on home and get almost there and Cellie has now puked so many times it has gone past the bile stage and was looking like something we hadn't seen before.  We call a nurse friend and she agrees she should be seen especially since we might get home and get snowed in.  

Can I just say this was NOT a calm situation.  We had 2 kids puking - 1 kid curled up  in the back recitatating between loud praying and panicking (Reece) - one baby (Becklee) crying, I'm sure the puke fumes were burning her little fair skin and lungs - 2 worried mothers ( Me and Lashae) trying to make the best decision in the moment for all peeps - 1 very tight fisted  puke bucket driver (Charsie) and Luke, never wavering, never rocked, just solid and steady.

I called Charlie to let him know the situation.  I told him we needed prayer NOW.  He prayed right then and there on the phone.  I cut him off and said we made it to the clinic and it closed in 15 minutes.

I grabbed smelly Cellie and go busting in the clinic and steady Luke follows me in.

I KID YOU NOT, I was still checking in at the front desk and Cellie's little owl eyes popped full open and she started playing with Luke and feeling good and drinking water.

Long check-in story later...... the nurse came out and we decided together that Cellie didn't need seen, she needed a bath more than anything.
I got in the car and the wind had stopped.  Lashae called Chaney to turn around as he was headed to town and rescue the healthy ones from the puke bucket.  He turned around and him and Jesse made sure the driveway was cleared enough to get us to the house.  
We got home and got the 2 pukey girls in the bath and I sat for a moment and asked the Lord,
"What in the world was that about?"
I thanked Him that things had calmed down but my nerves were still shot.  

I remembered the story of when the disciples were in the boat.....

Mark 4 Jesus Calms a Storm

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

He was reminding me who was in charge, it was Him and not me.
He had calmed the wind and the waves of nausea.

Jesus brought to mind how I had laid awake for most of the last week or three and how I had thought of every single thing that could and would go wrong in Montana, Oregon, and Uganda.
I was not trusting the Lord at all, I was living and operating in fear.

Psalm 112:6-9 (ESV)

For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.

God is in control and nothing happens without His full awareness and I could just trust Him to take care of us all around the world.  

He may not always make it smooth and comfortable and pretty, but He is on the scene and He can be trusted and to be perfectly honest, what choice do we have,
TRUST HIM or DRIVE IN CIRCLES and live in fear.
He used that horrible pukey situation to calm my heart.  I know He is a good Father.  He is in control and it constantly reminds me who He is.

Reece and I are now in Uganda and we are so glad to be a part of what God has for us here.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Holy Cow He Did It Again.

Charlie and I just celebrated 27 years of marriage a few weeks ago. This man of mine did not sign up for a quiet life of ease when he asked me to marry him.
 His job as leader of this herd, has not been boring or easy,  but he has lead with strength and faithfulness and a whole bunch of sacrifice.

When Charlie and I got married he owned a few cows and sold them to marry me.  My man has spent the last 27 years trying to build his herd. 
 He has certainly built up a herd all right, but not the cow kinda herd.  
Several times during the 27 years,  he has built up a little cow herd and so far he has had to sell it off to provide for something else.  
 Charlie is a cowboy at heart and he has had to hang up all his ropes for a hammer and his horses for a kid hauler.
As we are getting ready for Christmas, Montana, and Uganda all at once; my closet looks like a tornado has hit,  and so does our checkbook.

 This is also our very busiest season and I don't mean busy as in working at making money, that is a given in every season. 
 We have been busy with 3 teens in different winter sports.  Our teens need to sweat a lot, which means my car sucks a lot of gas, which means I drink a lot of coffee.  As you can see it's just a very busy time keeping up with all the sweating, sucking and drinking going on in this herd.

I  have been praying about the checkbook tornado, which is a refreshing approach to my concerns about financially stressed times in our marriage. The first 25ish years were NOT spent praying about such  things.  My concerns sounded a lot more like a high pitch nag, and a lot less like prayer.  I was asking the Lord for help because it's just not looking so good, tornadoes tend to leave damage behind.

 My Father is faithful, I know His Word and I also have a relationship and a history with Him..  He doesn't tell me how bad I have been, and that I drink too much coffee or drive around too much, He hears me and He is faithful to help.  He is a  Father that cares for His children.  My Lord is not a vending machine  or a prosperity gospel kinda god, He is a loving Father that always provides for everything that HE knows we need.

So at the same time that I was praying about our situation, the Lord was prompting Charlie to sacrifice sell our cows.  The funny part of this whole story is, if I would have remembered that we even had a few cows, I would have started that whole nagging siren kinda routine.  I honestly never even thought about the cows, so we were all protected from the nagging siren and once again, in the Lord's perfect timing He did the prompting and providing and we just get to be a part of it all and give Him all the thanks and all the praise.

My man came home from work last week and made his cow deal and never even blinked his eye.  He is such a cowboy at heart, but he is a husband and a father and a Jesus follower, and he knows if he never owns another cow on this earth he will get to run cows on a thousand hills for eternity.  

Psalm 50:9-15English Standard Version

I will not accept a bull from your house
    or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
    and all that moves in the field is mine.

12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
    or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,[a]
    and perform your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

I share this post for a couple reasons, I want to encourage wives to skip the whole nagging siren step and pray and trust the Lord, He is faithful to take care of us, all of his children, the wives, husbands and kids alike.
 I also want to thank my hubby for being a man that will do what it takes to lead this herd, and the kind of man that is in tune to the prompting of the 
Holy Spirit.
Most of all I want to give God glory and praise and remind myself and my kids the way He works in our lives, thru every situation everyday, in all our relationships, in our finances, and in the desires of our hearts. 
 He wants all of our lives, all of our hearts, all of our praise.
Romans 11:36
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. 

To him be glory forever.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Why I Hate Santa Claus.

I have spent much of my adult life trying to sort out the truth.
  I have had some real crazy misunderstandings and misguided thoughts, and unfortunately most of it has had an element of the truth, but then gets off into some other distorted weirdness.  

I often get a little wild when I discover I've been lied to or think I've been deceived in some way, just ask my poor kids.
  If you want to see mom lose her mind........ 

 I know, I know it's human nature we all do it and it hurts everyone, and we even deceive our own selves, get over it.  I will not get over it, I will spend my life seeking the TRUTH, and here is why; the TRUTH is too sweet to cover up and distort, and especially
 the TRUTH about CHRISTMAS!!!

The TRUTH of the Christmas story is so SWEET and full of MYSTERY and WONDER and BEAUTY and GRACE, it is so AMAZING, it it the BEST STORY EVER TOLD, and it's alllllll TRUE. 
 It's history, and it's future, and it's all our HOPE; wrapped up in a little tiny baby bundle!!! 

 There is so much JOY to be had in the TRUTH of Christmas that we don't need to add one little tiny thing, or one big fat phony thing.

But somehow what has happened is we thought that we had a funner story to teach our kids to believe in.  So rather than the TRUTH,  we made up some crap about a creepy guy in a red suit that watches if we are good or bad or naughty or nice and keeps a tally all year, and we put our kids on this stranger's lap, which defies every good thing we ever taught the little people about stranger danger, for a cute picture that terrifies them, but they will endure it because they want to be good and get presents.

  How do we explain to our kids that kids without parents or with poor parents or kids from Third World countries don't get much for Christmas, or maybe they get we just tell them that those kids must have been bad.  I don't know, it just goes from fun to really sick and twisted and wrong.
And then at a certain age we sit them down and tell them it's all been a lie and crush all their hopes and dreams, or worse, a friend tells them, and then they wonder what else we have lied to their sweet little hearts about, but, they don't want to tell us that they know the TRUTH of the lie because they are afraid if they tell us they KNOW, then we will stop playing this whole charade and they will never have fun on Christmas or get another gift as long as they live. There just seems like a lot of fun  gone wrong.

The TRUTH of HISTORY, the real Christmas story, is the best story in all the world throughout all of time. Jesus is the best gift ever given and He was a gift given to all the world by GOD himself.  Jesus is the gift and He is the gift that just keeps giving throughout eternity.  
Why in the world would we want to change that, or add to it or take away from it?

We can celebrate and decorate and give generously and eat and drink and be merry, because He is so worth all our PRAISE and CELEBRATION.

The story never gets old or boring, it gets better and better every year, every single year the GIFT gets better and there's more to unwrap and there's more to share and learn and enjoy about this gift that God gave to us.  Why in the world would we not want to tell the story every year and tell it with such awe and wonder and tell more and more and more as the kids grow and learn and understand this precious GIFT.

God will never never never sit us down and tell us that we have outgrown the fairy tale.  He will never tell us it's over, move on and grow up.

We have been robbed as adults because of the strain and stress and burden of Christmas and we "do it all for the kids." UGH!  How messed up is that?

  We need to shift our focus and realize that as the years go by and we believe in the TRUTH of Christmas year after year it only gets better and better; we unwrap more and more of this gift, given to us by almighty God, this gift called IMMANUEL, God with us.  We get to spend ETERNITY unwrapping and discovering and being in awe and wonder of this gift of GRACE that He gave us in His son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Here's the best part.  This gift from GOD is not dependent on our behavior, if we have been good or bad or naughty or nice.  The gift from God has already been sent to us and paid for in FULL, by God.  We don't have to earn it, we can't lose it, and we can't break it or outgrow it.  We never have to worry if we can afford it, because we never will be able to......  

All we have to do is BELIEVE in the TRUTH of CHRISTMAS, and RECEIVE this gift given to us by God. The more we believe, the more there is, the more there is to share, and the more we share, the more there is again.  He is the best gift. We get to enjoy this gift forever, the gift is not just about JESUS, it is JESUS.

 Let's celebrate like there is no tomorrow, and teach these kids how to really enjoy Christmas. 

We don't need santa, we need Jesus.

I say shop away and eat up a storm and thank God for every single gift and bite that we get to enjoy to celebrate JESUS birthday.

So, I know the title may be a tiny bit harsh, and honestly, we did the whole santa thing with our older kids and they turned out almost fine... we even go along to a certain extent with the little ones so they aren't ruining other kids' family fun, we enjoy movies like Elf, and fun little Christmas stories, and we aren't throwing eggs at the santas around town or at school,  we just don't give him the time of day.....because we have so many better things to talk about and celebrate.

 One last disclaimer...I know kids may read this...but if they are old enough to read it or be on facebook, you better tell them santa is fake....if not, I just did it for you. 
You are welcome.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mission Trip Plan A: Plan BE

I was asking the Lord for a plan for this trip to Uganda, and asking Him what we get to DO this  time.

 Every trip looks different, with different people and different plans. 
I knew this much so far, after much prayer and discussion with Charlie; I am the one that gets to go this time, and Reece with me, and my good friend/ running / prayer partner Teresa and her daughter Ariana.  The way the Lord put it all together was again, all HIM, and I couldn't be more thrilled with His plan so far. 
 (I'm sure he was relieved at my approval.)

We get to be with so many of our amazing Ugandan friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our family, our ministry partners!!!!  
We get to spend the entire time with Simon, our Ugandan son. 
We get to see Patrick our other Ugandan son, the list is too long of the people we are so excited to see and spend time with.
 Seriously, if this was the only thing we went would be worth it! 
 Every single second and every red cent. 
 Worth IT!!!
 We do have an itinerary; we are going to be in Kampala with Christ Sanctuary International for the first week, and then the second week we head to Jinja and serve at Redeemer House with a team from xHOPE.  We have the big stuff penciled in and we have an even bigger eraser handy.  With mission trips (or every day life) it's always pencil, because you learn to go with the flow.....wherever, whatever the Spirit may lead, may lead to a change.
  If we get all bound up in our own plans, we get all frustrated and miss stuff that would be so much better than our

 I was penciling in the "to-do" list and it was pretty short, and the stuff that is on there is gonna to be too much fun to call work.  Both teams that we get to serve with are a stinking blast, and I would choose to spend my time with them on any given day, doing anything and everything from work to play and everything in between.
 So I was after the big know, the plan that motivates and excites people and makes a  good report.

 I have been throwing out a bunch of really good ideas to the Lord.
 (eye roll)
 I mean GOOD stuff. Stuff that would look good, feel good, feel accomplished and successful.
 He just didn't seem to be impressed with my GOOD ideas......I mean I could force my PLAN, but I do have sense enough to know that it would be a disaster.
Here's the truth of the matter; the sweet things that we already have on the "to do" list is all stuff that the people in Uganda are completely capable of doing without us getting in their way and eating their food.    They don't need me or my pathetic muscles or my great wisdom or anything else I can DO.  The people we work with there are the most capable, hard working, faith filled people I know.
I mean seriously....some the the NAMES of the women we will be with are this; Patience, Mercy, Angel, and doesn't get any better than that.  I am completely 100% serious.
Do you really think my good friend Patience needs me????
 No way, but I promise you I need me some Patience!!!

This is a picture of Angel...this beautiful Angel cooks for us in Uganda, and she is also in charge of Reece's hygiene while we were there last time.  She would check his cleanliness before dinner and he rarely passed her inspection without a do-over.
So I was still searching for "the plan," and God gave me our big assignment very clearly! 

 Here's the plan:
Plan A is:
and there is no plan B.

Mission statement:  Be All We Can Be.

Be All We Are Called To Do
Do All We Are Called To Be

Mission verse:Ephesians 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Be imitators of God.

Be-loved = be love.

Be light.

Be generous.

Be present.

Be obedient.

Be kind.

Be gracious.
Be available.

Be kind.

Be humble.

Be patient.

Be encouraging, be encouraged.

Be a blessing!!! 

James 1:22English Standard Version (ESV)

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

As a human and especially the American part of my humanness,  I want a big list, and I want to DO it, and DO it well.  I want to measure my success with numbers and projects and results. 
 This is where pride sets in.  Pride to measure what I'm DOING. Pride that decides if I DID enough to call it a success.  Pride that says I earned something, I affected change, I DID it. 
 Pride that says our value is in what we DO.

This is what Jesus says to DO:

Matthew 18:2-4English Standard Version (ESV)

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

*emphasis on the scripture are mine*

When scripture talks about missions, it talks about going and making disciples, it speaks of  sharing the Good News, and it says pure religion is visiting the widow and the orphan.  All of this is really hard when we just want to sweat a little and see something DONE and DONE well, so we can hear WELL DONE.

  I'm not against the sweating and DOING, as there will be that too, and there is a time and a place for all kinds of doing.....but, the really hard part that goes against our human nature is the 

So whether here in Powell Butte or in Uganda or wherever and whatever God allows us to BE on this planet at this time in history.....our DOING is in our BEING.

James 1:22 (ESV)

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.