Category: Life Lessons

books I am reading

Good morning everyone. This is Claudia. Just thought I would share a little of what I am doing these days. READING. Reading has been always a struggle for me because of my dyslexia and lack of phonic skills. It takes me hours and hours and hours to read. At times reading has given voice to lies spoken to me as a child that “You are stupid” and “You won’t amount to anything.” So reading is not my favorite thing to do. Sometimes it is the last thing I want to do. I feel God has given me plenty of time to read right now for a reason.

I have been reading two books from Lysa Terkeurst: Uninvited and It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way.

Uninvited deals with rejection. I have shared several prayers from the book on this blog and in our newsletters. It definitely helped me as we waited for news about visas and then when we received word of our application rejection.

Currently, I am reading It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. It deals with disappointment. It has been helping me with the waiting again as we appeal before the immigration board for our visas. I wanted to share from chapter 7 titled “When God Gives You More Than You Can Handle.”

““God won’t give you more than you can handle.” But that’s not actually in the Bible. God does say He won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and that He always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). But that’s not the same as God not giving us more than we can handle. He sometimes will allow more and more and more.”

“The world is filled with people who are dealt more than they can handle. And, surprisingly, the Bible is also filled with people who were given more than they could handle. The apostle Paul wrote: For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8–9) God doesn’t expect us to handle this. He wants us to hand this over to Him. He doesn’t want us to rally more of our own strength. He wants us to rely solely on His strength.”

Image result for potter making pottery“Wise potters not only know how to form beautiful things from clay, but they also know how important it is to add some of the dust from previously broken pieces of pottery to the new clay. This type of dust is called “grog.” To get this grog, the broken pieces must be shattered to dust just right. If the dust is shattered too finely, then it won’t add any structure to the new clay. And if it’s not shattered enough, the grog will be too coarse and make the potter’s hands bleed. But when shattered just right, the grog dust added to the new clay will enable the potter to form the clay into a larger and stronger vessel than ever before. And it can go through fires much hotter as well. Plus, when glazed, these pieces end up having a much more beautiful, artistic look to them than they would have otherwise.”

Isaiah 45:9: “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?”

“A broken potsherd can lie on the ground and be nothing more than a constant reminder of brokenness. It can also be used to continue to scrape us and hurt us even more when kept in our hands. Or, when placed in our Master’s hands, the Master Potter can be entrusted to take that potsherd, shatter it just right, and then use it in the remolding of me to make me stronger and even more beautiful. When I understood this, I saw that in all my circumstances God was keeping me moldable while adding even more strength and beauty in the process.”

I am thankful for the time right now to read something I probably wouldn’t read otherwise. It is teaching how to turn to God when rejected and what to do when there is disappointments in life. It has also caused me to cry deeply and fall apart at times. Lysa writes, “Weak moments don’t make weak faith.” I believe God is strengthening me and making me more beautiful in His sight.

So what am I doing right now. I am putting my broken pieces in God’s hands, He is turning them into dust, and He is making me moldable for whatever is coming next.

 

Packing

When we originally went to Africa July 2015, we took 6 trunks weighing 50lbs each. We had no idea of what would be available to purchase. We packed everything we thought we would need to survive. Now with 3 years of experience in Africa, we know we can purchase most things. We could take 9 trunks because there are 3 of us. So we are literally weighing what to take on the airplane and what to purchase in Namibia.

We are also repacking our American household things. These things stay here in the States for home assignments and eventually for when we are done serving in Africa. There are things we saved for some reason but now somethings don’t seem important. We have taken several loads to donate. Soon all of these things will return to storage.

What did Jesus tell his disciples to take on their journey?

He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
Luke 9:3‭-‬5 NIV

Wow, I don’t think I have the faith to get on a plane with nothing. Our world has changed a lot since Jesus spoke these words to his disciples. The first missionaries of the modern mission movement packed things in a coffin. They were going not expecting to return. Going literally cost them their lives. Wow, I don’t know if I would go thinking it would definitely kill me. We pray for safety. We have redone our wills to include Anastasia.

Please continue to pray.
Pray for our work visas to return to the San people. Pray for fellow future teammates who will join us on the field. Pray for our unit leader to find housing for us this coming week. Pray for a future vehicle so we can travel to remote villages in the Kalahari. Pray for our future language helpers.

Show Your Love

We have been thinking and praying about how to stay more positive this year. We walked through a dark valley last year and do not want to find ourselves there again. A lot of times you feel alone when you walk through those dark valleys. We were not created to be alone. We were created to be in fellowship with God and with each other. It has been wonderful to be on home assignment and receive everyone’s love. Yet, we are ready to return to Namibia. We know God will never leave us or forsake us. BUT sometimes, okay often, maybe daily, we need reminders. We need those hugs and words of encouragement.

So here is how you can SHOW YOUR LOVE.

Print this sheet onto a color or patterned piece of paper or cardstock. Cut out as many hearts as you need. Each person can Sign their name on the front and add a word of encouragement, prayer, or verse on the back. Then mail your HEARTS to us by Valentine’s Day at 109 Pineview Rd Statesboro, GA 30461.

We are going to laminate them to display in our home in Namibia. When we feel alone or just need a hug, we can read each person’s name and their message to encourage us. SHOW YOUR LOVE for us in this simple way.

Out of Darkness into Light

Many people have asked how I am doing. Thank you for asking. Thank you for praying for me. I wanted to let everyone know I am doing really good. I am currently weaning myself off the antidepressants and will be completely off them by Christmas.

I can say now that God has used it for my good.

  • God has shown me that HE truly is the LIGHT of the WORLD. John 8:12
  • I know what it feels like to be truly depressed.
  • I understand others who have walked or are walking this dark path.
  • I sympathize with those who live in a depressing situation.
  • For me battling anxiety is finding contentment in not being in control of every moment. AND not letting it hold me back from moving forward. (this is still a battle)
  • I know that God can lead you back to walking in the Light with JOY again. There is HOPE always.

Jeremy and I have talked about this past year. It has been the hardest year so far in 18 years of marriage. We have survived. We are praying 2019 brings a period of THRIVING for all 3 of us.

Kroger and Language

Last weekend, I ran the 10K Bridge Run in Savannah, GA. While we were in Savannah, we were going to shop at stores like Joann Fabric and Lifeway. After the race, we headed that way.  We found ourselves at a stoplight across from a Kroger. It was a “Super” Kroger too. We live in Statesboro, GA even though a college town, it has very limited grocery stores. So we decided to go inside quickly to see what we could find. Claudia said, “let’s go down the toy aisle and see what “Little People” they have.”  I go down one aisle and she goes down the other. All of a sudden I hear a scream. “I found it, I found it, oh my gosh come look,” yelling Claudia. Her reaction was like she found a hidden pot of gold behind the toys. So I rush over and she is smiling from ear to ear with the Little People grandparent set in her hand.  She was so happy. She took the photo below and shared it on our family What’s App group immediately.

Our language coach wanted us to collect a full 3 generations of dolls, a family from baby to grandparents for our language lesson games.  We have been looking for almost 2 months now for the grandparents. She had found them online but they were $40+. Kroger had this one set hidden in the back for $5.99. People all the time ask us what is like to be missionaries. We are those crazy people scouring grocery stores looking through the kids toys for things that will help us communicate with our neighbors.