This new year is definitely starting with much joy and hope!!! There really are so many different programs to enrich and build up your faith here! This is EXACTLY the kind of place and time for which we have been looking. There are discipleship programs, mentorship programs, marriage enrichment, sunday school, pwoc, precept training, awanas, neighborhood bible programs….classes for everything! The mission of the chapel here is to build up and enrich Christians to leave here fully equipped to serve and pour out in their “mission fields” upon departure. THIS is what I have been longing for!!! Many of my prayers for this year, God is already answering. I know we are all going to grow spiritually here. This FILLS my heart with JOY!!!!
In the meantime…God is equipping us in many other ways too. We’ve had many unexpected and expected purchases lately…and more keep creeping in! Travel expenses, new glasses, new phone (crashed), new computer (crashed), new car (on second thought, I don’t know if I am going to be able to load all 3 kids in the back of Brian’s truck after this traveling experience!), microwave (our home is a bit old-fashioned, but beautiful!), means of working out at home for me (something that has been much anticipated and waited for), and more in the near future for baby and the kids. Lewis never stays in the same set of clothes for long! It really has made me so thankful for God’s provision to us as a family. I know many families wait years for these things, even when they break or are greatly needed….and so I am giving thanks to a God that provides SO much to our family. I pray that we don’t take these things for granted, although I know this won’t be an easy task for us in this culture.
God is showing me that although the past month has been a great struggle for me…a FIGHT for joy and contentment….a fight to stay connected to HIM….that in a Christian’s walk, there is no growth without failure. If I learn to turn to Him for help and nourishment, if I learn to SEE Him in everything, if I learn to BELIEVE in His power and glory and authority in and over everything (and not be brought down by problems or unresolved issues), then I can step into a major growth spurt in my walk. I am ready for this. I am ready for God to use my failure and sin…and turn it into beauty and righteousness for His glory. I don’t altogether understand what this means…but I am ready to trade in the raw for the beauty. And I am ready to learn to SEE Him and TURN to Him for help with everything.
My favorite holiday is coming up soon–Easter. I am excited for the new life that comes with Christ’s resurrection. I am excited to prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually for this greatly anticipated time….and for this Easter to be more real and meaningful to me and my family than ever before. There is so much joy in new life! New ways of thinking, new ways of relating, new ways of responding, new ways of understanding. New habits. New patterns. New goals…all focused on the resurrected Christ.
It is still winter…but SPRING is coming!!!!! 🙂