Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Uganda 2015 - Reflections

As I boarded the plane on Dec. 26 to take our family to Uganda, I got a text from my sister that spoke directly to my heart and continued to be the theme during the entire trip and has continued to speak to my heart upon coming home.  

Text from sister Shauna:  I see mothers cry out for their adult children to love the things of God when they are adults...But their hearts are far from His heart...And I believe that's because they were taught comfort and self love...The mother (with good intentions) taught them that.  So as you take your children into the uncomfortable and self sacrificing world of poverty, I believe you are showing them and teaching them the heart of God.  With that said...Go with joy that you are following Jesus example into the very heart of God.  Every "risk" and dollar spent is worth that!  I love  you!!!

I asked the Lord one day as we were preparing to go to a slum if that was really what we were supposed to do....I really didn't want to go unless it was the Spirit leading us and the Lord was wanting to show us something.  It's hard to see, and my tendency is to protect my kids from the suffering that is so prevalent there.  It was a hot day and some people get very excited to see us, especially the kids, and then there are some people that don't want us in their territory and they are very angry and full of hate and they make it clear that they don't want us around.  As I asked the Lord to guide us that day, it became very clear that if I want to have a heart for the poor or if I want my kids to have a heart for the poor, we have to GO and meet people and give the label "poor" a name and a face and it becomes  TOTALLY different.  It gets into our hearts and makes you see and read with a different heart and different eyes.

Proverbs 14:30-31English Standard Version (ESV)

A tranquil[a] heart gives life to the flesh,
    but envy[b] makes the bones rot.
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
    but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Years ago, when I heard or read in God's Word about the "orphan" and His heart for the really meant nothing to me...UNTIL I MET SOME "ORPHANS" personally,  and learned their names and their faces and their stories.  And when that happened it changed me.  It made me understand they are beautiful children and needed love and a family and it wasn't just "sad" it was necessary to do something.

James 1:27English Standard Version (ESV)

27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Watching my kids walk through the slums and interact with kids and enjoy them made my heart sing!!!  Reece was a star, and wore himself to exhaustion.  He had fun just handing out candy and meeting kids.  He told me he felt like we had a much bigger family now.    


Isaiah 58:10-11English Standard Version (ESV)

if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

His Promises are For Each of Us.

This was the brightest rainbow I think I've ever

Here's the thing I LOVED about this rainbow:

There were so many people on facebook with
their picture and "story" about this rainbow.  It was so beautiful and touched so many people.

It reminded me how big God is and how his promises are for each one of us individually.  We were all exactly right in thinking that God sent that rainbow to us.   

 Many of us took it very personally.

 I can't stop thinking about how his promises are in His word for EVERYONE who will believe and take it personally!!!

I am still positive He sent that rainbow to literally lit up the whole barn, like a bright light was shining on it.

 And I'm also POSITIVE that He sent that rainbow for my folks because from their viewpoint that rainbow landed right in the lake at their house.

 I am also positive that whoever saw that rainbow and knew it was for them...IT WAS!!

 I am also positive HE sent all  His promises for everyone to be taken PERSONALLY as a sign and a promise from HIM to us individually.



Friday, January 16, 2015

We Can't Forget

When I get home from Uganda I always feel a bit on the emotional side for several reasons.
 I feel tired, in my body and revived in my spirit. 
 I lose a lot of filters.
 I love deeper, but I also feel less tolerant.  Less tolerant of whining and complaining and competing and selfish stuff, from myself and others.
  I get a bit hard on my kids....I have seen how good we all have it, and I don't want me or the kids to take for granted the life that we have been given.  

 I also don't want to forget that in all our comforts, we are in such need of our Savior 
every single day!! 
 We can get so accustomed to the "access" to everything that we think we need here, it is easy to forgot how desperate and broken we truly are.

When I got home, the very next day, Maezie got sick and we ended up in the E.R. in Montana. 
 It was so comforting to be able to take my sick girl to the Dr. and know that we have so much access to medicine and treatment. 
 I prayed for my girl, but I also got to load her up and take her to a place where she could get immediate medical attention.
  I don't want to forget the millions of people that don't have that option.

I have seen people, our good friends, who love with everything they have, and I have seen these people preach the Gospel until their bodies are drenched in sweat and they have poured out every ounce of energy they have, and given their ALL to Jesus. 

Philippians 2:17-18English Standard Version (ESV)

17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

I want to POUR it all out for Jesus, I want to remember my constant
 NEED for HIM.
  I don't want to forget.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Goers and Senders - Uganda 2015

Every mission team has to have "goers" and "senders". 
 There is not a team that can go without being sent. 
 The senders are one of the most important pieces to any mission.  

Matthew 9:37-38English Standard Version (ESV)

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Lashae has been a goer and a sender and she is awesome at both.   I can tell you with complete confidence this trip would not have worked if it wasn't for Lashae and her heart for missions, and for her hard work of preparations and her prayers.

 She took care of Maezie, which is no easy task, especially when Lashae has her own busy and growing and active family to take care of. 

 I must have said at least a dozen times how I could not have made this trip if we would have brought Moo. 
 I would skype with Lashae and the girls and I would just be soooooooo thankful that they were all in good hands and IN MONTANA. 
 Moo is busy busy busy and it made me exhausted just watching her enthusiasm on skype. 
 I couldn't imagine trying to keep her corralled in Uganda.

Lashae also "sent" us with one of her best friends from Montana, Maddie, to be on mission with us, instead of selfishly keeping her for herself for help on the home front with all the babies.

 Maddie has a servant's heart and she has been a lifeline to Lashae in Montana as she is so far from family. Lashae has shared her love for Jesus and her love for Uganda with Maddie and it sparked a desire in Maddie to GO!

Lashae also sent us with boxes of donations to bless others with.  She also sent a few very special and meaningful gifts to some pretty amazing missionaries in Uganda.  It was fun to be the one to deliver gifts that were so personal and thoughtful.

She also sent a LOAD of snacks.  She has been pregnant herself before, and knows that when a pregnant mama gets hungry there better be a snack close by.   My girl took care of me in a big way from clear across the world. 

Lashae also sent us with a bunch of letters from home.  Every single morning we got up and had a new letter to read that was so encouraging to our day.  We looked forward to this time everyday and were blessed by the words of our loved ones from home.

The best thing Lashae did for us, was she prayed!!!
  Lashae is an incredible prayer warrior.  It is an absolute gift from God.  Lashae has an intimacy with her Savior and in prayer life and I know when Lashae is praying God is hearing.  Lashae prayed such specific prayers and it blessed me in every way. 

 I was telling her how amazed I was that even being 7 months pregnant I felt better than I had ever felt on a trip to Uganda.  She informed me that THAT was exactly her prayer for me.
  Now, I know that I know, that only God can do such a thing. 

 How a hormonal pregnant grandma Nay Nay, can feel even decent, let alone BETTER than ever, on a trip across the world, far from many comforts and familiarity's of home, is ONLY GOD hearing a daughters loving prayers and ANSWERING!!!

I am spending a few days resting and hanging with my girl and my grand babies and Roo and Moo, and I could not be happier about that!

Monday, January 12, 2015

*Hacked* Happy Birthday!!!

My mom's birthday is tomorrow (Jan 13).

So I have hacked her blog to wish her a happy birthday publicly. 

I am so thankful to have my mom here with me to celebrate her birthday. She isn't big into celebrations and being recognized for anything but that won't stop me from spoiling her and loving every moment we get together.

As you know, she just recently returned from Uganda. She flew right on over to see me pick up Maezie. And if you don't know, I am beyond thrilled to have her here. My mom and I are close. Very close. And I give all the credit to God. We obviously have that natural Mother-daughter-bond. But more than that we are sisters in Christ and get to serve the same God everyday and that makes us close, eternally close. 

I am always in awe of how God works and allows us to serve Him together even though we are many many many far too many miles apart. While the family was in Uganda I was able to have Moo here with me. I also was able to send them with a few suitcases full of things to Uganda. It made me feel like I was on mission with them. 

My mom is an INCREDIBLE example of someone that Listens to God. Hears from Him. Seeks Him, day in and day out. And is willing to do wild and crazy things for His glory. (let's be honest, taking the majority of your large family to Uganda on a mission trip, while being 7 months pregnant is a bit crazy. But I never doubted that God called them to it and so I was beyond thrilled to be able to "send" them with love and prayers.)

Being the extreme introvert that she is, it is amazing to see how God uses her constantly to pour into so many people's lives. She has a way of loving and encouraging and teaching her family and friends, near and far, about Christ, and it is truly beautiful. 

She is passionate about seeing people come to know Jesus as their savior. And has a HUNGER for His word that I desire all the time.

No, my mom is not perfect. But in her imperfection she falls to the feet of Jesus and His perfection shines through her.  

So if you could just wish my wonderful mommy a happy birthday and pray that she gets the rest she needs to recover from a BIG trip, I am sure it would bless her bones. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY! I am blessed to be your daughter.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Almost Home - Uganda 2015

 Our hearts are full, our pockets are empty, and we are headed home.

Our feet are forever stained red, and our minds are busy processing all the sights and smells that have become so familiar.

We have had very meaningful experiences and cinched tight some old and some new relationships.

We have learned a whole new level of patience and waiting.

We have enjoyed worship and fellowship ABUNDANTLY.

We have laughed hard and shed tears.

We are homesick for our friends and family at home, and we are heart sick for those we are leaving again.

4 ½ years ago was the first time Charlie and Lashae went to Uganda.
That was the trip that opened our family’s eyes and hearts to the people and the country of Uganda. 

The Lord was so gracious on this trip to just allow us to see fruit from all the trips and prayers and people we have been allowed to know and love in the last 4 ½ years.
  Every day was just more BLESSINGS of how the Lord could use our efforts  for HIS GLORY.  Every time we have gone it feels like we have not been able to accomplish enough, but what I came to realize is that it doesn't matter, because it is not about us and if we just “show up” and walk in obedience God can use it and grow it and make even the smallest of efforts, bear fruit.
 He is good and faithful!!!!

1 Corinthians 3:7-9English Standard Version (ESV)

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Uganda Trip 2015

I haven’t been able to post any Uganda trip updates on this blog.  Not because I haven’t had time, I just don’t have the words.  This seems to happen every time I come here.  I just have so many mixed feelings on these trips.  It all seems to be such a contradiction when we are here.  We are so encouraged as there are so many wonderful things going on, and Jesus loving people that we love so very much. 

  AND then there is the sad reality of so much poverty and overwhelming amounts of need.  My heart is encouraged by the people that we know here and the ministries that are doing so much IN THE AWESOME and GLORIOUS NAME OF JESUS.  And then in just a split second my heart is broken by the massive amounts of suffering.

I always ask the Lord on these trips what is our purpose.  What can we do?  And He has made it abundantly clear on this trip, that just the relationships that we have made and the people that He has put in our lives over here are encouraged when we come to spend time with them and will join them for just a few days and encourage and care about their lives.  We have gone so many places and everywhere we go we  see people that we have met before and then it just multiplies, because we meet new people.  

All the kids and adults are doing great.  It is fun to see how the Lord is using each one of the members of our team in a very individual way, and each of us are growing in different ways.