Thursday, December 18, 2014


Needless to say, I went to bed in not the best of moods.  Not for any particular reason, just really not looking forward to Thursday.

Kyle had just had two very long days teaching pastors.
I had just had two very long days cooking for the pastors.
Abby is at camp and I miss her.
Laundry was calling.
Kyle and Emily would be gone all day at the game park.
It is supposed to be REALLY hot.
Someone was coming to the house at 7am (they are from out-of-town) to buy my wicker chair.

Kyle’s alarm went off at 4:45am, he and Emily quietly slipped off to the game park . . . and I couldn’t fall back asleep.

Definitely not any smilies on my face when i finally dragged myself out of bed and got ready to meet a stranger at my gate.

6:45am-  my cell phone rang. They were early and at my gate.  Ok, maybe my face was tipping into a frown.

I walked out to the gate to be greeted by a bubbly women probably my age that instantly greeted Natalie, guessed her age and started sharing about her boys.  We chatted casually as we walked to the house to look at the chair.  I mentioned my oldest was at church camp.  Her eyes lit up and she shared how her nephew had just given his life to the Lord at a camp and is now on fire for God.  

She decided to take the chair.

We slowly walked back to the gate.  She was all smiles talking about the Christmas season and way they’ve tried to focus on Christ as a family.  I mentioned a book I was reading, shared a story from it and we both laughed.  Her laugh was so genuine.

As we said goodbye and they pulled out of the drive, I couldn’t help but notice that now I was smiling.  That 5 minute encounter with a lady whose name I don’t even know lifted my spirits, pointed by morning towards Christ, and has kept a smile on my face all day.  (We are many hours ahead in our day for all of you reading this in America.)

I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Do I uplift people in such short encounters?  In 5 minutes, can I point people to Christ?  Do people leave an interaction with me in smiles?”

Great questions to ponder  . . . . with a smile on my face!

By the way, I’m really enjoying the book mentioned above.

“How to Raise Selfless Kids in a Self-Centered World”  by Dave Stone 

Friday, December 12, 2014


I’ll admit it has been awhile since I’ve posted.  

Probably because every time I sit down to write, I’m completely overwhelmed with all the things I could write about.  Making the transition from working in South Africa to Kyle being the Regional Administrator in East Africa (meaning moving to Tanzania) has consumed my thoughts and heart.

Here are some of the topics I’ve considered writing about:

-the constant encouragement from friends and family as we make this transition
-the incredible number of prayer requests on my heart
-delights of the heart as we head into the celebration of Christmas
-future fears that need to be turned over to God

Let me touch on just the first point.  It is one that brings such incredible joy.

First a question for you-

Did you ever stop to wonder why God included the personal greetings at the end of some of the New Testament books?  Have you ever been tempted to skip over them?  I mean, we don’t know them personally anyways?  :)

Here are a few:

I Cor 16:19-20
“The churches of Asia send you greetings.  Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.  All the brothers send you greetings.”

Philippians 4:21-22
“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.  The brothers who are with me greet you.  All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.”

3 John 1:15
“Peace be to you.  The friends greet you.  Greet the friends, every one of them.”

2 Cor 13:12
“Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.”

I’ll let you look up these next two for yourself. They are longer personal greetings.
2 Timothy 4:19
Colossians 4:7-18

But, I’m glad God included them.  It reminds us of how intentional and relational God has meant us to be.  As relational beings, we can provide great comfort and encouragement to each other as we interact, listen, laugh  . . . greet with a holy kiss . . . .

I’m sure the New Testament church loved getting to the end of the letters and hearing the personal greetings, being reminded how much they were cared for and missed.

This has rung so true for me over the last couple months.  Greetings, encouragements and reminders that we are being prayed for have poured in since announcing our move to Tanzania.  I have felt wrapped in love and “lifted up” even when I have wanted to doubt.  God has used so many of you to touch my heart and point me to Him.  

Thank you.

But let me leave you with a request.

There are so many missionaries on the field this Christmas season who are missing family and friends horribly and working hard to find their joy in the Lord.  If you know somebody in that situation, please drop them a note, pray for them, send through your “holy kisses”  :)