Dirty Faith

David Z. Nowell, president of Hope Unlimited, one of our favorite ministries just published a book, Dirty Faith. It’s thought provoking and convicting having everything to do with his work in Brazil among the street children. My husband and I love what this group does! Mr. Nowell’s challenges all followers of Jesus to take up an attitude of compassion and willingness to get involved serving the least of these. I had to put the book down this morning to tackle other chores, but since I’ve got a moment… these are my practical thoughts.

Spending Myself

I don’t want to wash another dish, change their sheets again, or clean that bathroom one more time, say, “No worries, it’s no big deal” or come up with another meal for them -and for my family too… But what if that were me?

So I sweep the floors, tidy the rooms, hang up clothes, put away dishes, wipe off the counters… because someday that might be me.

Say  “yes” to babysit, drive to meet a young mom, take her baby, bring it back. Care, pray for them… because that could’ve been me.

Listen to a life-story, pray for the right words, hold hands, cry, be torn-up inside. Pray together… because if that were me, I’d be broken and lost.

Say, “I love you,” hug tightly, open the door, offer a bed, treat them like my own, hope for the best, don’t be too shocked by the worst, offer something to eat… because maybe I’m just lucky “to have”… or maybe I’ve been strategically placed because He wants me to share.

Care ’til it hurts, give with nothing expected in return, listen, feel, laugh, touch, be available to whoever He brings… because this is what He asks of me.

Can I offer anything less

than at this moment

in this spot

to just be willing to LOVE.

-GET IN and GET DIRTY with your FAITH!

ForGlorySake -Anna

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Tied Feet

Elizabeth Elliot always said, “Children tie the mother’s feet.” -I’d like to add aging parents to that thought!

I feel like I’m back at square one: constantly watching a wandering, curious. hungry!, “toddler,” who needs help in the potty. I’ve also come to realize (or rather remember) that I have a real problem with “parent guilt.” You know the unrealistic feeling that no matter who you are doing for, somehow someone else is still being short-changed. Whether it be another child, or neighbor or worthy organization, “wait” and “no” come long before any “yes.”

I remember when our children were small and those sermons at church about “getting involved” or school meetings on “volunteering” made me want to cry. I’m right back there, cringing in my seat at 47 years old! Good grief.

As I sat in a hot bath tonight, soaking my tired, soar back. I wondered why I can’t seem to do it all (for my family AND others)? …Then I laughed to think, how can I possibly do all I’ve already been given?! When I accomplish that then maybe I can branch out and volunteer for someone else.

In the meantime I’m going to let my ‘ol feet be tied and do the job God has assigned me to do right here – guilt free. For heaven’s sake, I can count my self as my own volunteer. Hooray for me! Sure glad I signed up :) At least it makes for short meetings.

ForGlorySake -Anna

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Wasps and Shugga

As much as I fretted over it, worried about it, thought I couldn’t come back to it… I’m back home caring for my parents and doing life!

Vacation was fun but not reality. When my sister asked if I was hiding in the closet with my bags still packed, I hated to admit it had crossed my mind. Do you think less of me? I’m selfish and weak …and without Jesus? Well, let’s don’t even go there.

It took a good kick-in-the-pants talking to myself, but I’m all in, heart and soul. I’d rather die trying to love all these folks God has graciously surrounded me with than live an isolated lonely life.

So far it’s been non-stop cleaning, cooking, driving, shopping, calling, paying, scheduling and weeding. I even killed a hornets nest up in a tree. And was later attacked by tiny wasps embedded in our front stone steps (that’s a 1st)!

“In the name of Jesus,” I told them not to sting my dad, who just stood in a cloud of nearly 100 swarming. He moves so slowly. He came through clean and I only got popped on one foot. I was astounded by God’s mercy.

Whether fixing another meal, scrubbing soiled carpet (again), or taking my dad for a car ride (he loves to ride anywhere), God goes with me and lightens the load.

Picking up our cute little flute player from high school band camp, I figured on a sad face as I was the last parent to arrive. Instead a big smile appeared as soon as she saw her Papa in the front seat. She understood why I was behind schedule. They grasped hands as he called out, “Hey Shugga!”

Ah that ever-available grace! He knows, he sees. I can trust this path to Him. He even sends a little Shugga with the stings ;)

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Itch or No Itch!

I have to tell you what happened…

Family arrived, the sun was hot, waves were crashing, sand waiting- I was not gonna miss this! I hoped not to scare any little children and just went with the crowd. The rash I wrote of 2 weeks ago went right along with me.

Red and patterned with “streaks,” covering my back and right hip. The general consensus was I looked burned (lovely). But it was the itching that drove me bonkers.

Each day showed more evidence that daughter and mother did NOT have the same ailment! I googled my symptoms again and searched on until finding a similar-looking rash… from mushrooms??? I’ve never had a food allergy before. What unusual thing was I ingesting?

The only NEW product I had recently introduced to my diet was a vegan protein drink by Beachbody (creators of P90X). Shakeology. It’s full of “exotic superfoods” designed to support the immune system of all things. However, I think something in it didn’t like me. And looking online more specifically… I found a host of others it was making itchy also!

Those in my family who gave it a try, only a few developed 1 or 2 small red patches. Others saw nothing. I however, had been daily drinking my shakes -even as I endlessly itched. Never connecting the two.

Live and learn. In less than a week of my last sip I am nearly back to normal. I may never know the culprit by name (there are many strange & unfamiliar ingredients), or for absolutely sure if this is what caused my trial, but I will be a little more observant in the future. ;)
I AM JUST THANKFUL NOT TO ITCH! ForGlorySake-Anna

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A Bit Plagued…

Maybe it’s all for the sake of humility, but I prefer to hope it’s for His Glory…

I’ve been diagnosed with a case of Pityriasis rosea (don’t look it up-yuck!) or a virus on the skin- like a cold. My daughter left for a summer job in Hawaii with a small “patch” of poison ivy and returned covered in a rash. I developed something similar while she was gone. Dr says we (the only 2 out of 9 at home) must simply wait this harmless/common (?) irritation out.
Uh… I like action. AND I itch!!!

So since I refused steroids (!)- Veganism of the strictest order and all immune boosters are on the table -I’d grown slack.
Dropping all “stressors, “I’ve cut salt, dairy, meats, chemicals in any form (GMOs) & sugar again! Beefing up on fruits, veggies and gluten-free grains daily. I’m also taking Shaklee’s INTERFERON. Great stuff!

Maybe all the stress of the moving just caught up with me. Either way, as our whole family heads to the beach for a 2 week reunion, I’m looking rather scary in a bathing suit. This is an ugly red rash!
How does God get any Glory from this? Hmmm, I’ll let you know when I get a clue. -Anna

<strong>For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us! (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭18‬ AMP)

Eat something healthy!

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Working Up An Attitude

“Discontentment is having what you don’t want, or wanting what you don’t have.” This phrase was spoken so often by my radio mentor Elisabeth Elliot that I finally wrote it down and tacked it up along with her equally stated, “In acceptance lies peace.”
I can hardly think of a day those phrases haven’t crossed my mind! I mean, life does have this way of throwing unforeseen and unprepared for moments at you. It just doesn’t always go as planned.
So what’s a girl to do?
Make or break for me has been my attitude. Problem is I can’t seem to just “will a good one up.” I need a process.
First, my whining goes to God- because He can take it, and He already knew what I was thinking anyway. Next, I write about it in my journal. Not for anyone else to see of course!! Just to get it out and down on paper. Then I stop and retread it -objectively and sincerely, asking for help in the matter. Tears usually come at this point as I see my selfishness, or pride or just plain old bad attitude. Here is a great moment to open up His Word and soak up some scripture -remembering that whatever “it” is, God has not asked me to go at it alone.
He is with me.
He works in me,
through me, for me.
At this point I can sit and think awhile. Hopefully a little more clearly, knowing there’s room for His thoughts to move in. Sometimes I even get an idea to try out, or I might become inspired to just keep going. Perspective.
There isn’t always an hour to sit and delve over every little given stress of life, but when I feel that all too familiar aggravation and pressure mounting, I know I better find a quiet corner and carve out the time needed!

My wonderful heaven-sent vacation is coming to a close. The daily grind of our busy family life will soon be mine to manage again. I’ll return home rested and rejuvenated and thankful for so so many things. But mostly, that I’m not going back alone! I have my husband, my family and God’s constant grace to carry me through all He’s called me to do. I CAN do all things through Christ Who strengthens me!

…and with a good attitude- ForGlorySake! -Anna

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I Married My Soulmate

I have now heard and read (several times in fact) of an opinion held by some well-known authors and speakers (and some unknown…) that the idea of a of a God-given, one-of-a-kind, match made in heaven is impossible, impractical and probably unbiblical.
I don’t have any verses to share or theology to tout, all I can state is that God sure did it for me… and I’m no one special!
I remember asking my Father for a husband at 21 and reminding Him of how fickle I had been in the past, but that I wanted whatever He had for me. I reminded Him how stupid I could be at choosing wisely and that I REALLY wanted Him to make it crystal clear. I was willing for whoever He chose -just “don’t let me miss it!!!”
I waited. In more than one way!
I knew He alone could see the future ahead. He alone knew the best fit for my quirky ways and this was a huge lifetime commitment I didn’t want to screw up. I told Him I’d rather not marry at all… really. Never have sex… never have kids.
The amazing thing about the whole unfolding was how gentle God was at leading me -revealing His plan for me. I did not date at the time. I had been infatuated more than once- however, nothing lasted. I’d actually been proposed to at least 4 different times (no long-standing boyfriend, I don’t think these guys were serious!).
But meeting David was different. The quickening in my Spirit, the assurance of his good character, our mutual following of Jesus… all things I’d hoped for.
What I didn’t expect were the sparks that flew between us, the deep blue eyes that drowned me, and so many other physical features that left me trying to stand up straight.
The important thing was “I knew” … down to my toes, I knew! Just like my mom had been praying for and I had been praying for.
I’m telling you, God is a big old romantic! Just read the story of Issac and Rebekah (Ok, so I did find a Bible story).
It may not happen every time, but it does happen and anyone can ask for it. Maybe it’s just a mindset or a heartset, but I think God is tickled to intervene in our love lives…. in any and every aspect of our lives.
My husband says he prayed for “love at first sight.” Talk about romantic. He says he got it and he knew it spot on. He is actually horrified that anyone is told that “waiting for your ‘Mr/Miss Right’ is foolish because a ‘Mr/Miss ok’ is sitting right there in the corner bar or church.” (Serendipity)
We look at it like this, if we serve a God Who’s completely Sovereign and cares about the smallest things we bring to Him in prayer, why wouldn’t He truly guide and gift us with His perfect will for our life-long marriages?
I tend to take this thought all the way out to: my children are the ones best suited for me to mother… and I am the perfect fit to their individual uniquenesses. I romanticize each day as being strategically customized for my growth as I am being made into the image of Christ! This even translates for me right down to our hard walk through colon cancer, the resulting financial loss, our son’s drug addiction at 15 (!) & recovery journey… even this new venture of caring for elderly parents with dementia.
I see each event tailor-made (Psalm 139:16) metered out to me specifically with the greatest of love.
“For I am hidden with Christ in God! Col. 3:3″ That’s pretty much entirely surrounded. I guess it was silly to think the Bible wouldn’t come up.
Either way I do not doubt that I got God’s very best for me. Just anyone wouldn’t have done… still wouldn’t do! I can not think otherwise. “For in contentment lies peace” -Elizabeth Elliot (who by the way did NOT believe in soulmates…).
In the end it is always a choice: to love, to serve, to give of ones heart completely and for all time. If widowhood came tomorrow, I would continue to look to The One Who knows me best. But to say that this man God has provided today is not my soulmate?
Well, I know better.

ForGlorySake!- Anna

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