Intersecting Life and Faith

Category: As The Parsonage Turns (Page 2 of 9)

The story of two ordinary people following God in ministry

Why Do They Do That?

I have been asked on several occasions where my kids get their

wanderlust=a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about

I stutter and stammer, trying to explain why Kelsey went to Italy as a nanny several years ago and is presently in St. John living and working.  Why Hannah has travelled throughout Europe and Southeast Asia and moved to Arizona to live and work, and why Justin ventured to North Dakota a couple of years ago to work in oil fields and now lives with his wife in Wyoming. My guess is Lauren will do the same, not work in oil fields….wander!!!

While reading a book on third culture kids I came across why I think these children of mine do what they do.

Rob and I gave them wings.

Literally, *“they all flew in airplanes before they could walk.”

With the exception of Lauren who took a 21 hour car ride before she could walk. Our kids have spent their lives flying or taking very long car rides to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  The roads we have travelled have been many. They have lived in Kansas, Indiana and Kingston, and Lafayette, NY. They will tell you our move from downstate to upstate was one of the hardest things they’ve done. That move shaped who they are today, which is a subject for another post.

We started them on the road and airplane when they were very young which, I believe, *“taught them to look beyond the obstacles of their dreams and look at the benefits.”We gave them the desire to rove or travel about because that is how we have lived. We have followed our Friend Who sticks closer than a brother, looking beyond what we would be leaving behind, which in most cases was dear, dear friends and church family and our extended family and friends. We looked ahead to what God was calling us to do, confident He would give us everything we needed as we packed up. We want to “see the world through the lens of hope and opportunity”*, which I’m guessing we have also passed onto our kids.

So now I have my answer the next time you ask me why my kids live where they do…blame it on the parents.

*Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging

Summer Lovin’

No, this post isn’t about my summer love life. That’s for another post. 

The summer of 2014 has been calming and tranquil. With Lauren gone to two separate camps and vacation thrown in the mix for all of us I have had plenty of time these summer months to sit across the table or chair from some of my favorite sipping coffee or having lunch or walking at the park I love.

I have attended three weddings, two of which Rob officiated and one where we just sat back and enjoyed the view on a hot summer afternoon at our church camp. One more wedding to cap off the end of summer on Labor Day which will make four young couples from our church tying the knot this summer.

If I could impart any wisdom to the newly married, the encouragement would be to love God by keeping Jesus Christ as the primary lover of your soul. Do not place your spouse on a pedestal or at the center of your life. Keep your relationship with Jesus front and center and look to him for everything you need. Additionally, to love your neighbor with our spouse being our closed neighbor.

I have also spent the long hazy days of summer reading. I love to make lists and I love to make them in Moleskin. This particular list is my summer reading where I wrote down books I wanted to read, recommendations I found and authors I wanted to check out. I am loving the public library and their online catalog where I can find the book and put it on hold. I haven’t purchased many books in the last year except for a counseling class I am taking.

unnamed (3)Those check marked or crossed off have been read or tossed in the trash taken back to the library. A couple of authors were so vulgar and graphic. #10 is a perfect example. One I could not put down was Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. She writes the best fiction with some of her family history woven throughout several of her books. I also enjoy Ted Dekker for fiction. Jeremiah Burroughs is a very long time ago author who wrote  The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  I highly recommend this book on contentment. I will be adding the rest of what I read this summer to the tab under Reading List.

Summer lovin’ is almost over, but my favorite season, fall is approaching hoping it is long, making our winter shorter.

Hey a girl can dream.

 

Thailand, Bali and Kopi Luwak

Reader alert…this post may be all over the place. Just sayin.

Yesterday morning while having coffee with a friend in our local small town diner Hannah was half way around the world being dropped off at an airport by the driver of her new friend…a Christian Indonesian diplomat. Indonesia is 1% Christian, 95 % Muslim and 4% Hindu.(Those are the statistics quoted to me by Hannah) What were the chances she would be entertained with sightseeing, dinner and a place to stay by a well-to-do woman taking Hannah under her wing for a few hours? They were also joined by a singer and his band whom Hannah later found out was a Christian artist who is famous throughout Indonesia and sings in his church.

I don’t believe in chance or coincidence or karma.  I believe our dear Hannah’s trip to Southeast Asia is being totally orchestrated by a Holy God who loves this mother and her daughter more than we could ever imagine.

I often pray

Lord, whatever it takes, align the desires of my heart with Yours and whatever it takes Lord keep me desperate for You because because I tend to wander when I stop feeling my need for You.(these prayers are not original with me).

God then sees fit to answer these prayers typically in the area of those I love most, my husband and children. He has provided many opportunities to run to Him as Justin was deployed to Iraq several years ago, Kelsey went overseas three years ago and Hannah is the global wanderer where she is presently on her way to France to do volunteer work after being in Southeast Asia for a month. Her wanderings(the title of her web site) took her to Thailand where she was travelling with a longtime friend. Sadly, those circumstances changed and Hannah was left alone in northern Thailand. Skyping has kept us close as she has asked for advice about travelling alone. God has protected her in the busy city of Bangkok, the beaches and countryside of Bali and back to Bangkok. He has protected her from injury when she fell in a hole, battered and bruised but no broken bones. He enabled her to worship a few weeks ago with Westerners in an evangelical Church in Bangkok where the pastor was originally from New York.

Is she safe? Why is she travelling alone? And why is she travelling? are some of the questions I have been asked. The answer to those questions will have to be asked of her because I cannot speak for her or even begin to explain her dreams and desires. What I can say with confidence is that my trust is not in government that makes decisions I don’t agree with, my trust is not in any relationships or particular people who may let me down. My trust is not in the good or bad choices my children may make nor is it in the fact of a daughter half way around the world travelling alone.

My trust is in Jesus Christ and the written Word of God which I cling to like butter on bread. The lessons of relying on my heavenly Father have been forged in the pain of loss, leaving and letting go of everything I hold dear. Following Jesus is a path of joy but of being a radical disciple. Because leaving all to forsake all others is a radical way to live. (Luke 9:23; 14:26)

On a less serious note, she has informed me of a souvenir she will be bringing home from Indonesia. We both love to drink coffee so we will be sharing some Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world given to her by her diplomat friend. Any guesses on how it’s made?

 

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