Where Would You Like To Go?

June 26, 2010

Great Anticipation

Anticipation is defined as - "an expectation; anticipating with confidence of fulfillment".  Anticipation is a word that I don't use that often - however, I'm really a big fan of the word and the way it makes me feel.  I just know that something great is about to happen.  When I think of anticipation, one of the 1st things I think of is our call to Madagascar.  Actually, I feel like there should be a more adequate word than anticipation to describe how we feel about moving to Toilera.  God has been God to put it as simply as possible.  He has provided for our needs, been faithful to take care of every small detail - and all the while still teaching us new things about who He is and how to serve Him wherever we are in the mean time.

When I think of a time that I experienced anticipation and I saw it come to fulfillment is the night when Steve and I got engaged.  He completely surprised me when he flew in from Maryland that night and although it didn't go according to his exact plans - it was still a time of great joy and anticipation for me.  We were engaged for almost 2 years but the anticipation never ceased.  I would talk about our wedding plans with anyone who would listen, and my poor friends who were with me all the time could have probably gone through the wedding in their sleep!  Now, 3 years after the "Big Day", I can joyfully express that anticipation was not wasted.  The fulfillment of everything I had ever prayed for in a husband and in a marriage have/are coming true everyday.  I can't express the blessing of waking up every morning and living life together with my best friend.

SO - all of this brings me to the way I'm feeling this morning - full of anticipation.  I'm chaperoing a youth trip to M-Fuge this upcoming week.  It's been a few years since I've been to youth camp and it's bringing back all the memories of the ones I took while I was in school.  The anticipation of being somewhere new, of expecting God to do great things, of basically - everything that comes with going to camp.  I've been praying this week for these youth that will be going and selfishly for myself.  I want to come away with something new - with a fresh word from the Lord.  The anticipatioin is growing constantly as we're getting closer to leaving...and as I'm dwelling on that, I keep having this tug on my heart.  A tug that is saying - "Nickolee, I do great things everyday.  I can speak to you in a "fresh" way wherever you are."  I'd tell anyone in a heartbeat that I "knew" this already because I do.  However, I'm being challenged this morning in wondering if I live my life that way.  Do I wake up every single morning with great anticipation? If not - why not?  Sure, it may be easier to hear from the Lord in a camp setting - away from distractions of our day to day life - but the reality is 98% of the year we have distractions.  We have life - we live in this world.  we can't forget that He has called us to be in the world but not of it.  I believe we are called to live a life of Great Anticipation - and don't forget that means we have the confidence that our expectation will be fulfilled!!

June 21, 2010

MS = Family Time!

One of the best parts of being in MS is being
 able to spend time with the family on days like Father's Day!  It was nice to be able to spend yesterday with my daddy who has provided such an amazing example of who my Heavenly Father is.  As I have gotten older, I've realized this is NOT something to be taken for granted!  He's pretty fantastic and I love him!! 

Here's a picture of my absolutely adorable youngest sister - who is going to be a SENIOR this year!!

 It was Steve's 1st Father -to - be day!! I gave him a book my friend Wendee just raves about - here's a picture of him and my beautiful mother!

And when my family had left...I walked to the "nursery" room and this is what I found left on the bed - one for a little boy and one for a little girl! We can't wait to find out which one our baby will be!! Aren't they just precious??

Jason and Anna Russum's Wedding Reception Entrance

Don't you just love weddings??

One of the most beautiful girls I know said "I do" on Saturday.  She's one of my best friends whom I met in college.  This is a picture of us at her rehersal on Friday night.  It was a beautiful wedding with a stunning bride.  There is just something so very special about watching God bring two people together for the purpose of serving Him to their greatest capacity.  My heart is literally bursting with happiness for the two of them - How much do I love this couple you may ask?  Well, I did get up at 3:15 this morning to take them to the airport - :o)  It's what friends do!  We had such a great time at the wedding - you can even watch our reception entrance here by looking at the post before this one!  Here's some pictures from the big day...
My Beautiful Friend the Bride - Anna
My handsome date :o)
and just for the fun of it a picture from MY wedding day when anna was a bridesmaid!

June 18, 2010

A Dangerous Life?

A couple of nights ago I was in a conversation about being safe. I was talking about how it makes sense to try and be as safe as possible instead of knowingly walking into a "dangerous" situation. However, once I was by myself (and trying to go to sleep), the Lord started speaking to my heart on the matter - the following is a glimpse of what He was teaching me.

Being safe - a term that is used quite often or atleast some version of it - be safe, be careful, etc - however, what does that really mean? Do you truly want a christian to live a "safe" lifestyle? Isn't that the exact opposite of what the Lord calls us to? My 1st response to this line of thinking is - yeah, but God also gives us common sense, He gives us families that we love, friends we cherish - is it a sin to hope that they are safe? Well, I do believe there is a difference in deciding to rock climb w/o any safety features down the wall of the Grand Canyon and being in a place God has called you to. Being in the center of where God has called you to is the "safest" place for you to be. "Safe" in the terms of America's definition or even a mom's definintion? Most likely not - but safe in the terms of your Creator, your Savior, and One who will ALWAYS bring glory to Himself.

Our safety as christians lies in the fact that we are christians. Our promise from the Lord is that He will never leave us or forsake us and that we will dwell with Him for all of eternity. He promises to guide our steps and to work all things for His glory but nowhere does He say it will be easy, not scary, or SAFE.

Jesus' words to his disciples were as follows, "do not go in the way of the gentiles, but rather go to the lost sheep...behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves...when they hand you over - do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given to you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it si the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you...truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes...Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concelaed htat will not be revealed...do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul...for the very hairs of your head are numbered...do not fear you are more valuable than many sparrows...he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me...truly I say to you, you will not lose your reward." - exerpts from matthew 10

Are we not called to be His disciples? If so these are our instructions as well...The only way for God's best and most perfect plan for our lives to happen is to follow Him - whereever that may lead - we often judge the "dangerousness" of a situation as to where the location is - but honestly the dangerousness of the situation rests in whether you are outside of His will or not. Obviously God teaches us that He will work all things for His good - His plans can not be thwarted - so we have free will - we have the choice to obey and follow or not - but why would you desire to be somewhere other than where He has called you?

It's hard to look at "tragic situations" and believe that God was in control - but He was. He is glorified and will always continue to be. We don't like to think that something that "tragic" could be a part of a perfect plan - but it is - the Lord does promise us that. We can't even fathom what today might have held in store if that had not happened - we. just. don't. know. However, the Lord, the director of our steps, the One who holds the universe in His hands does know.

It's hard to try and wrap our minds around this truth but it is the truth - there is no one who cares more about their children more than the One who created them - and no matter where they are - their Father is ALWAYS with them and He is more of a protector than we could ever hope to be.

We're in MS!!

We are finishing up our 2nd week back in MS. People keep asking us if we're settled or if we're glad to be home. While both might be true, I think mostly we're still trying to wrap our heads around the idea that we're in Clinton...it's still slightly crazy that it all worked out this way.

We are beyond blessed to be in the missions house that we are and it's just been pretty cool to see how God continually provides for all we need.

I know I started this blog almost 2 years ago and it was a flop - so this is my "do-over" - we'll be keeping a blog once we get to Madagascar next year, so maybe this is a way to start getting in the habit of it. We now have people we consider family in a atleast a couple of different states and this is the best way I know to keep in contact! I do indeed love to write, so you may never know what you'll find here - some days it may just be my random thoughts and what the Lord is trying to teach me. I do promise however to post updates on all things baby related! Look below for the 1st sonogram pic! (6-9-2010)

Tomorrow is one of my best friends' rehersal dinner and the wedding is saturday - it's going to be fabulous! Off to sleep for tonight!