Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How I Became a S.A.H.D.

Hello Everyone!

I am finally going to write about how the Lord brought me home. It wasn't easy. In fact, it was a very hard and painful situation because God had to show me how HIS will was different and better than my own.

To begin this story, I need to give a little background, so you can have some better understanding of this situation. The past two years, I have been working with a ministry based out of Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. A family, several years ago, gave up all to follow the Lord whole-heartedly. In the process, they began a music ministry where they present the Gospel through music, and through preaching, at concerts. They travel all across Canada and the US, playing concerts, leading Bible studies, and doing evangelism as well. It is SO neat. God has given them a very creative outlet to preach the Good news. A few years ago, they came and stayed with us, playing concerts in our area. They invited me to join them for a few weeks on PEI, and then to come be part of their Unashamed Ministries Bible Institute (UMBI). God has let UMBI remain small so that we can feel like family, hold each other accountable, and be more transparent when dealing with issues and sin. I grew so much during this time-- really developing an understanding of God, the Bible, the importance of Evangelism and prayer, and many other things.  Those years will always be a treasure in my heart.

This past Fall was my fourth and last semester at UMBI. Usually, during this time before graduation, the students are invited to join as Staff to lead ministry outreaches, Bible Studies, teach classes, pray, administrative duties, and many other things.  I was asked to join the ministry. At the time, I couldn't see any reason why I shouldn't. There seemed to be no opportunities for me back at my home town, and to be honest, I didn't want to come home...AT ALL.

When I came home for Christmas in December, God had already been on the move in my family, I just didn't know it yet. A few days after I arrived home, my mom sat down with me to talk about a few things. Through scriptures, and by confirmation from dad, the Lord had showed her that our family needed serious healing and reconciliation. [My dad had been a pastor for 17 years, and at the end, we had all been so hurt that we never fully recovered from it all.] In order to reconcile, that meant I needed to be home. It was a hard hit for me. "Lord, You want to do WHAT?" "Can't you see I'm working for YOU, Lord, and you want me to come home!?" 
As you can see, I was perfectly incredulous. The questions ran through my head, over and over again. I cried, I got angry, and I didn't want to talk to anyone about it. I just wanted to KNOW it was God's will for me to be home-- for HIM to speak to me about it. That time of wrestling was probably some of the most intense times of fighting, pleading, and praying I've ever experienced.

Finally, we decided to get a dear lady we know to pray with me. Mom and I drove to her house early one morning, and we ended up staying for almost 3 hours. During that time she talked with me, prayed with me, and helped mom and I to have some reconciliation. It was amazing. God gave me PEACE. The peace that passes ALL understanding. The peace that helped me to say, "Lord, I don't understand, but Your ways are better than my own. I will obey what you have said. I will stay. I will love my family. Forgive me for fighting against You." At that moment, I felt free and filled with joy. The joy that comes after a storm, after a time of wrestling, and after someone has surrendered to the Lord.

So, you may have questions like "What are you doing now?" or "What has God been doing in your family?" God is good, all the time. Our family is the closest it has been in a long time. We are doing the Bible study "Experiencing God" together every Sunday afternoon. After dinner, our dad reads a devotional to us, which has lead to good conversations. We are communicating better, and are able to talk through issues we are dealing with. IT'S AWESOME.

As for me, I am:Being discipled by a lady from our church. (it's such a blessing, as it also means I get time with her darling kiddos!)

  • Participating in a Ladies Bible study from church on Wednesday nights. (Another blessing!) 
  • Teaching my youngest sister Spanish. :)
  • Helping with cooking and cleaning around the house.
  • "Polite traditions"-- we meet with a friend each week to work on crafts, sewing, and other things.
  • Doing babysitting when the opportunity arises.
  • Each week I meet up with different friends for dinner or coffee. (It's a great time of encouraging each other!)
  • Trying to walk each day with God--asking Him to show me who to talk to, write to, or call so that I can encourage/bless them.
  • Working every day to try to love my family (in their particular love languages.)
I might not have a REAL job, but, let me tell you, I am SO busy.  From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I am always doing something.  To the world, it may not make sense, but I know, this is where God wants me. 

{You might be wondering about the title "SAHD." That stands for "Stay At Home Daughter." I learned that term from another girl's blog, you should check it out. www.stayathomedaughter.com .She has been a real encouragement to me!}
    Have a wonderful day! Remember, no matter what the circumstances, God is always working around you.

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Silly Video

    Here is a video a friend helped me put together. If you need a laugh, watch this. You will understand how VERY silly I (and Nan) can be. Out of the dozens and dozens of nicknames I acquired while in Canada, "Belle," is by far the funniest (considering my distinct lack of feminine grace). One of my friends calls me that, and in return I call him "Gaston." The best part is that neither of us are like the character from "Beauty & The Beast" in the least. We took the main song about Belle and, well, you'll see... made it...interesting....

    Have a MOST splendid Saturday afternoon. It's gloriously sunny today! :)

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Polite Traditions

    Hello All!

    A few weeks ago, during a discussion about homemaking abilities, Nan, myself, and our friend (Mamara) decided to do weekly craft/sewing/tea sessions. I am soooo excited about this, as I feel like my skills are...*ahem*... limited.  We call it "Polite Traditions."

    Two weeks ago we went shopping for material to make APRONS. WOOOOT! Here are a few pictures of our progress so far. We were hoping to get them completely done today but, alas, our sewing machines were acting up... and we only have two. So, needless to say, my apron is still in pieces, waiting for me to get started on it. :)


    Setting up the patter. Trying to figure it out...hehe...

    Being silly as we iron the material!

    STEAMing the material-- nice and smoooth. 

    Our different color schemes for the aprons.
    Upper Left- Nan's (Red, cream, daisy pattern)
    Upper Right: Mine (Pink floral, pink gingham, yellow)
    Bottom: Mamara's (Black, peachy floral, yellow)

    Artsy Sewing Machine.

    Wildberry Zinger Tea

    Nan hard at work on the apron skirt.

    Mamara ironing her apron skirt.

    Hopefully we will finish them sometime next week. Other projects: Painting tea cups, mosaics, crocheting....and many more!

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    "Here I raise my Ebenezer..."

    I. AM. IN. AWE. :)

    God is so good and so faithful. I can't believe the way HE loves to take what is weak, and use them, and by so doing, proves Himself strong.

    I am weak. He is strong.
    My words are empty. His words bring forth life.

    This past weekend was an amazing answer to prayer. To be honest, I was horribly nervous on Sunday morning. Suddenly all the doubts, worries, concerns, etc.. about talking in front of people, with a translator, came crashing down on me. All week people had asked, "So what are you going to talk about?". Ha. And, per usual, I replied, "I don't really know yet. I am praying, but the Lord normally shows me RIGHT before I speak." (It's something I can pretty much expect any time I speak.)

    As the worship service was starting, I suddenly felt the Lord was prompting me to take a different perspective/angle then what I had originally planned. When I got on the platform, all nerves calmed and God showed me what to say.

    I spoke of HIS faithfulness in providing every day little things, and his faithfulness in HUGE things (like when we were on tour and our tire popped off our trailer. We didn't have money to buy the one we needed. A few days later, we were telling our host family about it and he had the EXACT tire we needed, brand new, in his garage. Yes. God is AMAZING!)

    The Lord just kept reminding me of little ways He had been faithful during my travel with the SKY family and their ministry. In the end,  I was able to encourage the people to pray, to spend time with the Lord. :)

    God is good. All the time.

    P.s. So, this week consists of meal planning, Bible study, babysitting, walks in the beautiful countryside and dwelling on God's goodness and faithfulness!

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Speaking Tomorrow...

    Just a really quick post before I head to bed. 

    Right now we are visiting some friends a few hours away from home. Tomorrow I will be speaking at their church, sharing a few stories from my trip this past Fall. Here's the catch: It's a Spanish church, and I will have a translator. *gulp* I'm not really that nervous because I know that the Holy Spirit will speak through me the words that HE wants to speak to His people. My only concern is that I will start talking super fast, without giving the translator much time to talk.

    ***Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy Spanish? No, I don't think so. It's a passion I had to lay aside for a while, and I think the Lord is letting me have it back. Now I just need to start practicing it again.....:) ***

    Anyways, will write how it goes on Monday. Have a lovely sleep everyone and a most restful Sabbath tomorrow. :)