Living a Life Unexpected


A few days ago, we celebrated our 4th Anniversary in Southeast Asia.  Our time here has not always been easy, but it definitely does not feel like we have already been here for 4 years.  I can still so vividly remember the day that we arrived. After an exhausting 36 hour flight and a 4 hour drive, we were dropped off at what would be our house for the first 8 months that we lived here.  It was a whopping 800 sq. feet, very cozy.  Our first very Asian meal was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  That began our adventure here.

As I look back, I cannot be more thankful for all the blessings that the Lord has provided for us.  We serve an amazing God!  Here are just a few things that I am so thankful for.

  • I am thankful for the way the Lord was with the boys when they came.  I cannot say that they never experienced homesickness, but the Lord provided them with amazing friends and a wonderful school here to help them through the rough times.
  • I am thankful for our friends that we have made here.  The Lord very quickly upon our arrival gave us friends.  That is such a blessing and now those friends are family to us.  They laugh with us, cry with us, celebrate with us, and council us.  They are truly worth their weight in gold.
  • I am thankful for family in the states that even though they did not enjoy seeing us leave, supported us and loved us.
  • I am thankful for all the material blessings.  We have a wonderful house, dependable car, great food, and health insurance.
  • I am thankful for Trey and the boys.  They went through a lot those first couple of years with me.  It seemed like I would get over one illness just to get another one.  It was hard and I was not always a pleasant person, but they encouraged me, prayed for me and loved me anyway.
  • I am thankful for the hard times.  The times when I missed the US, my friends, and my family.  The times when I was sick and all I wanted was my mom.  The times when I thought I would never learn this crazy language.  The list could go on and on.  I am thankful for these times, because in those times I truly learned what it means to trust in God.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity that my family has to live and serve here.  Our eyes have been opened to a life and a world that I did not even begin to comprehend when we were in the states.  A world that I hope that we can make a small impact in during our time here.

Now, that I have spent the last few days looking back at our time here, I am anxious to see what is ahead for our family.  I see things on the horizon that once again I know are not going to be easy (Brenden going to University), but I also know that in those hard times there will also be so many blessings so that is where my focus is.  On our awesome God who loves us and wants the very best for us.  Let the adventure begin!!!   

 Tangkuban Perahu 017

This picture was taken the 2nd day we were in country. The boys looks so little!

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To All My Fellow Gifts People

While we were in the states, our (AWESOME) Sunday school class did the “Five Love Languages” study.  It was great and definitely made us all laugh hysterically, at the videos, at each other and at ourselves.  Laughter is amazing medicine!  Anyway, when it came to the part where you take the test to determine which love language you are, it was not a huge surprise to me or to Trey that I was a gifts person.  I love to get gifts and to give gifts.  Okay….STOP…before you label me as materialistic, the gifts that I cherish the most do not cost the giver a dime.  If you were to ask my family what one of my most cherished positions is, they probably would tell you my ratty red journal.  The journal in itself is not the thing that I cherish, even though I have recorded some precious memories in there.  The part that makes it so sweet to me is that tucked inside the pages are letters that friends and family have written me over the years, words of encouragement and love.  Some of the letters are from years ago and some are from this year, but they all hold a special memories and places in my heart.  They lift me up when I am down and make me cry when I need I just need to cry.  They cost the giver nothing, but a moment of their time.

As I began to think about this post and the “stigma” that comes with being a gift person.  I looked to the Bible and what it said about gifts.  After much study, I think that God is a gift’s person too.  He desires for all the people of the Earth above all else to GIVE our worship to him and him alone.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.
Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable.
This is truly the way to worship him.
Romans 12:1

Not only does he enjoying receiving our gift of worship, but He GIVES freely to his children.  Man that is a big one!!! I find my self humming the hymn “Count your Blessings”.  We have so much to be thankful for and those were all GIVEN to us by our loving Father.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:
and I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of My hand.
My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.”
John 10:27-29
“Every good gift and ever perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
James 1:17

So, with this new found knowledge about the character of the Father,  I am going to stand proud in my gifts person status.  I am going to continue to cherish the gifts that I receive from friends and family, but I am going to also take my cues from the ultimate gifts person – the Father.  Giving first to Him the gifts that He desires, my undivided worship and giving to others the gift that I hold most precious – the gift of a life eternal.

2014-10-07 10.13.56

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