Nine days. Three days of "normal" life, three days of family camp (yea!!!!), 1 last Sunday to be with our church here before we leave (I get a lump in my throat and watery eyes thinking about it), 2 days to wash the giant mountain of laundry that we'll have from camp and pack, pack, pack. Before we leave, I'll post a final schedule here of our travels. A few of our dates of changed, so I'll be sure to keep everyone updated.
My mind is overflowing with things that need to be done and I have lists all over my desk and am looking forward to checking a few more things off. I have had to go to the Lord many times just asking Him to calm my heart and help me to work faithfully at getting done what we need to yet not worrying. It is so easy for me to get so focused on a task that my words become short or I get irritated when I'm interrupted. And I want to keep in my heart and mind what is truly important and am asking the Lord to constantly remind me of that! And He is helping me!!! Isn't He so good?
Last night at church, Brother Benito shared several verses in His message and I've been meditating on them ever since. Primarily Romans chapter 8 and John 3:30. He must increase, but I must decrease. How often I seek my own pleasure or own glory. The Lord has shown this to me so very much since He saved me. In many ways, it is as if a veil has been lifted from my eyes and I see so many things differently and clearly. Some of them are painful and make me feel so ashamed. But then comes the grace and forgiveness of my Lord! And it becomes all the more precious!
This morning, I had a most humbling moment. In preparing for furlough, Daniel gave me the task of writing emails to those who have so graciously offered to open their homes to us in hospitality during our travels.
So with my calender open and notebook filled with names/emails/dates beside me, I've been taking time each day to contact each person. A couple weeks ago, I wrote to my dear friend, Connie, whom I've never met other than through writing, and gave her the dates that we would be in her area hoping that we would be able to get together/meet. She responded with such joy and enthusiasm readily opening her heart and home to our family. Then this morning, I got an email from her asking when we would be arriving. I thought it was a bit strange because we won't be there until late September and then as I looked back over my first email to her, a great wave of "Oh No!" fell upon me. You know when you do something really absent minded or embarrassing and you feel that warm sensation from head to toe and you get a big pit in your stomach? That's how I felt. I had given her the dates but forgot to mention the MONTH!!! It obviously sounded like we were going to be there this week.
Oh, I felt so badly thinking of the plans made and anticipation that always comes when expecting company. I wrote my dear friend right away and then called her. She was more than gracious and understanding and I'm looking forward more than ever to seeing her. When I sat down at the breakfast table with my hands covering my face and Daniel asked me what was wrong, it took me a moment tell him what I'd done. He and the children find amusement in these situations. Of course, I'd be amused too if I hadn't been the one to make the blunder!
Well, I am not looking forward to saying good bye to our dear friends here...My only consolation is that my hubby has a big tender heart too, so I won't be crying alone. Brother Benito and his wife have been such a blessing, getting to know the people, and serving all they can. We are so thankful the Lord brought them here to carry on His work. Daniel and Benito and a few of our boys drove for a couple of hours Saturday afternoon going rancho to rancho, town to town, just seeing the need. So many need to hear! Our desire is to get to all we can in our reach. Everyone needs to hear that they are lost and in need of a Saviour before it is too late.
I am looking forward to seeing family, friends and so many of you while we are in the states! Daniel and the boys are going to build a little display with pictures and different items from our area and Daniel's working on a slide show showing pictures of what the Lord has done these past 6 years and the areas for which we are so burdened. I love to tell the story of Jesus and what He has done for me and what He wants to do for all!
A few tidbits from home life:
Eliseo comes to me about 2-3 times a day, throws his arms around my neck then looks me in the eyes and says, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" I've told him that it's no longer my birthday and he just keeps on telling me, so I just say, "Aw, thank you, Eliseo...I love you!"
We have a horned toad named Alexander living in Nehemiah's underwear drawer. He's been there for over a week and I just jump out of my skin when I am putting away clothes and forget that he's there. He eats 30 flies a day which are caught, killed and hand fed to him by the children.
Our little chicken disappeared last week. :-( We don't know if some stray dogs got into the yard or what, but he's nowhere to be found. Yesterday, Noah woke up and says, "Mommy, last night when I was sleeping, I heard the voice of the chicken." ha!
Oh, a couple of the families in our church had gone out to the beach for a couple of weeks to kill clam. Thursday after lunch, we rode out there to visit them. Killing clam is fun!! Timothy really got the hang of it. I killed about as many clam in 15 minutes as they kill in 20 seconds, but I finally figured it out. Brother Juan and his family were able to earn enough money during there time there to pay their way to family camp!! It's going to be so fun just to be with everyone and fellowship together one last time before we leave.
Friday, July 22, Daniel and I will have been married for 16 years. We've known each other for 29 years, been best friends for 20 years, and why he ever chose to give me His heart, I'll don't think I'll ever know, but I'm sooooooooooooooo glad that he did! When the Lord brought us together, He gave me EXACTLY what I needed! I am more proud today than ever to be called Daniel's wife and well, to be honest, it just keeps getting sweeter all the time!
Do you see the picture at the top of this page? We took that last night during church. This is the Insurgentes City Baptist Church. This was no special Sunday. There were only a few people there who have not yet come to know Christ Jesus. And still a few families who arrived late or were unable to make it. These are our Brothers and Sisters in Christ who we will spend eternity with!!!
When I see what the Lord has done, every trial, every tear, every struggle...it is more than worth it all! Praise the Lord for the GREAT things He has done!