Friday, June 28, 2013

In between...

For months now we have been in between the "now" and when my husband ,Joe, goes to Africa. It's really all we talk about. During that time God has revealed so much about Himself to us. Things we had the head knowledge for but not the heart knowledge.

With just days until he leaves we are rejoicing in God's provision for this trip. From the little girl who was so excited to give him $0.50 to the $400.00 check that blew us away. Plus all the donations in between.

The air fare went up twice. God met the need twice.

Joe was at work and meets Ryan who is part of the royal family in Zambia plus also a missionary. He didn't have any cash on him. Ryan felt terrible he couldn't give to Joe's trip. While walking out to his car to go home a complete stranger walked up and handed him the contents of his wallet. To which Ryan walked right back into the restaurant and handed to Joe.

Last week we spent $50 over our budget for his supplies. Later that same day someone handed him $50 for his trip.

This week we found out Joe had to have a prescription for malaria. When we went to pick up the medicine it was $198. No kidding. We freaked. While sharing the story that night at church our church secretary handed Joe a check from donations to his trip that week. Guess how much the check was for? $195.

During the in between we have been so unbelievably blessed. As we fall short, God doesn't. As we doubt, He confirms.  As we struggle, He brings us through. As we think of ways to provide, He comes in before we can figure it out. 

I wouldn't trade the "in between" for anything. My Dad always says that "it's in the valleys that we grow". Our heavenly Father has certainly grown us during the waiting for this trip. I can't wait to see what He has in store for Joe and the rest of the team the next two weeks. 

We are so grateful. Grateful even seems shallow compared to how we feel. Ya know? God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Say "Yes" to VBS

Last  year some time my husband came home with a yellow and teal bag. I stared at him like he was crazy. He announced that we would be running VBS for our church this year. I asked him if there wasn't someone who was more equipped to handle the job? His response? Oh, yeah the other children's pastor and his wife can handle it.

Meaning, no it's us. This is our ministry.

I was scared.

VBS was a big out reach for our church and a huge deal for our kids.

I have taught the last 4 years but never have been the director. I went to the conference for our VBS. Went to the director's meeting. Planned and planned. Everything was in place. The Saturday night before our VBS was to start, I got no sleep. Maybe 2-3 hours max. I went through everything that could possibly go wrong. Inside and out. I just thought until I couldn't think anymore and then I thought some more. Then I thought about falling flat on my face.

The next morning God spoke to me. Our VBS was about facing fear. Was I going to let fear keep me from the joy of VBS? The irony. I took a stand and decided then that I would not be afraid. I would enjoy our VBS as directors for the first time. Peace flowed through me for the first time in months. During our Sunday morning worship I cried like a baby. God reminded me that He was faithful. His promises are true, because He can't lie. That He would be there through it all. That I needed to rely on Him.

What I needed to remember was this wasn't my VBS. This was His VBS. Somewhere along the way I thought that I was making this VBS. Instead of me magnifying Him, I thought He would magnify me. I thought I was running the show. That if it (VBS) fell flat on it's face it would be because I missed something along the way. I made it a little about me-- okay, a lot about me. That  if I didn't work hard enough it would be a flop. I was trying to steal His show. He was using us but really He was doing all the work. I was directing, but He was the Director. There is so much joy in releasing responsibilities that were never really yours to carry. The work was necessary, but He was the one moving. None of it took Him by surprise.

Hands down this was my favorite VBS to date. It pulled and stretched me far out of my comfort zone. I had lots of fun with our kids. They had so much fun! I got to watch my husband be a big kid with our kids. Since VBS has been over parents have been telling us thank you. That during VBS they had amazing conversations with their kids about their Heavenly Father, their kids got saved, or how much they loved our church. As I have read and heard them I just cried. Tears of joy- my cup overflows. I'm crying just typing this. Again and again He reminds me of His goodness.  He wants to use us we just have to say "yes". Allow Him to do the work. 

 Ultimately though, it drew me closer to Him. To draw on His strength. He is our true source of power.

To think something that could bless me so much and I was afraid to touch it with a ten foot pole. I already can't wait for next years VBS yet and ours hasn't been over for a week yet. 

Thank you Lord for using me.