Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dwelling in the Land

I love Psalm 37...I have all sorts of notes written on the page in my Bible. I was reading this passage the other day and I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before. Don't you just love when God speaks a new Word?

Psalm 37:3-4: Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I heard Dave Edwards talk on this passage a few weeks ago and he said that the word land can literally be translated to mean "the will of God." It made me think about the Israelites and how God wanted to take them into the promised land- the will of God.

So in this passage, to "dwell in the land" means to live in the will of God. Dwell means to make at home, to put roots down, to live. I thought about where God has me right now and how I'm not really enjoying it as much as I should be.

Then I read "dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture". To enjoy being where God has me, to realize that the safest place for me to be is in the center of His will. To find comfort in that safety.

To delight myself in the Lord- to take joy in, to find pleasure in Him. To realize that He is my greatest joy, my treasure.

I'm so thankful that He knows the desires of my heart, even the ones that I don't know how to express to Him or that I don't even know myself. I'm so thankful that as much as He wants me to delight in Him, He delights in me even more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This time last year....

This time last year, I was in beautiful Brela, Croatia with 50 other women who were missionaries, soaking up the sun and the love of the Father. Well, this time now, many of those same women are in Brela again. As i was traveling on the road today (for what felt like the billionth time in the pouring rain), I reflected on that trip.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime, something that I had only dreamed about doing. I still remember when I got the phone call telling me about the trip and finding out that I only had three days to give an answer. I remember having three specific factors for me to know if I was meant to go: 1. my parent's favor, 2. being able to get off of work,3. finances. I remember standing in amazement as all three of those factors were met in ways that I never expected. I remember our commissioning service at church and the beautiful prayers that were prayed over us as we were at the altar.

I remember when I first landed in Split. It was such an exciting feeling. I loved seeing the city. I remember when we arrived in Brela and I saw the Adriatic sea for the first time and it took my breath away. I remember when the US team met the Brela team for the first time and how I immediately felt like I had known all of them my entire life. I remember the time of worship that we had before beginning the last minute preparations. For the first time, I really felt like I was standing on Holy Ground.

I remember not being sure exactly why God brought me there. I remember feeling useless because i wasn't counseling anyone. I remember the peace and joy that I felt when the lightbulb went off and I realized that I was brought there to be His hands and feet.

I remember the quiet time I had on the sea: sitting on the rocks in the sea, mountains in the background, church bells in the background. I remember being amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit. I had always known about God the Father and God the Son, but had never really understood or known the God the Spirit. I learned to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to His prompting, to His guidance.

Even when I returned back to the states, this has stayed with me. I've learned to be more aware of the Holy Spirit, learning to listen to Him, being obedient to the Spirit's movement. I'm so thankful that God is always at work. I'm glad that He had to take me across the ocean to show me that in a way that changed me forever.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Heaven is putting out the good dishes tonight

You may be wondering about the title. Tonight, my precious friend Wendi went to meet Jesus. Her mom wrote in her fb status that she was sure that Wendi was going to make sure that heaven had the "good dishes" out when she arrived. Wendi was a true Southern Belle and always talked about serving food on the good dishes. I smiled when I read that statement, because it is so true.

My heart is breaking for her family: her parents and brother, her husband and her precious 3 yr old Zoe, who is Wendi's mini-me. But despite the heartbreak and tears, there is a peace. She is in better hands now. A friend of ours said tonight, "She isn't suffering anymore." She's in the place where she longed to be more than anything else. Her lungs are working perfectly so she's able to sing praises to the Most High. She's praising her heavenly Father for eternity. I'm a bit jealous of her....she is finally home.

I was talking with a friend of mine about what I loved about Wendi.
  • Her Southern drawl
  • Her ridiculously expensive boots that she bought in New York- Wendi was proud of her stylish boots. "Girl, I just had to have them!"
  • Her love for kitchen gadgets even though she rarely cooked
  • Her encouragment to me- "You're the total package- you'll meet him one day" LOL
  • her stories about her "crazy Aunt mary"
  • the way that she made everyone feel like a close friend
  • the love that she had for her little girl
  • the time that she gave some of Zoe's baby clothes and blankets to me to help a client who needed them
  • her heart

So tonight, my heart is a little heavy, but filled with joy knowing that Wendi is finally home. Tommorrow, I'm going shopping for some kitchen gadget that I'm sure that I won't ever use...just for Wendi.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Praying for my friend

This is a picture of me and my friend, Wendi Janway-Jones, that was taken at our circle of friends Christmas party last year. Wendi has been very sick for the past few weeks and will likely be meeting Jesus very soon.

Wendi and I met at church. We didn't really know each other that well until we were a part of the same circle of friends in our women's ministry. Those times were filled with lots and lots of laughter and of course, food!!!

Wendi is amazing! She is one of those people that captures your heart as soon as you meet her. Her smile and her laughter are contagious. She has this Southern drawl that I just love. I can hear her now.."How are you doing, girl?" Or better yet, "That ain't right." Wendi has had a lot of health problems over the years, but you would never know it by looking at her or hearing her talk. She is always so positive, so joyful. I can't think of a time when I haven't seen her smiling or laughing.

Her health has taken a drastic turn over the past few weeks. I was able to go to the hospital about 2 weeks ago to see her and her family. At the time, she was heavily sedated. I've been in many hospital rooms and waiting rooms over the years. Never have I ever felt such a peace in a hospital room as I did when i was in Wendi's room. It was so peaceful. I know that it is because God's hand is on her life and that of her family. So so many people have been praying for her and her family. In a way, the situation didn't seem so tragic as it should have been. Her family knows that the outcome is likely not good, but they know that God is in control and Wendi's life is in His hands.

My heart breaks for her family: for her parents and brother, her husband and her precious little girl. But however, I know that God is sovereign and the God of all comfort and peace. I wish that I had gotten to know Wendi better. However, she inspires me. Inspires me to trust God no matter what, to love deeply, to be a better friend, to have a better attitude, to live life to the fullest.

Wendi's mom has been updating on facebook about Wendi. It's been so encouraging to see the comments that Wendi's friends have posted. Wendi is loved by so many people, she has touched so many lives and didn't know it. What has amazed me the most is to see the body of Christ come together to lift up Wendi and her family. Her family has experienced the body of Christ being His hands and feet: from the cards, visits, goodie bags, food, but most of all: prayers.

So, if anyone reads this (all 3 of you!) please lift up my dear friend and her family.