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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Perseverance, Preservation and Patience..First, Perseverance!



Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
I’m back.  First, I’ve missed blogging and I’ve missed y’all.  Since I’ve last written, my dear husband and I have traveled to Belize and are still investigating what God has for us there.  We loved the people, the culture, and the lack of material competitiveness but didn’t like the huge bumps and huge dips in the road (sounds like life, huh?).  And as we all know, those had to be put there because too many people went speeding through beautiful Ambergris Caye (look at the shallow water to the from the view from the plane) at one time. 
But my goodness, near the middle of our investigation or God’s Leading, our backs literally cringed and I’m sure it showed as it did on others passing by on their own rental golf carts.  That’s us in what was such a cute golf cart and it was…at first, for the first few days.
So, our first priority upon moving there would be to purchase a golf cart with shocks, great shocks. I now love shocks and notice them in every vehicle I drive or ride in. Renting a golf cart is not on my bucket list unless God puts in there and then I will gladly enjoy the bumps and dips.  Perseverance. That’s how much we loved Belize!  I bought these head bands where the non-elastic part spreads out over the top of your head to protect it from the sun. I have a very colorful one, a light pink and a light blue one and I thank God every time I wear it, normally on a Friday which is more casual at work.  I really don’t understand my love for Belize but I pray we’ll go back. 
The people love each other, loved us and there is a group or culture that came from Africa that they dropped part of the family off there on the island and took the other part of the family up to Honduras or somewhere else.  Very sad stories.  But these ladies wear these very simple outfits and they dance and sing beautifully from Africa.  They are considered Creole. I taught a few of the children there French while I got my hair French braided upper right.  We stayed at a wonderfully cozy place off the main street called Mayflower Casita.  Colorful, peaceful and the best part of all was the owner, Karen, owns a Rottweiler named Trinity.  We knew we were supposed to be there. The little casita was decorated very well for an island getaway. 
There was an AC unit in the bedroom.  We left pretty quickly after we got up to beat the mosquitos and start our discovery journey every day.  We saw the underside of the island where mom’s work two jobs and live in cardboard homes and then we saw the nice places as well.  There are other issues that God showed us as well.  We didn’t relax a lot but it wasn’t supposed to be a relaxing trip.  I’ll share with you as we keep Belize on the forefront.  Another part of the trip that was interesting for me were the puddle jumpers, called airplanes, albeit, small ones.  When I got the first one, I was okay, the views were spectacular.  The second one that took us to the eco-village, was a little rougher and I suddenly got panicky, not sure why.  The trip back, I took some airsick meds and sat in a different seat.  Perseverance.  You see, you wouldn’t consider going to Belize and Perseverance even remotely going together but you can above, we encountered areas where we prayed.  We prayed every day for the children who were left alone while the parents worked jobs, questionable jobs just to pay for their children to attend school on the island.  Even people here were asking us if we were going alone.  We hadn’t thought of any other option.  We never felt afraid.  Take our second challenge, although a good one, when we decided to purchase investment property. Perseverance.  We haven’t purchased a home in almost 10 years and wow, the paperwork has tripled and there was a lot then.  We have been sending an arm here, an eye there, a finger over here, a thumb copy only over there…it never stops, although I think we’re done sending paperwork for now  Justin is excited and the house is really cute and in a very nice neighborhood.  Sometimes it seems like the government wants evidence of how often we take restroom breaks.  Are they the government, the banks or are they the same?  Then, because of some temporary circumstances beyond our control, our memories are not what they were. especially my braces.  I’ve found that I have an allergy or something to metals.  I now get my braces tightened every 3 weeks instead of 4 so that I can get them off faster.  This last time, they were trying to move one of my canine teeth (sorry, but does that make any one of you feel like a dog because I feel like one whenever they say that word?).   This precious woman who tightens my teeth has a child that was born with health problems and she just smiles with joy for the Lord.  I love seeing her, we pray for each other and I’m committed to 3 week tightening and the side effects of the metal which include exhaustion, memory loss and that is just a few.  This last time, after she was done, my teeth wouldn’t come together and the teeth they were focused on moving felt like marshmallows.  But it will be worth it.  My teeth talk back to me, yelling, “WHY ARE YOU BOTHERING WITH ME?”  Can we say Perseverance?   Moving right along, yesterday morning, my darling daughter and I were talking and she is including this bride emoji and I’m thinking, “huh” and my teeth are thinking “girl, you are not going to be mother of the bride with this metal in your mouth.”  So, I casually call her.  You know how hard it is to “casually” call your daughter about getting married?  Let’s put it this way.   I should never play poker, which I don’t.  But I held it in, which I’ve had to a lot lately with things for various reasons.  Perseverance. Wait, that really isn’t perseverance now that I think about it…that is called building character and learning to talk to God and keeping things private about those you love.  My darling husband to whom I deeply submit everyday (okay, I’m a work in progress but I yearn to submit 100%) reminded me of that last night.  Moving on to the bunch of life stuff, the wedding is May 25th next year.  Yay!  I’m happy for her and my future son-in-law…at least my top braces will be off.  Yay!  But my bottom ones won’t be but you don’t see those.  Now, if I wanted to, I could start with the following…who is going to walk her down the aisle, her Dad’s or her Dad?  Is she going to get everything done on time?  Will everything match?  Blah, blah, blah…As you can see, this will be about Perseverance?  I have a dear friend who recently gave birth to beautiful twin boys, Jace and Gavin at 24 weeks old, while they were on a short vacation.  They are 2 states away from their home and have been living in a Ronald McDonald House for about 2.5 months now.  The boys are a true miracle, His Miracle and it is very obvious in their growth and every day.  Mom and Dad are homesick but get this, God put them in the #3 Neonate Hospital in the country in a small town about 2.5 hours away from my family, where my younger brother and his bride, who are writers, computers digital artists, missionaries, homeschoolers and my brother is a leader in his community church has gone pray over them twice now.  My beautiful parents have visited them now.  So thankful that they are close to my family.  They see their boys every 3 hours around the clock and have Touch Time for 3 hours a day each and that is getting longer.  The boys were born at 1 pound each and now are 3 pounds.  There have been complications and the road will be long but through many prayers, God has brought them through and Mom and Dad have a true testimony to share.  There are fundraisers planned and a benefit account set up as well as the bills continue to mount.  We love them so much.  They both work with us at Texas Tech and Brooke works in our group and there isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for those boys!  My husband worked in the Neonate Unit for over 25 years in Amarillo so he visited them to and prayed over them and helped explained things to Brooke.  Things are overwhelming for them right now but they are Persevering.  I have learned that for me, even though these last months since I got my braces and other things have happened, there have been many times that I’ve thought, “I can’t handle one more thing”, that one more thing happens, in fact, several things happen and life goes on.  In fact, the world keeps turning, your inbox continues to fill up, the bills keep coming, the grass keeps growing, the rain keeps falling, the Emails keep coming and somehow, someway, you keep going.  Is it really just somehow or someway?  Is it luck?  Is it a good night’s sleep?  Is it the new ZZZ liquid you found at the store?  No.  It’s the Holy Spirit carrying you through those moments when your human vessel is tired, too tired to move, too tired to breath.  How did Paul move on after being beaten or after being thrown in jail, continue to write?  Or when your depression gets worse, how do you get out of bed for work?  Or how do this Mom and Dad continue when a doctor comes in with news they didn’t want to hear?  Or how do they get up when they are so tired?  It’s because God brought them two little miracles who can’t wait to see their Mom and Dad.  Or when God tells you to go to Belize and the idea doesn’t formulate right away?  It is the Holy Spirit.  And it builds Character and Faith and Hope.  God is preparing us for something bigger and better.  He is Pruning us.  He needs to know that we can endure anything and Lean totally into Jesus and not worry because He gave us Gifts that He needs us to use to bring others to Him.  Worry comes from the enemy.  Worrying is another form of control. 
Worrying isn’t going to change the outcome.  It will only deteriorate your health, distract your quality of life and increase your negativity and keep you away from God.  And soon you find yourself talking about nothing but what you are worried about.  I find myself talking to God about anything and everything that is going on and asking him to take it.   Even if I have to write it down and physically put it in a corner.  If you are a visual person, this may be more effective for you.  But He is standing right next to you, ready to listen.  He already knows the outcome, it is His outcome.  As it says in Psalm 139:14, I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made!!  He knew the number of hairs on your head before you born.  Give the control to Him.  Let me put it the way it hit home with me.  I was trying to box him in.  Like, “God, you really don’t know what’s going on.”  He is the great I AM!!  In Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" But that is what we do whenever we try to control or worry.  We are saying that we don’t trust him.  We don’t trust the one who created EVERYTHING!  The one who created ME!  YOU!  Meditate on that.  Don’t box our Father in!  Release Him and give your Life.  He already has it but you need to give it to Him totally.  You will feel such Freedom you have never felt.    We don’t have to share everything with everyone.  I’m not sharing everything with you here and keeping names and other details out but want you to know that I’m not perfect at all, far from it.  I’m going through the same life stuff we all go through.  The same stuff that you all wear on your shoulders, I do too.   I thank God every day for the way He has blessed my life.  But when you think you are alone in your struggles, there is always someone going through worse and someone who has just gone through what you are going through.  Reach out.  Pray.  Lean Into Jesus.
Prayers Needed
  • Surgery for my brother Jeff-August 11th
  • Continued miracles and prayers for the twins Jace and Gavin, pictured below, born 6-8-14 at 24 weeks old
  • Praying for families to be reunited…fully.  Let go of past hurts and love in the present
  •  A heart for an old soul.  A mature little man named Austin Rea named after Steve’s mom who passed last year.   His family, whose parents are more in love as each day passes and his sister is so full of love for the Lord, are split between two sister as our little man has to be close to the hospital
  • Clarity and Vision from the Holy Spirit for Belize

Praises
  • A gorgeous little girl born premature is at home healthy and just beautiful with her mommy and daddy and older sister and doing well.  Praise God!!
  • That we are allowed to Worship our Father in Heaven openly.  Invite someone to church this weekend or to your home for a devotional or prayer.  They may be waiting for you to ask them.  So Thankful for the gift!

Love and Blessings to you and your loved ones,
Lisa, your Sister in Christ