Monday, October 25, 2010
During our community prayer this morning we each lifted up our petitions to the Lord, and again I prayed for the Lord to provide me with energy and strength I need for the day. I asked him to relieve me of my tiredness. After our community prayer we had our Si Senor talk and it was ALL about praise and thanksgiving. We read many MANY scriptures in the bible about giving praise and thanksgiving and really just spent time discussing instances in our own lives where we gave praise to the Lord. After our talk was over we sang a praise song to the Lord and I felt so energized. I felt the burden of tiredness lifted. I felt energy from the Lord and left with a knowing that I will be able to make it through this day with ease! Praise you Jesus!
"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; worship the Lord with cries of gladness; come before him wiht joyful song. Know that the Lord is God, our maker to whom we belong, whose people we are, God's well-tended flock. Enter the temple gates with praise, its courts with thanksgiving. Give thanks to God, bless his name, good indeed is the Lord, whose love endures forever, whose faithfulness lasts through every age." Psalm 100
SHOUT joyfully to the Lord. Do not keep your praises silent!!!! Glory to you O'Lord! Praise be your name!
Praise is the most powerful weapon we have against the enemy. He absolutely hates it when we won't give in to the ways of the world and instead of being negative or angry when situations arise, we praise the Lord. So give praise in ALL things, the good and the bad!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I love waking up in the mornings and going for a jog in the dark. I love the exhaustion I feel at the end of my jog and how God restores my energy throughout the day. I love surrendering the first parts of my day, the first fruits, for my Jesus. I love that most mornings I’m blessed with the pure hearts of the kids that are here. I was heading back up to my apartment from my time in the chapel and Bridget and Annie were sitting downstairs at the table coloring and they both said, “we are ‘painting’ you a picture!” The way that kids are able to make you feel so special is amazing. I am so blessed to have so much love in my life ALL day everyday!
Wednesday I was given the opportunity to share a little bit about what missions means for me at Mission Formation. I didn't have anything prepared, but I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me, so I stood up and He provided me with the words. Mr. Frank asked Esther earlier that day to prepare a talk about the book of Esther to share at Mission Formation and when it was her time to speak, she froze. Let me mention that Esther is only nine years old. She is an amazing nine year old and challenges my walk with Christ often. I took her in the Chapel after her melt down and prayed with her for awhile. She never did share her report that night, but a new bond was formed between us. I feel like I am now her older sister and she looks up to me as such. I've never been an older sister, so it is a beautiful feeling to know that this little girl looks up to me.
Last night we had a dance party after Lord's day. We rearranged the tables in the dining room and transformed the area into a ball room. We taught the kids new dances and just spent time laughing, learning, and enjoying one another. If you want to have a good cardio workout, plan a dance party with 16 kids and few adults and you will achieve it! It was so much fun and again I left the big house feeling so blessed. I am so happy that the Lord called me to be a missionary when He did. I am so blessed to be at Big Woods with two other families, three other singles and 16 children. Love surrounds me, and God is so evident in this place.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I’d be lying if I said last week was easy. I know that being a missionary, especially when I’m in another country, is going to have hardships. I can’t pinpoint one specific thing that made my week hard, but each day was a struggle. I would wake up wanting to go back to sleep. I felt almost depressed and couldn’t snap out of it. I couldn’t feel God near and that made things more difficult. I struggled through out the first part of my week with this sadness and depression and mostly struggled alone; the enemy wanted it that way. In the middle of the week, I finally asked one of my roommates to pray for me at the end of the day, and after she did I felt lighter and had some joy. The next morning I woke up with the same yucky fog of sadness. On Friday during our Si Senor talk Mr. Frank discussed spiritual warfare and how real it is and how to handle it. I felt in some ways that I was experiencing some serious attacks from the enemy.
On Saturday we had a “work day” in the morning and my roommates Madi and Susanna and I got to clean our apartment. Cleaning, especially if I am going through something, is quite enjoyable to me. Later in the day we had “desert day” and my time was spent under a tree in the shade until one of the horses disturbed my peace and tried to eat my bible and journal. The next place I went God spoke some truth into my heart. “For by his innermost nature man is a social being, and unless he relates himself to others he can neither live nor develop his potential,” Vatican II documents. Okay, I get it. No more spending time wallowing in my sadness. I have to spend time with others and through that I knew I would be relieved of my sadness. I was.
Highlights of the week:
One of the Eckstine girls, Bridget, has a way of brightening my day. Earlier last week I had gone to my apartment for something and stopped to talk to her. When I was trying to leave she yells at me,” Wait, I forgot to give you a kiss!!” I am so loved! She definitely brightened my day!
For my early morning jogs, God kept me on my feet at all times! :)
On Saturday night we celebrated “Lord’s Day” and also Madi’s birthday. After dinner, we had a bon fire and roasted marshmallows and had smores. We sang songs by the campfire and just spent time talking to one another and entertaining the kids.
I would like to leave you with this: “At a time when you did not know God, you became slaves to things that by nature and are not gods; but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and destitute elemental powers? Do you want to be slaves to them all over again?” Galations 4:8-9 “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 Do not turn back to your old ways before you allowed God to save you from your slavery, whatever it may be. It is okay to struggle with things of the past, but not to submit to them. Stand firm in the freedom that God gives you!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Interesting adventure of the day: The horses got out of the pasture and we had to "chase" them with the suburban and then Sidney and I got out of the car and tried to walk them back to the pastures. It wasn't until Mr. Frank came that the horses actually obeyed and went back home! There is never a dull moment at big woods!!
Today was pioneer day, which I'll be honest, I had no idea what was going to happen. I soon learned that we were having different booths set up for the kids to learn how life was like for the pioneers. It was so cute to see some of the girls dressed in their long skirts with aprons and bonnets. On this day, the kids learned how to tie knots, build a campfire, make butter and cheese, sew quilting patches and buttons on fabric, and dances that might have been done by the pioneers. It was a day filled with laughter, learning, and praises to God. Andrea, the missionary in charge of pioneer day, had only sent seven emails out to people and almost thirty families came to the event. I don't think I've ever seen so many kids at the same time. It was an incredibly blessed day!
Today was a bit of a rough day. I think it was my hardest day yet at Big Woods. Nothing particuarlly bad happened today, I was just very much in my head and believing the lies Satan often tries to feed me. I was finally delivered out of this gloom after I went to mass!
Thursday's are our community leisure night so all of the singles and James went to mass and then after headed to Lafayette for pizza. We ate at La Pizzaria. It was a very enjoyable experience to just get away from the country for a little while and hang out with friends.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
All three days a little bit of a blur to me at this point. I know that I realized on Thursday night that my parents were coming in to town, so I waited in excited anticipation for their arrival. On Saturday they finally made it out to Big Woods and actually helped all of the missionaries work on Joseph's house. It was very nice to be able to share some of what I am doing here with my parents. Saturday night my mom cooked one of my favorite meals. There is nothing better than some of momma's good cookin'! All the singles and James ate with me and my mom and then we had a game night. It was so nice to be able to share my mother with my friends! Sunday I went to mass and spent the rest of the day relaxing and preparing for a talk I had to give the next day. It was a day as God intends. It was a very needed day of rest!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
October 3, 2010
A lot has happened this week, and I haven’t been doing the best job of keeping record. I’ll try to rewind and start from the beginning….
Today we had breakfast and prayer at the big house and then we had our Si Senor talk. This time it was on Evangelization. It is really cool how God works, because before our talk, I had prayer and was reading in 1Timothy 1. What struck me in this scripture was, “The aim of this instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, wanting to be teachers of the law, but without understanding what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance.” 1Timothy 1:5-7. After reading this, I realized that I let my desire to be a teacher for Christ I’ve had meaningless talks with people, saying things that I heard others say, but not really know the material I was talking about. It was really awesome to see that after I read about all of this and had some conviction in my heart, I was being taught on Evangelization. God provides! I can’t really remember what else went on this day and I will try to document better next week!
This morning, I woke up really REALLY tired; all I wanted to do was go back to sleep and escape the day. That is not a possibility here. I sat in my special place and started praying and pouring out my thoughts into my journal. I picked up my bible and read in 1Timothy 1:12, “I am grateful to Him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry.” First of all, Jesus strengthens me. This doesn’t’ just mean that he makes us spiritually strong, he can make us physically strong, or give us energy for the day that seems impossible. Second of all, He considers me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry! What an honor. Just reading that gave me a little more strength. I actually felt like I could make it through the day.
After breakfast and prayer with the whole group, we had a short workday. Most of the ladies stayed at the big house and organized. Mrs. Genie asked me if I could bring her something to Our Lady on the Bayou. This gave me an opportunity to escape for a little while in my car with my music and my windows rolled down. It was the best car ride I’ve had in a long time. I had a praise cd on and the weather was beautiful outside. Through that car ride, I was refreshed, strengthened, and energized. I love that God uses the small things in life to show me his love and presence in my life!
Accomplishment of the day: I ran the WHOLE mile this morning! I didn’t stop to walk once! It’s crazy how things can be so different from day to day. Yesterday I woke up so exhausted and just wanted to sleep the whole day away and today I ran a mile! Crazy! I know I haven’t been a missionary for long but I realized through the course of the day that I don’t think I can feel as fulfilled as I am now doing anything else with my life. I was listening to a song earlier and the lyrics are: “Draw me close to you, and never let me go. I will give my life so that the world will know, everything you are and all that you have done, how you gave your son.” I do give my whole life to you Lord Jesus, so tell me where you want me to go and I will go. Tell me what to say and I will say it. Tell me what to give and I will give it. “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be fishing for me… they left EVERYTHING and followed him.” Luke 5:10-11
Today we had our work project day. We went to Our Lady on the Bayou and worked on filling the dumpster that we got. I didn’t know that one building could have so many closets full of so much junk! Not only does this place have many closets, they are huge! Throughout the day I realized how much God had given women the desire to mother. It’s not something that we learn, but something we are born with. All of the little girls with us today, mother their little brother and sisters when they are crying, or when they get hurt. I also got to see how much little girls think the world of their daddies. Rachel, one of the Ecksteins, told me that her daddy is the safest daddy in the world. When she said that I could see the adoration in her eyes! It was a good representation of how we are to love our Heavenly Father.
Tonight we had leisure night and I got to have sushi!! It’s the small things in life that make me happy!
Happy Birthday to me!
Today was such a blessed day and such a good birthday. We went to mass to celebrate the feast day of Saint Theresa who is the patron saint of foreign missions. Who would have thought that it would be the feast day of the saint of foreign missions on my birthday? Pretty cool right?! After mass we went to the park in Abbeville and had a picnic and spent time outdoors. So, for my birthday I got to go to a park, have a picnic, and swing on the swings. All of my favorite things! The weather was also perfect too! Even though I am far away from my family and friends that I love and miss so much, God poured out his love for me and provided me with new brothers and sisters in Christ!
“He must increase, I must decrease.” John 3:30
Highlight of the day: Disney song dance party with all the kids. It started off with me, a few adults, and all the kids doing headstands in the living room, and turned into a random dance party. It was so much fun and so exhausting. I’m learning how to let loose and have fun again!
By the way, I can only post on Sundays.