Changing the Filter

We are on the road again!  Jeremy is in the driver’s seat, I’m the “nagivator” and the three little dwarves are Sleepy, Grumpy and Happy by turns!

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We are thankful for the chance to travel again.  Our purpose is to see our support team grow and to deepen our friendships with those who already are part of the “family.”  God has proved Himself faithful to provide for our needs.  He confirms His calling over and over as we simply respond to His leading.

I thought I would share a few thoughts from my Mama’s perspective on this season of life.  The most common response to our traveling for support raising is “I don’t know how you do it with three little ones” or some variation on that phrase.  Here is the inside secret: I can’t do it. I simply can’t manage it on my own.  Before we became missionaries I would have instantly agreed that I lived my life in God’s strength and grace, but I now have the amazing opportunity to see these supernatural resources literally keeping me from coming apart at the seams.  In fact I’m not just surviving, I’m thriving!

His strength keeps me functioning everyday even when I get just a few hours of sleep (thanks to a certain adorable baby girl) and gives me the calm fortitude to make it through some truly chaotic moments.  Oh and on that topic, sometimes life is just loud and chaotic and makes us mothers want to hide.  When the kids are running like banshees through the house, the baby is screaming, the diapers are sagging and the pasta is boiling over, where do you turn?  (I may or may not be describing an exact scene from my life recently.)  I find in these moments I just have to grit my teeth, pray hard for patience and do the next thing.  My choices in these times carry so much more weight than they would seem, impacting the attitudes and atmosphere of the whole family.

God’s grace to me is evident in the gifts He gives and the perspective to see them as coming directly from His hand, regardless of my deservedness.  A loving, supportive husband, who also just happens to be a world-class Dad is definitely at the top of that list.  Jeremy saves my sanity daily!  I can be on the brink of a stress-cry and his goofiness reminds me not to take myself so seriously.  Or I might let slip again that I am longing for a home of our own and he reminds me of the amazing blessings we are receiving in this unique season of transition.

Have you ever taken your car in for a oil change and while you are waiting in the car they try to sell you all kind of things?  I can easily say no to most extras because I don’t understand anything about cars, but those mechanics know that it is going to be an easy sell when they show me the old cabin air filter.  It is always a shock to see what kind of filth my airflow has been passing through.

Our lives are the same way.  We get used to breathing in and out the same old attitudes and actions and don’t really realize how the toxic atmosphere is a direct result of a filter clogged with sin and selfishness.  Saying yes to the life of missionaries and all that it has entailed has been a way overdue filter change. I took a good, hard look at the old filter and saw materialism, love of money and comfort, lack of vision, disunity in our marriage and a lukewarm heart for God, among other things. It is a deepening knowledge of God and a new focus on living by faith that is my new filter and it has changed everything. I see His hand everywhere!  I find new meaning in motherhood, worship, Bible study, fellowship with other believers and interaction with the lost.  The clean, fresh air of the gospel is now filling my lungs like never before!

I could list so many other things that are undeserved gifts of God’s grace- beautiful, healthy children, supportive families, generous supporters and kind friends who open their homes.  But just one stands out far above all the others, that in this season of transition God has taken His place at the center of my life like never before.  It truly goes beyond words the way He has drawn near to my heart.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

I have discovered that I have all I need for a godly life through knowledge of God.  All the facets that make up my life- wife, mother, missionary, are enabled by His divine power.  Whoa.  The same power that called galaxies into being from nothing is giving me all I need for a godly life!  This includes the patience needed for moments like those I described above. And strength to travel hundred of miles with three tiny kids.  And grace to laugh at my crazy life and love this season of it and learn more about Him every day.  And so, so much more.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Paul spoke this famous phrase in the context of being content in all circumstances.  How strange and yet like God’s ways to fill my hands with so many good and unexpected gifts, even as I loose my hold on the comfortable and familiar.  Untold riches are mine in Christ Jesus who has called me to Himself.

 

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