during this season of being unsure, the only resource i have for direction and stability is to trust in God and dig into His Word. as i was reading the bible and meditating on His Word, i stumbled upon a verse that i underlined years before. the verse says:
"for the Lord God will help me, therefore i will not be disgraced. Therefore i have set my face like a flint, and i know that i will not be ashamed." isaiah 50:7
set. my. face. like. a. FLINT.
i was like...set my face like a whaaaaat? did isaiah say lint or flint?!?! what the heck is a flint?? well if you're like me and you dont know what a flint is...let me share to you what i learned. flints are hard rocks which are used for tools or cutting edges, to ignite gun powder and fire or to be used to build buildings, ceramics or jewelry. (see wikipedia)
set my face like a flint. like a hard rock. unyielding. unimpressible.
set my face like a flint. to be used as a tool to fix and cut and pierce and put together.
set my face like a flint. to ignite fire, especially when struck against a steel.
set my face like a flint. to build, to shelter, to create beauty.
it's interesting that that very verse popped up to my attention at this specific time. coz right now everything around me is uncertain and new. and the easiest route is to give up and run. but even though i don't know what the future holds, right now, at this season, He is calling me to set my face as flint - be immovable, unchanging, unyileding. to continue to fix and cut and ignite fire when needed, to build shelter and beauty for other people.
that isn't an easy thing to do, especially because i am one big ball of emotion sometimes. and in the season of uncertainty and not knowing, it's easier to listen to emotions and feelings rather than choosing to do the hard things. but He promises that He will help me and that i will not be disgraced or ashamed and so i choose to trust in Him. because He commands, i obey. i will set my face like a flint. and i will put my heart to rest in the safest place it can ever be, in the hands of a Loving Father who sees all and knows all.
i found myself in tears as i recited my vows to my husband. as the words "where you will stay, i will stay, your people will be my people, your God will be my God..." came out of my mouth, tears began to flow out of my eyes and i felt a lump in my throat. you see, i kind of understood what those words meant... but my heart wasn't really prepared to face the consequences of the vow that i had just spoken.
ruth is my favorite bible character. God has always used her life story to encourage me to hold on to God no matter how hard circumstances get. everyone who knows me knows how much i love the book of ruth. so i thought it would be fitting and appropriate that I included the famous words she spoke to naomi in my wedding vows as a promise to my husband.
it's been about 2 months since I uttered those vows and now those words are finally settling in. my husband and I have been talking about long term plans and goals these past few weeks... And i was asking him what he thinks God wants for us to do this season of our lives. after much fasting and prayer and seeking God, he finally came to a conclusion and said "I feel like we're supposed to stay here in Hawaii for a season (give or take an X amount of time)".
and as soon as he said that, i felt like my heart dropped. i wanted to be like "huwaaaat?!?! oh hell to the no....who made you the boss of me??...i don't want that plan...i wanna go back home!!!" coz what he said only meant that my plans to go back home in a year or two wasn't going to happen. it means that Christmas and spending holidays with my family won't be an option all the time (since its so expensive to fly out of Hawaii). him saying that means me not being there to see my sister and nephew grow up. let me tell you, it was not easy to hear what he said. but instead of speaking my thoughts, i just looked away and started to cry (yes, very dramatic i know).
see, even if hawaii is a beautiful place with beautiful people.... it is not my home. and moving out here as a missionary brings a level of spiritual warfare that most people don't feel (if you aint a missionary, you probably haz no clue how heavy this feeling is). you can come here as a tourist or even move out here to work and you won't feel it...but come here with an agenda to do God's will and you feel the target on your back (in a spiritual sense). it almost makes you feel like you're unwanted and that you don't belong.
in my heart i said "but this is not what i want God!!! i want what's comfortable for me. i want to be surrounded by the people that know me the most. i want to be in my comfort zone. i want to live at home and follow the plans i had made in my heart to do." BUT instead of getting consolation, God gently whispered to my heart and said "it's not about what you want and your leadership...you aren't a single mom anymore. now you have to take into consideration to choose to follow your husband and his leading." oh my word...i wanted to roll my eyes at God. in fact, i did, then i repented after.
lesson in submission 101 - be careful what you say in your vows. it's easy to make promises. but time will come when those words will be tested. God didn't even wait 2 months before He sent a test my way (God could've atleast give me an adjustment period LOL)! now, i have to learn that my home isn't in LA, instead, home is where my husband is. now i have to learn that it's not about what i want, it's about learning the lesson to submit to someone else's leadership knowing that my husband wants the best for me and our son.
soooooooooooooo, i guess this means i gotta say goodbye to LA in my heart and slowly learn to find my place, my purpose, my niche, my friends and my heart here in the islands - which is now my home away from home. i also have to figure out what this means for me and my family at this season of our lives. aaaaaaand it has taught me a thing or two about words and vows - to be careful with what i say and not to be using God's words in any of my vows coz He will fa'sho hold me accountable to it. ;)
Where I _____ (insert: write, research, listen to other ministers, talk to the rest of the world, send communications for church, blog, budget, see my family and do discipleship [praise God for skype], schedule, input things for Christians school, etc). Today I am writing my newsletter.
This is my mssionary life/housewife/homeschooling mom. Life is not easy but it is good :)
ever find yourself wanting to go back to egypt or the wilderness season in your life coz you are not liking the view of your current promise land?
these past few days, the words "be strong and courageous" have been swirling around in my head. it's interesting that these words were spoken more to Joshua than any other person in the bible. first it was spoken by moses to joshua, the new leader of the people of God. then these words were repeated by God Himself to Joshua so many times when He was about to cross the river into the promise land and while josh and them were in the promise land. and then Joshua spoke it over the people.
i asked myself..."now why would God repeat Himself several times to Joshua"? i mean im sure joshua was the kind of man that would hear an order once and he would obey the order in that instant. after all, he was the the chief commander of the army of israel during that time and he would not have gotten up to that rank if he was a rebellious hard headed brat.
as i read these verses, i began to wonder what Joshua was really feeling during that time. i wonder if he felt a punch in his gut while he looked over the horizon as he entered canaan and saw how big those giants really were next to him. i wonder if he was thinking "hold up God hold up...how many giants do we have to fight?? daaang God i thought there was only a couple of them?!?!?! there's a bajjilion of them out here. Wait...what do you mean i have to confront kings and priests and people & tell them about their idolatry? i don't do that...moses did that...not me...i have no clue how to do that!"
maybe God had to repeat be strong and courageous to joshua coz josh was NOT feeling like he was the man of the hour for that moment. maybe the sight of the giants and the vastness of the land made him feel small and weak and even fearful. joshua knew they had never been that way before so he really had no clue how to lead the people for this new season. there was no more manna, no fire and clouds and thunder and water gurgling from rocks. this was ALL NEW. i wonder if he was scared for the new.
i know when God repeats something to me several times...it's only because i'm feeling the exact opposite of what He is saying at that moment and He is wanting to encourage me with hope. i believe it served as God's encouragement but also His warning. coz He knew the kind of giants israel was about to face. He knew they had never been this way before and He needed to continue to be strong and courageous and not fear for the journey ahead. God knew He had to repeat it to Joshua until Joshua could fully believe that God equipped Him for everything He needed for the journey ahead. God knew He had to repeat it until Joshua came full circle and finally understood the call of God in His life and in return, He encouraged other people to be strong and courageous. (Joshua 10:25)
"be strong and courageous...do not be afraid". i hear those words being whispered in my heart. God knows the need to sing those words over me continuously at this season, because right now, everything inside of me and around me is screaming "i'd rather be weak and fearful than strong and courageous. God i am afraid!" just like Joshua...i find my conversations with God end up with "hold up God...you want me to do whaaaat??!?!?!"
right now i am afraid of the new. new people to meet means new temperaments to try and figure out. new territory means places to scout and see where you really are supposed to be. making new friends means trying to put yourself out there and risk getting hurt and then by allowing yourself that experience, you filter the people who you should hold close to your heart and who to hold at a distance. a new location means trying to find a place to find your niche as well as to call your home. and sometimes it's not exactly what you thought it would look like in the beginning. the problem with the new is it can be so unsure.
even though my life in Los Angeles was a wilderness season for me, sometimes i find that the heat of that desert season was more of a comfort to me than the paradise that's filled with giants right before my eyes. maybe that is why He chooses to sing His song of courage and strength over me coz He knows how much i need it. im glad to know that the chief commander of the army of israel needed that same kind of encouragement. it's good to know that i am not alone in being afraid.
For part 1 of our anti-valentines celebration. I cooked and made mushroom chiken. We gave Christian oreos and Oreo ice cream and the Mr gave me flowers and card he made himself. Now we're watching season one of lost coz Christian is all into it. I love family nights! Our anti-valentines is turning out to be so valentine-y ;) lol!
it's funny how my #oneword365 always has a way of encouraging me and yet kicking my a** at the same time. that happened to me for BELIEVE. and it's happening again. for the past month, my word NEW had me really excited. but now that things are finally settling in, all of a sudden, the new season that has crept up in my life has got me at a standstill.
while my sister was out here visiting, she said something in passing to me that poked at my heart. she asked me something to this effect: "do i have plans of going back to LA anymore or does this mean that im staying in hawaii for a long time instead"
i had no answers for her.
i still have no answers for that question.
and right now that thought is a bit paralyzing.
now that she's gone and i've had time to ponder, those words have swirled around in my head and it's hitting my heart harder that i thought. when i first came here to hawaii, i thought that i would only stay here for a year or maybe two and come back home. i never thought i would get married here. i never thought that i would have to teach myself to call hawaii home. that was my plan 6 months ago. how quickly those plans have changed. how quickly those plans have come to a halt. how crazy that my life has been altered since then.
im usually one who knows what im supposed to do, or at least hear in my heart what it is God wants me to do. and it's been proven and tested that under whatever circumstance, i stick with what is supposed to be done till i feel God's leading to do otherwise. right now, i have no idea what this next season holds.
i don't know how long me and my family are supposed to stay out here for. i don't know how long im supposed to be a missionary for. i don't know if this is what i wanna do long term or if it was just something for the season. if i go back to LA and raise support once again, it means i need to be committed to this for another year. is this what God wants or not? i don't know how long my heart can take being away from my family and those i love for the sake of the gospel. i don't know what God has planned for this season just yet. i'm in it for the ride but part of me is so unsure that my heart is not at rest. why am i out here again? i don't know if im now supposed to settle my heart to call this place home or still hope in the fact that i might be able to live in LA one day and once again spend holidays and birthdays with my family and friends in LA.
i don't know.
it's so paralyzing, yet so freeing to say that.
maybe He isn't revealing much to me because He wants me to learn to trust in the leading of my husband. new season = new lessons. maybe He wants me to be still. maybe He wants me to not be still and actually cause a little ruckus and rock the boat a lil bit ;) maybe He wants me to continue to do what He called me out here to do in the first place. or maybe He is birthing things at such a fast pace and rate that i'm to do more things than what i am currently doing. I. DONT. KNOW.
in the middle of being unsure, im glad i serve in a God who sees all and knows all, and i can rest assured that He has me in the palm of His hand. if He knows the number of hairs on my head and knows when the birds eat and don't eat, then i just have to continue to trust in Him, despite the feeling of unrest in my heart. sometimes there needs to be a space between understanding the now and understanding the future, especially coz this is a new season and i've never been in this situation before (joshua3:4). i need to settle in the fact that i don't have to know. i just have to continue to know Him and know that He will be faithful to reveal His plans at the proper time.
"yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.” - Joshua 3:4 "my words are of a kind which will be fulfilled in the appointed and proper time." - Luke 1:20
"do not be afraid, i am your shield, your exceedingly great reward" - Genesis 15:1
While father and son are out and about doing "man things" on the firing range... I am left home alone with some peace and quiet to work on writing and wedding stuff.
They go out on a date and I get some time to myself :)))) this day is just what the doctor ordered. Happy shabbat shalom to me.
Especially really nice kitchen knives! But i never could afford to buy em for myself.... Every time I go to Macy's or Williams Sonoma I will go to the cutlery section and just stare at the different knives they have on display.
So when we opened our gift and received this today from my sis & bro as a wedding / Xmas gift I was so ecstatic..... :))))
After years and years and years of window shopping... I finally have a good set of knives :) let the chopping begin!