Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just Ramblings

I have quite a bit on my heart (and coming from my fingertips) today. It isn't cohesive, to the point or life-changing... but it is what I feel and what I feel I should write... So I will write. Don't say I didn't warn you! ;)

I never knew just how much spiritual and emotional strength it takes to step out on faith as a full-time/long term missionary. I've done quite a bit of short-term mission work (1-4 weeks) in country and internationally.. but as I continue gearing up for my trip I'm learning that you have to give every. single. thing. to Christ, to lean on Him with everything. To trust Him with everything.

I think about all of the missionaries that I have known and know now. What truly remarkable individuals! I have felt more spiritual warfare in the past 3 months than possibly ever in my entire life, which means.. I've never felt closer and more alive in my spiritual walk with Christ!  I think of those who dedicate their lives to church-planting, foreign aide etc. Who don't just give 4 months of their life but give it ALL.. what an incredible sacrifice! THAT is my heart! THIS is my heart! I'm so excited that I've finally found (after 3 years..) what is God's will, what is right for me, for my life.

As a woman, it is so easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. With the whole of life swirling around us.. when our multi-tasking, plan-everything-out (and stick to it!) OCD, perfectionist brains go into over-drive.. it seems almost impossible to even locate the shut-down button! Whether it be small or big.. I find myself stressing, worrying etc. over everything (and I don't even have kids!). So I got to work talking with God.. figuring out a plan of attack. (Yes, I even made a plan to help me stop all my planning! Haha!) It was one quiet morning last week that I began thinking about my prayer walks.. Sometimes I would lose my focus as I looked at the path that stretched out in front of me.. and it wasn't until I focused only on the next few steps, not allowing my eyes to wander to the finish, could I focus on Christ and our time together. I now pray habitually each morning for the Lord to put a "fog" over the "path" I must walk everyday, so that I may only see a few steps in front of me and can focus on Him our our relationship rather than all that needs to be done.

I've also been fasting more frequently, for longer periods of time.. and doing the same with my prayer walks. It is incredible to me how much of a difference these few things have been making. It it easier to focus on God and lean on Him when you have less things (food, cell phones, etc) battling for your thoughts, time and attention. I often find myself closing my eyes at different parts of the day, praying for peace in my soul and it is like He is there, holding me. My personal mantra has become, "In You I find my peace, abide in me, fill me with Your love."

The past 3 months have revealed to me so many things about myself and my walk with Christ (good and bad) I feel like I could write a book! And I guess it is that thought that has me reading quite a lot lately. I just finished Mary Beth Chapman's Choosing to See and Steven Sojern's Conspiracy of Kindness. Both of which I highly recommend. They make me ask: Are you truly SEEing what this life is all about? Can you SEE God's hand, His influence in your life? Can you SEE the big picture? Can you SEE what He desires for you?  Oh, the simple things in life that can spread the love of Christ! Get out in the community and do something good! Carry out groceries for someone, pass out popsicles at the park, give a free carwash.. anything! Get out there, get active in your life for Christ! Spreading the Gospel and the good news of Christ's love doesn't have to be difficult. Show the sacrifice of Christ: free, un-repayable love.

I will close with a quote and stop my rambling:

"People will often forget what they hear about God's love, but few forget what they experience of God's love." - Steven, Conspiracy of Kindness.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Traveling and well, not.

As of late Eric and I have been running ourselves ragged.. from family stuff (baby showers, weddings, etc) to Haiti stuff (fundraising, speaking at churches etc) and just random things coming up. Thus, I've been lagging on posts! So this weekend we planted our tires firmly to the driveway and said "No." to traveling for the first time in a long time. (Since September 10th!) We actually had an entire weekend without traveling! We didn't know what to do with ourselves to say the least.. lol!

But this weekend we are back at it and boy are we glad. We will be heading down to Longview, TX to see our best friends and spiritual leaders Nathan and Ericka Rogers. Nathan is the pastor of Longview Missionary Baptist Church where I will be speaking to a Sunday school class and to the congregation about my upcoming time in Haiti. We are sooo excited!

And speaking of speaking.. Two weekends ago, I was given the privileged to share my story with Center Baptist Church where my brother Joe Snyder is the youth pastor. I was so encouraged by the support from the people there.
An older couple, who I spent some time with during our 4 weeks at church camp this summer, came up to me after the service. The neat thing is I met them 4 days after Eric and I returned from our PPM trips to Belize, at Bogg Springs camp. I had over a month of dirty laundry to do and they were staying in the Nurse's cabin.(where the laundry is located) So everyday I would go in to begin more laundry and without fail, they would finish it for me while I was gone throughout the day. They took such good care of me! We spent many hours in that little cabin talking and getting to know one another. They listened as I told them all my stories from City Reach and Belize. And they even listened as I expressed (for the first time to anyone) my opportunity to go to Haiti, my heart for children and missions, my worries, fears and excitement. They even were the ones to help me with my bacterial infection that I got while I was in Belize!  They were such an encouragement to me those weeks and it was awesome get to see them now and tell them my plans now that the ball is rolling!
I also got to meet a young girl named Laura who had recently done a medical mission in Haiti. She gave me some excellent tips and tricks about the culture, people and country. It was such a blessing!

So in short, be praying about our travels, my speaking to churches, fundraising and staying strong! I'll leave with an excerpt from "Jesus Calling" which is written from the perspective of God. I have been dealing with emotional waves, unsettling, discontentment, stress, anxiety and many things which have left me feeling extremely weak and incapable of accomplishing my goals and keeping my focus where it should be. This was my devotional for today.

"Grow strong in the Light of my Presence. Your weakness does not repel Me. On the contrary, it attracts My Power, which is always available to flow into a yielded heart. Do not condem yourself for your constant need of help. Instead, come to Me with your gaping neediness; let the Light of My Love fill you."