What’s next?

The last six months have been filled (internally at least!) with this question.  I initially came to Faith Academy on a two-year commitment, not knowing what God had in store for me beyond those two years.  My usual response to the question about the future was, “God was clear when He sent me; He’ll be clear about the next step.”

Sometimes, I could say that with full confidence.  At other times, my faith wavered, and I worried about a possible uncertainty when the time for decision came.

God has been faithful, though, in making His plan for next year clear.  While I can’t say what the rest of my life will look like, I do feel confident that I should be at Faith Academy, serving the kids of missionaries for the next school year.

What does that mean when you are a missionary?  It means making sure you have a team in place for prayer, emotional, and financial support.  I know that my financial support need will increase some.  (That is, in large part, due to a lot of one-time gifts when I first came to the Philippines.  What a blessing they were!  Now, I’m praying for ongoing monthly support as well.)  If you would like to share your plans to pray, update your subscription preferences for newsletters and email updates, or let me know about your desire to be part of my financial support team, please fill out the survey here: http://goo.gl/forms/6yyoorykwK.

Please feel free to pass on this post and/or the link to others who may be interested, and pray that God will guide me in this journey!  My desire is to see His kingdom come and His will done here on earth, just like it is done in heaven.

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Closure Counts

In the last 24 hours, I have had friends stop by my house, call on the phone (a rarity here), make time for a chat, and send emails with the specific purpose of saying, “Good bye.”

I’m not leaving for good.  I’ll be back in a week.

But I can’t tell you how well-sent-off I feel as I leave, sitting here in the airport with my emotional backpack full of good wishes, assurances of prayers, and hugs.  (There were also many offers of help, an amazingly capable and fun guest teacher to take my place, and more. The efforts to send me off, though, really struck me.)

I’m terrible at saying good bye.  I don’t like leaving a party with a farewell; slipping out silently is much easier.

At this moment, though, I think a new goal is in order.  When I leave for a week or less or more, I’ll invest in the moments it takes to close the moment well.  Thanks to my awesome community for showing me how.

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The Most Important Thing

What’s the most important thing about you?

As grown ups, we talk about identity and self-esteem and all that.  I was talking with my kids the other day about the most important thing about them.

And then my grandpa died.  Let’s face it: at your funeral, they mostly talk about the most important things about you. Everything else is forgotten.  He would have liked this song.

A few of my favorite artists have a new song and it about- surprise, surprise!- the most important thing about life.

I rejoice in my Redeemer, Greatest treasure
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other;
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

As summer flowers we fade and die:
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by.
But life eternal calls to us at the cross.
I will not boast in wealth or might,
Or human wisdom’s fleeting light.
But I will boast in knowing Christ at the cross.

You can find a free copy of the choir chart and hymn chart here.

So when the stuff of life seems overwhelming, my own wisdom is utterly insufficient, and I watch myself fade, I will trust Him.  That’s the most important thing about me.

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Giving Thanks…Health

There’s nothing like being sick to make you thankful for health.  I have never known the truth of that so much as I did with dengue fever.  A week of sleeping all day and all night (literally) with a fever of 103* and weeks of recovery after that contrasted with normal life.

It’s so nice to be back to normal. I’m grateful for all the help I had in my classroom (yay for Emily, my student teacher) and the care of friends and coworkers who supported her, my kids, and me.  I’m thankful for a flexible group of kids who prayed for me and reported to their parents on my increasing time at school each day (2 hours the first day, 3 hours the next, etc.) as I returned to work.

For sleep and healing and feeling good again, I give thanks.

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Giving Thanks…technology

for Facetime

instead of  poor-quality but expensive long distance phone call

or a two-month turn around on letters

(…and I am challenged by the sacrifices made before me!)

for little giggles and fresh photos each day

for high fives and “hugs” and peek-a-boo

for videos of sweet songs and silly stories

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(watching Eli read Love and Logic- priceless!)

for staying connected

even when the sharks eat the internet (for real.)

I give thanks.

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Giving Thanks…Aunts and Uncles and Cousins, Oh My!

Is it weird that there is no plural, gender-neutral word for aunts and uncles?  Do you ever think about the words that don’t exist in your language?  Or do you know a word like that?

I digress.  This is a quick post to kick off a week of posts dedicated to expressing gratitude.  I’ve been absent from the blog despite many thoughts of “I should post!”  So here goes.

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A very exciting meal of Thai food this summer with my Uncle Rick and Aunt Joy

One of the joys of my adult life (and of the last year in particular) has been fresh, grown up relationships with my parents’ siblings.  As I started the process of sharing my plans to come to the Philippines, my aunts and uncles were some of the first to start supporting me (in various ways), and they continue to do so.  Cousins have jumped in with kind encouragement, scripture, and love.  I get delightful emails sharing how they are praying for me, and I got to see many of them in the States over Christmas.  My Aunt Dondi came to visit in November, and we had a blast!

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Dinner with my Aunt Dondi. (Yes, we like to eat!)

My childhood was filled with holidays and family reunions with extended family, so it’s not that I have discovered people I never knew.  I am, however, enjoying this sweet blessing of extended family putting a lot of effort into investing in my life and ministry.  From gifts for my classroom (math game!) to many prayers for me from my aunts and uncles and cousins,  I am giving thanks for all this love!

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Future Plans

I just sent an email out to the people on my email updates list.  If you’re interested in the next steps for me in this journey, read more here.  (Spoiler alert…it involves a bit longer at Faith Academy.:)

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