Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Monday, November 25, 2013

Admiring God

On our road trip to Florida, dad and I took a detour to the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. I thought it would be worth the extra couple hours... I had no idea. Come with us...

 How they ever found these caves is incredible... it blends right in.
 We rocked the Cal Poly pride that day...
...then we jumped right in! Or rather, hiked in.
 God made this! From nothing! With his infinite creativity!
 As small of a space I was willing to be in... good thing the caves were massive!
 See? GIGANTIC!!!
Sorry the pictures don't do this underground world any justice.
 It was breathtaking to say the least.
AH! There are no words!
 Our hipster photo... this was his idea but I do love it.
 Thank you Lord for being so magnificent!
We recommend seeing it for yourself! I am still blown away by how evident God was in the majesty of it all.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Rollercoaster

Sometimes emotions sneak up on you and before you know it your eyes are welling with tears or your shiny whites are glittering through your widening smile. Sometimes emotions jump out at you and all of a sudden you either can't see through the salty torrents or you can't stop jumping up and down in excitement.

I have been having a couple months of the hit-you-like-a-load-of-bricks type of emotions. It could be a song, a picture, a taste, or even a turn of phrase that gets me. There I will be sitting and wham! I am crying. Did I mention that they are all of the sad, discontented nature of emotions? Yeah. My tear ducts are seeing a lot of action.

That is not to say that I haven't had incredibly uplifting times, or encouraging moments, or even days where I love my job and my life here. The happy is more common than the sad. But quite often I will hear a song I loved to sing in church in Mexico, or I will talk to someone in Spanish, or I will see an old picture of life in Porvenir... and the water works start, my heart hurts, and I am a basket case. It happens with memories of my family and my home in Temecula too.

Needless to say, I miss Mexico. I miss California. I miss people. I miss cool nights and small spiders. I miss Kenny's strawberries.

On the other hand, in week nine of my time here, I love the sunsets and cumulus cloud-ridden skies. The camaraderie I have found at work. The vision of teaching indigenous disciples to reach their own people with the Gospel. The produce stand by my work. The friends I have made.

If you could join me on this roller coaster, with prayer, I would appreciate it. It is worth it when you get to the loop-de-loops!

Friday, November 15, 2013

In Living Color

To avoid an overly long explanation of the past two months in Florida, I am going to take you through a journey in pictures. From cross-country road trip to today...
Welcome to my beautiful new state!

To get here, we had to make some stops along the way. This is the river walk in San Antonio...
...and this is my dad's hotel from when he would fly to New Orleans. 
We had to stop and get beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans... 
...and of course I had to get my first taste of grits.
 After getting here I found my new favorite place for produce. I stop by at least once a week.
 I also made friends, this is Dexter. We like to chat.
 These sweet ladies are Sherylyn and Lexi. =) 
 At work, I get to fly in powered parachutes (I am starting my pilot's license this week)...
...and I get to edit videos and learn a ton about media.
 I am also making myself try new things in the kitchen (it was spaghetti squash this week)...
...as well as new fashion trends with my co-workers (Ron and Trina). 
 I have new roommates...
 and I love them (this is Trina again).
 I also have adventures in our town of Ocala (Art Festival with Sherylyn)...
 and local historical towns like St. Augustine.
 This is the oldest fort in America...
and it was truly impressive!!! 
I still get packages that remind me of home (my mom designed and made this quilt for us!)... 
...and moments where I am truly excited for the fall weather. 
We have parties where we dress up... 
 ...and bond with all sorts of unique characters.
 I go on trips with work, that involve transporting flying cars...
...and then taking pictures of them.
Trips together mean bonding. We were packed into this truck for days (this is Brian, the media director).

 Turns out I love boiled peanuts...
 ...and Kentucky.
Did I mention I am learning a lot about Media?...
 Proof right here in an interview with Brian Fikkert, author of "When Helping Hurts."
 Brian and I designed our new booth for the conference. Paul and Gene (not pictured) helped us make it a reality.
 I wish we had these in Florida.
 Here are some more lovely people at a free NeedtoBreathe concert...
...and here are some other barely recognizable folks. Pink, the Mexican, is from China. I love her to pieces. Sherylyn was Big Bird.
Can't forget this one! This is Brian's family and I, we barley got out of that corn maze!

Happy Fall to Everyone!!!

Belief

Belief = Trust

John 14:1
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me."

According to the ESV Study Bible: "believe" means/denotes "personal, relational trust."

Our belief in God demands that we trust Him. If we don't trust in Him then how can we say we believe in God? What are we believing in if not the fact that the creator and keeper of all things is trustworthy?

"Believe in God" here is translated as imperative command. We are commanded to believe and therefore trust in God.
Do I?
Do You?


The Difficult Beginning

From my journal my first three nights here:

Obedience is so easy when you are excited. When you are just as ready for God's calling as He is to give it. Obedience is not easy when you are scared, or overwhelmed, or even tired. Even more so when you lack the trust you need in God's calling being perfect for you.

But where we are weak, God is strong. And sufficient. And personal. And in control.

"Relax in my everlasting arms. Your weakness is an opportunity to grow strong in awareness of My Almighty Presence. When your energy fails you, do not look inward and lament the lack you find there. Look to Me and My sufficiency; rejoice in My radiant riches that are abundantly available to help you. Go gently through this day, leaning on Me and enjoying My presence. Thank Me for your neediness, which is building trust-bonds between us [...]"  - Jesus Calling, Sept. 27

I felt so overwhelmed when I finally got here. I was battling the flu, tiredness from three days of driving cross country and hotels, and a load of spiritual attack. I knew my dad was leaving the next day, making my move final, and I felt out of place being the newest person here. My pride, insecurities, and fears were wrapped all into one knot in my throat, threatening to make me cry and collapse into pieces.

Dad held me together a little but by acknowledging how hard it was, saying the family would visit, and giving me the option of coming home if it didn't work out. God held me together the rest of the way by reminding me of my need for trust in Him, founded in all the ways He has provided for me before.

"Pour out all of your energy into trusting Me. It is through trust that you stay connected to Me, aware of My Presence. Every step on your life-journey can be a step of faith. Baby steps of trust are simple for you; you can take them with almost unconscious ease. Giant steps are another matter altogether: leaping across chasms in semi-darkness, trudging through the valley of the shadow of death. [...] Focus your attention on the path just ahead of you and on the One who never leaves your side."  - Jesus Calling, Sept. 25

And He continued to provide for me. In an overwhelming amount of ways. At the end of my third day here and I already had built great community, found a hill to run on (it's the little things), gotten to know the area, been to a home group, realized on the river, forged ties, had great weather, and seen the beauty of Ocala. God has made this home and shown me grace in every day. I feel connected, mostly settled, and so blessed to be here because I know God has asked me to be be here.