Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Guatemala 2014

If a picture is worth 1000 words, how much is a video worth?  Below you can get a glimpse of what our mission trip to Guatemala was like last year.

Pray for Josiah, Caleb & Laura

Monday, March 2, 2015

Guatemala Bound

In June I will have the amazing privilege to return to Guatemala on a mission trip with Josiah.  It will be our fourth mission trip together to this amazing country.  Caleb will also join us on this journey.  In the weeks to come I hope to add more pictures from past trips (maybe a video too) so you can get a better glimpse of what this mission is all about.  And, if you are interested I can also share with you how you can partner with us in prayer and financial support.

Boise Weekend to Remember Comments

Wow, it has been way too long since I've added anything on this blog.  So sorry.  Life has been busy.  I did want to start with the latest comments from the Boise Weekend to Remember that happened just last weekend.  I love to hear life change stories!

Boise Top Ten Comments
February 27- March1

Attendance: 645
Those indicating decisions 
Salvation: 63
Holy Spirit: 150
Recommit Family: 117

Coming in we were fighting not speaking at all night one. By break of second day we went to our car, cried and asked for forgiveness, held each other and made a commitment to start fresh and do everything this conference was telling us. We are very appreciative for this fresh new start. 
Wife, married 10 years

The event has given my fiancĂ© and I things that you may not think of before.  Also it has given us tools to strengthen our marriage.
Engaged man

It helped my fiancé and I to mentally prepare for marriage and to learn how to fireproof it before it begins.
Engaged woman

We are currently legally divorced since December but came to conference to see if we can work on getting back together. This conference has shown us 16 tools to at least begin this process again. Thank you. 
Wife, divorced

Although we had a very good relationship prior to our coming to this weekend, it did help us open up and be honest about an area of weakness we had not talked about before and that was our sex life. 
Wife, married more than 19 years

I was not happy at all to come. My attitude was one of giving up. My husband pointed that out to me. We had a huge fight after the session and then again on the way Saturday morning. I even was looking for ways out of the building. I took the dare of Bruce to write a prayer request. Filled with rage and bitterness toward my husband practically set the pen and paper on fire. Seemed like right after I put the request in the box God began to speak to me and showed me things and began to answer the questions that I had specifically about me and my choices that I was or wasn’t making in our marriage.  He changed my heart and mind. I confessed and my husband started to see the wrongs that he was doing. We are looking for a marriage mentor to train us to continue God’s path for marriage.  I stand amazed at how big God is. 
Wife, married less than 5 years

I have been struggling in my marriage relationship for about 4 years now. Nothing said at the FL weekend to remember was really new to me, however, it affirmed and clarified the truths that I had come to know through a very long and painful process. I wish I had the opportunity to attend years ago, to receive these truths all together without all of the painful struggle and study I have endured. Secondly, for the last 4 years I felt alone in my quest and struggle to improve my marriage. I see the light that has clicked on in my spouse. She has now committed to join me in the 100/100 plan. And now, for the first time in my 11+ years of marriage I feel that I have a partner. That I am not alone in this world. Thank you. 

I had many different feelings about this trip.  Part of me was excited and the other part was nervous because of the reality check we were about to get. I never thought I would ever think about divorce. Recently it was all I could think about. I wanted to give up. I went and talked to a friend. She recommended this trip and went on to tell me how much it saved their marriage. I can’t explain how thankful I am that we pursued this. We came in this with hopes, ears open, and hearts ready. I can officially say it saved us. I’ve learned so much. My spouse is not my enemy now. I love this man. Now I know I won’t give up.  I will keep pushing! Thank you!

Great focused opportunity to reevaluate where our marriage is.  So thankful for passionate openness, transparency, and wisdom for men dealing with correct physical temptations.
Husband, married 6 years (military)

[My wife] and I are very busy with various ministries and this weekend gave us the opportunity to reconnect, relax, and enjoy on another without the stress of outside pressures.
Pastor, married 10 years

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On Our Way

Well, the countdown is on.  Just two more days and we are on our way to Guatemala.  After months of thinking about it the time is finally here!

Josiah and Courtney will be helping with the children while the adults are in the med clinic...and me, well, that is still a mystery.  Once we get there I'll find out where I am needed most, but it is possible I'll have the opportunity to work in the lab.  I told my parents about that possibility today and they laughed.  Well, you see there is a history with me and labs...

When I was a little girl I was anemic and had to get several iron shots that I didn't respond well to...and then there was the pre-kindergarten incident.  When it was time for shots before going to school I was very upset (maybe because of all my previous iron shots) and I threw a crying fit in the doctor's office.  After awhile the nurse said, "Fine, you don't have to get a shot" and she walked out of the room.  I was so relieved and I stopped crying.  However, the next thing that happened scarred me for life...one nurse grabbed me from behind and the other nurse came at me with that fearful needle and I responded by fainting.  After that whenever I even saw I needle I would faint.  I even fainted when my younger sister got her ears pierced because it looked like a needle too! 

Over the years God has worked on me and my fears.  I think of all the time I spent at Children's Hospital with Whitney and all the pokes and procedures done to her during her time there.  God gave me the strength to be there by her side, witnessing it all, and never faining.  He gave me the strength to stand beside her and trust Him even though I didn't understand everything that was going on inside her precious little body. 

I think of all the verses I've reciting over and over again in my head when I've had to have procedures done on me..."For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:5  Over time I discovered that if I kept talking it was virtually impossible to faint as well...you see, you can't hold your breath when you keep talking! 

This will be an adventure and I can't wait to see how God uses the next 10 days to draw my children closer to Him as they are able to share His love with children in Guatemala.  I am also excited to know that God may choose to use me during this time to sit in a lab, a place I would never have anticipated many years ago,  and work for His glory!   

Monday, April 16, 2012


The phone call jarred me out of my peace.  As I answered the phone and listened to the voice on the other end, stone upon stone was hurled upon my heart.  "You are a failure!"  "You will never be good enough."  The taunts continued.  How I wanted to take the phone and in anger thrust it back upon the receiver.

Words.  Words flowing like a flood.  A torrent of emotion overflowing the banks.  Trying to grasp on to truth I am swept downstream in the murk, trying to keep my head above the water.  Struggling against the current I try to reach solid ground.  In desperation I reach out to a tree that has remained anchored on the bank.   Clinging to the branch I will myself to hold on, to survive. 

When the flood finally recedes, I am left to witness the damage.  Where beauty once resided, ugliness has taken its place.  Things uprooted and unearthed in the flood lay gnarled and withered in its wake.  Things have changed, never to return to their same beauty.  Trees downed in the flood will never be re-rooted.  New things will grow, but the landscape has changed. 

Tears flow freely now, it's natural with loss.  But the challenge before me is how to weather this storm?  Flinging stones and becoming my own flood will only cause more destruction and heartache.  Innocents would also be affected.  For a flood always does more damage than can be anticipated. 

The key isn't found in forging the river and forcing it to return to its normal banks.  It is found in forgiveness.  The one throwing the stones may never seek forgiveness.  But I know that in me deciding to forgive the offense will bring healing to my own heart and allow me to follow the steps of the Savior back to a place of peace and wholeness.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parenting in Pain

Sitting on the edge of the bed I reach for the Kleenex box.  Once again I am in tears.  Tears from pain and the inability to handle it on my own.  Parenting isn't for the weak at heart, and parenting with an incurable illness takes the hand of God.

For years I have struggled with a disease that no one can see.  "No cause, no cure" is what the doctors say.  Prescriptions have been tried with horrible consequences...crushing chest pain, the inability to break down the medication so it becomes toxic in my system and many others. 

When a body, designed by God, turns against itself, life gets complicated.  And parenting in the midst of it all takes on challenges of its own.  Some days are spent with me cocooned on the couch, trying my best to still be mom and invest in the lives of my children.  Some days things appear fine and we go about as usual.  However, the fear is always there, "When will it strike again?" 

Questions of, "How are you today?" are often met with half-truths.  On the outside I appear fine but inside my body can be wracked with pain.  There are a few who have learned to read the cues and can tell when all is not right, but I don't want to be someone constantly complaining about hurting. 

If you have ever experienced the contractions that go along with labor, you can begin to identify with my almost daily struggle.  The pain comes in waves of intensity, sometimes easily overlooked, other times causing me to double over in trying to deal with it. 

Stress can cause this disease to flare up, so one challenge in parenting with this illness is to parent in a healthy way, avoiding added stress.  (Hmmm, with teenagers?)

I confess I have questioned God many times, "I know you can heal, why haven't you healed me?"  It plagued me for years and infected my relationship with Him.  Knowing that He can heal, but hasn't kept me at a distance.  Thankfully, God hasn't given up and me and He has taught me His faithfulness in the midst of my pain. 

One passage of Scripture that ministered to my heart this year was from 2 Corinthians chapter 12.  In this passage Paul spoke of getting a "thorn in his flesh" and "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"  The thing that hit me was that Paul was such a powerful servant of God and had an incredible ministry.  He was close to God and yet, God in His goodness allowed the thorn to remain.  That encouraged my heart.  You see for years I have wondered, "What am I doing wrong?"  and "Maybe there is something still in my life that God wants to prune first."  I kept thinking that if only I could do something better, then maybe I could be healed.  This verse changed my perspective completely.  Paul was not perfect, none of us are, but I believe He had such an intimate relationship with God and yet God allowed his thorn to remain.  So it's not just that I need to "get it right" but that I need to trust Him through it.

Today I believe was a break through.  As I was sitting on the edge of the bed crying, I was also praying and surrendering...with all my will to choose His joy in the midst, knowing that He suffered and died to give me life.  Yes, the trial remains, but I do have His grace and mercy to see me through. 


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