Monday, October 29, 2012

Thankful (written by Kristine)

I know it's a little early to be writing thanksgiving posts, but seriously, we have a lot to be thankful for around here and I think waiting until a silly holiday to do it, well... is silly.

As most of you know, we're in a transition period. Instead of a few months passing, it's felt like a few years! Taking a break from our dreams of serving with Mission Aviation Fellowship to follow the Lord's leading was one of the hardest things to do, yet God's completely confirmed in us that it was the right thing to do. We were treading water with MAF and hoping to find some land, but whatever direction we went, we just stayed in one spot. Once we took a step back, looked at where we were at and listened closely to God, a ship appeared to take us in a different direction.

God's confirmed in us over and over again that taking a break was the right thing to do. He provided Eric with a job that he enjoys, provided us a house to rent and provided mom's groups in the area for me to get involved with right away. On the weekends we worked on the house in Oregon for the most part and Jenna proved to be a great little road trip traveler. Thank the Lord for that! We were fretting about what to do about a Realtor and who to choose and God had a guy call us from a company and offer to sell our house. This was a company we hadn't paid much attention to, but we realized we'd heard their advertising a lot on the radio and had seen their signs around. How amazing that God provided that for us?

We listed our home mid-september and here we are at the end of October and God provided a buyer who is interested in our home! We are in the closing process right now and would love your prayers that things go smoothly. When the e-mail came, we could hardly believe it, but we knew God had a hand in it as He does everything.

Around this same time we feel we've found a church up here that we can call home. It may be confusing to some, because we started going to another church, but God keep nagging us to try this other church that Eric's coworker goes to. So we prayed about it and went in asking God to confirm if this was the place He wants us to be. In the first few minutes we knew God wanted us there. The people were warm and welcoming and understood our desire to be involved in global ministry. Eric is getting plugged in and I've been to a women's event. At that event God spoke in little ways through the women that were there to help confirm in my heart that this is where we are supposed to be regardless of what happens in the future, and that's enormously comforting.

People ask us if we're going to continue with MAF, the answer is that we don't know. Right now we're taking a break for one to two years or more to focus on our walks with God and work on a few things. We know that if it's the Lord's will for us to serve with MAF, we will. If He has another ministry in mind, then we'll serve there. It's our hope and desire to grow so strong in our walks with God that we're open to serving in the moment, wherever He leads us. But things take time.... we want to give God all the time He needs to shape us into who He wants us to be. :)

In the meantime, we're extremely thankful for how He's provided for us and it's showing us that walking by faith is vitally important. A lot of times we want to have things figured out, we need to realize that God's already got things figured out. It's up to us to follow Him wherever He leads.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Where do I fit in? (Written by Kristine)

Lately I've found myself wondering what most everyone wonders from time to time.... where do I fit in? Every time I move to a new place I wonder if this is the place God wants me to be for the long term, or is this just a stop along the journey?

We've been checking out different churches and I've been checking out different mom's groups and bible studies and this question continues to spin in my head, do I fit in here? Should I fit in here? What do I need to do to fit in here? Is changing parts of me really going to make me "fit in" or am I fooling myself?

 I look back on the past few years of my life and I realized I've been trying way way too hard to fit into a culture that I don't fit into. I am not a woman who cares if I have perfect hair or designer clothes, I am happy if my hair is clean and I wear clothes that I like regardless of the label. I am not a hipster, but I love the music most listen to.  I am not a super hippie gal, but I do enjoy helping our family eat healthy. I am not an awesome crafter or decorator, but I do love to sew with what stitches I know and decorate when I get the chance. I am not super mom, but I try my best every day.

I've decided that I am okay with being Kristine. I'm okay with being a person who: loves learning about new technology, who has a million craft projects she wants to do, is kinda okay at the guitar but really just loves to sing with others, tries hard to be a good mom, wants to hike...even though we never get the chance, who enjoys meeting new people and hearing about their lives, loves to cook and longs to travel and learn about other cultures among other things. I'm okay with not being the best or the thinnest or the prettiest one in the room. I'm okay with often being the quietest one in the room, it means I like to listen and get to know others. Yes I am human, and yes I do get my feelings hurt, but I think I've decided to just be me. :)

Out of all the crowds I've been with, I think where I've fit in the most and felt the most at home has been with my missionary friends. My heart still longs to live overseas and to help spread the gospel there. It sounds crazy to people that I've met here, I mean why would I want to give up this culture and everything I own to move my family to an unfamiliar place? I've found over the years that it is in in those countries, that I feel like I fit in the most. Where I feel like I am home. It doesn't make sense to those who "fit in" and feel called to serve in this culture and that's okay.

I know that the Lord gave me the desire to serve overseas for a reason. With everything that's happened in the past year with us getting into MAF yet needing to take a step back, it's been hard to see where God wants our family in the future. Yes, that's been discouraging, but I think it's exactly what I need to rely on His timing even more in my life. I don't have all the answers....heck I don't know ANY of the answers...but I know that God has an even better plan in mind. He gave me the desire to serve overseas for a reason and in His timing that will happen. I just need to be patient, be open and be honest in the mean time to be able to grow. I need to stop trying to figure it out and just live life for God. To be able to be the best person I can be here for God whether I feel I "fit in" or not. The only place I'll ever truly fit in is when I am worshiping my God in Heaven, and I am okay with that. :)