Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Privilege vs. Burden

Have you ever noticed how at different times in your life, certain words seem to take on a new meaning to you? Early in our missions journey, love was the word or theme that God kept impressing upon our hearts. We felt (and still do) as though God gave us a great love for a bunch of kids that we didn’t even know. God gave us the ability to love people again. God gave us a church and a group of people that we love dearly. Love was the movement (to borrow a Switchfoot song title) on our hearts. That love is still there and burning brightly, but now the Lord has given me a new word. Privilege. Everything about this process of ours is a privilege. The fact that we must raise 100% of the support necessary to fulfill our ministry is a privilege. Some people would see that as a burden, but we look forward to the lessons God will teach us and the refining that will occur as we humbly ask others to partner with us in ministry. The act of walking away from careers, salaries, college tuition waivers and the like is a privilege. Please don’t read here any self righteous boasting but rather a humble desire to step out on faith and trust and know that God will provide, which, quite honestly is not an easy thing for this fiercely independent gal. My periodic sleepless nights are a privilege because they afford me some quiet moments to reflect and pray. If you’ve spent much time in my home you know that quiet moments are few and far between! The mountains of boxes that are covering my garage floor and spilling into our living room are also a privilege. As we prepare to sell our home and choose carefully what will occupy precious space in a shipping container, it has become apparent that a garage sale is in order. Yesterday when I was up to my neck in boxes, I did allow myself for a split second to feel overwhelmed and a little bit burdened, but then I realized that even sorting through 17 years of life together is a privilege. As I opened each box, there was a memory waiting for me and most often a story of God’s faithfulness and provision. This attitude of choosing to view life events as a privilege rather than a burden has not always been true of me, but I have learned that God’s graces are sufficient enough to transform our hearts and minds and allow us to see things differently. With that said, I’ll close this entry with two of my favorite quotes: “Change your thinking, change your world” (thinkhappystuff.com) and “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Chuck Swindoll
Blessings and peace,
Susan

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cup of Coffee Anyone?

I’ve learned that as a ministry couple, you divide and conquer so to speak all the many tasks that are necessary to having a successful ministry. This is exactly what Mark and I have done and it’s been a blessing to see how God has equipped each of us with certain abilities and how we really complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The privilege of updating our blog is mine (Susan) and so a small disclaimer is in order before we go any further…I am not a writer. I love to read other blogs and am constantly amazed at you all who are such gifted writers, but keeping you all informed of our faith journey in this way will indeed be a labor of love. I would much rather be sitting face to face with each of you over a good cup of fair trade coffee telling you all about how amazing God is and how He has provided incredibly already in our walk towards missions. I am a very relational person (i.e. I love to talk) and feel that I am a much better speaker than writer. But, I hope you will afford me the privilege to share with you, albeit somewhat dryly at times, our experiences as we live out God’s call on our lives. So, with that said, pull up a chair and grab that cup of coffee and know that we are truly honored that you’re here and reading this.
Blessings and peace,
Susan