Wednesday, December 29, 2010


-this post was written by Thomas-


Just found the quote above and I'm really liken it.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Adversity has a way of drawing out pride, fear, and insecurity from within me and exposing them. No wonder it is God's tool of choice to purify my faith. Now it's my job not to veil or mask my weakness during adversity but instead focus on the strength God offers me in Christ. When I'm facing adversity it's so easy to either act like I'm invincible or cry like a baby. I want to find that balance that says, "That hurt - but I will continue to focus on Jesus with all my might" It's hard to find heroes who do that. Many people just act like they are superman until one day they quit.

I'm using this note to try to figure out exactly what words I should use to describe the day I've had. And I know that many people I've discipled are watching my life closely right now. And for those who I've asked to watch and learn from the laboratory of my life about faith and calling - I want to be honest with you. Today was tough. I hate the unexpetected, out of control, last minute complications of life. I hate listening to someone I don't know tell me when I get to resume my dream. My initial frustration, anxiety, and disappointment faded into the raw truth that I really didn't appreciate God messing with my plans. Which led to the quick conviction that the previous sentence has an incorrect pronoun. "My" doesn't belong in front of plans when you're a believer. The one who owns me, and the universe gets to own the plans too. The point of this rambling is that my frustration was just a manifestation of my pride. The privilege of serving Him should be much more important and fulfilling to me than my travel itinerary. If I can just keep that mindset. . .

Please don't misinterpret this blog as a plea for sympathy. I am trying to allow honesty and transparency to be gifts I offer to a certain number of HARD CORE, JESUS FREAK, KINGDOM MINDED young people who are serious about calling and the journey involved. They are a constant inspiration to me and I owe it to them to be honest.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

too ironic to be ironic

our bags are packed and lined up in the living room. the goodbyes have been said. but we are NOT leaving for Uganda tomorrow. i'm not sure what we will be doing tomorrow, but it won't involve us getting on an airplane. it seems that i have a medical condition that requires our immediate attention. the doctor is very firm that the symptoms must be resolved before i can leave the country.

here's the background... (if you want all the details)
i began having stomach issues about 3 wks. ago, and went to the doctor. he concluded that i had a bacterial infection and treated me with antibiotics. i kept feeling worse and worse, but knew that the medicine had some yucky side effects, so i decided to "tough it out" until my round with it was up. i finished the medicine just before Christmas and still wasn't any better. Sunday, i went to convenient care and stressed to the doctor - "i'm leaving the country in 3 days! - i need to be over this!" he got me an appt. with a GI doc. yesterday who very directly told me that i wasn't leaving until we had answers to what was going on. this all shook us up, of course, but, thinking that we were still dealing with a bacterial infection, we assumed i would get new (better) medicine and, at the worst, our flight would be rescheduled for next week.

the verdict... (if you're in a hurry)
we found out this am that i have ulcerative colitis, which is a fancy way of saying that i have a very inflamed colon. yeah, yuck! it is (probably) a hereditary condition that i've always had but it has chosen now (maybe because of stress?) to act up. it isn't curable but can be treated with medicine. this isn't what we wanted to hear, but it could be a lot worse. the most difficult part is that we won't be flying out tomorrow of even next week. the doctor is saying we need to wait at least a month to see how this medicine affects me.

we are still kinda in shock and, of course, experiencing an emotional letdown. my nature is to fight this... i want to so bad! part of me says, "i'm really not so sick. i can do this! let's just go and believe that the medicine will do its job." but the spiritual part of me tells me that i'm not suppose to fight and throw a fit. i'm suppose to be humble and trust God. the timing of this is just too ridiculous to not have God's hand in it. i'm not saying He has cause this sickness, but i have NO doubt he has a purpose in it. we have no clue what that purpose could be, but eventually it will be clear and beautiful. we still know that God is making this transition happen. what is 4 or 5 wks in the breadth of our lifetime? maybe there is a place where we need to give in the next few weeks. maybe there is something that God knows we need to receive from Him. perhaps we aren't as prepared for this trip as we thought we were. my daddy always tells me that "Everything is Father-Filtered." so, among the frustration and disappointment, the peace is still there.

we SO appreciate your prayers, but please don't worry about me! i have no doubt my intestines will recover just fine - and my pride probably needed the injury. :)

In his heart, a man plans a course, but the Lord determines his steps. Prov. 16:9

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

one week from today

- posted by mika

at this time, one week from today, we will be in a plane en route to Brussels (then on to Entebbe)! WOW! i am so excited about touchdown in Uganda, but pretty nervous about everything that has to happen in the next 7 days. my heart is ready, but my house and suitcases are SO NOT!
i have written numerous blog post in my head over the last few weeks. my thoughts seem so jumbled, i just don't know where to start sorting them so other people can make any sense of what i want to say. but sorting and organizing seem to the order of things from here on out, so here goes... a brief synopsis of what i would write if i had more clarity and time.
i would title one post : Because HE is just that good!!!
this is the theme of my grateful heart this Christmas. i am overwhelmed at God's goodness that we so obviously don't deserve. i keep asking myself WHY??? why is He giving us this incredible opportunity to go serve in a way that i thought i would only get to dream about? why is He being so faithful to us when i haven't been very faithful to him? why has He prompted so many people to be generous to us when i myself struggle with being generous to others? why should i expect Him to open doors and give us favor when i don't take advantage of the opportunities that are right here right now? WHY when i don't deserve? the only conclusion i can come to is that HE is just that good! he is my Daddy who loves to delight me, surprise me, overwhelm me - all the while reminding me that it's not about me. i will never deserve Him.

and my other post would be titled : the Sweetest Years
i remember being a new bride many years ago, trying to understand my role as a 21 yr.old youth pastor's wife. i remember sitting around a table with a few other YP wives listening to "Momma Sam" Allen, our DYD's wife, as she gave us "nuggets of wisdom" from her years of experience. she said, "the pressures of ministry and the craziness of working with teenagers may seem more than you can handle sometimes... but enjoy it! because someday it will be over, and you will look back and say, 'those truly were the sweetest years of ministry!'."
so, now it is over - it went by so very fast. i spent a couple of hours last week sorting through pictures and allowing myself to be sentimental. pictures from the dome, the modular, Kid's Carnivals, Beach Camp, countless graduations, campouts, Princess Banquets. i looked at the faces of some kids who were part of our lives for a season and other kids who we've watched grow up and i know will be friends with for life. this new season before us promises adventure and new friendships and no less significance. but i think she was right. the sweetest years will belong to Jackson, TN. we gave our eager, inexperienced hearts and have been given so much more in return! this is our home, and we leave it without an ounce of bitterness. -only much much gratitude.