Monday, March 31, 2014

Dishpan hands...... at rest.

The stress lately is just melting off from me. Which is not something you often hear me say. Usually I am being crushed under the weight of the stress. I have been trying to take care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually. I am the person who gets tripped up often, and finds myself toiling in the kitchen. I worry that if I do not prepare the food, it won’t be there. And then I take it a step further, and worry about how good the food is for those who are going to eat it, and then try to adjust the menu so that there is something everyone wants to eat. Then I worry how much everyone is eating, or not eating. Then I find myself in the kitchen washing the dishes, and then worrying about tomorrow’s meals. Call me Martha! My fingers are wrinkled from soapy water. I smell of the burnt chicken in the oven. My elbow grease is lathered all over the place in my frantic efforts to get things done. My name is Martha.
When I read the story in Luke, I find myself relating more to Martha than Mary. I can feel the strain in her muscles, the sting in her eyes, the water on her hands.

But the great thing is that Martha’s can change. We can become Mary’s. And the last few days the stress has been melting away, because in those moment I find myself bent over a hot stove, with wrinkled hands for being submerged in the soapy water. I start to grumble! And then I realize what I am doing. I realize I am in the kitchen slaving away, slaving away at the wrong thing! And then I relocate myself to being sitted at his feet. Like my prior post, where I am realizing I have no control and learning to let go. You cannot let go of something without replacing it with something else. In this case, it is replacing it with my location. Relocating myself to being at his feet.

“Martha, Martha.” The Lord answered “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” ~Luke 10:41-42

I still find myself from the other room calling out to the Lord “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” ~Luke 10:40b

It is pretty lonely and miserable in the kitchen. I am not sure what Mary was doing at that moment as she was prepping for her guests. I mean, God himself was her guest. I am sure she felt the pressure for sure. But in those moments when I find myself worried and upset about many things, and my fingertips still dripping with soapy water. I realize how hard I am trying to work in my own power. How I am trying to earn. Works. And often when I am at his feet, I still have the suds from the dishes on my hands.

With soapy hands and at His feet. I might not be lacking the soapy hands, but I am learning to relocate. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Remember surrender

There is peace in the surrender.
When you loosen your grip on things, and feel the blood rush back into your knuckles, from clinching on so tighly.
You see, I have this revolving door, I seem to get stuck in all the time. I give something up, and then in the stillness of the morning, as I lay in bed, staring into the darkness of the ceiling, and find my mind so focused on that thing I gave up. I realize I picked it back up at some point. And then go back to lay it down.
And each time I lay it down a peace comes over me.
A peace that I am not in control.
A whisper that softly echo's into my heart that says...... "I got this. You are not in control, I am. I will fight for you, you need only be still. Nothing happens beyond my knowledge, and I am still on the throne. Let it go, dont carry more than you were created to carry. Let me, I am the great I Am."
"Remember surrender
Remember the rest
Remember that weight lifting off of your chest
And realizing that it's not up to you and it never was

Remember surrender
Remember relief
Remember how tears rolled down both of your cheeks
As the warmth of a heavenly father came closing in
I want to do that again
Why can't I live there
And make my home
In sweet surrender
I want to do so much more than remember

Remember surrender
Remember peace
Remember how soundly you fell fast asleep
In the face of your troubles your future still shone like the morning sun

Remember surrender
Remember that sound
Of all of those voices inside dying down
But one who speaks clearly of helping and healing you deep within

I want to do that again
Why can't I live there
And make my home
In sweet surrender
I want to do so much more than remember
Oh surrender"
~Sara Groves - Remember Surrender
I cannot control pretty much anything. I can however love people. I can determine my attitude. I can choose to lay it down again and again and again. And wake up tomorrow and choose to lay it down 100 more times. Because somehow I find it hard to leave there at his feet. But I think he honors it though. I think he honors the surrender. Even if you have to surrender 100 times in a day. Its the time you white knuckle it, and try so hard to change things that are not yours to change, that it greives him.

Sitting at his feet and letting it go,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Swirling thoughts on new life

The first day of spring. Spring. New life. The cold starts to melt away, the ground softens, the air warms, the sun is brighter, the days longer, the ground fertile, and new life begins to spring forth. I learned on the Bouffard farm as well, that this is the season when the sheep and goats start to give birth as well. It seems like everything starts to burst forth in new life. Though I find myself in a country so close to the equator, I get to skip the cold and snow part.
Today holds such signifigance to me. There are some days, that are engraved in your brain. Today was the day that mom was born into the world, and also the day that my 13 month old nephew was promoted to eternity in 2000. Two very signifigant lives to me. I cant help but find my thoughts wander to them. Holding Cameron, and also walking across that funeral home to the tiny casket. Rubbing his skin, because even though I knew he was not there anymore, I couldnt stand to hold my nephew so cold in my arms. It makes me think of my mom. I find lately in the last year I think of her often. I wonder if she would just freak out that I am living on the other side of the world. I wonder what she would think. When she died and I held her hand, and saw her eyes look past me before walking into eternity. I know where she is right now. I dont know how that goes up there. I dont think though that the look down on us. (This is just my thoughts and feelings).
Because to me, if I was faced with God. GOD. A God so big that merely his robe can fill the temple. A God who is justice, hope, love, holy, and righteous. I know I would probably want to look at nothing less than the one who knit me together, knows and holds all things. So from time to time, I just ask the Lord to tell her how her little girl is doing. Her "caboose". It draws my mind back, to sitting next to her hospital bed, so in tune with her every breath, as she was ushered closer and closer to eternity. Dipping sponges in watermelon juice and wetting her lips. The nights she woke up at 3:00am, and had the most lucid amazing conversations. I was so glad I got to be there, next to her bed, and have our middle of the night chats. Still the tv fixed on the news.
New life. Eternal life. When all else fades away, and new life bursts forth. I think on my nephew too. I wonder sometimes about his personality. I wonder if he would have been soft spoken or loud. Into sports, or arts. I look forward to the day that I can really get to know him in eternity someday.
Spring. Today is the first day of spring. And my soul and heart grapple with new life. I think on them being ushered into eternity. I ask the Lord to pass on little messages to my mom. And as Easter approaches, my heart is drawn to hope. Because He has conquered, and my God is alive.
Yeah, just thinking on the keyboard today. Miss you mom and Cameron. Cannot wait someday to meet you on the streets of gold. To bow before our creator together. And as my heart dwells on the new life, the new life available to all of us, the new life we can choose everyday in Christ. I am thankful. I am thankful for tiny nephews you can get to know in eternity. I am thankful for 3:00am conversations on hospital beds. I am thankful for eyes that dance as you hold your mothers hand as she walks into eternity.
Happy Birthday mom, and happy eternal promotion day Cameron. Love you both so much! <3

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Update on Alice as well- She had surgery yesterday is doing well. We don't really know anything yet. We had some Dr's come and ask some more questions, but we are still waiting on the surgeons to come in and talk to us. But she is good, walking around, and watching French movies. So I am totally lost. ;) They know waaaay too many languages. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tears and praises in the hallways of trail.

Right now its a holy hallway, praising kind of time.
It is when the raw dependence on God is not so glamorous
but it is pretty messy and hard.
Alice was in a lot of pain the other day,
and so we brought her back to the hospital in Kigali.
The tumors are back and worse than before.
In the CT scan we got today, you could not even see
many of her organs, because the tumors in her lower abdomen
are entangled with her organs, and possibly for a few
they are growing inside those organs.
She was admitted onto the surgical floor,
and she will have a very risky surgery either tomorrow or Saturday.
We don't have answers, and I don't have the will to go into
possibilities of all this.
But please be praying.
He can heal her.
He can deliver her.
She needs peace.
We are really scared.
And we don't know how or what door God will open.
So as we sit in the hallway, we will praise Him.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Someone turned two!

Well someone turned two years old!!
On Tuesday we took Moses and Tarison (a tot I watch while his mom
goes to school during the day!) to Serena so they could swim in the kiddy pool
and have some icecream. Tarison wanted NOTHING to do with it,
Moses once he started to ease in on his own, well he started to do well.
He would stand up on the step, or sit on the side. Tarison, would have
none of it.
A morning full of sun, water, and soda.
We were all pretty tired that night, and
I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow!!
Then yesterday he woke up as a two year old.
And we got to work making tortilla's in our pajama's
for birthday dinner.
Then of course, we had birthday dinner (soft taco's)
cake, and all the fun that comes with all of that! :)
My little man is two!
He totally blew out the candles, but then it was on
for grabbing the first cupcake to eat. :)
Moses, you are my sunshine.
I never knew it was possible to love someone
as much I love you.
Just when I think I could not possibly love you more,
I find I love you even more! You can make me smile
and laugh on the darkest hardest days.
I love watching how people are absolutely drawn to you
and I cannot wait to see what the Lord has for you!
I know he has BIG BIG plans for you Moses.
And I know first and foremost you are the Lords,
and I am honored that you brighten my every day.
You are indeed wonderfully and fearfully made.
I am so glad that I got to meet that baby left in the box,
in a rain storm. Because from that moment
your little life, changed my life forever.
I love you little man!! <3