Where Would You Like To Go?

June 29, 2013

Prayer Calendar and Newsletter

Due to some crazy email happenings, the monthly newsletter and prayer calendar are going up on the blog.  Perhaps this will be a regular thing if it works better for some people!  I also want to apologize to whoever may have received this via email 3 or more times!  My emails kept coming back saying they were not going through - I have since learned that a few of you did get them...multiple times.  I also apologize to those of you who didn't get it - I honestly had no control...I still have no idea what happened or didn't happen!  Anyhow - for this month at least - please feel free to print them/forward them from here!  Thanks guys!

Check them out here:  July Newsletter & July Prayer Calendar


Grace for Mommies


Because we were not meant to do it apart from his enabling, we can set aside our deficiencies as mothers, as well as our pride…
If we parent consistently and show patience, it is God’s grace.
If our children obey, it is God’s grace– that it is his sanctifying work in us that enables and instructs us in faithfulness as mothers.
If our children defy us in disobedience, it is God’s grace– that we might have the opportunity to show the gospel to our children once again.
If we struggle to be the mamas we desire to be, it is God’s grace– that we would be reminded once again of the price paid on our behalf, the worthiness of Christ bestowed on us.
It is grace from start to finish.
And so, motherhood is not for the qualified; none of us are. Motherhood is for those he qualifies through Christ. He did indeed see your record, friend…and he erased it. He knows your weaknesses…and he transforms them.
And if, today, you are crying out in helplessness, he replies with open arms,
“Now, child, you are ready for what I have for you. You are ready to become the mama I will make you to be.”


This has all been taken from a new blog I found by Lisa Jo definitely a new favorite  - if you have a few minutes, go over and check her out!



June 27, 2013

Momma Issues


Not all of you have known me since college but during that time I was medically informed it would be very difficult to ever bear a child of my own.  That my best “shot” was to try as soon as possible because as time passed, my chances would diminish even more so (I was 19 at the time and not married).  

Fast forward seven years, and we have Ryleigh.  Ryleigh is a true gift in every sense of the word.  Being her mother is a treasure, a joy, and one of the biggest responsibilities I’ve ever known.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say how overwhelmed I feel at any given moment of any day knowing that she is my daughter and I have been entrusted with her care.  He has been EVER so faithful in proving His wisdom and His direction as Steve & I parent and love on her.  
And now, we’re pregnant again.  Something we had no idea if we’d ever be the first time, and much less a second.  If I could ever stop crying it’d be laughable…I mean really?  On those days that I feel are the absolute best, it's because I have spent my whole day talking to the Lord about Ryleigh, asking how to do what, asking for forgiveness of doing something the wrong way, and then just for Him to carry me by the time it’s 9am – and now He’s given us a second child?  I fall on my face too many times to count already – this 2nd child is bound to only ever see the back of my head!
It scares me...this being a mom of two children.  Sure women do it all the time, I mean, I’m not talking about 12 children – just two.  But how?  I’m so far away from figuring this motherhood thing out and while I might can fool some, I can't fool Him.  And I know…I know…I know that I’m not supposed to.  That I’m supposed to depend on Him and allow Him to impart wisdom in all areas of motherhood and my life in general, but the thing is I still get in the way.  He knows every time I act selfishly, He knows every weakness.  
He knows when: 
I get frustrated for no (Godly) reason.  I raise my voice.  I say no to playing dolls b/c I have other more “important” things to do.  I wish she'd stop talking for just a few minutes when my head hurts…

and then He’s there – the Spirit…tugging away at my heart, at my brain – 
asking me what in the world am I doing?  

And I sigh, I tear up, and I turn around...
I squat down, look in those gorgeous blue eyes, smile...
and tell her how much I love her.  
She crinkles up those eyes and says “very very much mommy?” 
and I say “very (kiss) very (kiss) very (kiss) much baby girl”.  
Just like that her world is right again, she’s hopping down the hall ready to play, ready to help, ready to read, ready to be a toddler – 
while I’m left spinning, whirling around in the guilt of the moments I’ve lost – 
the moments I’ll lose - to my own selfishness.

I try, I really do...
I try to remember to not tell her to move all of her dolls out of the kitchen and instead pay attention to the fact that she’s reenacting everything I’m doing with her dolls.  
I try to remember to not be in a rush and plop her up on the counter to help stir up the cookies and roll them into balls.  
It means it will take longer, it means that no matter how many times we’ve washed those tiny little hands that undoubtedly a little mud or piece of grass or a sticker may end up in someone’s cookie.  
And I try to remember that – 
it.is.okay.  
there is grace.  
His grace is sufficient.  
Which brings me back to this 2nd baby.  I struggle daily.  I am thankful, please don't misunderstand.  I just recognize the responsibility that these children are and I know my failures all too well.  I have "motherhood amnesia" daily from things He taught me the day before.  How oh how will I be an effective, Godly mom to two of these beautiful souls?  I know the answer.  I know HE is the answer.  I know it even as I’m struggling, even as I’m typing.  Praise Him for things He taught me as a child so that even when I am old(er) – and struggling daily – I will not depart from it.  I know that He has never asked me to do anything alone – that He has created me in my mother’s womb – that He knit me together.  I know that He knows my thoughts, my weaknesses, and that my brain suffers from daily motherhood amnesia – 
and I know that He says: 
He is ENOUGH.  
He is STRENGTH.  
He is WISDOM.  
He is the FATHER.  
He is LOVE.  
He is VICTORY.


June 25, 2013

In the Castle


Ann Voscamp, author of A Thousand Gifts & this amazing blog, and her daughter are currently in Uganda and I’ve been following their trip on her blog.  She’s been sharing about how she feels like Esther in the castle and that she’s there for "such a time as this" to help those outside the gates.  It's hitting home pretty strongly living here in Mada...the poor here are everywhere.  The only way to not see them is to stay inside our house “castle” and not go outside the gate – yes there are literal gates here around most homes.  My heart is so burdened to help, to sacrifice, to love…but what is even more important to me is something Ann wrote on her blog – that I don’t want to sacrifice to ease my consciousness but I want to sacrifice to ease their pain – to truly hurt over my sacrifice.    Words can be so beautiful and well written that they can move us to tears, stir our hearts…but what about moving to action?  We are each in the place we are for a reason.  For such a time as this. 

So here lies the dilemma – I miss things.  I miss convenience.  I enjoyed walking in Walmart and buying any food I wanted.  I enjoyed the choices.  I enjoyed having Mexican and it taste exactly like I thought it would.  I enjoyed brushing my teeth with tap water, ordering tap water at a restaurant, and not wondering if Ryleigh would get sick over swallowing a bit of tub water.  I enjoyed refrigerated Pillsbury dough and donut runs.  I enjoyed fresh, cold milk.  And...I feel guilt over it.  I’m back here, in Mada, and thinking of the 1000s of differences between here and there.  I think about these people who live in poverty that surround me and think how far beyond their comprehension these things are.  I feel heavy hearted.  I feel gross, selfish, and like the most non compassionate person that’s ever lived (my husband says I'm a bit dramatic...but seriously).

How do I balance it?  Should it be balanced?  Am I trying to straddle the fence of living in the world and being/not being a part of it?  I don’t know.  I don’t have the answer.  Not yet.  But I’m seeking.  I’m seeking to know what His truth is because I know it’s not hidden – I know it’s written plainly in His word, I just have to be brave enough to read it and know that I’m held accountable for the commands He has given His children.

For Such A Time As This


June 23, 2013

A Struggle


What’s been going on here? Well a bit (aka a lot) of morning sickness, a bit (aka a little bit) of toddler homeschool, a bit of “surviving”, and a bit of tear stained face-get your feet muddy-throw your hands in the air- wrestling with the Lord.  Ha. Although wrestling sounds like such a strong word when I feel so very weak.
Some will say this post is due to crazy pregnancy hormones but all I know is that the Lord uses everything for His glory…right?!?

I’ve been struggling…going through a fire if you will.  Now granted my “fire” may look a lot different than some of yours.  I know there are people who I love and care about who are struggling with awaiting test results, cancer, literal fires that have burned down homes, tornado damage, divorce, and the list could go on.  I guess that’s why I’ve been timid to write.  I look at my seemingly ridiculous (in the long run) struggles and wonder why bother to write it out.  However, He’s showing me that it’s not up to me or you the fires we go through…they all hurt, they’re all painful, and He can bring good (His best) out of them.
That said, here we go...
Leaving the States was hard – much harder than I thought it would be - than I wanted it to be.  My heart, for as far back as I can remember, has been for Africa and suddenly I felt as if I were leaving part of it in MS.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on – it scared me and I honestly felt guilt over it (and still am to be even more honest).  I’ve often said that I miss family, but there was never a desire to truly stay in the States.  I just always thought if I could just get those people that I love so dearly over here in Mada that life would be perfect.  But that day leaving, and in the days that followed, I was truly struggling with physically wanting to be in the States.  I grieved over the events, moments, and memories that we would miss as a family.  I had seen how much Ryleigh fell in love with the people I love so much and it was wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time.  Finally, I realized that the bottom line wasn't (once again) about me actually wanting to be in MS but rather wanting to be with the people.  What I was desiring was the memories that come from time spent together not confined to a certain location.  
One night, as I was trying to fall asleep and the tears were coming ever so steady…He showed me that there was nothing wrong with that…that is Heaven.  In the home that I was created to be in –my family will be there and so will my brothers & sisters here in Mada.  People from every culture, every language, every skin color, those who know Christ as their Savior will be there worshiping Him together.  And as many times as I feel like I’ve thrown my hands up in the past few weeks, how could I not do it again? Out of worship?  Out of surrender?  Out of that seemingly ever present reminder that I am so insignificant on my own?

Another missionary family that serves in Africa recently did a blog that captured exactly what I've been feeling.  The title was, "...when your heart is torn between being where God has called you to and where you actually want to be"  In it he says, "I know, be content where God has called you.  Don’t worry, my theology is still in order... I know God has called me here.  I know God is all I need.  I know God has a purpose.  I know all these things... and still my body wishes it could join my heart and mind sitting (in MS for me!)... doing life together with them once again." 


June 10, 2013

Bush Time

The guys are headed out this morning and they are going to be covering a LOT of ground this week.  Please be in prayer for:
~ safety on the roads
~ smooth transition for Steve as this is his 1st time back after being in the States
~ people being available to gather in the villages for the Bible stories
~ good reports from believers
~ Pastor Michele 
~ language & culture aquisition


Ryleigh, Baby Roberts, and I also would value your prayers here on the home front!

June 8, 2013

Superhero

I have to admit that my first thought is of Superman probably influenced by my good friend Natalie...and then next I think of my friend Laura who would undoubtedly have a super cute picture of her 2 boys acting like superheroes in the middle of a foreign country- however this post is just to let you know about the one I married.

Steve has been awesome.  
In case you missed the announcement...
We are expecting...this little baby was our welcome home gift upon arriving in Tulear!
and this gal has been gearing up to be a big "sistuh" ever since...
However, this momma on the other hand has been horizontal as much as possible.  Morning sickness has turned into most of the day sickness and I don't remember a single day of feeling this way when I was pregnant with Ryleigh.  Nevertheless (that's for you Mom!), He has given MUCH for me to be thankful for a husband who has been nothing but STELLAR and gone above and beyond in every single area.  Seriously - he's fixing meals, doing Bible stories, bath time, and taking walks with Ryleigh - all the while taking care of me!  Needless to say he has been my superhero the past 2 weeks!  And there is also a sweet little girl who says the most adorable prayers for mommy and "baby tummy".

It's hard to believe that a little bitty baby (the size of a blueberry this week) could create so much "downtime" for me - but he/she is doing a great job so far!
and in case you're wondering what a blueberry looks like on a sonogram...here is the tiny pencil point :)   Welcome to the blurry version of 3rd world sonograms!

I know I've been a little absent in the blog world and thought you deserved a reason/excuse why!  I'll try my best to keep you updated as I can through this 1st trimester!
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