A good writer should never apologize in an opening – it’s not a good “hook” – but I never claimed to be good. I’m sorry – this is a blog post all about me – and if you don’t know me personally, you may not care to read it, but perhaps it will speak to where you are in your journey as well.
1. I’m in the midst of a test right now…
This is a test that requires great focus and determination. A “roll with it” mentality is not hard wired in me, but this is a season that requires that. I recognize I have absolutely no control over the timing of our house being rebuilt from the fire, which is a struggle for me. I’ve granted myself permission to be satisfied with seeing progress in my growth, and not be so concerned about perfection, and this test has been a benchmark of how far God has brought me. For that growth, I’m grateful.
2. Construction on our house will finally start this week…
I write that hesitantly, but optimistically. The contractors will have to do some demolition first, and then we will pray for consecutive days of weather above 40 degrees, so the roof can be rebuilt. Moving back home is hinged on us not having a hole in it, and February isn’t the best time for that kind of weather. God is big and can make it happen if He wants to. I believe He can. I just don’t know if that’s His plan for us.
3. I love mission work.
I especially love mission work when it’s in a tropical place. It’s so much easier to mission for a week or two here and there and return to a “normal” lifestyle. One of the values of my church is to “live on mission” – right where you are, wherever you are. With our living quarters at an extended stay-hotel, we have been having a great opportunity to live in a longer-term missionary status, with people we would never otherwise meet or have an opportunity to have a conversation with.
Meet Charles for example.
I first noticed Charles one evening during dinner, in the hotel lobby. He was walking slowly towards the pool area, assisted by a walking stick. He was elderly. Fragile. I’m not sure what it was at the time, but I had to make an effort not to stare as he walked by. He had some kind of way to get people to look at him.
As quickly as he was out of sight, he was out of my mind as well.
Until I was in the swimming pool.
“Let’s go swimming!” the kids exclaimed, but when it came down to it, I was the only one who actually went in the pool. They sat on the side of the pool, watching. Relaxing.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement. The old man with the walking stick was headed towards the pool. He had on swim trunks, but no shirt. His body was a canvas of bumps. He was missing fingers. Maybe this was what caught my attention earlier.
As he came into the pool area, I tried to carry on and pretend I didn’t notice him. I swam laps and talked to the kids. There came a point I was really ready to hit the hot tub, but he was in it.
To be completely honest, I didn’t want to get in the hot tub with him. What if all of those bumps on him were contagious?
And a song came to mind. “What if God was one of us? Just a stranger on a bus…”
As I made my way out of the pool and into the hot tub, I wondered how many people steered clear of him because of his physical looks? I wondered how lonely his life might be because of judgments – no different than what I was caught up in. I wonder what his story was.
So it was time to swallow my fear and place my trust in God.
Charles grew up in the Quad Cities. A military veteran, he landed down south with a wife and family. On this night, he was passing through from visiting family in the Chicago area, and would continue his journey south after a couple of days visiting those he still had in the area.
While he didn’t share why his body was outwardly deformed, he did share about a loss of family that left division in property amongst the siblings. I enjoyed at how quickly he opened up to me, and was glad to be that ear for him.
Then he asked about me and why we’re at the hotel. It opened an opportunity to share the miracle God gave us that evening of the fire, and how He’s been at work since.
Living on mission.
We never know who we will meet, and the timing of that encounter. As Christians it is important for us to shine our lights for Jesus, when He opens the door to do so.
4. My husband and I have had a vacation planned for over a year, for just the two of us.
Our vacation is now in the near future, is completely paid for, and with being displaced, this situation is causing us some uncertainty with where kids are going to stay, etc. God knew we’d be in this circumstance when we booked everything last January, and has a plan.
5. I’m beyond ready for said vacation.
What do YOU know to be true today? I would love to hear where you are in your journey!